This months Harrier of the Month is another stalwart of the Club, Julie Stanton. I’m not sure that I can give a suitable introduction to such a lovely set of answers to my questions, so I won’t try. But when I think of Julie, I think of ‘good’, and that’s as much as I can say. 

How long have you been running with the club?

I first joined in about 2003 and eventually bailed out around 2006 because of recurrent shin splints. I was getting tibial stress fractures and despite trying numerous different things I couldn’t get round it. Felt I had to just accept that I don’t have the biomechanics to run. I was gutted about that, because for me no other form of exercise comes close to the feeling I get from running when I am fit. In late 2011 I met Steve Longfellow at the gym. He had been our best runner during my first stint with the club and he persuaded me to give running one more try. So I did. And here I still am, to my surprise.

What made you start running?

I started in 2003 because I was turned 40, working too hard and wanted to improve both physical and mental health. I came back in 2011/12 because I was very keen to get my friend Kat into running. I had done some cycling with her and could see she had a good physique for a runner. Life had come off the rails for her. The constant comparison between where she was and where she thought she ought to be was unhelpful. So taking up something new that she had never done before and succeeding at it seemed like a cunning plan. I hoped my shins would hold out for long enough to get her hooked and sufficiently confident before I had to bail out.

Biggest running achievement?

I see it more as a gift than as an achievement. It’s having the health, strength and opportunity to still be running regularly. I am grateful for it.

Favourite race?

Life. And it’s all about the purpose, the pace and the company.

Any Running Tips?

Just get off your *rse and do it. Be consistent in quantity, varied in content. And stretch.

I sometimes wonder why I am able to run regularly now when I could not do so 15 years ago. It’s a combination I think of a few kilos weight loss (less hammer on the shins), training more consistently, stretching regularly and altering my gait.

Best thing about being part of Crossgates Harriers?

The money, the glory and the fame are what keep me turning out on club night. Apart from that, Harriers have been more than a running club to me. The club has, largely without knowing, helped me through a significant depression and some major life events. There have been times when it has taken courage and perseverance to come along, particularly after Kat died from her alcohol dependence in 2015. And plenty of times when I have loved it. There is something very therapeutic about running with people through the good times and the bad. And it’s surprising what you get to talk about.