From competing at an early age in a sprint race at Butlins to the threat of detention for jogging round at the back at school, Dave Maskell shares his running memories and more.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Brighton and grew up mainly in the Lewes Road area. We did venture too Woodingdean and Hove for about a year each. I have a younger brother and sister. I became an engineering apprentice at Kearney and Trecker at Hollingbury, then moved to Le Carbone Portslade, before starting an engineering business with some colleagues in 1999.
I have always been into sport, the first club I joined was Brighton Swimming Club at the Old North Road Baths. I attended local Brighton Catholic schools and Cardinal Newman school in Hove.
I played various sports at Newman and out of school I was in the scouts and played junior football for teams from the age of 10 until my mid 20’s, in Saturday and Sunday leagues. We had a few promotions and I once scored an hat trick in a cup semi-final to reach a Sunday league cup final.
At School I eventually enjoyed cross country, having been warned for jogging round at the back that I would get a detention. I said I would put some effort in next week and duly came in first. We could select our sport for PE and running became my preference. I am not one for watching sport when I could be taking part. One of my work friends then got me to take up Hockey for Southwick, where I met my wife, until a serious injury in 2013 forced me to give up. He also got me to play cricket for Portslade in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. There’s not enough running in cricket though.
When did you first start running?
As you can see from the photo below at a young age. It was about 1967 at Butlins in the under 8 sprint race. The big ringer won it (he should have been in the under 11s but there was only two of them). I’m second in from the left in the photo below.
More recently, about 2007 as I would take my daughter Emily to Worthing Harriers and started helping out with the middle distance junior coaching. I then entered the Hove park race in 2008. I joined the coaching team at Worthing but did not enter any fun runs and stopped when Emily gave up. Someone mentioned parkrun and I started in 2011 to keep fit when not playing hockey in the summer. Then following my injury weekly from mid 2014.
In 2015, a parkrun friend Cliff then asked if I would like to enter the twin piers 10K in North Wales and the BM10 in 2016.
How many years have you been running?
Other than in team sports and ignoring a few races in my late teens since 2008, but more regularly since 2011 at parkrun.
When did you join the Hedgehoppers?
I joined in October 2016. When sitting having a coffee with Roy and Peter after a parkrun I said I was looking at joining a running club possibly to do some track runs. They persuaded my to join the Hoppers.
Best Thing about being a Hopper?
Getting to run with such lovely people. The WSFRL is great and having put the effort in I can justify eating Zoe’s or Jenny’s lovely cakes. I do enjoy the camaraderie and the little bit of friendly rivalry. I will beat George one day.
Favourite running memory?
Difficult one as I have not done a marathon as yet and no plans to. But I think the last 300 metres of my first 10K at Twin Piers. I heard someone behind me call to his fellow runners come on lets overtake the man in blue. 300 meters later he regretted that, bit like I did when I tried the same with Mike Airey at a parkrun!
What’s the longest distance you’ve ever run?
The Half Marathon is the longest. I only intended to do three. I’ve currently done about eight!
Favourite running event and Why?
It’s the one I miss most parkrun. It gives the opportunity for any one to run or walk. You can also have a post coffee or breakfast at some.
Do you have a nickname and how did you come by it ?
Yes, a lot of my friends call me Sherpa. I use to be an expedition mountain instructor and when I was an apprentice turned up for work with a large rucksack. I had been selected for an outward bound course in Wales with Rolls Royce. A fellow apprentice then started calling me Sherpa, after Sherpa Tenzing and it stuck.
Please tell us one thing about yourself that people may not know?
I captained a Southwick Hockey team in a cup match against East Grinstead that had 6 internationals including the GB captain at the time and some of the Olympic gold team.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
When my daughters were younger they wanted to learn Karate not one to watch I joined in. They gave up but I have continued eventually getting to black belt.
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