Going The Distance – Melissa Baker

We regularly feature one of the Sportlink team for a Q&A. 

This month it's Melissa Baker in the spotlight.

When did you first start to run?
Sometime in 2016 with my first parkrun being at Catton in August 2016.
What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?
Definitely the achievement of what you can accomplish. Seeing how far you can push yourself and the limits you’re at yet the determination to continue through the pain shows how strong a person you really can be.
What’s your biggest running achievement?
My second road marathon was in Bruges last October and I ran my London 2020 good for age time. I was elated because I managed to stay with the pacers and kept focused the whole race of what is set out to achieve.
What in the world motivates a person to run long distance?
Running longer but at a more comfortable pace can almost feel easier than a short distance at a faster pace and once you’ve done a half and then a full marathon it’s almost addictive to continue further...
What kinds of things do you think about as you run? 
I try not to 'think' and just take notice of where I am.  If I do let my mind wonder I always try and positively think about how I am running and imagine finishing the run/race feeling strong, achieving a pb or just generally feeling accomplished with what I have just done.
One the day of the big race…how are you feeling? Are you performing any superstitious rituals (like wearing the same unwashed socks you trained in for months)?
I don’t have any rituals but try and keep a positive attitude, use the pre race nerves to my advantage and to stay focused to run with strategy because they are what makes my races successful and most accomplished.
What’s your next race? 
I have planned an Autumn Marathon and London 2020.
What’s your favourite running shoe? 
I have tried a few brands but always find my way back to my trusty Brooks Ravenna but have just fell in love with the Brooks Adrenaline.
Who’s your running hero? 
My partner Phil, because he started running to keep me company when training for my first marathon and he’s since achieved more than he takes credit for. Somebody else I find inspiring is Fiona Oakes.
What’s the best thing about working at Sportlink?