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the jogscotland magazine | Spring 2016

The jogscotland Challenge Series 2016 Beginners’ special! I’m running an A-Z of marathons! Cross training – PiYo plus… the best spring running events for your diary

Can you run to beat MS, like Tiff? Become an #MSSuperstar

Brendan Foster Photography

Join Tiff, and the many others pounding the pavement to help beat MS for good at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival!

28 & 29 May 2016 Guarantee your spot on the team today; whether it’s the 5K or Full Marathon, we will be there with you every step of the way. Sign up now 0131 335 4063 Multiple Sclerosis Society. Registered charity numbers 1139257 / SC041990. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales 07451571

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

contents Warm-Up: Ros Jemmett


I ran an ice marathon


News and events


Race directory


No more soggy shoes!


Cross training - PiYo


Mo Farah T-shirt competition


Rainbow Run


Beginners’ special


Scottish Slimmers


Post-natal exercise


Women’s Running


jogscotland partnership with parkrun 17

Men’s Running


Great Groups


Spotlight on Elgin


Marathon special


David Syme - Jogging along


jogscotland Challenge Series


Cool down


Janice Millar - A real hero!


sponsors and funders Front cover: Resolution Run, Sterling Designed and Printed by

Meet the Jog Crew  04

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Meet the Jog Crew

Billy Mitchell Head of jogscotland

Jo Stevens Membership Development Officer



07801 634198

0131 539 7341

Carol Robison Membership Administrator membership@

0131 476 7321

Joanne Dennis Coaching and Executive Administrator Sue Gyford Digital Communications and Press Officer

Jog Scotty The Jog Dog! Mascot of jogscotland


0131 476 7328


0131 539 7350

Stride – the jogscotland members’ magazine Editor: Sue Gyford Designer: Adrian Hallam, 3-56 Media Ltd Photographs: Front cover: Resolution Run, Stirling - Whyler Photos, Stirling. p23: parkrun - Andrew Jeske p26: Janice Millar - STV. p28: Ice Marathon - John Graham/DigitalPict. p29/30: Edinburgh Marathon - Lesley Martin GSi; Great Edinburgh Run - Alan Rennie, Great Run Company. p41: James Kirby - Kendal 10K. Published four times a year by scottishathletics. Copyright©2015 Scottish Athletics Ltd.

jogscotland: running has never been so easy! Whatever your age, whatever your ability… Morning, noon and night… Towns, cities, villages… Schools, workplaces, woodlands, parks, beaches… Running, jogging, walking…

0131539 5397341 7341 or call 0131

Warm-Up 06

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Warm-Up Ros Jemmett, Jog Leader for Alness jogscotland In each edition of Stride, a guest contributor shares their love of running… I am not an athlete or even a fast runner, I am very much an average, middle of the pack runner. I run because I enjoy it, it keeps me fit, keeps me sane and makes me happy. I originally took up running when I was about 19 and my motivation was to stop smoking as the cost of a packet of 20 had gone up to £2! I had started smoking at a very young age and by the time I was 19 was smoking 20 cigarettes a day. A friend and I decided that we would take on the challenge of running the Inverness Half Marathon without any idea of exactly how much hard work this would involve. My friend didn’t run it in the end but I did, it took me a very long time but I did it and kicked my habit! While my children were young, running took a back seat but as they grew older and I had a bit more time to myself, I started running a bit more regularly, taking part in the Race for Life event and other 5 and 10Ks in my area. A few years ago a group of us, including my daughter, decided that we would take on the Inverness Half Marathon, and crossing the finishing line and receiving my medal, 27 years after my first half marathon, felt just great. Shortly after that a friend had entered Baxters 10K and asked me to help her train as she had never run before. We started out slowly and within four months she completed her goal of running the full 10K in an hour. I then had another friend ask if I would help her and she too went from being a non-runner to running a 10K in just on an hour – and she was in her 60’s when she started! This friend, apart from running with me once a week, also joined her local jogscotland group in Muir of Ord and the support and help she got from this really helped her stay on track and enjoy the training. I had always heard great things about jogscotland, but didn’t think a middle-aged recreational

runner like me would be the sort of person to become a Jog Leader, never mind set up a group! However, after doing some research I thought “No, I can do this,” and as my 50th birthday was fast approaching I enrolled in a Jog Leader course, which was really fun whilst at the same time being really informative, and armed with my shiny new Jog Leader vest, set about starting a new group in my home town of Alness. On the first night, five people turned up, a few more on the second night and more the next which was great. Word soon got around about the new running group and I had quite a few people contact me who had never ran or who used to run but haven’t for so long felt they never would again, and so I decided to do a Couch to 5K coaching session. I expected maybe 10 to 15 people to turn up and was quite overwhelmed when 30 did! The course went well and I did expect quite a few to drop out for various reasons. On the night that they were to run the full 5K without walking, the ladies were understandably nervous but each and every one of them achieved their goals and most of them have been running regularly both

with the group and independently too. I have to say that it was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done, I felt so proud and happy for them all. Following the success of that first course, I advertised another to start on 9 January this year and thought, because of the weather and the fact that it had to be done in daylight and so that meant a Saturday morning, only a handful of people would turn up - but over 40 did! I am just so grateful that a few of my regular runners and some of the recent C25K graduates, are coming along and supporting the new runners – we are over half way through this latest course and I am hopeful that 20 will complete their first 5K. Apart from the C25K the regular runners have taken part in the Baxters Loch Ness Festival of Running, there were a lot of nerves beforehand and elation at the end, for some it was their first 10K and we all felt emotional at the finish line, none more than me, I felt so happy and proud of them all. To top it all off we took a fun photo on the podium and our picture was chosen as the cover photo for the jogscotland facebook page – we were all very excited about that I can tell you! Following on from that success a few of us entered the Glenlivet 10K in April and we now have had so many sign up that we have hired a minibus to get us there. Alness Community Council awarded us £750 which was fabulous and we are planning on using that money to train other Jog Leaders and this will really help our club to grow. So, if you have been thinking about becoming a Jog Leader or starting a brand new jogscotland group in your area, don’t hesitate - it’s very rewarding to share your love of running with new people, and so much fun.

Warm-Up 07

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

News and Events  08

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

News and Events Welcome! We’ve had a bumper rate of new members since the start of 2016, with an incredible 1,364 people signing up this year at the time of going to press! New Year is always our busiest time for sign-ups, as everyone makes resolutions and pledges to lose a few of those festive pounds - and it’s brilliant to welcome on board so many new joggers who are looking forward to a brand new start. Huge thanks to all our wonderful Jog Leaders for their hard work in bringing new members on board, and providing them with such great jogging sessions to enjoy. Most of all, welcome to everyone who has joined us this year – we wish you a fantastic, active 2016!

In the news

Tracy Watt Jog Leader Tracy Watt has appeared on STV’s Live at Five show, talking about running in aid of the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, SANDS Lothians.

Among our new members is reporter Laura Sturrock of the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald and Kirkintilloch Herald. Laura has been going along to Milngavie jogscotland with 32 other beginner joggers – and writing about her experiences for the paper. In her first column, she praised the Jog Leaders as “truly an inspiration”, adding: “They applauded us for just turning up on the first night - it was cold and rainy so it felt deserved!” Good luck to Laura and all her fellow new recruits in Milngavie – at least the weather can only get better from here on in!

Tracy, who leads groups at Glenogle Baths and Royston in Edinburgh, is aiming to get as many runners as possible to run for SANDS Lothians during the Edinburgh Marathon Festival weekend in May. Tracy says: “SANDS Lothian has been my lifeline in the last few years. My son Lewis was born 25 years ago on 26 April and lived for two days. After getting in touch with SANDS Lothians I wanted to fundraise, and love running, so combined the two! “The support from friends joining me on this challenge had been humbling, and also a great way to socialise and get fit by running. Joining jogscotland helped me to channel that energy too!” Find out more or donate at www.justgiving. com/SA-100

News and Events  09

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Great Edinburgh Run We’re delighted to announce that we will have a dedicated jogscotland start wave at this year’s Great Edinburgh Run!

groups from around the country before the race, commentator Bryan Burnett made sure we started with an extra-special cheer as we crossed the start line together.

It will be the second time that the Great Run Company have dedicated a special start wave to Jog Scotties – at last years’ Great Scottish Run, lots of our groups were able to start together, making the day extraspecial for all those involved. As well as giving everyone the chance to meet other

It doesn’t matter if you’ve entered already or are still to enter, all you need to do is look for the clearly-marked jogscotland area at within the start assembly area, and come to join us – whatever colour your start bib is, you’ll be welcome. Enter at www.

