Taking our first Meet the Member slot of 2023 is runner, run leader and organiser extraordinaire, Emma Mason. Emma has been running with the Macclesfield Harriers for 10 years and during that time she has transitioned from a road runner to a fell runner. She is not put off by bad weather and is often up in the hills in the rain and snow.
Anyone who knows Emma, will know that she is fiercely competitive. Whilst Emma appreciates that races can be a great motivator and enjoys pushing herself to see what she is capable of achieving; she is also happy to lace up just for fun.
Over to Emma to tell us a bit more about her running journey;
Q1: When did you start running?
EM: I started running cross country for school when I was (probably) about 8 years old. I wasn’t very good but loved being muddy, something which has not changed in the almost 30 years that has lapsed. I didn’t do much competitive sport in secondary school and when I reached my late teens I was running more in my own time and even set up a running club at my college.
Q2: How long have you been a Macclesfield Harrier?
EM: I joined in 2013 and started with C group during the summer; a shock to the system as being a road runner for most of my 20’s I was suddenly plunged into summer trail running. I loved it and rarely missed a session.
My training was mainly road running until recently when, because of child care issues on a Monday, I have joined the fell night. I wish I’d joined it sooner because it’s just been such a fun few months and I will certainly be continuing my fell journey (even if it is slower than road).
Q3: What has been your favourite race and why?
EM: Those that know me will know I’m not much into racing due to being too competitive (shocking right?!?).
Even so, it is hard to pick a favourite race because each one has its own merits; some reach me on an emotional level (Langley 7), for its fun factor (bowstones) or its competitiveness (wizard 5). I would recommend two turtle doves on boxing though…it has a great downhill.
This last year I have been predominantly doing orienteering events and can see it turning into something of an addiction.
Q4: What does running mean to you?
EM: I don’t think the versatility in this sport can be matched in any other. I can go for a jog with my son and spend quality time with him, go out with Mark to bag another mountain, catch up with my friends on a chilled run around the fells, be competitive in a race, de-stress after a meeting by sprinting round the block or just go out in the hills for some proper me time. I can do all of this while simultaneously leading a healthy lifestyle.
It isn’t just the physical bit though; I love the people that come with this sport. Chatty, committed to helping others, friendly, resilient and just so much fun to be around. If it wasn’t for my fellow runners I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.
I think in life we should do the things that make us happy and running makes me happy. It’s a feeling that can’t be quantified but all runners understand it.
Q5: Do you have a top tip for other runners?
EM: Stop at the top of a hill to take in the view (when will you next be there to see it?!), laugh uncontrollably because you’re slipping over a muddy field, sit in a stream on a hot run (right barrie!).
Also, run in a summer downpour without worrying you’re getting a bit wet…there is genuinely no feeling like it.
…AND GET MUDDY!
To see previous ‘Meet the Member’ articles CLICK HERE