Your Name: Matt Brand
Occupation: Fire Fighter and Small 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. 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.
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. I also think I enjoy longer distances as I’m too lazy to try and run fast J
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 don’t really enter races that often.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
Sub 3 hrs at last years’ London Marathon followed by Sub 19 hrs on the TP100 one week later.
What was your hardest race experience?
Any DNF… I have had a couple on longer races and they really play with my mind. Of the races that I have completed, I think the Apocalypse 50 was pretty tough, hot and hilly!
What events do you have planned for 2018 up to Spartathlon?
Thames Path 100 is the only race I have booked in at the moment, I’m on the waitlist for the NDW100 and will probably try and squeeze in another race… it’s difficult with the shift work as all the races seem to be when I’m on shift..
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 my work, business and daughters who both train for competitive Swimming, which usually means that I try to run while they Swim. 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. And I try to remember that if I’m suffering there’s a pretty good chance others in the race are too.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
For my Mid-Life crisis (at the ripe old age of 40!) instead of buying a Motorbike or a Sports Car I joined the Fire Service….. just as exciting as the other two, but I get paid to do it!!!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
No, I had a place last year but couldn’t run as a change of career meant that my new employer couldn’t release me to partake in the race.
How did you get on?
My first ever D.N.S
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 buddies Norbert Mihalik is running this year too.