October 2023

October 2023

Alex Smith

How long have you been Running?

20 years almost to the month!

How long have you been with Caerleon Running Club and how did you come to join us?

The wonderful Ann Lewis introduced me to CRC! I met Ann when we started working together and immediately hit it off. We discovered our mutual love of running & Ann was a member of CRC and suggested I come along and that was about 4 years ago.

What inspired you to start running?

My granddad died in 2003 and for his last few months, was cared for by St David's Hospice. After he passed away, I wanted to do something to raise some money for them. It had to be something that would shock my friends & family enough to get them to donate the dosh and considering I was a smoker and couldn't run to catch a bus, I thought doing The Great North Run would fit the bill!

What motivates you to keep running?

My relationship with running has evolved over time. After I completed the GNR I wanted to continue running because I felt healthier but I didn't have much motivation & I had to force myself out for a run. These days things are very different & I am motivated by many things. I get immense joy from running with my dogs and that motivates me. I love having an event or two or three in my diary so I'm always looking to the next thing and I've come to love trail & x-country running (with and without dogs!) so new challenges & exploring new areas is a massive motivation.

What is your running ambition?

When I was a child I had a disease that affected my hip & had to undergo a few operations & a lot of physio etc.. We were told that I would always have a weakness there and would probably need a hip replacement by the time I was 40. I have no doubt that running has been the reason I have not needed that surgery (yet!). That said, my running ambition is to continue running for as long as I can & to get as much enjoyment out of it as I can ๐Ÿ˜Š

What do you consider your proudest moment?

Probably the first event I ever did, that sparked it all off - The Great North Run.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your running journey?

Not really, I think regrets are a waste of energy!

What is your favourite race, and why? If you donโ€™t race, what is your favourite run?

I think my favourite race changes every time I do a new one! For road races, Cardiff half is one of my favourites - I've done it many times & I lived in Cardiff for years so it felt like my 'local'. I also ran my fastest half at Cardiff. For trail runs, the Gower trail run was an epic event - such a beautiful location, tough and challenging but decent under foot. I had a great sense of achievement after that one.

What is your favourite music to run to? Or if you donโ€™t listen to music, what do you think about while running?

I like running with and without music so it depends on my mood. Sometimes I relish the nothingness but when I want music I have everything from Bach's cello suite to ACDC on my play list and a lot of other random stuff too

What is your go-to post-run drink or treat?

A good strong cup of tea or chocolate milk but after a particularly challenging event I always have fish and chips!

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out running?

Find what works for you. Try different terrain, run at different times of the day to see what feels right, run alone and in company, try music, podcasts, take your time and always recognise every achievement because it can be tough but it's always worth it ๐Ÿ˜Š

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I never thought being part of a running club would work for me as I'm not a great joiner and still struggle with the confidence to turn up but I'm so glad I did. I'm proud to be a part of this great club ๐Ÿ’œ.

Thank you Alex!

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Photography Credits: Tosh Simpkins & Rob Gale
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