Back in 2015 I was inspired by the London Marathon, and after a glass of wine, I decided I wanted to run a marathon - I didn't run at all at this point! I started running on my own which was tough and I completely over-trained and ended up on the injury bench! I then found MVR and also started fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust due to a family loss, and I then found myself with a place for the London Marathon. I posted on the facebook page in case anyone fancied a buddy run, and met some wonderful people who are to this day great friends of mine - it's amazing what you share on a 20 mile training run! When I was asked if I'd like to join the commitee, I was more than happy to help, and again I've made more great friends through this. I completed the LirF course in 2019, and have been regularly leading twice a week. This has also helped to improve my own running, and I'm now running long distances regularly and my goals for 2021 include a 50 mile event, with potential 100 mile events in the pipeline for 2022 if I can avoid the injury bench! I like to walk a bit and have a good chat when I'm out on a long run, and for me, it's all about being outdoors, having a great time with like-minded people.
Sarah Stanton - Club Secretary
I always loved sports at school but was never a runner. I remember attempting to run the 1500m for my House one year on Sports Day as no one else was prepared to do it. I got to about 300m and had to stop as I thought I was going to pass out! I then made the mistake of never finding time to exercise when I started work, and that, coupled with having 4 children in 7 years, resulted in me becoming very unfit and overweight. In 2017, I made the conscious decision to lose weight and started to walk at least 10,000 steps a day which I achieved as well as losing over 4 stone. Fast forward to 2019 and I wanted to explore further but didn't have any more time, so I quickly realised that the only way to do so was to move faster! I started off by walking up the hills and then moving a little quicker when it was flat or downhill. I signed up to monthly medals to keep me motivated and by the end of the January, I was hooked. By the end of 2019, I had run over 1000 miles and explored so much of the beautiful local countryside. It was then I discovered MVR. I watched from the wings on the Facebook group and saw more and more that it was a club who had inclusivity at the very heart of its ethos and values. In January 2020, I braved a club run and came back buzzing. Up until that point, I had run mainly on my own and this opened a whole new world of running possibilities. Since then, MVR has become a part of my everyday life. I have loved taking part in the challenges that came about because of Covid and celebrating everyone's achievements, no matter how big or small. I am so grateful to MVR for all the wonderful people I have met and all the inspiration it has given me including running a 5k round my garden, around Bookham Common dressed as Where's Wally, running 100 miles in a week and completing the VVLM last October. This year I am hoping to complete an ultra. A year ago, all of this would have seemed completely unobtainable and bonkers but with the support, encouragement, and inspirational people I have met through the club, it has become a reality. I am excited to take on the Club Secretary role and complete the Run Leader (LiRF) training, so I can get to know even more of you and play a greater part in this inspiring club.
I have been running since November 2016 when Debbie first set up MVR. I had never run before but wanted to get fitter and lose some weight. I enjoyed sport at school but never had a passion for running. Through Debbie's encouragement and belief in me, I managed to run my first 5k in 6 weeks. After six months I ran my first 10k and have now run several 10ks, 5 half marathons and one marathon - I never thought this would be achievable when I started out. Although races are great and the medal at the end is awesome, I struggle with anxiety beforehand. This has made me cut right back on the races I now enter, but you'll often find me heading up the MVR cheer squad, particularly at the London Marathon and Brighton Marathon. I love being part of the atmosphere but not having to run it and there's always a hug waiting for an MVR at the end! My favourite race was running round the Olympic Park with the last 100m in the Olympic Stadium, it was totally overwhelming and emotional! My favourite running moment has to be when Dame Kelly Holmes visited Mole Valley Runners. It will be a day I’ll never forget. I was her meet and greet buddy and was totally blown away! My oddest run has to be when I ran (crawled) 5k round my dining table during lockdown 1 in April 2020. It took me 3.5 hours and over 30,000 steps but it will always be a special memory for me. My biggest achievement has to be running the virtual London Marathon in October 2020. It has been on my bucket list forever and when the opportunity of doing it came along, there was no question I was going to give it a go. To do it with my buddy Sue Mills and other MVRs just made the day so special and I will never forget it. What spurs me on every week is meeting the lovely friends I have made, knowing that I don't have to run on my own, chatting and laughing along the way makes it so much easier. I'm never going to be the fastest in the group, but that doesn't matter, I just want to continue enjoying my journey and helping others on theirs.
I have tried to “get into running” for years but never found any consistency and lost confidence again and again. I finally decided to find a running group and came across Mole Valley Runners. After dithering for several weeks, I finally gave myself a kick up the backside and found the most amazing bunch of people. As I was not able to run 5K at the time, my ultimate goal was to do a 10K. With the friendship, support and encouragement of MVR I have smashed my goal and now often run half marathons with a few marathons thrown in. I have now even set my sights on completing an ultra.
For several years I had dipped in out of running, always giving it a go when I wanted to shed a few pounds but never keeping it up. However, two years ago a friend encouraged me to take it up more regularly and I ended up giving a half marathon a bash. That's when I discovered how much running not only improves your physical health but your mental wellbeing too. Whether it's heading out to clear your head, de-stress or have a chat it was a revelation. Running was now something that I loved to do! I'm not the fastest and I don't sign up to lots of events but what I love is getting out there with a lovely bunch of people every week, come rain or shine! I have explored more of our beautiful countryside than I ever would have had I not taken that step to join Mole Valley Runners.
Mark Berryman - Marketing & Committee Support and Run Leader (LiRF)
I started running in early 2007. After 3 runs and not being able to run around the block, I decided to set myself a challenge, so I got myself a charity place in the 2008 London Marathon. I taught myself how to run and did all of the training mainly on my own and got myself around London. I ran lots of races from 2008 to 2011, but then in 2012, my health took a bad turn for the worse. After 8 years in and out of hospital and thinking that I would never be able to run again, I took up running again and joined MVR. The welcome and support I received was just fantastic. It took me a while to be able to get back to running a 10k non stop, but I got there! Strangely, the Covid outbreak ended up really helping me. I was suddenly unable to be admitted into hospital every 3 weeks for my treatment as it was too risky and I was moved to weekly blood infusions at home. Despite feeling rough half the time, the other half of the week I feel great, so I've worked really hard on my fitness and have managed to get myself up to marathon distance again. I completed one impromptu marathon with Simon during last summer, the virtual London Marathon in October, and then a 44km run on my 44th birthday in March 2021. I definitely wouldn't have been able to achieve any of that without all of the wonderful support and friendships that I've gained through MVR! I can't wait to run with more of you soon and I'm looking for my next running challenge, so if anyone's got any suggestions, let me know!