The 12 Dave’s Of Christmas #11 – ‘Dave’ Waugh

It’s Christmas Eve and today we have our penultimate Dave Of Christmas or in this case ChristMISS as we get the low down on one of our female ‘Daves’.. TBH Ladies Captain, Dave Waugh

'Dave' Waugh

I am not really a ‘Dave’ but the other Daves of Christmas have inspired me to become one (temporarily for the purposes of this article!) but more importantly, in terms of running aspirations. I will never be a fast runner, so my running times will never ever match the other Daves, but I aspire to have the same commitment, enthusiasm, love of running and drive for personal running improvement that they have. More significantly, I hope to be able to inspire others – just like Tyne Bridge Harriers (everyone connected with the club – ‘Dave’ or ‘no Dave’) have inspired me.

Unlike many other ‘Daves’, I started running late in life. Three and a half years ago, I found myself being talked into running the Blaydon Race (as someone I used to work with is the daughter of the organiser) and I decided to attempt it – even though I had never done any running before. I really didn’t know where, or how, to start training. Should I run outside or should I use a treadmill? As I was no stranger to gyms, I opted for the treadmill at first and then progressed to running outside once I had the confidence to do so. I ran the race and from that day, I decided that I was going to keep up running in some capacity. At that stage, I would go to the gym and run once or twice a week. I had no idea about progression or training, however, and, in terms of improving my times and upping my mileage, I made very little headway and started to become frustrated. As I was a slow runner, I thought that joining a running club would not be an option – I would be far too slow and would never be able to keep up with the others. Furthermore, I had looked at some club websites and they weren’t exactly promoting the recruitment of slow runners – in fact, the very opposite! I continued to run by myself; started to read running magazines for advice and improved gradually but it was quite a lonely existence for a couple of years. I was therefore really pleased when, in September 2010, Victoria (my daughter) expressed an interest in running – she thought it would benefit her hockey playing. I had never been to parkrun before but I thought that it would be a good starting point for Victoria…unfortunately, it was also the starting point of a period of injury for me…

That Saturday morning, as I moved towards the parkrun start line, I felt something ‘ping’ in my right foot but I still decided to run as I didn’t want to let Victoria down. To cut a very long story short, I did myself a lot of damage (a deep crack running through my heel and torn and twisted tendons); faced several months of treatment and was told by my consultant that I should choose a low-impact form of exercise as I may never be able to run again. I was devastated but refused to give up. After months of volunteering and watching Victoria at parkrun, I slowly began to exercise again and was determined to start running in the future. I talked to David Daniels, at parkrun, who convinced me that I should come along to Tyne Bridge Harriers as they would be able to help me get back into running.

The first few sessions were incredibly difficult for me as I had lost all of my fitness and I was frightened about injuring myself again. In fact, for 2 weeks, I could only run a mile each session and, although everyone was very friendly and encouraged and supported me, I felt that I was holding everybody else back. The club was still in its infancy and was essentially made up of experienced runners and ‘fast lads’ at this stage. I decided that I would build up my fitness again and return to TBH sometime in the near future as they really were a welcoming and supportive club but I felt that I wasn’t yet ready for club running.

TBH thought differently, however, and Paul Hilton and David Daniels encouraged me to keep coming along. It was at this point that I offered to work with runners who may not have previously considered club running (those returning from injury, new runners, those lacking in confidence, slower runners etc) and I was suddenly on a mission! I was determined to encourage runners of all abilities to join the club and I was particularly interested in expanding the number of women at TBH. I undertook a Leadership in Running Fitness course and worked with runners in Groups 4 and 5 under the guidance of Dave Anderson. It has given me great satisfaction to see every one of these runners improve and, more significantly, to have seen runners, who were previously lacking in confidence, enter races and represent a running club when they never ever thought that they would be able to do so.

Personally, in my first few months with TBH, I have been able to fight back from injury; I have completed my first half marathon; I have improved my 10 mile race time by almost 6 minutes and have achieved a few PBs at parkrun. What I’m most proud of, however, is becoming Ladies’ Captain – I consider it a great honour to represent such a fantastic club and I will continue to work hard to help develop it even further. Roll on 2012 and the successes it will bring for Tyne Bridge Harriers!

