Ashley Couper On MAAC Juniors And More

January 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Ashley Couper admits she is more nervous about watching the runners she trains from Mid Atlantic Athletic Club [MAAC] Juniors compete in the Butterfield Mile than she is about running her own race.

Couper, a six-time Bermuda Derby Half Marathon women’s champion, will have more than 30 MAAC youngsters aged 8 to 15 competing in the various junior races tonight [January 12].

The 46-year-old, who is running the Butterfield Mile as part of the Chubb Half Bermuda Triangle Challenge, will also have four secondary school athletes in the PwC Bermuda Half Marathon Relay on Sunday.

“It’s exciting to see so many kids loving running and being excited to do it,” Couper told Bernews.

“We’ve told the kids, ‘This is such a special night for you. You’ve qualified as one of the top 20 in your age group on the island and will have so many people watching you!’

“Thankfully, I’ll get my race over early; I can then focus on my group and get them all warmed up.

“It’s great for them to experience something like this when they’re so young.”

Couper, who coaches the MAAC Juniors three times a week [Mondays – the Flora Duffy Stadium; Wednesdays – Beyond Fitness Bermuda; and Thursdays – Montpelier Arboretum], added: “I’ve been coaching at MAAC for about four years. I initially helped out Victoria Fiddick, and when she left the island, they asked me to step in.

“I do really enjoy it, and it’s nice to be out of the classroom [Couper teaches at BHS], and I enjoy giving back to the sport.

“Rose-Anna Hoey [a three-time May 24 winner] also helps out on Thursdays. It’s fun to be able to spend some time with her.”

As for her races in the Half Challenge [Butterfield Mile, BF&M 10K and PwC Bermuda Half Marathon], Couper added: “I feel pretty good. I’ve put in a bit more work this year.

“I’ve got a few niggles, I’m not 25 anymore, but I’m just trying to beat my times from last year.”

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