Newly qualified leader Chris from Mickleover Joggers tells us all about his running journey.....
I first got into running when I was at school - quite a few years ago (40 odd!?) - I was quite good - fast for a little guy. Then I got a job after leaving school - focus shifted to ‘life’ etc.
My dad is an ex marathon runner - he got made redundant in the early 80s like so many and turned to running after he started taxiing as a way to keep active. I did a few fun runs while my dad did marathons, waited around with my sister to shout encouragement at the finish etc, but never really took it too seriously and after my dad ran his last race in 2002 I’d shifted my focus to other things - mortgage, family etc.
Turning to running to keep me active
I started a new job in 2015 which meant I spent more time sitting down. I’d always had retail management jobs which kept me on my feet for most of the day - but I felt that I needed something to get me active again. Running seemed the natural choice, I started running ‘seriously’ again in 2019.
I’d stayed in touch with one of my best friends from school - Tanya and we spoke a few times about her involvement with her running club - Mickleover Joggers and her husband David was a run leader with them also. They invited me along to one of the twice weekly club runs and I was blown away by how friendly and welcoming everyone was.
Becoming part of Mickleover Joggers
After a few weeks joining in with the runs I’d made friends with some great people and Joy asked me if I’d be interested in becoming a co-leader. I was flattered but jumped at the chance. I’d started to enter quite a few organised races at this point and as the club membership grew, they needed more leaders to help keep everyone safe.
After being a co-leader for a while Joy asked me if I’d be interested in becoming a fully fledged leader and again it seemed like a natural progression. I’d been heavily involved with a group of our C25K course along with one of the other leaders and got some fantastic feedback from them, so I must have been doing something right.
Supporting others on their running journey
My own running journey has lead me to discover how much fun you can have when you run - regardless of your speed or ability. My distances have been getting longer and longer, I’ve completed several ultra marathons now and the support and encouragement I’ve received from my club mates has been fantastic, so it’s nice to know I can support them on their own running adventures.
So in summary - I’m a friendly guy, I enjoy meeting and talking to people, I like to have a laugh and I absolutely love running - so being a run leader for an all inclusive club just makes sense.