17 Aug In the Spotlight – Cath Tailby

When did running begin for you?

I started running in my mid-twenties to balance my intake of Strongbow and take out curries!

My first sport had been as a Tennis junior training and competing at Regional Level. I continue to play tennis competitively, but it’s running that I enjoy the most.

I did circuit training at Cogan Leisure Centre for general fitness. A few of us one year decided to enter the P&D Chandlers 10k Road Race. I felt I had a fairly good level of fitness until I tried to run up Beach Hill! My competitive edge then took over and I felt I had plenty of room for improvement if I trained harder.

Why do you run?

I enjoy the fact that running is a sport in which only you can take responsibility for your results. If someone runs past you then they are running better than you. As a consequence I feel that the running community is a generally supportive and respectful group. Anyone who runs realises the effort and often discomfort it takes, regardless of times or achievements. The effort and dedication is the same for everyone.

What race or moment in your running career holds the most significance and why?

When I look back, I’m particularly amazed at how Andrew Palmer and I survived weekly track sessions for many years! We were lucky to have a great coach/mentor/friend who could predict our race times to the second. As Andrew and Lisa will agree we had to have a very good work ethic and listen or he became less than pleased! The times we ran around the track with me following Andrew (who we called the metronome) now seem amazing to me!

Another outstanding moment that I remember vividly was being very cold at the end of one infamous Brecon Cross Country Race – what a race that was ladies!

Who is your running inspiration?

I’m inspired by the more “senior” runners who may finish last but still compete in every cross-country race. Those ladies are truly strong and inspiring.

My long-term goal has always been to still be competing in the Gwent League when I’m the slowest, most senior runner there.

What event past or present would you like to take part in and why?

I would like to go back to a simpler time when you turned up at Lliswerry 8 on the day and entered the race an hour before the start for a fiver! It was my longest race of the year for many years, which many people found surprising.

What golden bit of advice would you give to other runners?

I remember vividly the advice I was given many years ago by “proper” runners at my first cross country in Singleton Park. My Les Croupiers team-mates told me “do not go off too fast it’s different in the mud”. Having ignored their advice that day I quickly realised they were right as I struggled to the end. So, my advice would be to start a cross country steadily, throw yourself down the hills, finish strongly in the mud and don’t skirt around the puddles!!

What’s next?

To embrace being the youngest in my new Age Category!

As a post -script – no, I’m never doing a marathon and as I’ve always said 8 miles is far enough!!

I would like to nominate Malcolm Bradley for next week. Looking forward to reading his sage words (Ed: and trying to get past him in Gwent League encounters!)

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