My Running Life: Wayne Hemingway

For famed designer Wayne Hemingway, running is a chance to be creative

Wayne Hemmingway running life

Credit: Glasgow Evening Times

I ran my first marathon – I think it was called the British Marathon – in 1979, when I was 18.

It went through Manchester and Bolton. It was in our last year at school and it was at the time when running was first becoming a popular sport.

We just decided – a group of friends and I – to do it. My girlfriend (now my wife) was due to meet me at the end. But she was late, and I remember finishing and being absolutely freezing.

They wrapped you up in bin bags back then, and I had nothing else to go over the top of me, waiting around in the cold.

Though we’re still together now, it was almost the end of our relationship!

When I was younger, my running went through phases, so until my early to mid-20s I didn’t run a lot.

Those were my clubbing years, and when you’re out late – drinking and so on – getting up early to run doesn’t really appeal.

I came back to it as I started to settle down and have kids.

Running is a way of giving myself head space, away from the stresses of everyday life.

That’s the biggest benefit. You think of things you had completely forgotten about. It’s a chance to be creative.

Because I’ve run all my life, running is not difficult.

Because I don’t have to worry about the act of running – the physical process – I can actually think.

I’m not thinking about how tired I am or how much pain I’m in – there are none of those feelings at all – so I am able to be creative.

Equally important is the fact that I’ve got an incredibly sweet tooth – and can’t have a meal without finishing off with a sweet – so running allows me to do that.

If I didn’t run I wouldn’t be the size I am!

Fitness is obviously also important in life generally, especially as you get older: getting those lungs working and keeping all those limbs moving is a good thing to do.

I love running down to Chichester Harbour and along the sandy beaches of the Wittering.

It’s beautiful and from my house I can do a half-marathon route – normally on Saturday and Sunday – without touching a road.

When I take my dog, it’s so isolated that I don’t even have to take a lead with me.

My dog will be swimming in the sea while I’m running along the beach.

It really is a beautiful run. Sometimes I won’t see anyone else at all, which is nice after a hectic week at work.

I also love running in cities I’ve never been to before; it’s my way of discovering a place.

We do a lot of urban design and when you’re running you learn all about a place, in a way that you don’t when you’re in a car or a bus.

I love the geography of running. For me, running is about geography, really.

When I run I like to get away from everything, so I’ve never been a member of a running club.

I’ve never followed any sort of training plan or bought anything that could aid my running.

I’ve never taken any gels and I don’t even have a bottle of water when I run a marathon.

Running is my hobby but I’m not part of the sport, it’s something I do for me.

I love the simplicity of running. You put on a pair of shoes, you put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and you set off.

That is the joy of it.

You do it at your time, when you want to do it. You’re not reliant on anyone else.

Rick Pearson

Written by Rick Pearson | 237 articles | View profile

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