Mel started running a few years back to keep fit when she moved back to Shropshire and joined the Mercia Fell Running Club in Church Stretton. The Long Mynd and surrounding hills lend themselves to fell running and it was not long before this talented athlete was vying with the countries elite fell runners in national championships. Her first championship success was in 2011 when she came second in the Ladies British Championships, a feat repeated in 2013 and 2015. Mel was also first in the Welsh Series and ran for the England team in the International Snowdon Race.
Not even having a family put Mel off for long. With Jon they run Viking Elite Training and Mel still managed light training up to the birth of her two daughters and now, as a family, they can travel the country to watch Mum racing over the fells. As Mel says: “We no longer have to put up tents and the whole experience is easier at an event. Other people will be envious of our camper van. It is great to have good family time with Jon, the girls and our dog.”
Mel is pictured with a VW camper van from specialist conversion company, Rolling Homes, which the family borrowed whilst the finishing touches were put to their new ‘rolling home’. The family were off to the Lake District where Mel was competing in rounds for the English and British Championships. The courses there are set over the most beautiful hills such as Cader Idris, Borrowdale, Duddon, Ennerdale and Edale.
With just a map and a compass and some light waterproofs, Mel sets off across the often inhospitable terrain. Success has been hard earned, but Mel is a champion holding the Ladies record for the 50 mile Long Mynd Hike, climbing over 9,981 feet and covering the course in a record sub 9 hours. In 2015 she was crowned the Gold Medal winner in the ladies veteran over 40 category in both the English and British Championships.
So with support from her local sponsor, High Sports of Shrewsbury, and the comfort of a Greenhous VW converted into a luxury camper van by Rolling Homes, Mel probably deserves to put her feet up in warm comfort after a hard day at work.