We at The Derby Runner are a specialist running store, catering for people across all levels of running, ranging from first-time joggers running to keep fit; to serious marathon athletes; and even covering more specialised running types from Track and Field athletics to Fell Running.
Established in 1988 by local athlete Pete Calladine and his wife Christine, The Derby Runner is one of the original running-specialist retailers in the UK. Rob Jefferies and his partner Elaine Walker now own and run the business, and Pete and Christine remain closely associated.
The Idea of The Derby Runner has always been simple: to provide customers with a great personal level of service and advice and information on all aspects of running.
We provide a quality shopping experience long since lost from busy, crowded high-street ‘sports’ stores. Our friendly staff members come with high levels of knowledge and experience, which allows us to offer detailed information and advice about all our products.
Meet the Team
Rob – Rob has worked at the shop since 2000, became a partner in 2006 and sole director of The Derby Runner in 2014. Rob has run from a very young age. A National standard Middle Distance and Cross-Country runner, he has personal bests achievements of 1min 51s in the 800m and 3mins 47s in the 1500m; Rob has also covered some of the longer distances, including running 1-hour 10mins for the half marathon. Now into his 40s and competing for Team Derby Runner, Rob invests the same dedication into running the shop, as he once did training and competing!
He has a degree in Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics and keeps up to date on recent research related to Running and Fitness. He is best known for his advice and technical knowledge of ‘all things running’.
Elaine – Elaine has officially worked at The Derby Runner since 2016, although, being Rob's partner she has been helping out in the shop and at events for nearly 20 years. Elaine began running in her early 20s and soon found her stride; Going on to run 35 mins for 10K and competing at several national championships and Olympic trials.
Elaine, like Rob. invests most of her energy into family and work-life nowadays. Meaning that her running is primarily for health and well being. She has a great knowledge of track, road and cross country running and a huge enthusiasm for helping others to enjoy their running.
Matt – Matt has worked at the shop since 2019. Matt, like Rob, started running from a young age and at the age of 24 is a high-level Middle Distance Runner, with Personal Bests of 1 min 53s in 800 and 3 min 57s in 1500m. Still competing now from Derby AC, Matt hopes to keep performing at a high level for years to come. He is currently the technical training coordinator for the Derby Runner, his job means he has a fountain of knowledge on everything running shoes and apparel. This knowledge is backed up by an Undergraduate and Master's Degree in sports and Exercise Science and his independent research into Running Physiology and Biomechanics. So for anyone looking for information about their Running Gait or Injury worries, Matt will be able to give great insight and advice!
Carolyn – Carolyn joined The Derby Runner in 2005. Having started to run in her mid-30s as a new challenge, she fell in love with the sport and the sense of personal achievement that came with it. She has completed 3 London marathons and various others such as Windermere and Mablethorpe. Carolyn enjoys all types of running, but especially ultra-distance events (such as winning the Long Eaton 50 mile race) and fell running. Freely admitting to being a non-elite runner, Carolyn particularly understands the demands of fitting in her running with work and everyday family life. She is best known for her bubbly personality and a keen interest in all types of running.
Carolyn is also a fully trained sports-bra adviser, so please feel free to request a discreet conversation if you need some advice from her.
Chris – Since joining The Derby Runner in 2014, Chris has been an integral member of the team. Chris started running in 2000, after signing up for her first 5K Race for Life, and her love for running and challenging herself grew from there. From starting her first 5K in 2000, Chris now runs marathons and ultra-marathons and has just completed her first 50-mile event this year! Running for fun, Chris favours off-road trail and fell runs and often plods near the back, but loves it nonetheless!
Lauren – Lauren has been part of the team since 2020 and has already become an important member of the team often seen lighting up the social media page! like all members of our staff, Lauren also has a passion for running and athletics, her favoured events are within the sprint category, 100m, 200m and 400m and has competed for club and county within these events.
Dave – Dave has worked at The Derby Runner since 2001. He has completed more than 45 marathons and is now on the more experienced side of 65yrs old, has no plans of stopping yet. Dave only started running in his mid 30’s to get fit and stop smoking. He has since gone on to run a best marathon time of 2hrs48mins at the age of 47, as well as completing three Ironman triathlons since turning 56.
Dave has completed marathons and other races around the UK and abroad. Including 3 marathons in 3 days, various 3-peaks challenges, and much more. You may have even seen Dave on TV, as he was a contestant on BBC 2’s “SAS; Are You Tough Enough” a few years ago! Dave also runs his business Team Tours Travel, based at the shop.