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Ian Williams aka Fetch

Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Our way of acknowledging the contributions and achievements of the Fetch community. Thanks to our sponsor Fitbit, our October winner will receive a Fitbit Charge 3.

Click here to nominate someone

Interview with McGoohan

.B. asks: Congratulations McGoo! :-) If money and time were not in issue where would you most like to walk/run/bike?

McGoohan says: Thanks B!
I'd love to hike the Milford Track in New Zealand. It's often voted the finest walk in the world.

For a run or cycle, I've often thought about how it ought to be possible to get from the tip of South America through Chile and up through Central America to Mexico, the USA and Canada and get as far through Alaska as possible. I think way too much about this stuff :-)
Oh, and I also *have* to do the Camino de Santiago. I watched The Way, starring Martin Sheen as if it was an instructional video for the Camino rather than an entertainment. When the best president the US never had tells you to do something, it's worth paying attention.
Joopsy asks: I actually love to see a man/woman filling their time with acitvity and purpose as opposed to moaning about how little time/effort/money they have to make it happen. I put you very firmly into the category of 'life grabber' and I hope that comes across as a compliment. Hopw do you maintain your overall enthusiasm for life as a whole? Also, have you checked out Circa Waves yet? They are good in a upbeat jolly summer kind of way.

McGoohan says: Cheers Joopsy. I'm now an I Am Kloot fan because of your recommendation last year (and going to see them live again next week as I write this). I'm previewing Circa Waves on Amazon right now. Sounding good so far.
Regarding enthusiasm for life, I think I'm very good at compartmentalising things. If some part of my life isn't going so well, such as work for example, I always feel I've got plenty of other things going on to keep me enthused. When you have people at home you love and who love you, that's all that matters really and there's no finer feeling.
Hills of Death (HOD) asks: Congrats old friend clear up the confusion for me What IS your number ?

McGoohan says: No problemo HOD: "54-46 was my number. Right now, someone else has that number"
or
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Nelski asks: Well done.
Are you a number or a free man and how does one know?


McGoohan says: Well Nelski, I am not a number... I ... oh hang on, what's this say? Apparently I *am* a number.

How do you know? By the badge you are forced to wear in The Village.
santababy asks: Congratulations :) to quote a song.. when will i see you again?... its been too long! Come to Edinburgh at once! x

McGoohan says: Hello there Santa. You're right - I need to get myself to Scotland. It might happen soon enough anyway. Me and youngest have been cycling some of the North Sea Cycle Trail and we've started on the English bit. So, just the whole of England to do and we'll be there ;-)
(Pssst - see also the answer to Alice the Camel's question)
Gobi asks: Have you started running yet ?

McGoohan says: You know, O Dark Lord, I may just take up that running thing one of these days. Running's just walking though isn't it: just a bit faster, right?

Srlsy though - I have run best when I've had a plan to follow. I felt great in 2012 preparing for Brighton, breaking a few PBs on the way. It was all going so well until I injured myself of course.

I might even *train* for the Beachy Head Marathon this year. :-o (Sssh. It's a secret.)
*Anj* asks: Yay! congrats. When are you coming to try out Bike park wales? and my actual question. North Downs or South Downs and why?

McGoohan says: Hi Anj!. It might be sooner than you think. Eldest is probably going to go to Cardiff Uni and he's a keen MTBer. :-)
I virtually live *on* the North Downs but the South Downs wins every time for me. They're more expansive and open and the North Downs has the M25 or M20 getting in the way a little bit too often. Oh and you can see the sea from the South Downs from most sections of the SDW at some point.
GimmeMedals asks: Congrats and very well deserved MOTM. You are one of my most revered stickers. The London Bridges Challenge was a great day out; thanks for organising it and I look forward to future runnings (do you see what I did there?) of the event. Which Fetchie would you most like to add to your sticker album and why?

