Memories of Pauline Lynch

Pauline and Bob joined Macclesfield Harriers nearly 40 years ago in 1984, along with their children Peter and Fiona, and have been an integral part of the club ever since.

Pauline competed for the club in many road, cross country and T&F events over the years, and particularly enjoyed the challenge of the marathon. Shortly after joining Pauline took on her first club role as Ladies Manager (with Bob being Club Secretary) and continued to support the club in a number of roles, including as Endurance coach and Grade 3 timekeeper until very recently.

As a coach Pauline encouraged everyone – whether it be to complete an event or to compete at a high level – every athlete mattered to Pauline. In her role coaching the endurance group, Pauline laid the groundwork for many athletes to fulfil their potential and achieve representative honours in their future career. At one stage, in addition to coaching at the track every Tuesday and Thursday, Pauline and Bob also coached off-road sessions on Mondays and senior beginners on Fridays, followed by officiating and/or competing at events on Saturdays and Sundays.

The tributes flowing in for Pauline are testament to the impact she had on so many people, both within and outside of Macclesfield Harriers.

Pauline’s legacy will live on and this section of the club website has been set up to capture memories of friendship, volunteering and competing with Pauline. Please enjoy reading about the impact Pauline had and also take time to look through some of the images of Pauline sent in by family, friends and club members.

Pauline Lynch - 2011 London Marathon

The button below will open a form where you can send in your own memories and we will try to add them to the collection (in addition to the numerous comments added to the Facebook post on 20th December 2023).

Pauline trained well and ran 4h47m finishing in 20,536th place (16th out of 5,527 in the F65 category)

Pauline always encouraged runners of all abilities and took part in many organised events to raise money. This one was in 2016 where the club organised a ‘track relay’ to raise funds for the Rossendale Trust (£258).

– The Winderere Marathon – one of the hilliest marathons we’d ever done…THEN doing the Macclesfield marathon 2 weeks later.
– Saturday morning London Marathon training run – which must have been 30+ miles in the boiling heat!
– Becky’s “what did you do at the weekend” drawing (image not available)
– Saturday trip to the park – quote…. “me and Ben played on the swings while mummy and aunty Pauline ran round and round in circles”

Kath Turner

Wonderful woman and athlete whose plank was super impressive!
Talented, warm, happy, friendly and fun, she was a great influence on our children – Adam, Zoe, Amy and Rachel Carter – enjoying many years at the track together.
All learned how to compete and be competitive and many thanks to the wonderful Pauline (and Bob) and their legacy with Macclesfield Harriers. Legends.
Elaine Carter

When I first joined D Group, Pauline was there and welcomed me into the group – she stayed with me (at the back) encouraging me and kept me going – talking and giving me advice too on pacing myself in races. I always remember that day, my first D Group run, because of Pauline, she stuck with me all the way. I loved doing Wednesday night D Group runs, running with Pauline and Bob popping up in different places en-route 🙂

Vanessa Stokoe

In 2016 the club supported Ben Smith’s 401 Marathon Challenge – as usual Pauline was up for the challenge and took part in both marathon 133 & 224.

Pauline was one of my greatest supporters when I was learning to run with the Wednesday D Group – I was never the last person back to the leisure centre as she always looped back and ran in with me. Fast forward to May 2017 when Pauline and I both won our age groups at the Mobberley Round the Runway race! Thanks Pauline, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks for being a great running chum and friend.

Christine Ritchie

What a lady she was – when my 2 girls attended Macc Harriers she took them under her wing and made good athletes out of them. When we attended away events we were sometimes short and Pauline would drag me in to run a 100 meters or throw a hammer or javelin with her and never beating her I moaned about it but secretly loved it.

Jacqueline Burton

Memories of Pauline as a coach on dark, cold nights at the track, with stop watch in hand, a smile on her face and piles of discarded clothing in her arms and around her shoulders still makes me smile.
As an athlete and team captain, Pauline was always keen to encourage others. One of my lasting memories of Pauline will be the cheers from the many young athletes she coached that followed her around the track when she ran in the Cheshire League 3000m – by the end of an event everyone in the arena knew who Pauline was. Then she slipped back to join the timekeepers on the stand. Likewise in cross country races, you could always tell when Pauline was approaching the finish from all the shouts of ‘well done/go on Pauline’ from members of every club.
In later years, Pauline and Bob were ever present as marshals at the cross country leagues and championships – encouraging each and every runner in the event from the first to the last race, no matter the weather.

