In this profile, we meet an older runner who worked in one school for his whole teaching career. He also happens to be a fantastic Chess player, runner, storyteller and artist in his own right. Please enjoy the wisdom from…
Ed Jones. I was born in Liverpool and moved to Birmingham and then Nottingham where I took up running.
When (and how) did you get into running?
I had played football for local amateur teams. So I was generally fit. In 1982 Nottingham had decided to stage a marathon through the city and I was interested in running it. So I asked around and found a program to achieve running the marathon in 12 weeks. I did it with a friend and we spurred each other on. Did it in four hours twenty minutes and we crossed the line together.
Fantastic effort Ed! Especially in the trainers you were wearing back then! What running shoes are you currently using?
I need new ones and there is so much choice now. My first ones were New Balance. I’ve had a few of them. My present worn out ones are Asics. I used to have two pairs on the go. Now I’m down to one pair and they need replacing. So I’m going to look around and see what’s available.
Like you say Ed, there’s lots of choice now! What is your favourite distance and why?
Now I run regularly 5-7 miles nearly every day. I have some nice scenery around where I live and I enjoy these circular runs. One around St Chad’s reservoir is really good.
However when I go on holiday to Italy I run with friends each morning through the Italian hillside and villages. It is so lovely. It has to be an early start as it gets too hot later in the morning. It is my favourite place to run. After running up the hill for two kilometres we pause at a small village and cool off with some water from a drinks fountain. I think it’s the most refreshing water stop you could wish for. I have some good friends who are great company and together with the scenery it is such a great place to run.
That sounds wonderful! What is your favourite event and why?
The Rock and Roll Half and Full Marathon in Liverpool. I run the Half now. I did my last Full marathon in 2013. I like this event as it is so much fun. There is live music all around the course and a free concert all day. It is something I’ve done each year.
What event(s) would you really like to participate in and why?
I like doing half marathons now. I feel I recover from them quicker and this year I’ve done two already and have one more planned for November.
Good luck for November, Ed! What is your most memorable race/event and why?
I think it would have to be the marathon in Liverpool. I spent most of the race reminiscing. It started in Birkenhead Park and went through New Brighton. We had family day outings to New Brighton. I couldn’t help smiling that day. Then there was the run through the Mersey tunnel. That was special.
What do you love/like about running?
I like keeping fit and active, so running helps. If you can then do it and make friends and see interesting places then you have a complete package.
What frustrates you about running?
What motivates you to run?
I book an event so I set a goal to be ready for.
Do you have days/times when you just don’t want to run?
Yes, usually when I see it raining. I don’t like running in the rain.
How do you fit running into your life?
I try and run in the morning.
What do you think needs to happen to make running more accessible for people?
More young people need to be aware of the enjoyment of running The parkruns have been a huge success in this area. You see families taking part.
When you’re running, what is going on in your head?
Oh so much. On training runs I’m planning things for the rest of the day or week. On some runs I concentrate on my pace. If I’ve had an injury I’m really careful not to do too much too soon.
Do you wear headphones whilst running or not?
No, because I like to see and hear what’s around me.
Who inspires you and why? (Running or otherwise)
I grew up in the time of Steve Ovett and Seb Coe. They were rivals and world class runners. I heard them in conversation years after they’d retired talking about their rivalry. Seb said one Christmas he thought about going for a training run. He thought, ‘I will, because I bet Steve will be running’. He then asked Steve if he did go for a run on Christmas Day. Steve Ovett replied with a question of his own, “Just the one?”
What other blogs/articles/books/media do you recommend to others and for what reasons?
I like the magazine Runners World. Good articles and calendar of events included.
What are your ‘go-to’ running brands and why?
New Balance. Never lets me down.
What is your funniest moment associated with running?
Running alongside a horse and cart. The horse caught me up then stayed level with me for the next mile. The owner said he likes you and he’s running with you. Nothing to do with him. The horse has decided. Funny turning my head and next to me is a horse!
Another one…On holiday in Cornwall. Running along a country lane and a car pulls up and the driver lowers the passenger window and clearly mistakes me for someone else. He asks, ‘Have you got your key?’ My stunned, puzzled look on my face was enough for him to realise his mistake and without another word he sped off!
What is your next running challenge and how are you approaching it?
I would like to do the Tatton Park half marathon. Training to better my last time. Still competitive at my age! My last race put me 17th in my age group. When I looked at those ahead of me it inspired me to keep trying to improve my time.
What an inspiring life full of running Ed! Thank you so much for being our featured runner! I wish you all the best for your continuing running journey!
You can find Ed on Strava, or maybe running around St. Chad’s reservoir of a morning!
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