Here’s the next interview in our series of learning about awesome runners. Today, we learn more about Darrell Hill. Darrell lives in Nova Scotia and I’m sure has very scenic running areas.
I enjoyed reading about him and I truly enjoyed reading about his running hero. I’m sure that you will, also!
I am 60 years old and live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have taken part in dozens of races ranging from 3 klm to Half Marathons. I have run in every province between Nova Scotia on the east coast to British Columbia on the west coast as well as raced in Washington.
- How long have you been running?
I started running 2 ½ years ago. During the summer of 2011 at the age of 58 I started thinking I should be more physically active. I was inspired by my older brother who was in his 70′s and running regularly and had been in several races as well as my nephew who had just completed the NYC Marathon. I started the Coach to 5K program and my the end of October 2011 I was able to run 5 klm.
- How many days a week do you run?
I try to run 3 to 4 days a week including a long run on Saturday, last fall I added some cross training during my off days which included cycling, spin classes and weight lifting
- How many hours a week do you work?
I am semi retired and presently do handy man odd jobs as well as photography, working about 20 hours a week.
- What time of day do you prefer to run?
My favorite time of the day to run would be early morning and especially during cool temperatures.
- How many miles a week do you typically run?
I try to run about 30 klm a week, ( 19 mi.) last year I ran 1400 klm ( 868 mi )
- Do you ever have problems fitting your running in with your schedule? How do you deal with any problems?
I have a very busy schedule, even though I only work about 20 hours a week, I am involved with several outside activities as well as having 3 grandsons. I try as much as possible to work my commitments around the running rather than the running around the commitments. Just being flexible and creative helps. I often run to the local mall or meetings that I have to attend, I figure its better I show up wearing running tights than not to show up at all.
- How did you get started running?
As I mentioned earlier I started with the coach to 5k program that I found online, the first week was run a minute and walk 3 min for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Each week increasing the running time. My twin brother Don and I started this at the same time and we both had treadmills. Neither one of us wanted to run outside until we could run 5 klm which we did that October
- What was your best run ever?
My best run, as most enjoyable was a run that I did with my running partner ( my sister in law) Daphne. It was a competition held by one of our local running clubs, Heart & Sole Running Club. Once a month everyone starts out to run 1 hour, running at their own pace, and the distance is recorded than prizes awarded at the end of the year for most improved. This particular run took place during March of 2012, at this point we had never run for an hour, and when we had finished we had run 8.3 klm. Wow we were ecstatic !! Due to a back injury that I got in November and Daphne just starting to run we had only been running for 2 months ! We run much faster and longer now but that was a true milestone…
- Do you have any running quirks? What are they?
Wow yes I do, in fact Daphne and I are very similar in this area. As we started to run longer distances it became necessary to carry water, simple enough, buy a water bottle. Not so simple, bottle was too big to hold comfortably. Ok so I buy another bottle with a strap to wear around my waist. First it felt to heavy when it was full, so I tried it half full, no that swoosh of the water moving was so annoying I almost threw the bottle in the woods. So than Daphne suggested freezing the water so it will just thaw out slowly as we run. Great idea, well at least for 5 minutes, than we heard Thunk! Thunk! & Thunk! As the ice bounced in the bottle. We both burst out laughing, the bottle came off and I hid it in some bushes to be picked up when we returned. Daphne finally settled for a small hand held bottle and I got a hydration belt with small bottles. We have the same issue with car keys…
10. Do you have a favorite place to run? Where is it?
My favorite place to run is along the shores of Lake Banook in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This lake is in the middle of the city and has many boating and world class canoeing events. The route around the lake leads to a local park ( Shubie Park ) where the trails are even kept plowed during the winter .
11.Do you have a favorite race? What race is it?
My favorite race was our first Half Marathon Race, June 2013. The Johnny Miles Marathon held in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Daphne and I finished this race in 2 hrs and 12 minutes.
12. If you could run anywhere in the world where would it be?
If I had the opportunity to run anywhere I think I would pick London or Paris. The thought of running past so many historical sights would be awe-inspiring!
13. Do you have a dream race that you’d like to run?
I would love to run in one of the major marathons such as Toronto or Boston.
14. Have you ever been injured? What was it? How did you deal with it?
During my first year of running I was plagued with Shin Splints !! I ran several races with this excruciating pain, being too stubborn to stop. It actually hurt much worse walking than running. With the use of compression sleeves and a elastic bandage wrapped around my calves I managed to keep running and it healed.
15. Do you have any running goals? What are they? (If you don’t mind sharing)
I have 2 goals for 2014, my first Duathlon, in May, and my first Marathon in Oct.
16. Do you prefer to run with others or do you prefer to run alone?
There are times I enjoy running alone but most of the time I prefer to run with my running partner Daphne. We have been running partners since Jan 2012, and we push and pull and encourage each other every step of the way. If it hadn’t been for Daphne’s encouragement I would not be the runner I am today.
17. Do you have a running hero? Can be living or not.
My running hero is Johnny Miles:
In 1926 Johnny’s neighbours in Sydney Nova Scotia raised a few hundred dollars to send him to the Boston Marathon by train. This would be Johnny’s debut marathon, having never run a race longer than 10 miles. The field at the 1926 Boston Marathon included four-time winner Clarence DeMar and 1924 Olympic champion, Albi Stenroos whom Miles idolized. Miles arrived at the marathon as an unknown, competing in a handmade singlet adorned with a maple leaf and the letters “NS” for Nova Scotia and a pair of 98-cent sneakers. Stenroos attempted to break away after the first few miles, leaving DeMar behind. Miles stayed with him until Heartbreak Hill, at which point he passed him. Miles won the race in a time of 2:25:40. His time was so fast that the course was remeasured and found to be 176 yards short.
1926 Won the Boston Marathon
1928 Came in 17th in the Olympics
1929 Won the Boston Marathon
1930 Won Bronze in the British Empire Games
1932 Came in 14th in the Olympics
Today we still celebrate Johnny Miles Accomplishments with the annual Johnny Miles Marathon in New Glasgow.
18. What is the most extreme conditions that you’ve ever run in?
Daphne and I met at the Marsh Trail, at about 9am. It was pouring rain and windy. We headed out and the weather deteriorated, but we kept going, after all once you are wet your wet. We met several runners along the way as this was the route used my several running clubs on Saturdays, all of them seemed to mutter the words crazy as we passed by. Around the 3k point my heart monitor strap ( I refer to it as my bra) started to slip down because I was soaked to the bone, when I touched it I got a shock from the batteries. Than because of the water the Garmin read my heart rate as too high and the watched started beeping at me. So I removed the strap but had to be careful how I held it because of the shocks, I decided to hide it under a tree. It was storming even harder now. By the time we had finished 12 klm we were cold and wet and I might add very happy. We both had issues with our IT bands the next day, we think this was from the rough trail and our muscles being stiff as we were afraid of slipping on the wet surface. It was still better than setting on the sofa watching Saturday morning cartoons..
19. What one thing will you absolutely not run without?
I would have to say my Garmin, mind you there has been the odd occasion that I forgot it..
20. What 3 words would you use to describe your running?
Awesome ! Dedication ! Determined ! Fun ! Exciting ! Rewarding ! Satisfying ! Gratifying ! Healthy ! Obsessive ! Addictive ! Social !
Oh you only wanted 3, well that is what happens when you ask a runner to talk about running!
Thanks, Darrell! And, thanks for answering these questions in detail! It was great to learn about you and Daphne! And, by the way – a race that serves wine at water stops – I’m there!
Here’s a link to Darrell’s blog and follow him as he trains for his marathon:
Visit him and leave him a comment!