When and why did you start running, and what races have you run so far?
I started running just over 10 years ago when my wife entered me into the Reading Half Marathon to raise money for a local children’s charity. She advised me of this on Christmas day as one of my presents! The following Boxing Day morning, my brother-in-law (who was a keen runner) took me out on my first run since I was at school. Despite struggling a bit due to excesses from the day before, from that moment on I had the running ‘bug’. Ten years on, it’s such an important part of my life.
What do you enjoy most about running?
There are so many things I enjoy about running. In particular, it helps me to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life, especially work, and makes me feel really good, both physically and mentally. The fact that it is so easy just to put on a pair of trainers and go for a run wherever I am can be so liberating – you could say it is a form of escapism. I also love the challenge and opportunity to improve my running performances and times, especially through races ranging from parkruns to marathons.
What marathon are you running, why did you choose it, and what time are you hoping for?
I am doing the London Marathon in April. It will be five years since I last
did London, which was my very first marathon. Since 2012, I’ve gone on
to do another eight marathons and each year have gradually improved my times. My personal best so far is 3:09, which I set at Edinburgh last year, and
I thought London would be a great venue to attempt a sub-3hr time at
the age of 55.
Why did you want to be part of the Big Marathon Challenge?
To achieve my ambition of a sub-3hr marathon, I know I need as much help and advice as I can get and this is why I was keen to be a member of the BMC team. Running is a very personal and individual pursuit and that is one of the great things about this form of activity. However, it also means it can be very lonely sometimes, especially when I know there is so much to learn from others. Being part of a team where I can learn and share experiences on nutrition, training plans, strength exercises and injury prevention is going
to be invaluable.
Tell us one interesting fact about you.
Before I got into running, I was on the books at Reading and Leicester football clubs. I’m a year older than Gary Lineker and played against him a couple of times. Strangely enough, he wasn’t exceptionally good back then, although he was a natural goalscorer. I like to think I was more of a box-to-box midfielder in the Bryan Robson mould!