Runner Profile: Kayleigh Turpin

Thank you Debbie for the nomination, I was hoping to avoid it for as long as possible :-). I enjoy reading everyone’s stories, everyone is so inspiring and achieved so much and I look back at my journey and think what have I got to say, so here goes……….

School Years & a bit more

Well, where do I begin. Born and raised in Ipswich and currently live in the South West of Ipswich.

As a child in primary school, I loved PE days as I enjoyed participating in all the sports available.  I remember in the summer terms the whole school would participate in different athletic sports and we would accumulate points for it. Everyone would get a certificate with a number on it from 1 to 10. 10 was the best one to get – of course I achieved that one :-). Sports days were great. There were fun games with water, egg and spoon, hoops etc and in the afternoon we had the running races. I loved the running races as I was quite a quick sprinter in the 50 to 75m races. I would always come first.

On reaching the final year of primary we could be part of the netball and football teams so I signed up for both. I was GD (Goal Defence) as I was taller than the rest of the team. We didn’t play many football matches but I do remember travelling to Halifax primary for a match and felt absolutely awful with all the running about – I was shattered.

In high school I was still sporty, I joined the netball, basketball and football teams. I was part of those for the full five years. My children today still don’t believe that I played football. Over the five years of high school on every sports day I would get nominated for high jump (because of my long legs), triple jump and would run the 2nd leg of the relay. I never thought in a million years I would run further than 100m of a 2nd leg relay for a hobby. I can’t recall our school participating in cross country but as Bourne Park was close by, the whole school one year ran a lap or two to raise some money for charity.

In 2004 at the young age of 18 I became pregnant and had my first child, Caitlin. My life had changed I had a child to look after and work. I did no sport. In 2010 I had my 2nd child, Declan. After having my first child I made friends with Linda Dorset – our girls were the same age and then our boys.


One day in May 2013 Linda mentioned about a 5km running event on Chantry Park every Saturday morning called parkrun. It sounded like good fun. So, I registered and printed off my barcode. I then went to sports direct and got some cheap trainers and running clothes. We went to Chantry Park on the Thursday evening before to see if we could run any distance. Saturday 1st June 2013 came and I completed my first parkrun in 30:47. Over the next few weeks I steadily improved and became hooked. In the meantime, every Thursday evening I would go out with Linda and a few other ladies in our running group “Persistent Plodders”. In the end we all went to parkrun but over time some dropped off due to life and injuries. I also went along to Sweatshop on a Tuesday night at David Lloyd, I really enjoyed this. I got to know more people and they were great sessions.

First Race

Me and Linda decided to sign up for the Martlesham 10km 13th October 2013, this was our first race and I was really nervous. I managed to run it in 58 minutes which wasn’t bad for my first race.

I then raced in the Scenic 7 a month later. I really enjoyed this race. I still continued going to parkrun each week with another friend Viki. I’m quite a quiet person but gradually got to know people at parkrun and have met some lovely people.

2014 onwards

In early 2014 I became pregnant with my 3rd child, Shannon. I continued to run at parkrun. I did a bit of tourism and travelled to Great Cornard with Linda and Paul Dorset. It was a hot day, I was struggling and knew that I had to stop running as I got sciatica. I was also so close to getting my 50th parkrun that I continued to complete the 5km by walking and finally did that on the 19th July 2014. After having Shannon in the September 2014, I didn’t run much but did volunteer.

In September 2015 I ran the Ipswich half, it was my first half marathon. It was laps that went through Christchurch Park and the town. It was the hardest race I had endured. I completed it in 2:24:26. A month later I ran in the Tarpley 10. A race that was awful – wind, rain and hills. I definitely found that hard.

A new group had formed “Run for your life”. It wasn’t an affiliated club but it was nice to be part of a running group when turning up to races in my vest. There were many social runs too.

First Marathon

There were talks with a mum friend from school about doing a marathon and people we had made friends with from ‘Run from your life’ were entering Brighton, so we jumped on the band wagon and entered. After entering I decided to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society as my step dad’s dad had Alzheimer’s, I raised £744.50. We travelled down on the Jaffa coach. The training I did was all off my own back, no proper plan. I ran a couple of long runs with Jess but with her work commitments and our own lives we did our own thing. So all my training was solo. I have to say it was hard but I got it done. It was time to head to Brighton and I did find this difficult as I’d never left my kids before but once I got to Brighton and picked my race number up I was fine.