McGoohan says: You're very welcome, GM. It was great to meet you at last :-) Before I answered this, I went through the whole stickerbook again - I'd not completed it after the TBC! It was an interesting exercise trying to work out which Fetchies I have really met and which I only *think* I've met as I've known them so long online. As such, there are quite a few Fetchies of long-standing who I was surprised to note I haven't really met in Real Life. EyeSpy21 for example. But it feels a little strange to single just one out as there's also Jono, Joopsy, Binks, Nellers, Oysterboy... all of which I feel I have met... but haven't!

Also, as pointed out within this questionnaire, I nearly met RichMac and NorthernSlowCoach at the same event and somehow failed. So I've got to collect all those 'nearly mets' as well.
Diogenes asks: Thoroughly deserved. When or where can we enjoy some more of your literary outpourings?

McGoohan says: Ooh, good question, Dio. I have been working on an idea I want to bring to fruition this year. I don't want to spoil the surprise but it has a working title of Random Letters to Random People. It's a slightly rubbish title as it's not particularly random.

I've got a little admin set up for that, but that should be happening by summer. Maybe a bit later than that: I have to spend quite a bit of time sucking on the end of a pencil, staring out of the window, realising it was a pen all along and now I've got ink on my lip, and where was this sentence going, and ooh, look a squirrel and... thinking up a better name than Random Letters to Random People.
ChrisHB asks: Camping... why not add more hardship to your adventures?

McGoohan says: We tried camping. Once. We went to Savernake Forest near Marlborough. I think it was the end of September one year, maybe even October. We'd got a new two 'room' tent, blow up mattresses, sleeping bags etc. Everyone else got two sleeping bags. I got half a double sleeping bag. I spent the night getting up periodically and putting more clothes on, layer after layer. Eventually I was wearing *all* the clothes. Never. Again.
pedroscalls asks: Congratulations, well deserved. .B. has kind of asked my question, but I'll be more specific, with your love of bridges which bridge around the world would you most like to go and claim?

McGoohan says: Always happy to talk about bridges, Pedro. :-) I've always wanted to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but my absolute dream bridge crossing would be the Golden Gate Bridge. Now that's a proper icon. It would also be quite nice to be allowed to do the bridge from Copenhagen to Malmo but, sadly, pedestrians are not allowed.
Wriggling Snake asks: I am with you but can you explain the attraction of Costa, I can't and I go there all the flipping time!

McGoohan says: You won't believe how hard I've thought about this one, WS! I think I've narrowed it down though. Initially they were the only one doing free wifi, but I did have a mental CompareTheMarket with their rivals and the Costa seating is more comfy, the decor is nicer, the coffee tastes better and their staff seem less like automata and seem to be encouraged to be themselves a bit more. The music on their system is better too. Anybody playing The Boy With The Arab Strap by Belle and Sebastian as their muzak is alright by me.
LazyDaisy asks: Hooray, congratulations on a very well deserved MOTM! If you had to choose one or the other, would it be running or cycling? (No pressure, but, you know, this *is* a runnng site...)

McGoohan says: Ooh Daisy, that is a tough one. I have had a long hard think about this. Because my youngest son still wants to go on those cycling expeditions with me - and he has little enthusiasm for running - it would have to be cycling over running. Once he's left home and is doing his own thing, the balance will probably switch back to running.
minardi asks: What question would you like to answer that hasn't been asked?

McGoohan says: I'd ask pleasureprinciple's question (see below)

...no, sorry Minardi, that was a bit of a cop-out. How about "where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?" and I could reply, "I don't know. I haven't got 2020 vision."
Night-owl asks: Congratulations very much well deserved. Which Bridges would you love to run over that you haven't done already?

McGoohan says: Hello Night-Owl, fellow bridge collector :-)
In addition to my answer to Pedroscalls above, I'm really looking forward to doing the Seine Bridges in Paris some time this year, hopefully. By the time Fetch publishes this, I will have been to Cork, Ireland which has a very special bridges challenge. (EDIT - yes, it has, and yes I did.)
richmac asks: Congrats, I nearly met you at a race once. The absence of sinister balloons confused me.

