Spotlight on... John Mursell
Tell us a bit about your running history
I guess I have always run, although with a complete absence of fast twitch muscle it has always been endurance based. So it was cross-country at school then orienteering and marathons in the running boom years of the early 80's.I enjoy the hard multi terrain events in wild places especially fell running and 2 day mountain marathons.
When and how did you come to join Totton Running Club?
I joined the club in 1999 when I bumped into them on a winter training night. A bit of friendly banter and I found myself turning up at the next training night. I was keen to improve my running speed to further my ambitions in orienteering and marathons.
How often do you train and what sessions do you do outside of the club?
I normally attend all the club sessions and like to train every day. I swim five days a week, do a spin class and a circuit class plus one or two gym sessions. My current knee problems mean I am on the bike more than running but the op is booked so the emphasis will change towards the end of the year.
Where do you like to run and have you anywhere particularly memorable?
I love to run in the New Forest and get a buzz from taking people to new areas. But anywhere wild and high, especially the Lake District will do it for me. Most memorable was high above the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, a truly lunar, battered and ravaged landscape.
How do you think the club has changed since you put forward your tenure as chairman?
I like to think I have played a part in increasing the number of qualified coaches and adding some structure to our training sessions. The membership has grown from about 50 to 200 and we have a healthy bank balance.
How do you think club running has changed since you were first involved in the sport?
I have only got experience of Totton Running Club so I only know the Totton story. Totton has always been friendly and can I say 'quaintly' amateur in the nicest way, but we have become more organised, more structured and we have some very good runners. We have raised our profile and I know we are respected in the local running community. Provided we stay friendly and avoid the pitfalls of becoming a two tier club I shall be happy.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Back to back marathons in Cyprus, sea level to the top of the Troodos on day one and back down again on day two. Hot, hard and dusty but good! Best marathon 3.08, always felt I could go sub 3 but not to be. My goal is to get the knee fixed and do a few more London's or big city marathons in 3.30 or under.
Do you have any other passionate interests?
Cycling, motorcycling, skiing, walking and trekking in the Himalayas....so much to do, so little time !
Do you have any running experiences you'd care to forget?
No not really, I have had good and bad, I have struggled and complained, but within five minutes of finishing I am ready to sign up for the next one.
What's the most valuable piece of running advice you've ever been given?
Always have professionally fitted good quality running shoes and bin them at 500 miles
Finally, which other Totton Running Club member do you most admire?
I am most envious of Adrian Hayes because he has been to both poles and the top of Everest but for courage and determination it is Lucy Buis for her Iron Man Austria in 12 hours.