When your first marathon was in a rhino suit (See that article here), you’ve run another 60 marathons including most of the World Marathon Majors and run as a pacer on many occasions; maybe the question is ‘What next for Paul Addicott’?
For Paul Addicott, it is just over 10 years since he (and the rhino suit) strode onto the start of the London Marathon. Since then, he has run many events and in his role as pacer has been followed by hundreds of people, so the past 16 months has somewhat interrupted his normal flow of things. Never one to sit around moping, you can see from his blog (Visit Pauls Blog here) that he has kept himself motivated in many ways.
RUN247’s (occasional) contributor Mike Clyne, caught up with Paul (the man with the beard and the smile) to find out more about his latest challenge.
RUN247: Paul, it is great to speak to you after just communicating by email in the past months. I see from your social media posts (Twitter https://twitter.com/paul_addicott and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/pauladdicott/) that you’ve had a good spell of training in the past few months but are putting it into practice in what some may describe as an extreme way.
Paul: Thanks Mike. Obviously, it has been an unusual time to say the least but with the cancellation of so many races I’ve been looking for something to mark my 11th season as a marathon runner. I raised money for Cancer Research with a team for the #winterrun and my personal contribution was low as people are just too used to seeing me running. So I thought about something more, and though 10 in 10. I found a venue but it clashed with Richmond Marathon, and hence the 11 in 11 Challenge was born.
RUN247: Tell us more about how and where you will be doing your 11 marathons?
Paul: Originally the plan was to do one at Richmond, but with the postponement, all of my events will be actual events with Phoenix Running Events (https://www.phoenixrunning.co.uk/). All are lapped along Walton on Thames from 9th May.
RUN247: You’ve told us that you will be raising money for Cancer Research UK (https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/funbusmarathon) with your challenge but I’m interested by your invitation for other people to be a part of this either in person or virtually.
Paul: The last year has shown that Virtual Runs have their place when ‘in person’ events can’t go ahead. Other athletes can come and join with me in person if they enter with Phoenix Running Events (whilst respecting the social distancing rules of the Phoenix events) along the river path; or they can do their own challenge.
RUN247: Tell me about where the title of #FunBus challenge came from?
Paul: I’ve been pacing people since 2013, and absolutely believe that it’s so important to support, and motivate as well as get the pace right. I find that having fun is an important aspect to achieving your target time, so I try to help those in my group have fun, hence the #funbus. I’ve missed the #funbus and want to get everyone aboard, so that’s why I’ve named my challenge the #FunbusMarathon
I’ll be doing my races from Sunday 9th to Wednesday 19th May and to join my Virtual Challenge. Not everyone will be as crazy as me so I want people to set their own challenge and run whatever they can. No pressure, no minimum, your challenge your way.
I’m encouraging everyone to take part and post their pictures and stories online tagging #funbusmarathon.
RUN247: Here at RUN247, we pretend not to be bothered by such things but in reality, we love a nice medal. I see that by signing up for the #FunbusMarathon, participants can get themselves some nice #FunBus bling! I really like the medal design.
Paul: Haha! You’ll see on my social media posts that I’m a real sucker for finisher medals and proudly display them all so I’m just the same. People can sign up at https://findarace.com/events/funbusmarathon and all profits go to Cancer Research UK. However, if you just want to fundraise for Cancer Research UK, please go ahead.
RUN247: turning to your challenge once again, your marathon PB is 3.08.53 at the 2013 London Marathon. In your blog on New Years Day this year, you’ve set yourself a challenge of running a sub 3 marathon. How do you think that is looking right now? I’m guessing this won’t be during your 11 day challenge?
Paul: Yes the 11 in 11 will not be the best forum for a sub 3 attempt, but I’m feeling good and strong. I will be looking for a marathon very soon to give it a go, and I think I’m in PB shape.
RUN247: Most of your pacing is done at the sub 4 hour target pace and you are renowned for bringing home your pace group in 3.59.something on many occasions. Are you hoping to run all of your 11 marathons in sub 4 hours?
Paul: That’s the plan, and 11 at 3:59 would be amazing, but let’s see how it goes from day 2!!
RUN247: I once ran two marathons in two days – way slower than you run – and it was interesting how the second day was a different challenge. What advice have you been given about running so many back to back hard days, the recovery and how to avoid injuries?
Paul: The main advice has been to be prepared and focus on recovery. I will just take things steady and work it out when I’m out there.
RUN247: What are you most looking forward to; and what makes you nervous about the challenge?
Paul: I just want to get started now. I’m nervous about everything to be honest, this is absolutely the unknown, but the sense of achievement will be amazing. I really hope people will join me on the challenge to both keep me motivated, and share my journey. I hope that we can have fun on a challenge together, and also raise money for Cancer Research.
RUN247: We wish you every success in your challenge Paul and hope you continue to raise a lot of money. We’ll follow your exploits on social media and look forward to seeing the results when you are done. Good luck!
Paul: Thanks Mike, will let you know how it goes.