Quakers Member Spotlight – July 2018
This month’s Member’s Spotlight is on someone that I thought had been running for ages. Instead it turns out that she’s a relatively recent recruit to running who has just made great strides. Step forward Sarah Watson.
- How did you get into running and why?
I did the Race for Life in 2013 and although I was 18+ stone and walked quite a lot I loved it, the support / atmosphere & encouragement really motivated me. I got a personal trainer at the gym and followed a diet plan that he gave me along with an exercise plan. When I lost a little bit of weight I started doing about a 1.5 / 2 mile loop from home, walk/ running, I would pick a car or lamp post run to there if felt ok I would keep going, if I was struggling I would walk get my breath back then go again and pick another point to go to and gradually I could start to go a little further. I then joined Quakers June 2014.
- What kept you going when you first started running?
I can be quite competitive with myself so I like to see my times improve and pushing myself so that I could run further. Also it really helped with my weight loss.
- Tell us about some of the races that you’ve done in the past?
- Ravenstonedale 10K – A few years ago the wind and rain was horrendous, we were running through streams. The presentation at the finish is great; a few years ago I won a spot prize of a sack of logs!!
- Parliament Hill – National Cross Country – this run is amazing you can see for miles across the city! There are so many runners that take part, it is the toughest cross country course I have ran, but I would recommend it to anyone, there is loads of support on route & it’s a great excuse for a weekend to London!
- How much training do you typically do?
At the moment not too much, maybe 3 days per week, I try to get in a few swims and at least one ride out on my bike / gym session. When I am fully fit (not that I remember how that feels these days!) I probably get carried away and end up running 4/5 days per week. I’ve only really started to cross train this year and realised how important it is. When I first started running I just ran and ran and ended up picking up loads of niggles.
- Be honest, do you enjoy training?
Normally once I’ve finished the session.
- What’s your current running aim?
To stay injury free & enjoy running. I have no pressure of times at the moment; I just want to enjoy it. I would love to complete the Lyke Wake, that is my goal for the future but I need a consistent level of fitness before I attempt to do it.
- What is your favourite race/distance/terrain?
Favourite race, that’s a hard one, I have really enjoyed all of the “Hardmoors” ones I have completed, the LDWA Hanging Stone Leap was brilliant too. But then I like the local village 10ks like Ravenstonedale. Barcelona 10k on New Year’s Eve was a great event too, setting off just as it was getting dark, such a busy race all the way round. I love off road running
- Which race performance are you most proud of?
When I first started to run I always said I would never be able to run a half marathon, I then completed the GNR in September 2014 and in under 2 hours, which I was over the moon with. I think that was down to training runs with Gary Read & Dale Chapman; meant to be steady training runs but I’m sure they were trying to kill me off!!
- Which race would you have to be forced to do at gunpoint?
Hmm Ray Harrison 10K.
- What is your proudest running achievement?
York Marathon definitely, I was chuffed to just scrape a sub 4 hour on my first attempt. I only achieved that due to the training and support from Neil Harrington. It was a perfect training plan for me; we lived in the same street, training for the same marathon and ran at a similar pace. We got up early most Saturdays and got our long runs done, Neil planned all of our routes and kept me going, pulled me up when I fell down and we just chatted all the way. It honestly made my marathon having Neil as my training partner.
- What’s your idea of running heaven?
Just getting off road, anywhere! No pressure of times; just run, walk when you need to and take in the gorgeous countryside.
- What’s your idea of running hell?
A flat, boring road race.
- Best way to relax/reward yourself after a race?
I like to go and have a drink in a local pub after, chill out and catch up with friends.
- Apple, Water, Banana or Mars bar in your ideal goodie bag?
Mars Bar definitely!