Running and Life – Paul Parker

running and life

Age: 51

How did you first get into running?

I joined a ‘walk to run’ group with Ludlow Runners. I hadn’t done any sport for ages. I used to play football at school and for quite a few years after – well into my 30’s. When I was 23 I was told that I had a problem with my right knee. Fortunately I’m ambidextrous and was able to switch to striking with my left foot. There aren’t that many left-footed players around so it helped me a get into a few teams.

When I first got into running I had injury after injury but I started to do lots of exercises to help strengthen my knees. Thankfully it worked and I was able to keep running.

Then Michele said that she wanted to do a marathon for her 50th birthday. I decided to do it with her. We got hooked on running then.  We started doing the club cross-country races but it wasn’t long before we were doing 25 or 30 races later a year! . I love it – we both do. I guess it’s easy because we can do it together. We’ve made loads of good friends and often have a weekend away that involves some sort of race.

What’s a typical running week for you?

I run at least 40 miles a week and often closer to 60 miles. I run pretty much every day – certainly 5 or 6 days a week. I usually do a long run on the weekend. Sometimes I’ll run with the ladies – those runs always include a stop for coffee!

I work pretty much every Saturday morning so usually do my long run on a Sunday. We try to get to club at least once a week. Sometimes we’ll Hash Run on a Thursday evening.

What’s in the diary?

Manchester Marathon – 16th April

Snowdonia Marathon – 28th October

Cardiff Half – 1st October

We’re also planning to run the Summer Cross Country races this year

What’s Your Most Memorable Run?

I think it has to the Manchester Marathon in 2018. I cramped up badly at around 17 miles but managed to nick it under 4 hrs. I’d run it in 4 hours and 4 minutes the year before so I was happy with that. I was on for a better time but getting cramp really slowed me down. I’m hoping to do a bit better again this year.

I also loved The Shropshire Way 80k race (53 miles). It took something like 13 or 14 hours. It was tough! I’d only done a few 10 mile races when I did it. It was the Eastnor Castle the following day. A few club friends were trying to persuade me to run it but could barely move!

Any injuries you’ve struggled with?

Just my knee. I still get some trouble with it but I’ve lost some weight and that definitely helps.

What do you most love about running?

I love that everyone is so friendly. The social side is great and, because Michelle and me both run, we can choose races in different places and enjoy a few days away.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a car mechanic. It’s a family business, Parker Motors, based in Ditton Priors. My dad and uncle started the business about 60 years ago. I went back there about 20 years ago. My mum and sister still work there. We’ve got staff but it’s very much a family business.

Who do you live with?

With my lovely wife Michele. We married in 2003 but we’ve been together for 30 years. It’s our 20th wedding anniversary this year.

Have you any pets?

We had a whippet and then a rescue greyhound. They were 14 or 15 when they past away. I’m sure we’ll get another dog but we’re taking a break for a few years. We love dogs but they can be a bit of a tie.

Have you any good book, TV or Films you’d like to recommend?

I’m into my action films – Bourne Identity, Bond, Mission Impossible, that sort of thing – easy watching I suppose. The same with books. I love Chris Ryan. I’ll pick up anything really. I’ll read loads on holiday but not so much at home.

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