Doncaster runner strides beyond his years

Posted: Wed, 16 Jan 2019 10:06

Doncaster runner strides beyond his years

A Doncaster man has found a new love for running, thanks to help from his local gym.

Derek Crunkhorn, aged 55, is a member at the Fitness Village gym, located at the Keepmoat Stadium and run by Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT).

His journey started as a simple plan to improve his fitness, but he was always looking for more than that.

In December 2017, Derek heard about a run taking place just outside of Doncaster, so he thought he would enter and give it a try.

Derek said: "At 54 years old I entered my first run in 15 years. I finished the run, not in a great time and not in my best shape, but I finished.

"This inspired me to improve and enter more."

In 2018 he took on and completed a 5K race, three 10Ks and one half marathon. He also has his eye on two more half marathons in the near future.

Derek says that all of this has been possible thanks to the work he has done with his DCLT trainer, Ann Crask.

Together they trained his leg strength, endurance, stride and pace, and improved his aerobic fitness along the way.

Derek said: "I feel more relaxed running now and I am able to control my breathing much better. My legs are still screaming at the end of a race but, when I'm feeling tired or pace is slipping, all I can hear

in my head is Ann shouting at me - 'Relax! Soft feet!'

"It really works and helps me to keep going."

Having managed to break the 60 minute barrier for his 10K races, Derek has the goal of continuing to improve and see his times tumble.

Ann Crask, from DCLT, said: "Derek's motivation to get stronger and hit his targets is an inspiration to us all, even before you consider that hadn't run for a decade and a half.

"I'm so proud to see that his hard work is continuing to pay off and I am sure that he can achieve just about anything he puts his mind to.

"It sends a message to anybody like Derek that all you need is a little perseverance, a bit of guidance and you can make huge steps forward in your fitness."

DCLT venues offer personal training and fitness plans to all members across its Doncaster gyms.

For further information visit

Tags: DCLT, running