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Club committee

Say hello to your SHAEF Shifters Club Committee

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Secretary: Nick Rowe
Fixtures/Marketing Officer: Rob Jones
Website/Kit Officer: Owen Delaney
Chair: Gary Neville
Treasurer: Ian Fullen
Membership Secretary: Louise Atkinson

Nick Rowe

Club Secretary

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When and how did you start running?

I managed to get a charity place in the 2011 London Marathon, having played regular football and other team sports all my life I thought I had a decent level of fitness but soon found out I wasn't running fit. However with 6 months of training (and the usual beginners injuries) I managed a sub 4 marathon and despite telling everyone before hand it was going to be a one time only event I was then hooked. Started running Bushy parkrun and started to speak to fellow runners who I saw each week and found the camaraderie that I was missing from team sports in my new favourite sporting pastime.

What have been your running highlights?

So many highlights. Have now done 10 marathons and managed to reduce PB to 3:21. I was also proud of my one and only ultra effort - 80 muddy hilly miles in a 24 hour race. Really enjoy racing and had some performances I'm very proud of including one magical weekend when I got my all time parkrun PB (19:01) then a 87 minute half marathon the next day. Been lucky to meet some great people through running, many of whom helped found SHAEF and have now done 250 parkruns including runs at 35 different events in a number of countries. Done some group events with the Shifters including Green Belt Relay and Copenhagen half and good to really get to know your club mates in a more social environment - and even see them out of lycra. Lucky enough to have many friends having now taken up running and always enjoy the events where there are a few of us there and a chance to sit back afterwards and share memories of the run (ideally over a cold beer).

Where's your favourite place to run?

Always take my running shoes wherever I go and have run in some amazing locations around the UK and world but if I had to choose one last run I'd have to go for where it all started .... Bushy Park - beautiful scenery and love how it changes so much during the seasons.


Rob Jones

Club Fixtures/Marketing Officer

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When and how did you start running?

As a teenager I ran track and XC for my local club which was Blackpool & Fylde AC. After starting at art college in the late 80s, other teenage distractions kicked in and running moved down my list of pastimes! Fast forward about 20 years and feeling decidedly unfit, I decided to go for a run in Bushy Park. I thought I’d covered a fair distance at the time, but looking back it was probably less than 2 miles! From then on I was hooked and thanks to having a brilliant parkrun right on my doorstep, I haven’t looked back.

What have been your running highlights?

I had a great year in 2016, everything clicked and I chalked up PBs across all the distances I run, apart from the Marathon. I’d say running the London Marathon for the first time in 2013 was a personal highlight. It was my first Marathon, it was London and I’d managed to bag a place through the ballot - on my first attempt! I’ve run it since then, but nothing beats the first time you experience it. Running has introduced me to many people, some of whom have become friends. I even met my girlfriend through running so I guess that’s the best highlight!

Where's your favourite place to run?

Easy. Bushy Park.


Owen Delaney

Club Website/Kit Officer

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When and how did you start running?

When we decided to start a family back in 2004, I realised I needed to do something if I was ever going to be able to run around after my kids! We started going to the gym, then when my wife did a bit of treadmill running, I thought well if she can, then so can I. Caught the bug pretty quick, and ran my first race at the Nike RunLondon 10K that year, and I haven't looked back since. Best thing I ever did.

What have been your running highlights?

There's quite a few. Starting this running club with a group of new friends has been a big highlight for me.
I'm part of the core volunteer group that started Moormead junior parkrun a couple of years ago, and it's now a regular weekend fixture for me and the kids, we love it.
In terms of personal acheivements, it has to be finishin completing the Arc of Attrition, a 100 mile foot race along the coastal path in Cornwall. It's a beautiful place to run, and it was an incredible experience running this event in 2017.

Where's your favourite place to run?

That's a difficult one. There are two places that hold the top spot for me, and each for a different reason. I love the solitude of running on Box Hill first thing in the morning as the sun is coming up, with the place to myself. There's something about that hill that keeps drawing me back. But you can't beat Bushy Park - I grew up in a house that backs onto the park, and spent my childhood running about playing there. It holds so many memories, old and recent, and is always going to be a pretty special place for me.


Gary Neville

Club Chairman

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When and how did you start running?

