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.


#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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