Jed’s Diane ‘overwhelmed’ by achievement accolade

A dedicated and inspirational runner has won a national award for accomplishments in the sport and her encouragement of others.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 2:10 pm
Diane Davidson with her trophy (picture by Bill McBurnie)
Diane Davidson with her trophy (picture by Bill McBurnie)

Diane Davidson, of Jedburgh, has been named Jogscotland’s achiever of the year.

Diane’s friends and fellow running devotees in the Jed Joggers group put her name forward for the accolade, highlighting how she embraced the sport after taking it up and how supportive she was to others.

Diane, 47, was selected from three finalists at the ceremony, staged virtually on Saturday.

“I was very overwhelmed and humbled even to have been nominated for it, let alone shortlisted,” she said.

Since around 2001, Diane and her friends had regularly taken part in the Race for Life at walking speed before gradually increasing their pace and joining the runners.

She joined Jed Joggers on the night it was formed by Joanne Gilfillan in 2012.

“Initially, she was unsure of her ability, but that soon changed,” said her colleagues.

Diane met Ben Smith and ran with him on his 401 Challenge, which boosted her confidence so much that she took on Jed Ultra.

Since then, she has achieved a silver medal in GB Ultra Manchester to Liverpool, completed a 24-hour track event for charity, covering 82 miles, and cross-trains for triathlon events.

“I don’t quite know what happened but I got hooked on marathons and ultras,” she said. “I quite enjoy the longer distances – slow and steady, more than short and fast.”

Diane, who fitted in a 6.30am swim on the day she received her trophy, has tackled multiple lockdown challenges, including a virtual Lands End to John o’Groats trek for which she was first female finisher.

She also helped lead a Live Borders project to encourage local schoolchildren and young people to get out running, although that venture has been hampered by covid rules.

“Diane won the category, which was simply amazing,” said her colleagues. “Jed Joggers, family and friends are super-proud of her.

“She loves to give back, supporting and encouraging others, sometimes hiding in bushes to give us a cheer just at the right time, lifting your spirits, giving you that momentum to keep going.”