Eden Runners chairman Shaun Silson has retired after four momentous years at the helm of the Penrith-based running club.
Also retiring, were long-term committee members Dave Peacock, John Bridge and Tony Lowery.
Formerly a member of Keswick AC, Shaun set up and organised the Penrith Half Marathon which began in 1988 and ran for seven years.
In 1994, after road conditions changed, a group of local runners, inspired by the event, formed the Eden Runners club and asked to take over the event. It was moved to Bampton, became the Haweswater Half-Marathon and has been a mainstay of the club’s activities ever since.
Shaun subsequently joined Eden Runners, becoming chairman in 2016. His role was more eventful than he would have liked, has ended with a worldwide pandemic — not exactly what he had envisaged when elected to the role.
During his time at the helm, the club went to the Northern 12 stage relays and expanded their fell running activities, notably recording the third fastest time in the Billy Bland Challenge and competing strongly in the Hodgson Brothers relay.
A trip to the Northern Cross-Country Championships along with the juniors was a real highlight of last year and augurs well for the future.
Shaun has also been very keen to encourage ladies to join the management team as they form the majority of club members.
He regularly coached weekly sessions in the winter and led summer runs.
Many club members have benefited from his years as a road and fell runner and his experience as a PE teacher, learning to develop their running skills on dark wet nights in the winter.
During the COVID pandemic Shaun, and vice chairman Stuart Lowthian, rewrote the club’s constitution and reorganised the club structure to meet the demands of the modern era.
The introduction of Team App enabled the club to communicate and keep functioning within the government guidelines and has proven a great success.
Shaun has set up a JustGiving page here for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young to combat an unseen but ever present danger to many young otherwise fit and healthy people.
Dave, meanwhile, joined the club in 1996 and has served on the committee until his retirement this year. He was chairman for two years and set up the junior club.
He also raised thousands of pounds to refurbish sports facilities at QEGS which was used as a training base.
Dave is a level three coach and has helped many juniors and seniors along their running journey.
He set up the Skipton Cup which is the club’s handicap event run over a month in the early Autumn and was responsible for the presentation of trophies at the club’s annual dinner.
His insight and experience will be sorely missed.
John set up the club’s website and has provided valuable computer support and skills across a range of club activities and races. He was also a regular helper at the Penrith Parkrun.
Tony represented the interests of the members and was always ready to roll his sleeves up and get on with the practical aspects of the club’s organisation working with the juniors and seniors over many years.
All four of the retirees were regular runners and marshals at the Penrith parkrun where no doubt they will be able to meet up at some future time and relive the old days.
The new committee will be chaired by Stuart and now has equal numbers of women and men in the leadership roles.