Andy is the newest recruit to Team New Balance Manchester and has fitted in nicely to training with the guys on the countryside around Stockport over the last few weeks. He was born in Sheffield and is a graduate of University of Oxford, University of Tulsa and Sheffield Hallam (life long student!?). He is currently studying at the University of Birmingham for his PhD in sport psychology.
Andy competes on the track, road and cross-country and has regularly featured in the top 5 in National competitions over the last 3 years. He gained his first Great Britain vest in the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest in 2012 where he finished 16th in the U23 race and has continued to progress in to the elite rankings on both the track and cross country finishing a creditable 5th at the 2015 British Championships over 5,000m and 2nd in the 2015 National Cross Country Championships. A few injuries have kept him side-lined for much of the last 12 months but he has recently returned to form with a 14:13 5km on the road and second fastest leg at the Northern Road Relays.
We asked Andy a few questions to give you an insight to his running background….
Favourite pair of running shoes:
NB 5000 Spike. First pair of New Balance shoes I owned. Not got to race in them as much as I would have liked to this point, but they’re class spikes.
Favourite place to run:
Monsal Trail in the Peak District, Derbyshire. Park at Hassop Station early in the morning, run an out and back through the tunnels and finish with a hot chocolate in the café.
If you weren’t a runner what would you do?
I probably would have finished Med School…
Who inspired you to start running?
My dad was a pretty avid fan of Coe, Ovett and Cram in the 80s. He loved the history of the mile, and he has the autograph of every mile world record holder going back to Jack Lovelock. As much as I would’ve loved to consider myself a miler, unfortunately I don’t quite have the speed to replicate the rather more illustrious Hallamshire Harriers club record holder, Lord Coe.
Sheffield Schools 110 hurdles as a 13 year old. Safe to say my hurdling career started and ended that day. Luckily I had an 800 and 1500 later in the afternoon and was spotted by one of the coaches at Hallamshire, Ian Wainwright.
What do you love most about running?
There is no better place to clear your head, or get lost in your own thoughts.
Rodger Federer. Might not be a runner but there will never be a classier sportsperson.
Favourite race venue:
The British Milers Club Races at Stretford on a Tuesday night. Or Graves Park in Sheffield for a Cross Country Race.
Favourite weather to train in:
A crisp and clear winter morning with frost on the ground.
Stereotypical answer here, but it’s my first GB vest at Budapest in 2012. I came in as a reserve and didn’t really feel any pressure in the race as I had nothing to lose. Though looking back I do wish I had gone out a little harder.
Interests away from running:
I seem to have a propensity towards collecting degrees from various universities. That tends to occupy most of the time away from training. 3 so far, and onto the PhD.
The Count of Monte Cristo or The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Recently it’s been Belle and Sebastian or The National. Though I’m always drawn back to Dire Straits.
Lauren’s Banana Bread (Note: Lauren Howarth is Andy’s Girlfriend and Teammate).
Favourite holiday destination:
Copenhagen was a very cool city. But St Moritz is difficult to beat for just being pretty spectacular.
Although this appears unusual for a runner, I despise peanut butter.
Master the things that take no talent.
Goals for 2017:
Stay fit. If I can crack that then we’ll see what happens.
Favourite motivational quote:
There are two at the moment that stand out;
“There is no smooth road in to the future. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
And in a similar vain but slightly less poetic due to its brevity.
“Get on with it.”