Robert Austin

Over time, we’re going to introduce our members by way of a series of questions we’ve put to them; they’ve kindly agreed to let us publish their answers. On this occasion, it’s the turn of Robert Austin

How long have you been a member?

Since 2015

Why did you start running?

I always had an interest in running. I was a sprinter at school. The grammar school I attended was close to Wormwood Scrubs prison, and our cross country route was around (the outside of!) the prison walls. 

During my career as a systems consultant, I often worked very long days, but still tried to fit in some running as a form of mental relaxation. I still reckon my best ideas were formulated while out jogging.

When I retired in 2015 I had more time to spare for running, and I remember Balbinder Singh mentioning DHAC while we were parkrunning. Regular training at the Club certainly improved both my running enjoyment and performances.

Around this time I also set up a ‘mini running club’ called Thorntree Villas  Vets in our cul-de-sac in Middleton St George, where we still compete for a quarterly trophy. I managed to do my 200th parkrun in January 2020, just in time before an eye injury (now healed) and then of course our enforced Covid-19 lock down.

Favourite type of running (Road, XC, T&F, Fell etc)?

Definitely road. XC is too muddy for me!! My younger son tried some fell running and said ‘never again’!

Best event you’ve taken part in (and why)?

Many years ago I regularly ran the Great North Run. Always a great day out, and I always had a celebratory ice cream at the end at my favourite café on the sea front.

Event you’re looking forward to (and why)?

Getting back to parkrun!

And in January 2021 I will become part of the V65-69 category, which will be a milestone to aim for.

What’s on your headphones while you train?

I do not wear headphones.

Favourite training session (and why)?

Hill reps (not really!). Actually though, there is a nice hill near where I live, which goes down to the Tees. Hardly any traffic and very picturesque in good weather.

Do you take your trainers on holiday? If yes, where is the best place you’ve trained/ran?

Yes, I enjoy running while on holiday.

When our sons were very young we had several holidays in Cornwall. Running along the local cliff paths was fantastic. My wife would supervise tea times with the two boys, leaving me to do my own thing.

Pre race food & drink of choice?

Very boring – Mars bar and banana, plus water

Post race food & drink of choice?

See above!

Favourite place to run?

This may sound a bit unimaginative, but I do have a selection of running routes from home. Getting back for a tea or coffee, plus cake, is the incentive.

Best Club related memory?

Not sure it’s a good memory, but one that sticks out is the Sunderland 10K in 2015. The weather was atrocious and I seriously thought of abandoning the run at the start line. The camaraderie at the start line kept me going however.

If you could go for a long chatty run with anyone, who would it be and why?

Mo Farah, I think. He would have to slow down a fair bit to allow any chatting though.

Describe our club in three words?

Vincit Qui Patitur