Words & Interview by Alex Melling
Vinny Gould is running three marathons over a three consecutive Sundays in April. Those marathons are Manchester, Brighton and London, in that order. So, we at Dure caught up with Vinny to find out how training is going and why the three marathons.
Hi Vinny, so why the three marathons?
I see the three marathons as a challenge both physically and mentally, I wanted to do something challenging to drive the fundraising for my chosen charity, SAMARITANS because in the past five years, I have sadly lost two friends to suicide and know of several others that have also taken their own lives, so was a cause close to my heart. It was only on my way back from my friend's funeral in January, when I was struggling with training due to niggling injuries and still had the opportunity to give back my London place that I appreciated the resonance of what I was taking on for Samaritans, and how fitting a tribute it would be to my lost friends. It was only then that I fully committed to the physical challenge, the injury niggles seemed to fade away!
“I do tend to beast-out a big run on a Sunday”
Describe yourself in three words...
Tenacious, Stubborn & Erratic
How’s the preparation going for the three marathons and how does some train their body for that?
Training started off slowly with constant knee problems, but when I dropped the mileage on recommendation from the physio, ran shorter distance & more often, the problems have subsided (touch-wood), although I do tend to beast-out a big run on a Sunday I did 38K on the 11th March. Unfortunately, I’ve got a groin issue now and yesterday I struggled to walk, let alone run, but I had this before during the 38K last week, so I know I can do it once I get going, but I don’t want to introduce further knee issue by overcompensating for the groin, so it’s a bit of a dilemma...
“doing any distance running or any challenge in life, is just about breaking it down into bite-size chunks a mile at a time”
Do you have a lot of running experience?
I’ve always ran a little for fitness, but never signed up for any races until 2014. I got the chance to attend a WOLF RUN through a friend who couldn’t attend this is a 10k obstacle race that is held local to me, & really enjoyed the physical challenge. A month or so later I managed to get a charity London place, running for MIND, after many years of unsuccessful ballot applications. Subsequently after that London experience, I’ve now done a couple of half marathons, a few 10Ks and several park-runs, but nothing significant, until this. I love the training side of it, the realisation that your body can do far more than you consider when put to the test. In my opinion, a lot of the battle with distance-running is mind set and it is very cliché, but doing any distance running or any challenge in life, is just about breaking it down into bite-size chunks a mile at a time; and mentally being totally committed to reach the finish line. Doing it for charity & receiving donations certainly focuses the mind, giving it a real purpose!
Have you discovered anything about yourself you didn’t know from this experience?
So 3 years on from my last marathon, I am now 41, & do my first marathon of this challenge in Manchester on Sunday. Recent records suggest I’m a bit faster than I was in 2015 & as a personal physical challenge, I would love to get a sub 3:15 (good for age) time this weekend but appreciate completing all 3 marathons & ensuring I stay injury free for the duration is paramount.
Why did you choose to support the Samaritans for the London marathon?
Mental health and particularly depression can touch us all, our families and loved ones. It doesn’t discriminate between race, sex, or the choices we have made in life, good or bad. The only commonality is the need for support when everything seems very dark, and sometimes this can only be absorbed by someone listening, with complete detachment from the individual.
This is just one element of the vital work Samaritans provide, so I am extremely privileged to represent them in my charitable and physical challenge in support of the fantastic work they do.
You can support Vinny in his fundraising bid here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/vinnygould