Your Name: Jon Panter
Occupation: Ecological Consultant
Home Town: Northampton
What is your running background?
I have always run, in my teens and twenties it was very much as cross training for other sports. I probably didn’t enjoy it that much, but forced myself to go out. In my thirties when children came along and I was too broken to do anything else, it was to keep the beer belly in check. When I realised that every time you stepped out the door you didn’t have to run as fast and as far as you possible could, I started to really enjoy it. About 8 years ago I joined the local running club (Northampton Road Runners), this was probably the best sporting decision I have ever made. I met some really crazy people, being an easily led individual the rest as they say is….
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
I am a bit of a newbie to ultras, I, run for the club in a cross country league but have never really enjoyed the atmosphere at 10k or half marathons. The ultra community might be quite small but welcomes you with open arms, the support and love I got for just rocking up and having a go was phenomenal. After I finished my first 50 miler, I sat on Henley station texting my wife to never ever let me do something as stupid as this again. Three weeks later I was running a 45 miler.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
You would normally find me running along the footpaths of Northamptonshire. I have signed up for a couple of Challenge running and Centurion’s 100 milers this year, was thinking of doing the Grand Slam but can’t see this happening now.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Not a lot compared to most people in the team. Although I have picked up a couple of first V50 since turning 50 last year. Running the 2016 Autumn 100 in under 20 hours made me realise I might be ok at the ultra lark. I’ve been knocking chunks of time of all my races, I just want to see where I can take it.
What was your hardest race experience?
Running the Chiltern Way Ultra last year. No one likes to DNF especially when you are timed out at the last checkpoint. It was not the distance (although the course is really tough), but some bad navigation errors that really screwed me up. I had great crew and fantastic support from Challenge Running, I was just crap on the day(s)! If you take the time to look, you can take a lot of positives from these experiences.
This is still my favourite race and I will nail it.
What events do you have planned for 2016 up to Spartathlon?
I am running Ultrabalaton in May and will run a number of 100 milers leading up to the middle of August.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
I formulate a plan in my head based around a HR and try to stick to it, whatever is happening around me. If this gets me 2/3 of the way, then at the end I just rely on being a stubborn old git, who won’t give up.
What does a typical training week look like?
Work as for everyone gets in the way. If I can, I will get back to back long runs over the weekend. I try and do a spin class on a Monday night, I find it’s a great way of taking the pressure off tired legs and providing a bit of cross training (still not sure about all the flashing lights and music!!). I run most days including a club night, not fast, just time on my feet and enjoying the moment.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Smile, laugh, enjoy it – you have paid good money for all this pain. You will never know what you can achieve until you try.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
I am married with two teenage daughters, and that’s the reason I so much!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
All of it, living the dream!!
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
The good the bad even the ugly (me post 100 miles). Being a Spartathlon virgin what is there not to look forward to?
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Not sure I will change much, run hard, improve my baseline speed a little and make sure I rest well leading up to the race.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
No, the only bloke crazy enough to crew for me is running Spartathlon as well. Think he could have been a little bit more considerate!