Richard George

Richard George

Runner and forest campaigner for Greenpeace

I'm a long distance trail runner. I run ultra marathons - anything more than 26.2 miles - ideally ones that involve running up and down mountains in the Lake District. I live in London but try and get out on the South Downs and the Ridgeway whenever possible.

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I've always been pretty athletic—hiking, climbing, mountaineering, etc. But running had always been something I did for a few weeks here and there but never stuck to. It was only when I got into trail running that I managed to stick with it. Now I can't imagine not running—it's how I burn off all the stress of the week.

What is your typical weekly training routine?
Depends on what I'm training for. A normal week revolves around my crew run on Tuesday, track session on Thursday and long runs at the weekend. If I'm building up to an ultra, I'm running (slowly) to and from each of those sessions too. 

Do you run with a club or a group?
I run with Run Dem Crew, which meets each Monday in Paddington Rec and Tuesday at the 1978 Nike store in Shoreditch.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve run?
Ha—quite a few. I've been travelling quite a bit for work recently, and being jetlagged means I'm running at weird times. Recent runs include a half marathon in Jakarta that weaved through graveyards and a zoo at 5am and the Singapore river at 2am, just as all the pubs and bars were kicking out.

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
I'm one of those odd people that listens to classical music when I run. If I'm running in the countryside then no music is required.

Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
The fun. I run ultra-marathons, and I'm mostly just happy to finish. But having something to train for is always a help, even if your goal is just to cross the finish line.

What is the best bit of advice you’ve had from another runner?
"You go further by going slower." When I started out I honestly thought you got better at running by running as fast as possible, catching your breath and running again.

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Get out of the city / tarmac as soon as you can. Running in the countryside (or a strange city) is the best way to fall in love with running again.

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
Personally a fan of the blue T-shirt.

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