James Gadd | why I run
"My name is James Gadd, I’m 36 years old and I’m from Somerset, England. I’ve always been pretty active and have dabbled in many sports including football, boxing, Jiu jitsu and CrossFit but nothing has gripped me quite like running.
Running was always a part of my training but other than a few half marathons run in 2008, 2010 and 2014 it was never a big deal for me, it was just another dimension of my fitness training that complemented my gym work etc.
That all changed in 2016. I hadn’t been exercising much in the years previously, just training sporadically after having our first daughter so I found it tough to fit it in and motivate myself to train consistently. That summer, after having started doing some weights and running again, I entered a local hilly 10k race. I had no idea if I was fit enough to complete it but I thought it was a worthy challenge!
That challenge paid off as despite how much I struggled in the race, I loved it and I soon realised I’d caught the running bug. Since then I’ve run over 50 races including 5k, 10k, 22 half marathons (my favourite distance!), one full marathon and one 100k ultra marathon.
I’m torn between the marathon, which I finished in 3.17, and the 100k as my biggest achievement in my short running journey. I’m super proud of both and they were both a big challenge in their own way.
These days I run 6 days a week. I’m lucky that I do shift work so I get a lot of time off and that my other half is understanding enough (most of the time!) of my need to get out and run. What motivates me to get out in the dark after work or in horrible weather conditions is the desire to the best runner I can be and become the best version of myself.
Running massively benefits my mental health. Between work, 2 young daughters and my partner who has a muscle wasting condition, my life is quite full on at times so running is the break I get from everything. It’s my “me time” and often how I’m able process things or just drift off into my own little world on a long run.
I hope to inspire my daughters to be active and my eldest who’s now 7 and a half has already started doing junior Parkrun and joined her schools running club which I love. If seeing me running races, collecting medals etc helps them see how much of a positive doing exercise can be then I’ll be happy.
My future goals are to improve my PB’s across all distance’s and I’m running my first World Marathon Majors this year at Berlin and London, the latter is for the charity of my partners condition. I’d love to get my six star medal one day and like the idea of incorporating travel into my running and experiencing races in other countries. I’d also love to one day line up at the start of a race with one or both of my daughters at my side."
You can keep up to date with James & his running on his Instagram page HERE