Stonyhurst sprinters in training
Last weekend Stephanie Beech, Jesuit Missions Communications Officer, visited Stonyhurst College in Lancashire to give a parish appeal for Jesuit Missions. As this had been planned for a while, the day appeared as a great opportunity to join the Stonyhurst Sprinters for a long run as part of the marathon team training, whilst taking in the beautiful Ribble Valley.
However, the idea came before Stephanie had to stop running in February due to an ongoing Achilles problem. "I am now back on track with the training, if a little bit behind schedule!" she said. "When I got in touch with the runners to say I would be coming up to visit, Jules Greenwood, Stonyhurst Religious Studies teacher, seemed to be in the same situation." Jule had also been struggling with injury and didn't have the chance to reach the longer runs. She said, “I have now resigned to the fact that the marathon will not be competitive in any way, but rather an emotional and enjoyable day, albeit the run will be a massive hurdle!”
After the school mass at St Peter’s, Jules took Stephanie on a 5km run around the grounds and through the village of Hurst Green before finishing down the famous avenue leading back to the college just in time to sneak into the end of brunch.
She said that, together with other two of the other Stonyhurst Sprinters, Jill and Louise, she used to regularly run this 5km loop in their lunch breaks. “We would come out in all weathers, even hail, just to get some fresh air!” It was this lunch group that gave Fr Tim Curtis the idea to sign up the runners after he ran the marathon some years ago.
Finding the time to fit in training for a marathon can be hard for anyone. Stephanie was therefore interested to know how a teacher who is also a live-in pastoral head could fit it in. Jules explained “Friday’s are my days off so each Friday I try to run along the Blackpool promenade with Louise, another Stonyhurst Sprinter who is also from Blackpool. The training has definitely taken over my life, all my free time is now used for running.”
Jesuit Missions staff members Teresa and Lynn recently visited Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall and St Joseph’s Hurst Green primary schools to talk about Caring for our Common Home and used Jesuit Missions Womble mascots to help teach the students about recycling. The Stonyhurst staff said that they have been able to use the wombles to raise their profile as Jesuit Missions marathon runners within the school.