''Inspiring striding'' blog series - featuring Andrew

Posted by Peter Goldring on

Inspiring striding – Andrew

We have so much love for our happystride community ❤️  You guys are so inspiring and we want to get to know you guys a little better...and we know others would like to as well.

SO we bring you to....the third post in our new blog series ..."Inspiring striding"!!! We have the legend Andrew Featherstone join us!🖊

We are so pleased to have Andrew as our guest! 😍 Andrew has 41 pieces of happystride kit including 23 pairs of shorts - as far as we know no one has more happystride kit than Andrew!!

Thank you for joining us Andrew... and over to you to answer this weeks questions and inspire us!

How long have you been running for and how did you originally get into it?

I started running in about 2003 to get fitter so that I could be a little less tired after games of rugby. I had put on a fair bit of weight in my teens and needed to lose some weight. I was about 16 stone. I started with couch to 5k and built up. By 2007 I was entering races and as they say the rest is history. But it is too interesting to just stop there. I started running with Billingham Marsh House Harriers where I met my wife Emma (whom I had gone to school with many years earlier). We ran together in the same group and both moved to Sedgefield Harriers when our life moved us geographically. My running over the years has been a bit hit and miss as I suffer with CFS/ME but it hasn't stopped me running marathons.

What’s your greatest running achievement?

Bit hard to choose but I think it has to be a choice between a 1h28m16s half marathon at the Great North run in 2012 or my Sub 3.45 marathon at York in 2018. Both different parts of my life -2012, ill and weighing 10st and 2018 being fit and healthy over 2st heavier. Keeping up with Paula Radcliffe and Aly Dixon at Sunderland 10k for the first 2 miles was great too.

Where is your favourite place to run?

Probably got to be the trails and back roads near where I live in Sedgefield. But having run over Sydney Harbour Bridge and Central Park in NYC they come a close 2nd and 3rd

What are your top 3 running tips?

Don't be a slave to your Watch

Fuel up to feed success

Wear kit that makes you happy (Hence my love for Happystride)

What does your running schedule typically look like and how do you fit it into your life?

Life with two kids under six is fun so running is very mix and match with my wife's running. She tends to take the early morning and I take the evenings after work. Saturday tends to be my long run…usually about fifteen miles with an early start and finish at parkrun. Sunday I tend to rest. I generally run one evening (speedwork) after finishing work and one lunch at work which is social with a colleague. In a week normally four runs occasionally five.

What’s your dream race?

Having been in Boston in the lead up to Boston Marathon and having a shake out run with Bart Yasso and Deena Kastor has so inspired me to try to get to into Boston before I am 50. Need to find 45 mins to make the cut so far.

Who are your running inspirations and why?

There are a few so bear with me. The first one is a bit cheesy but it is my wife Em. She just amazes me with how she balances work and parenting. The fact she ran to up to 40 plus weeks pregnant with both our kids was inspiring too.

My second inspiration is Aly Dixon. An absolute local legend up North and to see her take the world 50k title and be a top runner for over a decade is great.

My 3rd inspiration is Halle Gabreselase. Absolute legend…Dominated the world scene before all the technology took over. 

We understand you’re a RD at parkrun, tell us a bit more about that?

I took up parkrunning in 2008 when Albert parkrun had just started (at its second event) and ran there most Saturdays. In 2011 I was asked to have a go at timing once a month, then a year later having a go as RD….I have acted as an RD ever since and then in 2018 took over as ED (Event Director) too as well as being a parkrun adjudicator ambassador visiting other events to share good practice. RD'ing involves coordinating your volunteer roster during the week and then on the morning managing to be chief loudmouth to issue instructions and then oversight of the event as it runs including responding to issues with tags/timing/medical issues. I've volunteered 220 times now. ED involves doing the unseen stuff like risk assessment, leasing with local authorities and budget control.

What’s your favourite happystride pattern and why? 

For a long time I would have said Hectic Geometric or the Retro party….but Wiggle and Wave currently my favourite.

If you could design the next pair of happystride shorts, what pattern would you choose and why?

I would love to see a design which encompasses an illustrated map…being a Geography teacher and all that.

Thank you Andrew for joining us!

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