Barbara Murray

Conway Half – 2017 – it was a very wet half marathon. We ran most of the route in bin bags. We all stayed the weekend in Rhosneigr, drank lots of fizz, and played spoons.

Julie, Carol, Stewart, Jo, Katy

I have some very fond memories of Pauline back in 2015/16 when I joined the club as a D group runner. I particularly remember her cheekiness, sharp wit, but above all her great encouragement to myself and other D group runners. I was in some awe of all that she had achieved and her determination to carry on. She and Bob used to love joining in with crazy D group exploits, including a particular Anglesey weekend for the half marathon when the Prosecco ran out and extra provisions were required! A wonderful lady, leaving special memories.

Rachel Gilliland

Pauline was a D group leader when I first joined Harriers and was always so encouraging to new runners. We did lots of races back then and a group of us planned a weekend away to run the Anglesey half marathon, and Bob and Pauline came with us. She ran with a smile on her face, despite nearly turning blue at the finish as it was so cold! Then we spent a great evening together (with quite a few glasses of Prosecco, despite Bob’s best efforts to slow her down), playing party games and laughing a lot!
Lovely memories of a lovely lady. She’ll be sadly missed.

Jo Thompson

Lots of lovely memories of running with Pauline back from 2015-2018. It was a very wet Anglesey Half in 2017 when most of us ran in bin bags but not Pauline (she was made of tougher stuff). I also remember my first harriers Christmas party in 2015. Sitting with Pauline and hearing all about her achievements and being inspired.

Carol Upton

Pauline was a regular D group runner when I first joined Harriers, and so encouraging and inspirational. I think fondly of Pauline every time we return to the leisure centre car park after a D group run, as she once told me “speed up as you can pass many people near the finish line”. Pauline was funny and always up for a giggle.

Lynda Cook

Pauline was the first person I ran with when I finally plucked up courage to contact the Harriers and join D Group in 2013. She was so welcoming and encouraging and matched her pace to mine exactly so I always had company. I remember ringing our doorbell and collapsing in a heap when I got back, saying that was the fastest I’d ever run! Many more runs, races and hilarious social events followed (such as the cereal box game!!) Pauline was a great runner, fantastic coach and very special lady. I wouldn’t have carried on running without her and Bob.

Lindsey Russell

My very first memory of Pauline has become my most significant memory of her. At the time I was running for Warrington AC and was competing in a cross country race held in the fields by the Macclesfield track. I had just overtaken Macclesfield’s Rachel Pleeth when I heard a voice shout “Well done Alison – you ratbag”. Of course it was Pauline, always cheering other team members on. This memory became significant because in 2023, I was telling Bob how Pauline had once called me a ratbag. Without any prompting or even telling her where the race was held, Pauline pointed towards the Leisure Centre and said “it was down there”. Of course she was absolutely correct – and I know that however small it was a memory we both shared.

Alison Hartopp

Pauline was a massive encouragement to me like she was for so many people. I only run/compete/kept with a club (now in my 30s) because of her support. This is the same for my soon to be husband who was cheered along too. I will race x-country this weekend thinking of all those words of Pauline wisdom, ‘Pretend to hold a crisp, to keep those shoulders from tensing’. Talking with friends about Pauline we have remembered those much needed strength sessions and how she would always beat us all at plank!

Jo Mott

When Peter first joined harriers at the age of nine in 2010, Pauline was the first person we met when Peter attended the track for the first time. She greeted us with a great big smile and immediately made Peter feel at home. She always had that cheeky smile and laugh and made us feel a part of the Harriers family – which has meant a lot to us over the years. Pauline was a legend!

Chris & Ruth Goodfellow

Pauline was a special lady to our whole family.

