Anne Wood and Liz Pirie
Anne (left) and Liz at Edinburgh Marathon Festival
My friend Liz Pirie and I joined jogscotland Rosemount in summer 2008. Liz had been involved in the Hairy Haggis race at Edinburgh that year and I went along to support the team. I met jog leader Sarah Gove there and she invited us to join the club. The rest is history!
Our main motivation for joining was because early retirement was looming and we were determined to stay fit and healthy and not put on weight. We were both aged 56 at the time, I had never run before and Liz was a novice. It was not easy, but with encouragement from our club we persevered, added in extra practice runs ourselves and eventually managed to progress to the Intermediates. We enjoyed the fun and friendship and attended very regularly twice a week in all weathers. Our running gear wardrobe gradually increased to include waterproof jackets with hoods (I’m still trying to find suitable warm waterproof gloves)! We did at least one 10k race every year, searching for ones which had the fewest hills. We enjoyed the Inverness 10K and Edinburgh 10K several times and to celebrate turning 60, we trained for the Edinburgh half-marathon and travelled using our newly acquired bus passes!
There was always a desire to undertake a marathon, but with creaky knees, backs and feet it wasn’t ever going to happen. That is, until lockdown, when we were able to do the Edinburgh Marathon Festival races virtually and in as many runs as we liked. We are both now the proud owners of a medal confirming that we have completed a marathon!
Sarah suggested in 2017 that we might like to consider becoming leaders and we qualified later that year. We were both retired teachers and had a lot of experience in teaching, so it seemed a good plan. We gravitated towards the beginners’ group; their pace suited us. Remember, we were aged 66 by then and our energy levels had diminished slightly. It was very rewarding to take small groups out and see them progress to the next level. Liz and I generally shared the group between us, but would sometimes split if there was a wide range of abilities. We were very much in tune with each other and would swap beginners so that we always got a good run ourselves. We took our responsibilities seriously, were committed and turned up twice weekly to work with the beginners in all weathers. If the beginners signed up to run, so did we.
It was not an easy decision to give up being a leader, but our athletics licences were about to expire and after Covid, our beginners were less regular, so we decided it was time. We are still members of our club and will join them for occasional runs and social events. We have made too many friends and enjoyed the companionship of the club too much to not stay involved. We have much to thank jogscotland Rosemount for and I am happy to say that our aims have been met – we are fit, pretty healthy and have kept our weight down! We run three times a week on our own, love to stop at traffic lights and we seem to require frequent nose-blows! However, we are still jogging and plan to do so for as long as our legs will carry us. – Anne Wood
We took up running in retirementBack