The morning of the Derby 10k is always a little bit like the slow unfolding of a flower. We may have climbed blurry eyed from our beds and staggered out of the house into the dark, drizzly, cold morning with an hour’s less sleep making the early start seem even earlier, but a couple of hours later, as the Jog Derbyshire groups filed into the suite at Pride Park Stadium we were buzzing as always.
It’s hard not to get swept along in the atmosphere of the Derby 10k day. Nearly 300 Jog Derbyshire members filled the suite again and we were super grateful for volunteers from On the Border Trail Runs and Rogue Runners Ripley who helped us get the room ready and made sure everything ran like clockwork throughout the morning.
One of the best things about being in the Jog Derbyshire room is overhearing people sharing their stories with each other – a mixture of excitement, nerves, first timers, old timers, PB chasers, fundraisers and everything in between.
This year we caught up with a couple of people to hear about their journey to the Derby 10k. Read their stories below:
Clare Brewin, Pride Joggers
After finding out about local charity me&dee six years ago, Clare’s purpose for entering races has been all about raising money for a charity that’s helped so many families, including Jog Derbyshire’s Project Manager, Lucy.
me&dee is based in Melbourne and the small team supports families where either a parent or child has a life shortening, life threatening or terminal condition to create memories through holidays or days out as well as providing hospital essentials.
Now working for the charity and regularly seeing first hand the difference it makes has made raising money even more important for Clare.
Clare said: “We’ve got a team of 32 runners doing it today. I’ve done it the last three years always for me&dee. Money is still coming in but between us we’ve raised over £4,000.”
Finding friends at Pride Joggers
Clare was running the Derby 10k alongside friends from Jog Derbyshire group Pride Joggers, who made her move to Derby a few years ago much easier.
She said: “I started running about 12 years ago, not very good, not very fast, but I enjoy it. I moved to Derby about seven years ago and I wanted to try and make friends really. At the time I worked not that far from Pride Park so it was quite convenient. It was great, made some lovely friends.”
Unfortunately for Clare, getting Covid in December 2021 has made her recent running journey more difficult.
She said: “It’s really made me struggle with my breathing so I’ve really struggled to get back running. Before that I did Oxford half and Liverpool half in the October, got Covid in the December and now can’t even do a parkrun without walking.
“It’s frustrating, really frustrating. When I think how far I’d come. The group really helped with that because they started a new couch to 5k so that really helped to bring me back into it again.”
Following the race Clare added, “The event was, as always, really well organised. It was the first time of using the Jog Derbyshire room and it was a comfort to know my bag was somewhere safe. The support from the marshals was fantastic.”
Lee Sanderson, Rogue Runners Ripley
Lee’s journey with Jog Derbyshire group Rogue Runners Ripley has been an extensive one, taking him from an absolute beginner, leading to weight loss of over six stone and the Derby 10k acting as a warmup for a half marathon next weekend.
Lee explained: “I did sofa to 3k with Rogues. Never had any aspirations to go any further than that, never thought I’d be able to go any further than that. I was a large gentleman, I was 18 stone plus.
“I managed that, then I decided to progress a little bit more and did a 5k. To do that I was Jeffing which is absolutely fantastic. Without the jeffing I can honestly say I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. It’s a great way to get into running, it’s a great way to bring your energy levels up.
“Then from that I progressed up to a 10k. Never had any intention of going any further than that. But the Rogues are very supportive, a fantastic group.”
How Rogue Runners Ripley kept me going
A spell of ill health and injury meant Lee had to take some time off but the support of the group continued to keep him going.
He said: “Honest to God without the Rogues I’d not be doing this now. About five times I’ve decided I’m not doing this anymore.
“I’d hurt myself, I wasn’t very well but when I did come back from being poorly I joined the walking group. Absolutely killed me, I’d have sooner run, but it was so supportive.
“The good thing about Rogues is it’s not just a running group. There’s a social aspect, it’s geared up for, there’s something for everybody.”
As the weight came off, Lee found his new body shape was making running easier and allowing him to go a bit faster.
He said: “Physically I feel loads better. I’m not out of breath as much, my asthmas not as bad any more. I can control my breathing so much better. In fact my body aches before I can’t breathe. Even going up stairs is easier and then runs feel easier.
“Even when I did my 3k I couldn’t do 3k without stopping. I’m now at a point where I can do 5k without stopping which sounds really silly but that’s an achievement I’ve always wanted.”
Following the race, Lee added: “I’ve completed the Derby 10k twice now, its a fantastic event. Last year I did it in 1:17 and this year I am so proud to have obtained a sub 60 at a time of 56:32. I was the kid that was picked last in PE, and to now be planning on running not one but two half marathons this year for charity blows my mind.
“The first one I am running for Blood Cancer UK at the London Landmark Half and the second will be at the Great North Run for Yorkshire Cancer Research. If I had to give anyone any advice I would say to join a supportive running group, aim to complete and not compete, do it your way - 'Go Rogue!'”