Eileen Jones is a journalist, author and publicist based in Ambleside in the Lake District. How parkrun changed our lives is her first book for Gritstone Publishing which ‘set out to see why so many people love the Saturday morning run around the park, and how it has changed their lives’.
She has her own one-woman business, Cumbria PR, promoting tourism and heritage organisations including William Wordsworth’s home at Rydal Mount, the Heaton Cooper Studio and Gallery, and Zeffirellis cinemas and restaurants.
She has worked for newspapers and magazines including the Yorkshire Post and Holland Herald, the KLM inflight magazine based in Amsterdam, and for 12 years she was course leader for the journalism and public relations degrees at Huddersfield University.
A former fell-runner who once won a teapot in the 33-mile Haworth Hobble, Eileen has competed in many of the big fell races, including Wasdale, Borrowdale, Ben Nevis and Bens of Jura. But when she slowed down “I started to feel guilty about the marshals waiting for me on summit checkpoints. It was no fun being so far off the back of the pack.” Now she describes herself as a born-again parkrunner. She’s done 260 parkruns at 104 locations and was once proud to be first “old dear” at Old Deer parkrun. She helped set up the parkrun at Fell Foot, Windermere in 2014 where she is still a member of the core volunteer team, and also helped set up the new Rothay parkrun in Ambleside.
In her spare time, Eileen is a theatre reviewer and has a popular – if currently dormant – theatre blog, Stagey Lady. She has two sons, one of whom was a member of the West End cast of Les Miserables (2015-16); and the other played the Les Mis lead, Jean Valjean, in a junior production. Eileen’s dream project, for which she’s gaining considerable and not entirely fantastical support, is the production of a new show : parkrun the musical.
How parkrun changed our lives is her first book for Gritstone Publishing. It’s available from Amazon, from bookshop.org, the independent online store, and from the publisher’s website: gritstonecoop.co.uk/books/how-parkrun-changed-our-lives/