Copyright 2017 - Dundee Roadrunners

Bob Wood

I was introduced to the Dundee Roadrunners at a race in Arbroath. After listening to one Charlie Anderson I was keen to give the club a go. Little did I realise how it would change my attitude to running and lifestyle in general.

 

My first couple of years of running had been sporadic and consisted of training mainly on my own so I was keen to see how joining a club would help me.

 

Having heard how some clubs could be elitist I was a bit wary on my first training night, but my worries were soon dispelled as all newcomers were made to feel part of the club and also all achievements and progress was shared by all the members. I soon got to know many of the club members and thoroughly enjoyed the training sessions on a Tuesday evening. My mentor was Peter Hume who guided me in the basics of training and planning. I had never done much hill training, but grew to enjoy it as I could see the benefits you could gain, it could have been  more beneficial if Ged Hanlon didnít try to strike up a conversation half way up a hill ?

 

The long Sunday runs were very good as we had volunteers who would leave bottles of water along the route and then we had to find them, not an easy task at times, I think it was tactical so that we kept together and had less chance of getting lost, which did happen at times.

 

As the club caters for all levels of ability you soon find yourself running in a group, which is an incentive to try and improve if you want to, as you can gradually move up the groups. Iím sure most runners who trained with a group improved on there times in races. I know I would not have improved as much if I had to train by myself, so my thanks to all my training partners.

 

 The idea of running buses to races outside town was a great way to meet fellow runners families and Iím sure many lasting friendships  and even romances started on these away days. I still fondly remember the first road race of the Season, in Inverness when two buses would travel up the A9, one bus with runners and families, the other with the chancers, sorry dancers , who would stay on for the celidh. It made you proud to see all the Roadrunners in club colours participating in events all over the country. 

 

The Tuesday training after a race was always special as everyone who had achieved a result or P.B. was recognised and mentioned in despatches. This contributed to making this a friendly and informal club of which all members should be proud. 

 

Like all clubs we had our characters that kept us on our toes and made it a pleasure to come along to training sessions and trips to races. We had Dave Roy and Errol Galloway amongst others who always had some words of wisdom for anyone who would listen. 

 I was struck by how many people were interested in everyoneís progress, not just the so called better runners, people like Jim Edward, who sadly is not with us anymore, he did an awful lot to encourage younger and inexperienced runners and gave me advice on lifestyle topics and the road captains deserve a special mention for making the routes interesting and diverse, which kept the members on there toes.

 

The club grew quickly in the early years and gained a lot of respect from the running fraternity in Scotland as we soon started to show our colours, especially the ladies section which only encouraged the men to try a bit harder and they soon also figured in race prize lists.  

 

My racing started with Marathons as I thought I was too old for shorter distances or to slow, but eventually the benefits of 10K and Ω Marathons became apparent. My favourite distance is the Marathon as I thought it was the ultimate test of my training. My favourite race has to be the Potteries, The spectators were terrific all the way round and it was the hilliest course I have run. My best finish was 4th place in 2:33 .My worst experience in a race was in the Blackpool Marathon. The club took a bus to this race and quite a few members suffered in the heat and suffered from dehydration. A case of prepare properly or suffer the consequences. 

 

Unfortunately I have lost touch with the club in recent years but I still check out the results in the sports section of local papers for Dundee Roadrunners and again it looks like the Ladies have the upper hand, so come on lads lets get going and give the girls a run for there money.

 

 

My best times for 10K       32.59

                              Ω Mar. 1:11:07 

                           Full Mar. 2:29:17

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