Val is a middle-aged mother of two boys, and gradually got into athletics via her eldest’s involvement with Birtley AC. Following a slow start which involved power-walking and a gradual move to jogging, she was persuaded to enter a local Harrier league cross-country event, and despite coming almost last, developed a taste for cold muddy slogs through the countryside. She has since competed in many events, and whilst never reaching the heady heights of success, has managed to improve her finishing position in most of her races.
When not getting dirty and sweaty, she spends her time working in a transfusion/haematology laboratory at a local hospital – this involves shift work and sometimes gets in the way of competition and training (always a good excuse for a poor performance!)
In her remaining spare time, she is club secretary for Birtley AC, part-time Run Director for Gateshead parkrun, occasionally makes bespoke handmade cards, and loves to read and soak in the bath (ideally at the same time).