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Meet Lee Brown

In the first part of the book, The Ultimate Runner, Lee's picture of his sons running during a race for the Book cover county team of Worcestershire.   The spirit of young runners is so inspiring and we think his picture captured it beautifully.  We wanted to know a little more about Lee so he shared a bit about his running and the picture.

Why did you start running?

I started running because of my sons. They both run for our local Athletics Club HACC (Halesowen Athletics & Cycling Club). Whenever the young club athletes compete, I try to cover each event from a photography point of view. It soon became apparent that I was unable to run from one side of the cross country course to the other in time to get the desired photo........I was simply too unfit & over weight.  Now I combine both my passions, running & photography.

Best running advice you ever received?

Variety. I’m guilty of having a favorite running route but you can run it to death. Change your route, your company, your pace & embrace the mud when it’s here

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?

Only wish I’d realized how good it makes you feel earlier in life.

Being 40 something make you appreciate pre & post running stretches & also the importance of a good warm up & down. Spending the whole working week with a pulled muscle isn’t worth the pain.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Listen to experienced runners. They know what they’re talking about!

Most read/used running book?

It has to be “Athletics Weekly” (UK). I’m usually checking results & seeing how many mentions my sons get but it always has the latest advice & excellent tips.

Favorite running memory, run or race?

My favorite memory is the day I was converted to Athletics. I’m a long established football (soccer) fan & both my sons were being taught in the fine arts of the great game.

A talent spotter approached the school my sons attended asking for them to consider joining the athletics club he represented (HACC). I can remember being pretty against it & almost dismissed it as a waste of time but.......agreed to let my eldest son turn out for the club & take part in a Road Relay competition.

The best teams back would then compete in a national event later in the year. I wasn’t really interested & was more focused on a football match my son was playing in later that day.

My son was part of a Relay team. Each team had three runner each having to complete one leg of the race. I’d made a point of making the team manager put my son in the first leg as I wanted to get away to make sure we were not late for his football match.

The 200 boys on the start line would have to run the 3 mile lap passing over to the 2nd leg runners who would run their lap & release the 3rd leg runner. First team to get all three back won.

I watched as my son sped off to the sound of the gun. He vanished in the distance in the huge crowd of boys.......& then I waited. The marshals dotted around the course reported back the race position & they were announced over the PA system........but I wasn’t listening. I was packing up our belongings & getting ready to go. I thought as soon as he’s over the line we would set off on our way to the football match. I really wasn’t interested in the rest of the race.

I stood along the finishing stretch which was a good half a kilometre long. It was all roped off & lined all the way along with people. I remember thinking “Wow........there’s a thousand people here or more.” At his football match later there would only be around 30 spectators!

I thought I’d set my camera to movie & when my son eventually runs past I’ll catch it on film as he passes the crowds. I planned to carry on filming until he crossed the finishing line & then I was going to pan up to the large clock showing the lap times so he would know his time. We could then go to football & leave this running lark behind.

Eleven minutes had passed when the crowd at the beginning of the home straight began cheering. I looked down the long home straight & in the distance I could make out a boy in a yellow vest being chased down by two other boys. I glanced over at the HACC manager, runners & parents who had gathered along the straight........&, they were all looking at me?

They began getting very animated & pointing down the straight. I dawned on then & there that is was my son. He’d out run all 200 boys & was sprinting away from the other two on the home straight. Every hair on my body stood up.......they are now as I retell the story. I stumbled for my camera, pointed it down the straight & pressed record.

The footage goes like this: 3 blurry runners in the distance.......the crowd screaming at them. The closer they get, the shakier the footage. HACC are shouting at my son “GO ON HARVEY.......ALL THE WAY HARVEY” By this time the camera is recording feet jumping up & down & I can be heard screaming at my loudest (think I sworn once or twice too). As he passes me the camera captures his foot & then it films me as I drop everything & begin running to great him.

It’s funny watching it back......but it also make my eyes well as I remember the emotions I went through. That day I was converted to athletics & every race either of my sons are in, I still react the same.

We stayed for the rest of the race that day........almost forget about the football match.

Your running dream?

My dreams revolve around my kids. My eldest, Harvey Brown has already represented England at Cross Country & plans to Represent GB one day

What keeps you running?

My fitness. My boys. Being part of the athletic community, part of the club.........is very rewarding.

How can runners contact you

My flickr Photo page houses my contact details: http://www.flickr.com/people/browner_lee/

My email address is: browner_lee@yahoo.co.uk

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