Knowing Me; Knowing You

As well as telling my own story via this blog I thought it would also be good to get to know other runners too via a quick Q&A session, some of these runners also blog, some don’t, but they all have their own unique experiences to share.


#14 Rachel

After a short break Knowing Me; Knowing You is back and first up is Rachel.

rachet

Introduce yourself

I always hate this one, it should be so simple yet I can never find the right words…. My name is Rachel, I am a regular runner and I like to write about my experiences to prevent my friends and family getting fed up of me talking about it.

Where does your passion for running stem from?

To be honest I am not really sure, at school I used to hate it because I wasn’t able to keep up with everyone else so I never really put the effort in.  Then, one day I decided to go running with a friend and ended up doing a couple of 5k’s and 10k events.  The next thing I know I got into the London Marathon!  Unfortunately I got injured and not being able to run (or walk at times) for a couple of months after this is what made me realise how much I need running in my life, I started to build my running up again slowly and joined a running club which I am enjoying every minute of.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

Have regular sports massages and make sure you stretch (someone probably did tell me this when I first started running, but I had to find out the hard way).

When you decide to enter a race/event what things do you look for?

Location and distance are the key ones for me, although I don’t mind travelling within reason and I am quite keen to have a holiday based around an event next year.

What running goals / plans do you have for the rest of the year?

Having just completed the Saltmarsh75 (www.saltmarsh75.co.uk) early in October I am still recovering so I guess my goals for the rest of the year are to get back to fitness and hopefully enjoy the Flitch Way Marathon I have planned for New Years Eve.

Where is your dream holiday destination and would you take your running kit with you on the holiday of a lifetime?

Oooh, this is a tough one – there are so many places in the world I would like to visit.  My honeymoon was in America (Vegas, Yosemite Park, San Francisco and LA) and I loved it so I guess this would be my holiday of a lifetime and yes my running kit came with me.

Random question, what is your favourite pizza topping and what does it tell us about you as a person?

This is a killer of a question – I have just discovered I have a cows milk intolerance and therefore am unable to eat pizza.  I love pizza.  I guess as a person this would tell you I am strong willed and stubborn enough to stick to a strict diet and it would also warn you to never invite me out for dinner or to come food shopping with me!

If you want to find out more about Rachel her blog link is http://www.rachetruns.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Twitter @rachetruns 


#13 Tim Caldwell

This week’s guest is Tim. I’ve featured on his fantastic blog so this is very much knowing me, knowing you!

tim

Introduce yourself

Hi, I’m Tim, a teacher, runner, cyclist and general lover of outdoor and active pursuits! I also blog at timsrunningworld.com. I have a wonderful partner and three amazing children and I happen to be rather obsessive and passionate about the field of running.

Where does your passion for running stem from?

I have always been a very active sportsman and for years I was into playing football and cricket. I only started running as a hobby in 2012. When children came along, I didn’t have time any more, so I took up running as it was one of the few things that was (relatively) inexpensive that I could do ‘on demand’ so to speak. I needed something that I could do when I found I had some time. Running was what I plumped for! I found that I loved the escape, the freedom and the chance for exploration and adventure that it affords. I also loved the combination of the physical and mental challenges and am still enjoying the mental questions I pose myself (where do they come from?!), the effort, the views and the places I get to find from putting one foot in front of the other.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

I wish that someone had told me how much more fun it is to be part of a running community (like a running club!) rather than running alone. As much as I love running alone at my own pace, when I eventually joined a running club, my passion for running exploded ten-fold! The accountability, the banter and feeling part of something bigger is great! However, as I didn’t know anyone in a running club at the time, I never got that advice. I also wish, being quite competitive by nature, that I’d been encouraged to use a GPS watch earlier than I did – it helps me gauge my performance and motivates me to try my best.

When you decide to enter a race/event what things do you look for? (location, price, medal, challenge etc)

I like to try new things, so anything a bit different that I’ve not done before always appeals. I also like to stretch myself, so now I’m keen to enter longer races like marathons and ultras. Generally, local races are great because they’re convenient. I also enjoy running for my club (Long Eaton Running Club) in various leagues and a good medal to commemorate the occasion is also great, but it isn’t a deal-breaker.

What running goals/plans do you have for the rest of the year?

What a question! Personally, I would like to beat my personal best for a parkrun 5k (17:04) and still need to schedule in a bunch of running events! What I am really excited about is getting in to more cross country league races for my club this coming season.

