TrailFest Asks… John Roach

TF: When did you start trailrunning?
I’m really new to trail running , my first venture was with a crazy mob called #rundirtycrew in Mugdock Park . Twas good . A massive change to tarmac in the concrete jungles
TF: What do you run for?
I run for loads of reasons . It started with a way to retake control of my life when my son was diagnosed with autism . Evolved into a way to raise money and awareness and now it’s a way of life . It’s even got to the stage my wife tells me to go for a run .
TF: What’s your proudest running (or running-related) achievement/moment?
Proud moments? Again, there’s been a few. Running with my son was superb, even if he does moan all the way. I didn’t appreciate a 2km run until it came with added moaning! I’ve had the pleasure of running with a visually impaired friend as well as running with JAPES around a 10k road race . On a personal level, my first ultra was amazing from start to finish. My Clydestride sprint finish brought 40 Miles together in about 40 meters! Isn’t every finish line a proud moment?
TF: What’s been your darkest/bleakest moment/time running?
My adult running started in my mid 30’s . Whilst feeling out of control and unable to help my son (then , not now ) I went for a run, got to a set of traffic lights and broke down. Sick as a dog along with rivers of tears, it was a miserable walk back to my house. Not my finest day but the run was repeated the following night with no vomit or tears. Bad times/good times.
TF: What did you learn from this?
What did I get from it? The need to do more. The need to prove I can. The need to be in control again.
TF: What do you think of when the trails get tough?
For me, every run is tough, what my body lacks, my mind pulls through. I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided injury, the odd niggle or ten but nothing serious, so my mind has seen me through the tougher times.
TF: Does trailrunning help you in other areas of your life?
I’ve often joked that I’ll throw a strop if I get muddy at work and leave early, stating every health and safety law known to man. Then run with you guys on a Sunday and moan when I don’t get muddy (moaning must be a family thing, lol!). I am city born, so trails have brought tranquility to a rather hectic life – free therapy if you like.
TF: Who (or what) is your running inspiration?
If you can call Autism an inspiration then that’s my answer, but I’ve never had the  “I’d love to be like him” attitude.
TF: What’s the one big race you’d love to complete?
Every second week a new run is brought to my attention, they all look great. I’ve never ran abroad so I’d like to go further afield, maybe next year. I’ve been turned down for VLM for several years now, that would be great, I’ve also been unlucky in this years ballot for The Fling . I don’t like being rejected!
TF: Do you prefer morning or evening trailruns?
Morning trails for me, I’ve never ran trails at dark o’clock.
TF: What season do you enjoy the most for trailrunning?
Running is running, whether it’s on the road or on trails, in any of the reasons, what’s not to enjoy?
TF: Where’s your favourite trail/area to run?
I’ve loved my time at Mugdock, adored Clydestride and liked being “lost” in Berwick.
TF: What are your favourite trail shoes/what are you running in just now?
I’m still wearing my first pair of trail shoes, Asics Fuji Trabucosomethingorothers – they’re like slippers on my feet.
TF: What three words would you use to describe your relationship to running?
3 words, you’re having a laugh! Love, hate and determined. They’ll change tomorrow and then the day after that.
TF: What one piece of advice would you give to others?
I’m still receiving it, I don’t feel I’m in a position to give it out. If I was asked, I’d tell them never give up, anything is possible .
TF: What’s your trail style:
  • Buff, headband or trucker cap? My name is H , I am a buff addict!
  • Shorts, tights or compression? Shorts, compression socks
  • Singlet, tech t-shirt or windshirt? Tech T
  • Bumbag, rucksack or race vest? Rucksack/ hydration vest for the long ones
  • Headphones or the sounds of the trail? I do love my music but often run without
  • Energy gels or homemade sandwiches? I stopped at the same time as another runner on the Clydestride. He offered me a tuna sandwich, it sounded great and tasted even better! I’m not a lover of gels , but have been known to on occasions