Hands up who loved cross-country running at school? Anyone? We’re adults now and there’s lots of stuff we didn’t like as kids that we now love, like olives and alcohol. XC running is another one of those things. ’Tis the season to get muddy, so who better to fill our Meet the Members slot and fly the flag for the XC team, than Sarayna Hasler, Macclesfield Harriers Ladies Cross County Manager.
Q1: When did you start running?
SH: I started running in 2012 at Parkrun every Saturday.
Q2: How long have you been a Macclesfield Harrier?
SH: I joined the club in 2014 to race in the Cross-Country team as I always followed my husband (Rob) to every race to support the team. Pauline Lynch inspired me to join the team, one particular bitterly cold and very muddy race I remember she was running along with a smile on her face, looking like she was having a great time and I was like, “Why am I standing here feeling so cold and useless?!” I realised I could be out there running and enjoying myself like her. So, I joined the XC team the next season and that was the start of my journey with the Harriers and my love of muddy fields.
Q3: What has been your favourite race and why?
SH: Almost every race is my favourite, I enjoy most of them but the following 2 stand out above the rest. 1) The Northern XC championships in Blackburn, it was my first 5 mile XC race and it was the coldest event to date for me at -3c degrees with hail storms and a very hilly muddy course. The feeling after I finished was so amazing mainly because I stepped so far out of my comfort zone and had ran my first race over 5K. 2) My first marathon, London Marathon was the best experience I have ever had, the atmosphere, the route, all the supporters along the way and most importantly the training I had to do. I never thought I could do anything like this but I had shown myself that if you put your mind into it, you can achieve anything.
Q4: What does running mean to you?
SH: Running makes me happy, it keeps me fit and healthy and is the best way to run away from the chaos at home too! It’s also a great way to meet new friends with so many lovely people in the club and in the running community.
Q5: Do you have a top tip for other runners?
SH: Don’t over think it, just run and smile.