Me!Me!Me! Footprint of a Runner

Greg Hopkinson

Age 28. Partner with Megan Elliot (also MAC Club member). Works for an Agronomy Company which advises farmers on how to grow crops
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You are quite new to MAC, tell us a bit about your running background and why you joined MAC?

Whilst at school and university I mainly played team sports, and just did a bit of running to keep fit. I then did my first marathon in 2016 in Nottingham to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK but only did it quite casually. I really got into running when I joined Beeston AC when we lived in Nottingham. I also got a lot more into visiting the Peak District at the weekend and holidays in the Lake District and really started to enjoy the local fell races. This was one of the reasons we moved to Darley Bridge a couple of years ago where we have some fantastic routes on our doorstep. Over the last few years, I have really enjoyed doing ultras and other long-distance challenges as well.

Did your childhood influence who you are now in terms of sport?

When I was growing up I mainly played team sports, predominantly football, rugby and then a bit of hockey at University. It was only really when I met my partner Megan that I really started running a bit more and enjoying it as a sport in its own right.

The main way my childhood influenced me in terms of sport was supporting Nottingham Forest, where we have had season tickets for over 20 years now. It hasn’t exactly been the most successful 20 years, so I think this has made me realise not to take anything too seriously.

What is your favourite meal?

I love a really good curry

Stiff drink or herbal tea?

I’m not a big drinker but I am a bit of an old man and enjoy a dark beer like a stout or mild.

Where is your favourite place in the World? In terms of other countries, I have been really lucky to go to some fantastic places, I especially loved a trip to the Austrian Alps and when me and Megan travelled around India. However, over the last couple of years it has really made me realise how fantastic the UK is. Again being a bit old before my time, we have a caravan and my favourite holidays are when we go up to the Lake District, especially on the rare occasion you get good weather.

Some stats

PBs 5K – 16.49; 10K – 33.34; HM – 1.13.21; Marathon – 2.38.17

Any tips for staying injury-free which work for you?

I try and do at least on strength training session a week. James Thie (Team Thie) does a 30-minute bodyweight workout on YouTube every week which I always try and do, and which I would really recommend as it is quite specific for runners. I also try and swim once a week.

Other interests?

I still have a season ticket at Nottingham Forest. We also spend a lot of weekends away in the caravan with our dog Ivy.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

Back to 1979 or 1980 so I could watch Forest win the European Cup

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I was better at DIY!!

What is the most attractive and worst trait in a person?

The best trait in a person is someone who is warm and welcoming to everyone and doesn’t pass judgement on people. The worse trait – I don’t like it when people are a bit self-righteous and think they are better than other people.

What has been your most rewarding running challenge?

Definitely completing the Bob Graham Round, which I did last May. It was a real challenge, not just in terms of physically but also logistically getting up to the Lakes to recce it, organising support etc. The reason it was the most rewarding was because of all the amazing support I received. I had support runners from both MAC and my old running club Beeston and it was very humbling for so many people to give up their time and offer support. We had amazing weather and it is such a fantastic route. Coming into Keswick at about midnight with so many of the people there who supported was something I will never forget. I also couldn’t have done it without amazing road support from Megan and her dad Andrew!

Is there a race you really want to do but haven’t got round to yet?

I think I am definitely more suited to the longer races and ultras. I am planning to do my first 100 mile race this summer. Depending on how that goes I would really like to do the Northern Traverse one day, which is a race covering the Coast-to-Coast route from St Bee’s to Robin Hood’s Bay.

Who/What has been your biggest influence/inspiration?

I definitely get motivated by some of the iconic routes we have in the UK. As well as the Bob Graham I have also completed routes like the Limestone Way. I think they provide a great way to challenge yourself and go through some amazing places. That is why I quite fancy the race of the coast-to-coast route at some point.

If you could only listen to one record, which would it be?

I don’t listen to loads of music, I generally listen to podcasts when I’m out running or in the car etc. If I had to listen to one artist it would be someone called Lissie who I have seen live quite a few times.

Favourite film? Book? TV?

I don’t watch a lot of films, but my favourite is probably Juno. (An American coming-of-age comedy-drama).
I don’t have a single favourite book but my favourite author is Ken Follett, he did a series of books called the Century Trilogy that were really good.
My favourite TV show ever is probably Gavin and Stacey.

Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club?

I thought the track sessions Lottie has organised recently have been really good. I also really enjoyed Manchester Marathon this year with so many people from MAC doing it. I think in the future it would be good to do a MAC trip away to somewhere in the UK. I know we do the trip to Palma each year but not everybody can make it, for example if it doesn’t fall in school holidays, so maybe a weekend away somewhere in the UK would be good.