McGoohan says: I recall that Rich. It was the Ilkley Trail Race, I think in 2009. I went off like a bullet and was feeling very comfortable ... until the hill started. That was about half a mile in and it kept going up for about another three miles. You overtook me early on and I thought 'That's a Fetchie! Never mind, I'll catch up with him for a chat at the end.' Of course, by the time I'd got to the end, you had probably been home, showered, been out for a meal, raised a family etc, so I didn't get to meet you.
KatieB asks: Can you please give me one of your finest palm punches in celebration? That doesn't count as a question. Is there a race that you love most of all?

McGoohan says: Hi KB! My, that's a tough one. *Punches fist into palm*. I'm going to save this one and come back to it later after I've longingly looked at my race history.

OK, I’ve done that now. Here are the main contenders:
Windsor half because it was the first one.

Rothwell 10K – because it was the first Fetchie I met (360) and the first, last and only time my Dad went with me to a race.
Hastings Half because it was a PB on a ludicrously non-PB course – and the best support ever.

Round Norfolk Relay – more for the experience than the race itself.

Grim – another insane experience and because I met you, Fetch and Surrey Strider there!

But my absolute all-time best race is The Beachy Head Marathon. Done it three times in all weathers. In fact the first time I did it, we had *all* the weather. Fog, wind, rain, locusts, boils etc. Somehow, sausage rolls and tea at 17 miles makes up for it.
Ness asks: Hiya! Congratulations. My question is....

Which is your favourite parkrun of those you've participated in and are there any others you'd like to try?


McGoohan says: Intriguing question Ness. My first and 'home' parkrun is Banstead Woods which is scenic in all seasons. I loved being a parkrun tourist in Denmark too at Amager Strand which is by the seaside. Single lap ones are the most motivating for me: I have really enjoyed both times I've done Bushy Park. I think my absolute favourite course so far has been Killerton Park in Devon. Single lap, beautiful countryside, National Trust tea room at the end, what's not to love?

I'd like to do some of the parkruns in Ireland. The one in Derry, for example, looks like it has a crazy route, but takes in a river bridge so it's already ticking all my boxes ;-)
Drell asks: Brilliant. Is there a limit to the number of Things you can have on the go at once? Supplementary: how many spreadsheets are involved in keeping track of the Things?

McGoohan says: You might be surprised Drell: there *is* a limit. I started doing the photo a day challenge - which is a great idea, by the way - but I was stressing out trying to do that and blog a day as well. You might be even more surprised that there are no spreadsheets involved! I tend to use the Notes feature in Outlook. I've no idea why. It's the wrong tool for the job but I've started doing it that way and now CBAed to change.

For things like long distance routes, this site gives me all I need - walks, runs, cycle rides, they all just get logged on here.
Pleasureprinciple asks: Congratulations. If you were in my position what question would you like to ask me?

McGoohan says: I'd ask Minardi's question (see above)...

oh, OK, my answer was too much of a cop-out. Here's a different one, like one you would get at a job interview: "What do you see as your biggest flaw?" If I was to answer that, I'd say "Sometimes I'm too much of a perfectionist. Oh, and I'm a massive thief. If it isn't nailed down, I'll nick it. So... when do I start?"
Fitz asks: Hello. Skills on winning MOTM, thoroughly deserved.

My question is a non-running one because (i) I can and (ii) I kinda miss the Q&A thing that used to be on people's profiles on Fetch. So:

Inna desert island discs stylee, what are your favourite albums of all time and why? Choose as many as you like. Go.


McGoohan says: OK, Fitz. This could well be the longest answer. Favourites with me tend to come and go. While I'm not big on nostalgia, there are one or two albums from my youth which stay with me. I previously blogged about this, but one of my all time faves is Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Get Happy!! It's an album I know every note of.

A lot of people like an artist's first album and then go off them a bit. I think Arctic Monkeys are like this. However, I've found they get better and better with every album, so much so that each new album almost renders the previous one obsolete. So next on the list is Arctic Monkeys – AM.

Similarly, their mates: Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork.

and similarly too, The Decemberists latest, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is fabulous. Plus they are possibly the best live act I have ever seen.

and controversially, I love the latest Strokes album, Comedown Machine; I think it's miles beyond their first, Is This It?

