Neil Clark

Neil Clark

Age: 52
Location: Falkirk
Marathon: Blackpool
Target: Sub-5

When and why did you start running, and what races have you run so far?
When I was in the Scots Guards, I used to run but hated it. I did my first marathon, Loch Ness, in 2005 and finished in 5:25. I hadn’t trained properly so enjoyed the last eight miles not one bit. I ran Loch Ness again in 2009, finishing in 4:38, but my running lapsed again after that. Then, when my best pal from the Guards died from cancer in March 2016, I decided to do the 5×50 Challenge for Macmillan in his honour. I played bagpipes for the full length of the last five kilometres.

What do you enjoy most about running?
The requirement to discipline myself and stick to the challenge. I can be quite chaotic, so I like the solitude and the time to think. I like the simplicity and the chance to see places in a way most people don’t. I’m also lucky in that I can run in some great areas near to where I live.

What marathon are you running, why did you choose it, and what time are you hoping for?
I’m running the Blackpool Marathon. It’s on the same day as London, and I’ve already done London, so I thought I’d try something different. It’s also a lot closer to home, so I can work Saturday, drive the campervan down and do the race in the morning. I might even have a day in the Lakes on the way back home. It looks like a relatively fast marathon, too.

Why did you want to be part of the Big Marathon Challenge?
My training for my previous marathons has been a wee bit haphazard and disorganised. A programme like this will help me stick to a regime. I really haven’t had a proper training programme till now. I’m self employed so, to a certain extent I can adjust my work around my running.

Tell us one interesting fact about you.
I’m a professional bagpipes teacher. I teach from home and also over Skype. I have pupils in every continent in the world. I also play whistles, harmonica, smallpipes and sing in a folk duo, Glenbervie, with my wife Kathryn, who sings and plays guitar and clarinet.

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