In the lead up to our Lesbian Visibility Day event on 24th April 2019 we have produced several bios. Here we meet Heather:
I joined NFR in 2015 because I was training for a triathlon, and what could be better than to combine training with socialising? I had started running with a friend – she wanted to do the Great North Run before she was 40, and I just sort of tagged along. We didn’t really have a clue, but despite our completely inappropriate training managed to run it all much to our surprise. After this, she stopped running and I drifted into triathlons.
I had known about NFR for a few years because I worked for a charity helping LGBT people, so it felt natural to me to try NFR first. I was quite nervous as I wasn’t a ‘runner’, but had been told by club members on the stall at Pride that they didn’t have a minimum pace, and I was surprised to discover that I was fast enough to be in the middle group. This group ran further than I was used to, so I chose to run with the group that didn’t run as far until I decided to increase the distance I was running.
When I was asked if I would like to become a run leader, I was initially scared at the thought of all that responsibility, but I received a lot of support and encouragement from the other leaders which really boosted my confidence. The leader’s course really highlighted to me how much the club does to help and support its runners, making sure no one is left behind, and providing variety and structure in the sessions offered to encourage well-rounded runners and help prevent injury. Over time as my confidence has increased I have been able to co-ordinate the Monday night run development sessions and assist with Strength and Conditioning sessions. This has coincided with increased responsibilities at work and attendance at Board meetings. I don’t think NFR can claim all the credit, but being encouraged to assert myself within the club’s supportive environment certainly hasn’t done me any harm!