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You obviously like to keep fit, but when did running become part of your regime? I’ve tried to keep fit ever since I was about 13 years old, I started at a local gym in Liver- pool call the Fitness Connect. I was member number 1, I think I’ve still got my card! The family who run the gym got me into running and my old boss John Watson from the butch- ers shop trained with me.


What was the first race you took part in? My first race was a Liverpool 10K when I was around 15. I did it with my sister Bev who ran London marathon in 2001 and last year’s Run- Liverpool marathon with me. She has started a running club in north Liverpool in preparation for this year’s RunLiverpool marathon.


How did you enjoy last year’s Run Liverpool Marathon? I felt extremely proud to complete the RunLiverpool marathon in my home town. For me it was without doubt a bet- ter experience than London 11 years ago.


What made you want to take part again in 2012? I’m looking forward to beating last year’s time and enjoying another great day in the city. The support from the crowds is just amazing.


Favourite part of the route? My favourite part has to be the last mile, it’s so hard to put in words how it feels! You know you’ve made it and there are thousands of spectators lining the streets, cheering you on which just adds to the rush. It is honestly one of the most fulfilling achievements that you’ll ever experience.


How do you find the distance? The long distances are of course hard work, but the longer and the more you put into your training the easier it becomes.


What did you do after last year’s race to celebrate? After devouring my chocolate milk on the finish line I had a lovely massage, then joined in the after-show party and celebrations where we watched a great dance performance from Suzanne Collins’s dance academy kids.


Which charity do you run for? This year I will be running for the Alzheimers Society. My


mum is now suffering from this debilitating disease and I want to do all I can to support such a worthwhile charity that means some- thing to me and my family.


How is your training going for this year’s race? The training is going ok. I tried to maintain my fitness from last year’s marathon and kept things ticking over at the start of the year. I stepped up my pro- gramme over the summer months after a May race - just hoping I’ve done enough before 14 October race day.


Training Tip? Planning is the key to eve- rything. Do some research on training pro- grammes, get one set up for yourself and be really strict about sticking to it. Also, join a running club or get a friend to sign up to do the run with you as it’s so much easier, more fun and far more sociable to do it with oth- ers. In fact, why not get in touch with my sis- ter Bev and join her running club? You can contact her via my Facebook and Twitter link from my website www.craigphillips.co.uk.


Have you taken part in any other events so far this year? I did the RunLi- verpool Men’s 10K in May. We are so lucky here in Liverpool to have such an extensive race programme that offers so much diver- sity. It is fantastic not only for charities, but for encouraging healthier lifestyles too.


What piece of kit could you not do without? I’d never attempt a long distance run without my energy gels, and it’s always good to have a running watch to keep a track of your time. In fact, the more I think about it the list gets bigger!


What’s harder, running a marathon or a weekend in the Big Brother house? Without a shadow of doubt it’s harder living in the Big Brother house. The marathon was a pleasure ...


Race day tip? Get up early and allow your breakfast carbs time to fully digest, drink the right energy fluids and get your body warmed up well. Most of all enjoy it.


NORTHERN RUNNING EGUIDE 13


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