Runners know training for and running a marathon requires determination, grit and a will to keep going. Macclesfield Harrier, Mark Stanbridge’s legs have carried him through 29 marathons and 3 ultra-marathons! Is he crazy? Possibly. Isn’t that a prerequisite to being a Macclesfield Harrier?!
Mark has kindly shared with us some insights into his love for running;
Q1: When did you start running ?
MS: At 6 years old I remember running with my dad doing 3 or 4 miles. Soon after I began going out on my own. At high school I join the school cross-country team. My first half marathon was in my early 20s but did not start racing until watching the Great North Run and deciding that next year I will be there.
Q2: How long have you been a Macclesfield Harrier ?
MS: Since 2012 after doing the Manchester marathon (one of the short years). I began regularly running with the B group and up at Teggs Nose. Living in Poynton I had the option to join Stockport or Wilmslow but Macclesfield is a beautiful town to run around. I would rather be running around Macc forest then a housing estate in Stockport.
Q3: What has been your favourite race and why ?
MS: So many races over the years and enjoyed them all. The most Scenic must be Tromso midnight marathon (all in daylight) on a flat road surrounded by Snow capped mountains. The best weekend away was doing the Reykjavik marathon a low key event but a lovely course. The run is just a small part of the Icelandic Festival where it seems like the whole population gathers in the city for a weekend of partying with live bands in every Park, Bar and Club. My favourite and most rewarding was doing the Bullock Smithy a self navigating course starting at midday and 17 hours later crossing the finish line totally mentally and physically shattered.
Q4: What does running mean to you?
MS: First and most importantly is the only sport I can beat my younger brother at! To me it’s the most uplifting and natural thing to do.
Q5: Do you have a top tip for other runners?
MS: I could say listen to your body and rest when needed. Your body is 60% water so when doing a long run take plenty of fluids.
But my best advice is when running through a wood getting the call of nature before ducking behind a tree first check for any badger warrens…..they do not like it and give a very vocal chase at the most inappropriate time! Appreciate the fact that you can run and enjoy the moment.
MS: Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who give a lot of their spare time helping to run a great Club.