Dr Andrew Murray is a Sports and Exercise Medicine doctor, he has worked at the Olympics, the Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and on 6 different continents. He is perhaps better known as a runner, having completed a 4300 km run from far north Scotland to the Sahara desert, the first run across the mightly Namib Desert, a record 7 ultra-marathons on the 7 different continents in under a week, as well as winning 12 international marathons or ultras. He works principally for the University of Edinburgh, and is a Merrell Brand ambassador. We at TickTheBucket.org reached out to Andy to ask some questions about long distance running and what’s next on Andy’s Bucket List, this is what he said:
1.What first inspired you to start running seriously?
I took part in the 250 km Marathon Des Sables having basically spent a month climbing in South America, having done virtually no training. I remember having totally inappropriate food (most of which I’d bought from the local market) and racing in a football shirt and surf shorts. Chatting to a couple guys, they recognised I could do a bit better if I trained properly and gave me a slot for the Sahara Race (Racing the Planet) which I ended up winning, and have enjoyed racing since then.
2.You seem to have a thing for running huge distances in extreme weather conditions. What’s the appeal?
I use running as my way of seeing the world- you can see, hear and feel far more running than if you are cooped up in a car. Also, I think the human body functions best when it has a sense of purpose, whether it’s passing an exam, taking care of a baby, or competing in a race. So I thrive on having stuff to aim at.
3.How do you manage to strike a balance between running, writing, medicine and your personal life?
Essentially, I love all of these things. But mostly my family, so they come first. I’ve just had my second daughter so have run less this year and changed more nappies. But the average Brit watches over 4 hours of TV per day, so freeing that up gives plenty time for running and writing while medicine is my day job.
4.Do you have any advice for someone who’s thinking of running a marathon? How do you not give up?
Essentially from a physical point of view; do the training. Gradually progress the length of your long run. On the day, eat small amounts of carbohydrates often. Mentally, aim for the next goal, break it down into small chunks. Aim for the next water stop, kilometre or even lamp-post.
5.What’s on your bucket list for the future?
In January there are races in 2 of the best and most iconic places on earth. Feel free to join me for these!
For more details follow Andrew on @docandrewmurray (twitter), or docandrewmurray.com and if you’ve been inspired to start long distance running don’t forget to put it on your Bucket List via www.tickthebucket.org