This weekend Neil Praine completing his 100th parkruns. Here we find out more about him and his running…
Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself?
A) While born in Frimley I spent a huge portion of my youth and early adulthood in Southampton living with my Grandparents and my Aunt and Uncle. Hence I am a devoted and massive Southampton FC supporter, although this current season has been a bit of a disappointment! So moving swiftly on, I work in the building design, communities and housing industry and while it’s hard work the variety keeps me busy and interested plus I always manage a smile most days! I am married to my super wife Kate who does a bit of running but prefers two wheels and water (triathlons) and my two sons Tom and James and one daughter Bea (all avid junior parkrunners, not that they get much choice haha!)
Q) How and when did you get into running?
A) I have always enjoyed sport and used to play a lot of football in school and into my 20s. But admittedly as I got older the temptations of drinking, smoking and junk food caused me to get a bit lazy for several years. Fast forward to 2009 and a group of work colleagues had decided to run the Reading Half Marathon for charity and I was enlisted to the cause and had a entry to the race before they even asked me if I wanted to do it! We did a training run one evening after work and I barely made one mile and it took me a very long time! I was sore for days and days afterwards. But I enjoyed it in a strange way and kept it going. A few months later I joined the Sandhurst Joggers and never looked back. I ran Reading and fell in love with this so simple yet complex process we call running.
Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers?
A) The friendly bunch of faces you always meet at races or training runs. People who share this same passion and pleasure for running. It’s great and like so many other members of the club I have also made friends in the club and it’s fantastic to have a laugh and a joke together before a race or a serious chat about our latest training methods or niggles in our feet, calves, knees etc or just talk about the latest goings on in Coronation Street. I also love running a race in club colours and hearing the “well done Sandhurst” cheers!
Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you?
A) I used to be a regular Monday, Wednesday and Friday track runner (many moons ago) but my current work schedule and my three children tend to fill my diary at the moment so for the last few years I have tended to be more of a “fringe” member. Your very likely to see me at XC races during the winter as well as Yateley 10ks and I am hoping to come along to more of Dave and Graham’s events over the summer too. If kids track starts this summer (hint hint) me and my 2 boys will certainly make an appearance there too!
Q) I see you’ve run most of your Parkruns at Frimley Lodge, of the seven other venues you’ve run at which is your favourite and why?
A) Newbury Parkrun was fun as it’s on an old airfield with a cruise missile silo ominously overlooking the runners. Worcester pitchcroft is also up there in the top three as I ran my fastest Parkrun there. Frimley is easiest as friends live near there who look after my children while I run so we tend to end up there a lot. But my favourite is Bracknell as there is usually a friendly face there to chat too and I quite like the course! Plus I always seem to finish well when running there.
Q) What other events are on your programme for 2018?
A) I am off to Frimley Park Hospital for a 10k next month, the Yateley series through June, July and August and a weekend of orienteering in Essex under timed conditions navigating through difficult terrain to various checkpoints (or in my case getting lost in fields that all look the same). Oh yes and Team Praine are running the Windlesham pairs relay with my wife! After that – the winter XC season awaits the brave!
Neil ran his first Parkrun on April 14th 2010 at Frimley Lodge, here’s some more achievements for the statos taken from the new ‘Parkrun Challenges’ Chrome Extension:-
100 x Parkruns in Total
62 x of those at Frimley Lodge
14 x Personal Bests (fastest ever is 18:57)
8 x Different venues
2 x Different volunteer roles
1 x Groundhog Day in June 2015 at Frimley Lodge finishing in 21:30 (finishing in the same time at the same venue on 2 consecutive runs)
2 x New Years Day Doubles (both Rushmoor / Frimley Lodge)
49/60 scored in Stopwatch Bingo