Copyright 2021 - Dundee Roadrunners

David Robertson

Memories of Dundee Road Runners


When I was asked to write this note I thought ìbut this all happened twenty-five years agoî. 'Exactly', was Wilma's reply.  Come to think of it, I was not even a veteran then!


At the time I was playing squash but, due to its popularity, was only getting one or, at the most, two games a week.  Being a Fifer I did a calculation.  I already had the kit, and wouldnít break any more racquets, so jogging was for me.  Also, I could fit the training in when it suited.


As with a lot of novices at the time the target was the first Dundee Marathon scheduled for 24†April 1983.  However, I must have started in early-1982 as the first race ever was the Blairgowrie 500, not quite a half-marathon but I did manage to break the two hour barrier.  This turned out to be a favourite as I ran the race ten times.


Dundee was duly completed in two minutes over the four hours - most frustrating!  My favourite story was of a companion who was also training hard but on the day did not live up to expectation.  His excuse was the week before he had started out on his final training jog but was feeling so good he completed the full 26 miles. Happy Days!


To be honest my times did not exactly improve, but then that fateful day, 2†September 1984, when I was puffing round the Edinburgh Marathon only to encounter Dave Roy.  From memory Dave was accompanied by a harem, but with his usual boundless enthusiasm he managed to get over that Dundee Road Runners was starting up and would I like to join?  It was an encounter that changed my life.  Certainly for the next ten years.


It was great fun, with lots of camaraderie.  I kept a diary of the runs.  Almost every weekend would find groups from DRR running all over Scotland.  But it was also relatively serious and we trained hard, particularly on a Sunday morning.  My best year was 1986 when I broke 4 hours in the Dundee Marathon. I never did another, particularly having once been overtaken by Jenny Wood Allen, albeit on her way to a world record!!  I got my half-marathons down to 90 minutes and my 10k to 40 minutes.  Then disaster!  I pulled a ham-string and, to be honest, never really got back into the rhythm again. 


However there was always a lot to be involved with.  In November 1985 we arranged our first Templeton Woods 10miles.  Although I ran in the first it was agreed members were there to organise.  Initially I helped sorting out the stewards then, latterly, the results.


In the mid-1990s I took over the job of treasurer from Eric Fair.  I donít know who the con artist was but I then found I was organising the front end of the Road Race including the entries and publicity, and still doing the results, while Linda majored on the post race teas! Looking back on some of my posters they are masterpieces. Well I think so.


I was very honoured to be made a life member of the club.  However, in 2000 I thought the Millennium would be a good time to quit.  And thatís my memories of Dundee Road Runners.


After all these years one question remains unanswered : How can the ladies run three-quarters of the way up a long, steep hill and then start holding a conversation?

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