Member Spotlight, July 2018 – Sarah Watson

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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!
  1. 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.

  1. Be honest, do you enjoy training?

Normally once I’ve finished the session.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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!!

  1. Which race would you have to be forced to do at gunpoint?

Hmm Ray Harrison 10K.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. What’s your idea of running hell?

A flat, boring road race.

  1. 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.

  1. Apple, Water, Banana or Mars bar in your ideal goodie bag?

Mars Bar definitely!

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