Susan Davies

In Memoriam

1964 – 2022

It was a great shock to learn that Sue died on Wednesday October 5th , during a training
run. Despite the presence of the emergency services she could not be resuscitated.
Sue was the loveliest person, always with a smile and a kind word, and never pushing
herself forward, despite her considerable talent as a runner. As she ran she looked so light
and fleet footed.
She was one of Croft’s earliest female athletes, arriving with partner Mark, and already a
Welsh international, proud to represent her country in her red vest. At first she was ‘just’ an
important team member for cross country races, but with Mark she championed a charity
tandem event in Bishop’s Castle, which became a very popular race. Later she was to
support Mark as a coach, of newcomers to running and to juniors, as they selflessly
sacrificed their own training time to bring on many enthusiastic young runners.
It was Sue who inspired me to try mountain running, having heard of her exploits in Poland
and Slovenia. Her latest mountain running was in southern Italy in 2019 where she won a
team GB silver medal as an under 55 (despite Mark’s faux pas in describing her as in the
55-59 age group!).
Having left the club in 2021 she was seen around less, but many club members kept up
contact, even visiting their nursery site in Adforton to admire the expansion of their joint
She will be sorely missed by all those who came in contact with her, and most particularly
by Mark, her longtime partner.

A few words from Mike Blenkinsop:

I am still deeply distressed by the loss of the lovely lady who I fondly called ‘Magic” . I gave her that name many years ago when I learned from her that she was about to represent Wales – she was the Magic Dragon. The name summed up her charming and enchanting character. I will retain fond memories of her big beaming smile and joyful laughter,

She was so sweet natured and selfless, often putting others’ considerations before her own needs. This would be characterised by the number of times she volunteered to help me at the CARC Handicap events. I knew that she would have loved to be competing, but she was willing to sacrifice her own wishes for the common cause. In a way, I am pleased that she did as I thoroughly enjoyed her company.

Guy mentioned her involvement in the Bishop’s Castle Tandem Triathlon event. I used to go along to timekeep for her, not because I had any involvement with the cause but because I admired her dedication and commitment. It was a long event and she and Mark used to set up the course, then camp there overnight to get proceedings moving early the next morning.

Sue and Mark did so much to advance the fortune and success of Croft Ambrey R.C. and we owe them both an enormous vote of thanks.

A few words from Sam Harper:

It is hard to put into words what an integral part of Croft Ambrey Running Club Sue was for many years. She was a huge inspiration to me when I first joined the club – as a vet 40 she was a frequent medal winner in races in was always one of the top finishers in the league races. She was supportive to all new runners to the club, including me – always ready to give advice and encouragement making everyone feel part of the team. She didn’t spend time training and competing for the Croft but spent a lot of her time with extra roles on the committee – as the ladies captain, club member secretary and sorting out the club kit and coaching the juniors and beginners groups. She left the club and left a big gap where her smiling face should have been. I always hoped that she would find a way back to us and am so sad that this can no longer be the case. Her sudden loss is such a shock and came too soon.

Theresa, Wayne and family: You could not help but to love Sue. Full of ethusiasm and joy she was always so much fun to spend time with.

Mark and Sue got me hooked on running perfectly complementing each other; our first torch runs, our first longer runs, our away Thursdays, our first fell run and then lockdown runs. Sue was always there looping back encouraging and then bobbing to the front again ponytail bouncing and her playful effortless way of running. Never grumpy always quick to volunteer whenever the club needed help.

It feels very unreal that we have lost our beautiful friend and team mate. We will all miss her terribly.

Our thoughts are very much with Mark and Sue’s family.

Clare, Roland, Bronny and Thea (the Preeces): I was so sad to hear the news of Sue’s passing. My introduction to Croft was friendly sessions led by Sue and Mark. Sue was always so lovely and helpful, never making me feel bad for being so slow at the back. On torch runs I was always so grateful to see her bounding gracefully to the rear to check I was ok. Her encouragement was endless.

My last memory of Sue was of her and Mark proudly guiding a few of us Croft ladies around their beautiful arboretum. Sue with her usual enthusiasm and bounce pointing out trees and shrubs that they had cultivated and lovingly grown. After we shared chocolate cake and tea and laughed and talked. Wonderful memories I shall cherish forever.

Our thoughts are with Mark and with both families at such a sad time.

Tonia Noon: I first met Sue and Mark when I joined the CARC beginners group in 2019. Sue was always so cheerful and encouraging never making me feel awkward for being slow.
I was always in awe of her effortless way of running, she looked so graceful.
I’d seen Sue on a few occasions since they left the club the last being only a couple of weeks before her tragic passing. We talked about running, plants, gardens, family and much more.
Sue was never without a smile and a friendly encouraging word.
She will be sorely missed by so many people.
My heartfelt thoughts go out to Mark and all their family xxx

From Suzanne Field: Where do I start?
I’m heartbroken at the sudden death of Sue.
Sue was such a lovely person 💕 always smiling. She was full of enthusiasm, knowledge and she was great fun to be with.
I 1st met Sue at the beginners group many years ago. ( I think I went to all the beginners groups 🤣 ) which Mark and her took.
Sue was always so encouraging no matter how slow I was ( still am) and always had something positive to say.
When her and Mark left Croft I felt lost as they had always been my rock.
Luckily we kept in contact with them.
My last memory of Sue ( a few weeks before she died) was sitting in the kitchen of their Nursery having a cup of tea – id called by with my daughter on the off chance they be there we had a fab afternoon laughing which I will treasure forever.
Sue I will never forget everything you did for me you were such a special lady.
My thoughts are with Mark, Sue’s family and friends ❤️

