Welcome to a new feature and thank you to Dave Cook for the suggestion. For those of you who don't know him, Dave is one of our ultra marathon fanatics. Off road, long distance and mentally challenging are all the features of a good race for Dave.
We've set him the questions and he's given us the answers as well as some photos of him in action. Who knew we used to run in red and white back in the day when shorts were short!
How long have you been a postal harrier?
I was a member back in 1996 for a few years then I stopped running for 15 years. I came back running in 2013 I of course re-joined YPH straight away, running was always my passion.
Is there such a thing as your favourite race?
Hmmm that is a hard one ….the Hardmoors 110 was my best achievement as it was 36 hours cut off and I finished in 31.5, also it was the first time I experienced hallucinations on a run. I would have to say the Hardmoors 55 as it has everything scenery, climbs, open moors and you never know what the weather is going to be like being in March.
Any other sports you play or have done?
When I stopped running I played squash for about 11 years and I also played golf but running takes all my time up now.
What is it about ultras? Most of the club will think you’re mad!
I never planned on doing them I just fell into them. I remember doing a 12 mile trail race to train for an upcoming marathon and I'd never run off road. I finished but it was so hard as I had all the wrong gear. I was sat in the pub 7 hours later and my mate asked how it was and I said from my knees down it felt like somebody had hit me with a baseball bat, but in a weird way I loved it. I knew a few days later when I was still in pain this is what is called the good pain as it reminds you of what you have achieved (to be fair don’t tell anyone but I love that feeling). When I did the off road marathon I knew I was hooked and I love to push myself and my body as far as it can go. You never know how far you can go until you try to go as far as you can.
You’re training for the Hardmoors 160 in May. What are the key parts of your planning that differ from a 10k race?
Lots of strength and conditioning along with speed sessions, hill reps, fartleks and a lot of slow running not to over stress the body. I am doing about 4 runs a week with about 4 x S&C as well I'm now entering more longer runs that I will do on the 160 course. I also need to get use to poles as I've never used them before so will be doing some 3-4 hours trekking to solve this issue.
I have had to train more cleverly and not just go out and run. My training is planned and varied.
What’s the one thing you love about Postal?
I love the friendliness. Everyone is so supportive of each other, I just wish I got down more! I know that is my fault but with working shifts and at the moment my specific training it seems to never fall right haha. I could talk about running all day, I never got to mention the nettle trick or the mind games I play (well inner Dave as he is better known).
Thanks again Dave for sharing your thoughts with us. You never know, it might tempt some of our curious members into signing up for an Ultra. Only time will tell. Best of luck with your training for the 160, that's more than 53 parkruns back to back!
If you would like to put yourself forward for the next Meet the Member slot then just let me know. I'll ask the questions and you provide the answers and photos.