This is the first in a series of fun features, where we ask a few questions of individual Club Members…and after we’ve grilled them, they “pass on the baton” by nominating someone else!
Who better to kick things off than 2019 Club Member of the Year, Lisa Cleary…and Lisa being Lisa (she likes a bit of chat!) she even answered a bonus question on how she came to join Penarth and Dinas Runners in the first place. Take it away Lis….
WHEN DID RUNNING START FOR YOU?
I’ve always been active and loved running. My earliest recollection was winning a street party race, no idea what year or occasion. It was nothing official, just chalk lines on the road with the Dads sorting the start and finish. One of the Dads suggested that they shouldn’t give me prize money for winning, as it could jeopardise a future amateur athletic career! ( I wish!). In those days all athletes were amateur and I can remember being absolutely gutted and comparing my winnings of a big bag of sweets against my friend’s money winnings! My lovely Mum, being just 4’11 tall, won the sack race because the sacks were too small for everyone else!
Around 1974/75, when I was 10/11 (wow, you’re not THAT old I can hear you thinking!) there used to be a great event called Town Sports, a competition between all standard 4 (year 6) primary schools in Barry. You were able to compete in Town Sports if you won an event at your primary school’s sports day. It was an honour to represent your school and a highly competitive inter-school competition, with many different events including: skipping race, obstacle and flat races. I ran 75m or 100m and at the finish line I was handed a leaflet about joining Barry & Vale Harriers. My friend Tracey and I decided to give it a go, it would get us out of attending Barry Children’s choir and I was just about to join a local Jazz Band but hated the uniform, so was a great excuse to join. I loved every moment of being a member of Barry & Vale Harriers, I had a go at most events but found I was better at middle distance and cross country. I have such great memories of my days with B&V – travelling to events on a coach, 3 to a seat (no H&S in those days!). Our bus driver, Mr Lewis, was the loudest supporter you ever heard (yep louder than Chris Nellins!), it was like a big family. Such great team spirit (just like P&D ). For some of the Cross Country events, we picked up Steve Jones (yep THE Steve Jones) as he was based at St Athan! (sorry for shameful name-dropping!).
Ed’s comment….Lisa hooked up with Steve again at a recent Chicago Marathon, before he could escape!
The rest is history …… I’ve been running ever since (give or take a few years), I was also a coach at the club for many years and I’m honoured to be a Lifetime member of Barry & Vale Harriers.
Ed’s comment….here’s 18 year old Lisa training on the beach with twin brother Byron in preparation for the 1982 London Marathon, as featured on the Local TV News!
WHY DO YOU RUN?
I run because I enjoy it, I love every aspect of it, especially the social side I’ve met the most amazing people and visited places I never would have dreamed of going. It makes me feel good and also means I can eat and drink more! I’m also a bit competitive and glad of all the achievements I’ve made along the way.
WHAT RACE OR MOMENT IN YOUR RUNNING CAREER HOLDS THE MOST SIGNIFICANCE AND WHY?
I think it has to be representing Welsh Masters at Cross Country in 2012 in Belfast (rocky flight there, I don’t think any of the team would ever fly with me again!) and 2014 in Nottingham. My wonderful and very supportive Mum, who died when I was 23, would have been so proud. She had a shelving unit made by a neighbour especially for my trophies/medals etc and used to bore the neighbours and her friends with my achievements!
WHO IS YOUR RUNNING INSPIRATION?
Daley Thompson – Decathlete. I met him at an event, I think it was Cwmbran Stadium, where local running clubs regularly volunteered to help officiate with big events – kit collecting, sand pit raking, score board changes etc (made it on TV a few times no idea why they made us wear school uniform!) Daley was just so friendly, he chatted to us all and signed autographs. I loved watching his awesome achievements over the years, amazing to be so good at so many events and was such a character. I met him again a few years back, he was something to do with the Barnardo’s Bike Ride – I overtook him around half way, he had gained a little weight!
WHAT EVENT, PAST OR PRESENT, WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE PART IN AND WHY?
Great Wall of China is only marathon on top of my ‘to do’ list, not sure if I’ll ever get to do it, certainly not in the near future, but plenty of others to chose from if not!
WHAT GOLDEN PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER RUNNERS?
Set goals, follow a schedule, be confident and enjoy the fabulous journey (also, following my recent fall – wear ID or take a phone during long runs!)
