Elaine Stoner

Despite a possible case of miss-selling ‘fun runs’, Elaine Stoner is another Hopper recruit from the ‘gentle’ friendly persuasion of the dynamic duo of Ann and Geraldine. Here she shares her running memories and more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Brighton and lived near the Level. I loved growing up in the centre of town as everything was easy to get to. Still living in Brighton, now on the outskirts, it is great to be close to the Downs and Coast, what more can you want!

Married to Simon, I have two daughters and last year I became a nanny to Imogen. Also not to forget Cerby, the best canine running buddy.

When did you first start running?

My earliest memory as a young child, I recall running next to my parents when we made the 3 mile walk every Sunday, to my grandparents. As I can remember this it may have been an experience I didn’t enjoy…or maybe I did! I recently asked my dad how old I would have been, apparently 4 or 5! Another memory, Dorothy Stringer School annual cross country, this seemed to go on for miles, around Hollingbury allotments, now the event is not compulsory and ran on the Campus!

My first organised run was Race for Life, approximately 16 years ago, I didn’t intend to run it all but as the crowds were cheering I just kept going, I did not look too good at the end!.

What made you start running?

I have always enjoyed watching athletics and running events. A great feel good, watching others of all abilities and seeing all the inspirational runners raising money for their charities, really motivated me. Working with Ann, I remember Ann saying that she was joining a new weekly run in Hove – parkrun and when Ann completed the first Brighton Marathon, this inspired me, along with Ann’s gentle persuasion!

How many years have you been running for?

Up to my 40’s I was mainly a gym goer/swimmer. From my 40’s, I attended BMF boot camp for several years and apart from training for the 2012 Brighton Marathon I would not say I was a regular runner. Following the marathon I did take part in the HH5 and Trundle Hill, as Ann sold these to me as ‘fun runs’, I found these really tough, my words to Ann following these were ‘ there was no fun in that’ !!!

In 2015, following surgery I was unable to continue boot camp. Geraldine and Ann encouraged me to start parkrun, so I would say that’s when I became a regular runner.

When did you join the Hedgehoppers and why/what made you become a regular?

Although I had a taster back in 2012,, listening to Ann and Geraldine at work, talking about Downs runs on a Tuesday and the different WSFRL venues, I eventually agreed to come along in June 2019. Although initially concerned that I would keep up, there was no need to feel that way, there were runners of different abilities and everyone was so welcoming. It was great to feel part of a team again.

Best thing about being a Hopper?

Meeting new people, great runs with great company. Different organised runs and more recently appreciation of the efforts made by the club to keep us all in touch and still running! The encouragement by fellow Hoppers to push myself, enabling me to gain confidence in my ability, along with the pre and post run chatter and of course, the delicious cakes!

Favourite running memory i.e. that WOW moment?

The last mile of the 2012 Marathon, I thought I was sprinting, I was exhilarated. Crossing the line and thinking I have done it. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

Previously facing the prospect, I would be unable to take part in strenuous sport again, I feel that every run I do, is a WOW moment.

What’s the longest distance you’ve every run?

The Marathon, my one and only!

Favourite running event and why?

WSFRL – Beach run. I have only done one and being by the sea was fantastic, it was a beautiful evening and lots of fun.

Do you have a nickname and how did you come by it?

Some call me STONER, not by actions by name! It only began a few years ago, my daughters advised me of the meaning!