July 2009: Julie Jefferies

by | Mar 26, 2014 | Member Spotlights

From February 2009

Julie Jefferies from July 2009

How did you first get into running?                                                                               

I really got into running by accident. I was on holiday in Menorca and was determined to do a bit of exercise everyday to counteract the holiday food and drink excesses!  Each morning I went for a sneaky run along the beach, while it was relatively cool and everybody was still asleep. I was hooked and enjoyed it so much – the peace and quiet especially – that I promised myself I would keep it up when I returned home. I kept my promise and swapped the gym for the running. Since then all of the family have taken up running – I can no longer keep up with my son and daughter!

Why did you get into running?                                                                                       

I began running as an alternative to the gym which I found boring and uninspiring. I had done ‘tread-mill’ running and cross-training work in the gym and was relatively fit. I also played a lot of tennis but wanted to cut down on this because of a recurrent knee injury. Running seemed like a good alternative.

When did you get into running?                                                                                     

I began doing regular exercise and running about 10 years ago, just after I had turned 40. I suppose this birthday was a bit of a watershed – I looked at myself and thought ‘You’re going to have to do something if you want to see 50!’ It worked as I was 50 in January!

How did you feel when you first started running?                                    Very self conscious at first. I made the mistake of running in the area in which I taught. I got a bit of stick from some of the children from school at first until I set up an after-school athletics club and got them running too!

Did you have a goal when you started?
Running the London Marathon. When I started running my father-in –law was already a keen runner – he’d completed a few marathons in around about 3:20 times – and I thought ‘I can do that!’ How wrong I was! I’m hoping to have a go at a marathon in the not-too-distant future, but 4:20 is much more realistic!

How did it feel to finish your first half marathon?                            

Exhausting but thrilling. My first half marathon was the 2003 Great North Run which I completed in 1:57. I had set myself a 2:00 target, so I was pleased with the time.

What other races have you done?
I’ve run mainly 5 and 10ks – the most enjoyable being the 5k Race for Life at Ormesby Hall in which I got a PB of 20:20 in 2005. The most unusual race I’ve done to date is the Durham Dales Challenge – spectacular scenery and cakes at checkpoint 3 – what more could you ask for?!

Any advice to new members?
Take the plunge as far as races go – sign up for a variety of races so you can find out what suits you best.  

What are you hoping to do to build on your success?
I would like to try more off-road running which takes you through areas you would never normally encounter. I’m also hoping to run a marathon – I just need to summon the courage to sign up and then commit myself to the training

Who was a help at the club?

Everybody has been great and so inspirational.  I have made some super friends at club training nights – friends such as Bev, Wendy, Julie, Sally, Dawn, Jill and Diane who keep me going when I grumble and want to give up!