5 Qs with Graham Carter

Crossing the finish line at the Steyning Stinger trail marathon in March 2014.

Name: Graham Carter

Age: Turns 43 tomorrow! (Mar 24)

City: Lives in Emsworth, on the South Coast of England, about 2 hours from London

Family: Wife and 9 year old son

Occupation: Business Lecturer

1. How long have you been running ultras?

I ran my first and only ultra so far in May 2013, just a year after running my first marathon.  From running with over 30,000 others on the streets of London in April 2012 to with 200 others across English countryside and hills (lots of hills) in May 2013. The North Downs Way 50 is a 50 mile ultra in the South of England and I loved it. Now I’m hooked! My race report/blog is here:

2. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

Listen to your body and use training plans as a tool. Don’t obsess about the mileage, scheduled run type, etc.. Build endurance, increase mileage gradually but don’t be afraid to extend, vary or cut short a planned run depending upon work, family, stress, how you feel. Sometimes we need to run free and keep going or call it a day early.

Oh, and don’t waste valuable time at aid stations on race day. The lure and reassurance of friendly faces and banter is easy to succumb to. I think I lost at least 15 minutes in aid stations in my debut ultra, something I plan to avoid this time around.


3. What’s your next race?

I am taking on the North Downs Way 50 again in May 2014, a repeat of my first ultra. Race details here.

The Centurion Running events are fantastically organised and supported by runners of all abilities.

Last year I was aiming to finish and beat the 13.5 hour cut off. I completed it in 11h53m and couldn’t stop grinning for days. After finishing I realised that I didn’t feel as bad as I thought I would and recognised that I could have run faster. This year, my plan is to achieve a sub-11 hour finish.

I’m a back of the pack runner with aspirations to get in the middle.

6 weeks later I take on my first 24 hour race on a 5 mile trail loop. I’m aiming to run at least 75 miles to boost my confidence as I work towards my first 100 miler. I’m volunteering at the South Downs Way 100 this June and am planing to run it in June 2015.

4. Any funky nutrition requirements?

Don’t think you can get this in the States but the original malt loaf has fuelled me through many a run. It’s great stuff. Oh, and Haribo too!


5. Do you cross train?

In the Spring and Summer I enjoy hitting the local trails on my (ageing) mountain bike but don’t do this regularly enough. I bought a yoga mat and had every intention of doing some yoga at home a couple of times a week, as well as kettlebells, to improve my core strength. Good intentions and all that…..

Bonus question: What’s your favorite beer?image-1

Since I’ve been training for and running long distances I’ve lost my appetite for beer. Well, almost. I am partial to a Marston’s Oyster Stout, a silky smooth stout from England.


Please use real name. Anonymous comments will be deleted. Thanks.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.