Married to Sian (also a MAC member), father to Rebecca. Works as Transport Asset / Flood Risk Manager, Derbyshire CC
What is your favourite meal?
A spicy bean chilli, rice, nachos
Stiff drink or herbal tea?
Love malt whisky but it’s not good for running the next day. Can drink but don’t rate herbal tea, even if it’s good for you, can’t beat a proper cup of tea
What got you interested in running in the first place?
I wasn’t much good at sport at school, bad astigmatism and wearing glasses made rugby difficult, swimming and hockey were ok, but I found running freed me and was great at shaking off worries. I didn’t run that much before moving to Matlock but once I found the moors on the back door and discovered fell racing I was hooked
How long have you been a member of Matlock AC?
22 years. Also runs for Totley AC
What are the most significant and beneficial changes you have seen in the Club over the years?
Several moves, some of us still remember the good old days of Sherwood Hall. The introduction of the White Peak Half Marathon. Away runs, the first one was amazing and at the Devonshire Arms, they’d had a wake that day and I think we got the left over sandwiches, smoked salmon, Andy Whitaker had done us proud.
The biggest recent change has been the massive growth of the club over the last few years and this has been both good and bad as we’ve extended ourselves into many areas and we need to make sure we can keep all the plates spinning
Some stats – PBs
Most of my successes have been in Mountain Marathons, winning three mixed prizes with Sian in the Mourne and Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathons in Eire
I also finished the Karrimor Mountain Marathon in 14th place when running with Richard Bradbury. Richard’s just a bit faster than me and I spent the two days just trying to keep up, I’d never finished so high up in the places before.
I stopped recording my times quite a few years ago and take the view that every time I race I try the hardest I can so they’re all PBs in my mind because try as I might, I probably couldn’t have run any faster
Mountaineering, cycling, swimming, travel, reading
You are having a dinner party and can invite 4 guests, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Leonardo da Vinci – amazing inventor, artist sculptor
George Mallory – did he get there??
Shakespeare – who ghost wrote for him
Pliny the Younger to witness the fall of Pompeii must have been frightening, horrifying, but stimulating to a man of science
What has been your most rewarding challenge?
Lots, but the big one was climbing Mount Kenya in 1984, 5199m summit, two-day rock climb, sleeping on the summit at about -25’c. A great expedition in an amazing country
Best advice you have every been given?
Pick your battles you can’t win them all. Trouble is I’m stubborn and still like the challenge of trying to
What is your preferred type of race?
A 10 mile Fell Race these days, going back it would have been a two-day mountain marathon
Any tips on how to prepare for a race?
Porridge with hot nuts, not too much running around and warming up, coffee if you can get one around 30 minutes before the start, after that it’s just hanging in there and making the best of it
Any funny or scary running moments?
Knocking myself out at Blackamoor Fell Race, 30 minutes of my life I know nothing about and I was given my first DNF.
Funniest, probably quite a few; chasing Sian on the one and only Elton Fell Race, Sian was just ahead of me had just passed a marshal and was wearing a pair of ‘short’ shorts. The marshal was a biker with loads of leathers and tats. As I passed him, a few yards behind Sian, he smirked at me and said, looking at Sian, “gives you something to follow doesn’t it, eh mate”. “Actually, it’s the wife” I replied. His face was a picture
What is your guilty pleasure?
Who has been your biggest sporting influence/inspiration?
Pretty much everyone who’s older than me and beats me, as I remain amazed at how fast some of the older generation are. I’ve always been inspired by Brian and Ian; it took me years to beat Brian and he taught me plenty about fell running, including how to stay alive at the Longnor Fell Race. Ian has an amazing history of running with the greats and still runs after being rebuilt once or twice
Almost anything, Santana have been a lifelong favourite, but the recent Opera North concert performance of the Wagner Ring Cycle was probably the best 4 night of music I’ve heard in many a year
The Railway Children, we don’t make films like that anymore and there’s that bit at the end when the smoke clears and their father’s stood there
What is your best or worst habit?
Helping out, I’ve had to teach myself to say no more of late.
Intolerance, but Ian tells me I’m just getting into it and it will get worse
What is top of your bucket list?
Competing all of the Scottish Munros. Sian and I have just over 90 left of the 282 Scottish mountains over 3000ft. We’ve had some fantastic days, Golden Eagles, Peregrines, amazing snowy days, met some great people and enjoyed some great summits. Trouble is if we finish too soon we’ll have to start on the Corbett’s, Scottish mountains over 2000ft
Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club?
Tricky one, has the club has changed a lot from the days when we could all fit into the lounge bar at the Red Lion. The main one is not to lose our identity and become too hung up on being a ‘super club’ and making it all about competing. We’ve always been a friendly club and many of us enjoyed the social run on a Thursday night. To me Thursday night always marked the start of the weekend and that’s how I’d like it to remain.