MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Every month we introduce one of our members, this month's featured member is Sean Davey, pictured before starting his first ever race.
1. How long have you been running ?
I’ve been running properly for 35 years. It’s the one thing I was naturally good at and in school I was usually in the top three when we were bussed down to do circuits of Tredegar Park for PE. I joined the Cross Country Running club which was started in the Fifth Year, but the teacher broke his leg after one outing so that was the end of that.
2. How long have you been with CRC?
I checked back and my earliest run for CRC appears to be Nov 2007 running cross country at Bath University. Back in my twenties I was a member of Newport Harriers and was running really well, usually averaging 6 minute miles during races up to 10 miles in distance. I did the hilly Islwyn Half Marathon in 1hr 19 mins and Cardiff 10k in under 36 mins but then had terrible shin splints for over a year and had to stop running for a while. I was living in Caerleon from 1987 doing the annual fun run in Caerleon but then had an accident where I crushed my back at the age of 40 and had to have a discectomy. I thought I’d never be able to run again, but after a partial recovery I started to focus on triathlon and so joined CRC to try and get my running back on track. Many members may not have seen me because my back has caused everything to tighten up and I get a lot of problems with my calves. I try not to run more than twice a week and unable to do much training with the club as I get the red mist in a group situation and end up injured, so keep fit with cycling mainly.
3. What inspired you to start running?
From the age of 16 I was riding motorcycle trials so started running along the canal to keep up my fitness. My girlfriend’s brother and sister had entered the Cwmbran 7 mile fun run in 1984 when I was 20, so she encouraged me to join in (see photo). I did the race in my steel toe capped trainers from work and finished in third place so off the back of that I bought some trainers and did the Gwent Half Marathon in the October of 1984. I was so naive I didn’t even get my time, but I finished 40th in a big field. Shortly after I joined Harriers.
4. What motivates you to keep running?
I don’t need any motivation, I absolutely love running and if it wasn’t for my fragile back I’d probably run most days. From a health perspective, I’m overweight and running is the best way to lose weight. From a competition perspective, I usually aim to do one or two Triathlons a year and some XC with the club as I like to mess around in the mud whether running or biking.
5. What is your running ambition?
I still think I can get under 2 hours 30 mins in the Olympic Triathlon. In 2018 everything was on track in Cardiff and my calf popped on the last leg of the 10k run and after limping back for the last 2.5k I finished in about 2hrs 32mins – gutted.
6. What do you consider your proudest moment?
I’ve only ever kept one race number which I wrote the time on the back of and it was for the Transporter Bridge Race Series organised by Newport Harriers and similar to the Rose Inn Series. On 4th June 1992 I completed the 4 mile distance in 23 mins and 9 seconds which is the fastest pace I ever averaged. My mother, wife and son watched and I was so exhilarated but of course it didn’t mean much to them. My boy said “can we go for chips now Daddy” – boom!
7. What is your favourite race and why?
I love any Cross Country event but for road it has to be the Cardiff Half Marathon, even though it’s too far a distance for my fragile legs and my back. It’s such a great club occasion, everyone is pumped and the crowds, entertainment and atmosphere are amazing. I went down on the club bus one year and it was a great craic.
8. What is your favourite music to run to or what do you think about while running?
It’s far too dangerous to listen to music whilst running, unless you’re on a treadmill. I think you should keep your wits about you and listen to your body if you want to do well. I tend to have a nose at people’s houses when I’m running and imagine potential home improvements.
9. What advice would you give to a new runner?
1) Join a club – CRC is a brilliant environment and has developed many great quality runners over the years as well as maintaining a fantastic social calendar with supporting advice & encouragement available from everyone for runners of all abilities. You don’t have to like cake to join but it helps.
2) Establish your Comfort Zone – when I started people were trying to do 100 miles a month. This doesn’t suit everyone so find your favourite distance and ignore pressure to over extend yourself.
3) Train on grass occasionally – constant road running was bad for me and not everyone can sustain it without injury. Jessica Ennis trained on grass and it worked for her!
4) Runderwear – a revelation and the single most important running item I’ve discovered. No more chafing.
5) Appreciate the Marshalls/Organisers/Committee Members. No race ever happens without the behind the scenes efforts of the stalwarts of a club so volunteer occasionally to give a bit back.