Abrief history of Julie Button at Elmbridge Road Runners


JulieButton joined Elmbridge Road Runners circa 1984. In 1983, at the age of 35, shehad been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy. She observedthat running looked a good way to lose weight as well as helping to keep fitbut she proved to be rather competitive and her running quickly became a moreserious enterprise. On 10th May 1987 she ran the London Marathon,achieving a time of 4:14 which included the long wait to cross the startingline.

Shewent on to qualify as an athletics coach for 5K and 10K and for a while she ledstretching exercises prior to Thursday evening club runs.

Although her cancer spread sheenjoyed lengthy periods of remission and was able to race regularly and managedto include the Bruges Vets 10K and the 17.7K Paris to Versailles. She alsoserved the club in other ways.  


Ina 1990 club newsletter it was reported:

OnThursday 9th November, following a widespread advertising campaign,we had an open evening for potential new lady members, aimed at beginners. Thiswas held in the cafe at the Leisure Centre. Julie and Mary gave an informaltalk with a brief description of the club and its aims and the type of runningprogramme we had planned for them. The evening ended with coffee and biscuitsand a very friendly prolonged natter. 13 ladies attended.


Thenin 1991:

PastaParty – Whether you are running the marathon, helping at the finish or justsupporting your fellow club members you are invited to a Pre-London PastaParty, to be held at Julie Button’s on Friday 20th April. 


Inthe newsletter for August 1992:

Manymoons ago many of you will recall Julie Button coming around and taking namesof those of those interested in doing the London to Brighton Bike Run. Juliehad to withdrawer, as many of you will know she has trouble with her hip.

Andin 1992 Julie herself wrote:

WithChristmas well behind us and, hopefully, the bad weather too, we now havespring and the lighter nights to look forward to. It is good to see so many ofyou turning up for the Tuesday night run. Plenty of events are being organisedfor the summer months including the 5 mile (give or take a few hundred yards)River Handicap which proved very popular last year and the men versus ladiesround the island race. To kick off the events for the summer I am organisinganother Relay Race to be held on Tuesday 5th May. I am also continuing the MileReps which are now a feature of the last Tuesday of each month.


Againin 1992:

Iam organising the Relay Races once again. The distance is approx. 2/3rds of amile, up and back Waterside Drive. As before teams will be made up of 3 runnersand each person will run 3 times. Prizes will awarded in the bar afterwards forthe first team and the fastest leg run by (a) a man, (b) a lady, and (c) anover 50 and of course there will be the dreaded wooden spoons.   

Juliehandled to 10K entries for a while and looks to have taken a hectoring role forthe event in 1992!

 I do not think this is too early to remindall members that our 10K race is being held this year on 19th July.Please if at all possible would you mark this date in your diary NOW and leaveit free. Help will be needed from all of you on the day to make this anotherhappy and successful event. I am sure as in years past that helpers will beinvited to unwind at an after race barbecue to say thank you for your help.Needless to say, any member able to help with administration before the eventplease let me know. 


In1992 she was both Ladies Captain and Membership Secretary though she hadclearly given up one of these roles later on when it was the new Ladies Captainrecorded that:

JulieButton is continuing to coach the ladies.

Inthe September 1993 Newsletter the Chairman noted:

Pleasedto see Julie back organising some of her traditional club events to improve ourspeed levels – you’ll be sweating now!’

Julydied on Friday 15th July 1994, two days before that year’s Elmbridge10K. She was 46.