Interview with Steve Bonthrone

Steve Bonthrone has been running for 21 years. A back problem in 1997 gave him the push to get fit. So he entered the 1998 London Marathon and got a place. Crossing the finish line changed his life. He wanted to help people achieve things they previously didn’t believe possible just as he had done. A few months later, he quit his job as a pizza chef and studied to become a personal trainer.

His running highlights include running the London Marathon seven times and the Paris Marathon five times. He writes a blog to chart his journey and share tips to help runners on their journeys. 

What is your proudest running achievement?

Completing all four races at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in 2014. I did it as a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my Dad who passed away the year before. It represented a big challenge for me. I ran the 5 km and 10 km on the Saturday but the real challenge was to race the half marathon in order to jump on my friend’s motorbike and get back to Edinburgh in time to run the marathon. My wife and I raised a lot of money for Macmillan and I was delighted that Macmillan decided to use my photo crossing the finish line to inspire more runners to run for them in future races.

What has running taught you about yourself?

That I can do something I previously didn’t believe possible.

What is the most ambitious running goal?

To run sub three hours for the marathon and gain a ‘good for age’ place in the London Marathon. London was my first marathon and I would love to go back but by earning my place. I’ve gained entry through every other means (ballot, extra ballot, charity place and club place).

How far in advance do you plan your running races?

I usually plan my races in September/October for the following year.

What is the most miles you’ve ever run in a week?

Not sure, between 40 and 50 miles in training for a marathon. I don’t do big mileage weeks, it’s more about the quality of sessions during each week that matters.

What is the longest period you’ve ever trained for a race?

20 weeks leading up to Edinburgh in 2014 but that included the Paris Marathon six weeks before.

What has been your most serious running injury?

The only injury I’ve ever had is cracked ribs in 2015. I was on my bike and my front wheel slipped in black ice and I fell. It happened five weeks before the Paris Marathon. After the fall, I couldn’t run so I walked as much as I could and managed to run 10 km the week before the race and ran the marathon hoping everything would be fine. Thankfully it was!

What cross-training exercises do you commit to? 

I do a lot of mobility and body weight exercises on a daily basis. That gives me all the strength, core strength and flexibility I need. I don’t do traditional stretching or core exercises, and I haven’t used a foam roller in six years. I don’t have any muscles that feel tight.

In one sentence, what does running mean to you?

Running gives me the space to clear my head, solve problems, come up with ideas for my business and achieve many things I wouldn’t have managed if I didn’t run.