July Challenge - Whatsapp's Story - Marathon Running ...

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July Challenge - Whatsapp's Story

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon

Q: what is the picture about?

A: This is me running with my youngest daughter at our local junior parkrun. She is dressed as her hero Moana as it is a heroes week and all the kids dressed up. I chose this picture because it best represents what running means to me. I have written a lot on the C25K forum about how my daughters took up running after watching me at a park run and wanted to try it to. When I started running I didn't realise how much of a positive effect it would have on us all. My eldest daughter runs to, but is too fast to be in this picture.

Q: Tell us a little bit about you!

A: Real name is Dave not sure why I chose Whatsapp as my handle, probably because it's close to my surname Whatsapp/ Watson - it's certainly not a nickname. I am married with two wonderful daughters and turned 40 this year. My career has been varied, but can be summed up broadly as beginning in Construction, followed by a decade of teaching and now I am a HSEQ Manager - so I guess I deal with the moral and legal side of business. We live on the south coast.

Q: How long have you been a runner?

A: I started C25K at the beginning ofApril 2017. So a little over a year.

Q: Did you start running with a C25K programme? Why or why not?

A: Yep. Downloaded the app. I had been looking for a way of keeping fit that fitted around me. I didn't want to join a gym or go to classes. I needed the flexibility. I spent 3 months following the Joe Wicks HIIT plan and although it worked wonders I needed a change. I thought how great would it be to be able to just run 5k in 30 mins whenever I felt like it. I was right.

Q: But what made you want to start running races?

A: Quite a few people suggested park runs to me, which made me curious. I did it and realised how different it feels to run with others. It gave a new edge to my solo running and made it more like training. I decided that I didn't just want to log runs at park run but to enter events and experience new routes. I could plan, prepare and train accordingly. It gave me focus for my runs.

Q: What's it like to run in your area?

A: I live near Eastbourne so there is the opportunity to run along the coast. Also, Beachy Head and the South Downs are nearby so plenty of scenic seaside running available. Mostly though, I run around the streets near by my house. So pretty flat really.

Q: What is your favourite race event so far? And why?

A: I've not done many, but The Kings Head Canter 5k which takes place on August Bank holiday and you run from the village of Chiddingly around country lanes to the village of East Hoathly straight to the aforementioned Kings Head, where you get a drink of your choice. No medal though, but a nice carnival atmosphere with a BBQ.

Q: What are your favourite mid-race snack, and post-race meal?

A: I never eat and run. I run early so mostly it is breakfast after a run. Which is mostly museli or porridge depending , but a sausage and egg mc muffin is an occasional treat.

Q: Name a favourite running website (plus link, please!):

A: Runner's World is my go to when I have a running related question. it seems like whatever the query they have an article or two to help: runnersworld.co.uk/

Q: What's next for you, running-wise?

A: The plan this year is to keep up 10k runs to give me a stronger base from which to start training over winter for the Eastbourne HM. I did it this year but my training was broken through injury and I want to go again and finish stronger this time. After that who knows...

17 Replies
roseabi profile image

Thank you, Dave Whatsapp!! I have wondered why you called yourself that :)

Love reading about how running has been so positive for all of your family - and your daughter's outfit is sensational! Also really like that races give you focus, and that Kings Head Canter sounds wonderful!!

Hope you don't mind if I link this and the challenge post together?

Here's the Challenge post:


Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to roseabi

Mystery solved - lack of imagination LOL.

Absolutely. I need focus for my runs and I get excited for the races. Although I am not going to get anwhere near the elite, I want to be the best that I can be. I want to feel I have earned that medal (or beer). If I see the runs as training to acheive that it gets me out of bed.

Good idea to link them all together

Decker profile image

Its great the running has had such a great influence on both you and your daughters Dave.

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to Decker

Thanks Decker I look forward to more runs with them when they are older and can join n the bigger events.

Decker profile image
DeckerModerator in reply to Whatsapp

Just imagine all of you running a marathon together. Ok, maybe too soon :)

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to Decker

I never even thought of that 🏃🏃🏃

Sqkr profile image
SqkrHalf Marathon

Aged 36 I honestly left the cinema after Moana feeling like I'd explode from all the positive feelings it left in my head, so I'm totally with your daughter on this and am tempted to run in a similar outfit at Saturday's parkrun 😆 How lovely that you are able to influence your family in such a wonderful way! It must be really inspiring to see them looking up to you like that, and to see how much you have encouraged them to enjoy being active.

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to Sqkr

Thank you so much. I look up to them. All the analysing and worrying I do about much running and they just line up and go. Park runs are great and junior park runs where you see mums and dads running with their kids is extra special. Give in to your inner Moana 😀

aliboo70 profile image
aliboo70Half Marathon

Lovely photo! 😊 I like the sound of your kings head race! And Eastbourne half! I have Aunties near there! Thanks for the interesting read I am loving finding out everyone's background!😆

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to aliboo70

There are so many runs around. Its been great trying a few and finding some favourites. Eastbourne half is fun and a relatively small event. Especially compared to the Brighton or Hastings Half's which get 1,000's of runners

Brilliant Whatsapp ....your journey has been great to follow....& it’s so heart warming you running with your Daughters...sounds like you have lovely places to run in too 😊

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to Mummycav

Thank you Mummycav. They help to keep it fun. Though they don't do the really early morning runs. There are some lovely places, but I do spend most of my time pounding the neighbourhood streets.

pianoteacher profile image

I've been lurking here reading all your wonderful running stories - fantastic inspiration!

What a small world it is Whatsapp I lived in East Hoathly for about 15 years and am still church organist there, and on occasion Chiddingly, for big services/weddings/funerals. The King's Head Canter is a fab event that I have watched many times. Hope to run it this year for the first time and claim my free drink at the finish 😁

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon in reply to pianoteacher

That's excellent. The drink at the end is well earned. As you are local you will know there are a few hills to climb between Chiddingly and East Hoathly. Sadly, I won't be able to run it myself this year as we will be away on holiday. I will be running along the beach though and thinking of you all. Might stop for a beer on the way back too.... just for solidarity of course 😀

pianoteacher profile image
pianoteacherMarathon in reply to Whatsapp

Of course 😂 my son still lives there with his Dad so hoping he'll do it as well. He's parkrunning with me this morning and was my co-tailwalker a couple of weeks ago. Might have a go at the junior parkrun at some point x

FlickM3 profile image
FlickM3Half Marathon

Still catching up with these. what a great story. Isn't it lovely when your kids run too!

It's great to hear more about your running story ... and how wonderful to have inspired your children to run too! :)

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