Runner Profile: Paul Osborne

Firstly thanks to James for the nomination, Don’t worry I’ll reward you with another sub 20minute parkrun soon (It might have to wait a bit tho’)

As I write this, the Pandemic of Covid-19 the Coronavirus is continuing to grow, we are all experiencing information, instructions and events that are unheard of. I wish everyone reading this the very best of health and good fortune.

How I Got into Running

Well other than a few appearances in the 1980’s at the “Fun Run” my sporting life was a virtual non-starter until one balmy August day in 2013 when I donned my £10 Puma trainers from Sports Direct, and hit the roads and trails, mainly the trails to hide from view…I was 37 years old, carrying a few extra pounds and in pretty poor shape really, I felt self-conscious of myself, I do still manage to look dreadful in just about every photo of me running. You will often see me hiding behind sunglasses or a hat to hide my pain and trying to look a little better, it doesn’t work.

Those first few “Jogs” oh the pain in particular my shins and being so tired, it was almost enough to stop. But I battled on and soon began to get out for longer times and distances. I remember one day running down to Landguard point and back 7miles I was so pleased…

I was the classic “No gear and No Idea” but now I have all the Gear and too many ideas….

Joining the Club

Early 2014, my thoughts turned to the “Running Club” surely FRR was full of Elite Athletes and I would only add to my own fears of not being good enough, how wrong could I be… initially meeting Mark Ford and Dave Solomon, I was soon coming along to Tuesday Club Nights and the Friday Track sessions, quickly settling in with people of similar abilities and looking on at the likes of Robin Harper, Jason Taylor, Darren Cook, Mark Ford, Dave Solomon, to name a few and thinking how well they ran, it’s a testament to how well we can improve ourselves over time, as nowadays I can on a good day hold my own with some of those runners that I admired for so long.

We can all be proud to call ourselves Felixstowe Road Runners, a huge thanks to the Club Coaches and Committee for continuing the work they do.

First races and some savoury moments

2014 saw me enter the Ipswich Half Marathon – I had dreamed of being able to run a Half, and I did it, finishing in 1hr.49min – I can tell at that moment I’d got the bug competing in running races, there are so many running events and races, one almost every weekend it seems. That same year I took part in the Friday 5’s and various other races, I felt proud to pull on the FRR vest and run with my Club mates… was I becoming…. dare I say a “Runner”

2016 Brighton Marathon on the back of the Club Place offered by Simon Wiggins, my first of 6 so far – thought I knew it all, having aced my training plan. The glory of the sub 4hr Marathon awaited me or so I thought, it chewed me up, I managed 4hr 8min but it felt like I let myself down, I responded by entering the Halstead and Essex Marathon a few weeks later, it was the most awful experience on a very hot day, there’s only so much nice country scenery a person can take, and to this day that T-Shirt brings camaraderie with other participants, but I do love the Marathon distance it requires a supreme level of commitment and for so many things to align on the day. 26.2 It’s the distance I love to hate.

A few highlights, there really are too many to list, thinking back to the last mile of the Great East run 2017 and catching a hard pressed Robin Harper, to bag a 1hr.30min, Woodbridge 10k a PB with Mark Ford and the perfect race that was the Manchester Marathon 2018 that saw my Marathon PB set at 3hr 23min, with Kudos to the solid runner that is Chris Sugars, the recent race mode peloton at the 2019 Scenic 7 that saw me run a 6.22min mile average for 7miles…

I’m privileged to have been nominated for two annual Club awards, I swear I’ll bag a trophy one day. You heard it here first.!

Fun Run

The “Fun Run” every May day in Felixstowe, I’d like to remind everyone about this event, it does tend to be targeted at Children and those in Fancy Dress, rather than hardcore road runners like myself, with Elite level support and bespoke drink station packages available, it presents an opportunity for a win scenario, unofficially I’ve won it twice and was second in 2019, I’ll be going for my 3rd podium finish this year or next, who’s in ? – kids watch out!


parkrun really has become part of my running week, I simply love the event and the community spirit, seeing people want to get fit and enjoy this sport, I’ve dipped into the sub 19min on a couple of occasions recently, I never thought that would happen, I do love finishing in the top spots, but equally I’m happy to run with others to help them, it really is an event to be proud of for everyone and showcases our great town every week.

This year and the future

A pleasing start to 2020, a PB at Great Bentley with a 1hr.27min Half, Tarpley 20 PB in 2hr.25, an enjoyable run pacing at the recent Stowmarket Half, possibly the last event for a while, next up was meant to be Manchester Marathon in April but now re-scheduled to October.
Also my first official 5K race at Twilight, which I will be keen to smash, given those recent parkrun times. I’ll be back at the Great East Run, it was my first Half all those years ago, it’s a staple in my running calendar and always will be… I do have a distant dream of those Ultra distance shenanigans, but all in good time…, all future races/events are of course subject to the Coronavirus situation which I hope will be over in a short time and with the minimum of impact to running events.

I’m in the best form ever, I think by going Alcohol Free since last August my running has stepped up that elusive notch… I’ll just have to carry this level of fitness all the time now it would seem.

To sum up

I love my nickname “Ozzy” It makes me feel a bit special when people use it, thanks FRR!

Running in general and being a member of FRR, has helped me become a better, kinder person, it helps with my mental health and will continue to do so, as I try to forge a way through the challenges that life continues to throw at me.

I really love getting out to run anytime, Solo or with friends, on roads, track or trail, it has found a place in my heart and soul and that really is life affirming stuff.

Onwards and upwards to everyone and remember if it isn’t on Strava it didn’t happen!

In a world where we can be anything, be kind.

Having thought long and hard, the next nomination falls to Matt Saunders

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