Find us on facebook! Lots of our members have already ‘liked’ our page on facebook, but we’ve made one little change that we hope will help even more people find us. The page was originally set up with the name of our mascot, Jog Scotty. While we all love the ‘jog dog’, as he’s affectionately known, it made it harder for people to find us when searching on facebook. So now the page has been renamed jogscotland, making it as easy as it could be to find! It’s already working, as lots of new folk have tracked us down in the weeks since the change was made - we now have more than 3,000 likes! For now, the address will stay the same, so you can find us on - if you’ve not liked us, why not do it now, and if you have, recommend us to your friends!

Tiorams 10

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

No more soggy shoes! By Fiona Johnston, Jog Leader at Gairloch jogscotland

I have always led an active lifestyle. When I was heavily pregnant with daughter number two, I went along to the Great Wilderness Challenge as a spectator to support my mum, and signed up to run the 13 mile race the next year, to lose the baby weight. I duly completed it, and since then I have done a further nine GWC runs. Along the way I have run 10K races in Inverness and Gairloch, the Inverness half marathon, Highland Cross, Clic Sargent’s 70 Wild Miles and done numerous mountain biking and road cycling events. I heard about jogscotland through my job as an Active Schools Co-ordinator. My mum (Joan Munro, who set up Muir of Ord jogscotland) had retired and was looking for a new challenge. I suggested that she did the Jog Leader course. She agreed, but on condition that I did it too! So in 2006, we both became Jog Leaders and set up jogscotland groups in Muir of Ord and Gairloch.

Andy and Margot Bowker as I am nursing a back injury. However, I hope to get back to it soon and encourage some new beginners to run with me. As a family we are always on the go, and all this activity creates a mass of wet, muddy, sweaty, smelly footwear. And I hate putting on wet trainers! I have come up with a solution - silica gel - it’s magic stuff. I bought some large sachets of it and using old curtain material, made some tubes, filled them with silica gel and stuffed them into wet trainers. They are so effective wet trainers dry overnight, even in a cold porch.

In Gairloch, our numbers have fluctuated over the years and a small core group has been there throughout.

Urged on by family and friends, I have started to manufacture these shoe dryers and am now selling them online and at local markets and running events. My company is called ‘Tioram’ which means ‘dry’ in Gaelic - a simple product that does exactly that. I have had some super reviews from customers who love to run in all weather, but like me, prefer to at least start the run with dry feet!

The group is currently led by Jog Leaders

Find out more at


We have one pair of Tiorams to give away. To be entered in the draw to win, answer this question by email to with the word Shoes in the subject field. Competition closes 31 March QQ - What does Tioram mean?


jogscotland T-shirt autographed by Mo Farah One of the UK’s most successful and popular distance runners, Mo Farah delighted crowds in Edinburgh when he came to compete at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country International in January. It wasn’t Mo’s lucky day – he finished second to American Garrett Heath on the mud-soaked course through Holyrood Park. But it was our lucky day, as we caught up with him, and got him to autograph this fantastic jogscotland T-shirt, to be won by one of our lucky members! To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question: Which Edinburgh park hosted the Great Edinburgh Cross Country in January of this year? Send your answer to with Mo Farah in the subject line before midnight on 31 March 2016. The winner will be drawn from among the correct entries received with Mo Farah in the subject line of the email.

The roads will give you blisters. The mountains will give you goose bumps.


Marathon | 10K | Corporate Challenge 5K | Wee Nessie

The Event Frontrunners

Mo Farah shirt 11

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Beginners’ Special 12

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Beginners’ special Meet some of our newest members

I love a challenge by Claire Sharp of Jog Peebles

There were four of us (Claire, Julie, Debbie and Jennifer) who completed the Great Winter Run in January after joining Jog Peebles in August last year. We all saw a Jog Peebles advert in the local Peebles Life magazine and decided it was something we wanted to do - none of us knew each other before we started. I used to hate running - I was always at the end of the line at cross country runs at school. But I took it up to fit in around work/home life and wanted a new challenge. I was quite nervous about going along to the first session - I couldn't believe that I would ever be able to run. I was amazed when they said we’d be running 5K in 10 weeks. After the first session I felt excited about the prospect of keeping going with it. It was so satisfying to complete our first 5K run around Peebles with help and encouragement from the rest of the Jog Peebles group. Then we all signed up for the Great Winter Run. Jog Peebles booked a bus to take us all to Edinburgh and it was so nice to do my first race knowing they were all there. The atmosphere at the race was excellent - the warm-up really got you motivated. The first two kilometres were not easy - it was up hill and very foggy so there was nothing to distract you from the climb.

I'll never forget when I came around the corner at the top of the hill, the fog cleared to reveal an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle and a bagpiper was keeping us all going. Seeing my mum and dad cheering me on at the 4K mark helped boost me to the end of the race. We all felt great after the race and had a celebratory meal back in Peebles afterwards. We’ve now signed up for the Great Women's 10K in June - we like a challenge! When I started running I said I wouldn't be signing up for races but now I can see the fun of entering and the satisfaction of completing each race. I wouldn't say I am into running yet, it's still a struggle to go out and it's definitely easier to go out running with others than on your own. But after each run I have more energy than when I started, and running has made me feel considerably fitter - not just physically but mentally too, and I'm determined to keep going!

beginners’ special

From zero to hero by Diana Lord of Dalbeattie Running Club

I thought it might encourage some other newbies if I told you about my first two years as a runner. I was reasonably fit when I started but the only time I tried running, I was an absolute gasping wreck for hours after! Then I read about the jogscotland programme and thought – “I can (probably!) do that.” I started in February 2013 with the jogscotland group at Dalbeattie Running Club and found everyone welcoming and encouraging. It was a real buzz graduating with my certificate just before my 66th birthday. I found it quite a challenge to join a proper running group round the town and it seems extraordinary now to remember that I was so self-conscious about wearing running gear – I popped round Tesco in it today! The next big challenge was the Holywood Stroll – I remember lurking at the back before the start, feeling slightly sick and hoping I could finish! Then the Dalbeattie 10K – I was so chuffed to get round and enjoyed the steel band and all the cheering. On the strength of that, I entered the Great Scottish Glasgow 10K. I couldn’t believe the size of the field and the atmosphere with the pipers, the bands and all the spectators! I have a wonderful picture of the finish under the arch at Glasgow Green; I look awful but I am in front of two guys in their 30s who look worse – result! After that, I had an awful cold and I had to nerve myself up to rejoin the club on Tuesdays but, of course, everyone was very welcoming.

I have a friend who is a serious runner and he once said – “I don’t really enjoy running but I love the challenges”. I think that is probably me too so I decided to give myself lots of challenges in 2015. I ran five 5Ks, five 10Ks, a 5 mile, a 10 mile and a half marathon. I set myself target times for PBs, which I have achieved on the whole, although I have yet to get under 27 minutes for 5K (and maybe I never will). The Dumfries Half on 20 September was my big challenge of the year. I was thrilled with my time of 132 minutes and even managed a bit of a sprint at the end. My family called me a hero! My challenge for December 2015 was the Marcothon – running every day of the month. The best bit was running at 12.01 on a moonlit Christmas morning with the club, and toasting the season with a sloe gin! So what have I learned? Firstly, there are perfectly normal-looking people who achieve amazing things, like running ultras – astonishing! Secondly, lack of confidence is the biggest hurdle for a new runner but meeting that challenge is very rewarding. Thirdly, runners are universally nice people – supportive, jolly and genuinely pleased that you are trying their sport. I owe an enormous debt to everyone at Dalbeattie Running Club who got me started on this adventure – THANK YOU.

beginners’ special

Beginners’ Special 13

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Beginners’ Special 14

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

I started running at 69

– doing a marathon for my 70th birthday! by Ray Cunningham of Sharp Shufflers in Melrose In my younger days I played rugby quite actively, but there comes a time when you can’t do it any more, when your injuries don’t repair the way they should, so I stopped. After that I didn’t do much sport, but I did a lot of hill walking. I used to enjoy that because it does keep you fit and I used to go out five or six mornings a week, get my head down and go up the hills. I’ve worked with Susan Sharp, who runs Sharp Shufflers, for 10 or 12 years now. We both work for the NHS in the Borders – she’s an out of hours nurse practitioner and I’m a driver, and so when you’re out and about together in the car in the middle of the night, you talk a lot. She would come off a particularly harrowing night shift and I was so impressed she’d go off and run six miles, when all I wanted to do was go to bed. So one night last November we were working together and she said: “Have you ever fancied doing a bit of running? Myself and a bunch of other runners meet up on a Monday night.” I thought: “I don’t know, would I make a total idiot of myself?”

