UKn: How long have you been running and a member of UKnetrunner?
DM: I used to run competitively when I was in my early 20s (a few years ago!), then packed in to pursue other sports such as cycling, Karate, American Football amongst others! I started running again about 10 years ago to lose weight and get fitter for Karate! I decided to join UKnetrunner in 2007 as I was getting more competitive but didn't want to commit to a local club at the time. Not long after I quit the Karate and concentrated on running.
UKn: What is your favourite distance and why:
DM: It has to be the marathon..and above! Being 6 ft 4' and 17 stone (now!) I have never been suited to fast long running, so it is a surprise to many that I prefer that distance. Truthfully I am better at shorter distances and my marathon times are relatively slow, but I don't enjoy the 5k and 10k distances. More recently I have moved to trail running and love getting out onto the hills and moors such as the Yorkshire Wolds and the Cleveland Way which are both close to where I live! That suits my running better and tends to take away the pressure of running fast on the roads.
UKn: Any highlights of your time with the UKnetrunners?
DM: I enjoy all the events when there are a few club members present, whether that be NTRIX, RNR or last year's Endure 24. I would encourage all members to make an effort to get to these events as everyone is always friendly and the camaraderie is excellent! I also enjoy my role as Communications Officer with the club. I used to be the secretary of a small local running club and used to produce their newsletter, so it was a natural progression for me to take over the UKnetrunner role when Dom (Stevens) stood down last year.
UKn: You seem to have been quiet competitively for a while?
DM: In 2013 I completed 13 marathons (including 4 at ultramarathon distance). Spurred on by that I had planned to complete the Hardmoors 'Grand Slam' in 2014 which consists of completing all the ultras in the Hardmoors calendar in one year (30, 55, 60 and 110 miles), as well as run at least 6 marathons in the Hardmoors series (all up on the North Yorkshire moors). I had completed the 30, and had run the Osmotherley Trail Marathon early in 2014. Two days after this I collapsed whilst out running and finished up in hospital with two dislocated shoulders. Undeterred I picked up the training again, only to collapse again 6 months later whilst out running. Medically, fainting whist exercising is not good and undertook many tests to try and determine the reason for this. I have now been fitted with a 'loop recorder' implanted in my chest that records my heart rate continuously and logs any adverse events. So far nothing has been found and I have the ok to carry on exercising. However my shoulders are another story. Weakened over the years through other sports (eg: American football!) they have had a tendency to dislocate easily. Last year my right arm dislocated 4 times, my left a mere three times! This has left the shoulder joints damaged and the ligaments of little use, so I am now undergoing surgery to repair the joints. So far I have had two pins in my right shoulder and the ligaments tightened. The left shoulder is to follow soon after! Meanwhile I am on the bench so to speak!
UKn: How are you maintaining interest during this period and how long before you are back running?
DM: I and my partner Annette have been helping out marshalling at the Hardmoors events. It is good to see the other side of these events and helps me appreciate what the runners are going through as well as the time required to marshal some of these events - often in a remote location for hours on end! It is also making me want to get back there and run these events again!
Hopefully I should be back running in September and plan to slowly build back up to marathon distance. Apart from NTRIX, RNR and the Dartmoor Discovery, I only plan to run trail races though. Road racing for PBs no longer interests me!
UKn: Good luck with your recovery!