The QotSA album has nothing to do with the Boomtown Rats, despite the name but another - embarrassing to admit now, I suppose - favourite album when I was a kid was the Boomtown Rats third album, The Fine Art of Surfacing. I haven't played it in years but I reckon that's another one I could sing along to all the way through. For a long time, Diamond Smiles was my favourite ever song.

Last year, I discovered I Am Kloot, a band I had confused with sporadically unfunny comedy troupe We Are Klang. They are truly splendid but it's tricky to say which is their best album. I'll go with Gods and Monsters though. That's a good un.

Interpol's second album, Antics came out the day after my first ever running race, the Windsor Half, in 2004. It's another classic.

On the same day, Mansun's fourth, and 'posthumous' album, Kleptomania was released. I do love that, but their best album and the one which gives me my forum name was Six. It has a bit of a Prisoner/Pat McGoohan theme going on in there.

Does that answer your question? ;-)
Hanneke asks: I am glad my vote didn't go to waste! Congratualtions! Now, basket weaving, tell me more?

McGoohan says: As you well recall, Hann, basket weaving is the place to be, it's where the In Crowd go, where the Cool Kidz hang out and possibly good therapy as well. In many ways, basket weaving is an entry-level hobby for the harder stuff. Once you've weaved your own basket, why not cross-stitch a new dustbin or knit yourself a pet? I macramed a goldfish and I haven't looked back.
Captain S asks: From your blog entries you appear to be a walking fan.

What is your favourite long distance path and if time and money were not a problem what walk would you really like to do?


McGoohan says: This is a really tricky one, Captain S. So many good ones.

I've done The Dales Way several times and that's lovely, as is The Cleveland Way.

For sheer continuously spectacular scenery, it's the South West Coast Path but my favourite is probably the Daddy of them all, The Pennine Way. Britain's first LDP and 50 years old this year.

By the same token, I've always wanted to do the Appalachian Trail in the US, since I read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. The AT was the inspiration for Tom Stephenson in 1935 when he proposed the Pennine Way. The PW is hard enough work and it's about 270 miles. The AT is 2200 miles long and passes through 14 States.
EDIT - And having said all that, it would be wrong not to at least mention the South Downs Way. I have actually lost count of the number of times I've done the SDW. It was almost criminal it took so long for the South Downs to become a National Park. Best bit of the South East of England by far.
Corrah asks: First of all many congratulations for a very well deserved MOTM. My question is which season is your favorite to run in and why?

McGoohan says: Good question, Corrah. It's either (early) Spring or Autumn. The temperature is about right and I don't have to think too hard about clothing. Having said that, many of my PBs have come in the Winter. Maybe I just run quicker to get in out of the cold sooner? One thing I know for sure is that I *hate* running in the Summer. I am hopeless in the heat. *None* of my PBs were set in Summer.
Johnny Blaze asks: Hurrah! HTJI.
Berberian Sound Studio?

Explain that, please?


McGoohan says: And to Fairport Convention, JB.

Look, BSS isn't really that hard to understand. It's ... he's ... look it's all about how... when... if... er... Toby Jones is very good in it. It's 'meta'. That's it. Meta. You can get away with anything if you use the words 'meta', 'trope' or 'meme'.

Berberian Sound Studio is transgressing the mere functional norms of traditional narrative storytelling, if you will, challenging the ... challenging the... no, I'm done...
Alice the Camel asks: Congratulations - a most deserved winner! What's your favourite expolration (bike or foot) to date, and what are you planning for the near future?

McGoohan says: Hello Alice and thank you. Many years ago (1993) I attempted half the South West Coast Path in a fortnight and that went wrong from the second day. It's lived long in the memory.

Really though, my favourite solo jaunt has been my pilgrimage North from my doorstep here to my Mum's house via my Dad's and sister's graves. Despite the sombre-sounding premise I really enjoyed plotting a route through some places significant to me and I felt I had a real purpose to my journey. Once I'd got there, I sort of kept going. So far, I'm at York so this could conceivably continue to Scotland and answer Santababy's question ;-)
My favourite non-solo one would be the cycle ride I did with my son across Denmark last year. Fabulous weather, great things to see, easy cycling, friendly people. And Danish pastries at the end of the day.
Winniefree asks: Well done! Which is your favourite Scandinavian country and why?

