Veteran Thanet Roadrunner Dave Winch to represent England at British Masters marathon

Veteran runner Dave Winch

Veteran Thanet Roadrunners club member Dave Winch has been selected to run for England in the British Masters Athletics Federation’s championships this year.

Dave, 70, was selected for one of the Masters age group team after taking first place at the Chester Marathon last year.

Dave said: “As I understand it the first five from each qualifying race in each class are selected to represent the England team.  The Chester marathon will again be the place where the teams will compete against opposition drawn from Celtic Nations teams.  This will be held on October 7. I am very proud!”

Dave’s interest in athletics started at school where in those days you competed in most disciplines, involving shorter races on a grass field.  Dave said: “The longest race I ran was the school cross country distance about 3.5 miles.  I managed to come first gaining the record time for the event. Maybe this gave me the running bug.”

Dave was among some of the first members of Thanet Roadrunners AC.

He said: “ I had been a member of Invicta East Kent previously and competed in some races with them.  Although my time with Invicta was invaluable, I felt that joining Thanet Roadrunners AC would give me better opportunities and training buddies”

Dave remained a member of Thanet Roadrunners AC for well over a decade when a new interest inspired him – triathlon. He joined Thanet Road cycling club and competed for more than a decade. He re-joined Thanet Roadrunners AC four years ago.

Dave said, “My old running vest still fitted me so where else could I go?

“The early days with Thanet, when everybody was relatively new to the sport, were very exciting.  Records were being set, and the competition was of a high standard.  The club in those days was looked upon as a very amateur set up by the elite clubs.  This motivated us all and respect followed after excellent results by Thanet Roadrunners AC were recorded.

“Inevitably the marathon was the big motivator and breaking the 3-hour barrier was my goal.  It took some marathons to achieve this, but like most things once broken you wonder why it took so long, now I wonder how I did it and could it still be possible”’

Dave has many athletics accolades to his name having run the London to Brighton ultra-marathon (53 miles 540 yards) in October 1984 with a time of 7 hours 29 minutes 29 seconds.  A year later he completed the same race in 6 hours 49 minutes 3 seconds. He then went on to run the Thanet Maritime Marathon 1991 in 2 hours 44 minutes 29 seconds followed by the London Marathon 1991 in 2 hours 42 minutes 28 seconds in the veteran category.

Last year, Dave ran the Virgin London Marathon and was first place in the Vet 70 category which took the all-time British marathon record in 3 hours 10 minutes 24 seconds. It was shown in the Run Britain all time statistics.

Dave keeps to a regular training regime to ensure that he maintains high standards, running every day of the week with his long run on Sundays.   His diet is balanced with little or no junk food.

Motivation comes in many forms from loyal training partners to support from  family and friends.

Terry Brightwell, Chairman of Thanet Roadrunners AC said: “To run a marathon in just over three hours is an achievement at any age.  But to do it at the age of 70 and be selected for your country is something extraordinary.”