Welcome to ‘Getting to know…’ number 4. I am loving these interviews, maybe it is because I am nosey! If you have missed any of the previous interviews, you can find them here.
I remember the first time that I met Christine, back at the London Marathon expo back in 2014 as part of Run MND. At the time we didn’t actually realise how close we lived to each other and now we run together all the time. I am still working on getting her to join my running club, but that is work in progress!
She is genuinely one of the nicest people that you will ever meet. Happy reading…
Proofreader / Copy-editor after leaving 25 years of teaching/education management.
How long have you been running?
14 years since starting again. I ran cross country for the school, but didn’t ever take it up outside.
What made you start running?
I enjoyed running at school and, growing up in the north-east, always wanted to do the Great North Run. I started running again in 2006 to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association by doing the GNR when my mam was diagnosed with MND.
Why do you run now?
I still run to raise money and awareness for the MND Association, but also to maintain a level of health & fitness and, in more recent years, to alleviate stress.
What was your last event?
Oundle 20-mile race in mid-March. It was supposed to be the last long run before the Manchester Marathon in April.
What is your next event?
Who knows?! I had quite a few events lined up but everything up to & including July has been postponed/cancelled. The next ones that haven’t (yet) succumbed are the Great North Run 40th anniversary and the London Duathlon at the start of September. I don’t hold out much hope for them going ahead though … ☹
Favourite thing about running?
When I’m on my own – being out in nature and having headspace. When I’m with friends – them. I’ve met some truly special friends through running and it always makes a run easier, somehow, when you’re with friends.
Worst thing about running?
It never seems to get any easier!! Getting through the door is the worst part, I think. I’m great at procrastinating (in fact, I’m sitting writing this in running kit, as I should have been going out for a run about 2 hours ago …!)
What one piece of advice would you give to a beginner?
When you start running, if you think or feel something that you think is ‘daft’, it isn’t. If you have a question you might think is a silly one, it isn’t – just ask it. We were all beginners once, and chances are we’ve all had the same questions at one point or another. Runners are a friendly bunch and will support and help each other whenever they can.
Best piece of advice given to you?
Running a marathon is 40% training and 60% mental attitude. When you set yourself a challenge, tell yourself you CAN do it, set bite-sized goals, and you will achieve what you set out to do … that doesn’t just go for a marathon, it applies to any distance. A positive mindset works wonders on niggles, both mental and physical.
Favourite race distance?
Probably the half marathon – it’s a manageable training schedule and there are so many different ones out there to do. I also love ultras though, as they’re more relaxed and you can eat lots en route!
Funniest thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
The most I laughed when running was during an ultra when we were trying to do a slo-mo impression of the Six Million Dollar Man … except for the tune we were butchering kept morphing into the Emmerdale Farm theme tune. Probably more fitting!
I won’t mention the training run when my running partner had to do the poop shuffle for a mile …
Most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
Being caught short 4 miles into a 15-mile training run, having to climb up a bank behind some bushes, getting covered in nettle stings (ouch) and spending the rest of the run convinced that everyone I passed knew what had happened!
On average, how many miles do you run per month?
When I’m in routine and training for an event, probably between 70-100 miles per month – that, obviously, goes up and down depending on what I’m training for. I’m far better motivated at getting out there when I have something to train for but don’t feel too guilty at the moment about just ticking over.
Do you belong to a running club?
Do you do any other forms of exercise in addition to running?
I started cycling about 18 months ago and did my first couple of duathlons last year, which I really enjoyed and want to do more of. I know I should do core and strength training as well at the very least, and I do sometimes start on a programme of workouts, but my self-discipline is terrible when it comes to that sort of thing.
Favourite pre-race/pre-long run meal?
The night before – always pasta, and usually garlic bread. I’m nothing if not predictable.
Breakfast of toast – one slice with mashed banana, the other with peanut butter & jam, or Nutella.
Favourite post-run meal?
Before anything else, a cup of tea as soon as possible after finishing the race. Pizza or take-away curry after a long training run; a Sunday roast after an event, if possible – one that I haven’t had to cook!!
Do you have any superstition?
Not really, but if my route is a loop, I usually like to run it clockwise. It feels weird the other way round!
What is your biggest achievement sport wise?
Finishing St Oswald’s Ultra 100k in 2016. It seemed to take forever, was 5 miles longer than it should have been and someone had taken down a lot of the way-markers for the night stretch, but we made it!!
If you were granted one wish related to running, what would it be?
That the reason I started didn’t exist anymore – that a cure was found for MND.
This or That
Early Morning Run or Evening Run
Tea or Coffee
Winter Running or Summer Running
Solo running or Running with Friends
Road Running or Trail Running
Dog or Cat
Miles or Kilometres
Run with someone chatty or run with someone silent
Run with no sock or run with no underwear
Run a hilly 5k or flat 10k
Run a hilly 10K or flat half marathon
Run a hilly Half Marathon or Flat Marathon
Run a hilly Marathon or Flat Ultra Marathon
Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only run once a week outside.