Your Name: Darren Strachan
Occupation: IT Consultant
Home Town: Finsbury Park, London
What is your running background?
I was a very keen cyclist in my youth in Scotland and not really into running at all. Going to university kind of destroyed my cycling mojo and when I moved south for work it was all but gone. A colleague at work was putting in a team for the Fleet Half marathon and I entered on a whim, and really enjoyed it. This led to running the New York Marathon in 1999 and I’ve been hooked ever since.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
Like all good and silly things it started with a bet in a pub after one too many ales. In 2006, A South African friend bet that Jamie Holmes and I couldn’t do Comrades Marathon so of course we had to take on the challenge. That was a fabulous experience…. I remember coming down the hill into the cricket stadium in Pietermaritzburg just absolutely flying and feeling amazing, with the announcer shouting our names and it all just being so easy (it hadn’t been for the previous 25 miles!)…. I became thoroughly hooked on the Ultra experience too….
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
Finsbury Parkrun or, erm, Spartathlon…. This is my 3rd year in a row…..
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Finishing Spartathlon last year
What was your hardest race experience?
What events do you have planned for 2018 up to Spartathlon?
St Illtyds 100k in May, Centurion SDW100 in June, KACR in July.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
Start off way too fast, shuffle it home.
What does a typical training week look like?
At the moment I’m trying to hit around 70 miles per week. Can’t say I’m finding it easy.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Don’t be ashamed of a good walk.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
Sorry, I always struggle with this one!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
Yes, in 2016 and 2017.
How did you get on?
DNF 2016 at 128 miles. I’m still kicking myself for that one. Finished 2017.
What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time?
Do not look at the checkpoint signs, they will just mess with your head.
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
I love the night-time section, coming through all the villages as you work away from Corinth and towards Mountain Base.
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
I have a massive fear we are going to get unholy hot temperatures this year.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Just try to keep hitting a consistent weekly mileage post KACR. My place has come along quite late in the day so I won’t be doing anything too drastic.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
Yep, my brother Jeff and my running buddy in crime David Bone.