We’re having a run of Parkrun milestones with a recent trio of centuries completed. It’s providing a great opportunity to find out more about some of our members. Last weekend Dave O’Toole reached his 150th so let’s find out more about him…
Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself?
A) My name is Dave O’Toole, I was born in Ormskirk Liverpool in 1949. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. My family moved from Liverpool to Manchester when I was 13 years old, my favourite sport was playing football. I always fancied being a Soldier so when I was 19 years I decided to move out of my home and joined the army as a Vehicle Specialist. I completed my recruit training in Deepcut, Surrey. During my training I was spotted by the PTI Sgt while I was playing football for the unit side and he suggested that I go for a trial for the Army side I did what the PTI Sgt recommended and impressed the Army Football Coach. From then on I stopped my Vehicle training and was ordered to join the Army Football team on a full time basis; as I was self disciplined I did what I was told (!) and started playing for the Army full time. During this time I was spotted by an Army Physical Training Instructor who advised me to go on a PTI course. Again I did as I was told and finished the PTI course and eventually transferred into the now Royal Army Physical Training Corps. During my time in the Corps I was posted to Aldershot for 3 years as a Football Specialist. From there I was posted to Northern Ireland attached to the Kings Own Scottish Borders. My role in Ireland was head of Physical Training and keeping the soldiers Fit to Fight, my secondary role was Bodyguard to the Commanding officer (If any of you have a spare 15 minutes I would gladly tell you a few stories regarding my Bodyguard Duties). I joined the Army in 1968 as a Private Soldier and signed on for 6 years I ended up serving 25 Years and retired as a Captain being recommended for promotion to Major in 1994. The Royal Army Physical Training Corps motto is ‘mens sana in corpora sano’ which means ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’. This motto is something that stays with you for the rest of your life.
Q) How and when did you get into running?
A) In my mid 30’s when I eventually retired from Football I thought it would be a good transition to keep running to keep my fitness and health.
Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers?
A) I’ve always enjoyed running with company, with company you always have that commitment to competition and camaraderie. I’ve always had the inclination to believe the saying when the going gets tough try a little harder and enjoy.
Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you?
A) Most Saturdays I will be at the Frimley Lodge Park Run, it’s only 5 minutes from my house which is perfect. Parkrun is a fantastic event which is for all and everyone of all standards; you can race, jog, or just enjoy.
Q) I see you’ve mainly kept it local with Parkruns completing 130 at Frimley Lodge, of the 6 other venues you’ve run at which is your favourite and why?
A) My favourite Parkrun is Frimley Lodge because of its location.
Q) What other events are on your programme for 2017?
A) I have started competing in Triathlons lately with the London Tri, Hever Castle, Hart, The Beale Beastie and recently Guildford Tri. Providing my body keeps going I’ll do more.