Meet Our Team Captains

 

Jamie Smith – Men’s Team Captain.

I have been a club member since 2015, however I have been involved within the running scene in Reading for over 15 years.
I was store manager of the Reading Sweatshop where I started both the weekly running groups and 10 years ago starting up the Reading parkrun.

I am extremely proud to have started both of these and helped to encourage many thousands of runners to either start their running journey or improve many personal bests!

My own running journey started when I was inspired watching Linford Christie win Olympic gold at the Barcelona Olympics, heading straight out into the street to race my siblings and friends. That sowed the seed, along with every April being glued to the TV watching the many thousands run the London marathon.

I joined the local running club (Aldershot) having been asked by the club coach after a district sports cross-country race at the age of 12. Little did I know that over ten years later I would have continued to race under the same coaches guidance and support. In that period I was lucky enough to win county championship track and cross-country medals and compete at a national level in both of these.

I come from a family with 3 siblings who all still run in various ways, parkruns, marathons and in the gym. We all ran for the same club, had the same coach and had a variety of success.

As I got older and work commitments over took, my running slowed down but my enthusiasm didn’t, I simple moved up the distances and changed my goals. I moved to running on the roads, and to date I have run over 15 marathons, in London, Edinburgh, New York, and having set my current PB at the Thames Meander.

I joined Reading Roadrunners, in 2015 looking to make new friends, and find a new challenge. I had just started a new job within the sports industry and had recently fully qualified as a personal trainer. I mainly needed people to run with and help to get me out the door.

There is no greater feeling then running with a group of friends, and a commitment to run with others is always a good motivation.

My current goals are the run a sub 75 half marathon, and a sub 2.50 marathon.

As club captain I aim to increase club participation in local, regional and national races. Whilst looking to win the TVXC, improved position in the Hampshire, and qualify teams for the national road relay championships both 6 and 12 stage.

We have a great club, with many fantastic assets none more so then the wonderful runners who wear the green vest. The support we all get during a race simply for wearing the club vest is incredible and it drives us all on to achieve our goals.

I hope that I can encourage everyone to put the green vest on and step onto the startline to achieve there goals.

 


Sam Whalley – Women’s Team Captain

I have been a member of Reading Roadrunners since 2015. I had barely ever exercised before I moved to Reading from London in 2006, then found that living near a lake and so many parks made it so much easier to get out there and run!

I trained for a few 10ks, and ran my first half marathon in 2010. Then the combination of a dodgy knee and teacher training workload meant that I put running on the back burner for a while (I can’t imagine doing that now!). My interest in running was rekindled when David Walliams swam the Thames. I was so inspired that I entered my whole family into the Sport Relief Mile, and we trained together.

On race day, my husband and I realised that our children (twin girls then aged 9, and a boy who was 12) were actually really good at running (we could barely keep up), and it grew from there. As a family, we became regulars at Woodley parkrun, where I went on to become the Event Director for three years, and became motivated to enter more and more races.

I met many people who were Reading Roadrunners, and was intrigued by the camaraderie of the green vests, and secretly envious of the support they always received in races. I joined just after my first marathon (I got a ballot place for London on my first attempt – result!), and have never looked back.

Being a Reading Roadrunner has taught me how to warm up and stretch properly, how to pace myself, that I even have different paces, how to run up and down hills, and that I can be a valuable member of a team. I never thought I would love cross country, but I do. I never thought I would run solo along an unsigned stretch of the Ridgeway, but I have. I never thought I would want to spend a whole weekend running and camping, but I couldn’t help but join in, every year.

As captain of the women’s team, I aim to encourage as many female members as possible to have a go at representing the club at new distances and events – mud, hills, camping and all; I look forward to running with you!


Both of our Team Captains can be contacted on teamcaptains@readingroadrunners.org