Feature: Ben joined athletics club in an attempt to give up smoking

Ben Ransome.
Ben Ransome.

In the third of a series of articles, Ben Ransome talks about his experiences with Lancaster and Morecambe Athletics Club.

Ben has been running for 13 years and joined Lancaster and Morecambe AC five years ago.

At the age of 47, Ben is running personal bests at distances ranging from 5km up to the marathon and is currently training for the Kendal Triathlon.

First memory of running?

I thought I’d give running a try to help me stop smoking, I remember putting on an old pair of Reebok Classics and managing about three minutes before giving up and going back home.

Why did you join Lancaster & Morecambe AC?

I moved from Manchester to Lancaster five years ago and a friend suggested I should go along with her and try it out.

Best things about training with the club?

I enjoy training in a group, it helps me to push myself harder and be more focused than I would be running alone, there’s a good variety of sessions that cater for all abilities as well as social runs. The club also offers great support and encouragement including tailored training programmes for specific events.

Before I joined LMAC I thought I’d never be able to run a marathon, but with help and encouragement from club members, in particular Lisa Preston, Paul James and Angus Murray, I’ve now run two marathons, achieved personal bests in 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon distances in the last 12 months and competed in my first triathlon.

What is your proudest running achievement so far and what is your next goal?

Getting a personal best at the Manchester Marathon earlier this year after thinking I wouldn’t be able to run because of an injury in the week leading up to it. I’ve just competed in my first triathlon and really enjoyed it.

Are you a fan of running gadgets and if so what can’t you run without?

Like many runners, if I haven’t recorded it, it didn’t happen – so I can’t run without my TomTom watch.

Favourite post run food/drink?

Strawberry milkshake and lemon drizzle cake.

What do you like most about running?

Apart from being great for my fitness, it can be whatever I want it to be, time alone, running with the dog, chatting with friends or challenging myself with new goals.

It also means I can eat more cakes.

Any top tips for new runners?

Don’t worry what anyone else thinks, just do it for yourself, try the Parkrun.Apart from being great for my fitness, it can be whatever I want it to be – time alone, running with the dog, chatting with friends or challenging myself with new goals.

Lancaster and Morecambe AC is offering a free trial for road runners (aged over 18) throughout September.

Training nights are held from the clubhouse on the track at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Anyone who would like to take part can just turn up on any club night during September and ask for one of run leaders.

The club welcomes runners of all abilities.

For more information about the club visit the website www.lancasterathletics.co.uk.