Introducing the inspirational Daniel Ivey from the Garden of England, Kent. Daniel started running in 2012, giving himself six months to train for his first marathon – London – which he ran for charity. He is now a regular parkrunner and marathon pacer, and runs his own Facebook group which was shortlisted at the running awards in 2018.
We caught up with Daniel to discuss his love for running, his best experiences and how to get started.
Hi Dan, great to have you sharing your thoughts today. Let’s start with three things we should know about you.
Hi Vivi! Okay, I only started running when I was 36, I love Kendal mint cake, and I’ve been married to a lovely lady for 21 years!
Thanks! So, what is it about running you love so much? How did you get started?
I find that you can escape from the stresses of life and finding a new trail or new route that I haven’t run down is very exciting to see where it leads.
I decided to start running back in 2012 as I could see myself starting to get overweight and my kids used to joke that my tummy looked like Daddy Pigs!
I gave myself 6 months to train for my first marathon and ran the London Marathon for charity.
If you had to say what the number one best thing and most challenging thing about running is, what would you say?
The best thing about running is that all you need is a decent pair of running shoes and you can pretty much set off and find somewhere to run – I love the fact that you could be out running one day and as you pass someone a little nod or wave from a fellow runner makes the running family a great one.
The most challenging thing for me is finding the time around work and family life but I try to train at least 3 times a week – I run parkrun on Saturday and a nice long Sunday morning run.
What would you say to anyone looking to start running, but not sure where to begin?
Firstly don’t compare yourself to others – even the elite athletes started somewhere.
When I started I couldn’t even run down the road let alone any further, but as time goes by you slowly learn that you can run further than you thought and it really does become easier and enjoyable.
If you have someone to run with it makes it easier as it’s great company and it helps motivate you when you don’t want to go for a run, but I find I am always glad I did afterwards.
parkrun is a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning and anyone can go along to your local parkrun, plus it is completely free and run by volunteers and there is no pressure to run – you can walk, run or jog.
Couldn’t agree more – we love the inclusivity of parkrun. What running gear couldn’t you live without?
My Suunto GPS watch – I’m not really one to look at times but I like to see the routes I have run and how far I have run.
What motivates and inspires you / what keeps you going when it gets tough?
All I have to do is look back at photos of myself when I started running and look at photos now and see how much fitter and healthier I am.
I know that had I not started running I would have definitely continued down a path I didn’t really want to go down and not sure where I would have ended.
We spotted you at the Brighton Marathon, running as an official pacer. As a regular parkrunner and marathon pacer, what has been your best running experience?
My best running experience was running my two hundredth parkrun.
My family support me through giving me time to run and they know I do love to run parkrun on Saturday morning and the best thing was that on the morning of my two hundredth parkrun they all surprised me at the end by turning up with balloons – this included my 18-year-old son who got out of bed early on Saturday to come and see me finish.
I also love to support and help people by offering advice and helping people to find the right pace – we all go off too quick at the start of a race so it’s all about finding a balance and making sure you don’t burn out towards the end of a race.
I run the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/runfies and have grown the group to over 12,000 runners from all over the world in just over 4 years.
Thanks Daniel, follow his running journey on his social channels below:
Facebook page – www.facebook.com/daniveyrunner
Twitter – https://twitter.com/daniveyrunner
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/daniveyrunner
Here’s Daniel running his 225th parkrun.