Harlow Running Club profiles: From Canberra to Coronation Street!

News / Mon 7th Dec 2020 at 01:02pm

DURING this current lockdown Harlow Running Club (HRC) members have kept in touch by sharing members’ profiles.

Everyone emailed Lindsey Pearson, (their HRC – Recruitment & Local Club Liaison Officer) the answers to some of her questions.

This was a great incentive, that showed what a lovely and versatile club they have.

They also discovered they have singers, canoe champions, actors and lots of other stars within our club.

Here are two of the profiles of Peter Mills and Sandra Webber.

Sandra Webber

How long have you been a member?”

I joined in June as a birthday present in 2018

“When did you first get in to running/triathlon?

“Parkrun started it all off. Saw everyone out running and so I thought I would tag along. Within 6 months I did my first half marathon 

“What is your proudest sporting achievement?”

Completing my first marathon and hoping for a sub 5 hours. Did it in 4:52. Have since done two marathons at Beachy head

“What has been your biggest achievement during Covid? 

Getting a 10 mile PB and taking a massive five mins off.

Being able to run with Lee and for him to help me run better 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

We lived in Australia for a year back in 2004. We skiied, ran, snorkeled, helicopter ride, camping and lots of travelling. Was so much fun

What is your favourite film?

Anything Disney as I love to sing along to them (much to the disapproval of my family!

Peter Mills

When did you join the club?

Probably around 2005-ish but not running much in those days as a result of knackered knees.  

I had a complete knee replacement in 2011 and rehabilitated myself back to some sort of comparative running fitness albeit with a metal knee.  

No more long distances but could manage 5k, 10k, and cross county culminating in winning the Essex cross country championships and silver and bronzes in respective Essex 10k road race champs, again for the over 70’s.   (Running tip, if you want success, get old and wait for your competitors to die off!)

Started running in the 1950’s as a teenage 400 metre runner for Brentwood AC.  

Into the 60’s gave up in favour of sex drugs and rock and roll.  (Diversion from running!  Once peed next to Mick Jagger at the club where the Stones used to do a weekly gig.  Had a nice chat, I asked him if they had plans to record, he said he hoped to, one day.  I said would definitely buy one of their records.  He thanked me and said he liked my shirt and asked where I’d bought it.  I told him.  The following week we turned up in identical shirts and glared at each other!  Shared a girlfriend with Eric Clapton for a while until she decided to go with the mega handsome, mega rich, rock God, I know, mystery!! Just as well because then I met Joanne my wife who was much prettier! )

Back to running!  Started again in the 70’s as an 800/1500m runner competing for Medway AC in Kent leagues, Southern Leagues and cross country.  

Ran the first London Marathon in 1981, mainly on 800 training, placing 700 out of 7000 in 2hrs 48.  The following year upped the training to 100/120 miles a week and returned to the 82 London and ran a minute faster!!  (There’s a moral there!)

Eventually got the times down but not below 2hrs.30 which was the benchmark Medway had for marathon runners.

Mid 80’s moved to Harlow because of the better sports facilities and tartan track for my talented  kids.  

Joined Harlow AC, took up coaching, studied and became a senior middle distance/endurance coach under the then governing body the BAF, British Athletics Federation, produced national and county champions.  Wrote a regular column for Athletics Weekly and was the keynote speaker at the Scottish Athletic Federation annual conference.


Into the 90’s, was made redundant and decided to try scripwriting so coaching and running took a back seat as I developed a new career which took me to the cobbles of Coronation Street for six years and 99 episodes, plus numerous Casualty, Holby, Taggart, The Bill, Heartbeat etc.  

Wrote the Commonwealth Games Corrie episode for Norris as a medal bearer and my son as the gold medalist.

Into the noughties with very dodgy knees as a result of 50 years running.  

Then my knee replacement and a semi new lease of life.

Proudest sporting achievement(s).Watching my son win the 1992 UK senior mens 1500 title. Watching my daughter win the UK girls under 17 3000m title ahead of another talented girl runner called Paula Radcliffe.

Watching my wife narrowly miss going under 4hrs for her first London Marathon.  Coming 4th in a marathon after leading for most of the way,  winning a badminton racquet!! Plus watching my youngest son play on in a crucial football match with a broken leg.

Biggest achievement during Covid?.At my age, surviving!  Plus enjoying reading all the profiles of our lovely members.

Fun fact

Was the subject of a major advertising campaign on the London underground as part of a recruitment drive by my former college.  

Extremely weird travelling up and down escalators trying to keep a low profile with my mug on display.  PS: Thanks to all the “artists” for the addition of glasses and moustaches.

Anyone wishing to join the club should contact them via Facebook.

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