Spotlight on... Pete Ellis
What is your running highlight or best achievement so far?
Running from Caernarfon Castle to the top of Snowdon down the other side back to Llanberis. 22 miles 5055 of ascent 18 degrees by the coast and minus1 degree wind chill at the top of Snowdon. Fantastic.
What's the most valuable piece of running advice you've ever been given?
Dont eat yellow snow!
Where do you like to run and have you run anywhere particularly memorable?
As I have said you can’t beat the New Forest for a good workout. It may not be that hilly but there are enough to get your heart working.
Tell us a bit about your running history
My first recollection of enjoying running was when I was around 12 years old, I was running through a forest feeling that I could run forever, I felt very free. However, although I thought about this feeling over the next 30 years or so I did not really start again until around 6 years ago.
Until 12 years ago I spent most of my working life in the Tree Surgery and Rigging business which is a very physical career. Wth the outdoor life comes the normal (at the time) pastime of drinking and smoking. Unfortunately this is something I was very good at and as time went on (as we all do eventually) this coupled with my progression to a managerial position which meant sitting on my back side, the drinking smoking attitude did not suit any more as the exercise was missing.
One day my brother suggested that we start training as he had booked us up for OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) that year. I was always an outdoor person, so the cold wet muddy conditions the OMM provides did not bother me in the slightest and the having to carry all your kit for the duration just sounded like a challenge. So my first one in 2010 went well and I was hooked. It was on Dartmoor and yes it was very wet and since then I have not stopped undertaking the OMM or stopped running. The smoking thankfully went but I do still enjoy a drink now and again!
When and how did you come to join Totton Running Club?
About 3 years ago I needed to push myself a bit more, I had various 10Ks and ½ marathons under my belt, mostly off road (never did or do like tarmac) so looked around for a club. I first went to New Forest Running Club but found it too far to travel far for winter training. At this time a couple of my friends said they train twice a week with Totton running club so I joined up and never looked back.
How often do you train and what kind of sessions do you do outside of the club?
I try and go to Monday and Wednesday training, and if back from work in time, Friday night with Sean. I love my Park runs on Saturday morning mostly at Wilverley or Southampton and try a do one even if I am away, the furthest one I have done was in Inverness. I always try and do a long cross country run on Sundays, usually with my faithful Labrador (Sloe). I try and do between 9 and 18 miles.
Do you have any running experiences you'd care to forget?
First one was another OMM adventure in 2012. I fell down during a river crossing and ended up with a broken thumb and water on the knee, I did not realize my injury for a day or two. The knee was swollen for months.
The other was at The OMM in Comrie Scotland in 2011. It was between minus 8-10 degrees on the top of the hills. I got in to my sleeping bag at the end of day one and this was the first time in a race where I had got the point where exhaustion and hypothermia could be a factor but I pulled through and was woken up by the sound of bag pipes at 6 am the next morning.
Do you have any future running goals?
Three Race’s this year - Stroud Trail Marathon in May, Race the Stones in July a 60 Mile ultra, and if time and money allows Loch Ness marathon in Sept. Oh and Also Purbeck 10k, Eastleigh 10K, Portsmouth coastal 1/2, Southampton ½, Midsummer 5 Road Race Goodwood. Oh and there is Endure 24 in June.
What is more satisfying - racing or training?
Very difficult, I don’t really like the racing bit, as it hurts, but love the elation feeling when I finish but I also love the camaraderie and fun of the training with the running club. So a bit of both.
Do you have any pre-race routines or rituals?
I always have Porridge and a flapjack before a short race. I also take hours to get ready.
What keeps you out of trouble Monday to Friday?
Work gets in the ways of my life most of the time but also have wonderful partner Susan who has put up with me for the last 30 years along with Ben our 18 year old son. Our dog and my running mate Sloe who gets two walks a day. Music and guitars are my other love and have been playing now for 45 years. Motorbiking The rest of the time I am running with a bit of walking and Cycling.
Which other running club member do you most admire?
Andy Gates, Mike Mills, Sean Driscoll John Mursell all have great stories to tell and give good encouragement what ever level you are.