Meet the Member – Geoff Hardman


Meet the Member Geoff Hardman

Helen Swallow – Which other 3 sporting legends (alive or dead) would you want to share a pint with?

Geoff Duke, of motorcycle fame. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay of Everest fame. I was very lucky to meet Sherpa Tenzing in Darjeeling in 1960. I was walking up a grassy track with a friend, when I realised it was the great man himself, who greeted us like an old friend. After several minutes talking he invited us to use the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to sleep. He proved to be very sociable and a very modest man.

Paul Ebrey – What would you like to achieve individually or collectively still Geoff? How did you and Pauline meet?

I would love to attempt a complete circuit of the Leeds C W in one day, walking of course. Also, with club members, another go at the 3 Peaks of Yorkshire in under the standard 12 hours target, something Pauline and I have done twice. The answer to the 2nd question is we simply ran into each other after I joined STAC, as you do.

Wanda Macdonald – When did you start running and what were your shoes like then?

Seriously, Wanda, it must have been by early 1936, and with 5 children in our home, we didn’t have any shoes, only for Sundays. Actually, a brief foray into serious running, when I did the 1983 Kippax half after several months training, and on an atrocious day, managed 1.39. On joining STAC in 1993 I realised I had run with the likes of Olwen, Alan S, John Hunter and Chris G etc.

Phil Coop – Which do you prefer, road races or cross country races? What are your thoughts on Parkrun? I guess there wasn’t anything like that when you started running.

If I have to choose, it would be cross country now and preferably undulating for the scenery. Parkruns were a fantastic idea, and has inspired so many people to have a go at this running caper, and realising that anyone can do it, from infants to really, really old men.

Chris Gill – What advice would you give to those just starting their running career?

If you have never run before, the best way is, as Pauline started, run a lamppost, walk a lamppost, and in a matter of weeks, you will be running a half mile or more, go for it! And then join a running club, ole!

Nicky Coop – What is your greatest achievement?

From a sporting point of view, I think running the 1999 London M nonstop in two even halves of 1.54 give or take a few seconds. Not my fastest but the most satisfying.

Sara Jackson – What do you make of all the equipment that companies now market as ‘essential’ for running, like gels, rehydration drinks, watches, high tec kit? What are your essential items?

For long distance runs, gels, special drinks and certain materials I go along with, but being prepared, with plenty of carbohydrates and being well hydrated before the race is essential, not forgetting the Vaseline, which can reach parts where it’s really needed.

Julie James – Is there anything you regret not doing in the past?

I don’t have any serious regrets on that score, although sailing is something I hope I would have enjoyed. White water rafting is certainly on mine and I think Pauline’s agenda in the not too distant future.

Rachel Cryer – What is the secret to keeping fit and active as you get older?

I think once you are fit, as we as runners know fitness, there are not many, I would hope, who won’t continue to keep that by running, cycling, swimming, vigorous walking, etc. It’s a great feeling to know that you can, and I have many times run to catch that bus. Last but not least is to eat a wide variety of food, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables are essential.

You sound as though you are really enjoying the payback that being active gives you. Entering a few races will make you enjoy even more, well done.

Nykie Duffy – What item of running paraphernalia do you wish you’d had 30 years ago?

I don’t have any regrets about running gear, as even today, the only things you really need are decent trainers, shorts and t shirt, and of course a bra for the ladies.

Gilliam Lambert – What is the best view you have seen when running?

If you are talking about scenic views, then the Midnight Sun Marathon, on the lovely island of Tromsoya, 250 miles North of the Arctic Circle in Norway, tops my list.   Snow Capped mountains and fiords encircle the whole horizon, with the added bonus that from mid –May to mid July the sun stays in sight all the time and they have plenty of it in summer. Temperatures reach mid 60s in June, when the race is.

Ronnie Ronstar Bray – If you could do any event which one would it be and why? BOOM!… And have you seen any junior swan’s ha-ha.

The Stockholm Marathon, a Great City, 15 to 20,000 runners, good course, with lots of support, only 2and a half hours flight. Finish in the Old Olympic Stadium and good long days end of May. Go man go!

Joanne Loftus – Were you sporty as a youth? What sports were you involved in? What keeps you motivated to run at 80 when so many would have hung their trainers up long ago?

I only started sport seriously, playing cricket for bus and coach building firm at Barnbow in teens. I also played cricket and volley ball for tank squadron in Egypt in fifties. A great experience. I am motivated to keep fit because of the positive outlook and satisfaction which comes from this effort.

Karen Sherras – How did you feel when you saw Nicki and Karen running round the corner of the field towards the finish of the Dalesway challenge you organised?

I was really elated to see the big smiles on both your faces, and delighted, that despite obstacles, such as sheepdog, lack of signs, hundreds of stiles, we were adaptable, and amazingly positive to finish the D.W in time to really enjoy those hard worked for Fish and Chips. A wonderful Achievement all Ole!

Lisa Belford-McDowell – If you could do any running event/race in the world which one would it be?

It would be another of Pauline & my favorite races. The Egyptian Marathon, located 350mls South of Cairo at Luxor, starting near the famous Queen Hapchepsut’s Temple, a four lap run passing giant statues, alabaster factories, with the sights and smells of the orient, plus brilliant banquet the same evening.

James May – Now you have successfully completed the Dalesway, what’s the next challenge?

Well, certainly, after the Dalesway reaction, I know the Cleveland Way 100 has some support, being relatively local. I also have another worth thinking of for the future. This is a fairly new walk since 2007. Known as the Dales Highway. Covering 90mls, from Saltaire to Appleby in Edendale via the Dent valley. I’m certainly up for either or both.

Leave a comment