14 thoughts on “Susan Davies

  1. I’m truly very, very sad to hear this news about lovely Sue. Such a shock.
    I joined Mark and Sue’s beginner’s group in 2017, and they were both so welcoming, encouraging and kind to me, Sue was such a beautiful, elegant runner, so I’m not surprised to read of the many wonderful achievements in her running career.
    My sincere condolences to Mark.
    Elaine Blenkharn

  2. So sad to hear about this tragic news. I first became friends with the lovely Sue in 2017 when we were both representing Wales in the British & Irish Masters XC International in Derry, Northern Ireland. We were both very proud to be wearing our red vests but both definitely feeling a little out classed! Sue had a great race and we meet up later for the presentation dinner and dance. After a good amount of dancing we headed back to the hotel to leave the youngsters to it! Such great memories. I met her many times after in local races and we always had a good giggle. Such a sad loss. Sincere condolences to her family xx

  3. I am so shocked and saddened to learn of Sue’s passing, she was always enthusiastic, kind and helpful as a member of CARC, and, of course, an excellent runner,, My sincerest condolences to Mark,
    Sue will be missed by many members of the Herefordshire running community as well as her friends and family.

  4. So very sad to here this tragic news… Sue and I raced together for many years,such a smiley,kind soul.Thinking of Mark and all Sue’s family. Love in Running Sue, until we meet again. Nikki Tyler

  5. So saddened to hear this. When I joined Croft Ambrey RC over a decade ago, Sue welcomed me, encouraged me, gave me tips on how to run cross country and helped me gain speed as I raced to keep up with her!!! Sincere condolences to Sue’s family and those closest to her. Sue’s memory will live on in Croft Ambrey RC. Gemma Mallett

  6. Very shocked to hear the terrible news. I met Sue when I joined CARC beginner’s group in 2018. I well remember running up High Vinnals in my first month with the club. Sue looped back in the dark to check that I was alright. Don’t worry, she said, we will soon be at the car park. I don’t know the area very well and was rather dismayed to find that it was Blackpool car park, and that we still had to run back to the HV car park!
    On another occasion I was late due to a traffic accident so when I arrived at HV car park, there was only one head torch to be seen. I thought it must be a dog worker or mountain biker. But no, it was Sue: she had waited 15 mins for me. What a lovely kind and enthusiastic person.

  7. So very sad – I have only fond memories of Sue. She had the most distinctive light footed bouncy style that looked effortless. She was supportive and always sharing a laugh. Sending Mark and her family heartfelt condolences.

  8. The first time I came across Sue was around the wigmore roads, I’d just started running and she glided by me, I thought then that she looked like a ‘proper’ runner and made it look so effortless! I then joined Croft and did sessions with the beginners group and my son joined the juniors. Sue was always around providing encouragement and a love for running, her distinctive ponytail making her instantly recognisable.
    She will be so missed and my thoughts & condolences go to Mark and their families. Xx Gemma D

  9. Can’t believe this very sad news, ran alongside Sue at Presteigne for many years, taught me so much about running, her effortless style and talent, her humour and smiles will stay with me, you will be so missed Sue, RIP beautiful running lady, much love to Mark and the family xxx Mandy Evans

  10. I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Sue’s sudden death. Sue and Mark were very much the face of Croft when I first joined the club and couldn’t have been a better embodiment of the club’s values of being so friendly and accessible to runners of all abilities. Sue hid her prodigious talent and on training sessions was often happily jogging at the back having a chat and laugh. But when she raced she seemed to skim across the ground with her pony tail bobbing. I have particularly happy memories of Thursday training sessions during winter of 2019. Sending my heartfelt condolences to Mark and Sue’s family.

  11. Such horrible news. The wonderful pictures of Sue that you have collected give a vivid reminder of the lovely person we have lost, so full of life that it does not seem possible that she has gone.
    I first met her back in her Presteigne days, which must be over twenty years ago. I then saw more of her on several trips to the World Masters Mountain Running Champs, where she always did well. The 2008 event was held in Dolni Morava in the Czech Republic. Having run in the Championship race on the Saturday, she had enough energy to compete in the longer open race the following day and was tickled pink to win a bicycle for her efforts. But how to get it home? She rejected suggestions to ride it back and soon enough there were offers of help, with Ben Grant from Harrogate agreeing to stow it in his camper van and arrange for delivery in Wales. What a shame it was such an old boneshaker! But a great reminder of a memorable trip.
    A more recent memory for me was in the 2019 gruelling Llanthony Loop fell race when, having run out of fuel towards the end, I was passed by a spry-looking Sue. Now most runners revel in overtaking their fellows who are treading water. But not Sue, who apologised and seemed to slow up a bit to lessen my distress! But this isn’t to say she wasn’t competitive. Her large collection of awards points to the contrary. It’s just that she was competitive in the nicest possible way.
    Like so many others, I will miss you, Sue, and never forget that beautiful smile.

  12. Like everyone else, I was so sad and totally shocked to hear the news about Sue. She was one of the very first women I met when I joined Croft in 2011 – and there weren’t many of us! Initially I was in total awe and slightly intimidated watching her run – as she really was a class above any other female I had seen running locally. She had such a graceful style – long-legged like a gazelle and a real pleasure to watch. However, she was also one of the humblest runners I ever met; never pushing herself forward and always full of encouragement and advice for others. Softly spoken, she had a good sense of humour and we had quite a few giggles over the years at training sessions, races, Lucton multi events when we were having a break or things were tougher, wetter, muddier than we thought (or maybe just a few quiet digs at Mike B when he was being curmudgeonly!). I really missed seeing her at the club and races the past few years although I knew she was still doing a lot of other things and of course running. All my love and condolences to Mark and Sue’s family. RIP lovely Sue. xx

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