Interview: Adam Chataway

Adam Chataway is the son of running legend Sir Chris Chataway. But in his own right Adam is a bit of running legend himself!

Having taken up running in 2007 he decided to use his passion to raise funds for the Action Aid charity. In 2012 he undertook the mammoth task of running 6 marathons, on 6 continents in 29 days for to raise funds for a school building project in Ethiopia. If that wasn’t difficult enough he also decided, between marathons, to climb Mount Kenya, cycle the Great Ocean Road and then cycle from Boston to New York City!

The final leg of the Phileas Jogg challenge was going to be the New York City Marathon, but as we know the 2012 edition was cancelled due to Super Storm Sandy cutting a devastating path through the city. Undeterred, Adam finished his challenge by cycling from New York to Manchester, New Hampshire and running his final marathon there!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the legend that is Phileas Jogg!

When did you start running and did you have any particular reasons for starting?

I started running in 2007. It was to prepare for the Great North Run which I was running in memory of my fiancée and to raise funds for a water project in Ethiopia. I found that the time spent running provided a great time for reflection and gives rare solitude in a hectic world. In 2011 my passion for running kicked on further as I signed up for the Prague Marathon. The buzz of training and then completing that then put in train a cycle of training and marathons that has continued to date. I find it an incredibly rewarding process.

If you could run with and/or race anyone, anywhere who would it be and where? Over what distance and on which surface?

If I could run with anyone it would be my brother Matthew. He’s been intrinsic to my running journey and there every step of the way. We both got the bug at the same time and have done most of our marathons together (me somewhat slower I should add) and there is no one better to share that experience with. Beyond that we do a fair bit of running together and I can think of few things I’d rather do than go for a run and a natter with him.

The destination would be either the Antarctic Marathon as that is the one continent I haven’t run a marathon on (surface – snow) or the Comrades Ultra in SA (surface – road) as we’ve heard such great things about it. That is 56 miles. We haven’t done an ultra yet but this would seem a great one to step up for.

Running wise, who do you look up to and who has inspired you?

I think it is probably my dad and my brother. While very modest about it my Dad was once an exceptional runner (World Record holder etc) and his achievements provide a good deal of inspiration and the motivation that I have genes on my side if not physique! My brother would be the other source as he’s very good on the basis of the incredible work that he puts in. Equally I think some of the strongest inspiration you can have as a runner is the person who is side by side with you every step of the way. That is my brother.

What are your favourite training conditions and are they the same as your favourite racing conditions?

A crisp sunny spring day of around 17 degrees. That would be perfect for training and racing. The Melbourne Marathon and Manchester City Marathon both had great conditions this year.

What is your fondest memory of running and, conversely, your worst?

Every marathon I have done has been special buy my fondest memory of running is probably my most recent which was finishing the Manchester City Marathon in New Hampshire with my brother. This was the final of 6 marathons on 6 continents in 29 days and we’d entered at the last minute to replace the cancelled NYC Marathon. It was an incredible atmosphere at the event with other displaced NYC runners and a glorious autumnal day. I’m not sure I have a worse as a bad run is still pretty good – not least when you finish. However the last three miles of the Nairobi Marathon really hurt as the altitude did for me. My muscles were oxygen deprived and it felt like 43 miles ( I’m guessing!) not 23 miles. To finish that in the knowledge I had the Dublin Marathon 24 hours later was a dark moment!

Where do you see yourself in six years?

In six years time I hope I am still enjoying running and being the best plodder I can be.

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