About Us

Our Mission

Since its inception in 2022, East Durham Running Club has been committed to a simple mission: to inspire, support, and unite individuals of all levels in their pursuit of fitness, camaraderie, and personal achievement.

What started as a small group of enthusiasts has blossomed into a growing community devoted to fostering a love for running.

Jill Bridges

Hi! I’m Jill and I’m EDRC’s Founder and Coach.

I got into running in 2016 after training for and competing in an amateur boxing match. After the boxing match I hung up the gloves but I kept up with the running. The rest is history.

I run ultra distances up to around 60 miles, and hope to try a multi day event at some point. My real niche is getting people (especially women) into running who otherwise may not have considered it.

EDRC was born as I wanted to help people overcome barriers to running: mental, physical and financial. I love coaching people, but I certainly couldn’t do it without our strong leadership team!

For my day job I offer business advice. I also love going to the gym where I am trying to get stronger for obstacle course races. I am married to Adam who is an integral part of the club and training to be coach – together we raise our 3 kids and 2 golden retrievers 🙂

Run Leaders

Paul Fortune

I’m Paul, Husband, Dad and obviously a RUNNER! I’ve been running for about 4 years consistently now having started doing my own C25K. I love running not only for personal fitness (mental and physical) but also for the great friends I have made through it especially here at EDRC. I also enjoy complimenting my running with the gym and this has lead my down the path of competing at HYROX which I’m mad about also! I love the trails so you’ll most likely see me in the dene! Many proud moments in running from my first half marathon right through to the few 50m Ultras I’ve done so far but to pick one it would have to be representing EDRC at London Marathon in 2023!

Bethany Willis

Hi I’m Bethany and I’m a Physics PhD student. Around uni, I’ve been a run leader since 2019 and really enjoy helping others to build up and become ultra runners from scratch like I did! You’ll often find me running the trails with Tyler (the pup) or in a pub or coffee shop post run for refreshments with the rest of the team. Can’t wait for you guys to join me! Everyone welcome. See you on the trails! X

David Phillips

43 year old, middle to back of the pack runner. Civil servant by day. Have ran most distances from 5k to ultra marathon. Enjoys road and trail runs.

Chris Brown

Hi , I’m Chris. I’ve been running for around 8 years now. I started running to compliment my gym work as I began my journey to lose weight and improve my overall health and fitness. I also play field Hockey for Durham City where I can see a huge improvement due to my improved fitness. I recently completed my 1st marathon just before my 40th Birthday but prefer shorted distances with other people especially our club members. When I have some free time from all this exercise I’m a heating engineer.

Lily Robinson

I’m Lisa Robbo (aka Lily) Graphic Artist for Corrugated packaging by day. Late to the party as ever I joined a running club 5 years ago. Ran my first marathon (Kielder) age 48 paced by the awesome Mr & Mrs Bridges. Ultra running began weeks later, Sunderland Urban the first. Then fell / trail running in the Lake District stole my heart. I completed the Montane Lakeland 50 on my 50th birthday with the legendary Mr Robo, since then I have been a Lakeland 100 finisher twice. I have met so many inspiring runners and made lifetime friends. Don’t ever doubt yourself is my motto. Enjoy the journey, you won’t regret starting it with EDRC.

JAmes Campbell

I’m James, I started running around 2000 to compliment my rugby training but took it up more seriously in 2011 when injury stopped my rugby career. I initially took up triathlon/multisport racing and still dabble, but my shoulder injury makes swimming difficult. I found I enjoy long distance events and completed a 24 hour bike ride and completed the coast to coast in 8 hours. I ran my first ultramarathon in 2012 (set up and completed with friends as a charity event) and since then have completed over 50 trail marathons/ultramarathons including Hardmoors 30, Hardmoors 55, Hardmoors 60, Hardwolds 80 and Hardmoors 110. My favourite place to train is on the East Durham Coast and in Castle Eden Dene but love a day out in the North York Moors or the coastal section of the Cleveland Way. In quieter moments, I work for a bank as a Process Improvement Analyst.

