IN the first of two articles with our new co-captains, we hear from Janet Grigor about her history with the club and ambitions for the future.
Q. Could you tell us about your backstory with CAAC?
A. I joined Corstorphine in 2010, shortly after moving to Edinburgh. I’ve loved to run as long as I can remember. I ran, coached and officiated for Inverness Harriers from 1993 to 2002 and then trained with Lothian Running Club for a couple of years before the family moved over to the Isle of Jura in 2005 when my husband took on the GP practice there. There was no running club in Jura, but plenty of training opportunities that suited my love of cross-country.
Back in Edinburgh, I looked for a friendly club that gave opportunities for athletes of all ages to train and compete in different types of races and, luckily for me, Corstorphine was the handiest one for me geographically. I was warmly welcomed and, despite not being particularly speedy, got lots of encouragement and chances to train and compete.
Q. What is your preferred event or distance?
A. My favourite type of running is trail and cross-country, especially running through woodland or on beaches, but I also enjoy middle-distance on the track and shorter distances on the road. I have run a few half-marathons in the past, but my knees complain now if I run any further than 10K on tarmac! I love running as part of a team and getting a chance to wear the Corstorphine vest in a race – I’m sure it makes me run a bit faster.
Q. What do you enjoy most about the club?
A. I qualified as a Level 2 coach while with Inverness Harriers and have returned to that this year, joining CAAC’s amazing group of coaches. I especially enjoy working with the younger athletes in the development squad and occasionally leading runs for the club’s new ‘Craic Squad’ – for senior athletes who want to run a bit slower than the main group to leave them enough breath for a good blether en route!
I am a UKA Level 2 field official, pulling on the purple polo shirt and helping out at Scottish Athletics events all year round along with my husband Moray, who is also a field official. He was taking me to the events anyway and thought he may as well earn some extra points for the club while he was there! I am also on the Equality and Diversity committee and want to ensure that everybody feels welcome at the club.
Q. How did the co-captaincy come about?
A. Graeme has been such an amazing captain, achieving so much, that he will be a hard act to follow, so it’s just as well there are two of us! The captaincy has been shared previously and I’m not sure whose idea it was this time, but I think it is a very good one to help represent all the different squads as a key captain’s role is to represent all members of the club.
We are both part of the junior coaching team and between us we represent different ends of the range of age and speed of senior club members! Jack is a very talented athlete and coach and a great example of how consistent training and effort lead to faster times.
Q. What are your plans for the role?
A. We have shared ideas on some goals we have for the club over the next wee while – a key one is to re-create events that bring different sections of the club together but haven’t taken place since Covid lockdowns, such as the club championships and social events like the annual ceilidh. We are also keen to work with other local clubs and schools to promote different aspects of athletics in West Edinburgh.
Q. What are your main strengths?
A. I would say my main strength is that I love working and running as part of a team, encouraging others and making people feel welcome and able to participate, improve their running and gain confidence at a pace that works for them.
Q. Finally, what would your message be to current and potential future members?
A. Corstorphine AC is an amazing club, full of great athletes of all ages and abilities and a place for everyone who wants to stay strong and develop as an athlete at any level. If you have ideas about how you would like the club to move forward, especially ways of making it even more inclusive, please share them with us. It’s always great to see new faces turning up to give the club a try, so if you’re thinking about joining, check out the website and get in touch. Training with a club is a great way to progress no matter your level and we always appreciate more helpers to enable us to coach more youngsters and to organise events. For senior runners, if you can comfortably run 5K, Corstorphine AAC has a training group for you and there are loads of other ways to get involved as well as the running. You will be very welcome.
COMING SOON: We chat to fellow co-captain Jack Fullerton.