Lauren Dickson – My return from injury

My return from injury

Runners suffer from injuries. It is an inevitable outcome of pavement pounding and does not discriminate on gender or ability, recreational joggers to elite runners all have their share of aches and pains. However, when looked at with a positive perspective, injuries can create an invaluable opportunity for development. Here’s my experience of injury and how, with the support of friends and family, I’ve worked to overcome it…

Having competed in school cross-countries, I joined Lasswade AC at the age of eleven and tried my hand in multiple events as a junior, deciding to focus on endurance events. Under the guidance of Linda, Kirk, Gilly (then Andy), I have progressed on to represent Scotland (in track, cross-country, road and mountain running) and Great Britain (Mountain Running); winning both my first British title and an U20 World Cup last year in Mountain Running. Having had a few minor injuries over the years, nothing could have prepared me for the cycling accident I was to have in October 2019. In the shape of my life and a week away from flying to Argentina for the World Mountain Running Championships, I was hit by an oncoming driver while cycling. Waking up hours later with unstable neck fractures, shattered pelvis and broken ribs, it was clear that I wouldn’t be running at the Worlds – or, for that matter, anywhere else for a long time. Fast forward five months, and I am well on track to being faster and fitter than ever before.

Coming to terms with what had happened was an undulating process. Initially, all I felt were disbelief and disappointment (and very sleepy). All I had worked towards for the past few months, hours of training and dedication, had been destroyed through no fault of my own. Beyond feeling gutted, I also felt guilty about the work my coaches had put in to get me to that level of fitness. Negative feelings can be a downward spiral but, as a friend reminded me, I needed to thank my lucky stars. My mindset changed gradually as I realised that, ultimately, my fitness and strength had given me another shot at life. I still had an amazing network of support surrounding me. I still had the chance to explore and develop; there are hundreds of races each year and – at the end of the day – we should run because we enjoy it. Focusing on small achievements as I tried to build back some routine into my day and looking back at photos of all the good times sport had brought me restored my motivation slowly. Some days were distinctly better than others, serving as a harsh reminder of how far I had to go. Taking a deep breath and reminding myself that worrying about things beyond my control were not helpful set me straight. Why give up on something which has given you so much?

After two months lying in bed, a trip to the end of our street – supported by my boyfriend for the entire 400 metres – took fifteen minutes of shuffling: its fair to say I was the un-fittest I have ever been. Ironically, this gave me the benefit of hindsight on previous injuries: even though you’ve lost fitness, you can still return to form with a bit of grit and perseverance. Nevertheless, my motivation was building as the desire to feel fit, healthy and be able to do what I loved grew. Accepting that this would take an indefinite period of time and that I shouldn’t make comparisons to previous form were key as I began to build back up. Taking steps gradually and ensuring that I retained plenty of rest days (so training did not inhibit my recovery), while keeping my sessions varied and based on feel were key to keeping motivated: no-one but yourself is putting the pressure of success on you. One day of missed training doesn’t do any damage, if anything it helps your body and mind to recover. I began to set alternative goals, keeping a post-it wall of personal achievements: stretching, cooking, yoga …. the list of opportunities was endless.

One of the biggest boosts to my recovery was the support – visits, phone-calls, cards and gifts – from friends and family because it made me remember that I wasn’t alone. After the initial upset of being unable to train and compete has settled, many injured athletes find the isolation associated with no-longer training in a group to be a big, and often overlooked, burden. Before this hit me, I began to organise ways to keep in contact with my club, coaches and training partners. By volunteering at training (e.g. timing sessions, collecting subs), marshalling at events (Parkrun are always looking for volunteers) and helping organise teams (e.g. booking transport, handing out course maps) I benefited myself while simultaneously giving something back to the club/community.

Sitting here writing this, three weeks into lockdown, I am once again reminded of how much we take for granted in life. Often, its only when we can’t have or do something that we understand its importance. When my primary short-term goal had been returning to group training, this came as a big blow. Nevertheless, it has provided some time to explore new routes and improve my fitness further before we can return to our old routines. My long-term goals remain the same and provide an overarching incentive for training: to represent Great Britain in track, cross-country and road; eventually making the Olympic team (which would be a dream come true). I think that Dina-Asher Smith’s philosophy of making small steps towards a bigger goal is a great way to approach athletics, as even if you don’t make the final aim you have still achieved lots of little things along the way. Moreover, I believe that this quote from Heidi Davis (GB Mountain Runner) sums up the reason I have worked so hard to return to fitness:

“My goal is to really enjoy this sport. To appreciate every step I take. To really enjoy every place this sport takes me and to be thankful and grateful for all that it gives me. So I would say my biggest goal is just to enjoy this life for as long as I can and to be happy and healthy whilst doing so”.


