Your Name: Neil Cloke
Occupation: Security Analyst
Home Town: Ashford
What is your running background?
Started running for fitness on my own. I then joined Ashford & district Road Running club for a while and then got more into trail running as the years have gone on. Running keeps me sane
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
My first Ultra event was the Gatliff 50 in 2009. My mate thought it would be a good idea, I thought in for a penny in for a pound. The furthest I had ran then was a half marathon and hardly any cross country / trails. The weather was a nightmare and we ended up wading through a few farm fields up to armpits in flood water. My mate dropped out due to a knee issue, but I continued to the end and finished. At the end I just felt alive and realized I that I actually really enjoyed the challenges of ultras
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
More likely mountain marathons or anything challenging.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Doing my first 100 miler in under 24hrs and doing my first 128 miler unsupported in just under 26hrs.
What was your hardest race experience?
My first Mountain Ultra, TDS 2012, so had no idea what to expect. The weather was horrendous. Over 50% drop out. I spent 29 hrs in this until the end.
What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon?
My own road training along with few ultras in the UK and then the ITT in Val d’isere, France. Currently looking into the Hardmoor 160 (Editors Note: Jon Steele will be pleased to hear this!)
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
What does a typical training week look like?
A lot of cross training, speed work and longer runs at weekends.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Start steady, prepare the mind to expect the unexpected and adapt and overcome.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
Broke both of my legs in Australia in 2003 and didn’t walk for 7 months. They said I wouldn’t have walked properly and would have issues with this and running for the rest of my adult life. I proved them wrong and through exercise and determination I have been able to do what I do now.
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
The challenge, atmosphere and meeting the team!
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Run in the sun a lot!
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
My longtime girlfriend Basia and that’s it. She will be coming along to keep me sane…if that is possible.