Works in Spares Dept, Vaillant Group, Belper for 23 years.

What is your favourite meal?  Fried potatoes cooked in olive oil, a side salad of red, green and yellow peppers, onion, lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes.  Only £1 from the Co-Op.  Wholemeal or rye bread and plenty of best butter, Lurpak spreadable slightly salted!

Favourite beverage? Tea and coffee

What got you interested in running in the first place? I’ve always been interested from schooldays, X country mainly, also was the Junior School’s unbeaten sack racer. Wirksworth introduced a road race organised by Alison Clamp in 1982.  I missed the first year but ran the next one and from then on I have not stopped.

How long have you been a member of Matlock AC?  31 years.  My first race for the club was the N. Mids XC at Wollaton Park, Nottingham in 1985.  For me to take part as a team member was something special.  Turned up in a pair of heavy trainers and was slipping all over the place

What are the main changes you have seen in running since you started?   I could mention technology, Satellite, Internet etc.  Nowadays you can enter a race, receive results on-line in a matter of hours.  You don’t have to send SAE these days.  It is also handy when you can view a map for the route on club night so you can’t get lost.  (Only me).

Any interesting running stories?  A lot of people know about my homemade running machine which I made in 1984.  Didn’t take long to build – just 2 weeks, scrapped it quite a few years ago.  It served it’s purpose especially when the weather was really bad.  I remember running on it one day, lost my concentration and it threw me off the back end, hit the shed wall and I dropped like a ton of rubbish.

Another time I was in a fell race running up a hill giving it some as you do, when I saw a sheep who was also running and was coming from my right hand side.  I wasn’t going to stop running and neither was the sheep so we both collided.

I entered a 100 metre track Vets Champs in Ashton-Under-Lyne in 1996, I have never ever used starting blocks before so I decided ten minutes before the race to have a quick crash course.  I think I got the technique wrong and the angle of attack, coming out the blocks wrong, instead of going up, up, I went down, down and crashed on the track.  When the race started I had to do a stand up start.  Didn’t fancy smacking the track again.

Some stats – PBs  Markeaton Half Marathon 1987 1.17.00.  Mickleover 10 miles 1989 57.49.  Sheffield 10k 1991 35.29.  World Vets road champs, NEC Birmingham 1992 35.08 (note – hampered at the start)

Tips for training?  In competition I focus on dedication, motivation, discipline,determination, plenty of guts.  Build up your stamina and speed and plenty of hill work.  If you do not put in the effort in training, you won’t get the rewards.

Which invention do you like the best?  Aeroplane.  You are up there at 35,000 ft with nothing underneath but fresh air

Other interests?  I am always busy on my property.  I like to tackle jobs myself, you can save money by DIY.  Always in the garage or shed making things.  Made a gas oven out of stainless steel for a camping stove (see photo).  Cooks a dinner in no time, used very little gas.  Also I like to play chess in the evening against my laptop.micksoven

What has been your most rewarding running challenge?  I’ve enjoyed all my races, but the London Marathon 1986 was the most rewarding.  I did it with a foot injury and the crowd were brilliant, such a great atmosphere. 

My favourite race was the Tram Race in 1987.  Brian Howitt will remember this one.  Organised by the late Mayoress councillor Peggy Edwards.  This was a charity event to celebrate the closure of the tram route for 60 years.  The race started outside Wilkos in Matlock, up Bank Road to the junction of Rutland St and Wellington St and back down again.  I remember coming 1st in a time of 4 mins 40 secs.  Wasn’t at my peak for this and could have done better.  Still got the prize of a very nice sports holdall, presented by Peggy.

What is your preferred type of race?  X Country, but also fell running.  They are more challenging and daring.  I like the ones with plenty of mud and water to run through

If you could spend a day in the life of someone (alive or dead) who would it be?  Split the day into three 8 hours – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Isaac Newton

I really do not like …..  Not keen on tattoos and body piercings

What is your guilty pleasure?  Walkers plain crisps, must have at least 3 bags a day

Who has been your biggest sporting influence/inspiration?  Sebastian Coe.  Always been an impressive runner, never gave in.  Locally, I’ve always been impressed by Andy Wilton, fantastic runner always gave 100%

What is your favourite music/band?  I like pop music – Motown, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, The Supremes

Favourite Actor/Actress?   Tom Cruise/Ralph Fiennes and Catherine Zeta-Jones

What book are you reading at the moment?  Workshop manual for a Citroen Berlingo as that is my car ya know, save some money on garage bills.  Sorry for that.  Just a joke!

Seriously, I am not one for reading books but I shall get Hannah Hauxwell’s Biography.  Born 1926, lived alone in a dilapidated farm with no electricity or running water, up in the Yorkshire Dales.

What is your favourite holiday destination?  Scotland. Just been there for 12 days.  Beautiful scenery, been going for the last 11 years.  For sun on me back, Majorca’s the place.

Tent or Hotel?  Both really, like to rough it, but also like a bit of comfort

Harry Potter’s magic wand?  (Beam me up Scotty).  I’d like to explore the universe, there are billions and billions of stars and planets out there in outer space, any scientist will tell you that if a planet is within it’s habital zone from a star it may support life in one form or another.  Oooo I must remember to pack my sun tan cream, it might get a tad warm when I’m passing a star on Harry Potter’s magic broomstick

Is there anything else you would like to mention?  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the founder members past and present who started this great little club.  A special mention to any remaining founder members that still run/train for the club today.  Brian Howitt, Clive Russell and Steve Pearson.  My sincere apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.  It was a great honour in 1985 when I was asked to join the club by a club member.  I’ve had a total of 891 races in competition, 867 for the club.  I’ve always been very proud to wear the MAC club colours.  I’ve enjoyed all the training, all the races, all the team events over the years, but most of all the sportsmanship and friendliness within the club.  The founder members have laid a good solid path for this club for any runner to follow.

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