Occupation: Self-employed photo editor for motorsport agencies. I spent 10 years attending F1 Grands Prix all over the world. Now, thanks to the advances in technology and a young family, I no longer need / get to travel.
Years Running: Ever since I finished second in the reception class school sports day, I have considered myself a runner.
Favourite race: I’m lucky to have many great memories from races. The best, to date, has to be the 2006 London Marathon – the first time I broke three hours for the marathon.
The build up to the race had been going to plan until, two weeks before the race, I picked up a hip/groin injury whilst out running in Melbourne working at the Grand Prix. I remember hobbling back to the apartment we were staying in and being literally unable to walk for a few hours afterwards.
I thought my marathon plans were truly scuppered but, back home in a rare instance of NHS efficiency, my GP fast-tracked me to see a student physiotherapist, who performed a minor miracle to see me patched up to an extent where running was uncomfortable, but at least possible.
The race saw me adopt a strategy I’ve used ever since, that is to run within a set heart rate for the opening 20 miles, then give it full beans for the final 6.2 miles – confirming the maxim the marathon is best run as a 20 mile jog followed by a 10k race. I ran my fastest 10k of the race in the final part of the race and wound up with a negative split, clocking 2:57:25. The feeling in the final couple of miles, knowing I wasn’t going to hit the wall and I was going to break the three hour barrier was truly magical.
Least Favourite Race: I could have picked any number of muddy cross country races when I tend to question quite deeply why on earth I am doing this. I’ve had a few bad road races, the worst was probably my two experiences of running the Windsor Half Marathon. In 1998 I ran it despite being knocked off my bike the week before, suffering concussion and badly bruising my knee. It was probably the most painful race I’ve done and the second slowest half marathon I’ve ever run.
The slowest came a year later at Windsor, when heavy rain produced car park chaos! It was meant to be the first race my then girlfriend, and now wife was to run – having worn her down with my running ways over the years.
By the time we’d parked the race was already half an hour old and we crossed the start line around 45-50 minutes behind the leaders. As this was in the days before chip timing, any thought of a time was out of the question, so I ran with my girlfriend.
Whilst I could offer her encouragement, she found it a touch disconcerting that at times I was literally skipping in an attempt to slow myself down. We were also chased by the broom wagon for the final miles of the race, and they were dismantling the finish gantry as we finished. My girlfriend didn’t race again for another five years…
Why did you start running? I’ve been running and have wanted to run for as long as I can remember. I think it is part of my blood.
Injuries received? Probably easier to ask what I haven’t injured. The most serious was undoubtedly in 2000 when I was enjoying excellent running and cycling form and overdid it a bit.
I wound up with a simultaneous fracture of the left fibia, a stress fracture of the tibia and compartment syndrome in the calf/shin. The latter took ages to properly diagnose and was finally treated with surgery in 2002.
It took over two years to properly recover from the injury.
Furthest Distance ran? To date I’ve never run further than a marathon in a single run.
Trainers worn: I’m very much a Nike athlete. I always rotate at least three different pairs of trainers – the theory being that each places stresses on different parts of the body, so alternating them regularly spreads out the stress.
Currently I am training in Nike Pegasus, Nike Free V4, and Nike Lunarglide, and race in Nike Lunaracers. The Frees are my favourite – it was a Eureka moment for me when I started training and racing in them four years ago. My feet used to be battered after racing a marathon in cushioned trainers – in the more minimalist Frees they felt as fresh as a daisy!
Favourite running kit? It’s got to be my Garmin. I’ve worn one ever since my old 201 which must be around ten years ago now. I’m a big stat fan and love seeing instantaneous detail of how far and fast I’m running, then being able to pour over the data once at home.
The simple map on more recent models was a godsend on the F1 circuit – it allowed me to explore foreign cities and their countryside with minimal risk of getting hopelessly lost.
It’s a bit tragic but I can almost literally not run without my Garmin!
Top tip from your experience: More miles mostly make you faster, and LSR used to stand for Long Steady Run rather than Long Slow Run before Runner’s World crippled running with their less is more mantra.
How many miles do you run per week? It varies depending on injury and training plans, but currently I am running between 60-85 miles a week, and have aimed for the past few years to run 2500+ miles a year (which works out at 48 miles a week).
Other hobbies? Running and all that goes with it takes a lot of my time but I also enjoy cycling, photography, watching sport, a little bit of writing, and listening to music amongst other things too boring to mention.