I’m a 40-year-old husband, father of three young(ish) children and Lecturer in Human Movement (Sport & PE) at the University of Central Lancashire. I’ve always been active throughout my childhood and into my early adult days, whether that be playing sports, running, cycling or training at the gym.
My teenage years and early adulthood focussed mainly on training and playing football, hockey and cricket, so my training focus was primarily on speed and power – rarely running more than 20-30 minutes at a time or working out for longer than an hour! What a change marathon running's been!
My first venture into road running came almost 10 years ago when I entered the Silverstone Half-marathon to support a friend. My naivety was a great learning experience, crashing and burning on the track at approx. 8 miles – which coincidentally was the furthest I’d ever run in training! I did, however, at least manage to run/walk to the end to finish in just over 2 hours.
I didn’t fully catch the running bug at that point, but over the following few years, I began running more frequently and entered a few trail races in the Lake District, my favourite place to run and explore.
My next serious venture into running was my charity 365-day Run Streak challenge which I completed between September 2014 and August 2015. I carefully juggled my running, family and work commitments throughout the year as I had two young children and was, at the time, working as a full-time Primary School teacher. I formulated this idea as a way of raising money for my local children’s hospice, and to challenge myself both mentally and physically. I added in additional challenges: running a minimum 1-mile per day (I actually completed more than 2000 miles in the year), as well as racing monthly at consecutively greater distances from 5k to ultra-marathon. During this time, I successfully completed my first marathon (Hardmoors Rosedale) and ultra-marathon (St Begas Way SBU35) and managed to stay injury-free. I raised just over £2000 in charitable donations.
I’ve since continued to run regularly though primarily for myself rather than participating in lots of races. As my understanding of my own body and movement & fitness in general continues to develop, I am now back at the point of seeking a fresh challenge. I applied for the Brathay 10in10 as, not only will I be raising money for a fantastic cause, it will also test my mental and physical strengths to prepare for and successfully run 10 consecutive marathons.
The opportunity to hopefully meet the legendary, inspirational runner Joss Naylor is also one not to be missed!