I’d also like to help, motivate and inspire more people to get into running and improve their running. This is going to be more challenging, but I’m hoping to do this through my blog, timsrunningworld.com and by using my Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualification to help with a local Couch25k if I can. With all these things, time is the main issue.

Finally, I want to improve on my marathon time. I ran the marathon distance for the first time in May 2017. Let’s just say that I know I am capable of better – that’s the optimist in me!

Where is your dream holiday destination and would you take your running kit with you on this holiday of a lifetime?

I love travelling! I’ve had the privilege of running in Rue (France), Menorca, Rome, Majorca and a variety of locations around the UK, from the busy streets of London to the tranquil trails of Devon in the last year. I would dearly love to travel again to New Zealand. It is a beautiful country and is home to many of my extended family members. I would absolutely take my running kit (I take it everywhere I go!). I can’t imagine a more beautiful country to go for a run in!

Random question, what is your favourite pizza topping and what does that tell us about you as a person?

I love having a bunch of different, spicy meats on my pizza. What does it tell people about me? I guess it tells people that I don’t waste an opportunity to get as many calories as possible into my system! I also like variety – in my pizzas; in my running and in life generally!

Tim has a whole host of social media to get involved with:

Web: http://timsrunningworld.com/ – sharing my running and travelling adventures

FB: http://facebook.com/timsrw

Inst: https://www.instagram.com/timmcaldwell/

Tw: https://twitter.com/barefoottc


 

#12 Carmen To

Welcome to this week’s Q&A with the wonderful Carmen.

carmen

Introduce yourself.

My name is Carmen. I’m a British Born Chinese, who has lived in London all my life. I’ve always had a sporty background from a young age, so I chose to go down the sports coaching route as a career. I recently started working with a charity that helps visually impaired children. I also dabble in arts and crafts in my spare time (although my spare time is usually for running and training).

Where does your passion for running stem from?

It definitely wasn’t at school, as I used to hate it with a passion. When I got to university I did a bit of running here and there just to keep fit. My first ever race I entered, which was the Adidas Women’s 5k, was in 2008 in memory of my mum who had lost her battle to lung cancer the previous year. It was the first charity run I ever did so I was proud I’d managed to finish it, as I distinctly remember walk running it. It took another major turning point in my life, namely the break up with my ex from a long term relationship in 2016 to seriously ignite my passion for running. I used to hate running with him because I would have to keep up with him so it wasn’t much fun even though we did some races. But what I’ve found out since the break up is that I can achieve a lot without him. I’ve completed close to 20 races since last March and I have plenty more races to look forward to. We jokingly had a pact to complete a 5K, 10K, half marathon and a full marathon together. The first two distances we completed, as well as a 5 mile race and an inflatable obstacle course. I ran my first half marathon earlier this year, which was hard but I was glad I did it. The challenge of my first full marathon is on the horizon next Spring, which will be London. Running has proven to be a great mood booster for me when I’m feeling down or had a stressful day. I can put on my trainers, listen to music and just while away my time without a care in the world, as I rack up the mileage.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

It does get easier and the longer distances aren’t as scary as I imagined them to be. As long as I put the training in and look after my body by taking adequate rest days I can keep going. Don’t be stubborn about powering through thinking you are invincible. As my trainer always says “even elite athletes need rest days.”

When you decide to enter a race/event what things to you look for? (location, price, medal, challenge etc)

I am a sucker for a nice medal so that is usually my first criteria. Most of my races have been fairly local but I wouldn’t be above trying races further afield based on other people’s recommendations. As my running progresses I think the more challenging runs could appeal to me. Race atmosphere is definitely a factor for me returning to the same race year on year, as I normally race each once and find a new one to try out.

What running goals/plans do you have for the rest of the year?

The next big race, which is my second half marathon, is the Royal Parks Half. I had heard good things about this one and the atmosphere will be very different to my first half marathon, which was a more smaller event. I may book a few more races before the year is out just to keep me race sharp over the Winter.

Where is your dream holiday destination and would you take your running kit with you on this holiday of a lifetime?

I’d love to go to New Zealand. Although I always have a soft spot for Hong Kong, as that is where my family is from. There are some areas there that could be explored on foot so I wouldn’t be above taking my running kit with me.

Random question, what is your favourite pizza topping and what does that tell us about you as a person?

Tough one. I’d have to say egg (Fiorentina is one of my go to choices). No idea what that says about me though, guess that I am a little different to other people.