I was really apprehensive before going along, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it. The rest of the group are a lovely bunch, very welcoming and very supportive. I was puffing and panting like an old set of bellows, but it went OK. I managed to run the whole session, of about three or four miles, so the hill running had obviously kept me reasonably fit. I do think if I’d started just by coming off the couch I’d have been significantly slower to pick it up. The more I went, the more I got to like it. Then one day Susan suggested doing a marathon. I looked over my shoulder and thought she was talking to someone else! But with her encouragement I went home and went onto the website and signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon. I thought – “I’m 70 this year, so I’ve got to do something to mark it.” The training’s going really well, I’m up to about 14 or 15 miles in my long runs. Even if it’s hard work sometimes when you’re going up the hills, when you get to the end, you just feel fantastic. I can’t compliment Susan enough – she’s very understanding, and always gives encouragement when it’s due. I do prefer running with other people than on my own, and I’d say to anybody that’s got any doubts about it - get out there and give it a try. If I can do it, anyone can!

beginners’ special

I’ve got more zest for life! by Jill Pirie of jogscotland Kintore

There’s a local race called the Garioch 5K that’s just on my doorstep, and one day I just thought “Right, I’m going to do this.” I think a lot of my friends, who are runners, thought it was going to be one of the many fads that I’ve had! The minute I met Jog Leader, Tammy Wilson, I trusted her. She said “We can get you running a 5K in 10 weeks,” but I was so nervous before the first session! The first session was hard – we did a runwalk session and even running 30 seconds seemed so long. But Tammy was so encouraging and so was everybody else. I felt great afterwards, and every week I slowly saw an improvement. On the day of the 5K, it was pouring with rain but there were a group of us who started jogscotland on the same day, and we all ran it together and that made such a difference. We had such a brilliant time. After that I signed up for the Baker Hughes 10K, thinking: “I know I can run 5K, so even if I walk a bit I’ll get round.” As it turned out, I ran the whole way. Tammy is brilliant at supporting us - she pops up in the most unexpected places at races and nobody wants to stop in case she sees us! She then took a few of us aside in the

summer holidays and asked us if we wanted to do Aviemore. We thought she meant the 10K, but it turned out she meant the half! It was one of the best days of my life. We went up on the Saturday – all of our jogscotland family as we call it – and stayed in the hostel together. The race was tough, physically, but the atmosphere was brilliant – you can’t describe to people the adrenaline rush from doing it. I’ve entered the half marathon again this year – and we’ve made a pact within our group that 2017 is going to be marathon year! I’ve lost three dress sizes since I started. I was a size 20, but any shape and size goes at the group –you do your best and you see an improvement, and that’s what people see. A lot of people think: “I can’t turn up to a jogging group looking like this,” but I did, and it’s been fantastic. I have no doubt that without the support and dedication from the leaders and our JSK family alike, my fitness levels wouldn't be where they are today. I’ve got more zest for life now and I’m way more positive. If you’d said to me a year ago I’d have achieved all this, I’d have laughed in your face – I’d never have believed it. I love doing the races but it’s the friendships we’ve made within jogscotland that are so special.

beginners’ special

Beginners’ Special 15

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Post-natal Exercise  16

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Post-natal exercise Did you see Kate Winslet on The Graham Norton Show, when she talked about peeing her pants? “I can’t jump on trampolines anymore, I wet myself,” she said. ”When you’ve had a few children you know, it’s just what happens. Two sneezes, I’m fine. Three, it’s game over.”

A year? Yes - although everybody heals at different rates. So ignore the mum who ran a 26.2 with a pram and instead, listen to your own body.

Oh, Kate. I don’t know if you’re a Stride reader, but I want to tell you - it doesn’t have to be like that. Your pelvic floor is a muscle, like any other, Kate. It can be trained. Please don’t put up with widdly pants, Kate. You can make things better with a bit of work.

When you run, these are the red flags to look out for: • leaking poo or pee • feeling or seeing your tummy bulge • feeling heaviness or dragging sensations in your vagina • backache

If you’ve had a baby, your pelvic floor will have been stretched and weakened by extra weight pressing down on it during your pregnancy - even more so if you had a vaginal delivery. Learning how to effectively recruit your pelvic floor muscles is essential - not only the ‘Kegel squeeze’ (imagine trying to stop the flow of pee) but activating your tummy muscles at the same time - and learning to always exhale on any exertion. If it’s a poochy tummy you are worried about, please don’t be tempted to go hard on crunches and planks. If your tummy muscles are stretched and weakened, or if you have a separation of the tummy muscles (diastasis recti), planks and crunches are more likely to lead to more downward pressure on your pelvic floor. Much more useful is learning how to activate your core and pelvic floor with your breath. The connective tissue - fascia, tendons and ligaments - that support our pelvic organs, heal more slowly than our muscles, and after pregnancy they can take up to a year to heal and return to full strength.

All of these are signs that your core and pelvic floor are not ready for running yet. Pelvic organ prolapse - when the womb, bowel or bladder shift inside your pelvis and bulge into the vagina - affects half of women over 50. One in ten women over 80 have had surgery for a prolapse (Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists). Taking care of your pelvic floor can help avoid prolapse. Leaking pee when you run is common, but it’s not normal. It’s not ‘one of those things’ that happens when you’ve had a baby. It won’t get better by itself. If it happens to you, go to your GP or a Women’s Health Physiotherapist. Resources: Elspeth Alexandra is a jogscotland leader and leads the Route 10 Rollers BuggyWalks in north Edinburgh. She is also a Holistic Core Restore® Coach. You can contact her at

partnership with parkrun

Many jogscotland members will already be familiar with parkrun, the free, weekly timed 5K that takes place all over the country on Saturday mornings. Their simple idea has taken the running world by storm, and has enabled lots of us to enjoy tracking our progress. All you do is register online, print off a barcode, and get it scanned at the end of the run, then all your times are available on the parkrun website. Here at jogscotland we’ve always been big fans of parkrun, so we’re delighted to announce that we are working on a new partnership with them that we hope will bring the best of their simple - but powerful technology to our jog sessions. Together, we have developed a prototype app for mobile phones that can be downloaded by Jog Leaders, and we will be running a pilot to test it over the next few months. The app will allow Jog Leaders to create jog sessions (location, distance and time) and scan barcodes of participating joggers. This can then be uploaded to a website to display number of runs, distance covered, run duration etc. Joggers will be able to see an online record of all their jogscotland and parkrun activities. Leaders will have a record of all sessions that they have led, and who attended. Jog Leaders will be able to scan existing parkrun barcodes, and it will also be possible to download your barcode to your phone.

The app has been designed to be simple and practical to use, and if our trials are successful, training will be included in the Jog Leader course, with support also available to existing Jog Leaders. We’ve got plenty of testing to do, but we hope this system will provide great new opportunities for members to track their jogging journey, and help Jog Leaders manage their groups. It will give us a great picture of what our members are up to, so we can deliver appropriate help. It will also help us inform our funders, sponsors and partners of the activities that they support, which is crucial for future funding. The idea is endorsed by sportscotland, who are providing R&D funding. We’ll pilot the system with a few jog groups in March and April, before a wider trial over summer with volunteer groups across the country. Founder of parkrun Paul Sinton-Hewitt, said: “As one of parkrun’s largest clubs, we are delighted to be working with jogscotland to assist the organisation in their wish to provide better recording of the impact they are making on health and wellbeing. jogscotland and parkrun are complementary organisations with shared values and objectives and by working together we will provide better results for those involved.”

parkrun Trial   17

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Great Groups 18

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016


On Wednesday 10 June 2015, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, the Glasgow Dental Hospital & School Runners (GDH&SR) took to the streets for the first time. The group was the brainchild of three regular runners - myself, Alison Cairns and Robert McKerlie. We wanted to improve our own personal fitness and introduce the benefits of running for a healthy work/life balance to others at the Glasgow Dental Hospital & School (GDH&S). The running group was initially open to all staff members, whether Glasgow University or National Health Service (NHS), all students, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, and members of the Alumnis’ society - and practically anyone who wants to join in. The GDH&S Runners has rapidly grown in size and popularity, with runners at all levels joining to expand the group to nearly a hundred members. Kelvingrove Park and the Kelvin Way have been adopted as our routes of choice, with the benefits of a countryside oasis in the heart of Glasgow. The endless number of of interesting routes can challenge everyone from a complete novice to the experienced club runners. The GDH&S has a rich history of wellestablished, highly-successful and

inspiring runners. Tony Coyne, who is the laboratory manager in the orthodontic dental laboratory, is the head coach of the Bellahouston Harriers, who on his debut for Scotland, came in third place at the Barcelona marathon in an outstanding time of 2hrs:19mins:16secs, winning the team prize. Lachie Stewart, who also worked within the orthodontic laboratory, won the 10,000 metres Gold medal at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, and still holds the Scottish native 10,000m record in 28mins:11secs. The GDH&S Runners is a registered jogscotland group with and Neil is now an established Jog Leader after completing the course in September. We meet at 12:30pm Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at the Renfrew Street entrance of the GDH&S, with a variety of training sessions that include: introductory running sessions for total novices, longer routes for more experienced runners and Fartlek/interval training sessions that cater for all. We have designed our own logo which is printed on customised technical running tops and recently introduced our own time-trial event, which is 2.5 km in length and held every 8-10 weeks. This is the perfect event to measure the level of individual’s improvement.

