Our Coaches

Name: Fiona Leatham (UKA Coach in Running Fitness and UKA Leader in Running Fitness) Club coach coordinator and welfare officer.

Been a Whippet since: 2010

Favourite race or distance: Half marathon, if I had to pick one then the Potters Arf, a tough and testing race but with loads of really good support from the locals.

Favourite training session: Probably hills or a reps session, especially when it's over half way into the session and it's going ok.

Fiona Leatham

Favourite food: Chelsea buns

Top running tips: Be consistent with your training and build up the distance gradually. Double tie your laces...

Best and worst running moments:

The best: Finishing the London marathon for the first time in 2011, if you don't know what happened next, don't ask, you may never get away! The worst: A few: Being injured for 4 months, once having stitch for the first 12 miles of a marathon and having to stop and re-tie my laces in a 10k pb attempt.

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Name: Simon Phillips (Leader in Running Fitness)

Been a Whippet since: 2008

Favourite race or distance: Llandegla Dash in the Dark. It’s hilly, muddy, off-road and run in dark, so what’s not to like.

Simon Phillips

Favourite training session: Hill reps of course.

Favourite food: Post cross country cakes or should that just be any cake.

Top running tips: Try and do some trail or off-road running, it has a stack of benefits including improving your balance, strengthening your legs and core. Also don’t be afraid to run your long runs a lot slower than normal, you’ll still get all the benefits without the chances of over doing it.

Best and worst running moments:

My worst running moment was probably a long run out and back down the canal towpath many years ago. I felt great running out, but when I turned around it was into an ever stronger headwind and ended up taking 20 minutes longer on the way back. I don't think I've ever been so demoralised during a run as there just wasn't any shortcut to take.

My best moment, well definitely one of my most memorable, was running around the Long Mynd in the Mercia Hill Trial the morning after it had dumped loads of snow during the night before. It was definitely one of those days you're glad to be a runner.

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Name: Adam Richards (Leader in Running Fitness)

Been a Whippet since: 2012 (I think, no idea really!!)

Favourite race or distance: Lake Vyrnwy half marathon, it’s a great race and a cracking club event. The atmosphere at the Lightning run (and the course!) is amazing too.

Favourite training session: Hills as a session but a nice 10 mile run is always fun

Adam Richards

Favourite food: Anything but broccoli... a nice stuffed crust pizza always goes down well though

Top running tips: Don't tell yourself that it's only 'good' runners that can do something, if a lump like me can move anyone can!

Best and worst running moments:

Finishing Vyrnwy as first half marathon. Worst: Blisters and any kind of chafing...

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Name: Katie Webster (Leader in Running Fitness)

Been a Whippet since: 2009

Favourite race or distance: Shindig in the Shire Half Marathon (trail race). Just the friendliest race amid the most beautiful countryside I've yet to come across. Definitely a challenge but the refreshment stops, company and views made up for it.

Katie Webster

Favourite training session: Hills.

Favourite food: Same as Simon Phillips - definitely cake

Top running tips: Mix it up to keep it interesting. Ensure you run hills whenever you can, they really do help your running and stamina in general. Run your long runs with a friend and as slow as you dare. This is when real changes happen. Run at and volunteer at your local parkrun. I truly believe parkrun has kept me running.

Best and worst running moments:

London Marathon 2015 the best so far, being injured for weeks after it, the worst.

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Name: James Rainbow (Leader in Running Fitness)

Been a Whippet since: 2009?? (would need to double check)

Favourite race or distance: Mad Jacks 5 – classic November cross country with mud, obstacles and a pond!

Favourite training session: The “long run” on a Spring Sunday morning.

James Rainbow

Favourite food: Jelly babies

Top running tips: Enjoy running, mix it up and have a target to aim for.

Best and worst running moments:

Officially beating my brother in the Leeds marathon many years ago, even though he the crossed the line ahead of me!! Finishing Lake Vyrnwy ½ when I should have stopped and injuring my knee so that I couldn’t run for the next 6 months.

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