Why I Run: Emma Neachell

Runner and hydrologist Emma Neachell talks about 4:30am runs, being an ambassador for the Birmingham 10K MoRun and volunteering at parkrun

About Emma: Emma, 40, has been running since her school days. She’s a full-time hydrology (rivers) technical specialist and part-time runner. She’s had to spend a lot of time on the injury bench in recent years, but is fired up to run in support of Movember, championing men’s health (mo-running.com). You can catch up with her over at @thephdrunner

How did you get into running?
I’ve always been a keen runner; PE lessons were the highlight of my school week. While my friends dreaded double-games on a Thursday afternoon, I looked forward to the 800m and 1500m in the summer and cross-country in the winter.

What do you remember about your first race?
I remember representing my school at the Midlands Independent Schools cross-country championships at Bedstone College. I was one of the only runners wearing trainers rather than cross country spikes. The course was muddy and I struggled to stay upright. I didn’t make the same mistake the following year.

What race are you most proud of and why?
The 2018 Royal Parks Half Marathon. Although the weather was what I’d call ‘hydrological’ and I completely misjudged my pacing, I loved every minute of the race. More importantly, I raised over £1000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Where’s your favourite place to run and why?
I’m extremely lucky where I live because I have Sutton Park on my doorstep. I love running in and exploring the quieter areas of the park and still manage to get lost on a regular basis. I also love taking part in organised events in the park, and can’t wait to take part in the Birmingham 10k MoRun on November 16th.

How do you fit in training with busy modern day life?
I’m very much an early morning runner. I set my alarm for 4:30am and layout my running kit the night before. Nothing beats running when most people are still sleeping.

What’s your favourite piece of running kit and why?
I’m a stats geek so I’d have to say my Garmin 235.

What has running taught you?
To listen and to respect my body more, if something hurts there’s usually a reason.

Favourite post-run treat?
I don’t like to think of it as a treat, but I do enjoy a big glass of chocolate milkshake after a long run.

Roads or trails?
I hope my sports physio isn’t reading this! I prefer running on the roads. I have long legs and can be slightly clumsy so I think roads are a slightly safer option for me. I also feel slightly safer running on roads at 4:30am, especially now winter is rapidly approaching.

 


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