David Baird, 80, is the oldest runner taking part in the Race to the King, here he tells about his training plans and making the challenge a family affair.
When did you start running?
I first started running in the 1970s, when the idea of ‘jogging’ first became generally talked about and, for me, it really appealed. I have run at least once a week ever since.
My running distance was typically four miles for many years, but in 1998 we moved to Bath to live closer to my daughter Monica and son in law Dave. Since I started running with Dave about 15 years ago we have together increased that weekly distance by quite a bit!
I’m lucky having the Bath Half-marathon as my home race, running the last twelve of them. I’ve also run the Severn Bridge half and have run and walked the 26-mile Sarsen Trail across Salisbury Plain, as well as a few other local races.
Why Race to the King?
Dave ran Dixons Carphone Race To the Stones (a sister event to Race to the King) last year and really enjoyed it, so we decided to make Race to the King a family outing. Monica and her friend Sally will be walking it non-stop and I will walk and run non-stop with Dave. We hope to finish in time for a hearty supper; Monica and Sally are hoping for breakfast!
What’s your training plan?
We have been training for the Bath Half, doing a mixture of medium length tempo runs and 10-13 mile hilly runs, but we’re starting to stretch our long runs up to 20-25 miles with a couple of 30 mile runs to get a feel for the distance.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the challenge, to the experience, but mostly I’m looking forward to finishing. I’m concerned that I may not finish the race, and that I may not even start it, as at my age you can’t take these things for granted. I think I’ve been lucky with my genetics in keeping me fit for so long, but also by keeping active and exercising regularly I’ve made the most of my chances.