Introducing Macclesfield Harrier’s answer to Wordsworth; Kathleen O’Donnell. Kathleen has been running with the Club from 2014. Since then she has definitely made her presence known both at local fell races and those further afield. She may be small but she is mighty. Kathleen has a significant number of racing achievements under her belt and is always the first to congratulate others on their achievements. Kathleen radiates positivity. There are very few races that Kathleen does not give the thumbs up to!
Q1. When did you start running?
Kathleen : In 2007 in London – a great trainer from the gym organised Monday morning interval runs – loved being outside early morning in the lovely greenery of Hyde Park and always felt great at the desk afterwards . I started again in Macclesfield in 2014 when the kids were toddlers.
Q2. How long have your been a Macclesfield Harrier?
Kathleen: Eight happy years.
Q3. What has been your favourite race and why?
Kathleen: Herod Farm fell race – my first fell race – I associate it with beautiful Spring evening weather and arriving there terrified with Barry, Allen, Nancy and the 2 lovely Dave’s. The spring sun on the hills was stunning – I could feel the happy friendliness on the start line and throughout and felt really elated being able to run round such beautiful scenery and try my best. The atmosphere at the finish line was literally electric due to the crazy downhill sprint finish, where I kept thinking about track training and how helpful it was to have felt that way before – Macc did brilliantly and the awards were on a little table in gorgeous Glossop as the air got colder – we finished in the pub to relax and laugh about the efforts– I heard everyone talking about other fell races and was absolutely hooked.
Q4. What does running mean to you?
Kathleen: Being outside in beautiful nature with the time to appreciate it and feelings ranging from elation, delight, peacefulness, gratefulness, clear headed thinking to utter terror on the start line (with a rush of elation again at the finish).
Q5. Do you have a top tip for runners?
Kathleen: Always look on the bright side of life – you can see it everywhere when running – this is the wonderful legacy that Barry Blyth and Terry Neild showed me through their delight in running through the hills.
Q6. What’s your favourite running memory?
Kathleen: A few of us going on the usual Barry Blyth warm up before Eccles Pike fell race (3 miles, straight up and down). The usual pre-race nervous chatter..niggles, tiredness etc – we kept puffing on and on and then realised that we’d nearly done the whole race route – panicked and fled laughing . We then enjoyed the gorgeous, tough race up and down and then the lovely flow of endorphins and relaxed, happy comradery in the Boars Head after.
Q7. Anything else you would like to add?
Kathleen: Thank you very much to everyone in the club. I have been so inspired by the wonderful coaches, run leaders and Managers across the disciplines who are so encouraging, welcoming, kind and supportive and all of the lovely people I have the luck to run with. Your kindness is much appreciated.