Meet The Leaders – Simon Barker

Simon Barker

How long have you been running?

I realized I was a fair runner at the start of high school, I was picked for both the school and county cross country teams and have regularly ran since.

Why become a leader?

At the start a found myself to be a one of the quicker runners, therefore I would be advised on the looping points. I was keen to learn and help other runners. Prior to this I ran alone for many years and found the format completely refreshing. To become an associate and later a leader was the natural progression, despite not having many leadership traits.

If you could run any race in the world, what would it be?

I don’t really have any exotic goals for races. I always wanted to do the Great North run and London Marathon, I was fortunate enough to have both ticket off by 22. I’ve fancied the Leeds 24hr team event for a little while, so this year 6 of us look to tick off a similar event on the Wirral in August but hope for more RunSmart teams to join us… hint.

How many running trainers do you own?

I have my normal ones and my old ones just in case. I’m a bit tight to spend the money!

What is your runsmart route?

Can’t beat the summer ones around Cureden, they can be tricky but enjoyable.

Tea or Coffee?

Always Coffee… unless it’s with a meal, then it’s a cup of tea.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I work in a camera shop and I am a semi pro photographer, please check out my work at

Simon Barker

My sister Belinda is an associate and first introduced me and my wife (Steph) to RunSmart 4 or 5 years ago. We have a 2 year old son, Jesse so you may never see me and Steph at the same time. I used to compete in regular 10k races locally but slacked off in the last few years. My biggest achievement was finishing in the top 250 of the 52,000 strong Great North Run, 24mins behind Mo Farah, I ran this race for 13 years, as an adopted Geordie and fan of their football team since the age of 5. My proudest moment was finishing the London marathon, a race I underestimated. I was struggling with cramp with 6 miles to go and never contemplated dropping out. What a feeling turning the last corner.

Fun fact.

I’m rubbish with names and starting conversations but try really hard. Most of the things I say are sarcastic and I never mean to offend anyone…….!