Damian

Tell us a bit about yourself, how long have you been in Brighton and what do you like about living here?

I have lived in Brighton (Preston Park), for almost 20 years. Before that I lived in south London. However, I am originally from the West Midlands, Worcester, home of the sauce! There are a few of us from the Midlands!  I like the combination of good restaurants, shops, the beach, the Downs and the proximity to London too! 

How long have you been running, and what is it about running that you enjoy?

I have been running since I was a schoolboy (almost 30 years ago) – running in the compulsory school cross country competition and i got into triathlon at a very young age. I did my first triathlon at school at 16 years old – of course running is the last part of the triathlon . I went a bit triathlon crazy during my late teens and early 20s – training 15 hours a week and did my first degree in sports science- studying endurance physiology, before I came out as a fully fledged gay! I was also competing in triathlon at a high national level (nationally ranked), and have competed in over 100 triathlons, ranging from short course up to Ironman.  I run now mainly for fitness and trying to keep the excess weight at bay from too much food and beer! Ongoing battle ! 🙈. 

What made you decide to join Frontrunners and how did you hear about the club?

I attended an initial meeting way back when, I think in the summer of 2018 when there was talk of setting up our very own Brighton and Hove Frontrunners. I am one of the early members, even though it is only three years ago! I joined at the first session and never looked back really! I am now also one of the run leaders of the club. 

Have you run any races before? Have you signed up for any upcoming events and what are your goals?

I have done numerous running races, from short 5K Parkruns all the way up to my very first (hilly) ultra, 50 K this year. I have completed/completed around about 10 marathons with a PB of 3.05 and 1.21 for half – both done in the last millennium! I was chasing a sub 20 min 5k as one of my goals for 2021 (got it the other week) I will try to keep doing that every year until at least I am 50, in 4 and a bit years time! 

How did the COVID-19 lockdowns affect you and your motivation to run?

As like many people in the country, and then the club, I found lockdown quite difficult personally. The WhatsApp group at the club was very good for me, being able to talk to other people, and get motivation from challenges that we are being set by the club. The time we were allowed out to exercise, became a very cherished part of the day for me, so I was able to get some good structured training during lockdown and picked up my running to a level I had not been at for a couple of years. 

Why do you enjoy being a Frontrunner?

I love the camaraderie , banter and meeting new people. Nice to be able to work out in a safe LGBT+ space. Social side is pretty good too!  To any of the newbies in the club, please come over and say hello to me if we haven’t had a chat already. We are all a friendly bunch!