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Amy’s Challenge

Posted by Linda Smith on Tuesday, 21 April 2020

For today’s challenge, all you need is a sturdy chair/bench/firm sofa. These exercises are great for core strength but also test your balance!

1. Toe taps
2. Incline push-ups
3. Dips
4. Seated single-leg squats

Aim to do each exercise x10 (x5 on each leg for exercises 1 and 4) or as many as you feel you can manage.

Focus on your technique and do not rush them, it is much more beneficial to do them slowly. I apologise for my awful push-ups, upper body strength is something I clearly need to work on.????

Hope you’re all keeping safe and enjoying the sunshine!

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Challenge No 3 – Sarah

Sarah’s challenge Hope you all had a lovely Easter. Challenge 3: For our third home challenge let’s test our strength. Please see video below for reference!(For people struggling, try it with a t-shirt instead of jumpers)- lets post your attempts below because I’m sure they will be better than mine???? Quote of the day: Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it. (Keep this in mind when training and with this challenge!) Ps. Remember to carry on spelling as many words as we can for Guys challenge too ! ????

Posted by Linda Smith on Monday, 13 April 2020

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Next Challenge – with toilet rolls!

Challenge no 2 ????????????????????????????

Posted by Linda Smith on Sunday, 12 April 2020

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A fun challenge from Lauren!!

Tonight’s challenge from Lauren ???????

Posted by Linda Smith on Thursday, 9 April 2020

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Guys Challenge – Come on give it a Go!!!

Here is Guy’s challenge. Have fun ????????????????????????????

Posted by Linda Smith on Wednesday, 8 April 2020

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Coronavirus – Message of Motivation from Guy Learmonth

Hi everyone hope you’re all well and trying to stay fit over this difficult period. Here is a message from Lasswade’s very own Guy Learmonth the current British Indoor 800m Champion who has very kindly sent this video to you all. ???????Guy has also set a challenge for you all in the next post. Have a go and post your photos and videos of you doing it. Stay safe and stay fit ????????????????????????????

Posted by Linda Smith on Wednesday, 8 April 2020

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Temporary Suspension of Training Sessions

Temporary Suspension of Training Sessions

All club training sessions will be suspended until Monday 20th April

Over the past few weeks Lasswade Athletics Club have been following guidelines set out by Scottish Athletics and the Government in response to the Coronavirus Outbreak.  Our number one priority has always been the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, members and their families. In light of the recent escalation in Health and Safety measures we have come to the unfortunate decision that training sessions will have to undergo a temporary suspension.

This decision also reflects that of our governing body Scottish Athletics:

“scottishathletics recommend that all formal club/group training sessions be cancelled for the time being but the situation will be monitored and reviewed on a week-by-week basis and until the recommendations on social contact are better understood.”

The initial suspension period has been set to run over the Easter Holidays, with training currently timetabled to resume on Monday 20th April. This will be the minimum period of suspension. We very much hope to be able to resume on the given date, however this will be dependent on the situation at that time.

Over the period of suspension our Facebook Page will continue to provide updates and information as we get it. Ahead of Monday 20th April emails will be sent providing up to date information.

This is obviously a massive blow for everyone at the club, athletes, coaches, volunteers and supporters and something no-one wanted or could have seen coming.

In the intervening period we hope that everyone keeps safe, healthy and follows the Health Guidelines that seem to be coming out on a daily basis. The best place for up to date club information is our facebook page: LasswadeAC1981. It would be a good idea for all members to check in on this page so we can reach as many people as possible throughout the year.

A further statement will be issued regarding the payment of club subs, via standing order, over the period of suspension, and the best way to cover this. In the meantime we realise that, in addition to the health impacts of the virus, there will be tremendous financial implications for a number of families. A previous document had been drafted dealing with this issue in the event we continued with training, allowing for the temporary exemption of payments for those affected along with other measures. This will be something we look into on return but, in the intervening period, if you are affected please feel free to cancel your standing order payment for April 1st. This will in no way affect your membership or ability to return to training when the sessions resume.

