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GPN February 2020


Produced by publishers of The Popular Village Monthly


Richard Bennett’s  Story


There are Gentlemen too

I have always been a regular gym-goer, trying to keep fit and lose weight, but I was never keen on running outdoors because of a shyness about the moment of stepping out of the front door and getting started. 

When my wife, Liz, started running with a friend, I was persuaded to join her running outside, and we started running small loops around the village, and the loops got larger. We ran our first Stafford Half Marathon together in 2012. 

I have since taken part in many races, from 10k (or thereabouts when doing the Gnosall 10k) to half marathons to full marathons to several ultramarathons. I am currently planning what races to enter this year, and hopefully will be able to do some that I have not tried before.

We are very lucky in Gnosall because we have so many places that we can run; the railway line to Newport or Stafford, the canal towards Norbury or Wheaton Aston, or the quiet lanes that criss-cross the area. I had been running by myself for a few years when through the Gnosall Ladies I was introduced to some other runners.

I have lived in the village since 2000 and was originally commuting to work for a couple of hours each way a day until I got the opportunity to work from home. The downside of working from home is that there is no office social life, as the nature of my work means our company can do everything remotely, so there is no office to go to. As I was also relatively new to the village and did not know anyone, working from home was quite lonely. 

The story of the Gnosall Ladies has been told in other articles. What has not been told is that there are Gentlemen too!

The Gnosall Gentlemen were founded by Jon and Martin in 2015 and although our numbers are small (currently 16), we are regular, active runners.The Gents run on a Monday and a Wednesday evening most weeks, and there is a “crack of dawn” group who run early morning in the week. We are flexible though, using WhatsApp to see if anyone wants a run when family life allows.We will usually run around 10km on the lanes around the village.Some of the Gents choose to run races, and we support each other on these runs. 

As well as running, the Gents have been on trips to beer festivals and are regulars in the pubs of Gnosall. We have also been to Pen Y Fan in Wales and walked the “Fan Dance” route and are planning to revisit that and run it with loaded backpacks.

The Gnosall Gentlemen has given me a set of friends who run and socialise and because we do not work together there is always plenty to talk about, useful when running together for 9 hours when doing an ultramarathon! I now run with the Gnosall Gentlemen, Newport Running Club, and I join the Gnosall Ladies for Bob’s Bootcamp, which at this time of the year is a refreshing wade through mud and puddles to wake you up on a Saturday morning!

So if you enjoy sociable running and a pint or two, seek out the Gnosall Gentlemen (or the Gnosall Ladies), we will be happy to meet you… 

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