The benefits of running are far-reaching and have helped everyone in our group. Some of our members said: "The GDH&S Runners has been the catalyst to me improving my level of fitness. The support and companionship within the group has been excellent, and in consort with Neil’s dedication and encouragement, is why there are always a good number of willing runners each day.” Robert McKerlie, University Teacher. "I have never been good at running and starting in a running group made me nervous that I would slow everyone down. However the GDH&S catered for all abilities and I did not feel out of place at all. Running as a group with an experienced leader teaches you simple things like what pace suits you and on my first run with the GDH&S Runners I ran just over 6K, the furthest I have ever managed! A lunchtime run makes me more productive with my day, stops me snacking on unhealthy things by filling my lunch hour and is a great way to interact with other students and professionals.” Olivia Arthur, Fourth year dental student. “Under Neil's extremely enthusiastic leadership I have been thrilled to be involved in the set-up, administration and promotion of the running group. I had previously been an avid runner with multiple events under my belt, including three marathons, but being part of the group’s interval session training has improved my times greatly. Since starting in the group, summer 2015, I have shaved 47 seconds off my parkrun time, three minutes off my 10K, and seven minutes off my half marathon - needless to say I am hoping for great things when I run the 2016 London Marathon!” Alison Cairns, Senior Clinical Teacher/Honorary Consultant in paediatric dentistry. “Group running offers valuable support and encouragement, pushing the participants to achieve far more than they would alone. I would highly recommend it!” Douglas Mcleod, Third year dental student. If you would like more information on our group please contact Neil Nairn neil.nairn@ or join us on Facebook www.

by Neil Nairn


I moved to Lairg in July 2015 and found that I had passed just one other person jogging over the summer. Therefore with a local community micro grant I completed the Jog Leader course in November with the intention of starting a group to meet new people and get others into keeping fit. At the first meeting there were eight of us, and over the past three weeks there have been 16-18 of us with a total of 25 members. I am so delighted with the group, as I have seen members out running during the week and we have a great rapport. The local newspaper, the Northern Times, is writing an article to keep up the momentum and attract others. Due to the numbers I am in the process of obtaining another grant to pay for at least another two people to do the leader course and to buy the group high vis tops etc. I have found it quite daunting as I had never even been to a jogscotland session before, but the support has been great! Now with support from the area active schools co-ordinator I am working with the children in the primary school (where my children attend) and we are preparing them for a cross country competition and intend on having a children’s running group. I am overwhelmed with the community and the amount of people who have supported me and joined the group.

by Jean-Marie West

Great Groups 19

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Marathon Special  20

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Marathon special

A marathon c  hallenge – running from A-Z 

by Jim Taylor, Jog Leader for Lang Toun Joggers

I was on the flight back from Athens, having completed the Athens Classic Marathon in 2011 when an idea popped into my head. “Athens began with an A… I wonder if I could complete an A-Z of marathons?” The idea lay dormant, filed away at the back of my mind, till January 2012 when I began looking to see if indeed it would be possible and come up with some rules for the race selection. I decided: 1. The marathon had to be an “organised” race not just 42K run on a whim. 2. The races would be done in alphabetical order as without order there is chaos. 3. Races could be picked by race name, place name or name of main sponsor. As I trawled the net, I decided that there were some races I would like to do - Berlin for instance - and in 2014, Caen on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Which brings me to rules four and five - no time limit, and no geographical boundaries. So I

went back to the beginning of the alphabet and ticked off Athens as the first of my A-Z! It had been a great experience - on race day you make your way to the centre of the city and board buses for Marathon. Marshalling and crowd support is good along the route, which has a net height gain of approximately 320m. The finish is in the Olympic stadium and running around the track with the crowds cheering, you do get a sense of history! B was Berlin, and unable to get an entry in 2012 I entered the 2013 edition of the race. Along with 35,000 others I made my way in what seemed like a procession around the 42K, jostling for drinks at every station. The highlight of Berlin was the Expo! Caen in 2014 was special, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the D-day landings. I made a holiday of this and bike-packed in

marathon special

Normandy and the D-day beaches, ending my trip in Caen the day before the marathon. The Caen marathon follows the coast for the first half and goes past remnants of WW2. It then heads inland and uphill to the finish at the museum and the race village. Dundee was next, a marathon I wasn’t too keen on but it was the correct letter at the correct time. The day was absolutely boiling and it was not a race I would recommend as a first marathon with a climb of 900 feet! For E, I headed south for the Eden Project marathon. The start and finish are in the Eden Project itself, so if you are dragging some unwilling supporters with you at least they have something to do! F saw me head to Italy and Florence. It was a busy, well-organised race, mainly on the flat but with some cobbled sections around an amazing city. There isn’t enough space to describe how awesome my G marathon was! I was in a quandary - Glencoe or the Great Wall of China - The Wall got it! A major difference was the use of a company package for this race. The group met in Beijing and after a night there had an early morning trip north to Huangyaguan province and The Wall for inspection day. This gives you a chance to walk the part of The Wall that you will be running in two days’ time. First impression was that The Wall is an impressive feat of engineering, the second was “OMG I have to run on that!” The cut-off time for the GWM is eight hours - a hint about how hard it is. I found the major problem was the heat and humidity, not so much the 5,164 steps you have to negotiate! The inspection day is an eye-

opener - I was very surprised how many runners were doing this as a first marathon or half marathon. Race day dawned very still and cold but as the sun rose and the warmth was soaked up by chilled bones you just knew that the heat would be a problem and that is how it turned out. The water stations were doing a roaring trade and I made sure to stay hydrated, walking at every one so I could make sure I drank the water rather than pour it onto the course! I travelled south to Ulverston for my H Hoad Hill marathon, the first running of a multi-terrain race around the birthplace of Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame. The first half of the race was mainly flat and on-road with the second half being undulating and mainly off-road - in fact it was 2500 ft of undulating. It rained most of the race and it was great to see my friend Carol at the finish line. Travelling to my next race was a marathon in its own right- three trains, three ferries and three bike rides, 14 hours of travel on a gorgeous day, through some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer – I arrived on Islay two days before the smallest and most intimate marathon I had run in my A-Z to date. A point-to-point race and very new on the calendar, this is well-organised by the island community, and all proceeds go to sending school kids on trips. Well worth considering even without the lure of eight distilleries! Where next? I hope to enter the Jungfrau in Switzerland, and I am thinking about Kielder after that. If you would like more details and to follow my A-Z marathon challenge check out my blog on

marathon special

Marathon Special  21

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Marathon Special  22

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Twelve marathons in twelve months by Claire Kelly

I first began running marathons back in December 2009. Although I had been sponsored to run, fundraising had never been my specific goal. I had three marathons already under my belt when we found out about my uncle, Domo’s, diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease. I distinctly remember a sunny evening bathing my sons, thinking about my next marathon, Loch Ness Marathon 2013, coming up the following month. I thought I should put some effort into fundraising and this would go a little way towards helping beat MND. The following spring I ran Edinburgh Marathon and after having a brief hiatus following the birth of my third son I ran Loch Ness Marathon 2015. Over the course of these three marathons I raised approximately £1500. My long term fundraising plan had been to do three marathons in six months (Loch Ness 2015, Paris 2016 and Brighton 2016). I spoke to local press, I got it in the paper and lots of lovely publicity, and – vitally money for the charity. In October 2015, three weeks after Loch Ness, we lost Domo. And around the time of the funeral, the Dublin marathon 2016 date was announced. And I thought, “Wouldn’t this be a great way to keep the fundraising going?” So I signed up. My “three marathons in six months” morphed to four in a year... then another genius idea struck me, an idea that I had been toying with but never committed to outside of chat with my husband and best friend – why not run 12 marathons in 12 months – a marathon a month until Dublin 2016? So here we are now in February, I have three of the 12 completed, so only nine to go. My

marathon schedule now looks like this: February - solo/support vehicle March - Transcendence 50km Ultra April - Paris and Brighton May - Brathay (TBC) June - Strathearn July – Fort William Marathon (TBC) August - Hoad Hill, Ulverston September – Moray October - Dublin As a sports massage therapist and pilates instructor I have been taking care to ensure I look after myself physically and with the help of a local gym owner who is supporting my challenge by donating her time and expertise putting together a strength training programme for me. The support that I have had so far has been amazing, and I hope that I can do myself and my family proud when I complete the Dublin marathon, the last of the 12 in 12, this October. Claire introduced jogscotland to Kemnay and will be restarting the Mums on the Run group this spring. Follow or sponsor her at:

marathon special

I ran the world’s six major marathons within a year of beginning jogscotland by Michael Gordon In April 2014 I‘d been going to the gym at Aberdeen Sports Village for about a year and a half when a member of staff said she was starting a new block of jogscotland classes, and I got dragged along! I didn’t even run on the treadmill for more than five minutes. So going outdoors was tough - even an easy jog for 30 seconds. About three weeks later, I got a corporate entry for the 10K at Balmoral through my work, and I went into that. It was so hard! But I did the Baker Hughes 10K, and a girl I knew was doing the Dundee half marathon so I signed up for that and did it in 1:58. Then I thought I’d do a marathon. I got an entry for Berlin in September 2014, and people said: “You’ve only been running since April!” I met people who were doing Berlin and Edinburgh, and I thought “I’m going to get outdone here!” Within weeks I was trying to get into all the world majors - a series of six of the largest marathons in the world, including Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. I got into five of them but I’d missed the ballot for London. Around the same time, Guide Dogs for the Blind had a fundraising reception at my work, so I signed up for a place with them and then I had the six set up. My first marathon was Berlin, which I ran in

