Profile: Marcus Kwan

Runner Origin Story
It was January 2019 and a colleague of mine, Rob, had entered the Great East Run. It was his first half marathon. He badgered myself and several other colleagues to enter the race for four months, I resisted as I was never much of a runner. I used to be good at the 100 metres at school but that was about it. Cross country or any other form of running had never been for me. Then on the weeknd of the London Marathon, I was watching it on the TV as I do every year since the first race in 1981. I decided to text Rob to say, let’s have a go, probably not being really serious and also with no real idea of how difficult it is to gain a place.

On the following Monday, Rob then said, so if you want to do London one day you will need to start training at some point. You’ve now got no good reason to not join me to run GER. With that I got out my credit card and signed up, I now had no choice. I then downloaded the Couch 2 5K app and bought running shoes and started the programme, a few weeks later joined Kesgrave Kruisers which was a master stoke to helping me get started.

That was over 3 years ago and I’m still here and really enjoying my running and considering I started my running career reasonably late in life, I’m still getting better. A lot of this comes from the support of my fellow Kesgrave Kruisers.

Greatest Running Achievement
Starting at 0 miles and being half marathon ready in 4 months. This was through sheer tenacity and dedication plus with help from Mark and Oli with their 10K2HM group that I was lucky enough to join.

Favourite Run Related Moment
Twilight 5K 2022 – running with Aris and Femi and as a group we pushed each other through mutual support during the race, as a result I smashed my 5K PB by 67 seconds. (20:26)

Favourite Distance
It has to be half marathon, as its a distance that I never thought I could do, but have now run many times socially and in races and improved from a time of 2:22:41 (my first HM race GER 2019) to 1:43:59 (Great Bentley 2022)

Favourite Race
London Landmarks Half Marathon, the support and atmosphere are fabulous. The crowds are really encouraging and you get to race round many of the sights of our capital city. If I don’t get into the London Marathon, this is one of the closest experiences that you will get to it all be it a shorter distance. I would recommend it if you can get a place (ballot or charity place just like the full marathon).

Favourite Shoe
I am certainly a Nike person, well at least so far. Of all the shoes I have bought, 19 pairs. Out of all of them, the Alphafly Next% are by far my favourite shortly followed by Tempo Next%. I love the feel that these shoes give you when running, I certainly feel the energy return and I have PB’ed all my races in either Tempo’s or Alphaflys. They can be a tad noisy though.

Favourite Local Route
Hip Hop to Holly. This was one of the lockdown challenge routes. Although officially a 5K route, as a loop from my house it becomes a 5 mile run, which is great for a lunchtime run. As a result I have run that route at least 66 times and I never grow bored of it.

Favourite Gels
I use SIS isotonic or electrolyte typically in orange; isotonic and electrolyte on longer races and just isotonic for the short events. Both work very well, although I have just started to try the SIS Beta Fuel energy chews. They are a bit like eating raw jelly, but appear to do the trick and none of them cause any digestive issues.

Favourite Warm-up Drill
Anything other than hopscotch! I cannot do hopscotch despite how much I try and study YouTube videos.

Best Coaching Advice
Always stretch at the end of a run. When I started, I did what many do and thought, stretching is for everyone else, not me. Result, injury! If you love running and want to keep getting those miles in, then make sure that you stretch properly. You will thank me for it.

Favourite Running Websites
Runalyze gives you the stats that Strava doesn’t and also displays information in a more user friendly manner. I also like the marathon shape feature. As I’m preparing for my first marathon this October this may be a useful measure in association with my training plan.

SportsShoes.com must be my most used website to buy running clothes, always good discounts. Never pay full price for anything.

Like About Running
Good to clear my head of all the troubles and stresses of life on a run, particularly a long run, plus it keeps me fit and allows me to eat cake guilt free.

Hate About Running
The cost of running shoes.

Gear Can’t Run Without
It has to be my Garmin watch. No run takes place without it. Started with the 735xt, but moved on to the Fenix 6s Pro. It has great battery life, so I only need to charge it once a week, typically. I do like how it tells you how many hours of GPS battery time you have left at the start of each run, therefore I never have battery charge / range anxiety.

Future Goals
Having smashed my PB at Twilight 5K this year, it would be great to go sub 20 minutes at some point before I get too old.