Over time, we’re going to introduce our members by way of a series of questions we’ve put to them; they’ve kindly agreed to let us publish their answers. On this occasion, it’s the turn of Jen Harrison
How long have you been a member:
Why did you start:
Having always been told by my old PE teachers I wasn’t good enough to run because I was a girl I never tried. Went for my first run 4 years ago, discovered I could actually run, decided to enter the London Marathon and the rest is history.
Favourite type of running (Road, XC, T&F, Fell etc):
Ultra running or multi lap events. You get a different type of nutter at events like this, especially those that last more than 24 hours. Whether is taking part, crewing/support running or volunteering the atmosphere is always supportive as opposed to competitive. It’s a challenge, an experience, everyone just encourages you, no-one cares about your splits, no-one is looking at your Strava stats, analysing them, you get to see some beautiful areas of the countryside and let’s not forget the food at the checkpoints…
Best event you’ve taken part in (and why):
The Bad Cow Frolic organised by White Star Running was a lot of fun. A relay of a 4.4 mile trail lap for up to 12 hours or solo if you fancy it. There is the Lovestation halfway round that is fully stocked with cake, biscuits and drinks including shots of rum, cider and ale. And the sandcastle sculpture to add to every lap!
Event you’re looking forward to (and why):
Fortunately l hadn’t booked anything this year that hasn’t had to be cancelled but I am eyeing up the Ibiza Ultra.
What’s on your headphones while you train:
Podcasts when I’m on the treadmill but very rarely use headphones at any other times.
Favourite training session (and why):
Any I have coached with our training group, there hasn’t been a single session I haven’t enjoyed due to the great group we have. Lamppost interval sessions are always a favourite as they are so versatile and can be adapted for all abilities.
My favourite sessions personally are the ones without the watch where I just run. We spend a lot of time focusing on speed and endurance and the physical side of running but I believe it’s equally important to focus on mental health. Getting out in the fresh air, especially in the countryside, taking the time to look around and remind myself what’s important in life really helps me to feel re-energised and ready to face the stresses of the real world again. We’re lucky to live close to some beautiful parts of the country and I like to take full advantage of that.
Do you take your trainers on holiday? If yes, where is the best place you’ve trained/ran?
I do with good intentions but they sometimes get left in the suitcase. Running through the streets (and sewers) of Paris in torrential rain was certainly memorable but I don’t think I could class it as a training session!
Pre race food & drink of choice:
Black coffee and Jo Tarn’s homemade protein balls – delicious!
Post race food & drink of choice:
Coconut water. Can’t eat after a race but the next day I’ll eat anything.
Favourite place to run:
Locally the Cleveland Way, further afield The New Forest – running on home turf is always a winner for me.
Best Club related memory:
Sunderland 10k 2019. The nervous excitement on the bus on the way there as it was the first 10k for a lot of people, the huge number of us, absolute pride at seeing everyone finish, all celebrating in the pub afterwards as a club, Mike dressed as a cheerleader…
If you could go for a long chatty run with anyone, who would it be and why:
My late stepbrother Todd Bennett. 400m runner, Olympic medalist, Commonwealth Games champion, World Championship medalist, member of the formidable Team Solent in the 1980s. Would love to hear the stories first hand of all his amazing achievements (and no doubt what mischief they all got up to as a relay team) and to be able to tell him how Ashton is doing is his athletics.
Describe our club in three words:
Well-known. Varied. Ambitious