Thanks for sharing Carmen, if you want to find out more then please feel free to follow on Twitter @sportygirl_85


#11 Simeon Farrington-Newman

This week’s Q&A victim is Si, I co-hosted my first @ukrunchat hour with this fantastic gentleman and the rest is history.

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Introduce yourself

Hi, I’m Simeon Farrington-Newman, although I have to shorten my first name so it’ll fit onto Twitter! I’m based up in the North West town of Stockport and have recently started to run for Stockport Harriers. I also have my own running club based at Lyme Park (National Trust) which is focused on trail running. Our little home on the internet is https://lymerunners.wordpress.com

I’ve blogged since mid 2012 and you can find my musings at https://farrin.me.uk. Although it started out as a diary it’s more recently become more focused on running, racing, technology and cake! The about-me page pretty well sums it up.

Where does your passion for running stem from?

I class myself as an adult ‘learner’. I was rubbish at PE at school and left with a loathing of sport. Roll on another 15 years and my GP told me to lose weight and that my blood pressure was sky high! As such I discovered running in my early 30s and haven’t looked back. I find long-distance running very therapeutic which helps both the body and the mind. Running is an excellent way of meditating and especially helping with mental health issues.

I suppose my passion now is helping others to discover the enjoyment that I get from running.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

Difficult really. I guess, coming off the back of a number of injuries a little bit of guidance on better running form which might have prevented the injuries! That aside, the message of ‘just get out somewhere beautiful and enjoy running’. I spent far too many years running next to busy main roads despite the wonderful scenery on my doorstep!

When you decide to enter a race/event what things to you look for? (location, price, medal, challenge etc)

This has changed over time. When I first started in 2006 the proviso was that I came away with a t-shirt!

65 races in and I’m looking for different challenges. Not least because I’ve got more t-shirts than I know what to do with! Some events I will do for a specific reason e.g. a known fast course gives an opportunity to try for a PB. In 2018 I’m looking to switch focus to do more trail and fell runs rather than road events. I have two ultra-marathons planned for next year so that’s a jump into the complete unknown as the furthest I’ve run to date is 28 miles! That said I’ll be back in Anglesey next March for my 5th visit to the wonderful half-marathon there, and two weeks later I’m off to Limassol for my first ever international race.

What running goals/plans do you have for the rest of the year?

To get over injury and be able to run Chester and Snowdonia marathons in October. It’ll be my 3rd visit to Chester and my first for the Snowdonia (road) marathon. Other than a charity race (Langley 7) in November, that’s it for 2017 as I want to get some proper rest and recovery.

Where is your dream holiday destination and would you take your running kit with you on this holiday of a lifetime?

I visited New Zealand back in 2006 and would love to go back and spend a lot more time investigating the hilly bits of South Island. Trail shoes and Garmin would of course be packed!

Random question, what is your favourite pizza topping and what does that tell us about you as a person?

Spicy Meat Feast. I don’t think it tells you anything about me! Does it?

Thanks Si, fingers crossed the injuries clear up in time for your October marathons.

To find out more get involved with any other these

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SWFN_runman

Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/sfarrington-newman

Follow the blog: https://www.farrin.me.uk


#10 Brian Shaw

To celebrate his Great North Run attempt this weekend my Q&A volunteer this week is Brian.

brian

Introduce yourself

Hi I’m Brian or @brsh123 as you probably know me!! I’m from the North West and live with my wife Rachel and 2 kids. When I’m not running you will probably find me watching the Mighty Liverpool FC, Golf or probably thinking about my next run or which parkrun to visit next!! #LoveParkrun

Where does your passion for running stem from?

I only took up running with my neighbours as a challlenge to run a local 10k in 2015, since then I got “the bug” and have ran over 30+ races since including my first marathon in Manchester this year!

Before this I struggled to run for 10mins on a treadmill at the gym. Outdoor running definitely suits me better.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

How expensive it is!! HaHa!! I thought running was free? It gets addictive and there’s always another race/trainers/kit that I NEED to buy!

When you decide to enter a race/event what things to you look for? (location, price, medal, challenge etc)

I always try to run a few local races a year and then plan my others around my 1-2 main races. Obviously I only run if there’s a medal, no medal no run for me as I’ve kept every medal I’ve ever earnt. Price also comes into it but I will pay more for a big/special event. A tweetup too with fellow #ukrunchat people will also draw me towards a race! #runfam ❤️💙💚

What running goals/plans do you have for the rest of the year?

