In the latest edition of Be Inspired, we caught up with Hampshire based Paul Jeffrey, who is a self confessed Parkrun tourist and can often be seen celebrating a run with a Cornetto!
1 - How long have you been running for?
I've been running on and off since 2009, though I would say I really started running in 2012.
2 - What got you in to running?
My sister ran the London marathon in 2009 to raise money for the Brain and Spine foundation. These were the people that looked after my mother when she had been in hospital to have a brain tumour removed. This inspired me to get off my backside and do something positive. The day after the London marathon I entered the ballot for it (entered it every year since and still not got in) and also entered the Great South Run. I was tipping the scales in excess of 21 stone at that point and was morbidly obese. I bought a treadmill and locked myself in my garage day after day, week after week, working through the couch 2 5k program. I didn't run outside as was too embarrassed. I completed the run and the seed was sown.
3 - What’s been your greatest achievement to date?
Just starting the C25K program was a great achievement, as I was toeing the line at my first ever race, the 2009 Great South Run. Since then I've gone on to run marathons and ultra-marathons. I'm on a bit of a streak at the moment and have run a marathon each month since September 2016, that's including a 50 mile and a 70 mile ultra marathon! In June 2017 at Endure 24, I ran 70 miles in 18 hours 36 minutes, I'm quite proud of that. It's the furthest I've ever run by quite some way (20 miles) and considering I currently weigh around 17 stone that's no mean feat!
5 - What’s your favourite post run meal?
I'm a big fan of a nice carvery after a long run. Meat, roast potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, Yorkshire pud, all covered in a rich gravy and washed down with a nice cold pint of lager or cider. I'm just craving one now from describing it, though it is only a day since I ran 70 miles so I'm still in the "eat all the things" phase at the moment!
6 - What’s the best thing you’ve witnessed at an event (teamwork, special achievement, celebration)?
Cor, another tricky question! I witness many great things at parkrun and other events week in week out which makes it really difficult to pinpoint anything specific. There are so many people on inspirational journeys and amazing stories to tell, so many wonderful people helping out, volunteering and giving up their time to make these things happen.
7 - Of the races you’ve taken part in, what’s been your favourite and why?
It's tough to chose as I've done so many great events. I absolutely loved White Star Running's Ox races. I ran these with my friend Jenny, we ran the Ox 50 during the day, a 50 mile race with a 12 hour cut off, then ran the Dark Ox 10k the same night and then the Light Ox 10k the following morning. That was epic! WSR events are so much fun, the love station is superb. Highly recommended if you don't take things too seriously.
8 - When you’re not running, what’s your favourite pastime?
What? You mean there are things out there that aren't running related? When I'm not running I'm usually thinking about running or blogging about running or talking about running or helping out at running events. Apparently I'm a bit of a running bore! I do like mucking about with cars as well, they help get you get to running events quicker, current weapon of choice is a Porsche 911, aka the parkrun rocketship! I've also got a motorbike for commuting purposes, a Suzuki GSXR, but I can't tend to stow all my kit easily! In all seriousness, I do love films and going to the cinema, though sadly there aren't enough running related ones...
9 - If you could run in a race anywhere in the world, where and why?
I'd love to do the Great Wall marathon in China. It looks amazing, brutal but amazing none the less. China has an amazing culture and history and the wall is truly incredible, to visit it and run it would be the trip of a lifetime.
- Tom Hanks - aka Forrest Gump
- Paul Sinton-Hewitt - parkrun founder
- Ben Smith - 401 challenge legend
- Richard Askwith - author of "Feet in the Clouds"
This would be a right old mix of people all with a passion for running and good humour in spades.
Menu wise I'm not sure, I think perhaps a cheeky Italian meal might be the order of the day, with plenty of cider chucked in for good measure!