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RUN LEADERS

All our run leaders have completed a Leadership in Running Fitness course provided by England Athletics. This course qualifies and insures them to deliver safe and fun running sessions. Our qualified run leaders are (Alison has also completed a Coach in Running Fitness course provided by England Athletics. This qualifies her to plan progressive training programmes to help runners to work towards specific goals.):

Alison Smith

Club Coach/Ladies Captain.
After running, but mainly swimming, competitively as a child I was keen to rekindle my fitness after the university years had taken their toll. However, it took me having my children to really find time to run …. this ensured I gained ‘me’ time and it helped in keeping my mental wellbeing in check whilst being a Mum and a Primary School Teacher. 
I now run four or five times a week and have challenged myself to race different distances from the Mile to the Marathon… along with everything in between.  
My proudest running achievement is managing to race 3 marathons in 11 months but also the opportunity running gives me to spend time training with my dad (Derek who is also on our committee).  My dad has and continues to be my running inspiration (along side Jo Pavey of course). 
Setting up Methley Striders with Jo and Sarah has changed my life!  Who knew we would achieve and continue to achieve so much since we launched in April 2017! 
I am proud to be the club’s Chair Person and Ladies Captain and grateful that being a Strider has enabled me to qualify as a Coach in Running Fitness so I can support and develop others along the road to being a fitter athlete regardless of their individual goals. 
As Catherine Switzer (who was attacked during the 1967 Boston marathon for running in what was seen as a male only event) says…
“Life is for participating, not spectating”

Antony Gately

Run Leader/Men’s Captain.
Living locally to the Methley/Castleford area most of my life, I took up running after some years playing football at various level but running alone, I often found it hard to keep focused. After agreeing to enter the Great North Run to raise money for a charity I found the bug for running grew from there. Despite my obvious love for running, I often felt that it wasn’t just quite fulfilling enough. This was until a friend suggested I look at trail running. From that point I never really looked back and entered many trail runs, often tackling longer distances and tougher terrain.
As an experienced Ultra Runner, I joined Methley Striders in June/July 2017 and was wholeheartedly welcomed into the Club. So much so that after several months I was asked if I would take up the role of Club Captain (men’s). I have since been fortunate enough to become a qualified Run Leader and an active member of the Club Committee.

Heather Gill

Run Leader
I moved to Methley aged nine and four years ago I was fortunate enough to move back to this lovely village having moved away for university and working life. I am a mother of one who works full time and I find running a release from the everyday stresses of life, helping me to balance my mental health, keep fit and also meet new people.
I joined Methley Striders in April 2017 and I have never looked back since. It was, without doubt one of my best decisions ever. Thanks to the club, I am now a qualified run leader and also a proud member of the committee, where I serve as the Welfare Officer.
Prior to joining the Striders in April 2017, I was a solo runner and had really struggled with pacing, consistency and confidence. Consequently, my furthest distance was approximately 4 miles. Two months after joining the club I took part in my first ever 5 and 10K races and I loved the atmosphere.  Six months later, I ran my first half marathon (Pontefract) something which I never imagined ‘I’ would ever be able to accomplish. I attribute this to the advice, support, experience and friendships I found within the club. More recently, I was thrilled to be able to represent the club at the Leeds Country Way relay where I was part of the ladies team 2018. This was a completely new experience for me and whilst I found it challenging, I also found it was very rewarding. I am looking forward to an exciting future with the club and fully embracing all the new experiences that it has given me the confidence to tackle, both within and outside of running.

Linda Tiller

Run Leader
Linda is our Club Secretary and a Run Leader. She is local to Methley and was a solo runner for 15 years prior to joining Methley Striders. Her preference is trails over roads and her favourite race distance is 10 miles, but she has undertaken many half marathons over the years and ran her first marathon (London) in 2018 with fantastic support provided by her fellow Striders.

Jo Hagan

Run Leader
Until 2014, the only run I’d ever done was a cross country at school which I hated every minute of! Fast forward a (good few) years and I found myself on a treadmill in the gym attempting to run for 1 minute. I started the C25K program and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was hard work, but I’ve since found that running has changed my life in so many ways, not just from a health point of view but my confidence and self-esteem have gone through the roof. It’s helped me through some difficult times and I’ve made lots of great friends along the way.
A few months after I completed the C25K, I plucked up the courage to attend my first parkrun and since then I’ve never looked back. I can’t believe I waited so long, everyone was so friendly and encouraging. I think I became addicted to people clapping when I run!  I love taking part in large group events and have completed countless 10K races, 10 milers and 2 half marathons, including The Great North Run. 
I love how running brings people together and how people are so supportive of each other. I also feel privileged that supporters will turn up on the coldest, wettest days to cheer on complete strangers, high five them or give them a much-needed Jelly Baby. 
I trained as a run leader when the idea for Methley Striders came about. I especially enjoy running with new runners as I’ll never forget the time when I struggled to run for 1 minute. I believe that if I can do it, anybody can. I always thought runners had to be fast or to look a certain way, but the Striders have taught me that if you run, you’re a runner. When I see all the groups heading out together on Thursday night, chatting and laughing, I feel proud to be part of something so positive that has brought so many people together.

Sarah Clough

Run Leader
My running journey began in 2010 aged 37! It all started when I was watching the Great North Run on TV, because my brother was taking part. Whilst watching I turned to my husband and said how much I would love to do that. He did a little smirk and a giggle (meant affectionally I am sure!). So, the very next week I asked my brother for the couch to 5k plan, this was in the days before apps and smartphones and I set off with my stopwatch and intervals written on my hand. I worked my way through the programme and fast forward 10 months I did my very own Great North Run. I had never considered joining a running club as just assumed I would be too slow and would feel very out of place!! I joined a club, cementing my love of running and no matter how fast or pretty I was doing this. The feeling of just my ageing legs and body carrying me for 13.1 miles just cannot be beaten! 
I feel strongly that clubs should be inclusive and open to all regardless of abilities or ambition and that was one of the motivators for me in wanting to set up Methley Striders with Alison & Jo. I am incredibly proud of all our members and the support they provide to each other and this makes Thursday the highlight of my week.