4:34. I made all the schoolboy errors – going out too fast, getting carried away with the crowd. I had to walk for a bit at 30K - they tell you not to try any energy gels you haven’t tried before, but I took one of the ones they were handing out and I was nearly sick. A few weeks later I did Chicago and I’d learnt all my lessons by then. I did it in 3:55 and I nearly cried when I saw the clock. I went on to complete all six of the majors – finishing up with Boston only a year after I first started with jogscotland. I think there’s only a couple of hundred people who’ve done all six of them, and I don’t think anyone’s done them as quickly as I did. Along the way, I’ve raised £2,100 for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Since then, I ran 3:34 in Buenos Aires and now I’m trying to do marathons in seven continents – I did Marrakesh in North Africa and I’m trying to do an Australian one this year - I need to try and get to Antarctica at some point. I had no intentions of doing this! I used to have a personal trainer and when he used to suggest to me that I try running or try parkrun, I used to say I wasn’t interested!

marathon special

Marathon Special  23

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Challenge Challenges  Series  24

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Challenge Series We are delighted to announce this year’s jogscotland Challenge Series events! As ever, the events we include in our series are chosen to be particularly welcoming to joggers, not just the preserve of competitive athletes. They offer a variety of locations, routes, and distances, from Highland trails to urban pavements. Whichever event you choose to take part in, the one thing you can be sure of, is that if it’s a jogscotland Challenge event, you’ll receive a warm welcome, whether you’re new to jogging, or an experienced runner. Whatever your experience, speed, goals, age, shape or size, you’ll feel at home and get a real sense of achievement from taking part in the jogscotland Challenge events. Head of jogscotland Billy Mitchell said: “We’re delighted with this year’s Challenge Series, and looking forward to welcoming lots of Jog Scotties along. There are plenty of familiar favourites this year, from the brilliantly-organised Peterhead Running Festival to the small and friendly Hawick 5K. “We’re also thrilled to be including the first Arran Coastal 12km Trail Race in our series. While it might be a more challenging route than our other events, we know that for those looking to test themselves on some beautiful trails, the guys in Arran will make sure they have a wonderful experience. Wherever you choose to join us, we look forward to seeing you!” The first event of the year is the three mile Wee Trail Race at Run Balmoral on 24 April. This is the third year that the Wee Trail has been part of our Challenge Series, and we’re delighted to welcome them back! The route,

through the beautiful grounds of the royal estate, offers the perfect opportunity for your first attempt at trail running, or the chance for old hands to kick their year off in style. It’s part of a whole weekend of running events at Balmoral, from the MPH Primary Schools 1.5K to the testing 15 mile trail race. The action then moves to Arran, for a brand new addition to the series, the Arran Coastal 12km Trail Race. One of the greatest hits of last year’s Challenge Series was the Gate to Gate 5K on Arran, so we’re delighted to be able to offer another event on the island this year. It’s a more testing distance this time, but guaranteed to offer you incredible views and a superb atmosphere. The Arran Coastal Way has recently been upgraded, and the event route will showcase some of the new off-road running routes in the Blackwaterfoot area. The figure-of-eight course is totally off-road, with conditions ranging from track and forest trails to stony and sandy beaches. It’s certainly a more testing event than we’ve previously included in the Challenge Series, but with the huge growth in popularity of trail running, and the tremendous reports we had from our Arran event last year, we think it’ll be a brilliant addition. The jogscotland group RunArran are supporting the event, and Jog Leader Laura Aitcheson said: “There a so many fantastic off road trail routes on the island and I am happy to be part of the team bringing a major event like this to the island so runners can experience a little bit of Scotland in miniature." On 26 June we return to a well-established and well-loved member of the Challenge Series, with the Peterhead 5K. This is part of the Peterhead Running Festival, a whole day of brilliant events organised by Peterhead Jogscotland. Their hard work and commitment shine through in a fantastic, fun day out, which brings together lots of other local organisations, and creates a real sense of community. From there we head south, to the popular Hawick 5K on 28 August. Organised by

Teviotdale Harriers, this small-but-perfectlyformed event has had rave reviews from participants who have loved the friendly feel. It’s a great blend of town and country, with the route on tarmac, but plenty of chance to enjoy the lush greenery of the Borders in late summer. On 18 September, we head to Pitlochry for their 5K event, organised by LiveActive. With a 10K on the same day, the town will be buzzing with activity, and we’re delighted to be back for the second year of the shorter route, which provides the perfect counterpart to the longer-established 10K. We’re then up in Inverness on 25 September, for one of Scotland’s great running festivals. The Baxters River Ness 10K and the River Ness 5K Fun Run will again be part of our Challenge Series. They take place alongside the hugely popular Loch Ness Marathon, so participants can enjoy the great atmosphere of the event village in Bught Park throughout the day. And finally, one of our longest-lived and most-loved events, the Christmas Cracker 5K will take place at Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld on 4 December. With plenty of opportunity for fancy dress, the event, organised by North Lanarkshire Leisure, takes place alongside two children’s events, so you can have a festive family day out! We’ll see you at the start line!

Get the dates in your diary! Run Balmoral Wee trail


Arran Coastal Trail Run


Peterhead 5k


Hawick 5k


Pitlochry 5k


Inverness 5k & 10k


Christmas Cracker


See challenges-2016 for links and entry details

ChallengeSeries  25

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Janice Millar  26

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

A Real Hero!

Janice Millar with Scottish rugby union player Matt Scott and broadcaster and adventurer Mark Beaumont at the Real Heroes awards ceremony.

We reported in the last edition of Stride magazine that jogscotland Jog Leader Janice Millar was in the running for a top TV award – and we’re delighted to say that she won! Janice was chosen as the STV Real Heroes Sporting Volunteer of the Year in a public vote. Her story appeared on STV’s Real Heroes show on 16 November when the vote opened, and the impact of her efforts to help so many people in the running community in recent years were evident in the deluge of support and votes she received. She had been nominated by her daughter-in-law Laura, in recognition of her hard work inspiring others to get active with her jogscotland group Janice’s Joggers, Kilmarnock Harriers, and pupils at Loudoun Academy. Laura wrote in her nomination: “Janice was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 11 years ago. She underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy. “During this time she was always positive and I am delighted to say is now healthy. As she was on steroids for some time her weight increased and she was not comfortable with this. My family had just started going to parkrun on a Saturday morning, Janice decided to join us. She walked most of the first 5K but through determination she built up to running the full thing.

“Not happy with just this achievement she then joined Kilmarnock Harriers and started increasing her distance and bringing down her times. She started entering races and really enjoying being active. Her weight was coming down and she was looking and feeling fantastic. She has now run two marathons and raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research. Janice is the most inspiring person I know, she has a can do attitude and has now started to help others to achieve their goals. Last year Janice changed jobs to enable her to be part time and spend more time doing what she truly loves...helping others.” Janice took a selection of family, friends and fellow joggers to join her at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Edinburgh HQ for the glitzy awards night. She says: “It was a wonderful night - STV and the Royal Bank of Scotland really pushed the boat out. “I knew I was shortlisted, but that’s all that you’re told. They had hundreds of entries and they whittled it down, and they came out and filmed, so you know that you’re going on television, and that that’s going to be aired and that three finalists are going through.”

When it was announced that Janice had won, she was amazed: “I was shocked because I honestly thought it was going to be a woman who coaches tennis. You can see on the TV footage, I’m not expecting it at all, I’m shocked and stunned. “I received a trophy, and it’s beautiful, a heavy cut glass trophy.” Modest Janice adds: “Everybody was saying it was well-deserved and that they knew that I would win, but it’s the power of social media – I know a lot of people and a lot of people clearly know me and voted for me. “I just want to thank all the running community for voting, because without their votes I wouldn’t have won.” It’s been a huge journey for Janice, who reflects: “To think, four years ago I hadn’t run a step! “I started with parkrun and I took 48 minutes to complete it. I came home and cried, I was so stiff, I ached. I got in the bath and I didn’t

know how I was going to get out again! “But I felt amazing after – I climbed out of the bath and I felt really good. I kept going back and my times started going down, and I would go out during the week and my weight came down, and because you’re exercising you’re inclined not to eat rubbish.” Once she’d got the running bug, she encouraged parents waiting for their children at Kilmarnock Harriers sessions to use the time for a jog themselves. She now coaches at the club, leads a twice-weekly jogscotland group called Janice’s Joggers, and holds sessions for pupils at Loudoun Academy: “Part of the reason why I started up the jogging group was to force me to go out and it also meant that I could go out at night with other people and be safe. “Janice’s Joggers often go and join the Harriers, which they think is going to be a big leap for them, but when they do that now there’s a lot of others they know from the jogging group, so they feel very welcome.”

