Meet The Leaders – Laura Johnson

Red Rose Runner - Laura Johnson

Who are you when you’re not running?

I would say I’m very similar in my approach to life as I am as a runner / leader. I’m still organised, competitive and (possibly a little bit) bossy. Work-wise I lecture in Sport at Edge Hill University and I also consult as a Sport and Exercise Scientist, specialising in Psychology.

Dog Agility - Laura Johnson

In my free time I also take part and compete in dog agility (if you don’t know what it is = google it). I’m also social, have a great group of friends and am very close to my family, although I’m also expecting my first baby in June so I’m sure my life and identity is about to change a lot!

Have you ever been involved in any sports other than running?

Both my sister Melissa and I were elite gymnasts as children, I started training at the age of 3 and was representing Lancashire by the age of 7. I also went on to represent the North West of England, travelling and competing internationally on a number of occasions as a teenager.

Why did you decide to become a leader at RunSmart?

I had been a runner with RunSmart regularly for a year or so when a few people started to ask if I’d be interested in becoming a leader. I felt like I’d learned so much and become a much better runner because of the support and advice I’d received from both the leaders and the group in general, so I wanted to give something back.  It was one Christmas party in the Railway when Damian and I had our first proper conversation about it and I haven’t looked back since.

Coffee or tea?

You can’t beat a good cup of tea, especially if there is cake!

Chinese or curry?

Curry! Something medium with loads of side dishes/accompaniments. 

What has been your favorite race so far?

Chester Metric Marathon - Laura Johnson

In terms of enjoyment – the Chester Metric Marathon (26km) in 2018. I think it’s probably the fittest I’ve ever been/felt. I ran the first half with a friend and then put my foot down for the second half. It’s a great feeling to pass lots of runners. Seeing the elite marathon runners on their way back is also great for motivation.

Damian kept popping upon his bike at various points around the route. I had my Mum, Dad, Husband and dog there supporting me too. Thinking about my running partner in crime Natalie (Tilly Bean) too, she was running her first marathon!

In terms of achievement – running a 21:36 at the Power of 5km last year felt so good after lots of hard work.

What is your favourite RunSmart route?

This is an easy one – definitely the (8km) Cuerden Valley summer route which is challenging but the scenery more than makes up for it. I used to hate running up Sheep Hill but I now secretly enjoy it!