When I moved to Teddington from Scotland 10+ years ago I thought the time was right to gracefully retire from playing football (with my knees intact!). Also my mountain bike went into the shed (no Cairngorms nearby). With Bushy Park my new backyard it was pretty obvious that I had to take up running.

What have been your running highlights?

Started off running with an informal group of like minded folks several times a week, gradually building up fitness and confidence to attempt the Reading half marathon. Then after many years of putting up with peer pressure I finally got a ballot place in the 2014 London marathon and there were no more excuses for not running a 26.2. I did the work and delivered my target time! I took the learning from the experience and continue to enjoy the challenge of getting to the start line in the best possible shape to test myself and to enjoy each race. Also I’ve discovered that wherever you are in the world you can always find a friend or colleague to go for a run and explore the surroundings. However, you can’t beat a Sunday morning long run with a group of friends in the local parks and along the towpath, and even better if it’s frosty!

Where's your favourite place to run?

Easy it has to be Bushy and Home Parks although I do like a detour to Richmond Park to get in some hills!


Ian Fullen

Club Treasurer

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When and how did you start running?

I first started running when I was about 9-10 years old. I kept at it until I was about 16 and then as other things in life took priority I hung up my running spikes. When I hit 30 and was decidedly unfit I realised I needed to get into something active and chose to get back into it. My 'second' running career started like many people with lots of aches, pains and niggles, but after a year or so I was a fairly regular runner and really enjoying pushing myself to see what was possible.

What have been your running highlights?

To be honest, no one result or event really jumps out. That's one of the beauties of running that keeps you coming back for more; no matter what happens you always looks back and think you could do better. If I was to pick out three events I would say London marathon in 2017. I had been injured until just a few weeks before and had no expectation going into the race, but ended up running far better than I hoped for and felt great running along Embankment and into the finish. It was probably the first time I've really enjoyed the last 6 miles of the marathon! I'd also pick out taking part in the Ealing Half Marathon a few years back, which although wasn't particularly fast it was the first time I felt a bit of the 'bug' for running again. Lastly would be completing The Wall in 2017. As someone who used to run 800m on the track, my specialty is not running 69 miles but completing that in one piece and finishing in the top 10 is something that I am very proud of.

Where's your favourite place to run?

I would say I have two favourites. Firstly, I always enjoy running along the Thames towpath along the river out to Teddington, particularly the stretch around Kew Gardens. My favourite is late in the evening when its dark as I really enjoy the solitude and peace. It helps to know every step of the way as well after doing it so many times! Second would be a couple of the routes I used to run as a kid. I don't get to do them very often any more as I don't get up to Newcastle too much, but when I do it really takes me back to my younger days doing some serious training!


Louise Atkinson

Club Membership Secretary

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When and how did you start running?

In November 2009 I started working at St Mary’s University. My line manager had completed the London marathon that year and was a member of a club in the borough. I was impressed on two counts. 1. she had smashed a marathon and 2. she had a huge circle of friends through running (although I did find it slightly odd that anyone would want to get up before 9 am on a Saturday to run in the park!). She inspired me to believe that I could do a marathon if she could. So having run for no longer than 15 minutes on the treadmill I signed up for the Reading Half Marathon.
I still remember the disbelief when I told my parents.
My mum: “you know 13.1 miles is a really long way…”,
My dad: “It’ll ruin your knees”.
Needless to say, I did it and it turns out this running thing is seriously contagious. I’ve now done 3 marathons and both my parents (as well as my partner – who I met through running) are keen runners. My dad ran the Boston marathon last year, my mum is running her first marathon at London this year and it’s back to Boston again this year for my partner. It is a long way, but luckily all our knees are still intact.

What have been your running highlights?

1). That first ever race / half marathon at Reading. I was so nervous beforehand, but soooo proud of what I’d achieved and that I’d raised some money for charity in the process.
2). My parkrun pb at Bushy (23:06)… my dream is to one day shave off those vital 7 seconds and be a 22 minute parkrunner. But I have a LOT of work to do.
3). Berlin marathon in 2017. My slowest out of the three marathons I’ve run but by far the most fun.

Where's your favourite place to run?

I love cross country running so anywhere out in the countryside with lots of hills and plenty of mud.

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