Married to Beth, father to Megan 19, Cerys 16, Bronwyn 14, Rhys 10. Works as IT Manager, Computer Sciences, University of Sheffield
You do a lot of race organisation for the Club, what qualities do you think you need for this?
I have a background in IT and anything technical interests me and I like to have a project on the go, own it from the beginning to end and get great satisfaction when all goes right.
You are recovering from injury at the moment, how did this happen and how are you coping with this?
The injury was a meniscus tear probably due to playing squash when I was younger. When they operated (back in June) they realised the tear (known as a bucket-handle tear) was more severe than the MRI suggested and decided to repair it rather than cutting out the loose bits. This decision should stop me getting osteoarthritis when I older but has resulted in the post op recovery being much longer than first anticipated. Thankfully, it has been a complete success and I have recently been able to start training again. I have lost a lot of fitness but should be back to full fitness in the New Year so long as I take it ‘steady’!!
You are from Wales, why did you move to Derbyshire? I was born in St Asaph in Wales and I met Beth at Newcastle Uni and we kept holidaying in Derbyshire, as the kids came along we kept holidaying in Derbyshire, even when I lived in Hertfordshire and then Bedfordshire, we holidayed in Derbyshire. So we moved to Derbyshire because we thought it would be cheaper in the long run!! I was the first person at my job in Bedfordshire to suggest ‘remote’ working and they agreed, so I was able to keep my job and move to Derbyshire.
What do you love about Derbyshire? The varied landscape and, even when I am in the fells and it is raining and raw, I still feel safe. I particularly love Edale with the mountains, green fields and numerous trails. It is a mini-Lake District without as much rain!!
What is your favourite meal? I am vegetarian, so anything with halloumi cheese
Stiff drink or herbal tea? Real Ale, particularly Timothy Taylor’s Landlord
What got you interested in running in the first place? I have run all my life and did XC at school. I ran loads of half marathons in my 20s and 30s in Hertfordshire and did the St Albans Half for 10 years running in a time of about 2 hours, but it was when the kids joined MAC and I realised that rather than just dropping them off, I could join the Club and run myself and that with regular speedwork my times have really improved.
Some stats – PBs: 5k Whitworth Thread 18.50; Derby 10k 38.30; I ran the Great North Run for 10 years and my times are going down as I get older – best time 1hour 30; Big Woody Ironman in the Forest of Dean in 2012 in 12.5 hours. Have no interest in doing a marathon as everyone I know seems to get injured in training.
You have four children, all taking part in sport, how do you manage egos? There haven’t really been any big egos, they have all enjoyed their sports. Megan was a dancer and the others have all taken up running with great success, although Rhys now plays football 5 times per week. Rhys is not there yet, but when each of the other 3 ‘peaked’ at running, they then became a teenager and got into other things and so it progressed with each child.
Other interests? Astronomy and Astrophysics. Have been to talks by Dr Brian Cox about the building blocks of the Universe. DIY. I bought some land and built my own house, doing most of the trades myself. I have also renovated 3 houses in Derbyshire.
What has been your most rewarding running challenge? Supporting Andy Whittaker on the overnight section of his successful Bob Graham Round was brilliant. Also being part of the winning Team Gladioli in the Great Kinder Beer Barrel Race 3 years ago. I also represented Team GB in the European Sprint Duathlon Championships in Kalkar Germany. I came 21st in my Age Group and it was a real privilege to wear Team GB kit and a great experience. All the family came with me and we did a road trip through 4 countries to get there.
If you could magically get one thing back what would it be? Well I wish I had joined a running club when I was 18 as I wonder what I could have achieved if I had trained earlier. Although looking at the likes of Ian Phillips, Simon Croft and Bob Foreman in the Club, they are attaining PBs in their 40s and 50s. So maybe there is more to come.
You are having a dinner party, name 4 people you would invite (alive or dead)?
Neil Armstrong, American astronaut and first person to walk on the moon; Kenny Stuart, fell runner, who still holds numerous fell running records and lives in Threlkeld in the Lakes; Kilian Jornet Burgada (DOB 27.10.87) a Catalan, who is currently breaking all the ultra marathon and mountain marathon records. He currently has his eye on the Bob Graham Round record; Kylie Mynogue – why wouldn’t you?
What is the best advice you have been given? My Dad always encouraged me to work hard at whatever I decided to do; so I do.
What is your guilty pleasure? Real Ale
Why do an Ironman? I have done most distances and terrains and wanted to do an extreme challenge to really push myself and found it surprisingly easy. The 20 week training programme was the hardest part.
Latest music download? Public Service Broadcasting electronic music
Favourite film? The Matrix; fantasy/science fiction film starring Keanu Reaves.
What is your worst habit? Real Ale
Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club? I think the Club is great with something for everyone. I think now we have electronic capacity we should use it in the MAC organised races such as Ricky’s. Also I think Dark Peak Fell Runner’s way of organising their Bob Graham Round attempts is something we could try. Instead of having a network of say 30 runners to aid one attempt, 8 or 9 runners have a go at once, so you only then need the same number to support. I am sure there are several MAC members who would take on this challenge if this was the case.