Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Runner in the Spotlight: Paul Mainwaring

Paul Mainwaring is one of our favorite British Charlotte Running Club members! Known for his positive attitude, his grueling race face at the finish line, and his license plate (UKRUNNER), Paul is one of the first members of the CRC. You are likely to see him at the Run For Your Life Grand Prix Series, as he will be racing all 11 events. As a father of 2 girls, he manages to find enough time to get in high mileage that propels him to the top of the Grand Prix Series leaderboards.

Where do you work?
I work as an Accountant for Lend Lease Americas, a large Australian owned Construction and Project Management Company. I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers after graduating in England until I gained my Accountancy qualification and then worked at fashion retailer Laura Ashley as Group Accountant until I made my move over to the States in 2005. Apart from certain times of the month and year my hours are fairly regular so I am able to fit my training in pretty easily normally.

How long have you been in Charlotte? What brought you here?
I moved over to the States and Charlotte from the UK in August 2005 courtesy of my wonderful American wife Lisa who I met in Dublin and dated in London. We got married in May 1999 and lived in and just outside London for the next 6 years before deciding to take the plunge and move over. I quit my job, we sold our house and ended up in Charlotte purely because Lisa wanted to be on the East coast near her family and we thought Charlotte looked a good place for me to get a job with my Accountancy background! Six years later we certainly don’t regret our decision!

What’s your favorite restaurant and why should I go eat there?
That’s a tough one. Being British I do love a good curry though and can highly recommend the Bombay Grille on 51 or The Situl restaurant in Park Road Shopping Center. I also love Maggiano’s and McCormick and Schmicks in South Park when I feel like pushing the boat out a little!

When and why did you start running?
Many people will be surprised to hear that I didn’t really consider myself a ‘runner’ until my mid to late 20s. Prior to that I had played football (soccer!) pretty much all my life and used that as my sporting outlet. I would play for teams at the weekend and train during the week. I would run once or twice a week just to maintain fitness and help keep the beers off my belly! As time went on and my schedule got tighter I was finding playing football every week to be a bit too time consuming and was also finding it harder to recover from games as I got older! So with a heavy heart I quit playing football and started running a lot more. Soon I was running 4 or 5 times a week and it snowballed from there. I joined a local track and cross country team and that was that! Sometimes I wish I had taken up the sport earlier and been able to run at College but then I would have missed out on all the great times I had playing football.

What are some things you love most about running?
One of the main things I love, as I referred to above, is that running doesn't need to take up too much time out of your schedule. You just need to pull on a pair of shoes and take off. With a young family to look after this is certainly a big plus! I also just love the feeling of just being out there and pushing my body to its limits, rain, heat or snow. I love being able to run on my own and clear my head and also love running with other like minded people for the social aspect. Having spent most of my sporting life playing a team sport I really enjoy the individual aspect of running in that you are mostly only accountable to yourself and aren't relying on others to help you perform well - what you put into running is what you get out of it, a great metaphor for life in general.

Favorite Place you’ve traveled and loved for running?
One of the many great things about running is that you just need a pair of shoes and you can take off for a run wherever you are. I’ve never specifically travelled to a destination to run but I have travelled quite extensively and have enjoyed runs alongside the Opera House in Sydney, Central Park New York, along the Seine in Paris, and through the center of London. For the sheer beauty and ‘being away from it all’ feeling I love running in the countryside around where my parents live and running in Banff in the Canadian Rockies was awesome too.

What is your most memorable race and why?
My most memorable race from my time in England would have to be running in the National Cross Country Championships one year. It was awesome to run in a such a big race with all the best runners in the country and the crowd support and atmosphere was amazing! Over here I would have to say that last year provided my two most memorable races. Coming 7th overall and running a huge PR at the Richmond Marathon after months of hard training was a fantastic experience and tremendously satisfying, as was running the Blue Ridge Relay on the all-conquering Charlotte Running Club Mixed Team back in September. Blue Ridge was such a fun and challenging experience and I really hope to compete in that event again this year with CRC. (Editor's note: the CRC will be organizing several Blue Ridge teams for 2011!)

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
I would have to say Mcalpine is my favorite place to run as I live less than half a mile from the park and run there all the time! I also love running at McMullen Creek Greenway and around the beautiful Myers Park neighborhoods.

Favorite Charlotte area race?
The Thunder Road Marathon takes some beating. I have competed twice and spectated every other year and it's a great date in the Charlotte running calendar. My favorite Grand Prix race would have to be the Lung Strong 15k run out at Cornelius; it features a beautiful course and a fun event.

What’s your favorite distance and your PRs for that distance?
I don't really have a favorite distance as such, it depends what I have been training for and whether I want to run hard and fast in a 5k (PR 15:45) or hard and long in a Marathon (PR 2:35:10)

What are your goals for 2011?
I am planning on concentrating on shorter distances this year and hope to run PRs in races from the 5k to Half Marathon distance. I probably won't do a marathon this year. After a solid year of mileage in 2010 I would love to remain injury free this year and also meet and run with more and more people from the Charlotte Running Club!

You were one of the first members of the CRC. What compelled you to join the Charlotte Running Club?
That's right! I remember about a year ago discussing the possibility of creating a new running club in Charlotte on a long run with Jay, Caitlin and Aaron and within weeks the ball was rolling and CRC was formed! I had to join immediately so that I could meet up and train with like minded people and share my love of running. My favorite runs of the week are when I run any of the CRC group runs.

I love the fact that the Club is all about a passion for running and welcomes people of all backgrounds and abilities all with different goals for what they want to get from their running. I love running and being able to share that passion with other like minded folks is awesome!

What’s your next race?
I am entered in the Richmond Ukrops 10k in April and will no doubt be a regular participant in the RFYL Grand Prix Series.

1 comment:

  1. "I really enjoy the individual aspect of running in that you are mostly only accountable to yourself and aren't relying on others to help you perform well - what you put into running is what you get out of it, a great metaphor for life in general"

    very well put, and one of the things i enjoy about running as well.

    and i love these runner in the spotlight posts! nice to 'meet' you, paul!