Name: Emma Simmons

How Long have you been running: about 15 years in total, I’ve been taking it seriously and competing for about 6 years.

What made you start running: I was dragged along by a colleague to a get running initiative York University were holding. I kept it up after the sessions finished and I’d discovered I enjoyed running, my colleague never ran another step!

Biggest Running Achievement:

This is a toss up really between:

Running my first marathon in April only hours after hearing that my dad had passed away earlier that same morning.

Running a sub-20 minute 5k this summer

Running PB’s at every distance I’ve raced since turning 40 last year.

I’m also very proud of a achieving a number of overall female and age group prizes from races over the last 2-3 years.

Three Facts: I’m entitled to call myself Doctor Simmons after gaining a PhD in History – I used to be Dr Watson before I got married, which was way cooler.

I have a bit of an obsession with bears, real ones and teddy bears.

I used to sing in a national youth choir.

Running Goal: to keep on improving my running generally, but my key goals for next year are to get a good for age time at the London marathon and to run a sub-70 minute 10 mile race. I’d also love to go sub-20 at 5k again!

Running Tip: Make sure you enjoy your running, whether that means racing or plodding, 5ks or ultras or anything in between, do what suits you and what you get the most out of! Also, be prepared to push yourself outside of your comfort zone if you want to improve your race times.

Trainers: I have far too many! Generally I wear On Cloudflyers for speedwork and racing, Brooks Adrenaline GTS for long or easy runs and either Innov8 mudclaws or Adidas Kanadias for off-road.

If you didn’t run what would you do: I used to do a lot of hiking so probably that, or more cycling. I love both but there never seems to be time to fit them in around running and work!

3 celebrities you’d invite to a dinner party: I don’t really buy into the whole celebrity culture that much, but I’d love to chat to Judi Dench, David Attenborough and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Best thing about being a Pock Runner: There are so many best things! The friendships I’ve made, the support, encouragement and camaraderie from everyone, the fantastic team spirit….I love being part of such a brilliant club.

Fantastic Emma truly inspirational