‘Keep on running’ says Mary

Updated: Mar 4

When Mary Clements from Harnham first joined Salisbury running club in her early 50’s, she had no idea she would still be as keen on running as she is today, 20 years later, writes John Ruskin.

Ready to race: Mary Clements (centre) with Lilli (left) and Katie at the Popham cross country (credit James Ballard)

Still less did she expect to be one of the growing number of running families now with three generations regularly racing for the same club.


Mary, 72 years young, continues to don the ‘sea of blue’ vest of City of Salisbury athletics and running club to compete in road, cross country and parkrun events all over the south. Earlier this winter she took top place in her age category at the Hampshire League’s Victory 5mile road race in Portsmouth.


“Being able to keep on running and taking part in racing with the club is hugely enjoyable,” said Mary, “and sharing that with the family means it’s even better.”


Next month her daughter Katie will start alongside her at the club’s Salisbury 10mile road race in the Woodford Valley, where grand-daughter Lilli will be chief supporter.


Katie, 39, will then follow in Mum’s footsteps when she runs the London marathon in April.

Ten year-old Lilli too has been part of the club for more than two years and after making new friends in the sport has just moved up to middle-distance training for juniors at the Five Rivers track, recently completing every fixture in the season’s cross country league along with Katie and Mary.


Ballard beats the storm


In one of the few road races not to be cancelled because of the weekend storms, City of Salisbury’s James Ballard took a well-earned seventh place overall and first place in his age group at the gale-torn Tenterden 5 mile in Kent where he clocked a fine 34min 58sec.

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