Leader Spotlight – Jon
In this series of mini-blogs we want to introduce you to some of the faces you’ll be seeing delivering sessions and leading runs across BRW – these guys volunteer their time on a weekly basis to lead groups and help others enjoy running! Without them the entire weekend (and probably running in Sheffield) would be on its knees!
Meet Jon, regular ATR leader and all round good bean :)
When and why did you start running?
I started running around 2012, and like most people it was in an attempt to keep fit and healthy. From the late 90’s to this date I led a typical student lifestyle of pubs, nightclubs, drinking and smoking, this despite me only being at university for 1 year! After a while friends moved away, others had children, and the nights out became fewer. I could no longer call weekly nights out dancing in an abandoned warehouse ‘exercise’ and felt I needed to change. I used to take part in cross country when I was younger so running seemed the obvious choice. The treadmill runs became boring and led to outdoor running, and living in Sheffield naturally progressed to trail running. My brother encouraged me to enter a fell race, and spurred on by promises of flapjack at the finish, I was hooked from thereon!
What groups do you lead/get involved with?
I started running with ATR on Tuesdays in 2016, and became a qualified run leader in late 2017. As a result I have opted to lead the ‘speedy’ group. Our runs take us between 8-9 miles around the Bradfield area, covering 1-200ft of off-road terrain and returning back to Low Bradfield around 90 minutes later. We go out in all weathers and seasons and have a solid group of regulars who are happy to be led most places! In most cases, the hillier and muddier the route, the happier we are on our return!
What was your favourite thing about Big Running Weekend last year?
I led the Red and Black routes last year, and really enjoyed these. The best thing about BRW was just the sheer number of people who were involved, and who attended. The whole Accelerate Community is full of people who live and breathe running and outdoor pursuits, people who are happy to give advice if required and willing to take part in almost everything that comes along.
What do you do when you aren’t running?
Tough question! I work in IT, a job that has me sat in front of a computer for 6-7 hours a day, constantly thinking and problem solving, so whenever I get the chance I’m either running or spending time with the family winding down. I, like most people, love a bit of vegetating on the sofa with a good film (harking back to my extremely sedentary earlier years), but I’ll probably still be thinking about the last run, or planning the next.
Do you like to do any events/races? If so, what have you got planned this year? If racing isn’t your thing what inspires you to run?
Ever since my first fell race I was hooked. For the next 4 years I would enter any and all the races I could find, just loving the excitement of being on the start line, running with like-minded people across terrain and in conditions that most would shy away from. After advice from some people, I started to think more about not the quantity but instead the quality of my races, and so reduced the number of races in an attempt to put in some proper training. I’ve now set my sights on the longer events, and with the help from a coach, Laura Inglis, entered my first Ultra (the Long Tour of Bradwell) in 2018. It was a great event and I learned a lot about myself and running that day. Looking forward into 2019 I have signed up for my longest race so far, the 50 mile Calderdale Way. Inspiration wise, I just love having the ability to get outside and run in all weathers, I consider myself lucky to live somewhere where the ‘great outdoors’ is so accessible and plan to take advantage of that fact for as long as possible filling this and the upcoming years with as many memories and adventures as I can.