Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

What a Gale Force!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

What a Gale Force!

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE ROBSON dave.robson@reachplc.com @Daverobson_gaz

FROM Parkrun to podium in just seven years...

That's the journey 70-year-old Carolyn Gale has been on.

And the former primary school teacher says: "Doing my first Parkrun with my grandson changed my life."

Carolyn, of Marton, has just returned from the European Masters Athletics Championships in Venice where, proudly wearing the Team GB vest, she climbed on to the medal podium to pick up three medals, including a team gold in the half marathon.

And yet just seven years ago, even the thought of twice jogging round Stewart Park on her first Parkrun was scary enough.

Husband David, who was recuperating from a heart op, had tried and failed to get her to join him on short runs.

But when her then 12-year-old grandson, also called David, wanted someone to join him on the Stewart Park Parkrun, she finally relented - and she's never looked back.

She recalled: "We went down the week before, just to see what the course was like. We did a very slow jog round around and when I got to the end, I was knackered!

"But at least I knew where I'd be going. Then they told me I'd have to do it twice.

"I can't say it was easy. But however difficult it feels at the time, afterwards it's lovely. There's a sense of achievement and you feel much better in yourself - and that feeling carries through until the middle of the afternoon."

After a few Parkruns, Carolyn, a mum-ofthree and grandma of five, won vouchers for new trainers.

She recalls: "I didn't even know you could get special trainers for running! But once I got them, it meant I had to keep going and I got hooked."

And having caught the running bug, Carolyn - who taught at schools including Grangetown Primary, Cromwell Road South Bank, St Mark's in Stockton and Newtown Juniors - decided to tackle longer distances. …

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