Peter O’Grady: I started running aged 50 when my GP said I needed a lifestyle change. My family laughed when after 2 minutes I’d return home out of breath. Slowly I built up distance running by myself, I felt so good when I managed a mile. I started doing Milton Keynes parkrun (that’s where I was living) and realised I wasn’t the worst in the city. I entered a 10k at Silverstone and emailed the organiser to ensure they waited for me before locking up – I finished in the top 30%. I then joined the local running club that was just setting up. That was really the start – talk about a great way to make friends. I’ve since run at most distances up to marathon. In 2014 we (my wife Marion – also a Red Roser, and I) decided work was getting in the way of living so moved to Preston and as well as house hunting ,running club hunting became a priority. Red Rose Road Runners described themselves as friendly and that’s what I wanted. I switched 1st clubs and wondered what I could give back. I did the Leadership in Running Fitness course and asked the committee if they wanted someone to run Beginners groups and a daytime run…..and that’s where we are. I became a general committee member last year.
I am in the middle of my 5th Beginners group for RRRR and lead the Friday 10am run from Avenham Park. I love doing the Beginners courses and seeing people progress as I did years ago. The graduation 5k at Preston parkrun has become an event that is fondly looked upon by all the parkrunners there. It has certainly raised the RRRR profile and I believe its important we keep a strong presence there.
Favourite distance: Although I seem to enter a lot of half marathons I think I prefer a 10k!
Big events or small runs: I do enjoy a BIG event. This year I’ll be doing 3 Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathons including Las Vegas, as well Milton Keynes Half , the GNR and Great Edinburgh – all with 7000 or more runners.
On or Off Road: Definitely on – I enjoy the views of off road but prefer running on roads. The club’s name is Road Runners after all!
How often do I run: Usually 6 days a week, Monday is a rest day although I have been known to have more than one rest day week..
Favourite gadget: The first time I downloaded my Garmin I was gobsmacked at it overlaying my run on a map and giving me load of stats. I still find it mind blowing that a watch can do that!
Music or not: Only when marathon training on my own otherwise I’d rather enjoy the world.
Parkrun or lie in: It always used to be parkrun but life sometimes gets in the way (see below). I seem to have done less parkruns since my 150th.
Any other interests: I am a season ticket holder at Coventry City (my birthplace) so travel to all home games. Its over a 2 hour drive each way and sometimes 5 hours if the M6 is jammed. Hence when travelling there I have to give parkrun a miss – it’s also the reason I can’t do the Saturday x-country and sometimes miss Tuesday runs.
I am a member of CAMRA and enjoy beer especially if there’s a pub quiz involved.
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