In the second of our ‘It’s Why I Run’ series, we follow Simon Brownell, Chief Executive Officer from World Snooker Tour, to discuss how his training for his first-ever marathon is going. 

He touches the difference between preparing for a full marathon compared to a half and how the pandemic has (funnily enough) positively impacted his progress. 

What motivated you to run the London Marathon in 2021? 

I have always been keen on running and have done a fair few half marathons over my, time but I have also always known that I wanted to challenge myself at the toughest level – the full marathon. In December 2019, I decided that now was as good a time as ever.  

World Snooker Tour have been supporting Jessie May for a number of years, and there was a feeling that another big fundraising event was needed. I decided to put myself forward and combine the two targets by running the 2020 London Marathon. 

Why have you chosen to run for #TeamJessie? 

That was pre-pandemic, and there has since been a postponement in the marathon – so when it finally comes to  it I would have completed two full years of training! That’s not a complaint though. The pandemic has caused unreal suffering across the world, and I am sure that Jessie May have had a tough time trying to make the money stretch. So if running this marathon has become a little harder, hopefully that justifies people giving just a little bit more! 

How is the training going? 

The training is going well. I covered 537km in 2020, and have managed 213km of training running in 2021 so far. There’s plenty of hard work going in to just keep the body ticking over. I started 2021 by doing a half marathon every weekend, and managed that through most of Jan and Feb but with our biggest event, World Snooker Championship, taking place in March and April it has been tougher to find time to go running. In comparison to last year, May 2020 was a good month for running and I managed more than 100km so hopefully I can hit similar numbers over the coming months.  

I had set myself a goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon when I first started out, and managed to achieve this in April 2020 so I was really happy with hitting that so quickly. I also managed a 1h 25 minute 10 mile run, so I’m hoping to keep these times tumbling and see if I can get the full marathon to under 4h 30 mins. Longest run so far has been 30k, so still a way to go before I hit the 40k mark. 

Can you share a memorable training run? 

I do most of my training along the Bath to Bristol cycle path and I have often found myself running on the outskirts of Bristol and realising that I am a heck of a long way from home! That’s always quite worrying when you realise that you still have to run the distance home before you can put your feet up.  

What do you listen to during your runs? 

I tend to run with talkRADIO on my headphones. I’m not good with absolute silence so I need something to occupy my mind but music will change my running tempo with the beat so I find talkRADIO really helps, especially if there is live sport on.  

Where can people follow your training journey? 

I am not on social media, but I do have a JustGiving page (that I need to update more often) so now that I am getting back into that, I will provide some more updates on how things are progressing.  

You can find it here: Simon Brownell is fundraising for Jessie May 

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If you’re interested in signing up to any of our upcoming running events, please head over to our events page. We still have spaces for the Virtual London Marathon 2021 and we have a few places left for the London Marathon 2022 – so be sure to book yours today to avoid disappointment!