The short version:
I love cake, well any naughty food really. I love running the trails, and cycling
I have been fortunate to meet my girlfriend Claire through running and I look forward to sharing many adventures with her.
I have always been fairly active. Cycling around as a kid to see friends and as I got a little older, cycling to work. I never thought of taking it seriously until I turned 29.
I started off with a mountain bike and was often overtaken by road cyclists whizzing past me. I frequently found myself getting jealous of how easy they made it seem. In April 2009, my trusty bike got pinched and I decided to get myself a nice shiny new road bike. It took me a while to get used to feeling all the bumps in the road, but the difference in speed and effort was very noticeable. Before I knew it, I had joined a cycling club (Redhill CC) and took part in weekly long rides. Shortly after joining the club, I began doing sportives and obtained some high placings... even a few 1st places. I took part in club Time Trials and eventually started racing. Within my first few races, I had managed to get promoted to a Category 3 rider and I was very much enjoying the sport.
Accidents seem almost inevitable within cycling. I could accept them in racing, although very frustrating, but when commuting to and from work, drivers appeared so oblivious to cyclists. After being knocked off my bike by cars a few-too-many times, I gradually lost my confidence. In November 2014, I got hit quite badly and since then I have only done 1 ride longer than 8 miles.
That’s when running took over. I had done the odd run every now and again between 2006 and 2011. Nothing regular, just doing it because I felt I was putting on weight or generally feeling rather unfit. In early 2011 however, I decided to set myself a goal: to run 10km by Christmas Day. The longest I’d ever run up until that point was 5km. I started running a few times a week and on Christmas Day 2011, I went out and successfully achieved my goal. It nearly killed me, but I made it and could eat Christmas dinner and as much pudding as I wanted, guilt free.
Running then became a regular part of my weekly plan. I’d have the odd week where I felt a little lazy and couldn’t be bothered, but overall I was putting in regular mileage. Nothing like I do now, but somewhere in the region of 20-30 miles a week.
I am not sure what possessed me, but in December 2015, I decided to take part in my first ever marathon: the Flitch Way marathon. This took place on 31st December and was organised by http://www.challenge-running.co.uk/ It was tough and not just because it was ‘my first ever marathon,’ but also because the course was harsh being very muddy in places and quite waterlogged. I managed to complete it in a fraction under 4hrs (3hrs 57mins) and as every marathon runner says after their very first marathon, I declared, “Never again!”
The thought of taking part in another marathon never crossed my mind until March 2016, when I came across an image of a medal on Facebook. A very colourful medal and a medal that I decided I wanted. The organisers for this event were: http://www.saxon-shore.com/ I would come to partake in their events regularly after this. This particular one was the Book Day Challenge event... and it was a lot of fun! Muddy as hell and hilly, it was here that something sparked within me and set off my love of endurance running... I have not looked back since.