I’ve 5 races in the next 6 weeks so I’m pretty busy for a while, starting with GNR this week I’m hoping to pace my mate to sub2hr time in his first ever race. Then I’ve a few local 10k and 10 mile races which I aim to PB at, the 10 miler as it’s the only PB I haven’t broken this year. My main race left this year will be Manchester HM which is another PB attempt and also a big tweetup again with #ukrunchat

Where is your dream holiday destination and would you take your running kit with you on this holiday of a lifetime?

Am I weird that I don’t really have a dream holiday destination?? My wife and I have always said we would go to Australia when the kids are a bit older for at least a month. Surely I’d take my kit with me over there as I couldn’t last a month without running!!

Random question, what is your favourite pizza topping and what does that tell us about you as a person?

Very random!! Generally I go for a Meat Feast so anything meaty I guess and the bigger the better. That probably says that I love my food way too much!! HaHa!! That’s why I run isn’t it? I’ve tried to lose weight but always put it back on so I’m sticking to eating what I want and running it all back off again!!

Cheers Brian, top man. Hope you enjoy GNR more than I did and looking forward to actually meeting you in person soon!


#9 Alison Davidson

To celebrate the Marathon In A Day virtual event in support of Mind this weekend I’m featuring one of its participants and another Canadian import, Alison Davidson.

alison d

Introduce yourself.

Hi I’m Alison! I’m a Canadian who moved to Bath a year about a year ago for work. Before that I lived in Vancouver, BC where I ran up and down mountains a lot. Stop asking me if I’m used to the rain yet.

Where does your passion for running stem from?

I’d say the part of the brain that produces serotonin except apparently 90% of it comes from the GI tract. Basically, I genuinely enjoy the act of running. Finishing races feels pretty good too, except when it feels nauseous. The best thing about running is it presses a giant reset button in my brain.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

I wish someone had said, ‘This will straight up change who you are as a human being and that’s all down to self-confidence. Bet you didn’t know you were missing that did you?’.

Probably I’d think they were trying to sell me a self-help book or something. Sometimes it’s better to show rather than tell. I do wish I’d properly started much earlier though. I used to run 30 minutes on the treadmill 3 times a week, I did that from age 16 to age 25 and it’s not the same at all.

When you decide to enter a race/event what things to you look for? 

1. Can I get to the start on public transit?
2. Is it relatively good value for money?
3. Is it pretty?
4. Do I know anyone else running it?

That being said, I entered the Boston (UK) marathon this year purely because it was the same day as the US one and I thought this was hilarious. They kept saying, ‘Welcome to the Boston (UK) Marathon’, as if we didn’t realise we were in Lincolnshire. Plus the medal looks really cute hanging on my wall next to its US counterpart, there’s a Boston Tea Party joke in there somewhere.

What running goals/plans do you have for the rest of the year?

There’s something wrong with my leg, I’m not saying it’s an injury, but it’s starting to feel like one and I need to sort it out so that I can run the two halves and a full that I have in September/October. I had unformed plans to try and beat my half marathon PB in Cardiff in October, but that’s looking unlikely.

Where is your dream holiday destination and would you take your running kit with you on this holiday of a lifetime?

Does ‘Europe’ count as a destination? I’d love to see Amsterdam, but also Barcelona, Budapest, Copenhagen – can you tell I’m starting alphabetically? If money and time was no option I’d get one of those train tickets that lets you travel around for a month.

I take my running kit with me everywhere. I took it to Manchester in July for a full-day workshop and managed to fit my work clothes into my Salomon pack and run along the canal. I changed in the toilet of the company hosting the training and snuck out without anyone noticing. I’m excessively proud of this.

Random question, what is your favourite pizza topping and what does that tell us about you as a person?​

Garlic. I buy those cheap 89p pizzas from the Co-op – 25p if they’re on their last day – and I put my own garlic on them and they taste amazing. That probably tells you that (a) I don’t earn very much and (b) I’m single.

Thanks Alison, good luck with your running, if you want to find out more then follow Alison on Twitter @alisdavidson or via her blog https://alisoninthelongrun.wordpress.com/ 


#8 Tristan Watson

I had the pleasure of meeting Tristan earlier this year at the Leeds Half Marathon, our first encounter was rather inauspicious as we met in the queue for the portaloos! Tristan is also a fellow homebrewer so we have a couple of shared hobbies. Have a read of his story below.

tw1

Introduce yourself

Hello! I’m Tristan, and I live in the wonderful City of York. By trade I’m a musician, working with students at Leeds College of Music to put on some awesome live music events.

