Runner Profile: Lee Crisp

Firstly thank you Rachel Crisp for the nomination.

Early years

As a young lad in school, running wasn’t something that interested me at all! My main sport was Motor cross, as some of your know Jason Taylor (aka Gripper) and I raced together as school boys for many years. During those years my style of riding earned me the name ‘the bulldozer’ as it was always easier to go through people than it was around them.

Lee “the bulldozer” Crisp

Once 16 I jumped shipped and went on to adult Motor cross racing. However, this was short lived due to a major crash that meant I had my licence removed due to medical reasons (and possibly the safety of other riders)

At that point I sort of lost my way, both in sport and life until I started going to the gym. I found the gym was a place of comfort and somewhere I could go to relax as well as let off much needed steam!

Joining FRR

In 2011 I joined FRR after a friend suggested I go. Initially, it was just about getting out of the house on a Tuesday evening but then I did a few Friday Fives and some of the winter XC series. I then did the Hadleigh 10 before doing a few half marathons, Colchester and Bungay. But, then my focus changed and I found myself (willingly) in more of a supportive role. This meant I got to see some amazing places and witness what it was like to be a part of a support team rather than the one competing. 

I also believe I am the only person to have won the “FRR best supportive partner” trophy. I’m not sure it was continued after me……

As you all know life changed again and I found myself wanting to physically push myself again. I trained for the Vitruvian half iron man, which meant I had to learn to swim both in a pool and open water. I got back on the road bike and covered more miles both by foot and bike than I had before.

Favourite races

My running highlights have been getting to the ViT, Cambridge and Norwich Triathlon and the Thunderrun.

Thunder run was an all round fantastic experience. It was a well-organised event and I was there with a great group of FRR’s. There was something about this event that made me want to push harder, probably because I felt a responsibility to my teammates. I remember a conversation I had with Darren Cook that made a difference that weekend.  I was struggling to achieve the lap times I wanted too and he said to me “you need to go to the dark place (inside you) and push through”. I realised then that even when I thought I couldn’t go any further or it was too hard, if I could get through those dark places, I would always come out the other side. I wouldn’t die!  That conversation and how it made me feel has stuck with me, not just with running but in life.

Since then I haven’t run or competed very much at all because life changed and I found I had to focus on other things. For some people running is a way of coping but for me, I had to distance myself.

I did complete Dublin Marathon in 2017 (I think) again with a great bunch of FRR’s. I also dragged my arse around Amsterdam Marathon in 2019, thinking 10 miles of training would possibly be enough. I am proud to say I finished, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

I have entered Manchester 2020 and plan to do much more training!

Other thoughts

What I have learnt so far is that running (for me) isn’t about times. I have witnessed people having meltdowns before a race has even started because they are worried about what time they SHOULD be doing it in. For me running now is about feeling good when I finish. I have stopped worrying about what other people think and try to just get out there for me. As long as we turn up on the start line, aren’t we all winners??

Being a part of FRR has also shown me that it is not always about the person doing the running. I have made some great friends with the partners of the people who are running the races because I can remember what it was like. It’s brilliant but it also has as much of an impact on them as it does the person running and they often get overlooked. We congratulate the person with the medal but maybe we should also congratulate the person who also had to put up with all of the stress that goes alongside the training.

It’s no wonder they all turn to drink.

This seems a good time to thank Bridget Read and Helen Duggan for all their expertise and I wish them both continued success.

Last but not least I would like to thank Emma Gammons for the support and understanding and because of that I am now in a much better place.

Next month’s nominee

I would like to nominate Kirsty Marsh.

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