13 Jul In the Spotlight – Steve Goodfellow

Firstly I’d like to thank Jan Frost for the nomination, but as I’m not what I would consider a “proper runner” I’m not sure my stories are as good or interesting as any of my predecessors on here….

When did running begin for you?

Whilst Football and Rugby have always been my two main sporting interests, I did have an obsession to become an Olympic runner when I was at school. Unfortunately, I was no sprinter so I opted for the longer races that no one else wanted to do and I would often pretend to be my boyhood hero Lasse Viren when out on my runs. In 1979 I won the School Inter-House Cross Country race by blasting from the front and staying there. Such is the size of my ego, this made me think that I was quite good and with the Olympics only a year away I was gunning for Olympic Gold. A week later I was fast tracked to the South Wales Championships at Jenner Park where I represented the school at 1500m. The same tactic applied, but because of the shorter distance involved I went off even faster. After the first lap I was a full 30m ahead of the field and in my head I was imagining Ovett, Coe and Abyd quaking in their boots. I was going to win this at a canter. Unfortunately there are actually almost 4 laps in a 1500m race and by the end of the third lap I was at least 100m behind the second last runner. By the end it was more like 150m. Maybe I wasn’t so good at running after all and with Ovett , Coe & Quinn breathing a huge sigh of relief I decided to follow my other dream of becoming a superstar of Rugby instead.

Why do you run?

After leaving school I joined my local Rugby Club The Old Penarthians RFC and I quickly realised that rugby was fun, involved beer and we would beat our close rivals Canton RFC on a regular basis. However, as I got older I found that it was getting more and more difficult to keep up with the younger guys coming through, so I started jogging regularly by myself rather than just tagging along to Club Rugby sessions. One of the younger lads was a slightly shy and timid player named Jon Lewis and I would regularly have to come to his aid when things became a bit tough on the field and we have been friends ever since. Unfortunately rugby doesn’t come without its injuries and following two patella tendon ruptures I finally retired from rugby in 2003 and then started running as a form of rehabilitation. This swiftly evolved into running regularly for fun, then onto competition & races and before I knew it the obsession had begun.

Have you had any unusual or memorable incidents in a race?

I remember running the Cardiff Half in 2009 before I owned a Garmin watch. I was looking for a time of around 1:45 but when I turned up there were only 1:40 or 1:50 pacers there. I decided to follow the 1:40 pacer and try to hold on rather than try to stay ahead of the 1:50 pacer. I stuck to him like glue and we became quite chatty and friendly. He told me after about 5 miles that his shoe lace had come undone but he carried on. At about 8 miles I was done, I couldn’t run another step at that pace and at the exact moment I was about to slip quietly away from the pack he informed me that his other lace had become undone and asked me to hold the sign whilst he did them up. Now, the thought of dropping away appealed to me but, and this might come as a surprise to you, the idea of carrying the marker with at least 50 or so runners following my every step appealed to me even more. Challenge accepted and I carried on. As I said earlier, I had no Garmin so I had no idea how fast I was going. I carried on and on for what seemed an eternity and it must have been a full mile later that my soon to be ex-friend snatched the sign back off me and angrily informed me I had just run a 7:10 mile. At this point, and with our friendship clearly over, I really did slip away and the last 4 miles were the longest and slowest miles I have ever run.

What race or moment in your running career holds the most significance and why?

An easy one, it has to be Endure 24, the Glastonbury for runners with Jon Lewis, Steve Farmer & Peter “The Boy” Trott. The Forerunners, the 4 Amigos, the friends.

Using head torches for the night legs the race was a 24 hour continuous relay over a 5 mile route through the beautiful countryside of Berkshire on a course very similar to Cosmeston Woods. We arrived early on the Friday morning in our Caravan and quickly set up camp. When we headed to the start line some 24 odd hours later our expectations of doing well were at an all-time low. This was largely, or should I say entirely due to the fact that we managed to while away the previous day in a bar we happened to stumble upon. Such negativity seemed misplaced however, because Steve Farmer somehow managed to bump himself to pole position at the start line and when the gun went off he was out of the blocks like a thoughbred racehorse. For a period of time we were actually winning the entire race, things were looking good. Sadly for Steve he appeared to forget that the race actually lasted for 24 hours, not 24 seconds and he was soon passed by the several thousand other runners he had managed to push in front of. Inspite of this we actually did quite well in our category and as it was such a fantastic weekend we repeated the event last year. I would highly recommend this event to anyone wishing to try something similar.

Who is your running inspiration?

This is a difficult one, there are so many. It could be any one out of Malcolm Bradley, Dr Frank, Chris Nellins, Simon Williamson, Terry McCarthy, Clem Clement, Brian Law or Steve Farmer. These guys regularly and consistently smash out times that some runners half their age would be proud of and gives me hope that I could achieve something similar when I am older.  If I had to pick a winner I would opt for Malcolm “Malco-man” Bradley who is probably the fastest downhill runner in the Club.

What event, past or present, would you like to take part in and why?

I’m not really sure, along with Andrea we have already run five London Marathons, four Great North Runs, two Great Irish Runs, the Great South Run, the Marathon De-Medoc & the Worcester Wineathon so I’ve pretty much achieved all my goals.

I suppose due to its significance, it would have been great to have been in the field when Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile for the first time. I was part of Paula Radcliffe’s World Record in London but I don’t think that would count. However the one I would have to chose is to have been one of the pace makers at the end of Kipchoge’s epic sub 2hr marathon last year

Why did you join P&D?

I was training for the 2012 London Marathon and I felt the need to vary my training. I was getting bored running endless miles by myself and felt the need for a more structured and competitive method of training. P&D are my local club so I popped by one January evening in 2012 and was made to feel  welcome by everyone I came into contact with.  I’ve been here ever since.

What golden piece of advice would you give to other runners?

Advice that I would give to other runners would be:-

Run for fun,

Run to stay fit,

It’s not a crime to be competitive

Make friends along the way, most of the friends I now have are people I’ve only met through running.

If all the above applies to you, join a club – our club.

Following a race don’t beat yourself up if you lose to someone you were in competition with or if you don’t make the time you had hoped for. Don’t make excuses, but be gracious in defeat, and use it as an inspiration to do better next time.

However my Golden piece of advice is more of a Handy Tip. We’ve all been there, you go on your long run or race and a stone falls into your shoe. Although very uncomfortable you carry on for a few miles until you absolutely have to stop and remove it. You would have had a much more enjoyable run if you had simply removed it when it happened.

What’s next?

Like most runners, I’ve a few niggly injuries to deal with first, but all being well I hope to have a good 2021 and so far have Liverpool Rock & Roll Marathon sub 4hr as my target.

Who would you like to nominate?

I would like to nominate one of the most popular members of the club, the Little Lady with the massive kick, Judy Maragna…..


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