Janice Millar  27

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Ice Marathon  28

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Conquering the Ghengis Khan Ice Marathon by Lucja Leonard Mongolia is a rugged, land-locked country nestled between China and Russia, made up of vast natural landscapes and deserts, and is truly one of the world’s last undiscovered travel destinations. So I couldn’t resist when the opportunity presented itself to join an expedition to Outer Mongolia, to experience not only the culture, but also to run the inaugural Ghengis Khan Ice Marathon. The marathon is run along the frozen Tuul Gol river - in temperatures reaching -40 degrees Celsius. Nine runners completed this remote event, with another handful running part of the distance for support. I joined fellow Scots Dr Andrew Murray (previous winner of the North Pole Marathon and the Antarctic Ice Marathon) and Maurice Donohue (running to raise money for SAMH and the Riding for the Disabled Association). Such extreme cold brings with it a range of dangers. At 40 degrees below you feel the cold in your lungs, you feel it touching your blood - it’s hard to take deep breaths of air this cold without reflexively coughing, and it doesn’t take long for any exposed tissue to freeze, including inner nostrils and eyeballs. Weather conditions on race day were nearperfect, with clear skies and the temperature at the start recorded at -34 degrees. The surroundings were pristine and I felt like an explorer off into the unknown, with the

ice singing under my feet and echoing musically in the trees. The initial sounds were unsettling, hearing the ice shifting and moving underneath you. It was magical to weave along the path of the river, passing the occasional local on horseback or small herds of cattle. I don’t know who stared more at each other, me at the locals in their fur-clad costumes or them at me in my X-Bionic snow outfit. Andrew won, and recorded a time of 3:07 – a remarkable feat considering both the extremely low temperature and difficult conditions underfoot. I came in as 1st lady and 4th overall in 4 hrs 19 minutes, with Maurice Donohue participating in the only real drama when he went missing for a while due to missing his marker for a turnoff, but he was later reunited with the group after reaching a local village with communication! The race is more than an event – it’s an entire adventure, put on by seasoned expedition leader Dave Scott of Sandbaggers and his local support crew. The vast and rugged landscape brings a special and unique feeling of solidarity and camaraderie with the entire team of runners and supporters alike, that have developed into strong bonds. It’s an experience to challenge your mind and body and be rewarded with everlasting memories of a beautiful country.

There’s an event for everyone, go to for full details.

13 March Glenkiln 12 mile road race Balloch to Clydebank half marathon, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch Gartmorn 6 and Junior Race, Alloa Inverness Half Marathon 19 March Heriot-Watt Round the Grounds 5K, Edinburgh 20 March Run Garioch, Inverurie – 5K, 10K, half marathon & junior Alloa Half Marathon Errol 6K Fun Race Kilomathon - 13.1K, 6.55K & junior, Edinburgh

March 27 Moray Road Runners 10K, Miltonduff April 10 Tom Scott Memorial 10 Mile and Round the Loch 6K Road Races, Strathclyde Park 50th Round the Houses 10K and 2K road races, from Grangemouth Stadium 13 April Ron’s Runners Spring Trail 5K, Irvine

Race Directory  29

Race Directory

Race Directory  30

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

17 April Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run 10 miles 23 April & 24 April Run Balmoral multiple distances, including 3 mile Wee Trail 30 April Arran Coastal 12K Trail Run 4 May Troon Tortoises 10k 15 May

Free parkrun events (5k) every Saturday at 9.30am at: Aberdeen















St Andrews

Monklands half marathon, 5K, 1K fun run, Coatbridge





28 May



Stornoway Half Marathon, 10K, family fun run Edinburgh Marathon Festival (also 29 May)

Junior parkrun events (2k) for four to 14-year-olds every Sunday at 9.30am at:

Falkirk – Helix

Stirling – King’s Park

Glasgow – Victoria Park

Find out more at Events in red are part of the jogscotland Challenge Series 2016


The Most Most Beautiful Beautiful Run The Run in in Scotland Scotland for for

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Come and feel the 'Spirit of the Glen' Come and feel the 'Spirit of the Glen'

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CHECK OUT THE BEAST RACES - LOCH NESS 3RD SEP & Make your run count for Scotland's Health Charity BANCHORY 24TH SEP! WWW.PRIMEFOURBEASTRACE.CO.UK Scottish Charity Number SC018761

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at the Baker Hughes 10k, Edinburgh Marathon at the Baker Hughes 10k, Edinburgh Marathon Festival and The Morrison’s Great Women’s 10k Festival and The Morrison’s Great Women’s 10k

For your fundraising support pack: For your fundraising support pack: 0300 1212 444 | 0300 1212 444 |

Cross Training  32

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Cross T  raining -

by Jo Stevens

It was a friend and Jog Leader Clare Murray from jogscotland Penicuik who first introduced me to PiYo. She gave it a go to complement all the running she was doing as she’d heard it was great for balance, toning and flexibility. So I thought I would give it a go for myself. My first step was to hit Google and see what exactly PiYo was. There wasn’t a lot of information available but I managed to discover that PiYo is a workout which combines body and mind elements associated with both Pilates and yoga, to music, with additional flexibility, strength and conditioning moves. It is a high intensity but low impact workout, created by US fitness trainer and author Chalene Johnson in 2013. It has only been in the UK since May 2014 so it’s still pretty new on the fitness scene. So off I went to try PiYo. I had chatted to the instructor Jenny Campbell prior to the class to find out if PiYo would be suitable for me and what I needed to bring along to the class. Jenny was very friendly and explained to me about what PiYo was, how moves could be adapted to suit my needs and explained how it’s better for grip on the yoga mat to do the class in bare feet. Yikes! Bare feet! As a runner, I have to say my feet are not the prettiest and I am always reluctant to get them out in public. But as I stood in the class, waiting to get started I

occurred to me that nobody was interested in my feet and everyone else was in bare feet too so it was fine. It was only a small class of 10 but it was also nice to see that I wasn’t the only newcomer to the class so it made me a little less nervous about getting it wrong. We started with a light warm up routine to music which incorporated some of the moves that would feature as part of the main session. I was pleasantly surprised as the class progressed to see just how many different movements we carried out. There was squats, lunges and burpees all lurking within the routine, some yoga moves such as Warrior, Sun Salutation, Downward Dog, Flight pose and Sun Warrior which were all completely alien terms to me. The instructor was great and demonstrated all of the moves before we started and offered adaptions for each move so you could work at a level appropriate for you. There was a track dedicated to balance and core which I personally found very challenging. I also know that my coordination skills aren’t great so I did make some mistakes in moving from one pose to another. I caught the eye

of the other newcomer and we shared a wee laugh as we were both struggling to look graceful but it didn’t really matter. The moves were completely new to me and I’m sure given a bit of practice and regular attendance I would master them. In relation to running, any activity which encourages balance and coordination can only serve to improve your running performance so I found PiYo to be a great workout which targets all of these elements. My thighs were certainly talking to me after the squats and lunges tracks so these would contribute greatly to leg strength. The core track is very important as a strong core can support the upper body and make running posture more efficient. But then, at the end of the session I also felt very relaxed and calm as we finished on some gentle yoga and breathing before entering the cool down phase. Instructor Jenny Campbell says: “PiYo is a great exercise for building strength and flexibility. It is a class of non-stop movements without the need for weights. It also has a calming effect on the mind and helps to create a state of relaxation”.

Rainbow Run This month, the Glasgow FrontRunners hosted their annual Rainbow Run 5K in honour of LGBT History Month. Participants are asked to wear a particular colour of the rainbow, depending on the month in which they are born and they run the 5K as a human rainbow along Glasgow’s Forth and Clyde Canal.

Jog Scotty and Membership Development Officer Jo Stevens were also on hand to help with the group warm up and to cheer the runners as they reached the final stretch. The Glasgow FrontRunners have a wonderful reputation for their excellent home baking skills so the runners were treated to a colourful selection of cupcakes and other treats to refuel after their run. Over 100 people took part in this year’s event, with joggers from the Edinburgh FrontRunners and the North West Glasgow Running Network coming through to show their support (and their love of cake!). Donations on the day from the cake sale helped the group to raise £366 for the Terrance Higgins Trust. The Glasgow FrontRunners wish to thank all the route marshals and bakers who helped make the event possible.

