Going The Distance – Pete Johnson

Every Month we now feature one of the Sportlink team for a Q&A. We kick off with Pete Johnson.

When did you first start to run?
I started to run in 1986 with a fun run as we didn’t have park runs in those days. They were either 3 miles or 5k for which I managed to get inside 21 minutes for the first one. This is when I suddenly discovered that this was something that was for me and joined the local running club Thurrock Nomads.

What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?
Peace of mind. Me space! No phone or distractions you can just go out and enjoy yourself.

What’s your biggest running achievement?
My 10 mile PB in Oswestry, Shrewsbury. I ran 53.40 which was off the back off the South coast marathon which was the week before where I ran 2.34 (4th) and also a 5000m sub 16 minutes.

What in the world motivates a person to run long distance?
I think it’s just the Marathon. When I first started everyone at the club had their eye on the Marathon.

What kinds of things do you think about as you run?
Sometimes I think about races that are coming up. I think about how fit I used to be! It’s a good way to reset your mind. 30 - 40 minutes running can do that for you. I get very stressed if I can’t go running.

On the day of the big race…how are you feeling? Are you performing any superstitious rituals (like wearing the same unwashed socks you trained in for months)?
If it's a big important race I used to get a little nervous and a little sharp with people as my wife will tell you. If a race is on a Sunday I start to get worked up from Thursday. She can tell that the race is important to me. Nowadays I’m a lot more chilled out. Before a race I now feel more relaxed. I chat to people and don’t warm up quite so much. However, a little run around the field and a little bit of mobility and stretching and I’m ready.

What’s your next race?
I don’t have much planned. I’m running the County Cross Country in January in Thetford and the Freethorpe 10 at the end that month.. Nothing before Christmas.

What’s your favourite running shoe?
Brooks GTS and Saucony fastwitch plus Innovate trail shoes.

Who’s your running hero?
When I started running we did not have as much TV coverage as we do today, so with regards to heroes if that bis what you want to call them, I suppose you could say that one of the people I used to look up to was a local guy called. Mick Bumstead at Thurrock Harriers. He was the runner that I was always behind. Pat Dobbs he was also someone I always looked upto.
I admire Paula Radcliffe especially New York 2007 and whilst we all think Mo is brilliant, when she had that eyeballs out race through Central Park and won the race I was on the edge of my seat..

What’s the best thing about working at Sportlink?
It’s nice to be working with like minded people in a job that’s also your hobby. How many people must go to work and find it a trudge? Here it’s fun and there’s always something going on.

I work with good runners who are passionate about what they do and we’re all like-minded.