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“It’s about pushing yourself just a little bit every single day, particularly the days when you just don’t feel like it.”


50 year old physiotherapist Derek Laidler describes Kielder as “the highlight of his year” and will return to the Kielder Marathon weekend in 2017 for the fourth time, having previously taken part in the 10K and in a Run Bike Run Team twice.

North East-born Derek who now lives in Oban on the west coast of Scotland with his wife Paula and son Benjamin will return with a message of determination and positivity having recovered from a total hip replacement in May 2016, and will take part as an individual entry in the Run Bike Run.

Derek defied the odds when he took part in the 2016 Run Bike Run as the cyclist in a team just 5 months after his surgery. He told us:

“By the time of my operation we had already entered the Run-Bike-Run again for October 2016 and this became my rehabilitation target. I won’t lie, the immediate recovery from my hip replacement was hard and I can understand why people avoid physical activity post surgery and there were a few times when I could have happily stayed in bed and felt sorry for myself. Having a goal to aim for was a help as was my wife who was incredibly patient and supportive. By October I was able to complete the cycle section of the Run Bike run again just over 4 months after my operation. I actually beat my 2015 time by over 10 minutes!”
Derek has always been sporty and enjoyed physical activity, taking part in the first ever Great North Run in 1981 and playing competitive rugby for Whitley Bay Rockliff until exercise became painful and a hip replacement was suggested. Derek managed to remain active and delay the surgery for ten years.
“I used my knowledge as a physiotherapist to try and delay the surgery as long as possible by keeping the muscles around my hip strong and staying as active as possible. Often people let painful joints prevent them from exercising but in most cases increasing your activity levels will actually reduce the painful symptoms.”
“Coming back to Kielder in 2016 was a bit of a watershed moment, it showed me that that my competitive spirit was alive and well and that after my surgery I was no longer staying active to manage a hip condition but that I wanted to push myself to get as fit as possible.
Kielder is such a well organised and friendly series of races but it caters for people of all levels of fitness in a beautiful setting. It’s quickly becoming a highlight of our year!”
Derek’s new challenge will be to compete solo in the 2017 Run Bike Run with the personal challenge of competing against wife Paula, who he describes as often “disappearing off into the distance with little chance of me catching her”. Derek and Paula are also planning to stay at Kielder with friends to experience the whole weekend. He comments:
“Some people want to go to Glastonbury festival – we want to go to the Kielder Marathon festival, it’s just as much fun but without the mud and wellies.”
Derek’s positive view of active recovery will inspire many, and he told us:
“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out – Running and cycling around Kielder isn’t just about what you do on the day, it’s about pushing yourself just a little bit every single day, particularly the days when you just don’t feel like it.”
Derek encourages anyone looking for advice on physical activity and recovery when they have hip or joint problems to contact their local NHS physiotherapy department for free support.
Good luck Derek from everyone at Events of the North. We will be waiting for you at the finish line and checking your all-important result against Paula!


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