Running and Life – Su Powell

running and life

Running & Life

Su Powell

Age: 60

How did you first get into running?

I think it all started in 2010 or 11 when my friend Denise was at Ludlow Running Club and I mentioned to her that I’d like to give running a go. She said if ‘I can get into running anyone can’. I didn’t join a club but decided to see if I could run The Hereford Half Marathon. I also secretly wanted to run The London Marathon one day.

I knew I needed to do some training so I went out into Shobdon Wood on my own and ran around there. One day I was out running and I heard some runners coming along one of the tracks. I didn’t want them to see me. I was thinking ‘oh no – there are proper runners coming’ – so I went and hid in the bushes!

It turned out that it was Patrick Pearson, Tom Davies and some others. They didn’t know I was hiding from them!

My husband knew Patrick and mentioned to him that I had started running. Patrick ended up persuading me and a friend to come along and give the summer cross country a go at Shobdon Court. We couldn’t score any points as we weren’t members but I loved it.

My husband, Derek, was working away a lot at that time and the children were at University. I decided to join Croft as they all seemed really friendly and it got me out of staying in on my own a couple of nights a week.

I did The Hereford Half and it went much better than I expected. I can’t remember the time though.

In 2012 I entered the ballot for the London Marathon. I didn’t get a place but was lucky enough to get a club place. Denise got a charity place and we shared the fund raising between us as it was quite a lot of money.

I remember doing the Rhayder Round The Lakes race as a part of my training for The Marathon. It’s 20 miles and about 6 weeks before London so perfect for London training. We had all seasons in one day when I did it. Bright sun at the start, then rain and snow and a gale at the top. I remember seeing Frank at the finish he was so cold as it was snowing

I managed to do the London Marathon in just over 4 hours which I was really pleased with. The only thing that put the damper on it was the bombing at The Boston Marathon a few weeks earlier. I didn’t want my family to come to watch me as I was worried about them. In the end they decided they were coming

I ran Dublin in 2015.  I wanted to get under 4 hours and managed it in about 3 hours 50 something which I was very happy with.

I did my first ultra this year – the 100km Race to the Stones. It was over 2 days and finished at Avebury Stone Circle.  

My best half was Worcester in 1:41. I did Hereford again in about the same time. I won my age group in Worcester although I didn’t know until Mike Blenkinsop told me as I hadn’t stayed for the prize giving.

I’ve managed to win age group prizes at The Storm the Castle Duathlon, Tenbury 10k, Shobdon Wood Hereford Half, Ron Skilton Half and again a couple of years later as part of a relay team with Sam plus some Cross Countries.

What’s a typical running week for you?

I try to run 3 times a week. It’s usually Tuesday and Thursdays at the club plus another slightly longer one.

What’s in the diary?

I’m hoping to run The Brown Clee Burn next week and maybe the Pembrokeshire Trail Half Marathon with the club next April.

Most Memorable Run

The 3 Peaks challenge in 2018 was brilliant. We went to loads of places to train. Mark Pavier, Sue Davis and Tom knew so many routes in the Beacons and locally.

We had a great team  Tom, Gary, Ian Price, Mark Pavier, Sue Davis and Flora plus two drivers.  

The mini bus ran out of diesel going up the hill to the start of the last mountain, Snowdon. We had to abandon our minibus. I just remember saying ‘we can’t give up now’ so we started trying to flag down vehicles. Eventually a mini bus stopped. He had just dropped his team off so he gave us a lift to the start.

We started in glorious sunshine at Ben Nevis at around 5pm and got to Scarfell for sunrise and then Snowdon in the afternoon. We managed to complete it all in about 19 hours which was pretty good I think. We got a gold age group prize.

Sue Davis and I said that we must do it again one day. We haven’t. Yet.

Any injuries you’ve struggled with?

I’ve got a problem with my right knee. It’s the cartilage. I’ve had it looked at and it’s because my one leg is out of line. The consultant said that I was probably doing more good than harm by running so I put up with it. It’s very stiff when I start then it eases up.

What do you most love about running?

I love that you can just take your shoes and run anywhere. It’s such a great way of seeing places. I’ve also made loads of good friends through running. It’s great to go somewhere new to run . I managed to run my fastest Parkrun (23 minutes something) in Torquay on my daughter in laws Hen Night!

What do you do for a living?

I’m a sales executive for NFU Mutual Insurance. The office is in Leominster. It’s mostly insurance for farms and agricultural businesses. I work 4 days a week now.

Who do you live with?

With my husband Derek.

Have you any pets?

Two springer Spaniels. Ruby is 9 year’s old and Maisie is 3.

Can you recommend a good book?

I loved ‘There is No Map in Hell’ by Steve Birkenshaw. It’s the story of his attempt to break Joss Naylor’s 1986 record of completing a continuous circuit of all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District in only seven days and one hour. It’s an amazing story and very inspiring.

1 thought on “Running and Life – Su Powell

  1. A nice article, Sue, and thanks for the mention, that Round The Lakes race was fine to start with but it turned into a very grim experience for me, you’re right I don’t think I’ve ever felt so cold at the end of a race., and you over took me on the Mall in that London marathon as my legs had turned into wood,,|I still think it was as a result of running ‘Round the lakes’. ,

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