Spotlight on... Jacquie Barlow
Where do you like to run and have you run anywhere particularly memorable?
I really enjoyed the Cyprus 3 Day Challenge, as the scenery is quite exceptional. But I really enjoy longer distance runs like marathons and half marathons, because that's my perfect distance.
What's the most valuable piece of running advice you've ever been given?
Don't over think a race. Just enjoy it. People tend to over analyse and place too much pressure on themselves, which is a fundamental mistake. Don't be intimidated either, as a personal best is only as good as your previous best. You can always improve, and not necessarily just your times. The sheer fact you're out running is amazing and inspirational in itself; consider how many women have taken Paula Radcliffe's example. The London Marathon is another great example, as many people compete in this run to accomplish personal goals and to raise money for their chosen charities. Believe in yourself and you will always be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Mind over matter is really powerful, believe in yourself, as I'm a true believer of mind over matter
Eat on long runs
Never think you're incapable, because anyone can run, and once you overcome the physical and mental barriers, that keep telling you to stop and give up, the pursuit becomes all the more rewarding.
Do you have any running experiences you'd care to forget?
When working in Nicosia, in Cyprus, I would occasionally run in the Buffer Zone. One day some soldiers chased and caught me, whereupon I was taken back to their camp. When the details were all resolved I was then taken to the border and handed back to the British authorities; like some spy during the Cold War.
Sierra Leone is perhaps the worst experience I've had, because women cannot, or should not, run alone, as they draw too much of the wrong kind of male attention.
Do you have any other passionate interests?
I love Kayaking, Nordic skiing and climbing. I also love training and instructing kids in any of these activities, because kids are perhaps the most eager to learn, and you equally gain so much satisfaction in seeing them accomplish something they previously thought they couldn't do.
Tell us a bit about your running history
Well it certainly didn't get off to a winning start. During a primary school sports day I was leading in the 100m race, whereupon I looked back to see my friend had fallen over and was quite upset. Rather than hurry to the finish line and win the race, I instead turned around and ran back to help my friend. We then both completed the race together, with me finishing last.
My occupation has undoubtedly encouraged and developed sport in general. In 2012 however I became more passionate about running, after recovering from a brain tumour. I promised myself, if everything worked out well, I would dedicate as much of my time to running for charity, to help out the many incredible charities that help support people with similar conditions; such as Macmillan's Cancer Support.
When and how did you come to join Totton Running Club?
I occasionally ran with Pamela Rankin, and she told me about the club. Pamela had tried out with a number of running clubs, but Totton came out on top, as it fell within her own running philosophy. The people are friendly and very supportive, which makes a big difference when running as a group.
How often do you train and what kind of sessions do you do outside of the club?
Physical activity is an occupational hazard but on a personal level I try to get out for a long run every Wednesday and Sunday. Of course when out of the country my schedule can be significantly different to what I'm used to, but in most cases my time-off can yield plenty of opportunities to get out and see the wonderful sights that country has to offer. I love to get out an explore places and running helps me to achieve that, I always pack my trainers when I go away.
I try and do all club sessions when I am not out of the country or injured but I guess I try and train 4 days a week if I can and I always do a long run on a Sunday If I don't have a race to compete in.
What is your running highlight or best achievement so far?
In 2014 - 2015, I completed 12 half marathons in 12 months across the country, in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. I finished the task with my first ever full marathon, and I'm now working my way through all the different types of races to get a personal best time in them all; most are my first time as part of a race.
Do you have any future running goals?
To beat my London Marathon time and to just keep enjoying it.
What keeps you out of trouble?
Any type of sporting activity generally keeps me out of trouble. Working on my old farm house in Shropshire is a full time headache, but one day we'll finish it! One day!
Which people and other club members do you most admire?
My brother Robert who invested so much time in me when we were younger, as the youngest. He took me everywhere on expeditions, he was my Bear Grylls and this really set my life compass.
At the club, Rene who always looks fab and has a great attitude, Alice for her 60:60 challenge and her drive to succeed, Kylie for her coaching methods and passion for the club but really everyone who runs and supports the club, the fact we are all part of a great club is admirable especially in the winter months.