A few drinks, a bet, then a race between two piers and Cliff Feeney’s interest in running was sparked and he hasn’t looked back. Here Cliff shares his running memories and more.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself? i.e. where you grew up, family etc.
I grew up in Huddersfield, Yorkshire with my two Brothers Ray and Geoff and we moved to Portslade when I was 14 years old. I went to the Knoll School for a while and then went to work for Post Office Telephones, now BT, and became a lineman maintaining telephone lines and switchboards.
At the age of eighteen, while working for the Post Office I joined the Royal Naval Reserve working part time at the weekends and during special leave entitlement. I went to sea on board the Minesweeper HMS Curzon based at Shoreham harbour and part of the Royal Navy’s mine countermeasures squadron. During this time I would take part in various sports with my workmates but didn’t really excel much at anything but I always enjoyed taking part.
When did you first start running/what made you start running?
I cannot remember exactly when I first started running but at sometime in my twenties, I remember sitting in a pub one evening with some friends after playing football and after a few beers, for some reason, two of us bet each other that we could run faster than the other and that we should test this in a race along Brighton seafront. Amazing how many fun ideas begin after a few drinks. So we raced between the two piers but unfortunately I lost the bet but my interest in running had been sparked and we had provided entertainment for all who came to watch.
How many years have you been running for?
I have been running now for 40 years or more but running more regularly for the last 20 years.
When did you join the Hedgehoppers and why/what made you become a regular?
I married my wife Liz in 1973 and we had two children. John and Carol. As they started to get older we would often go out for a run just for a bit of fun. We would enter the Hedgehoppers 5 fun run as an annual family event. As they grew older they became keen runners and both ended up being Marathon runners. Carol and her friend Jenny Taylor joined the Hedgehoppers and entered some races. Jenny’s Dad, Roy Taylor then asked me if I would like to do a run at Plumpton Racecourse which I entered and I enjoyed it so much I signed up for more races. I was now a Hedgehopper member.
Best thing about being a Hopper?
Definitely, the best thing about being a Hedgehopper is the friendliness of the people that I run and take part in the local races with. Always plenty of banter and friendly rivalry
Favourite running memory i.e. that WOW moment?
I have two favourite running memories. Running the spectacular Bristol half marathon with daughter Carol. Also being presented with my medal for completing the 2016 Brighton Marathon by my son John. John was a volunteer at this event.
What’s the longest distance you have run?
The longest distances I have run have been at the Brighton Marathons.
Favourite running event and why?
For me the Brighton Marathon and Half Marathon are my favourite events. Always a good atmosphere there and always a good turn out of Hedgehoppers. I have been fortunate enough to take part in these events with my son John, daughter Carol and Son in law Tony Lindfield, which has made these events extra special for me.
Do you have a nickname and how did you come by it?
No Nickname. Everybody just known’s me as Cliff
Please tell us one thing about yourself that people may not know?
Apart from running I have always been interested in Long distance walking and wild camping over some of Britain’s Hills and mountains. some of these include the Pennine way, Cairngorm Mountains and Offa’s Dyke path as well as our local Southdown’s Way and Jurassic Coastal path.