BRC member profile 💚💚💚

This week Gemma Sier

1. Please briefly introduce yourself.

Hi, my name's Gemma Sier.

I've been running 7yrs and it's become a huge part of my lifestyle. Initially I started running to help lose my pregnancy weight but it very quickly became a part of my life for my mental health, time on my own away from everything and keeping fit.

2. What events, if any do you have coming up?

Although so many events have been unable to take place due to Covid I was still able to run the London Winter Run 10km virtually which is a race I have done every year since it started in 2015.

They have now decided to hold the London Summer Run 10km in September so I shall be training for that. It will be the same route running round famous London landmarks but it will be very different in much warmer temperatures. Fingers crossed that still goes ahead. I also have the St. Albans Half Marathon in June which will be the 3rd one I've done, it's a challenging route but fantastically organised and I love the T-shirts and medals. Once we get the go ahead to book up more races I will be all over that. I love to have upcoming races, it keeps me on track with training plans, motivated and challenging myself to get me PB's.

3. What does running mean to you?

Running is my happy place, it allows me to release any stress I might be carrying. Allows me to go through any thought processes I need for some peace and it's allowed me to make friends that I know I will have for life.

Oh and not forgetting the ability to keep fit and healthy.

The running community inspires me and motivates me. I often hear from people on social media or my own friends and family how a run I've done inspired them to get out and run or get fit in another way. Which makes me super proud and really humbled to know I've helped others.

4. What is your best BRC memory?

Joining BRC was one of the best things I've done, what a lovely group of people, like my little family.

I was welcomed with open arms and can't thank Jess Wicks enough for convincing me to stop running solo all the time and try out running with others. It definitely means I challenge myself.

I won't go out and do hill training or speed sessions on my own and rarely trail run as I'm too scared of getting lost; but joining BRC opened up my running world to all these things and I was suddenly excited more about running and a new level of determination to be the best I could be.

I never felt in competition with anyone only to be better than I was the week before.

It was very upsetting when COVID meant we couldn't meet anymore, but I hope we will soon welcome these days back.

My best memory to date with BRC is doing the Sunday trail run from The Brentwood Centre to Epping and getting the old vintage bus back. It was so lovely, early start, nice size group,running across fields and farm land.

I would never venture out on on my own as I was too scared of getting lost, and then a lovely vintage bus ride home. Mike Kav does a good job getting us all together on a Sunday morning.

5. Proudest running moment?

My proudest running moment was running the London Marathon 2017.

I ran for The British Lung Foundation and massively exceeded all expectations I had. It was a beautiful day and again BRC played a big part in helping my training, getting a coach up to London on the day with the rest of the BRC runners.

I will never forget that race day.

6. Best bit of running advice you could give or have been given?

Best running advice I could give and likewise ever been given is the only person you are ever in competition with is you.

Run at your pace, your distance, your time. Listen to your body, rest days are just as important.

Getting out the door is the hardest part, no one ever finishes a run and wishes they never went.

Get out there!!!🥰


Mary Lloyd 💚💚💚

1. Please briefly introduce yourself.

I joined the club in July 2014, as a nonrunner. I started on the 13-week beginner program, and have been hooked ever since. I’m one of the LiRFs in C/D Group (fingers crossed that we will be back to groups soon). I have completed 11 marathons and 2 Ultras over the past 6 years, as well as various other races, including: - the Benfleet 15 (5 times), the Full Grizzly once, the Essex 20 and many half marathons and shorter races.

2. What events, if any do you have coming up?

I have many races that have been deferred, so trying to fit them in will be difficult (if they go ahead). I’m hoping that the Manchester and Dublin marathons go ahead as I would like to tick them off of my list. I’m especially looking forward to Dublin as many family members will be coming to support from Tipperary.

3. What does running mean to you?

I love running with friends and the hubby, just to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the surroundings, no matter what the weather. I never run with music, I like to listen to the world go by and chat to all manner of folk. The whole camaraderie at races and the craic at the club sessions on a Wednesday night are unbeatable. I’ve made so many lovely, lifelong friends since joining the club, friends I know that if I ever needed anything or just a chat, I could just pick the phone up. Whenever I book a holiday, the first thing I look at is, where can I run while there, it drives the kids mad! I started a running club at work as I wanted others to experience the joy of running for themselves, and it’s a great way to build relationships with your work colleagues.

4. What is your best BRC memory.

There have been so many, so I’ve tried to pick the top few. Being part of the ladies’ team at the Spitfire Scramble, the whole experience from the planning meetings, recceing the route, through to running the last lap with the lovely Marijke, was just phenomenal, Jo did a fantastic job organising the event and us ladies. The weekend down in Seaton running the full Grizzly also stands out as a favourite. I also love a bit of cross country.

Mike Kavanagh’s Sunday runs, especially the Brentwood to Epping run, which I look forward to during the summer. B

eing part of the Essex Way Relay, being a pacer for BRC at the local park run, marshalling at our club 10k, I could go on, but I think that’s enough.

5. Proudest running moment.

Running on the Olympic track at the Diamond Jubilee relay, I felt like a proper athlete. Completing my first London Marathon in 2016, until I got to The Mall, I thought anything can go wrong, but then when you see the finish line and you realise that, Yes, I’m going to finish the Marathon, it felt very surreal. I started a running club at work, we had so much fun.

6. Best bit of running advice you have been given?

On a long race, respect the distance and just run the mile you are in, also I think it was the lovely Ken Bench who would always tell me to “Run your own race”, don’t worry about what the rest of the field are doing, I think about this often when on the start line of many tough races. I’d also have to agree with my fellow buddy, the lovely Lorna, to treat yourself to a sports massage, especially after long hard races, I’d swear by them.


Member profiles are becoming so popular that this week we are treating you to a second helping.

BRC’s very own Sarah Humphreys.


1. Please briefly introduce yourself.

I’m Sarah Humphreys and joined BRC in January 2019. I started off doing park runs in 2018 and then decided to take the plunge and join a club. I started off running in Janet’s group and met such a lovely group of welcoming ladies that are now firm friends.

2. What events if any do you have coming up?

I had a charity place for the VLM 2020 but had to defer before coronavirus due to being diagnosed in Dec 19 with breast cancer. So I’m now registered to do the VLM April 2022 all being well. I just completed my third Winter Run 10km which was amazing as it coincided with finishing my chemotherapy.

3. What does running mean to you?

Running has taught me so much about myself and my friends. Even when I felt down or tired from treatment, I was so grateful to be able to go for a run and appreciate life. For me it’s not about time or distance; it’s about self improvement, head space, friendship and fun.

4. What is your best BRC memory?

My favourite BRC memory has to be completing my first Essex Way leg.

Angela, Maria and ran our leg and had the best time. We were greeted and cheered at the end by a very patient and lovely Ben who must have been waiting for us for ages! We then had a lovely picnic in the sun and laughed so much.

5. Proudest running moment?

My proudest running moment was completing the Havering half marathon as it was my furthest race to date. It was lovely to see Jackie there too and lots of other BRC runners doing so well.

6. Best bit of running advice you could give or have been given.

Obviously I’m new to running and have had some setbacks, but the best advice I feel is to just lace up your trainers and go, even when you don’t feel like it. It never fails to lift my mood. I enjoy each and every run regardless of time/distance and appreciate that we are all so lucky to be able to run



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