We will remember that cheeky laugh and her words of wisdom during wet and windy training nights and encouragement to our kids to just run and enjoy….

Ian, Rachel, Sian and Owen Heslop

Pauline was my coach for a number of years when I was growing up. She had such great energy and zest for life.
I always remember her ordering Bob to run at the back of the group when he had wind!

Kim Grieveson (McGowan)

My daughter Samira joined the athletics club in 2021 for 12 months while we were on our 2 year UK adventure from Australia. Pauline and Bob were at the Tuesday and Thursday evening training sessions most weeks and while Samira trained I usually enjoyed keeping company with Pauline and watching the goings on while Bob was attending to many tasks around the track. Pauline was usually chatty and loved to say hello to the many dogs that were walked around the grounds. Such a friendly club and Pauline and Bob together always made Samira and I feel so warmly welcomed even on icy winter nights!

Vicki Cox

Since joining the Harriers 19 years ago Pauline was always present – an integral part of the club
I remember meeting her when adult and teen groups passed each other road running, particularly on winter nights- Pauline was always smiling/ always cheerful and encouraging to everyone
In later years I always enjoyed a chat up at the track with her
I am struck by what an inspirational role model Pauline was for all of us, through her commitment and enthusiasm for our club- and the many many hours she gave to supporting and coaching other runners and I feel very grateful to have known her.

Fran Swallow

She was a really encouraging lady, she believed in people no matter what. My last conversation with her was after I had chatted about the possibility of being a run leader. Her encouragement was outstanding. Pauline always had a smile on her face, would often see the E group runners off at the start of evening runs from the leisure centre car park.

Val Poole

Having come into running “later in life” at age 38 following a brain haemorrhage Pauline was a huge support as well as a great source of a kick up the behind for me. Often I would be cheekily told off for “more running less talking” and cheered along during races. Pauline always wore a huge smile and gave the best hugs, her giggle will be sorely missed.

Melanie Whittaker

Pauline was such a positive influence in my early years of running . The commitment, support and dedication she gave to all competitors was inspirational. She was always there at every training session, making us run laps up the 108 steps, Blakelow, The Bank, riverside park and more – she challenged us and pushed us in a positive manner and cheered us on at every competition, whether it be track, indoors, cross country and supported us throughout all our victories and loses without ever getting angry or annoyed.
A beautiful lady inside and out.

Cheryl Kershaw

I was privileged to have met and known Pauline (and husband Bob), initially through my role as Regional Development Coordinator for England Athletics.

I would often bump into Pauline officiating at events at which I competed. She always remembered my name and had a smile and and a supportive word (she even gave me technique/tactical tips on occasion).

A great person and a sad loss to athletics.

Ed Hunt
England Athletics

There is no particular special moment for me but rather a lasting impression compiled from a long series of encounters. None individually remarkable but collectively inspiring. The cheeky humour, the enthusiasm, the smile and the scowl, the passion for giving and the associated endeavour. A remarkable lady who will not be forgotten by those fortunate to have known her even just a little bit.

Rod Grant-Smith

A warm friendly lady, who always greeted you with a lovely smiling face.

Julie & Philip Hicken
Warrington A.C.

Pauline (and Bob) were always coaching at the track when i joined Macclesfield Harriers and started attending Tuesday track sessions – and Pauline was always cheerful and welcoming and passing on snippets of useful advice (like relax your shoulders!). It was inspiring to see Pauline train for and competing in London Marathon 2011. I also remember their thoughtfulness with a small gift when my son Reuben was born — I had been helping out with on-the-day entries for the Macclesfield Half marathon in 2010 on my due date – I think everyone was glad Reuben arrived a few days late!

Rachael Lawrance

I knew Pauline from day one of my first job after leaving school. She looked after me and we became firm friends spending social time together outside work. She was one of my bridesmaids when I married Dave. Dave, sadly passed away last February, but he was Fiona’s godfather as I am Peter’s godmother. We didn’t see each other very often as we always lived so far apart but spoke regularly on the phone and remained firm friends throughout almost 60 years. I will always remember my lovely friend.

