On the Spot – Bill Fordham

When did running begin for you?
I watched the first London Marathon on television in 1981 and thought that I would like
to have a go at it. I had never run before (being particularly adept at dodging the
dreaded school runs around Clapham Common) but got an entry for the 1983 event and
surprised myself by finishing sub-4 hours. I then vowed that my first Marathon would be
my last, but watching the BBC coverage of the 1984 race with that wonderfully stirring
theme music made me rethink and I repeated the experience in 1987, 1993 and 1996.

Why do you run?
Basically, I run to maintain a level of fitness that allows me to race competetively. I know
my limitations and realise that I will never be challenging for any prizes. However, if I
race and improve my age grading or gain a good finishing position in my age category or
maybe get a pb, then I have achieved something.

What race or moment in your running career holds the most significance and why?
There have been a few moments that stand out, including the time I crossed the
finishing line at the Great Scottish Run Half-Marathon with my son, Liam, but my
proudest moment happened at the 2017 European Masters Championships in Aarhus,
Denmark when I competed in the Half-Marathon and finished with a Bronze medal as a
member of the Great Britain M65 Team.

Who is your running inspiration?
It’s Waverley Harriers. This is a club with members representing the complete spectrum
of running ability who enjoy each others company whether training, racing or socialising.
The level of mutual support and enouragement is phenomenal !

What event, past or present, would you like to take part in and why?
The Boston Marathon is probably one of the world’s most iconic races and one I would
really like to attempt. I’m planning to run a marathon somewhere like Manchester in a
couple of years time and would be looking to achieve an age qualifying standard that
would give me entry to Boston.
What golden piece of advice would you give to other runners?
Neutralise ‘nasty niffs’ by stuffing a couple of tumble dryer sheets in your shoes after a
workout… and stop striving for pb’s on training runs, save it for races !

What’s next?
I’m hoping to run another half-marathon with my son this year. I’ve got the Hart 4
Relays coming up in August, the Veterans AC 10,000 metre Track Championships in
September, the Great South Run in October and next year it’s off to Iceland to see the
Northern Lights and compete in the Vetrarhlaup, a night-time 10k that is often run in the
severest of weather conditions.

Who would you like to nominate?
Kirsty Smith

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