McGoohan says: I haven't explored as many as you might think, Winnie. I've not yet been to Norway and only fleetingly to Sweden. We are planning to visit Finland this year (technically not Scandinavian, but is Nordic). By default I suppose, Denmark is clearly my favourite ... so far ;-). It was a real joy to arrive there as a cyclist and find that cyclists are so well catered for. When you get shoved onto a cycle path in Denmark, it has a proper metalled surface. Everything is maintained to a high standard and they signpost better than almost any other country I've visited.
Carpathius asks: Congratulations, fab to see you win :) Do all your ideas just pop into your head and spill out into blogs'n'stuff or do you have to think what to do/write about next?

McGoohan says: Thanks, Carp. There was a point where I had about a week's worth of blogs pre-written. It helps when I'm doing some exploration or other. Also, at weekends I'm generally doing *something*. Sometimes I hold onto an idea and write about it when I don't have such an adventure on the books. Case in point recently: one about Elvis Costello's album Get Happy!! That got no comments though ;-) The one about my stupid new phone? Tons of comments and views.
Doctor K asks: Which runner most inspires you?

McGoohan says: Intriguing question Dr K. I suppose if this question was asked of the high-end speedy runners, they might say, Haile Gebrselassie or Mo Farah and those would be good and wise choices. Perhaps because I tend to finish at the other end of the results, I'll have to take my inspiration elsewhere. ;-) At the time I write this, Fauja Singh has just celebrated his 104th birthday. He gave up running in 1947 and only took it up again in 1995. When he was a slip of a lad of 93, he knocked almost an hour off the previous record for a marathon by someone in their 90s. Should I live so long, he epitomises what I would want to be.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congrats. How do you see Fetchland and the Fetcheveryone.com site developing in the future (I'm asking all Fetchies this, cos there seem to have been lots of "fields" comments recently). Well done again! :-) G

McGoohan says: Cheers HG! I don't mind the way the site has evolved at all. I'm not big on nostalgia. However, as if to contradict that, I am also a complete Luddite - ludicrous for someone who works in IT. Even so, I have noticed that there's a side to Fetch (The Site) that's a complete mystery to me: the social media side of things. Or at least the social media that isn't just the site forums. I notice more and more that people are referring to the Fetch Facebook page, to pictures or comments that were posted there. Then we have the option to add/announce our training to Facebook or Twitter. I have used this facility - by accident. My defence is that I didn't know what I was doing. So I do wonder if the social side of Fetch will migrate off this site onto specific social media apps. At which point I'll probably be obliged to follow suit.
The Mighty Fleecy asks: Hooray! BFT! Which running adventure would you like to organise for your fetchie friends next? (Since you did such a marvellous job of the last one? :))

McGoohan says: Thank you kindly, O Lady of the Mud. I'm rather pleased that much of the onus for the June TBC is on Badger (It's almost time for the Badger Parade, etc) cause I'll hopefully be able to run it this time without panicking that I'm losing half the people on the way :-)
In the Autumn, I'd like to do the follow up TBC starting on the North Bank. It'll seem completely different, honest. There did seem to be some interest in the extension route I recced, going from Hammersmith to Hampton Court as well.

However, that's all still looking a bit Thamesy isn't it?... We could do with something non-Thames related. What do you suggest? ;-)
Bintmcskint asks: Yay! Congratulations on a really, really well-deserved MOTM :-)
You're on a desert island. You can take one Fetchie, one item of clothing, one kind of food and one household item. Discuss...


McGoohan says: Wow! This is a real 'Lost' scenario. Who's done this to us, Bint? And why? What did we ever do to them? We have one item of clothing? What, to share?

OK, if you insist.

