We caught up with Colin Hannant after he had just finished a bike ride and a short run. After he said he was shattered, he kindly shared his running memories with us.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born at Bookham Surrey in Epsom Hospital where I lived for three years before moving to Southampton, then moving to Portslade. My Father being an Insurance Broker and my Mother was an Insurance secretary until they had me. I have one sister who lives close by to me, who also has just taken up running.
When did you first start running?
I started running about 1990 if my memory serves me correctly.
How many years have you been running for?
So, I have been running for about thirty years
When did you join the Hedgehoppers and why/what made you become a regular?
I joined Hedgehoppers in 1991 after going to the WSFRL race at Fittleworth as I ran unattached. I saw a club called the Hedgehoppers there and that would be a good idea to see if I could run with them. I became a regular because it made me feel like I belonged to something and also all the new friends that I found being a member of the Hoppers.
Best thing about being a Hopper?
The best thing about being a Hopper was the friendliness and encouragement given to me by other club members. This was especially evident recently when I had a few medical issues. I cannot express how grateful I was for all the support I received from other Hoppers at this time.
Favourite running memory i.e. that WOW moment?
There have been several WOW moments in my running career and some of these are as follows. Managing to run my first marathon (The Three Forts). I was so worried about running a marathon that I hardly slept all week before. Was so elated when I finished, I actually slept with my medal around my neck that night………. Sad, I know. I would like to add I was very grateful to Paul Stratton who helped and accompanied me around the Three Forts. Other WOW moments have been getting a good time when I ran the Paris Marathon, and one other WOW moment I would also like to add was completing running The Three Peaks Challenge as a Hedgehopper.
What made you start running?
I used to play a lot of squash and belonged to two leagues. Unfortunately, this had to come to an end when I kept getting injured with very bad back problems. I then wanted to find another way of being able to exercise so I decided to start running full time to compensate for the fact I could not play squash anymore.
What’s the longest distance you’ve ever run?
I think just over the marathon distance, so about twenty seven miles. This was when I competed in the Three Peaks Challenge as a Hedgehopper. When you run this, you finish is at the top of Snowden and then normally everybody gets the train down to the bottom. Not us, as somebody came up with the bright idea was to run back down, I know its only downhill but still tough on tired legs!
Favourite running event and why?
My favourite running event, well I always used to enjoy running the Hastings Half Marathon as really enjoyed the atmosphere. Even though London Marathon has a lot more going on, it’s less distance to run! I also enjoyed running the Three Forts Marathon as an event.
Do you have a nickname and how did you come by it?
Nickname, well I did acquire the nickname ‘Sicknote’ This was given to me because at the start of a race I would always come up with some reason why I would not run very well. Then I managed to run better than my expectations without any problems.
Please tell us one thing about yourself that people may not know?
Well this is quite difficult trying to think of anything, but there is some interesting history associated with my family. My Grandfather who used to run for Essex once won a plot of land in a race in which he built a bungalow on.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Only that I am so grateful for being able to run and meeting and knowing so many good friends