Saturday’s Blackwater marathon at Maldon marked Dan’s 100th marathon, a milestone he’s had his sights on for a few years.
Dan’s first marathon was London in 2011 and at that point he never planned on running 99 more. However, he was so overwhelmed by the buzz during those 4 hours and 55 minutes that, along with the memories of watching his Dad running down the Mall in the early 1990’s, he knew he’d be back for more.
Dan sadly lost his Dad 18 months ago, but knows he’ll be proud of what he’s achieved. Dan is still yet to get near his Dad’s PB of 3 hours 25 minutes, but will be working on speed rather than quantity over the next year or two.
Having the likes of Halstead Road Runner marathon legend Andy Wilmot and ex-members Bob Parmenter and Jonny Kempster, all members of the 100 Marathon Club, Dan knew he was keeping prestigious company and before long he would be travelling hundreds of miles at ridiculously early hours of Sunday mornings to run marathons. The more events he attended the more people he was meeting and before long he found himself part of a hugely influential community. Dan feels that marathon running has a very unique community, with many characters each doing what they do for their own reasons.
For Dan running is his therapy for his anxiety disorder, keeping his mind busy thinking about the course, how far is left to go, his legs and pace. It all stops him worrying about normal stuff and gives his mind a break for a good few hours.
Building on his numbers year on year, this last year has seen Dan run over 40 marathons including the 10 in 10, (which he’s no intention of doing again!). He’s completed doubles, trebles and quads as well as travelling across the UK and Europe to run. His favourite marathon is Norfolk’s Poppyline Marathon organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA). No medal, no fuss, no mass start, unmarked courses – just 27 miles of stunning coastal trails around Sheringham.
Dan says that Bilbao last weekend was special as it was by far his best race as he ran consistently throughout. His worst? Well there’s not one in particular that stands out but there are a few which have been tough due to mud, wind, shingle or rain, even getting hopelessly lost in the pitch black in the middle of Rendlesham Forest in the middle of the night. However, he wouldn’t change any of them and says it’s been one hell of an adventure!
Now Dan has reached this milestone he intends on slowing down on the marathons and not doing silly things like 10 in 10 again or running every weekend. He will be spending time with his family and begin his training for the Easter 2018 Challenge of the Devon Coast to Coast Ultra running 117 miles in 48 hours with some very good friends he’s made along the way.