Management Committee

Tim Hulse - Club Chairman

I was elected Chair of our Club in April 2015 and I’m responsible for overseeing our Club as a whole together with the Committee.  My role is to help develop our Club in a progressive and positive manner with three broad aims; competitive, inclusive and camaraderie.  Running wise my preference is now the longer distances and I have PB’s of 2:59 (Manchester Marathon in 2018) and 1:21 (Stafford Half Marathon in 2017).  As Chair I’m motivated to achieve PB’s in all areas for our Club (see 3 aims above), and am happy to help members achieve individual PB’s.  Feel free to talk to me anytime (on a run or in the bar after is ideal) about ideas and how we can continue to improve our Club.

Email - chair@stonemm.co.uk

Brian Hall - Life President & Race Committee Co-ordinator

Helping to promote our Race events in a professional, safe and profitable manner.

Having reached the age where running competitively is no longer a serious option, I get tremendous satisfaction from putting back into the sport which we all love, whilst still enjoying the camaraderie and friendships which I have built up over the years since 1987 when I first joined the Club.  Most of my interests are based on outdoor activities and there cannot be many better areas for running or walking than in the countryside around Stone, and our races are a showcase for this.

Mark Churton - Club Captain

I’ve been a member on and off for 19 years.  The off years being when I had family commitments of ferrying my son around to all his sporting activities and mine got put on the back burner.  Now he's of an age where he can fend for himself I’m back and keen to make up for lost time.

I enjoy running all distances but favour (doesn’t mean I’m good) the marathon.  The club organise many trips around the UK and Europe and I’ve been fortunate to take part to many of our famed cultural tours!

I’m newly appointed Captain (2020) and see my role as key in galvanising the club and ensuring that we create the right environment and atmosphere for you to achieve your running goals

Email - captain@stonemm.co.uk

Mark Neeld - Vice Captain

It is a great honour for me to be asked and then voted in as Vice-Captain of our great club. Having been a member since about 2009, and not really being a particularly active member behind the scenes, I felt that, with more time on my hands, that the time was right to step up and give something back.

I now find myself in an unenviably onerous position of trying to fill the rather large shoes, literally and figuratively, of Paul Glover who, as outgoing VC, has done a superlative job. Thank you, Paul, for your hard work. We all appreciate it.

On a personal note, I didn’t embark on my running career until about 17 years ago when, in my 40s, I found purely by chance that I rather enjoyed it following a cancer research charity run. I joined SMM and instantly found it heightened my running experience. There is nothing like running in the company of like minded and incidentally, lovely people. The club also offered great advice to me as a novice runner from a vast amount of experienced and talented members.

Racing was the next step which I found to be addictive: the atmosphere, emotion and camaraderie. Fast forward 13 years and I now run and race all distances locally, nationally and on occasions internationally, with a little bit of success along the way. The running community is vast, and I feel blessed that I can be a part of it.

I would like to see SMM increase its presence locally and nationally and to promote the virtues of our wonderful club.

Nikki Towle - Membership Secretary

I started running - well trotting really - at 50 - to exercise our very energetic young dog.  I entered a Dougie Mac 10k race on a whim to help raise some money, and so did a few Parkruns in preparation for the race, getting used to running around other people.  At an SMM Hanley Parkrun takeover I plucked up the courage to enquire about the club, and at Michelle Miles’ suggestion joined the 9.30am Sunday morning club run the next day and I was hooked!

So, a year on, thanks to the encouragement, guidance and friendship of so many in the club, I have run in many more races between 5k & 10 miles, on road, trail and cross-country - even a couple of half marathons earlier this year (which I never dreamed I could have done).  The opportunities to run with the club, train with the club and compete as part of the club are so varied members of every ability can get a massive amount out of being a Bat!

We now have getting on for 200 members.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries regarding SMM membership, England Athletics registration, or if you change your contact details.

Email - membership@stonemm.co.uk

Mick Downes - Race Committee Co-Ordinator

I’m currently working alongside Brian as race committee co-ordinator with a view to taking over from the master once my feet have grown big enough to fill his boots!

I joined Stone Master Marathoners back in 2009 having broken the 2 hour mark for half marathon at my 3rd attempt with the aim of trying to improve having well and truly been bitten by the running bug.

Since then I’ve represented the club over pretty much all distances and I think it’s fair to say I have improved with the help and encouragement of my training buddies. My 2:03 first half marathon time is now 1:24 and my first full marathon of 5:03 is now 3:00:13 gaining me membership of that exclusive sub 3:01 club!

Also partial to joining the odd SMM Cultural Marathon tour.

Cheers

Mick

Dawn Watkins - Treasurer

I am probably the most ‘non-runner’ runner in the club! Even though I do actually run these days, as proven by the occasional photographs, I remain continuously surprised at the end of every club run when I make it back to the club.  I never ran at school nor did I ever want to until I got to my forties.

