Getting to know…Neil

Welcome to ‘Getting to know…’ number 24. This week we find out more about Neil. Neil informs me this is his first time featuring in a blog, so enjoy finding out more about him.

Also, if you have missed any of the previous interviews, you can find them here.

‘miles make champions’ Neil Cole Click To Tweet


Neil Cole




General Manager National Trust, Osterley Park & House 

Neil Cole

How long have you been running?

Started running again in 2014, after many, many years doing absolutely nothing! 

What made you start running?

Long story short, I was instrumental in setting up Osterley parkrun & as General Manager seemed right to actually participate. I downloaded C25K, trained and ran my first ever parkrun on the 5th July 2014, in 29minutes 29 seconds! At the time I thought that was decent, but now I have a parkrun PB of sub 25.

Why do you run now?

 I run because I enjoy it! Running offers me time to switch off from work and everyday life.

What was your last event?

My last event was parkrun before lockdown

What is your next event?

Hopefully either parkrun Osterley Park or Cassiobury Park, Watford or Osterley10k

Favourite thing about running?

The freedom!

Worst thing about running?

I hate the rain & cold weather, I am definitely a spring / summer runner

Neil Cole

What one piece of advice would you give to a beginner?

If you are running no matter what distance, what pace or time, you are being active and that’s really important in life!

Best piece of advice given to you?

I was once told ‘miles make champions’, love that saying!

Favourite race distance?

10k or half marathon.

Funniest thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?

My very first parkrun I ran in my Watford football shirt, I was told it wasn’t a good look!  Not sure if they meant as it was Watford, or just not the done thing for runners to wear football tops – needless to say, I haven’t done that again!

Most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?

Running, falling over, quick look to make sure no one noticed and continued running!

On average, how many miles do you run per month?

Since lockdown I have really embraced running, so my Garmin currently says around 70k a month for this year (March to September)

Do you belong to a running club?


Do you do any other forms of exercise in addition to running?

Yes I play football every Monday & Thursday nights and coach my daughter’s football team in the week with match days Saturdays (not ideal for parkrun but I run them whenever no Saturday football)

Favourite pre-race/pre-long run meal?


Favourite post-run meal?

Pasta! Yes, I love pasta!

Do you have any superstition?

Not much, but I do always wear my comfy running gear, so it’s well worn! 

What is your biggest achievement sport wise?

Royal Parks Half Marathon, in 2016 my first ever half marathon completed in 1 hour 56 minutes (sub 2 hours) and raised over £4,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital!

If you were granted one wish related to running, what would it be?

To run like a proper athlete, rather than someone who looks liking they are constantly struggling. So envious of those who run like they are gliding!  

Neil Cole


Instagram: @scholsey07 

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 – although we have a tortoise!

Miles or Kilometres

Run with someone chatty or run with someone silent – Although when I run with my mates they talk a lot!

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 – Hate treadmills

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