Stopsley Strider Club Member Profile – Liz Rollinson
Biomedical Scientist at the Fertility Centre, Luton and Dunstable Hospital
Did you do sport at school?
Yes, I was involved in a number of sports at school. I played a lot of Hockey in the winter months and was involved in athletics and rounders during the summer.
When did you start running & why?
I joined the Striders beginners’ course in April 2010 after a few friends announced that they were going to go so I thought I would tag along. My children were 2 and 6 at this time so I thought it was time that I could do something for myself.
What made you come to Stopsley Striders?
It was local and the timing was right to join.
What is your favourite run/course?
I do enjoy the atmosphere of the London Marathon and now also enjoy a bit of sightseeing on my way around. It took me three years before I noticed that I had run passed the Cutty Sark, but then I did the Great North Run and was completely oblivious to running over the Tyne Bridge and The Red Arrows flyby.
What is your best run?
It would have to be the London Marathon. When I ran my first marathon in 2013, I was close to the back and due to the crowds I could not get into the pace that I wanted until about mile 20. Once I passed 20 miles, I suddenly found that I still had relatively fresh legs and space to run. I managed to increase my pace and to finish in 3.38:54, allowing me to get a Good For Age Place the following year.
London Marathon in 2016 was also a good race as I managed to run it in 3.15:49 which was quicker than I expected. However, I missed qualifying for a Championship place by 50 seconds, which would have been good! Some people are never happy!
What was your worst run?
I have one DNF which was in my first Cross Country season in 2011. I went off way too fast and towards the end when I saw a big hill that I still had to run it I just stopped. After some attention from St John Ambulance I was fine – I believe there was at least 2 other striders that needed medical attention that day so I wasn’t the only one that misjudged the course.
What was your most memorable run?
Silverstone Half in 2015. I had parked my car in a car park that was supposed to be for sub 1.35 runners, I was determined that I was going to justify my place in that car park and managed a PB of 1.34:14.
Do you like cross-country?
I wouldn’t say that I like cross country, but once I am actually there I do quite enjoy them.
Assuming you have spare time, what are your other hobbies/interests?
I have 2 daughters who both dive for Luton Diving Club, between the two of them we are at Inspire 7 days a week– watching them and taking them to training and competitions across the country is how I spend my spare time.
How many times a week do you run?
At the moment I train 4 days a week.
What is your average weekly mileage?
I do between 25 and 30 miles a week. When I am marathon training that can be doubled.
Do you do speed work or specialist training?
I do speed work on a Thursday night.
Do you follow a diet regime before competing?
I don’t follow any special diet. I will however eat porridge for Breakfast before a long race (I hate porridge) and I do drink beetroot juice in the lead up to a marathon.
What piece of your kit do you think is the most important?
A correctly fitting pair of running trainers are important, however, I find that in training my trainers are fine and then when I come to race (especially a marathon) I end up with problems. Therefore an essential piece of running kit for me is gel toe protectors.\Who is your hero?
I wouldn’t say that I have any heroes, however I do like to watch both Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah run – I have been lucky enough to see them both live.
What do you like about the club?
I have made some good friends at the club. It doesn’t matter what pace you run at, everyone is very supportive of each other.
What would be your advice to a new club member?
Don’t worry about thinking that you might be too slow, this club is good for all abilities and will encourage you at whatever level you are at and help you to progress.
What is your running song to get you over that line?
I don’t run with music. I do however run fairly frequently with friends and we spend most of the time chatting which makes the time go quicker!