Rainbow Run  33

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Scottish Slimmers  34

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

One of George’s earliest memories is of his mum being on a diet, and he admits he followed in her footsteps and soon fell into a dangerous pattern! George Fleming

From: Bo’Ness Occupation: Building Control Officer /now Taxi Driver



Weight: 19 stone 7lbs Size: Chest 50", Waist 50", Collar 19"

Weight: 12 stone Size: Chest 40", Waist 32", Collar 16"

Weight lost 7 stone 7lbs ‘I’ve been on diets most of my life with such little success and was even put on medication from my GP, again with no real benefits so when I joined Scottish Slimmers after being persuaded by my daughter, it was like getting struck with a bolt of lightning,’ says George. George lost a stone in one month and soon lost another, initially he was happy to lose around 2 stone, but the more he lost the more determined he felt to reach another goal. ‘My journey has taken me from being a couch potato to a level of fitness that has allowed me to run and cycle with east and I have recently taken part in the 5K Falkirk parkrun. It was never in my thoughts at the beginning to get so physically fit and active, but now I am, there’s no stopping me!’ George was named Scottish Slimmers Action Man of the year having taken on races, runs, cycle challenges and so much more since losing weight.

‘I can honestly say I have never felt better than I do now, I have enjoyed the whole Scottish Slimmers experience, it has improved my life, my health, my appearance and my confidence tenfold!’ For more information about Scottish Slimmers call FREE on 0800 36 26 36 or log on to

Checks 12

Fat Grams 8.5 per serving

Preparation: 5 mins Cooking: 10-15 mins

Ingredients 1 (85g) bag watercress 15ml/1 tbsp olive oil 75g cubed pancetta or streaky bacon 1 clove garlic chopped 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped 2.5ml/½ tsp dried chilli flakes 60ml/4 tbsp dry white wine pinch of sugar salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 (500g) bag fresh potato gnocchi Watercress and Parmesan cheese to serve

Method 1. Heat the oil in a frying pan add the pancetta and sauté for 5 mins or until golden and the fat has run out. Add the garlic and tomatoes, sauté for 2 mins, then add the chilli, wine and sugar. Cover and simmer for 5 mins. 2. Place the watercress on a board and use a knife to very roughly chop it; place the watercress in a colander. 3. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water according to packet instructions. Drain the gnocchi in the colander pouring it on top of the watercress. Leave to drain for 1 minute before tossing into the hot sauce. Serve topped with a little more watercress and Parmesan shavings.


FREE today!

Serves 4

● Take this voucher with you to any Scottish Slimmers class before 30th June 2016 to claim your special offer. ● This coupon entitles you to join any Scottish Slimmers class FREE! (pay weekly class fee only). Code: 533287

Call free 0800 36-26-36 or visit

Scottish Slimmers  35

Gnocchi with pancetta & watercress

Women’s Running  36

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Marathon season is almost here and, whether or not you’re aiming to run 26.2 miles this spring, we have all you need to stay motivated and get your training right in the April issue of Women’s Running, on sale now. Highlights include: Train for a marathon or half, in no time! Preparing to run a long race is a huge commitment, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the rest of your life. Use our training plans to help you fit in training for a marathon or half with just a few key sessions every week – including a bespoke strength and stretching programme for you to do. Go from couch potato to 10K runner The Women’s Running 10K Race Series is back at the end of May and if you’re a new runner, you may think the distance is out of reach – think again! We’ll show you how to run 10 whole kilometres in just eight weeks with our programmes for complete newbies and returning runners. Build your strength for long runs Make sure your body is ready to run the hard miles with our fitness editor AnneMarie Lategan’s eight-move workout – it’s perfect if you just want to tone up a bit, too! Make your running bucket list Nothing gets you running like a good goal to aim for – and there’s no better way to decide your goals than to make your own personal running bucket list! Whether it’s running an

Women’s Running helps women of all ages and abilities to improve their running ’s Women g Runnin ur o y r e Ord y p o c free today

ultra, or doing 100 parkruns in an unbroken run, or competing in every country in Europe – every woman can be inspired by a tick-list of running dreams. Find out how to make yours and meet some women working their way to their own running dreams. Use your mind to conquer injury Us runners love to run. No surprises there! But if you’ve ever found yourself laid up with an injury for a few weeks or months, then you’ll know how hard it can really be to take a break. We show you how to use positive thinking to stay sane and get back to fitness as quickly as possible. Try a long trail race Bored of pounding the pavements? Try something new this year by running a marathon or ultra off road. We’ve chosen the best multi-terrain runs for you to get your teeth into, with gorgeous scenery, incredible challenges and unbeatable support.

Every issue includes training plans, workouts, nutrition advice and health information to help you become a better runner, lose weight, improve your health and take care of yourself.

Try Women’s Running totally FREE. Go to to claim your FREE copy today or call 0845 286 3067 and quote ‘Runner’

Men’s Running  37

The American author Helen Keller once stated: “Life is a either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” In this issue of Men’s Running, on sale now, we explore the theme of adventure and how you can bring a spirit of rebelliousness to your running. Enduring love Tobias Mews has run a bucketload of bucket list races, from the Marathon des Sables to the Marathon du Médoc, from Man vs Horse to Race the Train. He details many of these in his new book, 50 Races to Run Before You Die, and in this month’s magazine details three of his favourite UK running races – ranging from the beginnerfriendly to the brutally tough. Get your bearings You’re high on a hilltop, the weather is closing in and your GPS device has kicked the bucket. Could you get home safely? We live in an age when most people have outsourced their navigation skills to Google. But no bona fide adventurer should be solely reliant on SatNav. MR packed its map and compass and headed to the Peak District for a navigation masterclass. ‘Britain’s most brutal race’ Imagine a race that’s 268 miles long. It takes place in the UK in January, so foul weather’s

guaranteed and there’s more darkness than daylight. The route is signposted, but waymarkers were placed with daytime hiking in mind, so topographical befuddlement is a given. You have to carry full mountain marathon kit of around 5-8kg, which makes you safer, but slows you down. The clock is always ticking, and as the cutoff is seven days there isn’t much time for trivial things such as sleep – in 2015 one tired runner ran into a cow. Sound like your cup of tea? Then be sure to read Damian Hall’s colourful account of The Spine Race, regularly dubbed “Britain’s most brutal race”. Become king of the hills If you are going to use your imagination and run ‘outside of the box’, you better be sure that your body can keep up. In this month’s hill-running workout, we help you to craft adventure-ready legs of steel. As well as setting out three easy-to-follow hill sessions, we discuss the benefits of hill running and why all runners should be doing it (even if they’re running a flat marathon, like London or Edinburgh, in the spring).

If you are just starting out or a regular runner the newlook Men’s Running will help you run better! Every issue includes training plans and workouts, product tests by real runners, running gadget reviews and features events you must enter.

Try Men’s Running totally FREE. Go to to claim your FREE copy today or call 0845 286 3067 and quote ‘Runner’

Men’s Running helps men become better runners and achieve their goals Men’s Runnin g – NEW L OOK! Order y o free cop ur y today

Spotlight on Elgin  38

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Spotlight on Elgin In the last edition of Stride, our Great Groups section introduced you to Elgin jogscotland. Now we’re delighted to introduce you to two of them, to show just how varied jogscotland members are – Malcolm Christie has been running since 1971, and Shona Sydenham started just last year!

The old hand Malcolm Christie It was a school teacher who probably got me interested in running. Mr Ford, who claimed to have been UK hopping champion whilst at university, got our group playing “Hares and Hounds” round the school playing field. He started off as a hare, and I was one of the hounds. In retrospect Mr Ford obviously let me beat him in the last few metres, but as a pre-teen, beating him was simply amazing. My first race was back in 1971, and my love of running continued throughout my life – not all of it of the most graceful kind! I remember taking part in a cross country at Forres. Running down the hill into Grant Park, my body overtook my legs, and I proceeded to slide on my stomach for about ten meters in full view of all those at the finishing line! I have been a member of Elgin AAC for many years, and when jogscotland Elgin started in November 2009, I went along on their second night. Being a club member, I originally went to jogscotland to see if any members were recruitable! I stayed as I thought it would be a nice warm up before my usual run with the club later that evening.

I was then asked to become a Jog Leader, and agreed because I was a faster runner than any of the other leaders, and I thought the other runners would benefit from a faster run – and having run for such a long time there are not many situations I’ve not come across.  Ironically, I seem to have spent most of my time at the back of the longer distance (8k) group, to ‘sweep’ the last ones up and make sure no one is left behind! Last October I had hardly run for a month, but as I wanted to do my 200th league race on 13 February, I ran a race at Keith – I came last by 6 minutes 37 seconds. Was I discouraged? No! I was last in my next race too, but I feel I’ve just made someone’s day as they weren’t last, so I feel I’ve done my good deed for the day and stay happy. Now I’m looking after my 96-year-old mother, I don’t have time to do quite as much running as I did, but the jogscotland run is the one run I still do on Thursdays – though I still run with Elgin AAC on Tuesdays. I hope to have my 200th North district league race this February.  Being a leader has taught me to enjoy running slowly - I used to go off at a fair clip on every training run. I try to go every week, because, when I like the bunch of people I’m with, I don’t want to let them down. I’m always happy to give advice – when people ask me at jogscotland it’s not so surprising, but when people stop me in the supermarket (as they’ve done) and ask, really gives me a buzz!