Where does your passion for running stem from?

I love a good challenge.

It all started when I saw a poster advertising the Tadcaster sprint triathlon when I was down at my local pool for a morning swim. I figured that I could do the 400m swim, and I always used to ride a bike so 13km of cycling shouldn’t be too difficult – it was just that 7km run at the end that puzzled me. So after weeks of thinking about it, I laced up my trainers and hit the road for what turned out to be about 5 minutes of sheer hell! Anyway, I stuck with it and found it got easier the more I ran. As it turned out, I never did the triathlon, but instead jumped straight in to a 10k then a half marathon after a few months of starting. I’ve never looked back, the bug had bitten me and that was that.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

Spend a bit of money to get some good trainers that have been fitted by a specialist. Feet are very precious to us runners and we should look after them. I suffered some many injuries in the first year of running due to wearing the wrong shoes.

When you decide to enter a race/event what things to you look for? 

I generally pick events that are in Yorkshire so it’s easy to get there, but beyond that I’m not too bothered. I just love racing, so I’m not too fussy about the finer details. I’ve run some smaller events that cost me very little and some of the really big races that cost a fair amount. You accept that the small club run events won’t have a shiny medal or technical t-shirt, but they’re often the ones that have the best grass roots feel to them. The Thirsk 10 miler is a great example of this – it’ll be one of the first races I book for 2018.

I usually pick a few big races that I want to do each year. Last year it was the Great North Run (due to the massive carnival-like atmosphere that it promised), this year it was the London Marathon (because who wouldn’t want to run the greatest race in the world given the chance) and the Cardiff Half Marathon (it’s where I went to uni, so it’ll be great to head back there to run). Around these target events I look around to see what’s on, what might fit around my training plan and then just enter the events I’m free for.

What running accomplishment are you most proud of?

Becoming a member of #VisorClub of course….!

No, I joke…

There’s been so many! Finishing a marathon has to be up there – it’s not something I ever thought would be possible 3 years ago. I’ve had some awesome races this year too, getting some big PBs at 10k and HM distance – I’m very proud of these.

Ultimately though I’m just proud that I’ve found something I enjoy and that I’m still doing it after a few years. I just want to run happy and keep meeting new people through running.

What is your favourite piece of running kit and why?

I’ve got some Nike running boxers that are probably my most worn (and washed, don’t worry) item of clothing ever. I won’t go in to too much detail as to why I love them so much, but let’s just say that they are really comfortable on long runs…

You did ask…. 😉

The first album I ever bought has just turned 30 years old, what was your first album and do you still listen to it?

The first album I ever bought with my own money was the debut Franz Ferdinand album; Franz Ferdinand. It holds some many great memories of growing up and getting in to music in general. Of course I still listen to it, and in fact I’ve just put it on now while I write this.

This weekend Tristan is running the York 10k with fellow Knowing Me; Knowing You guest Alison Fox, nothing out of the ordinary there I hear you shout, well it is as they are both running dressed as Vikings and raising money for IDAS who help people to escape from abuse and sexual violence. You can donate to Tristan here,  and to Alison here . Good luck to both of you, I genuinely can’t wait to see the photos!

If you want to find out more then give Tristan’s blog a read, or follow him on Twitter @tristan_watson 


#7 Sophie Taysom

What can I say about Sophie? She was one of the first runners I engaged with online, she has provided me with various pearls of wisdom on a whole range of subjects,  she has helped me to think about and shape my blog and provided me with some fantastic recipes. Sophie recently completed her first ultra and as you can see from her photo she needed to dig REALLY deep. I hope you all enjoy reading her story.

with bling

Introduce yourself

I’m Sophie – a slow but persistent runner living in London. I’m also a blogger on running with occasional recipe and book review posts thrown in. And I’m a Race Ambassador for the Women’s Running UK race series.

Where does your passion for running stem from?

I have no idea!

When I started, I didn’t know if running would stick and indeed I did try a few times and didn’t keep it up. But with the help of running buddies, my club, and the fact that I’m never bored on a run, it somehow did.

I’m passionate about it now because of the experiences I get to have and the people I get to meet. And I love seeing folk getting in to running and achieving things they never thought possible. With my running club, I’ve had the opportunity to support a lot of beginner runners. There’s nothing like seeing someone’s tears of pride and joy as they complete their first ever 5 mile run!

