Steve Goodwin will be running his 100th accompanied by many of his friends.
Steve’s interest in running only began in 1982 when the 1st Newark Half Marathon took place in his home town. Up until then from the age of 12 his main sporting interest was tennis, playing team tennis for two local Nottinghamshire clubs.
For Steve, running 13.1 miles seemed the ultimate challenge with no idea of any structured training and running in his “Green Flash” tennis shoes. Each year he would run this half marathon until the thought of attempting to run a full marathon grew larger in his mind.
With only one 20 mile training run in pouring rain, Steve crossed the 1987 London Marathon on Westminster Bridge in 4:16 and immediately told friends and family, “never, ever again!”
However, several days later the mantra, “pain is temporary, pride is forever”, resonated with Steve and the immense sense of personal achievement rather than being part of a tennis team, relying on others, gradually meant that running overtook playing tennis.
For a number of years he helped organise the Newark Half Marathon, becoming the Race Director on condition he could still run the race between setting up the start and finish and working out the prize winners. After moving to Winchester Steve would travel to Newark each year to run the race but sadly the race finished in 2011 with Steve being the only person to have run all 30.
It was on this occasion that Steve was surprised on the start line by fellow WADAC member Mike Davies, who with his wife Sue and son, Matt, had travelled the 175 miles from Hampshire to run Steve’s 30th and 100th half marathon with him……something Steve will never forget.
Becoming older normally equates to slower race times but for Steve this was reversed at the age of 50 in 2005, when he achieved personal bests in the following distances:
10k 37:49 Totton
10 miles 63:31 Alton
Half Marathon 1:24:51 St Malo
20 Miles 2:14:35 Mad March Hare
Marathon 3:01:45 London
These times were only made possible by belonging to one of the best clubs in the the country, Winchester and District Athletic Club. The support and encouragement by all the coaches like Alan Coveney, Lou Walker and fellow club members gives everyone the chance to run to the best of their ability and on occasions, beyond their expectations.
Steve’s training partner at the time and to whom he owes a huge debt of gratitude was Katharine Jones (a previous winner of the Clarendon Marathon and sub-3 hour marathon runner). Their long hard Saturday runs around Sarisbury Green were paramount to Steve’s success.
Steve continued to run marathons both here and abroad, and when Gareth Hardman suggested the 55km Laugavegur Ultra Marathon trail race in the Southern Highlands of Iceland, Steve joined him, Michaela McCallum, Malcolm Green and Katharine in running his first ultra distance race.
Many runners turn to running ultras and Steve is no exception. The majority are off-road with wonderful scenery, the camaraderie between competitors second to none, satisfaction guaranteed…and you can walk the hills!
Pushing back further boundaries soon followed with two and three day multi day events…no day shorter than the marathon distance and most 30 miles +. One race which has always fascinated Steve is the famous “Comrades Marathon” in South Africa. This 56 mile race alternates between Durban and Pietermaritzburg (the “up run”), and is reversed for the “down run”. Entry is by qualification with a strict finishing time limit of 12 hours.
In 2011 Steve ran the “up run” in just over 10 hours and the following year’s “down run”, 30 minutes slower not only receiving a second Comrades medal but also the highly coveted “back to back” third medal as well.
Steve has been fortunate not only to train and run with some great people but also to meet and make new friends at many of his races. People like Harry Hunter from Windsor who Steve got to know during Comrades….a retired Regimental Sergeant Major with a reputation of telling the corniest of jokes, but a wonderful inspiration to all runners.
There is also Sean and Coleen from Wales, together with their friends Russell and Roger. Steve ran nearly 40 miles of his second Comrades with Sean whose younger legs helped him to run a faster time. Steve was pleased to be at the finish when Sean completed his 100th marathon earlier this year in May.
Running is a very sociable sport and Steve has been pleased to train with and run many of his off-road marathon/ultras and shorter distances with fellow WADAC members and friends like Malcolm Green, Mike Davies, Jo Jeffries, Rachel Byers (Stonehenge Stomp), Charlotte Sharman (the 2-day 70 mile “Round the Isle of Wight” and “Dorset Doddle), Marie Shone (32 mile “Dartmoor Discovery”), Lisa Mortimore and Lisa Hennen (66 mile “Pilgrims”, 33 mile “Dorset Doddle”, 80 mile “Atlantic Coastal Challenge”…each easily recognisable by wearing pink), Graeme Harper (“Atlantic Coastal Challenge”), Sean Birch (“Rhonda Roller Coaster”, “Portsmouth Coastal Marathon”), Lynne Whittaker and Debbie Rhodes, (Combe Gibbet 16), plus twice a week lunchtime training with Natalie Cain. The highlight though was being able run with his wife Gill in the 2009 London marathon.
Running is all about challenging oneself and Steve has certainly tried to do that with 6 “Tough Guys”, 19 London’s, 4 New York’s, 2 Comrades, 4 Clarendon’s and 70+ other marathons together with hundred’s of shorter races. Steve does however have one final ambition, and that is to take part in the multi-day “Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon”, a self supported 250km event in the Kalahari Desert!
Most poignant race: 2012 Portsmouth Coastal Marathon - the day after his dad died
Most scenic: The 2008 Laugavegur Ultra Marathon in Iceland
Most unusual: The Cape Wrath Marathon (includes a motor boat), and the BNF 5K
Most rewarding: The 2008 Cayman Islands Marathon - 1st over 50
Most successful : London 2005 - 3:01:45 (1245th out of 35,105 finishers)
Most special: 2014 Boston - a year after the bombing
Hardest: 2011 and 2012 Comrades, 1987 London and the 2008 Three Peaks World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge in North Yorkshire
Most memorable: 2009 London with Gill
Most mentally demanding: 2013 Littledown marathon - 26 laps around Littledown Park :(
Steve is the first to agree that belonging to a club like Winchester and District AC offers many opportunities to take part in different events like track and field, relays including the “Welsh Castles” - 210 miles over two days. and the Test Way. Also, on a number of occasions, to travel with club members to Bra in Italy for the “Nove Miglia” road race.
When Steve realised he was edging towards his 100th marathon his first thought was that it should be close to his 60th birthday in November and somewhere special abroad.
However, after the finishing the Lordshill 10 last year, Karen Hazlitt, one of WADAC’s most respected and successful marathon runners, asked Steve where his 100th marathon was likely to be? Steve’s response was somewhere overseas. Karen said that was a shame as several people from the club had expressed an interest in running it with him. Overcome by this unexpected knowledge Steve later realised that it is not special because of where you run your 100th marathon but who you run it with!
It then became obvious that the only possible option would be the 2014 Clarendon Marathon with the finish in Winchester.
Steve would like to thank everyone from WADAC and friends from other clubs for making his running so enjoyable and rewarding. He recognises that although his times may be slower these days, his love of the sport continues with the same enthusiasm."