Tri On A Trike
I’m speaking to Geoff Render while sipping a cup of coffee in the aquatics café at John Charles centre for sport. The continual murmur of chatter and the clang of cutlery is briefly broke by the appearance of the Brownlee brothers enjoying a hearty breakfast inbetween promotional camera shots – unbeknownst to me Geoff will connect his story to Triathlon – I haven’t pointed them out yet!
Geoff has been a regular on the Leeds running circuit in one guise or another since 2009 when a gym instructor recommended a trip to parkrun. Parkrun was the catalyst to a new group of friends and new experiences running on different terrains. Geoff can observe the surge in the popularity on the fells and trails now but this wasn’t the case when he dipped his toes in!
In more recent times running has transformed into another level of positivity for Geoff. Cast your mind back to October last year and you may well remember a chirpy Geoff being interviewed on the BBC breakfast show about his experience of suffering from a stroke.
The stroke has physically effected my left side of my body and my memory – I’ve been trying to recall events from the past
Recalling that difficult time over 8 months ago Geoff explains how running has taken on a completely new positive meaning for his health and wellbeing.
I’ve done a bit of parkrun tourism and I’ve done the tail running, which has been no pressure – I could have quite easily stayed in bed and left it!
A lot of the running community has helped me get a lot of positive memories back
In his day job Geoff supports adults with learning disabilities and has recently taken on a new role working for ‘Different Strokes’: a charity which works with people under the age of 65 in recovery from this condition. Geoff is building networks centred on support and leisure for stroke sufferers in West Yorkshire!
He might not be running as quickly and far as he used to before his stroke but the social side of athletics has propelled Geoff into unknown and exciting places.
I was watching an event and someone asked if I would come and help measure the shot put. I thought I might as well learn what the rules of the track disciplines are if I’m always watching it!
I see is at life experiences, like the track official qualification I’m doing now – when I’m not running for whatever reason I can still get involved
In a matter weeks after Geoff had suffered a stroke a friend was picking him up to take him to Temple Newsam to volunteer as a marshall at the local parkrun. This get up and go attitude transcends all the recent accomplishments and actions Geoff has been crisscrossing in conversation.
Our chat is drawing to a close at a feverish pitch around Geoff’s wish to start building his diminished fitness up through a combo of running and walking. Oozing enthusiasm I don’t doubt this for a second – soon after I find out that Geoff has made a visit to the running track, he’s been sprinting 100 metres and he’s only gone and set a personal best!
On top of everything Geoff drops in one last thing…
I’ve done a couple of Triathlons on a Trike since I got this made to compensate for my disability
I leave our conversation full of admiration and inspiration – I’ll leave you with the fantastic picture above!