This post is a little out of date so I’ve added some updates for those of you that I’ve met more recently. You’ll find these updates in italics.
In middle-age, for many, there are often fewer opportunities for people to do so and for past generations, many people’s circle of friends contracts rather than expands once reaching one’s 40s, 50s and beyond. I get to meet new people regularly. Mostly, the expansion of my circle-of-friends has been via the running club I’m a member of, Lordshill Road Runners, or parkrun.
These friendship start with a hello or an introduction. Before long, we’re seeing each other more regularly at training sessions, parkrun or other events… just about remembering each other’s names, discussing recent achievements and slowly learning a little about each other.
One opportunity to get to know me better is to read this blog where I post about my running and triathlon-related experiences. Most of it is dull I’m sure but my aim is to keep track of what I’ve done in the hope that when I’m older and greyer and my memory has diminished that I can remind myself, and maybe others, what I’ve done and achieved since getting off my rapidly-expanding derriere, deciding to start running at the grand old age of 39.
However, to ease the introduction and to provide a summary of a little about me (mostly related to running, triathlon or similar activities) for recently acquired friends, here are 10 things you may (or may not) know about me.
a) I’ve been married for 14 years to Denise and we have two boys – Daniel aged 9 and Connor aged 7. We also have an old, black, overweight Labrador named Milly.
b) I am currently Technical Director for an online florist who I’ve worked for for about 12 years. I am very lucky to be able to work from home and have had few reasons to leave the house due to this. I do get to spend a lot of time with the boys and get to hero get then ready for school, wave then off and greet then when they return.
I’m now working for the best company in the world as Head of Technology for parkrun Global! This really is my dream job!
c) in 2009, the fact that I rarely left the house, increasingly more mobile children and feeling less and less active meant that I took up running to train for a charity 10K (it was also the first 10K event that Di Mattingly did)
d) I found out about parkrun in late 2009 and attended my first parkrun event at Eastleigh parkrun‘s 3rd event in May 2010 (also Lewis Chalk’s first parkrun – Lewis was first across the line)
e) I took over as Event Director (ED) at Eastleigh parkrun in late 2010 and then went on to set up, and become ED, at Netley Abbey parkrun and Southampton parkrun before passing on the reins to others once established. Along the way, I helped with setting up other local parkruns including Winchester and Brockenhurst’s events.
f) I’m now the Event Director for Southampton junior parkrun (which started in November 2013) as well as being a parkrun Ambassador (helping existing events as well as helping teams establish new events) and parkrun Event Adjudicator. To date I’ve volunteered at about 200 parkrun events undertaking over 375 roles (including being Run Director at about 45 events).
I’ve recently stood down as Event Director of Southampton juniors and as an Ambassador as mixing these roles with my full-time job at parkrun was getting too much. However, I’m still actively involved with juniors as a regular volunteer and Run Director.
g) I’m a proud member of Lordshill Road Runners, a club I joined about 3-years ago. I became Vice Chairman for the club in September 2013, help organise the popular LRR Mile Series and have been Run Director for several of the club’s races (10 Mile 2013, 10K 2014 and 10K 2015).
After over 5 years of volunteering for parkrun, LRR etc, I’ve decided that I need a little more ‘me’ and family time and will be standing down from my committee role at LRR in September 2015. However, I’ll still be active as a Run Leader on Monday night sessions and helping to organise the popular LRR Mile Series where I deal with all the tech.
h) As well as enjoying running, I’m a keen triathlete (although not particularly good at either!) and have completed several since my first in June 2013. The longest triathlon I’ve completed to date is the Challenge Weymouth Half Distance Triathlon in September 2013. I do have ambitions of doing a full Iron distance event one day!
i) I like organising things (as should be apparent from the above) and am fairly good at time management in order to juggle the things I do, training, work and hectic family life.
j) I thrive on challenges. I know lots of people who don’t appear to set themselves any other charges other than living from day to day. I gotta that for many years I was the same just getting through each day, week, month and year. However, my life is now made up of multiple challenges and they give a great focus.
2015 hasn’t held many challenges for me but I have some BIG challenges for 2016 including:
- London or Brighton Marathon
- Going Solo at Endure 24
- 2 Oceans Ultra Marathon
- Tough Mudder
So, there you go. That’s a little about me!