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PROFILES is a chance for the Ponnek team to catch up with figures in the running community, both local to us and much further afield. These are the people that we find interesting (not just runners!) and hope you will find interesting too.
Our guest this month is Dougie Musson. Dougie is an accomplished university track runner, an all-round top athlete and a generally inspiring guy! We hope that you enjoy reading Dougie’s interesting answers - be sure to check out the 3000m university race video midway through for some nail-biting action!
Hi Dougie! The classic opening question - when did you first get into running and why?
I’ve run or played sports my entire life. Growing up in a house where both parents were PE teachers it’s hard not to get caught up in it! I don’t honestly know why I started, probably just because I love the act of running. Since then, the why has changed and it’s now a mix of headspace (thinking time), green time out in nature, physical exertion (I’m sadistic and actually like the pain of running!)
What was the first event that you ran in? How did you find it?
First event I remember was a Schools 800m Competition I think, on a boiling hot day, I went off way to fast and slowly regretted that decision by the end of the first lap. Those last 100m were excruciating, but when I finished, red faced, out of breath and overheating I immediately wanted to do it all over again.
Can you name any runners that you look up to / inspire you?
My Dad was a pretty good club/county level runner, so I used to just want to emulate him. Yeah, there are hundreds, and shock most of them are unknown to most people. I definitely find inspiration from what people achieve and go through to get there, regardless of how ‘big’ that achievement may seem! It ranges from Dave Wottle holding his nerve when he won Olympic Gold and Kipchoge breaking Two Hours for the marathon right down too, full time workers getting up early to squeeze in mileage, or epic running Dads combining family time and running. I always admire and get inspired by the hard work and effort!
Do you have a race result that you are most proud of?
Again, it’s never been about the achievements for me. There are races I’ve won like a British University title indoors for 3K, that was immense not for the winning but the race itself! Watch on YouTube for a cracking last 200m! But I’m equally proud of things like getting an elite spot in London Marathon, lining up on the Olympic Trials start line or racing abroad that were achievements by just being there. It might not make sense and doesn’t sound as glamorous as reading off a list of accolades, but I guess I’ve learned it's about the process not the outcome that truly matters!
Race link - https://youtu.be/mIoiakcxAsA
Favourite pre-workout/run food?
Will always be overnight oats (has to be Almond milk) and a black coffee! I’ve nailed some races and sessions on that combo.
Favourite distance to race and why?
Tough one, as I’ve dabbled in so many, but my favourite I guess is the 10KM or the Half!
Do you have a running mantra?
Not running specific, but the principle of Kaizen was taught to me a few years back and it has been the closest to a life motto/mantra whatever you call it that resonates with me. It means continual improvement and actually comes from Japanese business culture. Of course it can be adapted to all aspects of life and I love being on a constant pursuit of betterment in whatever I am doing.
When you’re not running, what else do you like to do with your spare time?
Easily spending time with my wife and the dog, although if there is some cycling on TV, that would come in a close second!
What’s next? Any races coming up?
Not at the moment, as we have just relocated about 300+ miles from city to the sticks so life is a little busy right now! That being said, I’m just enjoying getting to be out in more nature.