Ilkeston Running Club

Ilkeston Running Club Committee and Officials

The Club committee and officials are elected each year at our AGM. Please feel free to contact any one of us if you have any questions.

Richard Iliffe


I am still relatively new to running, having only taken it up in November 2012.

From running a mile a day (sometimes not even that far) in November 2012, to running my first “race” in 2013 (the Derby 10K, with the help of Ilkeston Running Club), I am now running up to marathon distance events, regularly tackling the fells and will soon tackle my first Ultra (a gentle 65km).

Whilst I had the personal motivational reason to take up and enjoy running, joining a running club has helped me massively.

Admittedly, the thought of tagging along with “proper runners” was very daunting,

Would I be fast enough?

Did I have the right clothing or footwear?

Would I need all the hi-tech gadgets?

But, do you know, none of this mattered. I was made to feel at ease on the first night, and everyone ran at my pace.

I very quickly turned into a runner, rather than someone who runs. Although I have lived in Ilkeston all my life, I discovered new paths and trails I never knew existed; again another benefit of running with the club is varying my running.

Previously, I would only stick to the roads but we have a massive amount of paths and trails on our doorstep, so you don’t have to be a lone runner and just pound the streets.

By joining a club, you will have the support and guidance of enthusiastic and experienced runners. You can read as many books as you like, but these benefits should never be underestimated.

For me, the best thing about becoming a club runner is the friendships. The pressures of everyday life are with us all, Running, and being part of a club, is an escape from this. Compared to other sports, running is available to everyone, it is relatively cheap, and, within minutes, you can be out of your front door and running.

I would advocate that everyone should join a club like Ilkeston Running Club. You won’t look back.

Richard Iliffe

Keith Hudson


My entry into the world of running is similar to so many others, I found myself a few years ago out of breath when chasing my toddler about! Having been very sporty as a child and teenager mainly playing football, time, or should I say, my motivation for finding time to exercise when I started working, got married and became a Dad was non-existent!! I'm now pleased to say that after four years of running my now 8 year old son has no chance of escaping Dad!

I joined Ilkeston Running Club in April 2016 after starting a job in Ilkeston so was looking for a local running club to train with after work rather than heading north up the M1 back home to Chesterfield to sit on my sofa after a day's work! I heard and read a lot about it being one of the friendliest clubs around and I found out just how true that was very quickly after I joined. The club has a cracking bunch of members, who all support each other no matter what the occasion, be it at a training night, running event or social activity (which is a very nice added benefit to our running club!).

Personally I have seen my PBs tumble at both 5k and 10k distances since I joined the club, that's as far as I have ran, for now! But this year, along with a few more from IRC, I will be running the Great North Run - my first attempt at a half marathon!! My running improvement in the last year since joining the club is down to the training sessions, club races I have taken part in, support from club members and also the other races I have been inspired to take part in as a result of being part of the club.

I wanted to be part of the committee so that I could give something back to the club and also be a part of its continued success and help out in what ever way I could.


Keith Hudson

Alan Bower


My footballing career came to an end. I had no skill whatsoever and was always getting injured. Looking back I cannot really understand why I had not given up years before.! My squash career was equally as unremakable. Week after week I tried and the improvement in my game never happened.!

Then it suddenly dawned on me that I what I actually enjoyed was the running around bit.! All the years spent chasing after a ball was in fact just an excuse to run.! As I grew “More Mature! “ my wife became a liitle concemed that I would go missing on a dark winters night and no-one, least of all her, would have any idea where I was.!

Joining the Running Club was a revelation. My friendship group expanded. My routes became more varied. My running improved which made it even more enjoyable. My wife stopped fretting. It was Win Win Win! !

The Running Club introduced me to the Booths Decorator League, Road Races. Cross Country Races, I discovered the irresponsible joy of Fell Races and then, when the milage and confidence had increased I competed in The London Marathon and beat the great Mo Farah. He said that he always intended to pulled out at London Bridge becuse he was only practicing for the 2014 but as any proper athelete knows that’s a poor excuse for not finishing!

Alan Bower

Andrew Bird

Membership Secretary

In March 2007 I bought my first pair of running shoes and embarked upon a couch to 5k training plan to get fit for a charity 5-a-side football tournament after showing my lack of fitness the previous year. From there I worked up to completing the Robin Hood half marathon 6 months later.

For the next 5 years I dipped in and out of running with indifference until I finally plucked up the courage to join Ilkeston Running Club. Since joining the club I have learned from, and been inspired by, many experienced runners; I have run faster and further than I ever thought possible and enjoyed the social aspect of running with the club.

