On the run with Simon Navin
December 23, 2016
by Martin Lawrence
Frontpage Article, Headlines, Redway Runner Stories
Name: Simon Navin
Joined Redway Runners: 24 August 2016
We go on the run with our members and we find out a bit more about them – which we thought would be great to share, this time it is with new boy Simon Navin, and he tells us why he has been on TV so much recently
23 December 2016
- When did you start running and when did you join Redway Runners?
I have run off and on for a couple of years, but started running “properly” in January 2016, and joined Redway Runners in early September 2016.
- Have you run with other clubs how does Redway Runners Compare?
I am a member of my work running club (Ordnance Survey) but don’t get to run with them that often, due to where my work takes me. Redway Runners is my only experience of a running club really.
- What’s the best thing about being in a running club?
The support and friendship. I have made so many new friends already, and always feel I can ask for advice about my running or events, or just have a good laugh with like-minded people. Running in a group is so much more rewarding than running solo.
- How much does running with Redway Runners mean to you?
It means a lot. I love having something to aim for and knowing that while I am doing that, I can socialise and have fun – this makes what might seem difficulty, that much more achievable.
- Tell us about your first time? (with Redway Runners)
I remember rolling up at David Lloyd on a warm August 2016 evening on a Thursday not knowing what to expect, but was warmly welcomed by many – Ian Stevens was particularly helpful and reassuring! I tagged along with Paul CJ’s social run (the self styled “best run of the week”…) and it was great fun. Chatted all the way round with many people, the five or so miles flew by and although I was gasping at the end, it was great fun. I was hooked.
- When and who do you run with the club?
Work and family means my days are normally Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. This year has been very much about finding out whether I can actually run and if I enjoy it – I think I can and know I do! Explorer on a Tuesday with Tim is a really good run, Social on Thursdays and the Sunday Club run. Next year I need to get more technical and start to understand how things like intervals etc can help me. I have really enjoyed running with Tim, Martin P, Tif, Ian S., Paul CJ, Paul W, Gillian, the list goes on and on, the great thing is getting to know new people each week.
- Tell us your history of running?
I played a lot of team and individual sport when I was younger, but was never a runner. I started to dabble a few years ago, but in January 2016 I said I’d try a bit harder and run more regularly, so entered the MKM Half marathon, and trained (badly) for that, running solo. I stuck at it though and realised if I wanted to get better and enjoy it more, I needed help, so here I am!
- What has been you best running achievement?
Even though I have since started to speed up a bit, my NSPCC half marathon was a watershed moment – it confirmed to me that I could actually do this, that I was getting better, that I could plan a run and most of all enjoy it.
- What is your running ambition?
To always enjoy it.
- Why do you run?
To relax my body and mind, test myself, achieve new things and to meet new people and have fun.
- How come you have been on the TV a lot this year?
I am lucky enough to work for Ordnance Survey, and in my role of leading our work on Future Technology for Smart Cities, I get to do a bit of technical talk in the media. This year I have done BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Manchester, a host of syndicated radio interviews, met Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC, Spanish TV and a live slot on BBC Breakfast News 24 – all great fun. Next time I will plug Redway Runners!
- What would you do if you were not running?
- Who have you see while running?
The backs of peoples heads far too often, although some of those heads are getting a bit nearer….
- Favourite place to run?
I recently ran in Barcelona and Amsterdam, and love running in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, but I would have to say MK – I’m a local boy and it’s where I have started to enjoy running. I hope to run many other races in many other places, but for now MK will do for me.
- What do you love to see while running?
It’s taken me a little while to concentrate less on what is directly in front of me and more on my surroundings. I enjoy running by water, it’s so calming and you see a lot of wildlife and activity. Best thing is to see lots of other runners, either with me or just enjoying their run.
- Funniest running moment?
The ninja squirrel that decided to drop from a tree right into our path on a recent early Sunday run, causing a few of us to leap up and over it while it scampered across the path, realising what it had done.
- What is your favourite running track and film?
Films – it would be too easy to say Forrest Gump or Chariots of Fire, so it’s Marathon Man or The Jericho Mile. I rarely listen to music when running but if I did, then Keep The Car Running by Arcade Fire is a good one to get you going.
- Tell us about your worst run?
The recent MK Winter Half. Man-flu, the deadliest of all illnesses as any man will tell you, scuppered months of good training and although I got around, I fell well short of what I planned for. It was a lesson though and one I will put to good use.
- Best running phrase?
My favourite athlete is Michael Johnson and I love his phrase “The only one who can beat me, is me”. It shows how strong he needed to be both mentally and physically.
- Favourite running photo and why? (please send it as well)
Attached photo of me from MK Winter Half. Flying feet, gritted teeth, sprint finish after a horrible race. How you start is important, but it’s how you finish that counts.
- Have you ever lost your running mojo and how did you get it back?
Thankfully not yet. I don’t intend to either!
- Best route around MK?
The Explorer run always has great routes and the Wolverton route out along the river is a particular favourite.
- Who would be on your wish list to run with?
Michael Johnson, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Victoria Wood (RIP), Joe Strummer (RIP) and Ben Smith (401 marathon man). An eclectic mix that would test me, make me laugh and inspire me!
- Do you always round up?
- Worst/Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Best: Work to live, don’t live to work
I don’t listen to bad advice!
- What did you learn from your first marathon, and what would you change?
I will find out in May 2017….
- What do you think about when you run?
Everything and anything, it’s an opportunity to sort things out, dream a little, forget everything or just have a chat. I have managed to allay fears, organise work, plan days out and solve problems all whilst running.
- What cross training do you prefer?
I don’t do any cross training!
- What type of running do you prefer and why?
I enjoy a mixture of road and trail runs. Road/redways are so accessible, and we are lucky in MK – you can hop out of the door and get going. Trails are just fun, you know you will never get bored.
- Love or hate loop backs?
Love, especially on hills of course….
- Would you change your job if the hours didn’t suit running?
The beauty of running is that you can do it at any time.
- Run to time or distance?
Run for enjoyment.
- If you don’t share your run in social media, did it happen? Where do you log your runs and do you stalk others runs?
I do share via Strava and Facebook. I’m a bit of a tech geek so do like tinkering in Strava and Garmin Connect, and have recently started following and sharing runs with other club members. I like to see how people have run – my work means I analyse a fair bit of data and get involved with behavioural aspects of how people live in the built environment so I do absorb a lot of info.
- What was your favourite race and why?
NSPCC Half – it was a watershed moment for me with regards to being “able” to run. I also really enjoyed buddying at a parkrun recently – so good to give something back and see other people achieve their goals.
- Favourite race distance and why?
Half marathon. No idea why. Not really ran anything else!
- Tell us about your pre-race rituals and food and drink
Granola for breakfast, water to drink. I struggle to take on food when running, so try and get some in an hour or two before. I know I need to work on this for a marathon!
- If you could choose anywhere in the world to run, where would it be?
I think a run along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland would be awesome as would the Olfusa River in Iceland – both look amazing, and are often quoted as favourite runs, and don’t seem that unachievable.
- Favourite race/event and why?
Don’t have one yet.
- Favourite parkrun and why?
Great Linford MK. Nice course, quite intimate, easy for me to run with my eldest son.
- What’s your one race essential?
My inhaler. It’s a non starter without it.
- Would you run a marathon without getting a medal?
Of course. Medals are great, but if you are not enough without it, you won’t ever be enough with it. (not sure who first said that)
- Have you considered joining the cross country team?
- What would you prefer, a PB or a win?