Getting to know …Mairi
Mairi only joined SE Fitness last summer and picked up the winner’s trophy for the new Grand Prix at Christmas! It’s been wonderful to have Mairi in the group bringing, as she does, energy and good spirits and a little bit of competitive spirit to every session!
Despite always having done some form of sport, I used to hate running. I remember having to do the 12-minute run at school aged around 16 and it was the longest 12 minutes of my life. Then when I went to University, running became more appealing, I think because it was a choice rather than forced in PE lessons! I started to do one or two runs a week and entered the occasional 5K but was more focussed on rugby and hockey. Whilst I was training to be a dietitian, I joined the Army Reserves and started to discover that I wasn’t an awful runner and that’s where I started to love it. I captained my unit’s running club for a few years and we would enter the cross country and orienteering events and some local 10K races. I kept running after university but less regularly until I lost two grandparents in 2018 to Alzheimer’s disease so decided to step up my running that year and completed my first half marathon and full marathon to raise money for charity in their memory (although the quick jump in mileage did result in a stress fracture between the two events!) I dropped my mileage back for 2019, mainly focussing on parkrun. I moved from Doncaster to Birmingham last summer and joined SE Fitness to give me some motivation for my running again and also meet new people. And it has done exactly that!
Where are you now?
Running is my escape. When I’ve had a stressful day at work, it helps me clear my head. When I’m lacking self-confidence, it helps remind me of everything I can do. And it’s really opened up opportunities for me to meet people in a city where I originally knew nobody. My favourite distance is 10K, but I’m starting to develop an enjoyment out of half marathons so that might change soon! I love running on the trails, having previously run cross country, so I can’t wait until the lighter nights so we can get off the roads. And despite attending the evening sessions, I much prefer running in the morning (any chance of some early morning sessions?!)
After my dedication to the Autumn Grand Prix last year, I’m taking a step back this year to focus on a few more alternative races I want to do. I’m working on getting my fitness up so I can get my times down as well as dabbling a bit more in half marathons. I’m also going to get out onto some trail events this year, from 7K right up to 26K, which will be a nice challenge! I’ll be continuing as a regular at Sutton Park parkrun and will still be doing some of the Grand Prix events, which are looking fantastic.
My only top tip is to enjoy yourself. I think that’s the most important part of running but sometimes when it’s cold, dark and wet, we all need a reminder that we do to get us out of the door!