Your Name: Jamie Holmes
Occupation: I run a small Management Consultancy firm
Home Town: Wandsworth, 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 group of friends (David Bone, James Ellis and Darren Strachan). All four of us are running Spartathlon this year – unbelievable luck given the odds of all getting in. We don’t enter too many events, but all love to run the Brighton Marathon.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
I have a marathon PB of 3:18, a 100km PB of 9:38 a 24 hour PB of 112.36 miles and a Sparta finish in 2015 of 35h 39m.
What was your hardest race experience?
Running the wonderfully punishing Spartathlon – although crewing for James Ellis for Sparta 2016 made me realise just how hard it is on the crew as well!!!
What events do you have planned for 2017 up to Spartathlon?
Nothing official as the ones I wanted to do are all scheduled when I am away – so lots of time running wherever I can!
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
Enjoy it, smile and cling on for dear life!
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 work, despite knowing it will help, I never get around to doing it. Having now had experience with Sparta, I am planning on doing lots of hill work. I love my cycling so 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?
In 1966 my father built and ran the Hellas Can factory in Corinth (the first major checkpoint of the race) – when I ran the race in 2015 I suspect his highlight was popping in to the factory and giving out some service awards to some of the employees.
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
Yes, in 2015
How did you get on?
The most love/hate relationship – I think my race report is on the site somewhere, so take a look. The good news is that I finished, the bad news is that I then fainted whilst having a shower back in the hotel – the lovely Paul Ali gave me his shorts because my luggage had been misplaced!
What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time?
If you don’t have any crew then you are truly hard core! Start off as slow as is comfortable and then keep going at that pace for as long as possible!!! Walk up the hills and enjoy the rest. Enjoy the whole magical experience.
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
The whole event is magical. But being part of the UK team (runners and crew) adds another dimension. And then to top it all, running with my 3 running buddies – what could be better?
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
The blisters and the pain in the quads coming down hill!
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Hill training and getting the distance in the legs
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
Oh yes – I think the whole family is coming – Chevs (wife) will be crewing and then I have my two sisters, one brother-in-law and my Mum and Dad – there is also the possibility that some of the team from our Bulgaria office my “pop over”.