What inspired you to start running in the first place?
I had always played sports that incorporated running (cricket, badminton, football etc), and used to occasionally take myself off for a run whenever I started to feel unfit. Eventually, in my mid-forties I was less able to perform adequately in those sports – and I found that running, as a sport in it’s own right, was a way to keep active and satisfy a need to test myself.
As a founding member, what is your favourite memory of Caerleon Running Club?
As a founding member, I guess it was when we held our inaugural club night. It took at least 18 months to achieve that after first having the idea to form a club. And from there, all the milestones along the way eg entering races as a club for the first time (notably the Lliswerry 8 in 2004 when we were first able to wear our club vests) and seeing club numbers grow, year by year. On a personal level – it was a thrill to meet everyone who came along to join in with the club. I always felt humbled that people actually gave up their time in order to take part in my vanity project!
When it comes to events that the club regularly takes part in, what has been your favourite, and why?
The Leisure League Series. So well organised. Great competition but operated on a friendly and cooperative basis. A credit to every participating club.
Do you have a favourite race outside of these events? If so, what do you like about it?
Taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon usually left me with some good memories. I was always amazed at the support along the route.
Looking back at your journey with Caerleon Running Club, is there anything you would have changed or done differently?
If I had been aware that the merger of universities in South East Wales was going to bring about the closure of the Caerleon Campus, I would have done my best to campaign to stop it being shut down. The devious and underhand way in which it was done was scandalous. Losing the Sports Centre in Caerleon was a major travesty, let alone the entire site.
In your opinion, what is the best thing about Caerleon Running Club? What sets is apart from other clubs?
Obviously, the cakes. Most clubs seem to represent the same ethos, but I am proud of being involved in the formation of Caerleon RC, as it is, without question, a wonderful family.
What would you consider to be your proudest moment with the Club?
Jim King being the first Caerleon runner to win a GLCL race. It was Griffithstown’s cross country in Croesyceiliog School grounds, probably around 2008. It was my old school, and I had enjoyed some success on the same course in the early 1970s, so that gave extra resonance to Jim’s performance.
What advice would you give to our newer members or those just starting out on their running journey?
Be prepared for this to become your main sporting activity for a minimum of 5 years. Running will reward you for the effort and commitment that you give to it. It is best done as part of a team. But it all comes from you. Nobody can do it for you.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Members might wonder why I don’t run with the Club anymore. Towards the end of 2019 I was feeling distinctly off colour. The medics were concerned and I got referred for all kinds of tests to check out my lungs and breathing. They were all inconclusive, but I can only think that I experienced some kind of Covid, before it took hold across the globe! I’ve always been a trailblazer!!
I discovered I could barely run anymore. I immediately became breathless and trying to run was painful and unpleasant. This has only slightly improved since then, and I force myself out for a 10k jog each week – but I have to punctuate it with at least three spells of walking. It’s not great, as I wish I still had the capability to join in with the Club, but I guess I have to accept that my time has been and gone, but the memories linger on! And it’s great to see how the Club is still prospering and breaking new boundaries under new management!
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