Huw chats to Mike Hayward about the 1997 London Marathon and finds out why you should always take care when leaving a restaurant.
Name: Mike Hayward
How did you first get into running?
It was way back in 1996. Jayne and I were in a cycling club and a group of us went up to London to watch The Marathon. It looked amazing and a lot of fun.
I started to run a bit after that but didn’t get the hang of running slowly so that you could run further. I used to go out, run fast, get out of breath, stop and start again. I eventually managed to run 3 miles without stopping and took the plunge and joined the local running club – Castle Point Joggers in Benfleet.
I entered the Southend 10k in October 96 and was amazed that I didn’t come last. There were hundreds of runners behind me! That gave me the confidence to enter the London Marathon the next year.
In 2010 I became Chairman of Castle Point Joggers. I was Chairman until we left Essex to live in Stoke Prior, Herefordshire 2 years ago. I was able to help them with quite a lot while I was there. We had a club house for the first time, converted from an old fire station, set up our own 10k race and started a ‘zero to 5k’ beginners group. There were 200 members when I left.
What’s a typical running week for you?
It’s not great at the moment. I’ve been plagued with injuries since we moved. I try to get to Ludlow Parkrun on a Saturday and to a Tuesday or Thursday training session. I’ll also trot around the village once a week. I’m getting my fitness back – but very slowly!
What’s your most memorable run?
It would have to be my First London Marathon in 1997. I didn’t have any time in mind – just get round. The atmosphere was amazing. It took me over 5 hours but I loved it. I did a few more after that but didn’t quite crack the 4 hour mark.
My favourite distances are probably 10k where I got down to 43 minutes and 10 miles that I managed in 72 minutes. Not super fast but respectable.
What’s in the diary?
Not much at the moment. I want to get my fitness back so that I can enter the club handicap races. I’m also really hoping to be fit enough to run the in the Winter Cross Country league. Cross country racing is one of the best things about being in a club.
Any injuries you’ve struggled with?
I didn’t get any injuries until I hit my 50s’. Then I went and tore my meniscus on a recce over at Richard’s Castle. That kept me away from running for 6 months. Then I went back to Essex to meet with friends and buggered my knee up by missing a step coming out of an Indian restaurant! I was told it should get better in about 3 weeks but it’s been 3 months. Touch wood it’s feeling much better now.
What do you most love about running?
I think the simplicity of it is a big thing for me – just a pair of trainers; one foot in front of the other. Then, when you’re in a race, for most of us were only competing against ourselves. And, even if you’re not fast, you can still be in the same race as a top athlete like Mo Farrah or Paula Radcliffe – what other sport can you do that in?
And of course there’s the people. You don’t meet nasty people who are runners. It’s a really down to earth sport with great camaraderie. The last finisher gets as big a clap as the first – because we know they’ve probably worked just as hard. We’re just very fortunate to be able to do it.
What do you do for a living?
I work as a Customer Liaison and Marketing Consultant for a financial advisor and also some freelance event management work organising events for the automotive industry. Thankfully I work at home.
Who do you live with?
With my lovely wife Jayne. It’s our 33rd wedding Anniversary next month.
Do you have you any pets?
Marley the mad Cocker Spaniel. He’s 9 years old.
What’s your favourite Cornetto flavour?
Mint Choc Chip.