And it’s changed me as a person – I’ve learned so much and have so much more to learn. I have discovered I’m a little stubborn.

What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started running?

That any one run can be a lot like life – wondrous, painful, buzzing, blergh – and it’s how you frame it that counts.

When you decide to enter a race/event what things to you look for? 

It depends.

When training for the 2017 London Marathon, my focus was on doing races simply to get used to racing so my decisions were based on location and distance.

For my ultra, it was timing and location.

Post-ultra, I’m yet to decide next steps. I currently have two races lined up – in September I’m doing the Ealing Half with my fabulous running buddy; and the Women’s Running UK 10k in October.

While I like a good piece of bling, I focus on location, price, and challenge.

What running accomplishment are you most proud of?

My first ultra – the Chiltern Challenge 50k/31 miles in July. The running part went very very wrong with a trashed arm from about mile 15 meaning I was effectively running with one arm. There was some high drama on my part with loud sobbing along the way and stabbing pains in my knee on the downhills. I was concerned about passing out in the middle of fields once or twice.

Not finishing didn’t enter my head. I knew I had to give up on any hope of getting anywhere near the time I was aiming for and that I had to keep going. This could be my stubborn streak shining through. But once I’d been seen by the medic, had a shower (more sobbing as every time I moved my arm it felt like I was being sucker punched), taken painkillers and had cake and coffee, I started laughing about it. And I’m still laughing about it!

It was an amazing day.

What is your favourite piece of running kit and why?

A tricky one.

I mix brands a lot. I’m mindful of prices – it would be so easy to spend a fortune on kit. Where I will spend the money is on shoes (though mix brands) as I know the wrong shoes will cause me injury – I work on the basis that it’s not worth saving a couple of quid if it means trips to my physio.

The one piece of kit I always go for are Ron Hill running tights – great fabric and cut, they last for ages, and have a pocket at the back which is the perfect size of a smallish phone and keys.

The first album I ever bought has just turned 30 years old, what was your first album and do you still listen to it?

I can’t remember! Likely to have been something like The Smiths or Siouxsie and The Banshees or Bauhaus. I was somewhere between a punk, goth, hippy as a teenager – started wearing black at age 10!

Thanks Sophie and a massive congratulation on completing your ultra and your stubborness!! You can follow Sophie using the details below and I heartily recommend her cake recipes, just go easy on the gin in the gin, lemon and tonic cake!!!!!

Website: http://www.runningonfullblog.com

Twitter: @Running_on_full

Instagram: @Running_on_full

 


#6 Katherine Richards

Next up for the Alan Partridge treatment is Visor Club’s Team Black Katherine.

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What’s your name and where do you come from?

I’m Katherine, I’m originally from Nottinghamshire but I now live in London.

Pick 5 words that sum up you and your running.

Enthusiastic – bloody love running!

Parkrunning – adore Parkrun, one of the best things in my life, I’ve made some great friends there

Obsessed – this is not a bad thing!

Amazed – still pretty amazed that I can do the running things I’ve done

RUNNER! – the capitals are required because, despite having started five years ago, it’s really only recently that I’ve called myself a runner and not felt like a fraud.

What is your favourite memory/experience as a runner?

So hard to choose just one! If I have to, it’s probably going to be finishing the Great North Run. It was my first half marathon and I achieved my goal of not walking. Admittedly at some points my running pace was barely faster than walking but I didn’t walk. I remember swearing loudly to myself at the end so that I didn’t stop and walk, and I cried when I crossed the finish line.

If you could go back and run one race/event again which would it be and why?

My first ever race, a 4 mile race in Central Park, NYC. Being my first race, I took off too fast, didn’t pace myself well, worried that people were looking at me, really beat myself up for walking a big hill, and, more importantly, didn’t take the time to enjoy it. I’d run it totally differently now I have more experience under my belt.

What is your main running goal at the moment?

Training for the Manchester Half Marathon in October and, longer term, I’ve entered the Manchester Marathon, my first full marathon. Eek!

Random non running question, what’s your favourite film of all time and why?

The Sound of Music. Because I have a huge crush on the Captain and I sing along loudly to all of the songs.

Thanks Katherine, I think we’ve all had loud, swearing words with ourselves at some point, I know I have!!

To find out more you can follow Katherine on Twitter @GirlHucknall 

 


#5 Lorraine Lewis

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This week’s Q&A volunteer is the inspirational Lorraine Lewis, founder of The Lewis Foundation, you can find out more about their amazing work on their website, https://www.thelewisfoundation.co.uk/about-us

Introduce yourself please.

