This month’s club member is Dave Debnam, aged 68.
Before I retired I was a computer engineer. I work part time as a bicycle courier.
Did you do sport at school?
I wasn’t very good at all. I did enjoy cross country running.
When did you start running & why?
In the early 1980s after not doing any exercise for 20 years I joined a keep fit session and we went for a run afterwards.
What made you come to Stopsley Striders?

The keep fit I went too finished and I heard that Striders did circuit training on a Monday night. I joined the club in 1985.
What is your favourite run/course?
I like doing a long run on a Saturday with my mates over the country side. Sometimes we meet at the bottom of Warden Hills and run over to Barton and back via Hexton or run up Telegraph Hill and over to Little Offley. Another time we might meet at Silsoe and run along the Greensand Ridge and though Chicksands or meet at Greenfield and run up Pulloxhill and then to Sharpenhoe. In this area there are so many opportunities for different running routes.
What is your best run?
One of my best runs was the 1994 Great North when it felt so easy I was worried I would blow up, still I managed to finish in 1:29. My best run ever was in 1989 when I ran in the Cambridge Half Marathon in 1:27.
What was your worst run?
The Cambridge Half the year after my PB. I was determined to beat 1:27 but didn’t take into account the hot weather that day. At 10 miles I had to stop at a water station feeling dizzy due to dehydration. It was a PW 1:40!
What was your most memorable run?
I hadn’t thought about running a marathon until some of my fellow Striders were kidding me on that you weren’t a proper runner until you had done so. One of my training partners said that she would like to enter London and it would be easier training together then on your own. We both managed to get a place in the 2005 London Marathon which because of the support of the crowds is a great first time marathon. I finished in 3:34 but was nearly beaten by a banana.
Do you like cross-country?

Yes and no, I feel that I run better on the road then on the mud. But I do like the togetherness of the club at these events.
Assuming you have spare time, what are your other hobbies/interests?
I really enjoy cycling and have completed in several sportive including doing the London 100 twice. Hiking with fellow Striders in several parts of the world and have done some climbing in the Dolomites and in Scotland. Being at home with my family and with my five grandchildren.
How many times a week do you run?
Twice at the club and a long run at the weekend. When we were marathon training we were running five days a week.
What is your average weekly mileage?
20 to 30 miles a week these days.
Do you do speed work or specialist training?
I have in the past done speed work on the track on Tuesday or at the club on a Thursday.  I found it made a big difference and helped to improve my times.
Do you follow a diet regime before competing?
The night before I will have pasta, a glass of red wine and finish with dark chocolate.
One of the club’s all-time fastest runners swore by McDonalds the night before!
What piece of your kit do you think is the most important?

The best running shoes you can afford. It can take time to find the best pair for you, what may suit your training buddies may not be the ones for you.
Who is your hero?
Ron Hill who did not miss a day of running between 20 December 1964 and 30 January 2017 – a total of 52 years and 39 day. He was the second man to break 2:10 in the marathon and he set world records at four other distances.
What do you like about the club?
Its much easier to run with others. I’ve also made good friends at the club who I also walk and cycle with and go on holiday.
What would be your advice to a new club member?
It can take several weeks to find the right group to run with but if you stick with it you will find a lot of encouragement and support. If you are having any problems talk to your fellow club runners, remember we were all beginners once!
What is your running song to get you over that line?
I don’t listen to music when I run; I would rather listen to the sounds around me.