Stopsley Strider Club Member Profile – Dave Thompson – Trace (60 years old and 30 years a Strider in 2019!)
Occupation: Deputy Shift Manager in the world of Electronic Payments
Did you do sport at school?
I was hopeless at most sports because I have developmental dyspraxia (clumsy kid syndrome), but fared reasonably at rounders, badminton and running
When did you start running & why?
In 1982, when as a 23 year old boy, I saw several middle aged ladies competing in the Harrow Marathon and decided there and then that if they can do it then why the heck can’t I, and I did!
What made you come to Stopsley Striders?
On moving to Bedfordshire in 1987 with an interest in running, I joined Stopsley Striders in 1989 which also added a new dimension to my social life.
What is your favourite run/course?
For scenery, you can’t beat the Loch Leven Half Marathon, which I ran in 1989, 2006 & 2010.
What is your best run?
I completed the 1993 Harrow Marathon in 3:04, which was the pinnacle of my career, having achieved my half marathon best of 1:25 at Luton the same year.
What was your worst run?
The East London Half Marathon 1985, which 34 years later remains my slowest ever at 1:58. I was anaemic and the batteries just went flat.
What was your most memorable run?
The 1992 Luton Marathon, where I beat the odds by smashing my personal best time by 7 minutes and with a time of 3:09 beat some Striders big names, including Chris Lamont and John Chapman! That doesn’t happen now!
Do you like Cross Country>
I was so useless at it because I am clumsy, that I wrote an article for the Club Magazine Striding stating that Cross Country is something that is so bad it’s good and hence everyone should give it a try. However that said, I fare relatively better now because I invested in some spikes rather than persevering with standard running shoes!
Assuming you have spare time, what are your other hobbies/interests?
I have enjoyed pub quizzing for the last 26 years and ran the Stopsley Striders Quiz Night for 14 years until 2009. I also took up DJing for the first time at the age of 48 and stand up comedy at 56!
What is your average weekly mileage?
Normally about 20-25 miles a week over about 4-5 days each week
Do you do speed work or specialist training?
I loved the Club speedwork sessions, but had to give them up along with club nights when my day job was made redundant in 2010 and I was redeployed to a post with less sociable hours. However, thanks to the Luton parkrun, I have been part of Striders with more regularity since 2015 and it makes for great speed training too.
Do you follow a diet regime before competing?
Not really although I have a rule of thumb not to eat too much in the morning before a race, so as to avoid the inconvenience of needing the loo and having to queue!
What piece of your kit do you think is the most important?
To me, nothing is more important than good quality shoes and replacing them regularly, which could explain why I am amongst the most rarely injured members of the club.
Who is your hero?
My partial namesake, the late avuncular and very well spoken Christopher Trace, who for those who are not old enough to remember, was the first ever Blue Peter presenter. He coined the phrases “And Now For Something Completely Different” (often wrongly credited to Monty Python) and “Here’s One I Made Earlier”.
What do you like about the club?
The camaraderie and the way everyone is made to feel welcome anytime from old hands to new members. I had a three year sabbatical from club nights due to long term illness in 2002, but when I returned, people chatted to me as if I had been absent from club nights for just three weeks, not three years.
What would be your advice to a new club member?
Don’t be shy about asking at a club night to join a fellow member or group who runs at your speed, you will be made welcome, and go to the monthly socials to get to know your fellow Striders better, as well as to enjoy a well laid-out buffet.
What is your running song to get you over that line?
What more appropriate tune is there than ‘The Trap’, which is best known as the BBC theme to the London Marathon.