Leader’s blog Oct 2023 – Matt Barton

Each month, we’ll be sharing the stories and insights of our group leaders. If you are interested in giving leading a go, talk to your group leader at club, or email hello@hydeparkharriers.co.uk we have tonnes of resources to help you, training sessions and support.

This week we’re chatting to Matt Barton who often leads group 5 on a Tuesday evening.

How did you get in to leading?

Amy added me to the HPH Leader’s group on Facebook after I back-marked a few times. I then got guilted into leading for the first time and found it was quite fun actually! It’s a fabulous way of meeting new people. If you are worried simply drop down a group or two so the pace is easier. 

What do you love about leading?

I love how it makes Tuesday night runs obligatory to me. If I sign up to lead I am far less likely to weasel out when it’s raining!!! Its also a great way of directing the run the way you want – whether it’s trails, hills, flat, fast, slow – you’re in charge so you can take the run where you want!! 

Do you have any interesting or creative ways of leading?

I sometimes throw in some intervals when I’m leading. I also love chatting to people and making jokes! It’s always nice to take the photo half way or at the top of the hill so everyone can get a break. 

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about starting to lead?

Just do it! Everyone in your group is a consenting adult who is responsible for themselves. Don’t worry about it – if someone gets injured everyone will help! We all need folks to lead or else we wouldn’t have group runs! Also, having new leaders means new routes and new ideas. Who says what we do is the best way?!?!?! 

Thanks Matt for your thoughts on leading and for regularly volunteering to lead group sessions. If Matt has inspired you to give leading a go, get in touch to see how we can support you!