Tell us a bit about your running history
I really enjoyed running when I was younger, running at school and in some local races. I enjoyed cross country and would always be the one who signed up for longer races at sports day rather than the short sprints which I was no good at; some things never change! But by the time I got to secondary school I had lost my passion for running and focused on other sports.
I only started running again when I went to University but even then it was more of a warm-up activity before doing something else, I definitely would not have described myself as a ‘runner’. It was only when joining OS three years ago that I really started to run a lot more, enjoying the social side of OS Runners.
In those three years I have had many firsts; 10K, Half Marathon, 24 hour race, Adventure race, and have even gone on running holidays; two words which I never thought belonged together. I have now definitely got the running bug and my challenges just seem to get more extreme every year!
When and how did you start running for OS Runners?
I first started running with OS Runners when a group of us from Products decided to enter the Southampton 10k, signing up in Autumn 2014 for the April 2015 race. As I had never run more than a 5k race I started running socially with some of the OS Runners over the winter to try and get my fitness up and build the mileage. I really enjoyed going out as a group and how encouraging everyone was, ever since I have started participating in more and more sessions and now try and make as many sessions as possible.
How often do you train and what sessions do you do outside of the club?
Its increased this year from running about two times a week in January, to between 3 or 4 runs a week now, although this will drop down again with the longer nights approaching meaning more time in the Gym. Outside of the club I try to do a long run at the weekend, normally taking advantage of having the sea on my doorstep or at least using one of the many offroad trails; and then one quicker bit of speed work normally done on the road.
I am also a keen cyclist so it’s not all about the running, and I feel using the bike to get some variety is really beneficial.
Which is more satisfying… going for a training run or running a race?
I really enjoy racing and the buzz you get from running with other people and how much quicker you run but I actually think training is more satisfying. The race is the end of a lot of effort you have put in during previous weeks, months or even years so all the hard work is done during training runs.
What is your running highlight so far?
London 2 Cardiff 2017.
Before this event I had never run more than a half marathon, but I managed to run almost 28 miles during the 24 hours. The team support was fantastic with us all being grouped into two mini buses driving between checkpoints and running each stage as a pair (an offroad 11 mile stage at midnight with Baz has to be a highlight), we raised a significant amount of money for our corporate charity, and completed the event in less than 23 hours. This event also opened my eyes to longer distance running and different types of running events away from the normal run races.
What are your future running goals?
Shorter term I want to break 90 mins for a half marathon (hopefully 2018) and get my 10k time down, but I have started to enjoy the longer distance events. I have already entered Endure24 next year in an awesome OS Runners team, and I hope to get a ThunderRun entry again (this might have happened by the time you read this) , and also want to run my first marathon. Fingers crossed for London, but there will be no ambitions to set a family PB, if you want to know why ask me about my Dad’s marathon time over a coffee if you haven’t already heard the story!
What’s the most valuable piece of running advice you’ve ever been given?
“You can run faster!”
I know this might not seem like advice, but with Garmin’s, Strava and many running blogs giving advice and stats on speed, heart rate and pacing strategies amongst others I think sometimes people rely on this more than simply running and seeing how fast they can go. Next time you are racing try running faster than normal and see how it goes, you might surprise yourself.
Where do you like to run and have you anywhere particularly memorable?
Offroad and coastal runs have got to be my favourite. I live close to Durdle Door so I really enjoy running parts of the South West coast path but equally have many forests to choose from if I want to get away from pounding the pavements and traffic.
A 5km race in San Diego on the promenade has to be my most memorable and is still where my existing PB exists from.
Do you have any running experiences you’d care to forget?
A short run in Edinburgh…or what was meant to be a short run. I was in Edinburgh for a couple of days so thought I would take the opportunity to go for a short run around the city. The first few miles were fine but my knowledge of the city was not as good as I thought. The short run soon turned into over 8 miles and I was late for the evening plans!
Do you have any other passionate interests?
I am a very keen cyclist and spend a large amount of time each year in Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Brecon Beacons; I also enjoy playing golf having started when I was really young but I don’t find much time to play anymore.
Finally, which other OS Runner do you most admire?
This is really difficult to answer. Every time I run at lunch or after work with any other OS Runner I count myself lucky to have such a great group of people at work. I am always amazed at how good and diverse our club is, we would rival many good other dedicated running clubs.
If I had to single someone out I think it would have to be James Clarke, for firstly being ridiculously quick especially at parkruns! But also anyone who can run a 3:06 marathon in the Dorset Hills or clock up 70km on a ThunderRun course which can only be described as a muddy swamp deserves much admiration.