Runner Profile: Dave Lampard

Firstly I would like to thank Kaye for nominating me although I’ve always dreaded this as writing about myself really puts me out of my comfort zone.

This because I’ve never thought people would be interested in hearing about me. Here we go and hopefully you won’t get too bored !!!

From a very young age I was always sports mad although never particularly good. I made the junior schools football team but always as a squad player. All my spare time was spent kicking a football around the park with mates who were also football mad and most were much better than me.

When I left junior school and went to senior school I found that my efforts were never good enough to make the school teams.  This never stopped me trying though and was always heavily involved in football, rugby and cross country; I guess this was when I first started running semi seriously. I was never at the front or at the back and felt quite comfortable being in the middle.  I had always remembered hearing stories from my parents who both ran for Ipswich Harriers and that dad was even offered the chance to represent Suffolk but due to work commitments had to turn it down. He was even told had he pursued the running he could have represented Britain – WOW.

At the age of 15 and being at the Orwell high school’s university of life I heard that on Thursday evenings the Felixstowe badminton club played in the sports hall for which I fancied a crack and so made some enquiries. I was told to go along and see what I thought, I’d never played before and with exception of playing some Tennis I wasn’t really into racquet sports. Much to my surprise I loved it and became friendly with a couple from Kirton who even offered to give me a lift, an opportunity I couldn’t refuse

As the weeks and months went by I improved and was even asked if I would play in the clubs mens team. It was at this stage I became friendly with Richard Smith and was paired with him in the mens doubles and much to my surprise we became pretty good and started to enter tournaments outside of the club and even managed a Suffoks final one year.

Whilst in a previous relationship I was introduced to Squash and joined the Felixstowe Squash club who played at the then called “Dock club” in Trimley.  Richard was also a Squash player which enabled our friendship to flourish. I became half decent and wanted to pit my wits against better players and so left and joined Martlesham Squash club.

Whilst playing Squash I wanted to continue some running and so decided to run the Great North run with a mate in 2003.

I then went on to run the GNR again in 2005 and stepped things up a bit by running the Great South run in 2007.

In 2009/10 i decided I wanted a real challenge and after watching the London Marathon on TV every year and wishing I could have a go decided – why not, anything is possible. When out for a meal one evening with friends which included Richard, I laid down a challenge and asked him if he was interested in running the London Marathon; after some persuasion he said yes – my wife Gillian thought we were mad. The training then started at which time we decided we needed professional help and thought it would be a good idea to join the Felixstowe Road Runners, this we did and have never looked back since. I soon noticed that although I was improving Richard was a faster runner than me, story of my life !!! We then heard that we could be entered into the clubs ballot for the VLM.

Much to my amazement my name came out enabling me to run the 2011 VLM, a lifes long ambition, only disappointing thing was that Richard didn’t get a place.

So with this news the training had to start and so gradually I upped the mileage from around 5 miles to a max of 20 miles, much to my surprise I was enjoying the challenge although my running continued to feel more like a plod. So when the big day arrived I was very nervous. I had taken a small fan club with me on the FRR coach which meant an early start. Sam Linassi was also running and thanks to her she helped calm my nerves and made me believe I could actually do this race.

I arrived at the start line and off we went. I knew nothing about running at this level and so paced myself well and as the miles slipped by I continued to plod around the streets of London. I had heard so many people talk about hitting the wall and I never really understood what that meant but oh boy when I did hit it at mile 18 I went completely legless and was struggling to put one foot in front of the other, not a good feeling. I aimed to finish under 6 hrs and came in at 5:43:10.

Being an avid ITFC fan and a huge fan of Sir Bobby Robson I decided to add some extra incentive and run for his cancer charity for which all proceeds would go to Ipswich cancer ward …. this raised in the region of £1800.

After this I had got the bug and wanted another crack at beating my VLM time. I entered the national ballot in 2012 but failed to get a place and then in 2013 i was lucky to get a second chance. I was hoping I had learnt some lessons from 2011 but still found the going tough; again that wall was hit but this time not until 22 miles. My main objective was to beat that 2011 time and happily managed to finish in 5:12:22, mission accomplished.

This time having lost a work colleague through Cancer I ran for the Woolverston trust and managed this time to raise £3100

My hunger to continue beating my time resulted in having a crack at the Bournemouth marathon in 2015, this marathon was much easier to enter resulting in both me and Richard getting places as well as many from FRR. This was an excellent course with fabulous scenery and for me no hitting that wall. My continued improvement resulted in a time of 4:58:24.

Since 2010 when I joined the wonderful FRR I have entered many races such as the Friday 5’s, Ipswich Twilight, Woodbridge 10K, The Ekiden relays, The RNR, Felixstowe Coastal 10 miles and the Great East run which is around Ipswich and is a half marathon and a serious challenging race. There have been others but  don’t want to bore everyone.

My latest challenge has been to join the Harper Thousand Mile challenge, due to injuries I failed in my attempt last year but will hope to be successful in 2021

So having given you all an insight into my sporting life all that’s left is to thank you all for reading and hopefully not leaving you all yawning too much.

Please stay safe everyone and fingers crossed we can get back to running races again soon.

Having mentioned him at various times through this story I would like to nominate my old buddy Richard Smith for March.

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