As well as organising events such as The Vitality Big Half, London Marathon Events provides funding to 30 of Britain’s leading endurance athletes, as part of our commitment to support distance running from playground to podium. This week we caught up with one of them, Jonny Mellor, to talk about his life, career and future goals.
How did you get into running?
I started playing football and swimming and I was just one of those kids who wanted to try every sport. I realise I could run so started taking it more seriously as a teenager.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
Two things – running 2:10:03 in the marathon and becoming British 10,000m champion.
What are your hopes for this year?
Run a personal best in the marathon distance.
What's your ultimate career goal?
To be an Olympian.
What does this funding from London Marathon Events mean to you? How will it help?
The extra funding enables me to travel to training camps and prepare at altitude or in heat to ensure I can perform at a higher level.
With fewer distractions at camp I'm able to recover better and train harder. I've also used the funding towards physio support, helping reduce the risk of injury and enable me to train more consistently.
Where’s your favourite place to run?
St Moritz in Switzerland.
To eat or not eat breakfast before your morning run?
No breakfast before a morning run, only before a session or long run.
Best injury prevention tips?
Listen to your body and don't be afraid to take a rest day.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take up running?
Be patient and remember to enjoy it!
Who inspires you and why?
My coach Steve Vernon. I respect him as an athlete, coach and a friend and he's always gone over and above for me and continues to inspire me to train hard on a daily basis.
Who was your first sporting hero? Why?
As a Liverpool fan, Steven Gerrard was the first proper sporting hero I had. He led by example and always played with so much passion. He stayed loyal to Liverpool throughout his career despite playing in some pretty awful teams!
Would you prefer to achieve Olympic gold or a World Record? Why?
Olympic gold. Records can be broken but no one could ever take away your gold medal.
What helped you cope during lockdown?
Running gave me a focus and a purpose. My wife was also on furlough from March to August, so it was nice to spend time together and go on long walks with the dog.
What are you looking forward to as things 'return to normal'?
The return of running events without restrictions and being able to go out for a meal without messing around!
Describe your perfect day?
Waking up and going for a run, before coming back to a nice breakfast. Relaxed morning and a walk with the dog. In the evening a takeaway and watching something good on television. Either a film, a good series or a Liverpool match.
Recommend a book, film or TV programme you've enjoyed recently?
Recently finished watching Kingdom, which I'd highly recommend.
Favourite place on the planet? Why?
The Maldives – first time visiting a place like that for my honeymoon and it was unreal.