Caroline Johnstone, MGC 1959 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Caroline Keene

I loved my time at Malvern, especially as we played games every day. We had no Athletics at school, but I joined Gloucester Athletic Club and Westbury Harriers after I left and competed in cross-country events.

I married at the age of 19, and had two children in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where we lived for three years. I played tennis and took part in a 20 mile road walking race (which I won!). On returning to England in 1963, between having three more children, (usually dragging up to five of them around with me!) I entered track and cross country races, and became County cross country champion; I also came 10th and 24th in two consecutive national cross country races. I was even one of the first ladies to compete in a triathlon in the 1970s.        

I love cycling too, and raised money for charities by cycling first from John O’Groats to Lands End in 1986 in 10 days, and six years later I cycled from Lands End to John o’Groats. I raised over £4,000 on the first ride, and a thousand on the second.

Since then I have cycled to Gloucester’s Twin Towns for Barnardos charity and was made very welcome in each (Metz, Trier, and Gouda). In 1995 I cycled the length of New Zealand, 1310 miles in 14 days, and raised more money for the British Heart Foundation.     In my 70s, I cycled from London to Paris in four days, and then from Paris to Geneva. Another cycling event was Coast to Coast across England, when I swam in the Irish Sea, and then, three days later, I swam in the North Sea!

Now, in my 80th year I hope to ride in the Prudential Ride London 100 in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis charity.

What is your best piece of advice?

If you start a challenge, it may be hard, but never give up.