Your Name: Jamie Holmes
Occupation: I run a small Management Consultancy firm
Home Town: London
What is your running background?
I started running in 2002 as running a marathon was on my bucket list. Until then I had not run further than 3 miles in my life.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
I ran the Comrades Marathon in 2006. I met a man training for this back in 2002 when I was training for the London Marathon – the thought back then was of utter amazement that anyone could run anything further than a marathon – so once I had done London Marathon a couple of times it seemed like a good challenge. It was wonderful.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
I tend to run on my own or with a small team of friends (all four of us entered this year’s Spartathlon but only 2 of the 4 got in (me and James Ellis) and the other 2 (David Bone and Darren Strachan are on the waiting list). We don’t enter too many events, but all love to run the Brighton Marathon and it really depends what we need to qualify for.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Whilst compared to many of the British Spartathlon team, I suspect my achievements are lowly, but I have a marathon PB of 3:18, a 100km PB of 9:38 and managed to get 112.36 miles in the 24 hour race we ran last year to qualify for Sparta.
What was your hardest race experience?
It has to be the 24 hour Ultra Run last October in Ashburn Place, East Sussex.
What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon?
Not sure at present – we are just planning the runs now. We rather fancy running Hadrian’s Wall, but probably try to do this unaided and I quite fancy the British Ultrafest on 8th August although not for the full 24 hours as this is too close to Sparta
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
To see if I can complete it!
What does a typical training week look like?
I have the good fortune of being approx. 7 miles run from work – so for me, running to and from work at least 3 or 4 times per week is a great base level training plan. My plan is also then to run long Friday mornings and then a long Saturday. I am not big on gym or strength which I need to start to do and I love my cycling that will fill in the gaps when I am not running.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Keep an eye out for anyone looking like they are in trouble and help them out. This will help them enormously but actually keeps your mind off your own agonies at the same time. And the third benefit is that if everyone adopts this tip then when you are the one in trouble then there will always be people around keen to help!
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
My sister lives in Botswana and during a recent visit to see her she managed to organize for me to run with the Kalahari Bushmen out into the bush – I attach a photo with a couple of them.
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
There is no denying it, kissing the foot of King Leonidas’ statue at the finish is the thing I am most looking forward to – but I can imagine summiting Mount Parthenio will be epic.
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
Summiting Mount Parthenio and the heat on day one leaving Athens.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Not sure yet – but having my mate James next to me will make a significant difference and hopefully I will know many of the British runners by then too.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
Hopefully by the time of the race the two chaps who have agreed to crew for James and myself will actually be running the race as they are currently on the waiting list. But if not then I could not imagine a better pair to crew – we have been through much pain as a foursome and they have helped my get through some fairly dark running periods. David Bone and Darren Strachan are equally nuts and equally able to attempt this run and hopefully I will be able to crew for them next year!