Denise ‘Dave’ Waugh

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    • double d on 24th December 2011 at 07:32
    • Reply

    As it’s Christmas time, you’d almost be forgiven to think that ‘Dave’s Waugh’ story was written as a fairytale, “runner suffers a horrendous injury but returns to lead her club to glory”. But without Dave/Denise, Tyne Bridge would be no where near the successful club it is today, and every member at the club – from the fast lads to the newbies – should look at her as an example to follow, always leading from the front and offering her support to others at every opportunity.

    • Paul Hilton on 24th December 2011 at 08:04
    • Reply

    TBHs are lucky to have the Lady of the ‘Daves’ . When the club started to grow and more woman came to the club ,we were unsure what to, as Denise says we were mostly a group geared up for the type of training that would suit quicker runners. When someone would come earlier in the Year who was not fit or did not want to be a fast runner we did not really know how to deal with them, they would get left behind , maybe lost and not come back. When Denise arrived she changed all that ,and now as everyone knows anyone can come to TBHs of any standard and wont get left behind.

    Denise also wants to improve her own running as well as the Ladies team and has shown true grit and determination by running for the team whilst un well.A true Captain !

    All the best, Dave and Victoria

    • kenny mac on 24th December 2011 at 10:16
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    Denise you always manage to leave me with a tear in my eye when I hear the story of getting back into running.

    You are the singlemost reason why the women’s team is getting bigger and stronger by the day.

    We wouldn’t be the club we are today if you weren’t persuaded to come along.

    Thank You

    • david rowe on 24th December 2011 at 12:41
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    well done on a fantastic year dave, you’ve been a great leader for the ladies team, keep up the good work.

    • Vicki Deritis on 24th December 2011 at 13:28
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    As a newer club member who is both female and a slower runner, can I just say how extremely supportive Denise has been to those of us in group 5 end of the club .

    I think a lot of us slower runners will have had the same sort of concerns about joining a running club that Denise mentions. Will I keep up? Is it really meant for people like me or need only ‘proper’ runners apply? In the short time that I have been coming to the club these worries have been completely forgotten about and I know I’ve got a little bit faster to boot.

    Many thanks Denise.

    • on 24th December 2011 at 14:02
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    without Denise, TBH would not be half the club it is today.. her commitment, passion and drive have built up a super ladies team that always put in 100%. Denise would not expect anything less !!

    I highly respect people with a cando attitude and Denise displays this at all times

    Thanks very much Denise for all your hard work in 2011.

    2012 will be another chapter and I’m sure it will be even more successful for you

    Merry Christmas ‘Dave’

    • Big Ron on 24th December 2011 at 19:40
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    Denise, you typify all that is good about TBH. You have the strength to put your own problems to the back of you mind, grit your teeth and get on with it. You are always there to help those runners in groups 4 and 5 and must take some credit for helping new runners improve with the result that they move up into group 3.

    Have a great 2012.

    • Apples on 24th December 2011 at 20:18
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    Another brilliant profile and perhaps the most emotional and inspiring to date. Denise represents the true spirit and inclusivity of TBH, we wouldn’t have achieved so much in the last 11 months without her commitment and enthusiasm . Lets hope for many new PB’s for Denise in 2012.
    Thanks for everything you have contributed.

    • RobW on 24th December 2011 at 22:24
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    great stuff and what a journey Dave Waugh! You and all the ladies team are super-duper and it’s great cheering yous on as you dig deep and represent the club! Good work Captain :-)

    • Michelle Charlton on 3rd January 2012 at 13:45
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    Turning up for my first session 5weeks ago at TBH was a daunting prospect., I really did almost turn around and flee!! my fears were soon put to rest with the friendliness and encouragement of Denise and the others in group 4and5. I’m under no illusion that I will be the next ‘Mo Farra’ I can dream though, and feel that in my short time at the club I have improved. I look forward to 2012 and setting myself new goals and I’m sure with Denise behind me I will achieve. With my new found confidence I’ve even entered the northern XC championships. Denise,Thank-you for your continued support and advice. You are one of a kind…..

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