Simon Croft, married to fellow MAC runner, Laurie, father to Roseanna 25, Grace 22, Emily 16, Isobel 13 and William 7.  Works as an Estate Agent

What got you into running?  It was more who, as the Websters encouraged me to take the girls, as Isobel is the same age as Lizzie and Emily a year below John at Darley Dale Primary School, so we got dragged along to Monday nights for the ‘juniors’ – about 8 of them at that time.

How long have you been a member of MAC? 8 years

What is your favourite meal?  I would generally eat anything other than mushy peas. Chicken wraps keeps the kids quiet.

Stiff drink or herbal tea?  I like red wine and Golden Ales, mainly.

Some stats – PBs. Other than a 10k trail race 5 years ago at 38.41, my quickest races have all been this year (2016). Half marathon, at one of my favourite races, Worksop 1.25.48.  10k Bolsover 39.07.  5k Whitworth Thread 18.53. I also did the Spire 10 (mile) this year 1.07.28

You are an Estate Agent, so what, for you, are the pluses when choosing a place to live?

Location for convenience and quiet.  A house should be handy for life – school, family.  In fact, I live half a mile from where I was born.  I like old houses with character, but modern suits us better as easy to maintain.   As a family we have grown and so has the house – we’ve been here 18 years, and can’t see us moving any time soon.

Do you have a training tip to share that works for you?  Have a commitment to just get out of the door, no matter how much time you have. Beyond that a combination of speedwork and longer distance runs (over 10 miles).  My goal this year was, as far as possible, to run consistently 3 times a week, which has done me a lot of good.

Other interests?  I played rugby into my 40s but realised had gone on too long after 2 or 3 serious injuries in as many games. Now I watch Will play tag rugby and help with coaching.  Like walking our dog, Eddie, a Brittany Spaniel and getting out in the beautiful landscape we have round here. Just being outdoors with the family is a blessing.

What has been your most rewarding running challenge? Have done a lot of trail races recently but the 17 mile Nine Edges Fell Race was the most rewarding.  Being then reasonably new to running this is a tough race taking in rough moorland and gritstone edges.  Starting at Fairholmes and finishing near Baslow.  I have done it twice each time when less fit and found it particularly challenging.  In fact, as I got to the finish on one occasion both my legs totally cramped up from ankle to hip and I was lying on the ground unable to move, much to the amusement of the Edale Mountain Rescue guys.  I prefer off road and trail races to road even though I am arguably more suited to road.

If you could spend the day with a famous person, alive or dead, who would it be and why? David Attenborough, he has had such a fulfilled life and must have so much information to share.  From the world of fiction, Gandalf.

What is your guilty pleasure? Cake

Who has been your biggest sporting influence/inspiration?  I admire those who enjoy sport for the adventure.  Most inspiration comes from the local ‘real’ people who achieve or give so much. My old rugby captain and coach, Chris Loeber is a good example and still bringing youngsters into the game in a good way. There are a lot of people in MAC who work hard at their sport and I have taken a lot from running mates. The youngsters in the club are hugely inspirational, my William included – to see the effort and talent from our junior members but also the whole cross section of runners at The Whitworth Thread is truly inspiring, each with their own goal - Darran and Ian should be rightly proud of what they promote and achieve. 

Ed Sheeran or Elgar?  I enjoy Ed Sheeran’s music but particularly like (remember) ‘70s stuff, such as Squeeze and Elvis Costello

Favourite film?  Shrek 2.  On TV I’ve discovered the Bike Channel recently, which covers all sorts of bike, triathlon and adventure events. The downhill mountain biking is ridiculous.

Favourite book?   Lord of the Rings.  I’m a slow reader, much to the amusement of Laurie but normally because I fall to sleep after a few pages. Book not Kindle every time.

What is your worst habit?  Being indecisive.

Favourite holiday destination? Lake District in the sun but, as that is unrealistic, I’ll say France.

What is top of your bucket list?  To take part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Fell Race

Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club?  There have been some great improvements over recent years which have increased the membership and a period of consolidation would be good so runners of all abilities can be catered for but still with an eye on recognising excellence.  A running track would be good!


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