Name: Andy ‘Daysey’ Day
Occupation: Secret Squirrel
Home Town: Mansfield
What is your running background?
Played football early on. Then I became a racing cyclist & time-trialler.
I moved over to the ‘dark side’ of Triathlon / Duathlon & completed several Ironman distances & a double. I hate swimming, so decided to hang up my wetsuit & focus on Ultras
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
I think it was 2014? Race to The Stones was my first I think. I’ve done a few 100’s, UTMB, CCC & all distances in between.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
Suffolk Backyard Ultra has been a regular over the last 2 years but nothing else specific. I generally try to find a race each month & they vary in distance.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Completing 2 Spartathlons & a few wins here & there
What was your hardest experience?
Hhhhmmmm? I think it was that first RTTS (100K) I decided to take Naproxine to keep the pain at bay. What I didn’t realise was that this would shut my stomach down, want me to lay down on the trail & sleep & death march in from around 42 miles. I went from top 10 to around 30 th �� A lesson Ishall not repeat.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
Attempt to slowly ease into it & not get carried away early on. I have got a lot better at this over time. Embrace the inevitable pain / discomfort when it arrives. Smile & enjoy the journey.
This is all still a work in progress however ��
What does a typical training week look like?
Depends on the time of year & race im working towards. On average probably 45-50 miles a week, 60-70 in race season & a couple of 100mile weeks leading up to Spartathlon.
Ideally a couple of strength HIT legs sessions a week too.
In the ‘off’ season I do revert back to a bit of a ‘Gym monkey’ in an attempt to bulk back up a little & lose the ‘body of a small boy’��
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Don’t go off too fast! Enjoy the journey & smile. ��
Tell us one interesting fact about you?
I proposed to my now wife at the foot of King Leonidas, at the end of the race in 2019. Thankfully she said ‘Yes’, as it was a long way ��
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
How did you get on?
2019 – 30.40
2021 – 29.27
Where did you get your qualifier for Spartathlon:
What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time?
It’s a long way & the race doesn’t start until after the mountain. Its easy to get sucked into the atmosphere & set off like you’re in a 10k. Hold back, acknowledge all the support along the way, high five the school kids that line up along the road, take in the smell of oil (if you know…. You know ��)
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
A third finish & PB (PMA!!)
Meeting up with old crazy gang Spartathlon runners / crew & all the new ones that will ALL kiss the foot (PMA!!)
This historic race is like no other. It’s the boomerang race. It just draws you back
Looking forward to seeing the ‘newbies’ realise their dreams.
THE SPARTA UNDERPANTS MILE BAAAAABY!! (Or the Max Wall funny walk contest) This is an
unofficial event the morning after the race on the 400m track. Great fun….
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
Can’t say I relish those looooooooong uphill drags on the hard shoulder, at the back end of the race.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
As in past years my training mileage generally ramps up & starts during my Cornwall holiday (early August) I get a good hard / hilly week on the Coastal paths (70-80miles) & then build from there, up to a 2-3 weeks of 100 miles.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race? (If so, please introduce them briefly)
‘The wife’ Diane ‘Diddy’ Day – Never leave home without one! She is my voice of reason, my
extra gear, the one to tell me to ‘suck it up’ & get on with it, my number one fan who always
believes in me & my crazy race plans & allows me never to grow up.
Also our good friend Cherry, who has admitted is the opposite & will feel sorry for me & say I can stop if I want but I know she’ll harden up when she’s there
Extra Bonus Info from Andy’s wife and no.1 crew Diane:
Diane has provided the below guide to how I ALWAYS appear at the CP’s & her observations.
CP 1 – Marathon distance, you just run through, focussed don’t really talk.
CP 2 – 50 miles. Hot afternoon, we have tears, doubt, “ Can’t do it”
CP 3 – Next little town with bars (Corinth) You’re ‘gimbo’, don’t really interact.
CP 4 – Town centre where we normally get you an ice cream, I lose my patience with you and remind you how much you want to do this and that you’ve paid for it and tell you to bloody smile ��
CP 5 – Aid station at halfway, where you take your head torch, listen to previous advice and start smiling and always say “ I will finish but I’m not going for a time “
CP 6 – We normally get you a massage or chips (you take too long here) It’s getting dark now.
CP 7 – Lovely taverna, kids, families we enjoy a Greek Salad here, you had some chips the first year. A lot seem to drop out here,
CP 8 – Last one before the mountain, your spirits seem to lift and you get your competitive edge back, you don’t want to hang around. We get a coffee at the local store and the first year a bottle of olive oil, very friendly village.
CP 9 – Bottom of the mountain. After throwing up – “Right what have I got to do”. The race is on !!!
Through the night is a bit of a blur it’s all about survival. First one after the mountain is at a cute Taverna and town square.
Next CP is at the Bakery that is open and serving at about 4am and is lush !!
Last CP in the night is rubbish just literally on a street after you’ve ran long straights forever. This one is another mental one, after this one you’re into the 36 mile of rolling road back to Sparta,
Daylight starts to show and we have to make you dig in at every CP on this road.
Second to last CP is on the road after the bend in a lay-by.
15 miles left we had to tell you to run a certain pace last year , which was 15 min per mile, you said,
“ I can’t, “ I said, “ you have to!”
Last CP at the garage as you go down the hill. It’s red hot now, you have 10k to go, it’s downhill all the way now, you want to stop and sit down, I won’t let you, I shove an ice cream in your hand, you hate me!
Final stop, King Leonidas. Very very emotional. You kiss the foot……….Then you collapse lol ��