Every week our run leaders will plan a route and guide and encourage you round this route. But to cover holidays or additional groups we’re always looking for volunteers from within the club. If you’re interested in leading one of the groups you can contact Ian or Andy.
Find out a bit more about our run leaders at the club:
I decided to start running in my early 30’s, when, at the end of a night out in Leeds I couldn’t make it up the steps at the train station. I was out of breath climbing a few steps and decided I need to change something.
I started running not long after, initially just a couple of miles and eventually working up to a 10k race. Several years later, many miles covered, 30+ Half Marathons completed and 3 full marathons, running is a way of life for me.
Probably my proudest running achievement is running 12 half marathons in 12 months for charity in 2011. Here’s a highlight from one of them…
I had never been or wanted to run past 100 meters.
Until my gym buddy and myself decided to challenge ourselves in attempting the Abbey Dash 10k race in December 2012. Yes it was tough training but running in a group from the gym certainly helped push us both and we completed the Dash in a respectable 54 minutes.
After the amazing feeling on completion the winter months set in and I drifted away from pulling the running trainers on… bad mistake.
I was determined that the enjoyment and more the physical fitness I felt and gained from running shouldn’t end.
To this end, I nervously went along to a local running clubs beginners course, as I was unable to find the motivation to improve myself running solo. This was the best move I made, running with people of similar abilities pushed me on, to the fact people thought I had been running for years not months..
In 2014 I entered the ballot for the Great North Run not expecting a place, 1h 37m later I had completed my début 1/2 marathon.
I am more a social/fun runner and in Sept 2014 set up a 8 week running group in Northowram, (with the assistance of Andy, Liz and Katie), initially to gauge interest and help people new or experience in running.
From this I am proud to say the Northowram Pumas RC were formed.
I truly believe Anybody can become a runner, I am living proof.
After spending 3 years getting drunk at university and then having a baby I came to the sad realisation that I was getting old and I couldn’t eat and drink what I wanted without having to balance it out with some exercise.
After bumping into my old school friend at the gym, he convinced me to go for a run with him. Which I did, wearing totally unsuitable trainers, baggy tracksuit bottoms and with a very slow pace.
But I kept at it, I think there’s something about running that once you start you just want to get better, to be able to run for longer and faster.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but the more miles you do the better you get. I also think that running with other people really helps….non running people rarely want to listen to you harp on about what trainers to buy next, how many miles you’ve done, what races you’re doing or your list of ongoing injuries. But other runners LOVE talking about this, which is why being part of the Pumas is soooo good. And being a run leader tops this off as every week I get to see people in my group push themselves and get better and stronger with each mile we do.
Wendy is relatively new to the world of running. Her journey started in July 2014 when after having 3 children and reaching her mid thirties she decided that it was a good time to start getting some regular exercise. She started by getting up early twice a week before the school run and doing laps around the block for initially 10 minutes, progressing to 20 minutes after a few weeks. Then in October 2014 the mornings became dark and she made the sensible decision to find some running companions, that is when she contacted Northowram Running Group and joined them for her first very scary but enjoyable group run.
Wendy’s determination and excellent attendance record at the Club has helped her to progress to be able to regularly run 5 miles and she has now completed numerous 10k races.
In September 2015 when Northowram Running Group was affiliated to Northowram Pumas Running Club, Wendy joined the committee and has been busy beavering away behind the scenes to make sure the club runs smoothly.
Running for me started in 2011. I had decided I needed to lose some weight so actually started to visit a local gym that I had joined a few years earlier but rarely visited. After plenty of indoor running I decided to venture outdoors and have tried to avoid the treadmill ever since.
Since then I have taken part in a number of races and I have managed to get some decent times in some of these races, mostly local but a few bigger name events such as the Edinburgh Half Marathon in 2013 (my time was 1:24:21) and Yorkshire Marathon in 2015 (I crossed the finish line in 3:23:57). In the Bolton Brow Burner in 2014 I even managed to break into the top 10 (7th) against a field of almost 200 competitors.
I now try to rack up a decent number of miles each week and spend a lot of time mapping new routes to keep the runs interesting and varied.
Recently I have taken a shine to off-road running and will hopefully be able to incorporate a lot more of this in the coming months.
Alan Partridge once said to a widow at a 40-year-old’s funeral: “Those people who say life begins at 40… they’re notable by their absence… the nerve”. For me, life did begin at 40. That landmark birthday sparked my desire to be a fit middle-aged dad, and transformed my approach to running.
A stereotypically tight Yorkshire man, investing in a £200 Garmin watch was an initial trigger to keep running – determined to get my money’s worth by using it regularly.
However it was combining this with the Strava app that introduced the competitive element and made me a jogging junky.
One year later I was two stone lighter, running with my training buddy Shaun had become habitual, and I have been excited about tracking my progress and setting new PRs ever since.
I am inspired by my father-in-law, Young Pete, who achieved most runner’s dream of a 4-minute mile. Young Pete was 20 years younger than me when he joined the ranks of Roger Bannister’s running elite. So I accept I’m slightly passed my prime now to equal that feat.
Ask Young Pete how old he is, and you’ll find he is perpetually 42. In fact in dog(legs) years he is. It’s a running joke (literally). So it’s rather apt that I find myself entered in the 2016 London Marathon when I’ll be aged 42 – and 26.2 miles just happens to equate to around 42k!
My first marathon. This is something my old (younger but less healthy) self would have sneered at as a preposterous goal.
I remember clearly stating at the end of the Leeds Half Marathon in 2013 that I was not inclined to repeat that distance again. In fact I think I put it less eloquently. The words “never a-flipping*-gain” spring to mind (*well I remember uttering something beginning with ‘f’ in my exhausted post-race state).
But thanks to the friendly rivalry with Shaun that we both thrive on, I have become a regular (addicted!) runner and proud member of the Pumas. Having someone to train with is so important and I really enjoy the experience and support of running in a group. Northowram Pumas provides a fun, friendly environment and motivates me to head out every Wednesday evening, whatever the weather!
I would never put myself down as someone who would step up to the next level from been a social runner to a run leader.
But then I joined Northowram Pumas and over the last few years that I’ve been running with them, I’ve seen the people around me on their own personal journey. Whether this was to improve their fitness, lose weight or just to become a better runner.
When I started running with Pumas my own personal journey was to gain confidence and lose weight, I feel that even though my personal journey hasn’t ended but it’s nearing its destination. I now get the same buzz of seeing others around me on their journeys and hope I can help them to achieve their personal aim