Runner Profile – Rob Burn

As with all clubs and societies, Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers has to cease meeting for the duration.  This does not daunt Club Coach, Rob Burn, ever enthusiastic and encouraging members to improve.  They are set their “homework” each week, and at least with running, it is possible to go out and find some open space – so long as we’re not confined to our houses!  Core work, speed sessions and endurance are all included in Rob’s plans – I think Rob was born running and he never seems to lose his love for the sport.  Members are asked to complete a monthly 2 mile time trial and submit times, for which a “virtual” handicap will be worked out, presumably with “virtual” prizes!
He has run in every continent, and his regular foreign holidays must include at least one race.  Over the years, he has won innumerable races, especially in his younger days, of course.  The T & S team which included Rob and Mervyn Burn, were regular winners of team prizes, and what he considers their best achievement was the 4 peaks challenge in 1999, when, as a team, The Happy Wanderers with him as captain, they broke the time records on all four mountains and raised enough money to build what was only the third teenage cancer unit in the uk.
Charities have always been at the forefront with Rob and at outdoor club sessions from the White Horse car park, members were invited to donate, on separate occasions, to Yorkshire Air Ambulance and to Freddie’s fund.   Sadly, Freddie lost his battle with cancer.
Over the years, Rob has competed in the London Marathon, Jolly Holly Jog, the Loftus Poultry Run, Park Runs and of course, Kilburn 7, and many, many other races, some of which no longer take place, eg Stamford Bridge 10k, St Wilfrid’s 7 mile race, Pigeon Pie 10 mile race at Sherburn, and this year he actually was able to run the Thirsk 10 – usually he’s been round the course marshaling.  Having his photo taken standing on the winners podium in the London Olympic Stadium, and meeting up with his idol, Mo Farah, have special places in his memories.
Although he has run many road races, his favourite events are off road, mainly cross country, though he has for several years entered the World Veterans Mountain Championships, in eg Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Wales, Australia, and sometimes nearer home, for example Keswick. 
Rob and his wife, Christine are regulars in the local NYSD Cross Country League, and they also visit, say Sheffield, Wakefield or Huddersfield, and even Thirsk on one occasion for Yorks Vets Chamionships, or St Helens for the National Championships.  A race in the dark with headtorch, the Rat Race Yorkshire Terrier 10k at Newburgh Priory, was right up his street.
Rob has a love of travel and his holidays always include a visit to see the native wildlife, whether on the planes and jungles in Africa or looking for polar bears in the Arctic.  He’s just as happy, though, running through local woods and lanes and noting the activities of nature.
Rob and Christine run a gardening service, and I reckon they use this as cross training!  At the bottom of Rob’s philosophy is to encourage and motivate others to do things they never thought they could, as well as having an excellent social group with the Harriers.
The message is – keep active and keep running.  It is good for your health!

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