We want to hear from the Waverley Harriers and see what motivates them. Each month we will be asking one lucky club member the same set of questions
When did running begin for you?
About 12 years ago when I became a father. I used to participate in other sports which I stopped due to family commitments. Running is such a simple past-time that you can simply throw on a pair of trainers and get great exercise from less than an hour of spare time. My first ‘runs’ involved mostly walking, lasted just 20 minutes and kept me active. My wife fully encouraged me at the time, although her patience has waned now that I often run for several hours and enter long distance trail events!
Why do you run?
I used to chase PBs on road events until I had an epiphany in 2013. I got a ballot place in the London Marathon, followed a training-plan to the letter and realised that I simply lost the enjoyment of running freely. Soon after, I suffered knee problems which resulted in surgery in 2014 and 2015 and not really running again until 2016. It made me realise what is most important for me; enjoying the sense of freedom in running, allied to our beautiful countryside and great company from the club. Now I limit my running to twice per week, run mostly off-road and do other holistic forms of exercise to improve my strength, well-being and running longevity.
What race or moment in your running career holds the most significance and why?
Running is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. Nothing beats the pleasure of feeling alive on a beautiful day, running care-free, sweating hard, clearing the mind and feeling like I can take on the world. There are times when nature takes my breath away; these are the significant moments for me.
Who is your running inspiration?
I get inspired by my fellow Waverley Harriers who achieve targets that they didn’t think were possible. I love the way we have diversity in our club, with different ages, backgrounds, occupations, life circumstances but come together in our community with a shared passion. Having had my children in the Juniors section, we should also celebrate the incredible achievements of our young people who are punching well above their weight competitively. But, it doesn’t matter what distance we run, speed we run or level of runner we are; I really enjoy seeing the journey that other club members are taking with their running.
What event, past or present, would you like to take part in and why?
I enjoy mountain environments and we often take holidays in the Chamonix region of France; so an event for my personal aspiration would have to be the Ultra Trail Mont Banc, although I honestly suspect it will be beyond me. But, never say never…
What golden piece of advice would you give to other runners?
Run with a smile on your face. If you enjoying yourself, you will perform better.
I have a place in the Mont Blanc Marathon at the end of June. Although it doesn’t reach close to the summit of Mont Blanc, the course is largely uphill on trails that I know very well in some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe. Given my injuries, I am pinching myself that I will reach the start line. I know it will be a slow time and I am not sure that I will finish, but that doesn’t matter…