Bernadette Caygill

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 Bernadette Caygill

How long have you been a member:

33 years

Why did you start:

My early gymnastic career was going nowhere and after emphatically winning (in bare feet) the 80m sprint at the town sports, on Feethams Cricket Ground, I realised how much I liked to win!!

Despite my early success, I was not a natural, only finishing 11th at my first town cross country, so my coach, Mr Lawson, had his work cut out.  The combination of hard work, dedication, Mr Lawson and my club mates was all it took to keep me hooked and get the results. 

Favourite type of running: (Road, XC, T&F, Fell etc):

I love the variety, so when you’ve had enough of one, the next season is usually beginning  (and that still applies to coaching).  Really not keen on too much mud though. 

Best event you’ve taken part in (and why):

As a junior,  it’s got to be the English Schools Track & Field Championships. I think I qualified for 4 in total, in both 1500 and 3000m.

It was really nerve racking stuff, and although I didn’t win, to come 2nd in 1990 (3000m) was a dream come true as I got my one and only England vest. 

As a Senior, I loved winning the North East cross country title and this still has to be one of the best local events going for pure gritty performances & competition.  I still get really excited to watch this event and so for the club to have so many individual and team successes this year was fantastic. I also must mention the Darlington 10k. The first time I won that was very special. 

Event you’re looking forward to (and why):

The first event I get to see the juniors take part in again!!! Fingers crossed it’ll still be track season! 

What’s on your headphones while you train:

I’ve never, ever, ran in headphones. Sorry! 

Favourite training session (and why):

Got to be 400m efforts on the track; either as a runner or a coach. I don’t know why, it just reminds me of warm summer evenings and it’s a great measure of fitness!! 

Do you take your trainers on holiday? If yes, where is the best place you’ve trained/ran?:

I take them and if I get the urge to run, then I run, but if I don’t, they stay in the bag. My family prefer it if I run though as I can get quite narky if I don’t.

Best place – I once went to visit my friend in Switzerland. She was working so she dropped me off at the local track so that I could train (probably did 400’s!). It was surrounded by mountains – you couldn’t get a better setting – and over the road, by the side of Lake Geneva, was an outdoor Olympic sized swimming pool which I jumped in after.  Perfect morning for me! 

Pre race food & drink of choice:

Bowl of frosted wheats and just water to drink. If it’s a PM race, then I’ll have a mid-morning coffee and a couple of biscuits or a banana. 

Post race food & drink of choice:

Guinness (with blackcurrant) and a Sunday dinner!! (After re-hydrating with water/juice of course). 

Favourite place to run:

Anywhere that isn’t down the A66 to and from Sadberge (where I live). Getting really bored with that right now. 

Best Club related memory:

All the friends I have made and the people who I’ve met that love to ramble on about running. The opportunities it’s given to me including my new found love of coaching. 

If you could go for a long chatty run with anyone, who would it be and why:

Probably my 15yr old self to offer some words of wisdom (not about running). 

Describe our club in three words:

Best club ever.