Run Leaders

Glenn Davies

Lisa Duce

Dan Edmondson

I started running when I was a teenager, focusing mainly on middle distance athletics and cross country. Fast forward a few years and several injuries later I now prefer the shorter road distances of 5km and 10km. Sport and running especially has been a vital part of my life, so much so it has taken me in to the career I have today, or at least the injuries pushed in to healthcare to help others. The community that is so amazing throughout the striders is the reason why I came back to running and enjoy it so much; there is no club that I’ve come across that is able to involve every type of runner and help each other the way the striders do. They truly are an amazing set up that makes it so much more enjoyable to be a part of.
Neil Hacon

I have been running for more than 30 years, the last 15 with Sittingbourne Striders.
I enjoy both training & racing and over the years have raced anything from 10k to the Marathon. The highlight of each year for me is the cross country season, especially the Minnis Bay race!
I am a firm believer in mixing training up with a combination of easy paced, tempo and interval runs (I encourage anyone to join in the Thursday night interval sessions).
My favourite road race distance is 10 miles and my favourite race completed so far has been the Barcelona Marathon (It takes you past some of the best tourist spots in the city).
I am also a keep triathlete and have found the cross training compliments my running (especially as I getting older!)
The friendliness, camaraderie and encouragement provided within the club has been amazing and that is the reason I truly believe Sittingbourne Striders is Kent’s premier running and triathlon club.
Emma Higgins

I started running in January of 2017 after being encouraged to sign up for Emma’s Bourne 2 Run Beginner’s course of which I am now encouraging and helping others achieve their goals. Upon completing the course, I joined the Striders and quickly discovered not only are they are running club but they have a large social scene and I have made a number of friends. I was previously on medication for a couple of health issues and still can’t believe that I am now medication free and can call myself a runner none of which could have been achieved without the support and encouragement of the club. I have now completed several half marathons and most recently Beachy Head Marathon being my first! and I am currently training for my first road marathon. I have also discovered a love of trail running and have joined the club’s cross-country team.
Emma Hudson-Wright

My mum got me in to running, she started when she was 50 and encouraged me to do it after having my second child and putting on quite a bit of weight!
To begin with I ran alone which was hard to do and when I started putting more distance in that’s when my Mum (who had joined a club in Sussex) said it would be good to join a local club especially with dark nights coming and have some company and help with achieving some goals.
It took me about 6 months to pluck up the courage to attend a Striders training night but I eventually did and it was the best thing I ever did!
I have been with the club for about 12 years now and have achieved 5ks, 10ks, 10 miles, half marathons and 8 marathons and been lucky enough to do London 3 times through the ballot.
I have also been very involved with the club, I arrange the Tuesday night run sessions, have been XC country captain, race director, a member of the committee and my biggest achievement and something I’m very proud of now carry the position of Chairwoman.
I have also for the last 7 years ran a beginners group 0-10k in 12 weeks and run these 3 times a year along with fellow Striders and we also run a boot camp group in the Summer, through the beginners we encourage people to join the Striders and have many that are now very active members within the club and who have gone on to achieve so many personal goals which is great to see.
Sittingbourne Striders is a fantastic running club to be a part of, the club has gone from strength to strength and all the members are very welcoming and encourage each other in whatever they do whether it’s a park run Pb or an Ultra race the support people have for each other is just fantastic.
I’ve made many friends through being with the club and am so glad I went along on that Tuesday night years ago, even though they made me run up Stockers hill for my first club session which could have put me off completely!
Vanessa Patching

When my husband Andy joined striders I was encouraged to join as well even though I didn’t think I was a runner
Now after 4 years of help and support from many strider members I’ve gone from running to the end of the road to completing the London marathon
Gary Read

I started running about 6 years ago, but wasn't a member of Sittingbourne Striders, I felt that after a year of running I wasn't progressing and motivation was dying. So I joined Sittingbourne Striders about 5 years ago to have more motivation to get out there and do more runs and use other runners experience to help me improve, which it has. Hopefully now new members can ask me or other run leaders for the same advise to help and encourage them.
Kevin Rye

I started my running journey shortly before my eldest daughter was born in 2009. I had stopped playing regular football and was looking to do something purely to try and keep myself fit. I knew very little about running, other than my dislike of cross country at school! I ran on my own, not big distances or with any real consideration for pace or time. My passion for running started to grow and became something much more than just about fitness. It was growing into a part of my life that became really important to me. I had entered as few local races and was aware of the Sittingbourne striders. Back then I can remember thinking a running club was for a certain ‘type’ of runner, probably not for me…I wasn’t serious enough. I took part in the Striders 10-mile road race and this was the catalyst to change things. I picked up on a feeling there that the Striders took pride in their club and belonged to something they really valued. So, I took the leap of faith…...turned up on a Tuesday night, with a little trepidation…...and have never looked back. The Striders have provided encouragement, knowledge, support and motivation since that very first Tuesday. A club that values all runners of all abilities with members who take as much pride in the achievement of others as they do their own. I have made some great friends and achieved things I didn’t know I would. Being a run leader is something I enjoy and allows me to give something back to a club that has given me so much. Taking that leap of faith all those Tuesday’s ago has added something I now wouldn’t want to be without!
Marriane Seaward

