Runner Profile: David Mayes
Firstly, thank you Stephen Shaw for the nomination this month and the for the kind words you said last month.
How did I get into running?
My early memories of running were watching my grandad running in local races with his club and then running with him at a few events. I remember going to London to watch him run the London marathon and thinking ‘I want to do this one day’. When I finished uni I started to enter the ballot each year along with my grandad, and like a lot of us we were unsuccessful, having a few of the training tops to prove this. On our 3rd year of entering, he was one of the lucky ones to get in, but I had yet another top. Hooray. April came and I went to London again to watch him and this made me want to do the event even more. So once back I thought ‘if I’m going to do this I need to start running’. I had tried on my own in the past but I would do a few miles and then give up the next week as my legs felt sore or I had other plans. I had run at school and although I was not the fastest, I enjoyed it. I knew that if I was ever going to do a marathon, I needed to be running with other people.
I looked up the club online and found out when the weekly training session was and where. After putting it off for a few weeks, I decided to make the effort and turn up. On my first club session I remember running around the Grove with Sally Solomon in jogging bottoms and an old T-Shirt, I soon learned that I needed to change what I wore to run in and have never worn this to run in again. Over time I improved and the distance slowly increased.
After a few years I felt ready to step up to Marathon distance and remember telling Robin Harper that if the London ballot was a no again, I would join him in the Bungay Marathon (having done the half the year before). However to my surprise I got into London! Just like I went to watch him run in the marathion, my grandad and other family members watched me. Though this did not stop me doing the Bungay Marathon, as I did it a year later.
Most Memorable Race
I try to enjoy each race I do, although I do have a few memorable moment in races, one being Essex 20. I remember going to the event with Jonny Miles and as we parked the heavens opened. I remember standing on the start line wet-through thinking ‘I don’t want to run 20 miles’, but if I remember correctly I still got a PB at the event. Another is Coastal 10 & Hadleigh 10 as this is a distance that I enjoy doing. I remember running at the Hadleigh 10 event (yes, it was raining) and at mile 4 I was running with Jo Whelan & Rachael Miller, where Jo was singing songs to me and Rachael.
London Marathon goes without saying but Harwich 24 is right up there along with all the 24 hour events I have done. Running for so long alongside fellow club members at all hours of the day and night. When I tell friends that I can’t do that weekend and have to explain I’m going running and going to be in a team relay running for 24 hours they ask why!
What does the future hold?
I am planning to do Bungay marathon again this year and I hope to continue the fitness from this into the next 24 event in the summer were I have decided to enter the event as a solo runner. This is something I have said that I would like to do after each 24 hour event I have done, so this year I have taken the bull by the horns and I’m doing it! Long term I plan to continue training and running a marathon each year, maybe even two & I would like to run a sub 4 hour marathon. At the moment that’s around a 25 minute PB but one year I hope to achieve this.
I would like to nominate a lady I have often travelled to races with and once or twice got lost on the way. I often tell her at the start of an event that I’m going to have a poor race and she will back me, then later at the finish she will tell me “I told you so”.
Alyson Limpkin-Challis April it’s your turn, I look forward to your story.