Carl started running in 2015 after nudging the scales at 30 stone. Running has helped him lose 7stone so far. He works in banking in London and fits his running around work including lots of run-commuting.
Carl has since completed over 40 races from mile to Half Marathon and working towards completing a Full Marathon in September this year.
What brought you to running? Do you think that a sporting background as a child is important in order to take part in running races?
It was a bit by accident really, I ran as a kid whenever my Dad did the ‘big race’ (10k, Half or Full Marathon), I’d try to take part in the kiddies event and I loved it. I was a fairly sporty as a child, rugby, hockey, swimming but stopped when I got into my teenage years. If it wasn’t for having my Dad being a runner, I certainly couldn’t have seen myself being a runner now.
Where do you live now and what benefits and/or limitations does your area have for training?
I live in Wimbledon, London and love it. I have a great local running club and Parkrun. I run on Wimbledon Common or Richmond Park most weeks, otherwise you’ll find me run-commuting along the Thames.
You can run pretty much anywhere, what I used to find difficult was in a previous job, being out at 6.30 and home 8pm which left little time for running. I am so much happier now I have more time for running and fitness activites.
How many hours do you train per week? Do you also work fulltime?
I work full time as a consultant in a Bank and luckily it’s fairly flexible for lunchtime runs around Regents Park. How many hours is an interesting one – on average 4/5hours a week (according to Garmin data)
Do you feel that running eats into your social life?
Yes and no – Sometimes I avoid social events or late nights the day before a training run or a race. But then again, I’ve met so many lovely people through running and socialize with running buddies a lot. Pretty much every Wednesday after the Chase the Sun series we’re doing we find a nice restaurant to go and enjoy dinner together - and maybe the odd beer.
Was there ever a time when you were close to quitting while training or during a race?
Yes and unfortunately sometimes the voice in my head telling me to stop has won, more than once. As many runners will tell you, running isn’t just a physical thing – there is also a large element of mental strength.
I’ve had other races from 5k to Half Marathon where all I’ve wanted to do is stop, but recently during a 10k I found it motivating knowing I had someone waiting for me at the finish and that I was no way going to tell them I had dropped to the lower distance. I find that it helps to not only be accountable to yourself but to others too, hence why I sometime Insta-story my runs because then I’ve set out my intention and people are expecting me to complete it. Berlin later this year will be my biggest challenge and I need to do a lot of work on my mental ability and build some confidence before then.
What is your favourite race and why?
That’s a really tough question – I have so many favourites for so many different reasons. I guess Royal Parks Half last year, it was my first Half Marathon and we had a lovely tweet-up pre-race, it was the first time both my parents had seen me race and the course is truely fantastic. I may not have performed as I wanted to, but I still finished, joined the Half-Marathon club (if that’s a thing) and I actually enjoyed the experience. I am really looking forward to going back again this year.
What is your most important running achievement to date?
Hard to say, I am very much a person who does something then moves on to the next challenge, sometimes too quickly. I could say last years’ Tough10 which climbed Box Hill 7 times, my first Half, my first race or just stepping out of the door for the first time.
Share with us any unexpected/funny events that happened during training or during a race
During the first 100 yards of the Brighton Half Marathon a lady came up beside me, asked if I was Carl and on confirmation proceeded to lift her shirt up……fortunately, she had another top on underneath – her club top, the same as mine and had recognized me from our club runs. We’ve since become good friends and often see each other at races.
What are your next goals?
One big goal coming up very quickly. I am aiming to do Berlin Marathon in September, it will be my first full marathon.
What would your message be to those who are not confident in themselves regarding taking up running and eventually entering a race?
Just go for it, the community is so supportive both online & out on course! Join a club or a crew that matches your running ambitions, I couldn't not run with my crew anymore.
When it comes to racing - don't worry about being last or walking, try
a Parkrun first so you get to know what the atmosphere & running
alongside others will be like. but most of all - Enjoy it!!
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