The 26th of April was the launch of the Adidas Run Reigate Half Marathon and was a historic moment of being with two Olympic running legends Shireen Bailey (British Olympic 800 and 1500m runner) and the grandfather of British distance running Ron Hill (European and Commonwealth marathon winner). Both signed autographs, were taking photos and shared their sports experiences in Simply Sports. They are the Race ambassadors of the first Run Reigate Half Marathon, will take place at 9.00am on Sunday 21st September 2014, just a month for this great event!!! Bailey and Hill were interviewed by Simply Sports.
Why do you recommend the Adidas Run Reigate Half Marathon?
Shireen Bailey: Because running is a great way to run off stress, just relax and enjoy yourself. It is good for you. And Dave Kelly (the race director) who I run with regularly each week has been so enthusiastic about it.
Ron Hill: It is a beautiful course lots of country lanes, the weather should be good in September which make easier for the runners to get a good time and also to enjoy the race.
Ron Hill, Dave Kelly and Shireen Bailey during the launch of Run Reigate.
Why do you recommend running?
S. B.: Running is my passion and I kind of want everybody to do it. Does not matter how slowly but everyone is capable of doing the 13 miles training properly. And actually enjoying it and feeling a sense of achievement.
R. H.: Because it is the easiest form of exercise that you can take. If you want to be a running you can just go outside your own front door and start and come back and finish and it is as simple as that.
Why a half marathon can be special in Reigate?
S. B.: I think Reigate is a lovely little town. Beautiful grounds to start off in the park (Priory Park) and to finish in the park (the route). Nice way of getting round, seeing parts of it that you might not see. And it will be an amazing day.
Are you going to take part in this race?
S. B.: I am not going to take part because I am going to help do the training. I am going to be there on the day encouraging and supporting everybody. It would be hard for me to train and be enthusiastic for everybody else so I would give this one a miss.
R. H.: I do not think so. I am flying in from France, but I will be here to watch the race.
Shireen Bailey in Simply Sports.
Can everybody run a half-marathon?
S. B.: I think everybody can as long as they don’t go mad, build up their training gradually. This is the key, otherwise we get injured or get a lack of motivation but it is a great thing to do. If done sensibly everybody can do it.
R. H.: It may be possible I mean if you look the London Marathon some of the people at the back are very old people running seven or eight hours so that is very good. If you are determined it is possible.
What are your tips?
S. B.: My tips would be depending on where they start from so if you have never run before like I have said take it slowly minute on minute by gradually building up, taking your time. Obviously, if you can run that distance anyway and you want to do your best do some interval training, but take time to train, correct footwear, and kit and enjoy.
R. H.: If they are training for a marathon, I always recommend people to keep a training log. In my training log I have every run that I have done since September 1956, everything is in there. This is so that you can see what kind of training works for you. Generally, the more miles or kilometers you run, the better you would do the marathon.
Do you continue running? Every day?
S. B.: I do. I do not run every day I do a lot of running clubs with people. I run properly four or five times a week.
R. H.: I have never missed a day of training for over 49 years. And for 26.2 years I ran twice a day and once on Sunday. I have never missed a run, 13 times a week.
What is your motivation?
S. B.: I just love it. It is in my blood I have done it since I was twelve. It is my way of beating stress, mentally it makes me feel great. That is not to say I always want to do it, it is very hard sometimes getting out the front door but you can guarantee on thing once you have done it you feel brilliant.
R. H.: In those days when I was running twice a day my motivation was to be the best runner that I could. Now my motivation, I only run once a day, is to get this feeling of being with nature, being healthy in the mind and also healthy in the body. And I still compete.
What is your next challenge?
S. B.: My next challenge is to get as many people running the Reigate Half Marathon as I possibly can. Go for it!
R. H.: My next challenge will probably, maybe a park run or maybe a 10k.
Do you miss the top level competition?
S.B.: I did it for ten years. To be honest then I gave it up because I had children that took my mind off it. I do not miss it because I still keep it up not top level competition obviously, but I still keep running. I have moved on now and I try to encourage everybody else.
R.H.: I am in the over 75 group. Honestly, there are some people who can beat me easily in that group. Maybe they have not run as much, or have not stressed their bodies like I have, I have run 115 marathons, only one was three hours only three at the most were two hours fifty. So I think this may have had some effect in my body but I still feel I am very healthy and will continue running for ever.
Do you follow the top level competition?
S. B.: Yes! I love watching it when I can. I do not sit indoors watching it all the time, but all the big events I will be there watching the Commonwealth Games and everything then I will hop back and think oooh lovely!
R. H.: About the marathon, Mo Farah ran 2:08 and people in the 80’ ran this time. 44 years ago, I ran 2:09, so it is somewhere in Britain we have lost this depth of running quickly, where by quickly I mean below 2:20. I do not know what has gone wrong, maybe lifestyle changes, maybe the Africans have scared off our marathon runners but I would say it is worth training, forget the African runners, it is worth training to get a national best, to get an England best or a British best, and you can wear it proudly.
How do you live with your legend?
S.B.: Well, I just feel that I was very lucky I am really pleased that I can still run now and you know my joints are all still there so I look back on that time it was a wonderful ten years travelling around the world and racing. I feel very lucky.
R.H.: I believe I am a normal person. I am sometimes embarrassed when you say I am a legend. I am a regular guy. I enjoy running, I feel I am very humble. They say I am a thick neck or red neck or whatever. I am an ordinary person.
Do you see yourself such an inspiration to runners?
S. B.: Well, I try to motivate. I love it. Some people have to learn to love it. And that I feel it is my job: ‘Come on give it a go you may not like the first few sessions you will get addicted if you keep on going’.
R. H.: I think I am a good example to people but just on ordinary guy that had inspiration from a comic book character. Love running, never expected to be a champion, so just get improving slowly, slowly, slowly. I think at one stage at one marathon. I was the best in the world and I ran 2:09:28 in Edinburgh in 1970. I thought I was the best in the world so it was a nice feeling.