Introducing Professor Raymond O’Keefe . . . otherwise known as Ray, Macclesfield Harrier’s Road Running Manager.
Q1: When did you start running?
Ray: I hated running when I was younger so only started running seriously in 2010 when people at work convinced me to enter the Bupa Great Manchester 10K. The training went well and I ended up doing that first 10K in just under 46 minutes which convinced me to keep running.
Q2: How long have you been a Macc Harrier?
Ray: I’ve only been a Harrier for 6 years. I had started to race more regularly and had met many Harriers at the local races so it was only natural to join the club. Everyone at the club is so friendly and supportive at every level and discipline.
Q3: What has been your favourite race and why?
Ray: It has to be the Market Drayton 10K where I broke the 40 minute 10K mark for the first time. It’s not a particularly fast 10K but I started with someone I knew would be running the right pace, stuck with them until 8K and then had a strong finish to get under the 40 minute mark.
Q4: What does running mean to you?
Ray: I’ve always been into sports and fitness so running has become my way of keeping fit. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area to run in and it is so nice to just get out and explore. Running is also a great way to explore a new city or area and I always bring my running shoes when I go away anywhere now. Finally, the running community is great and I’ve enjoyed meeting many wonderful people through running.
Q5: Do you have a top tip for other runners?
Ray: Stretch, stretch, stretch! Over the years I’ve had my fair share of running niggles/injuries and I now religiously stretch every day to try to keep injuries at bay.
Q6: Anything else you would like to add?
Ray: I’m Chief Marshal for the Run Macc Fest on September 22 which is the premier running event for our club which raises thousands each year for local charities. We put on a Fun Run, 5K, Half Marathon and new for this year a 10K. It is a fabulous community event and I encourage all club members to either run or help out on the day.