Name: Steph Main
How did you first get into running?
It was a bit a of an odd one. When I was young I was in The Pony Club and was asked if I wanted to do something called a ‘Tetrathlon’. It was a competition that involved a cross-country ride, run, swim and shooting. I could ride and swim but wasn’t sure about the running and shooting. It turned out that I could run. I wasn’t that good at shooting though!
I ended up focussing on running, competing in school and then became a member of Hereford AC. I loved it. I was a teenager and it was a great way to get away with people my age. We would travel by coach all over the place. I ran Cross Country and 800m and 1500m on the track. Sometimes the 3,000m.
I went to Uni in Liverpool and studied Sociology. I was in the Cross Country Team and did quite well. One day I was out running around the streets in Liverpool and a guy in a car pulled up alongside me and asked if I would like to train with Liverpool Harriers. It was all a bit strange but I said yes and ended up training with a really talented group of runners. It was hard work, we trained pretty much everyday but I made massive improvements. Unfortunately I got shin splints which made training and competing really difficult.
After Uni I moved to Brighton and joined Brighton & Hove AC competing in track, road and Cross country events. I was selected to run for Sussex in the Cross Country championships. Then I got knocked off my bike. There was massive bruising on my leg which turned sceptic. It’s the reason my one leg still looks a bit funny now. There’s a sort of dent in the muscle.
Running took a bit of a back seat after that. Partly due to the injuries and partly just because day to day life took over with having children and all that. I moved back to Herefordshire in 2008 because my sister lived up here and i had enjoyed growing up here. I joined Croft in 2014. My first race was Shobdon Wood. I was in the winning women’s team with Irina Dale and Sue Davies.
What’s a typical running week for you?
I don’t do nearly as much running as a feel I should. I’m only running around 12 miles a week at the moment. I did up it a bit before The Offa’s Dyke. That was the longest run I’ve ever done. I ran a lot of it with Jo Tilby and loved it. I finished in 2.37.
A lot of the time I’ll just pull up in a layby and find a bridle way or foot path. There’s a few routes around Knighton where I live that I do but I really enjoy discovering new places. It goes wrong quite often and I have to back track – but I always get a run out of it.
I’m happy running on my own. It might be because so much of my early running was all about teams and times and doing competitions. I just run for pleasure now.
What’s in the diary?
Absolutely nothing! I need to do some research and enter something. It will probably get me out running a bit more if I have something to train for.
Any injuries you’ve struggled with?
Shin Splints have been the injury that’s held me back. I tend to wear stability trainers and stay off road. I’m also cautious about running too much. I don’t want to risk not being able to run at all. I’m just glad I can do it. We’re very lucky really.
What do you most love about running?
I think it’s just getting the headspace; getting out into the countryside, enjoying the freedom of being able to go wherever you want. I’ve always loved this part of the world, it’s so quiet compared to a lot of the country and it’s easy to run off road. I went out a couple of weeks ago and ended up soaking wet and getting stung but I got back and thought – you know what, I really enjoyed that!
What do you do for a living?
I work for a company that make screening buckets that go on the front of JCB’s. It’s so they can take top soil, get rid of knot weed; even clear land mines. I do a bit of everything for them. Dealing with suppliers and customers, ordering parts in etc.
Who do you live with?
With my two children. Jude is 16 now and and Ivy is 13.
Have you any pets?
What’s your favourite Cornetto flavour?
Mint Choc Chip.