I started running with Emma's beginners group as I wasn't a runner she helped me run 10k in 12 weeks without stopping, so I wanted to give something back and for the last 4 years I have been helping others with there running and I love every minute of it.
Helen Shears

After being unwell and deciding to stop smoking I needed something to keep the weight down and fitness up so decided to train for a 5k but then was left not really knowing where to go from there and searched for a local running club to guide me.

Sittingbourne Striders were top of the list and after contacting them was invited to join one of their club runs, although very nervous I have never looked back. Since joining I have achieved many 5k, 10k, Half Marathons and I will be completing my third marathon this year.

The Striders encouraged me to become one of their run leaders and lead club runs and social weekend runs and I am also now passing on the experience and knowledge that they have helped me gain to help others achieve their goals.

Sittingbourne Striders are not just a running club for me but an extension of my family and I would not be where I am today if I hadn't of taken that first step in contacting them. You will find people from all walks of life, all ages and various fitness levels from complete beginners to the more experienced Iron Men/Women with so much support and encouragement from each and every member.
Roy Shears

In Dec 2015 I lost my Dad to cancer and at this time was smoking about twenty cigarettes a day, so decided that this was time and the reason to turn my own life around and this is when I decided to try running and maybe explore some other things.
I became a member of the Sittingbourne Striders and I have made a lot of friends there and they are like my extended family. I have become a qualified run leader and I very quickly became even more involved and have recently become an active committee member amongst many other things.
I have recently looked further into our Triathlon side with a new goal of achieving an Iron Man.
This club has so much to give and will always support you in everything you would like to achieve and has helped me turn my health and life around.
Barry Simmons

Running for me started in the pub – a friend & I back in 1995 agreed to run the London Marathon “if the other one did”! So my first EVER race was the 1997 London Marathon.

By 2005 I had completed 9 consecutive Great North Runs and 2 London Marathons, but barely any other races. By then, training on my own meant that I was losing motivation, so we joined Sittingbourne Striders, when numbers were a lot smaller than they are now. I have tended to concentrate on 10k and 10 mile distances since then. Alongside Julie Southall, I took over leadership of the 6:30 group in 2013 and have seen it grow from a mere handful to in excess of 20 people each week.
Jen Simpson

I started running during a summer break from University ten years ago when I was helping my Mum with her training for a 5k race. When I returned back to University in Brighton, I continued to run on my own and before I knew it I had entered Dartford Half Marathon for the following year.
I joined the Striders after returning back from University to start my new career. I decided I needed to find a hobby as I wanted to meet new people after being away from the town for 4 years. One Tuesday, I ran passed the club where everyone met and I was too scared to stop. However, after a serious talking to myself the following week I decided to stop and I am so glad I did.
Running with the club has been a huge part of my life in the last 5 years. I can’t believe the amount I have achieved and the different races I have participated in. I was a person who hated long distance running and now I have completed four marathons.
I have made some wonderful friends and met my husband through the club. What I like about the club is the social element and I have some fantastic memories with the friends I have made. I would not have achieved my running accomplishments without the help of friends and members of the Striders.

Julie Southall

When I was at school I would almost run a mile to get out of doing exercise!

It was through an old boyfriend, whose weekends consisted of playing cricket, that I was encouraged to take up an interest of my own, initially badminton and swimming but then I started running regularly in the late 1990’s. This was mainly because Barry Simmons and two of our friends signed up to the Great North Run and I did not want to be left out – well, if they could do it then so could I! Amazingly I did it and I enjoyed it. Since then, I have completed 5 consecutive Great North Runs, along with other half marathons, 10 miles and 10k races.

Nowadays, I realise that running is not all about races. In fact, I now prefer just being able to go out and run with like-minded people and if one thing is for sure, being part of a club you are never going to be short of a running buddy.
Gina Woodfine

I started my running journey on the treadmill in the gym. This soon became tedious when I was running for an hour at a time and decided I needed to get out on the road to mix things up a bit. I ran on my own for about 6/7 years and the only race I’d entered was the Sittingbourne 10k, and then decided it would be a nice idea to join Sittingbourne Striders for some company and a bit more motivation. I have now been with the Striders for 4 years and love it! Before I joined I had managed to run up to 10 miles and since that time I have completed 4 marathons and countless half marathons and 10k’s. I have also taken up cycling with Striders Tri and have been doing this for just over a year now and completed my first triathlon this year coming 5th overall and 1st female, something I never thought would happen. I always said I would never do one but my fellow Striders can be very persuasive! Everyone is super friendly and supportive.