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.

Local Paper article featuring myself and grandad running together

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.

Myself and Grandad picking up my number before the London Marathon

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.

Favourite Race

Club Photo from HR24

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.

April Profile

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.

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