Me! Me!Me! Footprint of a Runner – Alan Pickering, Chairman of MAC, age 50, works as Postman

 What got you interested in running in the first place?  After my partner of 25 years died of cancer, I was at a loss as to how to proceed with my life but knew there had to be changes; at 46 I was unfit, overweight and unhappy.  This change happened on my first holiday without my partner with my dog, Poppy.  She ran off after some seagulls on the beach near Rowen, Wales and wouldn’t come back. I thought I’d lost her within two months of losing my partner, so frantically legged it after her... about two miles down the beach I caught up with her.  I really thought that the next day I would be in so much pain but I wasn’t, in fact, I felt great.  So, thereafter, walking the dog became running with the dog.  A particular long walk I liked on the High Peak Trail became the marker and after 3 attempts, I finished it and discovered I had ran 13.5 miles.

This was August 2010 and I joined Matlock AC in February 2011.  My sister, Pam, had encouraged me to join a club and when I spoke to Karl Webster I told him one of my motivations was to beat Christine Howard in a race (not knowing at the time that she was his partner!) I could have died of embarrassment when I did this at the Chatsworth 10k (May 2011) and Christine turned to me and said, “Well Done Alan, you said you wanted to beat me!”

Some stats - PBs :  Chesterfield Marathon 2014 6th overall 1st MV50 (2.58.20).  Clowne Half/Derbyshire County Champs (medal winner 3 times), Ramathon Half 2014 1st MV40 (1.22.11).  Tara Kinder, Elvaston 10k, 11th, 1st MV40 (36.54).  English FR Champs. 42nd AG Male.  BDL 2nd MV50 2014. 

The hardest race I have ever done.   Wasdale Fell Race in the English FR Champs.  I reccied it before and ended up doing 29 miles instead of 21.  I felt broken by it, but went on to take part in the race 2 weeks later and completed it.

Tell us about your training regime? I usually run every other day, approximately 30-37 miles per week


Do you cross train, if so what other sports do you do? Cycling, turbo training, swimming


Other interests?  I enjoy the climbing wall in Wirksworth. Windsurfing. Body Boarding.  I also like DIY

I really do not like ……  bad manners and inconsideration

Pre-race tips? Plenty of fluids and a good wholesome meal the day before.  Also to focus knowing that all you can do is your very best


What has been your most rewarding running challenge? Chesterfield Marathon, as I saw some results from all the effort of training I had put in

What is your guilty pleasure? Red wine, almond croissants and ginger crunch creams

Favourite film? Star Trek Series and Science Fiction films in general

Music? Queen, James Blunt, Eva Cassidy, Celine Dion, Rick Wakeman, Mike Oldfield, Richard Souther, William Ackerman - (classical guitarist).  Quite an eclectic mix!!

Current ambition/next running challenge? I should like to run faster and achieve under 35 minutes for 10k.  Also would like to travel and feeling very drawn to New Zealand

Advice for youngsters starting out in running?  Don’t be put off if people try to dissuade you; if you feel you can achieve – go for it.  You can do anything if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself.

A quote which motivates me from David Johnston and John Hoare: “If we don’t have a go, we shall live the rest of our lives wondering if we might have made it .. and knowing that only fear persuaded us from the attempt”.  From the book ‘The Crossing’ by Ben Fogle and James Cracknell.

Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club? Have worked hard (with others), at getting the club where it is now, but would like to see more membership participation in the background, such as helping to organise events, as it is always good to incorporate fresh blood and new ideas.

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