Profile of a Courier


The first edition for 2014 is Beverly Bishop!

1] What has been your worst ever hairstyle or clothing choice? [Photo appreciated]

It was Christmas 1988 and i was 16 years old. I’d been invited to a party and spent ages deciding on how to style my hair. I ended up with a Dynasty thing going on with my hair scooped over to one side of my head sprayed to death and a packet of grips holding it in place. It was a big hair do and a masterpiece! I finished the look with a little black dress, complete with shoulder pads. I walked into the party feeling a million dollars when this man came running across the room towards me and declared in a very loud voice “Did you travel here with your head outside the car window”. Needless to say, I was relieved when the lights went off and the disco started. Everything always looks better in the dark…well i did that night! Luckily I haven’t got a picture of that one…but here’s an old high school photo that’s quite bad.


2] What skill that you don’t possess would you like to have?

I’d love to have a photographic memory and I’d also like to be able to do the splits.

3] What, in a nutshell, is your philosophy of life?

There is good and bad in every situation in life. Look for the good as life is too short. Don’t hold onto the bad, it’s gone, learn from it and move on.

4] How did you get into running?

I first got into running when I was 11 years old. My dad was running mad and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me. He was my hero and I hung onto his every word. I came second in the first ever cross-country race I did. After many years of not running I came back to it about six years ago but it was very sporadic as I had my three boys to work around. Getting fitter was my motivation then so I used to take them up the park, where they played football, and I kept an eye on them whilst jogging around the perimeter.

5] What motivates you to run?

I love running and I honestly don’t need motivating to do it. My friends and family glaze over when I talk about it. Even if I’m tired and had a hard day I know that once I’ve got my trainers on and I’m out in the fresh air I’ll be OK. I find running a spiritual experience and it keeps me fit, healthy and I’m a better person mentally and physically for doing it.

6] What lowers/heightens that motivation?

Getting an injury is torture for me…i’m forced to stop running and a real pain to live with.

7] What is your favourite running shoe and other piece of kit?

I love my Salomon Speedcross 3 cross- country boots…they fit like a glove. I also like to wear my pink thermal baselayer and headband…they are probably the most girly bits of kit i’ve got.

8] What animal would you identify with when you run?

I’ve always loved hares. They are so wild and free. Unfortunately, I haven’t got long legs like them and can’t run as fast so I would be a leveret ( a baby one).

9] What was your best ever race?

I hope that my best race is still to come but so far it would have to be when I was at school and the PE teacher sent me off to do a 4x100m sprint with the boys, as they were short on runners. I was on the first 100m and beat most of them … I was the talk of the Biology lesson afterwards.

10] And your worst?

I had an asthma attack whilst running the Monkhall cross country last year. I felt so ill but as I reached the end of the first lap I saw Clive who gave me such a great smile and cheered me on that I kept going. I finished the race but it took me a while to recover.

11] Any PBS you’d like to mention?

I rarely time myself when out training so can only go on race times. I haven’t done that many races but last year I ran the Breinton 10 mile race in 77mins which made me smile. As I crossed the finishing line I went ‘yes’.

12] Any training tips?

Make sure you are properly hydrated before you go out running as this will affect your performance. Well it does mine anyway.

13] Who or what has been the greatest influence on your running career?

My dad, Ken Bagley. He’s no longer with us but I know he’s watching down on me willing me to do my best. He believed in me.

14] Of the TV chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey, which would you like to make disappear and why?
Neither of them, they are both very good chefs and make people happy with their yummy food creations. I wouldn’t want to deprive anyone of that.

15] What are your running goals?

To generally get stronger and faster. One day I’d like to do the Hereford Half Marathon in 1hr 40mins.

16] What’s so great about being a Courier?

All the runners at the club, definitely. I’ve met some great people since I’ve joined the club. Oh… and I love the Courier vest. Red is my favourite colour!


