Getting to know … Vanessa Brown
When did you start running and why?
After my gramps passed away, I wanted to do the Race for Life in Sutton park in his memory to raise some money for Cancer Research. I didn’t do any sport at all whilst at school. So I did a 5k, I got talking to someone at my gym and we encouraged each other to do a 10k which turned into a half marathon.
Where you are now?
Are you a morning or evening runner, prefer Winter or Summer, roads or trails? Your preferred event 5K, 10K, half or full? Tell us a bit about how you got into leading?
I spend quite a few years running at 630am. I had a running buddy and it suited us both. It was quite exhilarating being out in the winter with a headtorch and seeing the sunrise in the summer. When it didn’t work for my buddy anymore I needed an alternative. As I felt it would be safer to find a group. I found SE fitness.
I never intended to run a marathon but after being rejected from London Marathon and in a fit of pique, I entered the Edinburgh marathon in 2011! I then ran 5 more. I’m slow yet steady. My advice (as Sharon Wright knows) is run to 16 miles, 4 more to 20 then you may as well finish).
I dont really have a preference as to running in the morning or evening. I have to be flexible for work and SE allows me to do that. I prefer the roads as I find them easier to navigate (and remember) but we are so lucky to have the park as our patch.
As for leading, I said I would stand in for an injured leader as a favour, became an ad hoc leader before being asked to lead 5 to 10. I get so much out of seeing people’s running and confidence improve. SE has such lovely members all with their own stories.
What does running do for you?
Joining SE was such a good decision. In the beginning I met people with whom I had running in common. These people have become great friends who bring me joy, laughter and friendship. Without running, I wouldn’t have met them.
What’s your plan? Is there a goal in mind?
Well many people know I’ve had ups and downs for the past few years which have impacted my running. Due to low iron, I really struggled during much of 2017 and 2018 and I was on the bench for 3 months at the beginning of the year after surgery. I’ve been back running since April, trying to build my fitness. My aim was to do Windsor half this weekend and got to 10 miles but unfortunately a pulled calf muscle has probably put paid to that this year. I’m obviously disappointed but it’s not the end of the world, I can volunteer to marshall. I’m going to look for another half, probably in the Spring, maybe Stafford. Will I do another marathon….well never say never!
I’ve had some great experiences running. I loved the camaraderie of doing Wolf Runs, I’m going to forget about The Suffering 🤣 and i experienced such pride on having completed my marathons. I really do like the t-shirt from Stafford half though (think I’ve mentioned that one to some of you before!!)
Tips to Share
You’ve been running a long time now and completed a range of events. What’s your secret?
Bloody mindedness! Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t. What’s the worse that can happen?
A cliche I know, but the hardest step is the one you take out of the front door. Once you do though, you never regret it.