Emails have been sent out with the above information. If you have not received an email it is important that you contact Craig at so that your details can be added.

Current List of Events / Competitions Affected:  Summer 2020 T&F Fixtures



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Road Race 2020

The 39th installment of Lasswade Athletics Annual Ten Mile Road Race proved to be one of the toughest in its history as weather conditions came close to preventing the race going ahead last Sunday. Overnight and morning downpours had left two sections of the course under almost a foot of water and impassable to most vehicles. In the end though the race did go ahead, much to the credit of the runners, marshals and officials who took part. And what a race it was.

Prior to the start of the race, runners and officials observed a minutes silence inmemory of Kenny Marshal. This was the first Road Race since we lost Kenny and it was a fine tribute to a fine man who had contributed so much to both athletics and the community.

The course was in such a state that you would  have expected times to go out of the window, however that did not happen. From the start Corstorphine AAC runner Michael Crawley and Lasswade AC runner Christian Graham set a blistering pace, pulling away from the field, pushing each other on every step of the way. This was all the more remarkable given that at just 19 years old Christian was one of the youngest to have run this race.  All the way through Roslin Glen and past Auchendinny the two raced on neck and neck, however in the closing miles Michael managed to establish a decent lead. Despite a spirited finish from Christian he could not close the gap as the pair made their way through the most treacherous sections of the course, with Michael negotiating the final challenges to come home winner. 

The winning time of of just 53m & 48s, over 3 mins faster than last year’s race, was remarkable given the conditions. Finishing just 21 seconds, and first in the Under 20 age group as well as first Lasswade runner home, Christian Graham can be more than proud of his debut in the race. Another top performance came from Telfer Gray. Like Christian, Telfer is another young runner with a bright future. The U20 Central AC athlete couldn’t hold the pace of the front two but was strong throughout and finished 3rd in a time of 59 min 05 seconds. Last year’s winner Adam Gray returned again for this year’s race and produced another fine run finishing in 4th place. 

Winner of this years Female Race was unattached athlete Catriona Probert who ran a strong race throughout. After establishing a lead over the rest of the women in the field, she finished  in another great time of 70.17. The win also secured top spot in the Masters and Midlothian Prize categories for Catriona. Second place went to Dundee Hawkhill Harriers runner Gemma Dolan in a time of 71.05, with Edinburgh AC’s Lyndsey Fraser not far behind in third. 


In an update to the Winners of the Female Team Event the eventual winners were Musselburgh and District Athletics Club.  The original results had missed out 2 of the Musselburgh Teams runners. After revising the results the team of Suzanne Beattie, Sarah Burrell and Fiona Watson came out winners by 26 points. Edinburgh Running Network,  finished second with Zorana Tasovac, Alison Rowe and Elizabeth Welsh scoring the points need. Penicuik Harriers claimed back to back wins in the Men’s Team event with last years winner Adam Gray joined by both John Gibbs and Ceadach Morton in the top ten. Second place went to Edinburgh with Gala Harriers in 3rd and Lasswade in 4th.


1st Male:  Michael Crawley,  Corstorphine AAC

1st Female:  Catriona Probert,  unattached

1st Midlothian Female:  Catriona Probert,  unattached

1st Masters Female:  Catriona Probert,  unattached

1st Masters Male:  Gary Trewartha,  Gala Harriers

1st JogScotland Runner:  Angus Baxter,  unattached

1st Midlothian Male: Christian Graham,  Lasswade AC

1st Lasswade Male: Christian Graham,  Lasswade AC

1st Lasswade Female: Julia Cunningham

On the day though everyone who competed, from first to last, was a winner. Pushing themselves to the extreme and carrying on until the end when most would have given up. A special mention should also go out to the volunteers who turned out in force to support the event and ensure that, despite the conditions, the event went ahead as well as it did. 

The Race will return again on Sunday 7th March 2021. We hope to see as many people back as possible. Thanks for your support, effort and enthusiasm.