Sunday 17th April 2016 arrived a week after my 30th birthday and we made our way to Preston Park. It was a nice sunny day. I was nervous but excited. I really enjoyed it, lots of supporters about but more importantly knowing I was running every step for those that had donated towards the Alzheimer’s Society. I finished my first marathon in 4:33:34, a nice time to remember.

I returned to Brighton a year later on my birthday April 9th 2017 in the hope of beating my previous time. Training had gone really well as I had a proper plan, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. It was a really hot day and I struggled with the heat. I finished in 4:50:06.


Over the years I have entered a lot of different races from the summer 5k series in Christchurch Park,  Scenic 7, Cambridge, Silverstone, Ipswich half marathons, Twilight 5km & 10km, Friday 5’s, Coastal 10, Cross countries, marathons and one Ultra to name only a few. My favourite races have to be the Twilight 10km and the Coastal 10. I ran my best race at Twilight 10k last year getting a PB of 47:27, despite all the rain – I LOVED IT.

I must also mention Silverstone,  it was a fantastic venue to race at, running on the race track was a great experience.

In November ’23 I decided to enter the Hadleigh 10 for the second time (only because it was part of the Suffolk Grand Prix). I had previously run it in 2015 and didn’t enjoy it as it was wet and windy and I thought never again. This time around I had Debbie for company which helped me immensely. We kept each other going. I achieved a massive 13-minute pb.

I got a nice surprise winning 3rd place V35 in the Suffolk Grand Prix as I never win anything. There are a lot of fast runners in my age category. It was very tight at the top of the V35 category with just 2 points separating us Felixstowe Road Runners. Holly in 1st place and Maria in 2nd place.

Suffolk Grand Prix VW35 1st, 2nd and 3rd

parkrun continued

As time passed my home life changed and I got close to Ade. We had met at parkrun many years before and became friends. Since then, my running journey has become entwined with Ade’s. We’ve run a lot of the same races but mostly done a lot of parkrun tourism. I had only done 5 different ones at the time but now have completed 76 different locations. My favourite one has to be Durlston Country Park, despite the hills it’s a fabulous location on a nice hot day.

Parkrun is my constant each week. I love going to parkrun and getting to chat to the friends I’ve made. All three of my children have run at parkrun and all of them have completed at least 10. Unfortunately trying to make them enjoy something I love is a tough task and both Declan and Shannon have only toured with me and Ade to a handful of parkruns.

Half Marathons

Me and Ade entered the Marriotts Way Trail Half Marathon 20th June 2021 post covid. It had been very wet so I wasn’t expecting the track to be perfect underfoot. I felt great, the marshals told me that I was the first lady to go by so I kept digging in. We then came to a hill; it was so muddy and wet and I wasn’t too pleased to see this but wanting to keep my lead I ploughed through. On the way back Ade developed an injury so I went ahead. I crossed the finish line in 8th Overall position and 1st lady in 1:48:28. I was disappointed not to receive a 1st lady trophy :-(

When we went to Durlston Country Park parkrun we had entered the Somerley Estate half marathon.  This was a four-lap route mostly on trails, grass, stones and gravel. It was so hot with not much shade. I was glad to see the finish line as I’d wanted to give up sooner! A week later I was welcomed to a nice surprise in the post. I actually won a trophy for coming 1st in my age category, I couldn’t believe it. I was super chuffed.

Marathon #3

I decided to enter the Manchester Marathon in April 2020. Training was going very well. I followed a plan. I was in shape for running a sub-4. Covid hit. London was cancelled and I was hoping that Manchester wouldn’t be. Much to my disappointment it was. I think it was postponed twice as I had to run it on my daughter’s birthday 10th October 2021. My training was still there but not to how it was the year before. Race day came and I was running well. I wasn’t pleased to see the hills in the second half of the race of what was supposed to be a flat course. From mile 18 I could feel my left leg starting to hurt and it was becoming more painful. I continued and each of those last miles seemed to take forever. I crossed the line in 4:09 and was disappointed not to run a sub 4 hours but still that’s a 25-minute PB

In April 2022 I returned to Manchester with Ade where we ran the marathon as part of a two person relay. I chose to run the first half as I knew what was coming in the second half of the marathon. I wasn’t daft. It was nice running this as part of a pair (or you could run it as a four). We ran this in 3:32:33.


