Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Chris Finill & Jim Cooper (March 2019)

Chris Finill, an outstanding Ultra & Marathon man, ran 3,100 miles across the USA with Steve Pope in 2011. It was from San Francisco to New York in 79 days 22 hours.
Did Chris consider that, as a long time runner, to be one of the most important achievements he had done?

“To an outsider it was probably the most whacky or most adventurous things I have ever done. I can look back in retrospect and I was, very pleased I did it. Hard work at the time.
I took 3 months off work and was waking up at 5 each morning in order to do the running.’

In the Middlesex/ Herts Masters cross country Championships, on Sunday March the 3rd 2019 at Trent Park, Cockfosters Chris, was first over 60 runner for  Middlesex over 60’s in 31:55 with Peter Crockford of London Heathside 2nd in 32:07.The third over 60 to finish was last year’s overall winner Des Michael of Barnet. He is the Herts Champion in 34:51. The event is a combined Middx & Herts Masters Championship.
Chris Finill points out “I was very pleased to win as, I won it as an M40 & M50 so it felt good to have a full set.
However, it was a hard race because of the wind, rain and mud in places; not an easy run but a true cross-country course and, it was well organised. I went into the lead after 1½ miles in.”

It was interesting to note Chris Finill was born in the road opposite 1956 Olympic swimming Champion Judy Grinham and Roger Bannister lived in the road and, in fact Chris went to the same primary school as Bannister. At 7 Chris was running round the garden and running to fetch cigarettes from the shop for his mother and timed himself It was his destiny that he should run and, at 11 he joined Harrow AC which he has been with ever since.’
How about his ‘Ever Present’ London Marathon record. He is in the Guinness Book of records for doing 33 consecutively inside 3 hours.

“I have done 90 marathons or ultras 53 under 3 hours so, I could say I had done 50 inside 3 hours if I never did another one!... The goal now is I want to run, If, If’ I can do 50 London’s averaging under 3 hours it would be wonderful. I have averaged 2:44 but had a hiccup last year when I had bad fall and broke my arm and so that did not go very well. I struggled home in 3:54!”

A friend of his and a club mate JIM COOPER was the first Over 45 for Middlesex and 2nd overall to Charles Bruce of Trent Park AC in the 40-50 race.  He joined Harrow 13 years ago. He is in the Metropolitan Police... A Probation Officer who did a little casual running and, as he was a casual runner suggested he join a club so, that was when he went down to Harrow AC. The thing was he has a different perspective on running than Chris
“I have never run more than 55 miles a week. I try and be consistent but not do high mileage. I went to my first race in the Chiltern League and was way back in the 100’s but with consistent training I improved a lot year later... I keep it simple and I do not run marathons but do cross country track and a bit of road running. I will be doing the Reading Half marathon this year.”

Alastair Aitken

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