Your Name: Matt Brand
Occupation: Business Owner
Home Town: Rugby
Twitter Account: @23MattBrand
What is your running background?
Started running to get fit and give up smoking in 2009 when we found out my wife was expecting our second child. The main aim was to try and get fit and give up smoking. I started as many do, running 5k’s and 10K’s as well as Half Marathons. Natural progression was to Marathon distance and then wanted to find out how far I could go, entering 50 milers and then 100 mile runs. I have been a member of Northampton Road Runners for about 6 years.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
My first Ultra was the Shires & Spires 35 mile race in Northants in 2013. I enjoyed this, in a funny kind of way, so looked for a couple of 50 milers to run and then progressed on to 100’s. I guess like many Ultra runners I enjoy pushing myself beyond what I thought I could possibly achieve.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
My 100 mile runs have been with Centurion Running (TP, SDW, NDW & Autumn 100), but I have also run some of the Go Beyond Ultra events. I am planning on running a couple of the Challenge Ultra’s races this year.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
To have stayed reasonably well in one piece, up to now!
What was your hardest race experience?
That has got to be either The Grizzly in Seaton, Devon or The Apocalypse 50 miler in Shropshire, can’t work out which one hurt more J
What events do you have planned for 2016 up to Spartathlon?
London Marathon, Thames Path 100, South Downs Way 100 (If I can get off the waitlist!!!), Colworth Marathon Challenge, North Downs Way 100, Chilterns Way 200K and the Great North Run.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
I usually get it all wrong…. My standard strategy is to start off steady and not push too hard too early, what usually happens is that I go off far too quickly and hold on like mad towards the end, trying not to succumb to the dreaded Death March… Hopefully I can work on making the Strategy more of a reality!!!
What does a typical training week look like?
Fitting in my running around work and daughters who train for competitive Swimming and Trampolining, which usually means that I run while they Swim/Trampoline. I try to get out for early morning runs before the rest of the family wake up and fit in a Long Run at weekends.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
When it gets tough, because at some point it will get tough, just remember there are lots of people out there who can’t do what you are doing at that point in time.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
I carry my nephews Toy Monkey with me on all my Ultra Runs, people recognise him, not me, I’m just the courier!!!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
Historic sites and scenery, I am particularly looking forward to seeing the Statue of Leonidas, as long as I am still in the race 😉
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
Running so far on Tarmac…. Or the thought of being caught by the Death Bus!!!
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Not sure at the moment, need to sort out a plan!!!
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
No support Crew, but one of my training buddies Jon Panter is running this year too.