Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself?
A) I turned 50 a year ago and I’m married with two kids, a girl and a boy both now at Edgbarrow school in Crowthorne. I’ve lived in Sandhurst for over 10 years and Reading before that after moving down from Leeds to study in London. I’m a Civil Engineer specialising in ground engineering, which is why I’m completely comfortable living at the top of Mickle Hill – I checked the geology before we moved and there’s no chance of landslips!
Q) How and when did you get into running?
A) I always used to be quite fit and was a keen but not very good cyclist in my youth and at college, but had given up doing much exercise to redecorate the house when we moved to Sandhurst. Around Christmas 2008 I remember kicking a ball around the Memorial Park with my son Alfred (then 5) and being out of breath after only 5 minutes! I bought some running shoes in January and started a couch to 5k training plan, running by myself. Later in 2009 I did a 5k fun run organised by 2:09 events and got beaten by at least six 10 year olds, but got a prize as I was the first person over the line who fitted the T-shirt! I did my first parkrun at Basingstoke in August 2009, almost gave up running for a while, but did another parkrun at Reading and then at Frimley Lodge in June 2010 and was hooked. I got involved with the volunteer team at Frimley and it was there that I found out about Sandhurst Joggers.
Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers?
A) Most importantly for me, it gives me a great bunch of people to run with on a regular basis, but the club also gives me a place to develop, train and improve if I want to, or just relax and enjoy a chilled out run. It was through the club that I got a place in London marathon in 2013. I got a place as a marshal at London through the club and I ran it again in 2015, so I can now blame Sandhurst Joggers for my current “hobby” of running marathons (55 so far) and I’m just about to do my first 50 mile ultra. I’ve done a lot of running miles in some wonderful places as a result of being a Sandhurst Jogger and I’m really happy to have been able to give something back by being a run leader, Club Secretary and now Chairman.
Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you?
A) It could be any day depending on what fits in with current training or recovery and family, but I’m often at Thursday tempo runs, and try to fit in Tuesday intervals and Sunday long runs as they are perfect for training. A Tuesday slow or medium is also good for recovery after a marathon too. As club Chairman I like to get out and see the different groups as much as I can, so I’ll try and run at each club run at least once a month.
Q) I see you’ve mainly run at Frimley Lodge Parkrun, of the local venues which is your favourite and why?
A) Of the local parkruns, Frimley Lodge has a special place in my heart, as it is my “home” parkrun, where I have made loads of friends and discovered Sandhurst Joggers. I’ve run there over 300 times and volunteered there nearly 250 times as well. I like the course as it’s all off road, with a variety of surfaces and it gets properly muddy in winter, which is great for leg strength. The Basingstoke Canal Café does a great breakfast too!
Q) How about your favourite ‘tourist’ venue of the 33 you’ve visited?
A) I like a hilly challenge and Queen Elizabeth parkrun near Petersfield is a monster but with great views to reward you. For a parkrun in a lovely setting with technical trails and speedy descents (even though it has 3 laps) then Homewood parkrun near Chertsey is easier but also very nice.
Q) What other events are on your programme for 2017?
A) I tend to have lots in the calendar, so I already have races booked well into 2018, but my next race is the 50 mile, self-navigated and partly run at night, Surrey Tops, then October sees 3 more marathons and Fleet 10k. I think I was a bit overenthusiastic with race entries there!