Peter Gilbert

Peter Gilbert started with the club back in 1999 when it was the Worcester Joggers. He was instrumental in taking the club forward to UK Athletics affiliation, becoming the club’s inaugural chair. Peter arranged 4/5 meals in local restaurants each year, to enable Joggers from different pace groups to meet and socialise and also coordinated publicity for the club, including information on BPJ at local events and liaising with local newspapers.

Peter was a strong advocate of running to relieve stress and improve mental health (see his ‘Keep Up Your Spirits‘ article).

Peter was sadly diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease in 2012, which left him unable to run. He lost his battle with his illness and unfortunately passed away on 12 December 2013.

Peter’s Chronology of Running

  • Peter first started running aged 15 at school. He captained the school cross country team and ran in several school events.
  • He came 4th in the 1967 Sussex School Boys Mile final, narrowly missing out on a place in the nationals.
  • Peter joined the Army in 1968 aged 18 and ran for RMA Sandhurst. The army sponsored his university education, although he was involved in active service in Northern Ireland during this time as well. He also ran for Jersey against the Royal Navy around this time.
  • The first marathon Peter ever ran was during his time with the army in Cyprus in 1971. He ran back- to -back marathons for the Devon and Dorset Regiment. The first day was running a marathon up into the hills. The second day was the return leg back down.
  • Peter left the army in 1973. After that he ran mainly for pleasure, on his own. He completed several half marathons during the period of 1978-1992.
  • Graduated from Oxford in 1974.
  • Peter and Sue married in 1975. They have three daughters: Mary, Joanna and Ruth
  • Trained as a social worker 1975-1977. After qualification, he and Sue were living and working in Sussex.
  • In 1992, Peter joined the Stafford Harriers and ran some more half marathons.
  • From 1997 to 2001 Peter was the Director of Social Services in Worcestershire.
  • He joined Worcester Joggers in 1999, before it was an official ‘club.’ He and Nigel Stinton helped to formalise it into a club and Peter was appointed as the founding Chair. He retired as Chair in 2003, when Richard Sowden took over. Richard took the club forward to UKA affiliation as BPJ. Since then, Peter has been tirelessly recruiting members, pestering members of the general public etc , etc!!
  • Having experienced an episode of depression , In 2001, Peter started the National Mental Health and Spirituality Project, for the National Institute, working towards better conditions, treatment and understanding of people with mental health problems. He published Spirituality and Mental Health in 2011.
  • In 2013 he worked on a new book: Spirituality and End of Life Care, Pavilion. Peter’s royalties went to to the club’s nominated charities.

A big part of why Peter ran was to help keep his mental health healthy, which is something he tried to pass on to anyone he felt would benefit from his experience and wisdom. His article for Openmind : ‘Keep up your Spirits’, Sept 2005, is about the benefits our friendly running club makes to better mental health.

Some Milestones

  • 1988: Barnes Green Half Marathon (1hr 42min)
  • 1996: Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon (1hr 43min)
  • 1996: Rugeley 10K (43min 38sec)
  • 2000: Stroud Half Marathon (1hr 32min)
  • 2000: Stratford Marathon (3hr 45min)
  • 2001: London Marathon (3hr 35min)
  • 2001: Bourton on the Water (40min 17sec)
    With a detour as he and Nigel Stinton went the wrong way!
  • 2008: London Marathon (3hr 56min)
    Beat TV’s Ben Fogle in a sprint to the finish!
  • 2008: Snowdon Marathon (4hr 28min)
    Really awful conditions!
  • 2010: Taunton Marathon (4hr 2min)
  • 2010: Jersey Marathon (4hr)
  • 2011: Welsh Marathon (4hr 20min)
    Likely that he was already getting symptoms of MND
  • 2011: Chester Marathon (4hr 20min)

And not forgetting, most importantly, Peter’s unwavering support for his home island of Jersey and the Jersey half marathon- an event that he has run about 9 times! Usually taking BPJ members with him.

You can see a list of all of Peter's races on Power of 10.

Originally by Alison Leharne (2013)

Peter's Publications

Spirituality and Mental Health

Edited by Peter Gilbert, this is a highly regarded handbook for service users, carers and staff wishing to bring a spiritual dimension to mental health services. The opening chapter by Peter discusses running and the running club as an aid to mental wellbeing.

Spirituality and End of Life Care

Edited by Peter Gilbert, this moving and insightful handbook collects wisdom and experience from practitioners and those who have lost a loved one on the role of spirituality in end of life care. It addresses the place of spirituality in our modern society and the challenge of life and death, best practice in end of life care, belief systems, how spirituality can play a part in care workers’ roles, as well as creative interventions and leadership challenges.

Leadership: Being effective and remaining human

Written by Peter Gilbert, this book considers leadership and its purposes in depth: why we need leaders; the need to lead oneself before one leads others; and the theoretical base of leadership. It goes on to look at leadership in practice, with special consideration of changing organisational configurations, especially in the public sector, and the part that organisational culture plays in helping us get the right ‘recipe’ for an organisation or group. It concludes by looking at how leadership can go wrong, particularly around issues of discrimination and oppression; considers how they can be addressed in creating a truly person-centred organisation; and guides the reader to various sources from which they can learn more about ‘bringing out the best’.

Norton 10K

Peter Gilbert at the Norton 10K with fellow BPJs.

Crowle 10K

Peter Gilbert at Crowle 10K in 2012.

Stratford Marathon 2002

Peter Gilbert in 2002 at Stratford Marathon.