I first set up a Jog Scotland group in 2012 after having developed a love of running relatively late in life. I have always loved to keep fit but never ran until I had my third child. I was paying a gym membership that I was never able to use, so that was no longer an option. I signed up for a local 10k thinking it was way beyond my abilities. I began training by running just a few miles and then slowly built up the distance. It was then that I began to love running! Not for the fitness – but for time for me to clear my head and escape a chaotic house with 3 young children.
Over the years I have slowly built up the distance and I now compete in ultra-marathons and run mainly off road. I love that running can be a social or solitary, I have many friends that run and made many through running. I just love being in the company of my Monday night jog group Run West Kilbride Group, helping them to achieve their running goals. Like most people who run, it helps your mental health as it’s a time to reflect and think about you.
I have run in many wonderful places. My highlights include a Skyline race over the volcanoes of La Palma, many of Scotland’s iconic walk ways like the West Highland Way (95 miles) and the Great Glen Way (72 miles). My most recent run was the Southern Uplands Way in the Race Across Scotland (214 miles) which I am pleased to say that I won! This is the event that took my mind and body to places I have never been before, it took far more mental than physical strength to keep going when the going got tough. Keeping the end goal in sight is what got me to the finish line. I never in a million years set out to win the race, completion was my only aspiration. Many things went wrong along the way – bad kit choices, awful weather and a round trip to Dumfries and Galloway Infirmary to treat an infected foot. Hopefully these are all lessons learned for a better race this year and I’ll hopefully better my time of 83 hours!
I juggle running with bringing up 3 kids, a full-time job in the fire service along with running my Run West Kilbride Group. Life is busy and training doesn’t always go to plan, but it is there to be enjoyed and I am always grateful for having the health to keep doing what I love.
Even if you have never run before, I would urge you to try it! The combination of fresh air and exercise really serves the mind and body well. It doesn’t need to be far or fast, everyone has their limits and many take part in running purely for the social aspects and friendship opportunities.
If you are interested in joining Run West Kilbride Group, then please visit the Facebook page for more information.