At The Finish Line With…Nigel Clifford

Tell us a bit about your running history

Having stopped playing rugby after getting my face rearranged by my opposite number 9, I began running. Having family in the north east the Great North Run became a target and is now a regular event for most of the family – last time we did it I was accompanied by my Geordie brother in law (who has completed all but 1 of the GNRs) and all three younger Cliffords.

What do you mean I’ve got to do another lap?! Nigel ‘The Blur’ in full flight at the Romsey Relay Marathon.

When and how did you start running for OS Runners?

First as part of the Dell Challenge 2016 I guess – and last in the Romsey Relay Marathon last month. I look with envy from my office as Naomi heads off and then I see the stream of runners on a lunch time. I must make the effort having had my kit in the cupboard since I joined OS.

How often do you train and what sessions do you do outside of the club?

At the moment, I am training for the Midsummer Monro (with a pesky calf strain) – so mostly putting in some miles and climbing stairs (its on Box Hill in Surrey and is a half marathon with 3000’ of ascent and descent, hence the Monro tag).

Which is more satisfying… going for a training run or running a race?

A race does add some zest as the times are usually better!

What is your running highlight so far?

The Dell Challenge was a super experience with a great bunch of folk – and we won…again.

What are your future running goals?

I’d love to have a go at the ‘Bob Graham Round’ in the Lakes but just too decrepit. So probably stick to the GNR and Midsummer Monro this year, with the odd 10K as well.

What’s the most valuable piece of running advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Don’t stretch’ copyright Viv Alexander

Where do you like to run and have you anywhere particularly memorable?

We have a lovely canal in Newbury, or by the Thames in London – poor hill training but lovely to look at.

Training for the GNR while on holiday in the Lofoten Islands was pretty memorable – Lord of the Rings scenery and gradients from hell.

Do you have any running experiences you’d care to forget?

Tripping and falling flat on my face on a dark, wet, winter’s night while road running in Yorkshire wasn’t a lot of fun.

Do you have any other passionate interests?

Marathon kayaking and the odd cycle trip (Land’s End John O’Groats in 2011)

Finally, which other OS Runner do you most admire?

Tough one as anyone getting outside (plug for Nick Giles there) regardless of talent and experience is admirable. That being said we do have some blisteringly awesome athletes who I won’t embarrass here.