Rochdale Harriers and A.C.

Meet our members: Anjum Ahmed

24th March 2021

Our third featured member is Anjum Ahmed – someone who has improved dramatically since joining us.

First thoughts on coming to RHAC training and then joining the club?

I started running in 2017 after 25 years of limited physical exercise since leaving school.  Almost immediately I began to enjoy the process of slowly improving and achieving PBs.  By 2019 I was looking to make greater improvements, I wanted to experience the things I was hearing about within running media such as strides, pyramids, fartleks and track sessions. So, one Tuesday night I went down to the Kingsway track and joined Rochdale Harriers, no taster session needed.  I was a little concerned about where someone at my level would fit in, with seasoned club members.  That night was a 20 x 400m session, one of the toughest, a real baptism of fire.  The pain I felt was matched with the encouragement of coach Jeff and other members.  I have gone on to experience the different sessions from Tuesday track and speed sessions on the road, Thursday road and trail runs.  I enjoy them all and they give you a chance to meet a wider group of members.  Everyone is welcoming and there is a good mix of pace.


Favourite race?

My favourite race is the one that got me into running due to a challenge at work, the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k.  It is just a simple out and back race with about 8,000 runners but every year there is a big buzz about the event at work, with lots of banter and competitiveness.  I encourage as many people to enter as I can say entering this event in 2017 changed my fitness life!

anjum ahmed


Favourite training location and session?

My favourite training location is the Kingsway track.  Ok, I am calling it my favourite, but I hate it too.  On track training day, it plays on my mind through the day and even as I drive there, I just think of the pain and wonder if I should not go!  But the post training high from track is great because you know you have pushed yourself more than you would have ever on your own.



Favourite Event?

I’m a big fan of Parkrun.  They are part of my weekly routine and I enjoy a rotation of a number of local events. It’s a democracy of running and for many like me, a step towards then joining a running club.  The RHAC home event of Watergrove just happens to be one of the toughest in the country!

anjum ahmed watergrove parkrun


Favourite kind of running?

Most of my running is on the road as I worry about getting lost on the trails or getting chanced by an animal!  However, I enjoy trail running when I get a chance with RHAC on Thursdays in the summer or Sunday group runs. Again, a chance to do something I normally don’t do on my own


Best thing about RHAC?

It’s a friendly local club with everyone made to feel welcome, a great variety of running options from speed to social chatty runs.  A chance to widen your running circle and be inspired by real people close by!


Goals for this year and beyond?

Having turned 50 a few months ago, my goal this year is to run my first ever marathon, (Manchester in Oct) with target time of under 3h 30.  I’m also going to spend more time on strength and conditioning work to try and stop injury layoffs!  I may even give cross country a go at the end of year, even though I don’t like mud!

anjum ahmed racing

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Umar says:

Hi my name is Umar I want to join the club and get support to help me become a professional track and field athlete in long distance running.

Jeff McCarthy says:

Hi Umar. Please come down to Kingsway Park Sports Centre OL16 4XA, Tuesday or Thursday 7pm. You’d be very welcome to join us on a road run or a track session.

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