I’m Lorraine Lewis and I’m from Northampton.

Pick 5 words that sum up you and your running.

Happy – You will usually see me talking away to friends/strangers on a run. Many times I have had marshalls say to me, how do you have so much time and energy to talk.

Crazy – I will give any run a go. The crazier the run, the more I want to do it!

Dedicated – I know I have my 1000 mile challenge this year. Sometimes to fit it in, I will have to get up and run at 5am before I get ready for work. I have a goal to meet, so will do whatever it takes.

Supportive – I will always support people who want to try a run and will run with them. No one gets left behind, it takes as long as it takes.

Fitness wear addict – I can’t get enough of fitness wear and clothes, which seems to be my wardrobe now. When did this happen?!

If you could go back and run one race/event again which would it be and why?

Rat Race Man vs Lake. I signed up as I wanted to try a marathon. I didn’t look into it properly, until the day before when I was like what the hell have I signed up to. (This is my usual approach, book it and see what happens!). I have never been to the Lake District before, but it was the most beautiful place to run. It was the most amazing experience running on Morecambe Bay when the tide had gone out and trying to make the 6 miles before it come back in. It was the most surreal experience running against the water as it come back in. I’ve never run a marathon, but that pushed me to my absolute limit and I was broken at the end but I cannot describe how happy I felt when I crossed the line. I felt like I had been hit by a car the next day and couldn’t move, but I had raised £700 for my charity so that was all that mattered.

What is your main running goal at the moment?

At the moment I am running 1000 miles this year to fund free gift bags for adults with cancer for my charity The Lewis Foundation. We currently provide 14 different gift bags free of charge to people in hospital. They range from portable radios, books, craft packs and pamper packs. The aim is to give someone something nice to look forward to in hospital and take their mind off thinking about cancer. Every penny raised through running will fund a gift bag.

Random non running question, what’s your favourite film of all time and why?

Captain Philips – As you see how desperate people want to change their life and the extent that they go to do it, even though they know it is wrong.

Thank you so much Lorraine for taking the time to answer my questions, please give Lorraine a follow on Twitter @Lorraine1984198 and you can also read more about her incredible story here.

Lorraine, on a personal note I just want to say that despite never having met you, you are a fabulous person and your kindness and generosity shines through, I can only aspire to be like you, best wishes in the continued work of your amazing foundation.


#4 Darren (aka RunnersKnees)

Beachy Head Marathon 2016 #Sussexsportphotography #racephoto 10:45:10 AM

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Darren from London aka RunnersKnees, Cilla. (And not because I have Runner’s Knee)

Pick 5 words that sum up you and your running.

Poorly trained, determined, varied, but enviable. I guess I do not like to train, but at the moment have the means to book races abroad and in the UK that some may not be able to. I may not train but when I get to the start I am determined to finish and see all these running lark as an amazing and unexpected inclusion in my life.

What is your favourite memory/experience as a runner?

Comrades Ultramathon. 5:30am in Durban on 4th June 2017. Shosholoza and N’Kosi Sikelel I Afrika ringing in our ears, spotlights above the crowd, a cannon goes off at the start line and thousands of bats fly from their roosts in the trees and cover the sky.  The stuff of memories.

If you could go back and run one race/event again which would it be and why?

Comrades. I did not finish. It is an 87KM uphill ultra on road in Africa with nasty cutoffs. I was injured and could not finish. I have finished 130 races in 5 years before. I can’t have a DNF on my mind for too long. That, and it was the most amazing race I have run in. I need closure.

What is your main running goal at the moment?

Having torn the cartilage in my knee the immediate aim is to get back to running again. I am running 12 marathons in 12 months this year and still have 6 to go. I am running for charity so need to get back on it.

What’s your favourite film of all time and why?

Jaws. I like to go swimming with bow legged women.

Thanks Darren, if you want to keep up with his recovery and 12 marathons in 12 months you can follow him on Twitter @RunnersKnees and on his blog https://runnersknees.com/ 


#3 Alison Fox

Having met Alison I know she is super lovely and if you want to find out more you can follow her on Twitter @alisonleighfox and via her blog https://arunningfoxblog.wordpress.com/ 

 


#2 Sophie Taylor

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My second Q&A victim is currently still recovering from a week long booze and music binge at Glastonbury, a big hello to Sophie Taylor.

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Sophie and I’m from Cardiff.

