ABOUT GUY THOMPSON
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First, let me tell you a bit more about my own running career. I stumbled into running because I was hopeless at hockey and cricket so ended up with cross-country and middle-distance running, where I was successful at school and university, without any outstanding talent.
I went to school in Eastbourne on the south coast and loved running on the turf of the South Downs, behind the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head. After a 10 minute pull along chalky tracks from sea-level to the top of the downs, miles of springy turf or the ups and downs of cliff top paths lay ahead. I found that once I was fit running was easy and something I could really enjoy. An eye-opener for me came in 1972 at the age of 14 when I came in a good second in the 1500 metres at the Sussex Schools county championships. While I was recovering, I watched 16 year old Steve Ovett smash the European under 17 record for 800 metres. He looked very flashy in his floral running shorts (it was just out of the 60s). Little did I know that 8 years later he would be Olympic 800 metres champion.
For the next 2 years I won the Sussex Schools 3000 metres and competed in the National Schools Championship , though never troubling the leaders. But the first time I participated the race was won by the young Sebastian Coe, in a rare venture in what for him was a longer distance. So at least I was on the same track as the multiple world record-breaker and double Olympic champion!
After that, my running career unfortunately didn’t go any further. At Oxford I tried hard to get a cross-country ‘Blue’, with peak training of 60 miles per week in 10 sessions per week. But that was too much for my body and I was injured in the full length trial.
So after running in my teens and then working as a lawyer (specialising in software law) for 25 years, I’m now revisiting my running roots. Maybe running is in the genes after all: in 2014 my younger brother ran the London Marathon at the age of 53 and my daughter ran the same race in 2016!