Photo above: Breaking the 40 minute barrier at 10K

How long have you been a Horsforth Harrier?

I will have been with the club for 6 years this coming February 2020.

Which training group/s do you normally run with?

When I first started with Horsforth Harriers I trained in Gordon’s group. I worked my way up through the ranks in the space of 1-2 years. There were two people who really pushed me throughout that time and I’ll mention them further down in one of the other questions. I currently run with Nathan’s group.

What are your running goals for the year ahead?

Throughout my journey with Horsforth Harriers my goals for each year have always been based on times I know I can achieve and my dream targets. During my first few years they were mainly focused around the shorter distances – 5ks and 10ks. I dipped my toes into the half marathon distance back in April 2016 and my time ended up being 1.36, which I was happy with. However, I wanted much more so I upped my training each year and still continue to do so. The same two people said you should progress to doing 15 milers. I did and my PB is now 1.24 at half marathon. Towards the end of 2019 and over the coming year I’m planning on going back to basics, improving my 5K times and focusing on speed. My next main race will be at Dewsbury 10K in February. I haven’t had a PB for 2 years at this distance. I call it the ‘hoodoo’ distance. I class myself as a half marathon runner really.

Anyway, my running goals for 2020 are getting my half marathon time down to sub 1.20, running 10k in 35-36 minutes and completing a 5k in 16-17 minutes. I’ve always had the right mental attitude. Whether a race goes wrong or I feel I have done well I always want more. The individuals who know me well at the Harriers know what I’m like. I do absolutely hate getting beat. I believe in everyone at my running club and I think everyone should have this mindset and want more.

Enjoying Leeds Half Marathon – photo by Andy Wicks

What is the PB you are most proud of?

I have to say the PB I’m most proud of is getting under sub 1.30 for the first time in a half marathon. I didn’t just go under it I smashed it and that’s what it’s all about. My time was 1.26.55 at the Vale of York Half in September 2016.

What was your first race?

My first race was the Horsforth 10k, which was not only my first race but it was the last time it was held. My time was 44.48. I found it very tough I was aching everywhere for a while. I knew it was good for me though.  I wasn’t particularly fit at the time.

What’s your favourite race, and why?

My favourite race is the Sheffield Half Marathon. The reason being is not only was it my first half marathon, but it’s also good prep for the race season ahead as it’s held in April. I personally think it is the best for atmosphere and it is also very scenic up in the peak district.

What is your most memorable experience as a Horsforth Harrier?

My most memorable experience as a Harrier is a bad one. It was when I lost my shoes in the mud at the PECO race at Golden Acre a few years ago. Some of the Harriers still won’t let me forget it to this day.

Do you have any favourite motivational running quotes or things that inspire you?

#Don’tbeafanny made its way to me from former Harrier Rob Furness and current Harrier Liz Huby. I can’t actually remember how it came about. But everyone is using it now. The two Harriers who I have referred to above are Alan Squire and Ruth Joanna. Ruth has been struggling through injury bless her. But from day one these two people have been my rocks in guiding and supporting me to become a better runner.

With Alan Squire at the Leeds Country Way Relay

Complete this sentence: “I run, therefore I am…”

I run, therefore I am fantastic. The end.

Abbey Dash 2019