Your Name: Laurence Chownsmith
Occupation: National sales Manager REHAU Ltd
Home Town: Windsor
What is your running background?
Running for 30+ years , mainly half and full marathons.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
Ran the Windsor half marathon on a whim, though also thought the training would keep me fit for Hockey and Squash. I now only run ! I followed Martin Ilott on Spartathlon in 2006 on a bike and then decided to give Ultras a go.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
I don’t do that many Ultras in a year , but GUCR , LLCR and in Greece. I like local marathons and half marathons.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Best finish time wise was the 2015 Sakura Michi Nature run in Japan 255km in 34.03. I have really enjoyed running the GUCR the Olympian races because of their friendly organizers and volunteers.
What was your hardest race experience?
I find the Ultras are always tough, but the Spartathlon in 2011, in the hottest weather was a killer.
What events do you have planned for 2017 up to Spartathlon?
Ultras: Dolihos in April, GUCR in May and the LLCR in August.
However I may change this to more marathons and less Ultras.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
I don’t have a specific one, but I do try not to go off too quickly but keep a steady pace and run to how I am feeling. I like the feeling of two marathons under the belt , it feels like the race has just started. I am careful not to try and work out how far it is to go and how long it will take. For me these things are a distraction and can be very counter- productive.
What does a typical training week look like?
I don’t have one. Though as the Ultra comes closer, 4-8 weeks , I tend to try and run 3 times a week with a long Saturday and Sunday run in the Windsor Great Park. This year for the Spartathlon I am going to concentrate on speed over a 3 hour course.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Start slowly and enjoy the event.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
I played rugby for England when I was 16, I stayed a 11 stone, so converted to Hockey by 19!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
How did you get on?
DNF & timed out.
What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time?
Train to run a Marathon in 3.45 and to feel comfortable. This is important as your need to run two marathons in the heat in approximately 9 hours and have something left in the tank for the next 4 Marathons.
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
The pain, traffic and oil refineries.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
As stated before I will do a few Ultras but for the Spartathlon I am going to concentrate on speed over a 3+ hour course.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
Yes , Martin Ilott and Steven his Son. Martin is an old hand at the Spartathlon finishing 6 times out of 10 . Steven is a Greek and Latin Scholar at University College London.