Copyright 2017 - Dundee Roadrunners

Gill Hanlon

 

I first joined Dundee Roadrunners in 1985 (I think). I had started running late 1982 in an effort to get back to some level of fitness after having my children. Not that I had been a runner  previously but when my husband decided that he would train for the next Dundee Marathon I thought that running would be something I could do also, in my bid for fitness.

For a while I just ran in the evenings when the children were asleep and it was literally around the block in the early days. I quickly found that I enjoyed it and was always keen for my run. Over time I gradually built up some distance and when I entered the Errol 7 mile fun run encouraged by my husband and his marathon training partner, Iíd not a clue about racing at all. Looking around me I spotted a couple of fast women who Iíd seen at other races Ged had been running, in the build up to his marathon. I felt a bit like a fish out of water but nothing ventured...... To my amazement I finished 1st lady! After that I was keen to improve as that race showed me that I could be faster with a bit of training.  An old friend (Charlie) who was  already a Dundee Roadrunner at this point had been trying to encourage both of us to come along to the club and although Ged had attended a couple of times, I had not been yet. After my outing at Errol we were regular attenders at the club although very rarely at the same time due to child care. We took turns of a Tuesday one week and Thursday the next so we were both able to benefit from each of the sessions. 

 

In those days we all trained in groups, pulling each other on rather than what appears to happen most of the time now, trying to run away from training partners and many ending up running solo. The concept of group training was very strong back then and this gelled the club and helped people fulfil their running potential. For this reason, DRR were foremost at any event and our teams were feared at events both local and further afield scooping many prizes in all categories with many members running personal best times as they continued to improve. 

 

Organised Sunday runs were also a feature then, with organised water stops and a choice of distance depending on what was being trained for. Regular 20+ mile runs were always catered for as so many of us were marathon training. The men in the club were always keen to ìpull us women alongî at training and we reaped the benefits of this encouragement.  This was a mutually beneficial way of training though as some of the  men found it a challenge to keep pace with the fast women in the club at that time, of which there were many!

 

The club and the people in it have given me great support, encouragement and friendship over the years and enabled me to reach my potential in all the types of running that I tackled as an individual and as part of a team.  I always enjoyed competing over different distances as they all have their own particular challenges and I was lucky to be placed in the majority of them.  

 

For a few years I joined Hawkhill Harriers where I was able to compete on the track over 1500 and 3000 m and also run lots of Cross Country which was always and probably still is my favourite terrain.  This was a completely different type of training to undertake but the endurance and stamina that I had built up over the years at DRR stood me in good stead and I was able to compete successfully on the track and over the country. 

 

However, after a few seasons with Hawkhill Harriers I came home to Dundee Roadrunners and picked up where I had left off.

 

In an effort to ìput something back into the clubî I have served on and off over the years both as an ordinary committee member and also as club secretary. 

 

The club membership remains healthy to this day. We now attract lots of students who use running to supplement their fitness for other sports and others who are keen to improve their running for triathlon events. Lots of people now realise the benefits of running as part of a keep fit regime and the club is able to accommodate all types of running requirements. 

 

Although the club has evolved over the years, it seems to me that the ethos has remained which is, to support and encourage likeminded people through the weekly training sessions, the inter club races and the two open races that we organise each year. 

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