Spotlight on Elgin  39

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

The new recruit Shona Sydenham Thursday 23 April 2015 was the first night I had decided to go along to Elgin jogscotland after two friends had been the week before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Alas, they had not turned up that night, so I felt a bit nervous. I needn’t have worried as everyone was so friendly. I had done a bit of running – well, plodding along - over the years at the gym but never been out with other people as I was scared of holding people back but jogscotland is great as all abilities go and everyone encourages each other. I thoroughly enjoyed it and each week we would add on extra time jogging and walking until we got to the end of the 10 week block and we could jog without stopping for 20 minutes. After each week I would go out and do the route that we had done on the Thursday night and was always pleased to see how I had progressed. In the summer months there were three Pinto Run events in Cooper Park where anyone could take part in timed runs and by this time I had a running buddy Carol, who I now run with three times a week, and we helped eachother get round and beat our times each time. We can’t wait til the parkrun starts in Elgin too, hopefully this spring. My best achievement was taking part in the Loch Ness 10K in September. I was a bit nervous going up in the bus with other Elgin jogscotland people, some had ran it before and others were first-timers like me, but chatting on the way up we were all encouraging each other. The buzz of the competitors when we got there was great

and I had a really good run and completed in 58 mins 57 seconds. I was chuffed to see my family cheering me on near the end, they nearly missed me as I’d ran quicker than they’d thought! It has such a great atmosphere and supporters all the way round it really helps you keep going. I’d got the running bug so took part in the Brodie 10K in November, another great run in beautiful countryside with a lovely finish line and did this quicker than Loch Ness. I’ve already booked to do Nairn, Garioch and Brodie 10K this year and plan to do Loch Ness again too - and of course must do our local Elgin 10K. I’m not scared now to be seen running around with a red face, it gives you such a buzz and it certainly is a great way to start your Sunday mornings! Running is such a great free sport to do either on your own, in a group or with a friend for a good blether in the fresh air. I would encourage anyone who wants to start to come along to jogscotland and give it a try whatever your abilities and you will have a great time, you make new friends and find great running buddies.

Jogging Along  40

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Jogging along by David Syme

Protect your running image When you run through city streets and parks it is not long before you meet another runner. The camaraderie of running encourages a greeting, verbal or – if the other has a wire sticking out of an ear – a friendly wave. Pride also encourages you to run just a little stronger than before, with a springier stride, tum held in and chest out. “Yes,” your body is saying, “I’m a runner too, isn’t it great to be out running?” It is a bonding thing, and it’s important that other runners don’t see you at any low moment on your run. Last week I decided to tackle the hill not far from my home. There are several good routes to the top, and that morning I opted for “direttissimo”, the short, steep approach. My aim was to take it at a steady rate all the way up; low gear, arms pumping, focussed. I found a good rhythm and made it in style to the eastern shoulder of the hill where there is a bench and a fine view; not quite the top but as good as. I stopped running and walked onwards, panting heavily, hands on hips, when I was caught out! Another runner came down from the summit, bounding lightly towards me. She was young and slim, wearing a purple T-shirt, black shorts and a white sweatband - the picture of athleticism. My feelings were of guilt and shame. How could I pretend to be a runner, on a par with this picture of fitness and vigour? As she flashed past I gave her a meek wave,

and tried to make eye contact. My eyes were passing the message: “Actually I am a runner, like you. I ran all the way up at a reasonable pace, honest, and now I’ve just paused to admire the view....” But she was gone. If asked, she might say that she passed an old guy walking slowly near the top. This thought spoiled my run as I chugged over the hill and back down the far side. The lesson learned is to stay alert at all times on a run. If you have to slow down, check all around you, and if there is someone else running, keep up the pace until out of sight. If you are out of puff and feel you have to break into a walk - pretend to tie up a lace, or slip into some bushes until breathing becomes easier. Never drop your guard!

David has produced two collections of short stories about running world-wide: “Running Away From Home” and “Running Home and Away”. All proceeds from sales go to support Tong-Len UK, a charity for street children in Northern India.

Cool Down  41

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Cool down by Sue Gyford

Much is made in some quarters of the difference between “serious runners” and joggers. Runners are often thought to be people who are all about speed and competition. Joggers, so the received wisdom goes, are not. Some people think there’s a difference between the two groups not just in speed, but in mindset.

Photography by James Kirby But I think there are many more similarities than differences. As a competitive runner, your goals might be to bring your time down, beat your peers, or win medals. As a jogscotland member, you might share those goals. Or your goals might be to enjoy yourself, to feel better, to keep jogging for the long term. And it seems that in whichever of those two directions your goals lie, there are some common tactics that you can use to achieve them. Sometimes I take off my jogscotland hat, and work for scottishathletics. A wee while ago, I found myself sitting in a presentation being given to members of the scottishathletics Youth Academy. These teenagers are athletes who have been identified as showing particular talent in a whole range of disciplines. They, their parents

and coaches gather together regularly to learn from experts about how to make the most of their abilities. Their goals are definitely Where did that come from? competitive – they want to run faster, .01 throw further, jump higher, and so on. If you had to predict who would be the Commonwealth and Olympic stars of the future, you’d pick from among these youngsters. One of the presentations I sat in on was about the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset”. And I think the lessons they learned are equally applicable to success when your goals are to enjoy yourself and keep jogging long term. Athletes who have a fixed mindset are less likely to be successful as those who have a growth mindset. A fixed mindset athlete will believe that talent is something you’re born with, that you either have or you don’t – while a

Cool Down  42

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

growth athlete believes talent is a process of learning, and is not set in stone. With a fixed mindset you believe that some things will come easily to you if you’re talented, and others you’ll never be able to do. A growth athlete believes anything is possible, and recognises that effort and understanding will help them to develop skills. With a fixed mindset, you avoid things that are challenging because you don’t want to look bad; with a growth mindset you embrace challenges as a chance to learn something new. With a fixed mindset, you give up easily in areas that are difficult, and stick with what you can already do well; with a growth mindset you don’t mind persisting after a setback and will see it as part of the learning process. At first, I thought “Oh! How interesting to find out how elite athletes think…” But when I sat back and reflected, I realised that so many of those things also apply to a successful life with jogscotland. At the heart of jogscotland is the idea that even people who thought they would never be joggers can do it. If we set about it with patience, determination and a willingness to learn, we can achieve things we genuinely thought were impossible for us. When you turn up to your first jogscotland session, and hear your Jog Leader tell you that you’ll soon be running 5K, you are first introduced to the idea that, whatever your history, you and your body are capable of learning to jog – you’ve not been born with a label on your forehead that says “non-jogger”.

As the beginner sessions progress, you start to see the proof that effort and understanding will help you become a jogger – it’s not impossible. When you turned up to your first jogscotland session, you might have felt the fear that you would be the slowest in the group, that you’d feel foolish or look bad. But you embraced the challenge anyway, because you wanted to learn, and thought perhaps you could. And when someone suggests signing up for your first 5K, you see it as a chance to improve and try something new. If you stick with it for any length of time, you’ll probably learn how to deal positively with a setback. You might finish a race more slowly than you hoped, or have to take time off because of an injury – but you know that this is just part of the whole adventure, and that you’ll come back to it as soon as you’re able. There are so many ways in which jogscotland members demonstrate a growth mindset. That means that you, as a jogscotland member, are talented – in ways that may not relate to speed or distance. The ability to learn, develop, and do things that were once impossible for you are talents in themselves – the very talents that are at the heart of the training regimes of future Olympians. And the best thing? The rewards you get for developing these talents are not necessarily medals or podium places. They’re enjoyment. Friendship. A sense of achievement. Delight in the strength and ability of your body, whatever it can do. In word: Happiness. That’s worth more than a gold medal any day!

Trail time! In November I took a trip to Cumbria to take part in the trail 10K held as part of the Kendal Mountain Festival (pictured here and previous page). Despite starting with a demanding uphill along a street appropriately named Beast Banks, it was a brilliant event with stunning views and friendly marshals. As part of a weekend of films, talks and social events, it was a great trip away, and the whole of Kendal seemed to really embrace the event – recommended!

jogscotland group finder With hundreds of groups across Scotland, here’s how to find your nearest one…

1. go to 2. enter postcode 3. find your nearest group 4. join in!

Local Contacts  43

jogscotland magazine Spring 2016

Stride magazine - Spring 2016  

The members' magazine for jogscotland.

Stride magazine - Spring 2016  

The members' magazine for jogscotland.