Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 15

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Dr Parker

Dr Parker is a Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health. She is also a runner. A slim woman, in a blue t-shirt, Dr Parker spoke with great enthusiasm and knowledge about a sport that she loves. Injuries have prevented her from running competitively but, as she came to tell me, for her running means much more than running fast.

Running is a huge area of research, but the science behind it is a little bit wobbly, so I might not have very definite answers to some of your questions.

Continue reading

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 11

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Running with the Mums

Cathy told me to come running with the Newton Mums. So I went to the gate at the entrance to the park and waited with her. I was surprised by how many different abilities turned out for the same group. Sarah only took up running two months ago. Georgie ran with her collie attached by a harness to her hips, and it flew off the front. Jackie had just run a half marathon. Harriet was Jackie’s mother.

The pack split early. Some girls were fast, others wanted to run at a slower pace. I was sure that we would get lost. This, however, is part of the Newton Mums’ plan. They have a “loop and scoop” policy. At pre-determined points on the trail, the fastest runners turn around and jog to the back of the group where they start again. It is an excellent way to run. Nobody holds back. Everyone finishes together.

Continue reading

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 8

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Amy

Amy didn’t see me when she walked in. She walked up to the counter, checked her phone and went to stand outside. When she talked her eyes sparkled. She laughed often and loudly. She came most alive when she talked about the pain of running.

I’m a university student, in my final year studying Nutrition Dietetics. I live up in Lancashire but I’m down here for university. I’ve been committed to running since the start of this academic year, so October, but I got into running last year on my placement at Bournemouth.

I worked in a hospital and I was involved in patient care. It was so stressful.

Continue reading

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 6

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Sarah

Sarah was thin. She wore a thick cotton shirt which hung loosely on her frame. Her trainers were muddy and well worn. At very little notice, she had agreed to make time to chat but I would have to come to the English department. She was working on a group project and didn’t have much time.

I don’t mind the recorder – if you had a camera, I’d have a problem with that but audio is fine.

Continue reading

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 5

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Chania

Chania sat down quietly, a slim woman with light hair. When she started speaking, her words came out in a torrent. I barely asked any questions. Each memory prompted another and her story tumbled out in a great, overwhelming rush. There was so much to say.

I started running five years ago in my early forties. In hindsight, I probably should have started in my twenties. I started because I have two children and they are both very active. My eldest, Harry has Down’s Syndrome.

Continue reading

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 4

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Mohammed

Mohammed was bang on time. A neat, slim man in a checked shirt, he walked up and introduced himself. As we spoke he became more animated. I noticed that his eyes shone when he smiled and he was full of humour. Early into the interview, he got up to get sugar for his coffee. He returned with six sachets and poured three into the cup. He held the last three back in reserve. He told me about his sweet tooth and joked that if he didn’t run he would definitely have diabetes. He laughed when he told me that running had saved his life, but he wasn’t being funny.

You’re not going to have my name in the book? I’m disappointed now. I’m terrible at reading books, but your book will be different. My story is going to be in it, so I’ll definitely read it.

Continue reading

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 3

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Helen

Helen sat on the sofa sideways in a yellow jumper. Small plumes of white smoke reached out from the front of her mouth as she vaped. She looked into the distance when she talked. She was concerned that what she said would not sound right. It took time for her not to feel self-conscious.

I’m 28, almost 29 and I play guitar in a band full time. I’ve always enjoyed sport but never considered myself particularly fit. I come from an average middle class family in Manchester. That’s about it really.

Continue reading