Glennis is keeping it in the family

TURNS out Hyde champion boxer Stacey Copeland is not the only sporting star in her family.

Glennis and Stacey

For her mother Glennis Richardson has just made her debut as an England athlete.

And just like her daughter, who is set to fight for a world title later this year, the determination shows no signs of stopping.

For Glennis is contemplating taking up duathlon and maybe even triathlon at the age of 59!

The Godley resident pulled on an international vest to take part in the Birmingham 10K run as part of an England v Celtic Nations event.

Despite suffering from a stomach bug the week before and bring caught out by the undulated nature of the course, she came fifth in the V55 category in a time of 46:16.

Now she has done it once, she will do it again by competing in the Ashbourne Half Marathon in Derbyshire, which incorporates the British Masters Half Marathon Championships, on Sunday, July 7.

Glennis, who has now been running competitively for three years, also has her eye on adding a bike ride to her running for duathlons and a swim for triathlons.

“That was my debut at that level and they go right the way through to V80,” said the member of Hyde Striders running club, who also used the track at Stockport Harriers.

“It was part of the Great Birmingham Run and we were in the second group of starters after the elite athletes like Jo Pavey.

“It felt really good to run in an England vest but it was quite a hard course as people assumed it would be flat.

“So really I was pleased but disappointed at the same time. Pleased I did it in a good time but disappointed with where I finished. However, nobody achieved a personal best time.

“And it will only be three years in September that I’ve been running properly, before then I just used to run on my own, so I’ve got to be quite pleased with where I am.”

Quite pleased sums up the family’s competitive spirit. Stacey, who surprised her mum by turning up on the finish line, is currently recovering from a knee operation before fighting for a world championship later this year.

And her mother knew from the moment her daughter started kicking a football that not taking no for an answer was part of her.

It also sums up the ambitions of Glennis, who lives on Green Lane, to try her luck in other sports.

“It was a great surprise to see Stacey at the finish line to be honest,” she added. “She’s one of the busiest women on the planet and sometimes I feel like it’s a lot to do with me.

“But she’s fantastic, she’s always been the same.

“I remember she started playing football when the women’s game was in its infancy but she was seven-years-old and playing alongside all the boys at school.

“I always said, ‘You’ve just got to keep fighting for your place’ but what she’s done in the boxing ring is incredible – she can do anything she wants to do.

“The fact she’s a woman doesn’t matter and I always felt she can do it if she wants to.”

Now with an England debut behind her and more races in front of her, Glennis could be forgiven for being satisfied with her lot.

Not a chance.

She already has her sights set on other things as she said: “I’m looking at doing a duathlon later this year, which is bike-run-bike.

“There’s a small one in Darley Dale that I’m looking at just to see how I am at them before deciding whether to stick at it.

“I may also look to do a triathlon but I’m not keen on swimming in swimming pools but they do open water swims at sale and at Salford Quays, so I may see if I can do one there!”

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