As a teenager I used to watch my dad training for the 3 marathons which he completed. I think it was his running that first inspired me to also take up the challenge of running a marathon.
In my early twenties I started running more regularly. I’m not sure why, it wasn’t to keep fit and certainly not to loose weight! Maybe I already had the marathon challenge in the back of my mind. I completed my first half marathon in 1992 in Lytham St Anne’s. At the time it felt dreadfully hard and an awfully long way.
In 1995 I joined Swinton Running club, had a great time learning more about running and making some good friends. I stayed with them until about 2002 when Abbey was born and my running was reduced due to family commitments. We had also moved to Leigh and were further away from Swinton making training with them less convenient. As our children Abbey & Lucas started to grow up I started to find more time to run again and in Feb 2008 I joined Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners.
I went on to complete my first marathon, Manchester, on 13th October 1996. I’ll never forget it, I crossed the finishing line feeling dizzy and sick put my hands between my knees and vowed “Never again”.
Since that experience I have run many more marathons including, London, New York, Chicago, Rotterdam, Tromso (Norway) and Paris to name just a few.
More recently I have moved on looking for more difficult hilly marathons and have completed ones like Snowdonia, Great Langdale marathons ans Scarfell Pike marathon.
Previously my running has focused on training for specific races and concentrating on improving my PB’s but as I’ve got older all that seems to matter less. Don’t get me wrong, it is still nice to reflect on the PB’s that I have achieved!
During my time at Swinton I enjoyed fell running and found I was particularly good on the hills, this earned me the nick name of the “Mountain Goat”. Since then I have been running more marathons & my friends at A&T have started calling me the “Marathon Mon”.
After training for and completing in the brutally tough Brathay 10 marathons in 10 days challenge in May 2011, I found myself having completed 50 marathons and my dream of run 100 marathons and joining to 100 Marathon Club suddenly seemed a real possibility. I kept running regular marathons throughout 2011 and 2012 and on 28th April 2013 I completed my 100th marathon at the Greater Manchester marathon. I had finally achieved the goal which for many years I had thought was impossible and can now wear the bright blue and yellow 100 Marathon Club vest with pride.
I have now returned to Brathay Hall and completed the Brathay 10in10 four times in 2011, 2013, 2015 & 2016. In 2017 I returned for a 5th attempt at the Brathay 10in10 but sadly due to a medial ligament injury had to pull out after only 4 days. After 5 days rest, the knee was good enough to return and at least complete the final day in the main marathon with hundreds of other runners.
Now I’m working my way towards my 300th marathon which I hope to achieve before I’m 50 years old. I’m also slowly working towards running 100 sub 3 hour 30 minute marathons.
I wonder what challenges will inspire me next?
These days I don’t really consider myself a serious runner nor a fun runner, I don’t need others to motivate me to run (but sometimes a chat is nice along the way) and I certainly don’t do it to diet! I do enjoy the challenge of completing different marathons in different place and countries but finishing times are becoming increasingly irrelevant to me.
These days I run because I simply just love running, for the pure pleasure and to embrace the freedom it brings me.
Welcome to my running blog, I hope you enjoy reading it and following my marathon running antics.
Serial Marathon Runner