Richard Hughes
Revolutionary training – probably not! Unorthodox definitely
I feel a little background on my comeback would be helpful at the outset. January 1st 1998 New Years Day 10k, finishing 9th  in 37 mins dead, was to be my last race ever after picking up yet another injury. Looking back on my training diaries I seemed to have spent most of my running career injured!
 As for the comeback, probably two things were key to my returning to racing one was taking up golf, the other meeting somebody down the gym several years ago who I could tell was a serious athlete from her physique, but didn’t really get to know until the last couple of years and that was Sarah Waldron.
You’ll be thinking how on earth does golf bring about a return to competitive running. About six years ago I took up golf as I felt physical challenges were beyond me now I’d hit the big 40. Due to the regularity I was playing golf, it made sense to become a member of Hereford Leisure Centre and shortly after joining I had a letter inviting me for a gym induction, which wasn’t part of the plan, but I thought it isn’t going to cost me, so lets go for it. That was over five years ago and I have trained there 3 to 4 times a week with the longest break being two weeks, and that was last summer. Over the years I bumped into Sarah many times and found her to a great inspiration to train and a great source of encouragement when things weren’t going so well. So many people had often said I should get back into running but I was adamant I would never race again and I lost count of the number of times I said it. However, after picking up an arm injury which hampered my gym work,(which only Roy Minter managed to fix) I decided to see how fast I could still run  and was surprised to be only about 30secs slower over a 3 mile run than I was when ran previously. So I thought if I could run that fast without much running, maybe it was worth a crack at racing again.
 As for the training it is at best unorthodox, with not much running involved. My gym work has only involved strength work over the last few years with the only cardio being a five minute warm up on the x-trainer ( and a 1 mile run to and from the gym). The only thing I’ve changed is increased reps to improve strength/endurance, but I was too stubborn to reduce the weights I was lifting. I have done massive work on my core strength, which has raised a few eyebrows on many occasion, like ab crunches while resting 2 x 30kg dumbbells on my head and an unstable plank with 40kgs hanging from my waist. My leg work involves using the pulley machine quite extensively to build my strength based on the running action. As for the running, an average weekly mileage of 13 miles since the end of November is at best minimal, although I try to focus on quality rather than quantity with a longish run on Sunday and a fast 5k on Widemarsh common with Vic Tarrant on a Wednesday and one or two other sessions.
 Why it works I don’t know and whilst it wouldn’t work for everyone it works for me. I would never of dreamed my high point in running being on Jan 1  2011 after never intending to race again. My only hope is that I can still continue to improve although I guess it could be argued my age is going in the wrong direction now.
Rich Hughes
We start with one of the absolute legends of the Couriers story…a man who was there from almost the beginning, a man who has battled health problems, increasing girth and a succession of injuries to keep on going and even begin a new phase of his career on the unforgiving track and the hammer circle. Who can this be but the incomparable Barney, the one and only Kevin Barnes ? Read his tale, marvel and admire!
Q. What started you on your illustrious athletics career ?
A. I wanted to get my weight down.
Q. That was about 30 years ago, what’s plan B ?
A. You cheeky beggar, I was eleven and a half at my peak….
Q. And now ?
A. Couple of stone more but remember, muscle is heavier than fat.
Q. Depends how much fat….but, in your early days, who was your inspiration, Clive Rowberry, Steve Ovett…?
A. No. Jarmila Kratochvilova, the Czech 400 m record holder, built like a tank and with the same attitude. Without the drugs, obviously.
Q. Obviously…Now, wearing the right kit has always been a mark of pride for you…what do you currently favour ?
A. Can’t beat spandex or lurex [that’s with an ‘l’], lycra’s ok ..but I require something snug/ figure- hugging. Compression-ware is also a must if you wish to hit the right note. Off duty, I’m rather taken with my FitFlop knee-length boots which have microwobbleboard technology so my legs are even working in their ‘down time.’
Q. Are they suede ?
A. What if they are ?
Q. Oh, nothing…but maybe this brings us on to the controversial question of diet, you must be aware, your pre-race breakfasts have made some people’s eyes water…
A. Why? I don’t eat onions…
Q. No, but TWO full English breakfasts before Croft…..that’s surely ballast you can do without…?
A. Well, I did have 6 mugs of tea and 3 chocolate croissants to wash em down.
Q. But doesn’t that add to the payload ?
A. Look, who knows my body and my throughput potential better, you or me ?
Q. But, physiologically,……
A. Stuff that ! The proof’s in the bally pudding. Where did I come at Croft ? 
Q. 57th, I think .
A. Enough said. Now look at your ketchup label !!!!!
Q.   Right, I think this brings us to your well-known affinity with animals, you’re known as ‘Raging Bull’ on the X-C circuit or ‘The Man No Mud Can Stop’ but you have also ridden sheep and enticed pigs, I believe….
A. Some of that is grossly exaggerated but it is true one evening as I came back through the fields, I saw a group of farm workers falling about with laughter. I couldn’t see the joke and after checking that I’d remembered to put me shorts on asked them what was going on. They told me to look behind me and it was then I heard some squealing and saw half a dozen Old Gloucesters [pigs] following me in high excitement. They seemed to think I was their mum for some inexplicable reason.
Q. Yes, inexplicable…. but what about the Black Panther that brought you down on Bonnylands ?
A.  [Immense gales of laughter]… Ah yes, yes…it was one of those misty nights where even your own feet look like alien creatures, well, mine did….and I saw this black beast, we were miles from anywhere mind, slide across the road in front of me, 4 foot long at least, swishing tail, ivory white fangs, bared , gleaming red eyes……”Mama Mia ” I cried  as it doubled back towards me and sent me crashing to earth, ” It’s the blooming Presteigne Panther”. But then as I lifted my eyes from the deck, expecting any moment to be savaged , all I saw were the disappearing hindquarters of a tiny black and white kitten. I reckon that’s what the panther had been after, not me.
Q. I reckon… Now Kev, let’s get to the business end of things…
A. Right oh..
Q. Many people will not know of some of your stirling medal- winning performances on the road. Is there any one that really stands out ?
A. Quite a few, actually…
Q.  One ?
A. Well, that’s tricky, there are quite a lot…
Q. One?
A. Ok, the old Hereford 20..we were batting along ,4 laps it was, someone told me my great rival, Eric Acton had dropped out,,great stuff, I thought, I can win this and sure enough, I overtook Brian Davies [featured in this week’s Hereford Times] with just 300 m to go..oh,joy of joys….gold beckoned but, darn it, I heard soon enough that Eric hadn’t dropped out but had won the blessed thing !!!But I won’t tell you my time, it will just make you jealous !
Q. It’s true to say that your athletics career has been one not only of impressive achievements such as this but also an object lesson in keeping going.You are, after all, one of only 3 runners who has competed in every single season of the Hereford League. But what of the future Kev, what are your goals going forward ?
A. Well, I don’t want to say that I’ve been there and done it all…though I shall keep reminding young Jon of my pbs when necessary…but the future is not a crystal ball, I will not be kicking big asses….let’s just say I aim to remain as troublesome as possible.
Q. I’m sure none of us Couriers would expect any less of you. Thanks for your time, Kev.

One thought on “Profile of a Courier

  1. Its great to see you back Rich,good to train with you.You’v inspired me to keep training hard after achieving your pb NYD.Keep up the good in running, Nikki Edwards x

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