My running achievements to date include winning the 2015 Longhorn Marathon, gaining a Good for Age place in the 2016 London Marathon and completing the Ladybower 50 mile event in 2015. I have taken responsibility for our monthly Handicap Race and our Club Championship in the past and more recently become the Membership Secretary. I have enjoyed watching the club go from strength to strength, grow in numbers and have members taking part in events all over the country (and beyond!) flying the Ilkeston Running Club flag high. I am proud to be a member of IRC and would encourage anyone who would like to run with a friendly, supportive group to join us.

Andrew Bird

Ian Hunter


30th November 2003, my 1st 10k. I’d decided I didn’t want to be unfit anymore, I was living with my best friend at the time who was a reasonably good runner. He’d encouraged me to join him in Sheffield for a nice 10k. I actually quite enjoyed it finishing in 549th place in 50.43.

It certainly triggered something in me (my competitive streak!), I wanted to get faster to try and catch up with my friend, looking at the results I noticed that only a small improvement on the time would have resulted in me being a 100 or so places higher…..and then it began!

I carried on for a few years, improved my times across the board, moved up to half marathons, trail and fell racing and then in 2008 I ran my 1st Marathon in Berlin in a respectable time of 3.32.

I was pretty hooked by now but I realised my times were plateauing and something needed to happen for me to continue to improve. In 2010 I decided that I was going to become a ‘proper’ runner and started training more consistently and smarter.

Fast forward to 2016, I have now run over 300 races and find myself in the V40 category!

Being men captain of IRC is a great honour and I hope I can use my experience and knowledge to help other people improve their training and their times.

Laura Hickey

Ladies Captain

Cathy Ayton

Ladies Captain

I got into running in 2013, never doing anything by half I decided my first ever race would be Nottingham Marathon. It was an impulse decision after a few wines I’m not going to lie! The problem was a was relatively a none runner and there were only three and half months to go.

By some miracle I managed it to pull it off and finished in a reasonable time of 4:30:31. Well I really caught the running bug, the sense of achievement and pride when you cross the finish line was just so addictive. After trying and failing to achieve the sub four-hour marathon in 2014 I joined the club then I saw my times tumble away. I have now completed six marathons and I was even lucky enough to win The Longhorn Marathon thus qualify for a “Good for Age” place in London Marathon, I also managed to qualify to race for Derbyshire in the County Championships.

Joining Ilkeston running club was definitely one of the best things I have done, not only have my running times improved dramatically but I have met some really amazing like-minded people and have made some really good friends and I have tried lots of different types of running like muddy XC and found my new love of fell racing.

There is a really friendly social side to the club and an amazing team spirit.

After taking part in the Daz Holloway memorial race/ Buttermere Horseshoe in the Lake District in June 2016 the race opened my eyes to the love of Fell racing so I am just trying to learn to love the hills

Joining the club has really given me a new lease of life so I really wanted to give something back by joining the committee. 

As ladies captain my job is to make sure new runners feel at home and help with the coordination the monthly training plan and race organisation. 

Cathy Ayton

Ian Cooper

Mens Captain



In 2009 after losing a lot of weight the previous year I was looking for some form of exercise to maintain my new slim figure, and yes, you guessed it I started cycling oblivious to the joys of running for several more years.

In the spring of 2014 some bright spark at work thought it would be a great idea to sign up me as well as several other people to do the Robin Hood half marathon without my consent. Having not run before my wife persuaded me to joining a running club. Which I did on 14.05.14, my intention and what I would tell anyone that would listen was that I would train and turn up to every club night do the half marathon and never run again as it wasn’t really my thing, I didn’t really like it to be honest.

I completed the Half marathon in 1 hour 56 minutes that night I was on that much of a high I booked 3 more half marathons followed by Stanford 30K Ashby 20 and a few weeks later I was talked into doing a marathon by Mr Iliffe telling me Windermere is a flat marathon, I booked it without checking. I ran the marathon within a few days of the year anniversary of starting running with the club.

My addiction to long distance running was complete when Nicole Atkinson talked me into doing an ultra for her birthday I was hooked and as they say the rest is history. Up to date I have done 4 marathons and 7 ultras with the furthest being 100 kilometres, 63 miles. Most of the runs being in 2016.

This year the race diary is already full with more ultras and marathons booked. With a 100 mile run being the goal in September .The future for me must be ultras a great day out with fantastic people and they feed you too, but as most of you know only too well I will do anything, so long as there are people to talk to.


Ian Cooper

Male Club Captain

Richard Bower

Mens Captain

David Feely

Race Director

Fat. Smoker. Binge drinker. Me at 29. I struggled to even keep up with my toddler. I didn't want my daughter following my lifestyle choices. Something had to change, so I began Operation Fit4thirty, a plan to whip myself back in shape.