Jenny Robinson (Moles)

We have very fond memories of Pauline, especially during the many years we trained at the club during our teenage years. Pauline was always so kind and welcoming. She was amazingly supportive to all the athletes, always happy to see everyone and so positive. Whilst officiating at many events over the years, Barbara remembers how supportive Pauline always was, encouraging each and every one of the athletes. In more recent years, Bella and Helen always enjoyed their chats with her each week when Bella had joined the club. We know our Dad, Fred, also really valued his friendship with Pauline and enjoyed being part of the coaching squad with her for so many years.

Barbara, Helen and John Lawton

I have known Pauline for as long as I can remember, and longer. As a baby she would push me round in my pram whilst my mum raced. They weren’t even members of the same club at this point but Pauline babysat me nonetheless. Later in my life, she coached me when I dared to join one of her sessions. They were always great fun but would leave me considering my life choices afterwards whilst I tried to catch my breath. More recently, our roles reversed a little and I would sit with her by the track. We would watch the kids train and comment on how it was ‘much too cold for that’. Pauline would occasionally spot my tattoos, some days she would like them, some days she would not. I like to think she liked them on more occasions than she didn’t.

Jess Hartopp

I’ve been privileged to know Pauline, Bob, Peter and Fiona since they came to Macclesfield.
Pauline was an amazing lady, dedicating much of her time to Macclesfield Harriers as coach, official and athlete.
Early memories include Pauline being an inspirational role model to many of us juniors, supporting us in training and races. Even persuading us to take up coaching and first aid training.
In later years, Pauline was supportive when I started my own family. She was always providing encouragement and welcome advice. A truly lovely lady with a gorgeous infectious laugh who will always be warmly remembered by me and my family.

Rachel Pleeth

From the first time that I went to the track, with Naomi as an U11, Pauline was there coaching, and she continued to be there at every session, rain or shine. Her dedication and input into Naomi’s athletic career was phenomenal and helped build a strength and resilience in all the disciplines that she undertook over the years. Pauline was, however, more than just a coach. She was a friend and a supporter. Whichever track, cross country course or road race we arrived at Pauline, along with Bob, was there encouraging and cajoling.
My own attempts at track and field were less serious and under Bob’s insistence he showed me how to throw the hammer to get the club a point. Pauline and I had many laughs whilst both trying to not come last.
Her humour, endless smile and constant giggles will always stay with me.

Den Masset

Like many others, I first met Pauline when I joined the Harriers and went to D group. Pauline was the heart of the group. Supporting members new and old, quietly pushing people to enter club races and have a go and always, always encouraging.
I smile thinking of each time we returned to the Leisure Centre at the end of a group run. As soon as Pauline’s feet hit the car park, she would turn up the gear, ‘come on, race practice, sprint to the finish’, and off she would zoom! She was a pocket rocket and always a ray of sunshine.

Kim Eastham

My mum (Barbara) reminded me of an entry I’d written years ago as part of a bid to get Bob & Pauline recognised for an unsung heroes type of award. It is so nice to see everyone singing Pauline’s praises here and on the Facebook comments. In that entry I had referred to the “splodge” that Pauline used to call out with her times: “55, 56, 57 and a splodge”. In my head we were always running 300m reps and Pauline was always running across the first bend carrying all of our hats and gloves and leggings and jackets and at least one stopwatch. The splodge was a perfect blend of the accuracy required for serious training and the light-heartedness for sustaining participation that Pauline’s coaching embodied.

Pauline had a special talent for looking after everyone in the group and giving tailored or specific help to each of us. My late teenage years would have been less happy without Pauline in them and my running less enjoyable.

See you at the big track in the sky Pauline.

Declan Murray

So very sad news, many great memories of Macclesfield Harriers back in the 1980s, Pauline will always be in my fondest memories of my youth. I will never forget the parties at the Lynch household as a young boy, Bob & Pauline were so lovely to us. I send my love, my thoughts & the biggest hug to Bob, Peter & Fiona. Very very precious memories of Macclesfield Harriers, The Lynch’s are a very big part of those memories.

David Varetti ( Yarker )