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Northowram Pumas’ Third Anniversary.

Third Anniversary, Wednesday 6 September, 2017.

On Wednesday, Northowram Pumas celebrated their third anniversary of the formation of the club. Yes, it was in September 2014 that a team of four hardy leaders turned up and awaited the arrival of other willing participating runners. Around seventy turned up via word-of-mouth that first evening, and the club has never looked back. Today, we have a membership of over 150, and hold regular training runs three, sometimes four, days a week.

The first training run, September 2014. The little acorns are, from left; Ian Marshall, Liz McDonnell, Katie Phillips and Andy Haslam.

The four willing run leaders three years ago were Ian Marshall, Andy Haslam, Liz McDonnell and Katie Phillips. They were all in attendance on Wednesday, with Katie Phillips, who now runs for Bingley Harriers, making a welcome guest appearance. Invited to join us, as they were twelve months ago, were our friends form Sowerby Bridge Snails, with a nice array of distances from which they had to choose.

Laura Hattersley and Paul Hopkinson with the run/walking group.

Leading the run/walking group were Laura Hattersley and Paul Hopkinson. For those wanted to run a little further, Julie Bowman, Wendy Hewitt and Laura Fairbank worked in tandem with the 3½ mile group, whilst Ian Marshall, Liz McDonnell (making a welcome return to the fold after several weeks away) and Katie Phillips reunited to lead the four-mile group. There were two groups running 4½ miles; Neil Coupe led his group down to Shibden, whilst Ally Canning took a scenic route through Coley and Norwood Green. Luke Cranfield and Peter Reason led out their group for a 5.7 miler which typically threw in a fair bit of off-road, whilst Adam Standeven plotted a nice loop of a route taking in Coley, Norwood Green, Lightcliffe and Hipperholme for those turbo-type runners.

Who’s the thorn among the roses in the popular 3.5 mile group?
Liz McDonnell, Ian Marshall and Katie Phillips re-unite before setting out with their four-mile group.
The 4.5 milers, before splitting into caveman or roadrunner groups.
Things are getting more serious now as runners join up with Andy Haslam and Peter Reason for a scheduled 5.5 miler.
Charged up and ready to burn, Adam Standeven with his turbo 6.5 mile group.

Around thirty Snails joined us for the evening, and depending on capabilities, chose a running group to suit, though none were, it seemed, keen on Ally’s off-road route across fields and through woods (it was a pity because it was a nice night for such a stroll). Each group set off at 6.45pm, and everyone was back within the hour.

Katie Phillips may run for Bingley Harriers but she still knows how to take a Puma-style group selfie.

Afterwards, Pumas and Snails mixed in the bar, and many enjoyed the chilli rice/chips combo served up by Jacky Midgley and her small team of helpers. Later, we watched a short slide-show, the montage put together by Matt Newton, that showed how the Pumas have grown.

A pleasant evening all round; here’s what some of our guests said about it;

Jodie Smith: “Thank you Pumas for inviting us to celebrate your 3rd birthday! You’re a running club we look up to and we congratulate you on your success! We’ve had a lovely evening and the chilli was spot on.”

Laura Armstrong: “Thanks for a lovely run Pumas, really enjoyed it!”

Abi Clark: “I really enjoyed running through the fields and the chilli was a nice bonus.”

Nelle Page: “I enjoyed running thru fields and dodging cow pat strangely!”

Joanne Pollard: “Fantastic evening helping the Pumas celebrate their birthday. Worked my socks off tonight, although just over 6k it wasn’t the distance, just the pace, and the running through fields and woods, that’s hard work – and uphill for the last 1k. Loved talking to the horse and chatting with the Pumas, they made us all feel welcome. Thanks everyone. PS good delicious food.”

With thanks as always to Lisa Aspinall for use of most of the photos on here.

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