Fetchie - can I take me? That way, there'll be two of me and I can leave one of me behind as a decoy when I escape.
Clothing - a sleeping bag suit: selkbag.eu
Food: American Hot pizza
Household item: helicopter (you didn't say it had to be my household. I'm assuming it's Richard Branson's household.)
northernslowcoach asks: congratulations, and I almost met you at the same race as richmac ;)
would you ever move back to Yorkshire?


McGoohan says: Thanks NSC. The one Fetchie I did get to meet that day was Swittle. :-)
A move back to Yorkshire is definitely in the future (retirement) plans. My wife shares my love of the Dales and we don't get there quite often enough. Mind you, I also love the Wolds, Moors, Coast and all the flat bits inbetween as well. :-) Even Pontefract.
Seratonin asks: What two celebrities (or non-celebs if you prefer) would you most like to see in a celebrity death match, and why?

McGoohan says: Another tricky one there, Seratonin. I'll go topical and say Jeremy Clarkson and Katie Hopkins, both armed with a cricket bat with a nail through it. Why? because they're controversialists for hire. Hopkins because she wants to keep herself in the limelight all the time, Clarkson because he'll express an obnoxious opinion he doesn't really hold simply because he has a book/TV show/dog grooming salon to promote.
Canute asks: Congratulations; a very well deserved win. What run or walk most inspired you?

McGoohan says: The explorer part of me is always inspired by John Merrill and his book Turn Right At Land's End. John Merrill was the first person to walk around the entire circumference of mainland Britain - which came in at around 7000 miles. Mind you - spoiler alert - that walk did drive him a little loopy and I think he ended up burning his socks on a beach in Essex.
The Teaboy asks: Congratulations. When are we going to get the Con Air review? (You've been a bit slack on the Cage front lately...)

McGoohan says: I've only watched one more Nic Cage movie since my last batch - (Bad Lieutenant - quite good actually) - but Left Behind was so woeful it put me off films in general never mind Nic ones. I just need to build up a bit more resistance to histrionic acting.
Duchess asks: Congratulations! Will there be a ceremonial poem to make this auspicious event? And which of your poet "acquaintances" will be appointed to write it?

McGoohan says: (And congratulations to you on the new job - I find it hard to believe sometimes we didn't work at the same place.)
There probably will be. But I'm worried that Tony Lovegood will be appointed and then its explicit nature would mean Fetch couldn't publish it.
Lalli asks: Congratulations McG! So... do you have a bucket list run you'd like to tick off? And what's your mmmmmmm *food* favourite? :-)

McGoohan says: I'm too afraid to have a bucket list Lalli in case I finish it! As far as runs go: I've applied through the ballot several times for The Biggest Marathon In The World (TM) but the two times I was successful, I got ill/injured. One day, I will have to *do* London, but it'll have to be through the ballot: I don't want the pressure of having to raise a billion for charity as well.
Favourite food (savoury): American Hot Pizza

Favourite food (sweet): Apple crumble (or possible steamed syrup sponge)
Special mention for Yorkshire Pudding which I am genetically predisposed to like.
swittle asks: Wanderlust? Lifestyle choice, or necessity?

McGoohan says: It's both really, Swittle. I'd go nuts if I had to sit about at home all the time. I owe this to my Dad I think. Family holidays would involve us going to the beach and my Mum would sit in a deckchair for eight hours straight. My Dad couldn't sit still either. I would pester him to take me rockpooling and he'd happily comply though this might involve a journey of some miles considering the places we used to go on holiday (e.g. Fraisthorpe Sands)
Fenland Flier asks: Congrats to you, I enjoy your blogs. So, film buff, bridge enthusiast, runner, hiker, cyclist, employee of Satan corp, poet, googleist, and blogger do you use duracell batteries or a different make? Is there 48 hours in your day? How do you fit it all in? (sorry 3 questions)

McGoohan says: It's easy to fit it all in when your house is a tip! Seriously, I have a ToDo list stretching back several years. I still haven't finished off the kitchen and it only needs a few more little steps. I also get up quite early, go to bed late and every week or so have a lie-in catch-up. This is probably not healthy or to be recommended!

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