Pick 5 words that sum up you and your running (if you need/want to explain why you have chosen those words that’s fine)

The main one would have to be stubborn! I’ve pulled myself around many a run that I really didn’t want to do through sheer determination not to fail. I’m definitely a friendly runner, I like to give others a smile and a wave. I also love encouraging others and helping them believe that their goals are possible (if I can do it anyone can!). I’m an organised runner; I love having a schedule, a training plan, a spreadsheet, and having all my kit laid out ready the night before; it helps relieve my nerves!

The final word I was going to use give was ‘slow’- but I think maybe that is doing myself a disservice, so I will settle for steady! I’m never going to win any prizes for speed, but at least I’m getting out there and getting the miles in!

What is your favourite memory/experience as a runner?

It has to be recently completing my challenge to run 3 marathons in 3 months to raise money for 3 charities that are very important to me. By the end of the challenge I was physically and mentally exhausted, but the feeling of elation that overwhelms you when you finally cross that finish line is something I’ve never felt before!

If you could go back and run one race/event again which would it be and why?

I loved the Great Welsh Half Marathon that I ran this year. It was such a well organised race, a lovely course along the seafront. This was also the first time I have been to a race and really felt like I fit in, like I deserve to be there. Running half marathons in the past, I’ve always felt like I was too slow, not a ‘proper’ runner, and would just keep my head down and plod my way around. This was the first time I felt different; it was partly a mental thing given that I had run a marathon a few weeks before.

However, the thing that made the biggest difference was bumping into some of the people from my local running club at the start line. Having always been too scared to join in on the club runs, this was the first time I had met any of them in real life. Usually meeting new people terrifies me; this felt like bumping into a group of old friends. All the way around the course, I kept an eye out for people in the distinctive yellow club vests, and would always get a smile, wave or a massive shout out from them.

I’d always thought of running as an individual sport; this was the first time I’ve realised that just because you’re running on your own, it doesn’t mean that you have to be alone.

What is your main running goal at the moment?

To run a sub 2 hour 15 half marathon at the Cardiff Half Marathon in October. Training for that starts as soon as I am back from Glastonbury!

Random non running question, what’s your favourite film of all time and why?

I love Trainspotting- it manages to be hilariously funny and sad at the same time!

A massive thanks to Sophie for her contribution, you can follow her on Twitter @sophie_runs and via her highly entertaining and brutally honest blog https://runningonprosecco.wordpress.com/


#1 Clark Hind

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First up is ultra runner Clark Hind who this weekend (24th – 25th June 2017) is taking on the 95 mile West Highland Way Race.

Given that Blind Date is making a comeback a simple opener, what’s your name and where do you come from?

Clark Hind. Born and bred on the Isle of Man but moved to Huddersfield for University in 2008 and stuck around.

Pick 5 words that sum up you and your running?

Friendly – Laid back – Crazy – Passionate – Dedicated!

What is your favourite memory/experience as a runner?

There are a few experiences I am proud of; looking back something simple like breaking 20 minutes for Parkrun was big at the time. My favourite experience has to be the Calderdale Way Ultra in June 2016 (50.5 miles). I have never been so committed to training for a race. Everything was planned out, I knew the course inside out and trained hard. It all paid off as I went out fast and led the race from the start. Finishing first, nearly an hour in front of second (a few minutes short of the course record). It was the hardest thing I have ever put myself through.

If you could go back and run one race/event again which would it be and why?

Hull Marathon. Following the Ultra in June I signed up for this marathon at the end of the year. The training didn’t go too well but I was determined to run a fast pace. On the day it was hot and I only managed to keep on pace till around 15 miles and suffered all the rest of the way to the end.

On the plus side it was the first marathon my fiancée Charlotte completed and I was very proud to see her finish!

What is your main running goal at the moment?

The West Highland Way Race. A 95 miler along the length of the West Highland Way footpath. A big step up from the 50 miler last June and a lot more to organise with support crew, food, travel etc. The hard training is done and the race is on 24th June. Looking forward to it!

Random non running question, what’s your favourite film of all time and why?

Sunshine. I am a big sci-fi geek at heart. Everything from the old Asimov books up to the new Star Wars films entertain me and I love this film. The story is great, the score is great; it gets me every time.

Many thanks to Clark for taking time to share his thoughts and good luck for the West Highland Way Race, if you would like to find out how he gets on in Scotland and anything else about him you can follow him on Twitter @clarkhind or via his blog https://clarkhind.wordpress.com/

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