Darrell Willis

Hi I’m Darrell. Following a knee injury 10 years ago part of my rehabilitation was walking which then led onto running which has been a big part of my life ever since. Starting from 5k Parkruns through to 10k / HMs and now pushing myself into progressing to longer Ultra distances. Most of my running is on the trails and enjoy the Castle Eden Dene and Durham Coast and I am a proud mid pack runner. I have been a LiRf (Run Leader) for 5 years and currently lead the Monday Five run at EDRC. Out of running kit, I am a Branch Manager for a Tooling Distributor specialising in CNC Machining.

MIKE Halsall

Hi everyone, I am Mike, I am one of EDRC’s run leaders. I started running around 11 years ago when I was in the army, I never really found the enjoyment of it until around 2 years ago, when I started running for fun rather than being part of a job. Since then I have gone on to run races from 5km to ultra marathons, weighted runs and representing EDRC in cross country. I have loved being part of the EDRC team and met some great people. The coaching we receive is top class, whether it be a new or experienced runner everyone is treated the same and benefit from the sessions. Come and give us a try, I am sure you won’t regret it.

Adam Bridges

I’m Adam Bridges (Husband of Jill). In my day job, I repair MRI and CT scanners in and around the North East’s hospitals. I’ve always ran since joining the army back in 1996. Originally it was just to compliment my sporting goals (rugby and boxing). However I decided to concentrate fully on running around 6 years ago after joining my first running club. Since then I have focussed a lot on long distance endurance running and have completed some of the most extreme ultras the uk has to offer, such as “The Fellsman” “Kong Ultra” and “Cheviot Goat”. As well as a couple of 100 milers. I have also recently attempted the Bob Graham round where I unfortunately called it a day at 56 mile. I am certainly no expert but I do hope to pass on any knowledge I have to anyone who needs it. I am a qualified run leader and I am about to start my full coaching course to support the club further. I hope to see you all at some point.

Avril Mackay

Hi I’m Avril. I’ve run on and off for a long time now. Ran the Great North Run in its second year (yes I’m almost 60) then completed it on and off for a good few years. I ran my first marathon in Dublin in 2015. I thought road running was the norm until I joined my first club in 2018 and discovered trails 🤩. I completed my first ultra – St Cuthberts Way 63 miles in June 2019, followed by The Lap in Sept 2019 and the Hardmoors 60 a week later. Fair to say I caught the bug and have run many ultras since then. I hope to finish my second 100 miler this year. I love trails and must admit I do like a challenge. I’ve enjoyed doing a lot of fast packing lately. Love to get a map out search long distance trails and plan long trips out discovering new and beautiful places. As well as running I cycle and dip regularly in the North Sea. I’m planning to complete a cycle tour soon it’s on my list! I find running helps with my mental health. My husband had a serious bicycle injury in 2017 which has left him with a brain injury. If it wasn’t for running I don’t think I would have coped with how our lives changed. It certainly is the perfect medicine. I’ve questioned myself at times, what if this what if that. Forget about the what ifs just go do it. Live life for today you won’t regret it.

Committee Members

  • Jill Bridges – Chair
  • Marie Barker – Membership Secretary
  • Kaye Stephenson – Vice Chair and Treasurer
  • Sara Kirk-Saul – Secretary
  • Lisa Willis – Welfare and Safeguarding Lead
  • Nasreen Phillips – Welfare Officer and Events Manager
  • Adam Bridges – Welfare Officer
  • Lisa Robinson – DBS Verifier
  • Jackie Bunney – Fundraising Manager

CIO Board Members

  • Jill Bridges – Chair
  • Marie Barker – Trustee
  • Kaye Stephenson – Trustee
  • Sara Kirk-Saul – Trustee