Captains’ Corner #1 – Neil Smith

Welcome to our first ever Captains’ Corner – a new regular series of blog posts from Debbie and Neil. Every few weeks we’ll be hearing from them in turn, on any aspect of the club; their running; or their experiences that they’d like to write about. Today we’re very proud to introduce Neil’s first post which looks back on his first 6 weeks in the role. Thanks Neil!

Hi everyone and welcome to the first instalment of my Captain’s Blog.

Many thanks once again for the support I’ve received since taking over the reins from Jon, it really means a lot. I can’t believe nearly 2 months have passed by so quickly. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far.

Where to begin…? Our first official duty was the Captains’ announcement video which was great fun to shoot and really enjoyable. It’s on the Home page if you haven’t seen it. *Cringe. Thanks to Jim for making our ramblings look so good. Top editing!


It was lovely to run our first session as Captains with the beginners in September. I intend to run with different paced groups over the year to get to know more of you and help you achieve your goals where I can. I’m also a bit nosey and like to hear people’s stories, motivations and targets!

We’ve already had 2 HRRL races and are 1/6 of the way through the season! It’s not all about the races but it is a big part of the club and amongst all the fun and games I’m sure it will be a competitive season for the A and B teams.

The first race, Overton, was a great day out. I’m always proud to represent our amazing club but my first as Captain made it extra special. I also knocked over a minute off my (hungover) time from last year.

Injury stopped me from running the Solent 1/2 but I joined the vociferous support crew to witness some fantastic times on a hot day. It looks like there will be a good turn out on the 1.11.15 for the Lordshill 10 and a whopping 50+ Crusaders will take on the Gosport 1/2 on the 15.11.15. This is a truly incredible achievement for our club and promises to be an unforgettable day.


Apart from the HRRL races, it’s virtually impossible to keep up with all the other crazy antics going on every weekend & it’s testament to you all that since September we’ve crowned ironmen (both at home and abroad), witnessed marathons, triathlons, halfs, mud runs, numerous parkruns and the start to the XC season. The new ‘kids kit’ online shop is an exciting addition to the website and it will help inspire future generations of Crusaders and ensure the future of the club is in safe hands.

I can’t wait for the year ahead especially as there are some (currently secret) exciting times at Crusaders HQ coming up…

Personally, I’d love to continue to increase involvement and see new faces at races, both at the HRRL and the XC. Hopefully the video on the homepage will inspire you to get involved with the muddy fun! I also want to encourage people to gently step out of their comfort zone and try new groups or different sessions.

Most of all though, together I’m sure we will all continue to work and play hard, enjoy our running with typical Crusader smiles and aim to be the best we can and that’s enough.

Bye for now

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