Running and Life – Simon Norwood

running and life


Simon Norwood

Age: 52

How did you first get into running?

Way back when I was 22 I went travelling around the world for a year. When I got back I wanted to get my fitness back and started doing some circuit training at the leisure centre in Hereford. There were a couple of guys from Hereford Couriers there and they persuaded me to join the club. I started doing some road races with them. Mostly 5k’s and 10k’s plus the occasional 10 miler.

My family are from Tenbury Wells and I moved to be closer to them and ended up joining Ludlow Runners. It was a good move because I met my wife Beth there!

I was in my late 20’s when I lost my mum from Cancer. I decided to run my first London Marathon to help raise money for St Michaels’ Hospice. They had looked after mum. That was in 1998. The Marathon didn’t go that well to be honest. My knee locked out at 20 miles and I ended up walking the last 6 miles. I was very frustrated but I just had to finish it, lesson learnt, don’t over train!

I ran The London Marathon again the following year and that went much better. I think I managed it in about 3hrs 50. I did 4 London Marathons in total. My last one was in 2003 which I ran with Beth. I finished it in 3.01. That will stay as my PB. I won’t be able to go any quicker now.

Me and Beth moved to a house in Leominster because that’s where I was working. I started to go to Croft Training sessions when we moved and joined as a second claim member. I transferred to Croft properly around 2003 or 2004. It was hard changing clubs because I’d been with Ludlow Runners for about 10 years by then but it was the right thing to do though.

Triathlons came about after an accident. Beth and I came off a scooter while we were on holiday in Kos. I broke my ankle and had to have pins in it. They’re still in there now. I couldn’t run for six months so started swimming. I wasn’t a good swimmer at all but Beth was. She helped me and eventually I started doing some sprint distance triathlons.

I Joined Hereford Tri and started to do some Olympic and Half Ironman distance triathlons. My 1 st Half Ironman was the notorious Wimbleball. 56 hills in 56 miles if biking but completed it 5.45hrs. After that I had the taste for full distance Ironman 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles bike finishing with a marathon. My first Ironman was in Bolton in 2009. I finished in 12hrs10 on my aluminium bike which I still have to this day. It was a very tough and long day out!

After that I started getting into it more seriously and managed to qualify as a GB age group athlete in 2012 for the World Long Distance Tri in Belfort France with Stuart Austin. It was a tough event as the swim was cancelled due to low temperatures so it ended up as a 6mile run, 80 mile bike and 12 mile run. It didn’t suit me but I finished!

I did the European Championships in Mallorca in 2014. It was a Half Ironman in extreme 33c temps but I managed to finish in around 5.30hrs.

The last event I qualified for was for the European Championships in Austria in 2016. Austria is my favourite location. The scenery is fantastic.

In 2017 I did the London to Paris bike ride with work. We raised £50,000 together as a group. That was a great event!

I qualified for Austria again in 2020 but Covid struck so now its Bilbao Spain this September again it’s a Half Ironman distance. I’m really looking forward to is as I’ll be wearing the GBR tri suit once again.

What’s a typical running week for you?

I usually swim a couple of times and cycle to work two or three times a week. It’s 12 miles each way to Moreton on Lugg. On Tuesdays I try to run and cycle. Sometimes I’ll do a time trial with Ludlow Cycling Club. On the weekends I’ll try to get in a run of about 10 miles and a 50 mile cycle ride.

What’s in the diary?

Shropshire Olympic Distance Triathlon – 4 th September Olympic distance World qualifier Bilbao Olympic Distance Triathlon – 24th September Also, I’m really looking forward to the winter cross country races. Most Memorable Run Ironman Wales in 2011. Beth, Ben and Theo were there to see me finish. There were tears of pure joy at the end of that one!

Any injuries you’ve struggled with?

After Ironman Wales I had an Achills injury. I’ve struggled with it ever since. It got really bad at one point and I took a year out from competing. I’ve learnt how to manage it now. Strength and conditioning work in the gym has really helped.

What do you most love about running?

I love the social aspect; especially with the Cross Country and the club organised races. Also the buzz after you’ve finished.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a stock control supervisor at M & M Direct. The company sells end of line stock to consumers.

Who do you live with?

With my wife Beth and Ben (17) and Theo (14)

Have you any pets?

Just a cat – smudge.

The summer holidays have started; can you recommend a good book?

I loved Chrissy Wellington’s book, ‘A Life Without Limits’. She’s won the Woman’s World Ironman Championship four times and is a bit of a hero of mine.

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