It’s great to be focused on a goal. Driven to show up for every hill session, hit the track paces . . . but running doesn’t have to be serious all the time! 99% of us are not going pro, we chose this sport because it offered us something more – time to think, friendships, endorphins, satisfaction. Catherine Mather, a club member who brings the fun to every group run and considers friendship one of the most important factors to running.
Q1: When did you start running?
CM: I properly started running when I was doing my Masters degree in Canterbury and I ran around the city walls most evenings in the dark. I used to love Cross Country at school but was never particularly great at it. Just loved to get muddy!
Q2: How long have you been a Macclesfield Harrier?
CM: I started running with Macc Harriers when it was Run England around 2013/14. I vividly remember my first Saturday morning run being the Prestbury Lollipop with Dawn Devine and a small group of about 5 runners, hoping that I’d be able to keep up! I had a break in 2016 when I badly dislocated my ankle crossing a river on a log beam and nearly lost my foot. It took a long and painful time to recover. 9 months later I joined a group of fellow injured Macc Harriers on a programme to build our running to 10k from scratch. It was amazing support for each other and such a good idea. I owe a lot to those runners.
Q3: What has been your favourite race and why?
CM: My favourite race has to be the London Marathon this year. I’m so proud of myself! The support from friends and family who came down to cheer me on was incredible. I’ll never forget the emotional feeling of crossing that finish line! My second most memorable race would have to be the Four Villages Half with Wendy Boardman and I running in horizontal hail and blizzards. We wore our bin bags for 10 miles! Sounds grim but it was such a laugh! (In a macabre team building kind of way)!
Q4: What does running mean to you?
CM: Running for me is all about giving myself time to clear my head of the day to day. Especially around the hills of Rainow where I live. It’s also about personal goals and challenges, and of course having a laugh with friends.
Q5: Do you have a top tip for other runners?
CM: My top tip would be to never give yourself a hard time. While I was injured for months and nearly lost my foot, it made me realise that actually it’s all about the enjoyment at the end of the day, and being able to do the things we love. Take risks and don’t be afraid of hard work and failure. It’s the making of us! Enter the race. Don’t look back.