A full list of the winners, in each of the different categories, can be found at the following link:  LAC 10 Mile RoadRace Revised Results V1

Upcoming Events in the area:

Bluebell Trail Run, Dalkeith Country Park, Sunday 26th April:  Info at Bluebell 5k / 10k Trail Run

Penicuik Harriers 10K Road Race, Sunday 9th May:  Info at  Penicuik 10K

Balerno Rigg Race, Monday 25th May:  Info at   Rigg Race 2020

Thanks to Keith Kong for another set of great photos. To view more go the the club flickr page   Lasswade Road Race Photos

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National Cross Country Championships – Falkirk – 22/02/2020

Magnus with a great run to finish in 9th place! (Photo courtesy Will Graham)

The National Cross Country Championships once again took place at Callender Park, Falkirk. There was some doubt that the championships would go ahead at this venue due to the recent adverse weather and the condition of the park. However, after agreement that  some parts of the park would not be used and a revised course the event got the go ahead. That having been said the ground was saturated and extremely muddy in large sections of the course, the forecast for the day was wind, sleet and rain.

Lasswade AC had total of 28 athletes running and the first event of the day was the u13 girls.  The conditions deteriorated and the sleet and rain came down as the race got underway. The first Lasswade girl home was Hannah Knipe in 28th followed by team mate Eloise Scott in 50th and Bethan Kitchin in 62nd. Unfortunately Abbie Foster did not finish as she had a fall after being tripped by another runner who slipped in the muddy conditions.

Our U13 Girls at the end of their race! (Photo – courtesy of Graham Knipe)










The cold and wet conditions continued for the u13 boys race. Andrew McWilliams who has been improving throughout the winter was first Lasswade runner home in an impressive 7th place with team mate Rowan Taylor having a strong run in 26th and Cian Murray  completing our u13’s in 144th place.

In our u15 girls team Olivia Meikle led the girls home with a solid performance in 33rd, Amy McLaughlin was next home in 46th followed by team mate Skye Foster in 92nd, Fiona Eades 95th and Rebekah Knipe 102nd.

We had five u15 boys in the next race and the conditions remained cold, wet and very muddy! Sam Kitchin led the boys home in 58th, Alastair Scott was next in 65th, Rory Scott was 82nd, Alasdair Brown 111th and Alec Miller 141st.

Harry Henriksen last year’s u15 National Champion had moved up an age group to u17. Preparation for Harry  had not gone to plan but he was on the start line with team mate Alex Porteous ready to give the race a go. Harry ran a steady race to finish in 23rd place, team mate Alex had to pull out.

In the u20 men we had two runners competing for their respective universities, Christian Graham running for Dundee and Magnus Tait for Glasgow. Both probably had their best races of the season with Christian following just behind the lead group of 6 or 7 runners on the first lap and Magnus a litte further back in about 15th. In the second lap both worked their way through with Christian finishing 4th and helping his Dundee University team to win the silver team medal. Magnus also worked his way through to finish inside the top 10 in 9th place.

Christian on route to a brilliant 4th place! (Photo courtesy Will Graham)

In the u20 women’s race we had one athlete, Sarah Tait. Like Christian and Magnus, Sarah also had one of her best races of the winter season. Sarah was up in as high as 5th place going into the second lap but faded a little still finishing inside the top 10 in a super 8th place.

Sarah on her way to superb 8th place! (Photo courtesy Will Graham)

Keira Gore was our only senior lady competing today and considering she wasn’t feeling that great going into the race ran very well to finish in an impressive 19th place.

The last race of the day was the senior men and it got underway just as the heavens opened once again with sleet rain and wind. The course started off the day like a quagmire of mud so after nine races you can imagine what it was like for the men! All of our men that were competing are masters and Andrew McGlone was first home in 314th, followed by Scott Dickson in 437th, Dave Scott and Peter Ness were pretty close with Dave coming out on top in 456th with Peter in 467th. Our final two runners were Steve Brown 501st and Phil Parr-Burman in 580th

Well done to everyone who took part today.  A great effort with some impressive performances in very difficult conditions.

That’s the cross country season almost over for another season, just the schools and inter counties left. If you are involved in these then good luck we hope you have a great race.

Thanks to everyone for their help and support over the winter as always we greatly appreciate it –  it’s great to see everyone pulling together and mucking in to help and support each other – so thank you all.

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