Jane Gardiner

Social Secretary

 

I’ve always been a bit of a gym bunny, but I started running after the birth of my first child purely as a time-efficient way to get back into my jeans quickly.  I hated it, but stuck with it because the pressures of family life meant that it was so convenient to just be able to lace up and dash out of the door when the opportunity presented itself. 

 

I never considered myself a ‘proper runner’ though, and thought that perhaps if I entered some races then I would be.  I completed a couple of 10k’s – slowly – but still didn’t feel like a proper runner, so I entered the Paddock Wood Half Marathon.  Realising that I might need some support to get out of the door to train for this event, I decided to be brave and join the local running club, the Harriers.  I was terrified walking into the clubhouse that first evening back in 2014, but people were welcoming and I joined.

 

These days I certainly feel like a proper runner! I’ve now completed 6 marathons and hundreds of other running events, and running has become a huge part of my life.  I have met some amazing people and get to experience some incredible things, but more than that; rather than being something that I do purely to fit into my jeans, these days running is my headspace and my sense of sanctuary when sometimes life can get a bit too much.

 

I love the different ways in which you can set clear goals, push yourself and feel a sense of achievement through running, whether that’s with distance, speed or in supporting others.  The Harriers also have a Triathlon Section, and recently this has become a bit of a bad influence on me.  I set myself a goal last year to learn to swim so that I could take on Triathlon, something that I achieved with the support of the swim coaches at the Harriers.  This year I’ve competed in two triathlon events and swam the 2 mile Swim Serpentine event – something that would have been unthinkable for me a while ago. 

 

The next challenge for me is Ride London 100 – despite a spin bike obsession I am still a terrible cyclist in the real world, so if you see me on the floor having fallen off my bike again – please pause my Strava for me!

 

As the Social Secretary for the Harriers, it’s my job to make sure that there is balance to our training – it’s not all running, cycling and swimming – we like to have a good time too.  You’ll find me at the bar….