Joining Ilkeston Running Club proved to be instrumental in achieving my goals. Running made me loose weight, which made me faster. Running reduced my cravings and nicotine was soon replaced by the buzz of the run. (I still enjoy a drink every now and then with the active social side of the club!) 

Since joining the club I have taken on fell races, half marathons, a marathon, and raised over a £1,000 for charity, thing's I would never have dreamed of if not for the support of the club. My personal bests have tumbled and I owe it to the support, knowledge and friendship of IRC members.

Slimmer, fitter, faster, (occasional drinker), dad role model. Me + IRC at 32.

I want to give something back to the club, and inspire others to make a change and improve their lifestyle. In my role as Race Director I hope to achieve just that.

Dave Feely

Race Director



Neil Cort

Championship Manager

I started running in the late 80’s with the intention of keeping fit and running a half-marathon. It took me until 2001 to run the Robin Hood half!

That was the only race I did for 5 years before adding others and training more smartly, this finally saw my 10k and HM times improve. In 2011 I ran my one and only (so far) full-marathon the experience of which made me decide that at age 47 my racing had gone as far as it could.

For 3 years I contented myself with 2 or 3 easy runs a week until some friends did their first 10k and I joined them. The buzz of racing and desire to do better came straight back which led me to do another HM that went better than expected. I now targeted my old PBs and this got a major boost when I joined IRC after seeing their monthly handicap race whilst I was out training - I had thought about joining 7 years earlier but never sent my email.

That was September 2015 and I’ve not looked back since having beaten all previous PBs and achieved a level that I never dreamt of 5 years earlier. Much of this has to do with IRC, the camaraderie, different training (including track work), league races and plain old advice, encouragement and experience. Why did it take so long to join!

Neil Cort

David Feely

Handicap Run Manager

Harder, better, faster, stronger! See that runner in front? Catch him and overtake! Hear Phil Michou sprinting behind you in the last 100m? Do not let him take you! I'm proud to host the handicap race, a race that pushes you to go that bit faster, to beat yourself and those around you. 

An ideal run for park runners looking to join a club, tell us your park run pb and we will match you up with runners of a similar level. The race is usually held on the 1st Tuesday of each month. 

Dave Feely

Handicap Run Manager

Phil Michou

Social Secretary

Ay up me duck!

I joined the IRC in July 2015 and have had an awesome time so far. My very first run with the club was a pub run to the Black Horse in Mapperley. 5k run there, pint, 5k run back - perfect!

I'm not a long distance runner, a half marathon is my max and I really enjoy a good sprint finish. My times came tumbling down in the first year and I ran to get PBs, now I've stopped getting quicker (for now) I'm running to enjoy it.

The club is full of awesome people, has a really social feel and is one big family. I'm hoping in my new role I can help giving something back and bring people even closer together - we've got loads of events planned coming up in the next year so watch this space.

Look forward to seeing you all down at club.


Phil Michou


Lee Francis

Social Media

Wayne Swiffin

Publicity Oficer

Wayne Swiffin is new to running, having taken up parkrun in January 2016. Since then, he has completed many more parkruns, a number of 10k races and the Nottingham Half Marathon. He is due to take part in the 2017 London Marathon.
As with many people, Wayne had a realisation that sitting on a sofa, eating chocolate biscuits and drinking too much does not a life make. So, he took up running to get fitter, get out more and enjoy the countryside.
From only having a 25 yard swimming certificate and a cycling proficiency certificate (passed after a retake), Wayne now has a small but growing bundle of running medals.
Wayne knows that by joining Ilkeston Running Club, he has joined a group of people who love running, sharing experiences and passing on advice and encouragement.
It’s a good 40-minute drive from Wayne’s home to the club - but he says its worth it because when the club goes out for hill reps or round nearby Shipley Country Park, he has to work hard and that can only be a positive thing.

James Turton

Website Manager

It took me many months to pluck up the courage to join a running club, finally taking the plunge late in 2012 after running the streets of Ilkeston for many years on my own.

I remember my first club run - 6 miles with a steep hill at the end, just what i needed!. However, I found the club really supportive, I was a little slower than most of the other runners but this just made me more determined to push myself to keep the pace.

Since then I have found myself improving all the time – The Monthly Handicap 5k and the Booth Decorators League races really help you keep track of your progress and this year I achieved two of my running goals by breaking the 1:50 for the Half Marathon as well as finally getting my sub 50 for a 10k.  Without the help, support and encouragement of this club I would never have done this.

I have recently stood down as Chairman after 3 amazing years seeing the club develop. I'm now looking forward to developng the club web site to be the best it can be!

I would like to extend a warm welcome to the club and if you have any questions, concerns or comments please let me know.