1. Tell us how you got into running Martin…
In the mid-80s I worked for a subsidiary of Ready Mix Concrete in Wakefield. One of the managers was a keen runner and he co-ordinated a group of nearly 30 employees from all round the UK to take part in a Half Marathon in Welwyn Garden City. I managed to run under 1 hour 30 minutes and got the bug and have been running since.
2. Who is your sporting inspiration?
I am inspired by the top endurance runners especially Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah because you can only achieve that level through real hard work and dedication.
3. Are you considering any changes to the Club in your role as Chairman?
STAC is really great club already and there is no need to make change for the sake of it and it is important to remember what we do very well, the great social trips, the way the members support each at races and training runs and of course the fact that TNT has become one of the best organised races in the local area.
I’d like to take my time to assess the Club, talk to members to see what they think and then bring my thoughts to the Committee on a plan to take the Club forward.
4. If you could be someone else for the day who would it be?
A guitarist in a headline act at Glastonbury such as Radiohead!
5. Do you have any running related regrets?
I don’t really have regrets but it wasn’t until around 10 years ago that I got to know some top-class coaches and became aware of some more sophisticated and focused training programmes.
I sometimes wonder what I could have achieved if I had worked with a quality coach 20 years ago when I made my real breakthrough to competitive athletics.
6. What do you do outside running, any other sports / hobbies?
I am a big fan of Speedway, a mainly team based motorbike sport and I particular support Glasgow Tigers because I lived up there when I was 10 years old when I first watched speedway.
I also like music, playing guitar pretty badly, and like to go to concerts and spend far too much money on CDs, downloads and even vinyl now I have a record player again. Current favourite artists include Elbow, Nick Cave and Laura Marling.
7. If you were to pass on some advice to beginners / members, what guidance would you offer?
If you want to improve and run faster times try and keep a balance between quantity and quality in your running routines. It is sometimes better to run less miles but add an extra speed/tempo session to your weekly plan.
8. What has been your most memorable race or running achievement?
I have many great memories from the period from 96 to 02 when I was part of the team at Keighley and Craven. We punched well above our weight for a medium sized town and travelled all over the North of England and sometimes further afield competing on the track, cross country and road.
We trained hard, raced hard but also partied pretty hard. The National Cross Championships was a particular memorable event and one in particular in Stowe School when we finished 25th team and then hit the night spots of Milton Keynes a particular highlight.
9. Is there anything you don’t particularly like doing?
Gardening. Cutting the lawn & hedge is OK but not digging & weeding.
10. What accomplishment (running or life) are you most proud of?
Competing in my only ever marathon in London in 1999. I had trained really hard and was hoping to get under 2 hours 45 which was good for age but everything just clicked and I ran a really strong second half and finished in just under 2 hours 40 minutes. This is still the club record for Keighley & Craven 18 years later.
The atmosphere was fantastic as always for London and it’s such a special moment when they hang the medal round your neck at the finish. My medal & finish photo is hung in our toilet!