Copyright 2017 - Dundee Roadrunners

Linda Caston

I joined Dundee Roadrunners in the mid 1980s having been a member of Fife AC before that. The reason for moving clubs was that at the time, Fife had few female runners so I was not able to be part of a team. When I attended races I saw the DRR had lots of female runners and it looked more fun to be part of a womenís team in races.

 

Unknown to me (till someone told me years later) I caused a bit of a stir on my first night, by stripping down to my underwear in the communal area, to get changed. You can take the girl out of Essex, but not Essex out of the girl!

 

I loved being part of a large number of runners charging down Lochee Road on a cold winterís evening, or up towards Camperdown on light summer nights. We raced most weekends, so I saw more of my running friends than just about anyone else. Inverness Half meant the beginning of the roadrunning season as we set off in two coaches. I usually had a good run, and was proud to be part of a club which brought home most of the trophies.

 

On my 34th birthday, July 2nd 1989 I did a PB at the Stonehaven Half ñ 1.31. How cool was that (though cool had not been invented then). This was followed a month later by a 1.30 at Montrose. I never broke 1.30, but was pleased to have achieved it at all. Likewise, I ran, but did not break 70 min for 10 miles and 40 mins for a 10k.

 

One of my most memorable races was the Donkey Brae 7m in August 1992. Iíd just been watching Lynford Christie in the Olympics prior to the race and must have felt very inspired and motivated as I had a really good run, passing people I usually trailed in behind.

 

My particular favourite races:

* Aberfeldy Half, as I spent a lot of time in the area sailing, and love running in that part of the country

* Glen Clova, again for the scenery, the post race atmosphere and fun we all had

* Crieff 10km, which has only taken place for about 5 years now, and Iíve done them all so far. Again, a really interesting, pretty and varied route that takes your mind off the running!

 

However, my all time favourite, and the race Iíve done most often is the Ceres 8m race at the end of August. Somehow for me, it marks the end of the summer evening running season, and often the weather is fine, and there is that distinctive slightly autumnal smell in the air ñ plus of course it has a great downhill finish!

 

Dundee Roadrunners was for me, like a large family - not full of strangers being polite to one another, or competitive braggers wanting to impress with their latest times but just like family, there have been arguments, fallings out and disagreements, but when the chips are down everyone was hugely supportive whether it was about running, or personal matters.

 

I was, for a time, club secretary. To me itís important for people to take turns in taking on club responsibilities. The more people who get involved the less there is for each to do. I sometimes wonder if those who have been members for many years but never got involved in the running of the club, really get as much out of it.

 

Finally Iíd like to pay tribute to a few people who really supported the club immensely over the years. There are many others and I apologise to those who Iíve missed out who also come into this category, but thanks to the dedication, time and commitment given by Gill Hanlon for her administrative and organising skills, to Jim Moran for many years of organising routes in the days before computers and GPS, and to the club coaches, notably Ged and Charlie. And finally to Gus, no longer with us, but with many of us in so many other ways.

 

Here's to the next 25 years ...when do the zimmer frame races start?

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