Neville Rowles – his Redway Runner journey

Hi Martin,

Now that I am in my second year of membership of the merry band called Redway runners I thought it was time to pass on my thanks for the help, encouragement and teamwork from all of the members but particularly the inspiration from the leaders.

I was a half decent runner in my youth representing my County as an everpresent in cross country and middle distance from 11 until 19 and could churn out some pretty decent times as I moved through the agegroups, then work happened and it all fell apart. I fell out of love with running and infact pretty much sport in general as a participant. my lifestyle changed and over the years my body shape and general health changed and work stress levels increased.

Without going into too much detail, 2015 and the early part of 2016 has proven to be a life changing year for me in a number of ways, starting out on my own for a career, running a half marathon (or two), losing a bit of weight and trying “hot yoga” 🙂

After finally stopping running at about 21 years old I swore I would never run again as I could never replicate the times of my late teens. Oh how wrong could I be !! Along came Paul Macloskey who I have known for a number of years, who praised and preached about Redway runners like a canvasser for a politician. Following several months of Paul’s cajoling, I eventually joined you for last years Sunday run at Salcey Forest and, despite a few hiccups and general lethargy on my part, I have never looked back !!

Since joining the club I have been made to feel incredibly welcome, I have been actively encouraged, supported and guided and, when I am having a bad day which we all have, I have been cajoled and subtly pushed along to achieve the perceived achievable !! The ethos of encourage and be encouraged that is embedded in the club is amazing.

It’s not been an easy journey, but then nothing worthwhile ever is. The set up at RR’s is amazing and the support network fantastic, the way that the runs are organised are absolutely superb as one can chose how one runs on each occasion. Coming from a formal athletics club background where all runs were extremely competitive even when they were not supposed to be I was hesitant to join initially as I was worried that I would lose face and not be able to keep up, but the way that you and your team have it all laid out is super-fantastic as one chooses the pace and the loop back system works a treat.

I know that as I near the half century that new personal bests on the track are probably not going to happen, well not at 400, 800 and 1500 anyway, but the exciting thing is that as I have grown older and improved in confidence within the group, my ability to run longer has definitely improved !! My personal journey over the last seven months has been a little changeable but the running journey, despite its many challenges, has been extremely fulfilling and very exciting.

The best part of it all however is my overall condition and health where so far this year I have moved from an unhealthy 86.5KG to a more respectable 74.5KG having lost 12KG and am yet to reach my racing weight !! Not to be too much of a stato bore but I looked at my performance versus last years Salcey run and my average heart rate was 20 beats a minute lower and I ran 1.5 miles further on the same run !! Sorry for my usual wordy diatribe but having a moment of reflection made me think that I should drop you a note !!

Martin, thank you to you and the team for what you have created, you should all be proud and as the advert says “If Carlsberg did running clubs”

Nev