ANY RUNNING SUPERSTITIONS?
I always put my left sock and shoe/spike on first! When counting during a race (going thru a bad patch – Paula Radcliffe does it!) I count each time my right foot hits the ground!
Not sure at this present time. I was hoping to run 10 marathons this year but looking very unlikely. Hoping to run as many marathons as I can before I get too old! No plans to do an ultra but who knows? Just happy to keep running for as long as I can.
Ed’s comment…Lisa enjoyed some success at the Barry Track Marathon a couple of year’s back; maybe have a go at the 40?!
HOW DID YOU JOIN P & D
After lifetime member of B&V …….
A group of us then made up a side-line to Barry & Vale Harriers – Barry Road Runners (some local legends were members – Phil Cook, Mick McGeoch, Martin Haley). We used to go for a 7 mile run on a Tuesday then end up in the pub afterwards! It was quite a competitive team – I think I recall them coming top 3 in Castles relay. We also did some charity events – we ran from Barry near Dundee to Barry and had great fun along the way.
Ed’s comment…here’s a photo of the Relay team, courtesy of Martin Haley
I didn’t do any competitive running tor a while, was busy with children but decided I’d like to run again. I went along to a Cardiff running club (I knew quite a few members!) but was left in the middle of Heath Park!
I entered Penarth Chandlers 10k organised by P&D and as I’d registered unattached (B&V was mostly children and Barry Road Runners had disbanded), my number came back with a little note asking why didn’t I pop along to join P&D! What a great way to get new members! I joined in 2000, same day as Pete Cottnam! It was one of the best things I ever did was go along, everyone was just so friendly and welcoming …… the rest is history!!!
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO NOMINATE?
Thank you Lisa for kicking off this feature, looking forward to lots more individual stories from your Club mates! Simon W.
Another Barry “Old Boy” Mick McGeogh has collated all of Lisa’s marathon performances, and it makes impressive reading. Thanks Mick!
No. Date Event Position Time
1 09 May 1982 London 11740 4:18:05
2 17 April 1983 London 8826 3:49:27
3 17 April 2005 London 10855 4:00:33
4 30 October 2010 Snowdonia 392 3:54:20
5 22 April 2012 London 5261 3:34:06
6 27 May 2012 Edinburgh 1227 3:35:47
7 21 April 2013 London 5055 3:33:13
8 29 September 2013 Loch Ness (downhill) 360 3:28:40
9 13 April 2014 London 7304 3:43:45
10 25 May 2014 Liverpool 571 3:43:33
11 13 July 2014 Tenby 171 3:51:22
12 25 October 2014 Snowdonia 311 3:42:31
13 09 November 2014 Athens 1346 3:42:30
14 26 April 2015 London 8169 3:41:42
15 24 October 2015 Snowdonia 914 4:20:19
16 18 April 2016 Boston 18196 4:13:22
17 24 April 2016 London 9903 3:46:06
18 29 May 2016 Liverpool 934 4:08:49
19 29 October 2016 Snowdonia 796 4:13:16
20 10 December 2016 Lanzarote 210 4:01:45
21 23 April 2017 London 10603 3:50:22
22 28 May 2017 Liverpool 910 3:53:11
23 25 June 2017 Boddington 10 (1 lady) 3:51:11
24 15 July 2017 Cardiff (Great Celtic) 53 4:37:02
25 28 October 2017 Snowdonia 597 4:04:06
26 05 November 2017 New York 16994 4:08:40
27 09 December 2017 Lanzarote 264 4:05:35
28 14 January 2018 Gloucester 92 3:45:21
29 11 March 2018 Barry (Track) 2 (1 lady) 3:35:34
30 22 April 2018 London 8216 3:53:21
31 29 April 2018 Newport 677 3:42:33
32 20 May 2018 Liverpool 617 3:53:20
33 16 September 2018 Berlin 2375 lady 3:55:30
34 07 October 2018 Chicago 12407 3:54:32
35 27 October 2018 Snowdonia 898 4:20:43
36 25 November 2018 Margam Park 10 4:14:26
37 08 December 2018 Lanzarote 339 4:29:35
38 03 March 2019 Tokyo 10938 4:02:06
39 26 October 2019 Snowdonia 1167 4:37:53
40 15 December 2019 Malaga 2264 4:09:43