Running & Life – Gareth Leek

running and life

Gareth Leek

Age: 32

How did you first get into running?

I’ve always done a bit of running. My uncle got me into doing some Fun Runs in Rhayader. I think I was about 9. I ran on and off all through my school years, Playing rugby more as I got older.

It wasn’t until about 5 years ago when I decided to give Ludlow Triathlon a go that I started to get into running more. I got to know Mark Lamonby and Will Gore and they persuaded me to join Croft. I wasn’t sure how seriously I wanted to take it but joined and started to really get into it.

Joining the club opened my eyes to running faster. I did the Telford 10k and then Hereford Half Marathon. I cycled there and back. It’s about 30 miles each way. I thought it would be a good warm up. My time was about 1:25 and Mark, Glynn Williams and me won the men’s team prize.

Then later in 2019, just before Covid, I did a Half Ironmen in Whitchurch. It was a big jump up from sprint triathlons but I loved the challenge. I came 4th in my age group. My time was about 4 and a half hours I think.

Last year I took the plunge and did a full Ironman. It was in Whitchurch again, and did the same race again this year in 10 hours and 16 minutes. I was pretty pleased with that.

What’s a typical running week for you?

I try and do about 20 miles running, 100 miles on the bike and around an hour and a half swimming. I’m never too serious about it. I usually go out in the evening after work at about 4 or 5 o clock. Sometimes I run or cycle to work in Llandrindod.

What’s in the diary?

Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon – 18th September

Wrexham Half Marathon –  4th September.

Stafford Half Ironmen – 11th June 2023

I’m getting married in May so I’m going to have to work my training around that.

Most Memorable Run

It’s probably the ROC WelshTriathlon. There’s a sea swim at Abersoch then you cycle to the bottom of Snowdon and run up and down along the Gwatkin Path. It was so steep and there was a lot of scrambling. It was more like a fell run at times. It was a very hot day. I was bent over as I was climbing and could see my sweat dripping onto the hot rocks under me. It was tough but I loved it. I think my time was around 4:20. I managed to get into the top 10.

Any injuries you’ve struggled with?

A few IT band problems and I had a big crash on my bike which took me out for a few weeks. I didn’t break anything fortunately. I always seem to fall well or save myself somehow. Eric ‘s witnessed a few.

What do you most love about running?

I love the feeling of freedom. You just turn everything off and go. I also love the feeling you get when you run fast and get the endorphins going.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a postman over in Llandrinrod Wells. I work a 9 day fortnight so I get a long week and a short week. I walk about 13 miles on my round.

Who do you live with?

With my Fiancé Rachel. We’ve been together for 11 years and we’re getting married on 13th May in Knighton.

Have you any pets?

Indie a chocolate lab crossed with a spaniel. She’s 7 now. She’s not much into running unfortunately.

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

I really enjoyed Born to Run and Running with The Kenyans. I also love all of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books. He’s a genius.

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