Ran my first half marathon just before my eighteenth birthday, then just dabbled occasionally until about three years ago, when family life made my other interests (rock climbing, mountaineering, white water kayaking) less practical.
What got you into running?
Initially, being rubbish at all other sports at school! Later, a desire to see if I could still do it and prove that I’m not getting old.
Why do you run?
A young family (one nearly two, plus one on the way) means that time is very much at a premium. Running gets me out of the house fast with minimum hassle.
How do you fit running into your schedule?
I am lucky enough to travel about during my working day. I try to squeeze in runs during my lunch break wherever I am, and have enjoyed running in places such as the Basingstoke Canal, the South Downs, and Burnham Beeches to name a few. Plus I try to go even if I have limited time. I occasionally operate quarry weighbridges, and it’s amazing how fast you can run when you’re going to get a queue of about twenty lorries if you’re late back!
What’s your favorite running route?
We’re blessed here with some fantastic routes, but my personal favorite is to run up the Ridgeway from Wallingford to Nuffield. Steep hills and uneven ground keep you on your toes and the views are wonderful. Plus it’s nearly five miles of downhill on the way home.
Do you take part in races?
A big yes! I’m a competitive person, and an event brings out the best in me. I also love the atmosphere of a lot of other runners around all with the same goal.
What’s your greatest running achievement?
That’s a tough question. Probably the Chatsworth 10k last year. Pouring rain, uphill for the first half, lots of slippery grass slopes and I got a top forty finish and smashed my previous PB by three and a half minutes. Really not sure what it says about me that I perform well at this sort of event!
How long have you been at Benson Striders and how has it helped you and your running?
I’ve been running with Benson Striders for about a year now. It makes such a difference to run and chat with other folk- makes the miles fly by. Really helps me motivate myself to get out of bed on a Saturday morning knowing that I’ll be running with such a lovely group of people.
Do you use any apps to record your running and if so which ones?
I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to this sort of thing. I record all my runs on Runkeeper (on an Iphone), then bore my wife with split times and distances. I also use an app called PaceCalc. This is great for working out what pace to run to achieve specific targets, and for predicting race times.
What advice would you give someone new to running?
Don’t compromise on your running shoes! You can run in any old clothes, but the wrong shoes will give you huge problems. Plus get a pair of trail shoes if you fancy running off-road - they give you a lot of (much needed) confidence in your feet.
What’s your favorite motivational motto?
Keep smiling - this is fun!