Rona Perkins recently joined Harmeny Pentland Runners and completed the Great North Run with a little help from her new Harmeny friends.   
Joining Harmeny Pentland Runners was one of the best things I have ever done. I was so nervous before I joined as I had been turned down by another club for being too slow. However, the welcome and encouragement that I have had from everyone at the Thursday track sessions and Friday social runs has been unbelievable. I was going through a difficult time but I immediately felt I was amongst friends. The reply to my initial enquiry from Craig Stewart was so friendly and he must have told others about me coming because I had few more e mails saying hello and on first night at track people were coming up and saying ‘you must be Rona’.  The night I first went  to track I met Sharon Parkin was coming back from injury and she took me under her wing and gave me so much encouragement.  Ann Laidlaw has been brilliant on Friday mornings and even chummed me on my extra miles as long runs are so much easier with company. If an wasn’t available someone else would be around to run with too.

And what can I say about Harmeny Track coach Gail Mcfaddan!  She’s been amazing. She has helped me with a training plan for the Great North Run and listened to my moans and had me doing some weird one leg jumping drills. I think she might just have wanted a laugh that night to be honest! Coach extraordinaire! Her support and help was much appreciated.
The plan I was given from Gail helped so much and I ran the Great North Run without a single stop! It wasn’t planned, it just seemed to happen. I have never done any run before without having to stop every couple of miles. I also had no problems with breathing – I usually sound like a hippopotamus in labour for first 20 mins! My time was 2:58:39 which is 14 mins slower than last year but I’m ok with that considering what’s been going on the last few months. I loved it. Really, really, happy!!  Thanks once again to everyone for all the help and support.


If you too are worried about joining a running club like Rona, please feel free to message us ( for advice on what groups we offer.

 Harmeny run regular Jog Scotland groups and have many options for social runs, hill runs, speedwork and Cross Country – whatever your pace!