Running Tales
Gerald Billis: Sixty years without running… and then a silver medal

Gerald Billis: Sixty years without running… and then a silver medal

January 22, 2021

Gerald Billis is automatically recognisable at Northampton parkrun.

He's one of a group of octogenarian runners who, pre-Covid at least, took part in the five kilometre event week-in, week-out.

What people might not know is Gerald spent 60 years, between school cross-country success and parkrun, without running.

Once he found parkrun, there was no stopping him though.

From joining a running club, to becoming a Masters athlete to winning an international silver medal in his age group, this is Gerald Billis' running tale...

 

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The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Doug Richards: How one runner went from being out of breath climbing the stairs to the Marathon des Sables

Doug Richards: How one runner went from being out of breath climbing the stairs to the Marathon des Sables

January 15, 2021

Doug Richards was only in his 30s when he found himself out of breath having run up the stairs to see his son.

It was then he decided to get fit - and start running.

It's a habit he's found hard to shift since with Doug having run across all seven continents, including in Antarctica and across the Sahara and Gobi Deserts.

He's also become an author, penning 'Running Hot & Cold' which tells the story of his varied running career.

I spoke to Doug about everything from how running helped his mental health to scaling the Great Wall of China...

 

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The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Lorraine Lewis: Running to help adult cancer patients

Lorraine Lewis: Running to help adult cancer patients

November 13, 2020

This week's guest is Lorraine Lewis, the driving force behind a charity which provides support and companionship for adult cancer patients.

The Lewis Foundation sources, packages and - in normal, non-Covid times at least - hand delivers free gifts and support packs to people enduring the often lonely, frightening trial of cancer treatment.

One way Lorraine funds the charity is through running, tackling events such as Tough Mudder and even a 26 mile obstacle challenge.

I asked her why and how she started the charity, and whether she fancied taking on that extra 0.2 miles to go full marathon...

 

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This is, incredibly, the 40th episode of Running Tales.

The podcast, originally meant to capture people's running experiences - where possible - at running events or parkrun or at least on a face to face basis, has lived most of its life during the coronavirus pandemic.

With a second lockdown upon us and Christmas round the corner, we've decided to take a break.

There are hundreds - if not thousands - of inspirational running tales still out there, so we'll be back in 2021.

In the meantime, please check out all our previous episodes on Apple, Spotify, Podbean and all good podcast providers.

Thanks for your support.

 

 

Kevin Orchard: Redway Runners co-founder on how he became a British multisport international

Kevin Orchard: Redway Runners co-founder on how he became a British multisport international

November 6, 2020

Kevin Orchard loves running - but it's not always enough.

The Redway Runners co-founder decided to add cycling into the fray.

Before too long he was excelling as a multisport athlete, competing for Great Britain in his age group.

I caught up with Kevin at Redway Runners' Daytona 5,000 event earlier this year...

Rob Pope: The real life Forrest Gump who ran across America

Rob Pope: The real life Forrest Gump who ran across America

October 30, 2020

If 'life is like a box of chocolates' it's fair to say Rob Pope's chocolate of choice is running.

Seeking a challenge no-one had completed before, he decided to follow the route Tom Hanks' celebrated Forrest Gump character took in the film of the same name.

In all he covered 15,000 miles and travelled six times across America, even growing a Gump style beard in the process.

It's far from the only challenge Rob has completed.

I talked to him about everything from winning the Nottingham Marathon, competing for America and Australia in elite races despite being a born and bred Liverpudlian and taking part in the gruelling Marathon des Sables.

Run Rob, run...

Emma Timmis: The girl who ran across Africa

Emma Timmis: The girl who ran across Africa

October 23, 2020

In 2014, Emma Timmis became the first person in the world to run across Africa, completing the equivalent of 94 marathons in 89 days.

It's just one of a series of incredible challenges and experiences Emma has embarked upon, from roller skating across Holland to riding an Elliptigo bike across Australia.

As if that wasn't enough she's just finished writing and illustrating a children's book about her African adventure, entitled 'The Girl Who Ran Across Africa'.

It's safe to say we had plenty to talk about...

Sarah Lightman: “I find race walking easier than running”

Sarah Lightman: “I find race walking easier than running”

October 16, 2020

I met Sarah Lightman as she whizzed round Salcey Forest at a recent Big Bear Events race.

Sarah, however, wasn't running, she was race walking - and the event was her second Ultra in as many days.

It perhaps shouldn't have been a surprise though. Sarah's dad, Shaun Lightman, finished 18th in the Men's 50km walk at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

I spoke to Sarah about why she prefers race walking to running...

Lizzie Tovey: Visually impaired runner takes on cancer to complete the Virtual London Marathon

Lizzie Tovey: Visually impaired runner takes on cancer to complete the Virtual London Marathon

October 9, 2020

Lizzie Tovey is remarkable.

Despite only recently taken up running when she started to struggle with her eyesight, the visually impaired runner completed the 2019 London Marathon.

This year was to bring more battles though. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, she had original planned to drop out of the 2020 race.

But when it became a virtual event, she decided to take it on over three stages, including a gruelling night run.

Did she do it? Of course she did!

Along the way, Lizzie's journey has also seen her campaign to have guide runners given London Marathon finishers medals, while she completed a self-isolated 26.2 miles on the treadmill - complete with an array of fancy dress outfits.

Personally I think she needs to write a book next...

Wayne Chalmers: Running in memory of my daughter, Daisy

Wayne Chalmers: Running in memory of my daughter, Daisy

October 2, 2020

Running had never been a big part of Wayne Chalmers' life.

Aside from the odd bit of training to keep fit as a referee, he - in his own words - "didn't really like running".

His relationship with the sport changed, though, when his baby daughter Daisy sadly died just an hour after being born.

Not one to stand idle, Wayne launched Team Daisy; a charity aimed at raising money for local causes and honouring the memory of his daughter.

A host of fundraising events followed, including a number of running challenges.

The latest of those will see Wayne attempt to run four miles, every four hours for 48 hours - that's a lot of doing something you don't like...

 

Picture courtesy of Stu Vincent Photography

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Menna Evans: Smashing the world record time to run the length of New Zealand

Menna Evans: Smashing the world record time to run the length of New Zealand

September 25, 2020

Menna Evans only started running seriously two-and-a-half years ago.

This year she ran from the tip of New Zealand's north island to the depths of the south in an incredible 35 days and 27 minutes.

In doing so, she smashed the previous fastest time for a woman to run the length of the country, becoming a Guinness World Record holder in the process.

Menna started running in memory of her dad, completing the John O'Groats to Land's End run (JOGLE), a distance they had hoped to walk together.

She loved the experience so much, she's barely stopped running since.

I spoke to her about why she loves ultra running, training during Covid and what she plans to do next...

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