Communiuty News: Steyning A.C. - Remember the first time

The local runners of Steyning A.C. know that there’s a first time for everything. Not just for those who are new to running, but also for those who want to push themselves a little beyond their comfort zone. Being part of your local running club can be a great way to achieve something you may have never previously thought possible.

This relay covers the 100 mile South Downs Way (Eastbourne to Winchester) in one day. The route is divided into 18 legs, and each team member runs 3 of those legs (each leg being between 4 and 9 miles). The event is invitation only, and Steyning A.C. are one of those clubs invited.

'I've heard so much about this fantastic event from friends and club members, it became one of my goals. Even though I always wanted to do it, it scared me. I always thought I won't be able to do 3 runs in a day, with only a few our rest between legs' says Andrea.

During training a few times I wanted to pull out, as I got injured and the training wasn't going great. The day of the event was very hard, but we all helped each other. When I finished my last leg I got very emotional as I realised all is possible if we believe in ourselves. Steyning AC is not just a simple running club – having circuits, pilates, yoga and lots of support from the coaches helped me to achieve my goal.'

'After nearly 30 years running, I completed my first marathon (the Surrey Hills Challenge 42k) in September 2019. Running this hilly, off-road marathon, which mainly follows the Greensand Way in the North Downs, is a step towards my goal of running a 50k to celebrate my 50th birthday next year' says Tracy.

'Before the event I began to wonder if I had taken on too much. Excitement combined with fear, and the unknown hills of the North Downs, now loomed large. On event day itself, I feared I might finish last out of the small field of just over 100 runners. Sacrificing ‘speed’ for endurance, I discovered previously unknown reserves to achieve something I had always felt was beyond me. I enjoyed every moment.

The solitude of running is one of its key attractions for me. Yet, it was being part of a club that brought this challenge into reach. It was the inspiration drawn from the performances of my fellow runners that led me to seek a new challenge myself. Club mates were also a great source of useful practical tips, and it’s great being able to share your experience with fellow runners afterwards. No-one else will understand you in quite the same way.'

'The 2019 Brighton Marathon became a target for me because the Marathon is just the iconic race distance.
I had been a member of Steyning A.C. for 18 months before taking on this challenge – running 10k’s and Half Marathons – but never before taking on the full 26.2 miles'
says Huw.
'I was both excited and apprehensive before the race. But I knew there would be some fellow Steyning A.C. runners in the crowd, encouraging me on my way.

On the day, everything went to plan. I had a fantastic, memorable, day which left me with a great sense of achievement. It is within everyone’s capability to take on a challenge like this. Being a member of Steyning A.C. helped me because there is an abundance of experience that you can draw on from among those members – people who specialise in all of the distances you can run, from 5k Park Runs to Ultra-Marathons, as well as those who have achieved great things in other sports, such as IronMan, race walking and swimming.'

Since completing the Brighton Marathon, Huw has gone on to also finish the somewhat more undulating Beachy Head Marathon.

How to get involved:
Steyning A.C. is always welcoming of new members. If you want to take on a challenge of your own in 2020 then come and speak to us about how we might help you. There are currently no membership fees, so local runners can join us for FREE, and see if they like it.

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