As my marathon had been cancelled in April 2020, me and Ade decided to enter the SVP50km as this was still on and possible. We were already training on the trails so at least my marathon training wasn’t going to waste. The weather had been lovely so this made it more enjoyable.

The SVP50km was a great event. I really enjoyed it even if it was tough at times with a couple of steep hills. To date I believe this to be my biggest running achievement, finish time of 6:39:58.


I joined FRR in early 2022 and this was because Ade had bought it for me as a birthday present. I went along to a Tuesday club night but luckily I already knew quite a few people from parkrun so it was nice not to be thrown in at the deep end with myself not knowing anyone. Everyone seemed very nice and I really enjoyed the session. I’m a slow burner at getting to know people as I’m so quiet but Debbie was one of the members I spoke to first. I’ve met a lot of lovely people since joining FRR and it’s so nice to be part of a running club.

My first race in the FRR vest was the Kirton 5. I had never run any of these races so it was a new experience for me. I went on to run all of the Friday 5’s in 2022 and 2023 getting some pb’s. Despite having that horrible hill in the Sudbury 5, it’s actually my fastest time and my favourite race of them all.

In 2022 I was debating to take part in the cross-country races. I’ve never done cross country before and it hadn’t appealed to me as I do enjoy road running. Plus, there’s all that mud. I took the plunge and decided to go and run one. My first one was Framlingham – I thought “what am I letting myself in for”. It was chucking it down before we started and I was quite nervous as I didn’t really know what to expect except for some mud somewhere. It was a struggle across a field full of lumpy mud  (thankfully only did this once) and then slippy hills and yes, I did fall down. I went on to complete all of the races in the series. My favourite course has to be the Stowmarket one as it’s got all the twists and turns in the wood. I then completed all the races again in 23/24.

I have enjoyed participating in all the extra events club members have organised. The two rivers, run bike run, one lap to ultra, Paul’s annual get together. The 5k track competition against Framlingham Flyers. The one that stands out is the 12 pubs of Christmas.  I had so much fun with my team mates Debbie, Louise and Linda.  Only us that could miss a clue and run extra miles.

Being part of FRR is such a privilege. Everyone is so friendly and nice. They show great support at races and at club nights. I’m lucky I’m an FRR.


In 2022 and 2023 I got roped in to helping with the Round Norfolk Relay. I had never heard of anything like it until Ade told me he and Ben were the ones to organise getting an FRR team together. I was thinking how is it going to work with the logistics etc but once I was in the know with helping out it seemed quite simple. I really enjoyed helping out and being part of the team. In 2022 I ran a short leg and was quite worried I was going to get lost but I was fine. In 2023 I missed out on running my leg as it got cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. I did bike support though for the runners and drove behind them through the night. I was shattered by the end but was definitely worth it.


During covid I bought myself a mountain bike like a lot of other people. I went out on the trails with Ade and Ade being a keen cyclist said about going further afield by road which meant going on a road bike. I’d never been on a road bike before so I was a bit apprehensive but I soon got the hang of it. So, we went to Felixstowe and back and to Hadleigh. 

We went away last year and took the mountain bikes. We ended up riding on the Tarka Trail in Devon this is my furthest distance of 63.02 miles. Ade then suggested doing the Peddars Way. Peddars Way starts at Knettishall Heath near Thetford and ends in Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast a distance of 47 miles. This was a much tougher ride as it had lots of hills and narrow and stony tracks. These two rides have to be my biggest cycling achievements as wouldn’t have imagined myself ever doing these distances let alone on trail.

What’s Next…..

Well I have no plans to run a marathon again unless I get a ballot or a club place for London. Although I may be swayed by SVP50 again. I will continue to run at parkrun as I’m wanting to get my 500th although I still have a long way to go (I’m on 340 as I write this). Also to complete different challenges like the alphabet. I will have just completed the letter ‘Z’ when you read this with only the letter ‘U’ remaining.

I hope I haven’t bored you too much but for next month’s runners profile I would like to nominate Holly Taylor.

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