Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself?
A) I’m from a small town in North Yorkshire called Northallerton. We moved to Sandhurst about 12 years ago before that living in Doncaster then Newbury. I’ve been married to my wife for 15 years next month and we have 2 beautiful daughters aged 17 and 16. I’ve spent most of my working life writing software and more recently in cyber security. It’s really interesting work and is constantly changing, there are always new things to learn. I’ve always been active, from teaching Muay Thai to playing Sunday league football. Before I took up running (which I didn’t think I could do due to my knees) I played Badminton with some work colleagues once or twice a week, and anything else that got the adrenaline going!
Q) How and when did you get into running?
A) I changed jobs about 4 years ago and I now primarily work from home, so my commute is now up a few steps! I decided I needed to do something to get me out of the house and running seemed like a good option, all I really needed was a pair of decent trainers and glucosamine supplements for my knees! Whilst playing 5 a side football in 2003/4 I ruptured the patella tendon in my right knee. I gradually gained weight which put more pressure on my knees making it more and more difficult to get moving. At my heaviest I was 21st!! I decided I needed to lose weight so I downloaded an app which allows you to create a food diary. I could see the calories I was eating and change my eating habits. The online support was fantastic! The app also allowed me to link my activities so I could see the calories I was burning too! During this period I decided to do the NHS couch to 5k. The sense of achievement was phenomenal and this spurred me on to complete a 10k. Each milestone I reach urges me on to the next. I really do love running, it’s so addictive!!
Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers?
A) There are so many great things about this club. I guess the most important part is the people, so welcoming and friendly. There’s such a great selection of events and weekly night runs and the advice I’ve received on races and dealing with injuries has really helped me.
Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you?
A) I mostly run on a Tuesday, but I make it to track on a Friday sometimes and I’m pretty much at Bracknell Parkrun every Saturday. You may see me along the A30 on a Sunday morning as that’s my usual long run route.
Q) I see you’ve mostly run at Bracknell, of the five other venues you’ve run at which is your favourite and why?
A) Goole in South Yorkshire has to be my favourite; it’s really flat and fast. I do it about once every 6 months and it’s fantastic to see how it has grown from about 40 runners to 150+ It’s also where I’ve achieved 3 PBs in 4 runs.
Q) What other events are on your programme for 2018?
A) I’m in for the Yately 10k series which I’m really looking forward to as it was fully booked when I looked at it last year. I’m doing the Phoenix Running Thames Path Potter this month and I’m hoping to complete my second marathon there. Later this year I am taking part in the Great north Run, which I’ve heard lot’s of great things about. I’m hoping to get a couple more marathons in at least this year too!
Mark ran his first Parkrun on 7th May 2016 at Bracknell, here’s some more achievements for the statos taken from the new ‘Parkrun Challenges’ Chrome Extension:-
100 x Parkruns in Total
93 x of those at Bracknell
33 x volunteering (mostly pacing at Bracknell)
11 x Personal Bests (fastest ever is 26:01 set at Goole recently)
6 x Different venues
2 x Bronze Level Obsessive in 2016 and 2017 (30+ parkruns in a single year)
1 x Silver Level Obsessive in 2017 (40+ parkruns in a single year)
49/60 scored in Stopwatch Bingo