In 2012, I attempted the couch to 5k week one which seemed to prove I couldn’t and shouldn’t run as I thought I would never recover.  Bizarrely, I didn’t learn from this attempt and kept trying it again until somehow, in 2016, I ended up in the car park of the tennis club for the Thursday night’s SMM beginners club run.  I have never looked back! The support and camaraderie within the club was and has continued to be incredible and I feel as much pride for what all of our members achieve as I do for the progress I have made myself.

I have gone beyond that couch to 5k week one now, having attempted a few runs and races in all distances (including the odd ultra!) but I will never let those early memories go and use them now to encourage others.  I am so pleased to have been able to take on a committee role and be in a position to give back to the club that has given me so much

Email - treasurer@stonemm.co.uk

Aggi Pope - Communications

I started running in 2016. I had 3 small children who were very demanding and I needed the occasional timeout. What better way of an escape than going for a run? Since then, I have developed a true passion for running, entering many races including marathons which now I am nearly into double figures.

I joined Stone MM in 2017. My one and only running club. I have made many lifelong friends with the same passion for running as I have. The team spirit and camaraderie within the club is second to none. It is an honour being a part of this wonderful club.

 

Anne Griffiths - Club Secretary & Welfare Officer

I have been a running leader since 2014 and I work closely with the Thursday evening beginners group.

Being a running leader means that I have been able to see many beginners join the Club (often slightly nervous and uncertain as to why they are there!) and progress into enthusiastic and competent runners.  I joined SMM as a complete novice and the opportunity to run with dedicated, passionate runners inspired me to take on a running leader role so that I, too, could encourage others to join this wonderful little community.

Email - secretary@stonemm.co.uk

Robin Williamson - Social Secretary

I joined SMM in 2017 primarily because I was nearing my 50s and I wanted to see whether I could still achieve lifetime PBs. Joining the Bats introduced me to a local running scene that I never knew existed and one where it was so easy to fit into any pace or ability. Since joining I’ve achieved PBs  in most distances but more importantly than all of that I’ve met so many like minded people with the same interests and sense of humour!

Taking up the role of social secretary has given me the opportunity to give something back to the club and there are always plenty of people willing to help if needed!

Michael Beasley – Mental Health Ambassador

I am a relatively new comer to running completing my first marathon in 2015 and joining SMM in October 2017. I started running after friends of a similar age experienced physical health problems so out of a sense of recognition of my own poor physical health I started running. As a learning disability nurse working in an NHS mental health trust, I was more than aware not only of the physical benefits of running but also the positive impact running can have on an individual’s mental health.

I have completed the Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) course with England Athletics and I am now qualified as a run leader. I have also completed a ‘Guide Runner’ course again with England Athletics to allow me to guide visually impaired runners. I also enjoy helping others meet their running goals by pacing from 5K to marathon distance.

Since joining SMM I have been entrusted with the role ‘Mental Health Ambassador’ with the objective to work within our running club to support the mental well-being of all members. I aim to make links between our club, mental health services/groups and organisations to encourage their members to start running.

With support from other SMM members we will start discussions about mental health with other running clubs working proactively with members of the ‘running community’ to achieve our goal of making running inclusive for all.

I aim to utilise social media to share information regarding England Athletics #runandtalk campaign and organise regular runs within SMM and again with other running clubs across our area.

Don’t hesitate to contact me regarding this role, I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Emma Phillips (Pigtails) - Ultra Ambassador

I'm probably better known to most people as 'Pigtails', I'm a rather new bat having only joined in October 2017 but it's home.  Being a committee member means I'm able to put back into a club that gives me so much more than just a place to run and as ultra ambassador I'm able to introduce other members to my biggest passion and offer guidance.
I accidently began running back in 2013 and we've shared a special love hate relationship ever since.  Raised by scout leaders means I'm no stranger to the outdoors so I soon found my happy place out on the trails.  A good friend suggested I should try ultras and in 2016 I ran the Gritstone Grind, I was hooked.  There's something unique about the strategy of running big distance, learning to know your body and how it functions, how to fuel it, how to carry it for mile after beautiful mile.  Each ultra comes with different challenges, varied terrain, insane elevation, navigational challenges, seasonal challenges.  No two are the same and that's why I love them.  I'm at my happiest sharing what I've learnt over the years and seeing that passion light up in others.  Come and talk to me at club, I can offer guidance, advice, help you find races to suit you and point you in the right general direction.  You'll never know your limits if you don't test them!

Bernie Priekulis - Committee Member

Having already run several Marathons, I finally joined Stone Master Marathoners in 1995, having been under the misapprehension that you had to be 40 years of age to join.  I ran at all distances in the NSRRA, but my real love was for Marathons and perhaps a little bit further too!

Having had such good times with our club, I felt the need to put something back in, so held the post of Vice Captain for several years before being elected to the position of Club Captain from 2015 to 2018.

The legs don’t move quite as freely as in the past, but I managed to notch up my 100th Marathon in Luxembourg last year, in the company of a large number of Bats.  As a more experienced runner (older), I feel that I can still offer something to the running of our great club, especially in the organisation of events, be they one-offs or annual events.