Hi my name is Carolyn. When I started running in 2012 I decided I needed a club but being a trans woman was nervous how I would be treated. Going to Pride that year I saw leaflets for Northern Frontrunners and after a couple of months decided to pop by and see what they were like. It was a small group and I was the only female but everyone was really friendly. When we went out for the run I was left at the back but Cameron pulled back to stay with me and this was the start of our “never leave anyone on their own at the back” policy. At the end of the run I was asked by all if I was going to stay; I did and became the first female member. With Steven Duffy’s and others’ encouragement I tried to increase the female membership, making sure I was always at the pool to meet and greet even if injured. They also encouraged me to be on the committee and become a LIRF (Leader in Running and Fitness), where I concentrated on those who had not run before or coming back from injury.
Whilst on the committee I made sure we had more female products in the goody bags for the LGBT5k and also brought in the medals – designing the first 2. This is the ethos of the club where if you have an idea you can put it to the club and they will listen which makes all members feel they can improve the club. The club became Newcastle Frontrunners in 2017, and that year at the AGM I received a Special Achievement award for my 108 races in the year.
I feel that the club has not only improved my running but brought out more in me as I’ve never helped to organise an event before this or wanted to be on a committee. It makes me proud to see how the club has grown over the years and especially the amount of females and the diversity of the club.