12 August 2021

Dr Tara Hipwood is running for Sporting Memories, in the Great North Run 2021. Tara, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Northumbria University, spoke with our Communications Manager, Helen.

Tara, wearing Claremont Runners running gear

On running for Sporting Memories

“I was keeping an eye out for a place for this year’s Great North Run and saw that Sporting Memories had charity places after the cancellation of last year’s run. So I signed up.

“However, more than just getting a place, it was important to me that I liked the work of the charity I would be fundraising for.”

As a Chartered Architect who lectures in Sustainable and Environmental Design, Tara has been involved in the design of care home environments.

“The work of Sporting Memories taps into some of my experiences of care homes and working with their residents. I don’t like the stereotyping of older people that can take place, and Sporting Memories allows older people to have their own voices.”

On getting into and keeping running

“I was always interested in fitness but was the least sporty person ever! When doing my PhD at Cardiff University, the Cardiff Half Marathon finished outside. The windows were open and I could hear the runners. I thought ‘I would like to do that one day.’ I realised just how sedentary I had become through studying and working.”

Tara began to run more, handed in her thesis on a Wednesday, and ran the Cardiff Half Marathon three days later. 

“I found running was the antidote to mentally taxing work. Running after being at my desk all day meant that I could both wind down mentally and also be physically tired at the end of the day.

“Whatever stage of life you are at, running or keeping exercising benefits your mental health.”

On races and training

Tara runs with Claremont Road Runners. Since her first half-marathon in 2018, Tara has run the Cardiff Half Marathon twice and the Great North Run in 2019. She has also taken part in Movember runs.

“I usually run three times a week including Park Runs on Saturdays. From Easter I begin to increase my distances and in the summer months I have more time to get outdoors.”

Our thanks to Tara for choosing to run the Great North Run for Sporting Memories, and our very best wishes for the training and the race itself. If you would like to support Tara, please visit Tara’s fundraising page.