Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Each winner receives a £100 ADVANCE PERFORMANCE voucher

Interview with Carpathius

DrPhleecingD asks: Huzzah! So glad you got MOTM! bunting Um, question, yes. Why the fetch name? Always meant to ask you and never got round to it :)

Carpathius says: Thanks Fleecy *wraps self in bunting* :) The name comes from a combination of Ghostbusters 2 and the Diablo videogames *everything goes all wavy* I started playing RPGs back in the late nineties and needed a name for my kick-arse, bow-wielding assassin character. After trying to come up with the perfect name for ages I remembered that the evil painting baddie in Ghostbusters 2 had said menacingly that he was Lord of Carpathia or something. Later I realised that bow-wielding characters were bloody annoying with all that run-away-and-fire-from-a-distance bollocks, and that getting in there with a sharp implement was much better. The barbarian character could wield two swords, and the name was too girly for him so I blokeified it a bit. It's been my RPG and forum name ever since.
LindsD asks: Ooh yes, I want to know that too. Well done and well-deserved. I would like to know.... how long had you been running before you decided that ultras were your 'thing' and what made you decide that? And part 2: what is in your head on those long runs?

Carpathius says: Thanks Linds! Hmm, ultras. *thinks*. I don't think I ever really decided anything. I fell into ultra running by mistake. I'd done a bit of plodding around, hated most of my first half marathon training and thought short distances were plenty for me. I then met loads of other runners through parkrun, joined a club and went to watch the London marathon. I wondered if I could actually run a marathon and pretended to train for one to see if it was possible. I loved the long runs this time and when I got to 20 miles it was a pity to waste the training and so I looked for a marathon to enter. A clubmate posted the Stort 30 ultra on Facebook and it lit a small but smouldering fire. I entered, loved every second, and have been easily led into signing up for long races ever since.
In my head - oh wow. My head is a very weird place. I have conversations with myself. I have conversations with my knees and feet. I start writing blogs in my head. I often get annoying earworms - on the SVP it was a song from Les Mis. I have conversations with people who aren't there, sometimes out loud. I can spend several miles deciding whether or not I actually like running (jury's still out on that one). Oh yeah, and I also have conversations with the wildlife. They're the best; I don't have to think of comebacks.
pedroscalls asks: Congratulations Carpathius, well deserved. My question is if money/time was no object is there a race or route you would want to run no matter where?

Carpathius says: Thanks pedro :)
I'm like a magpie - I see a race advertised (usually ultras) and think "Oooo, shiny! I want to run that!" and then realise it's totally impractical for various reasons. There are so many, and I want to do them all!
But I think the Spine race would be utterly amazing. It appeals to me because I struggle with running in the heat, and maybe because it's slightly bonkers. I don't just want to do it; I want to be at a level where I'm capable of doing it (if that makes sense).
Pompey Paul asks: Congratulations bunting My question is why the blue sheep as your profile picture?

Carpathius says: Cheers Pimps :) The blue sheep comes from the Latitude festival. His name is Bob. I can't remember why I chose Bob as a profile pic in the first place but I'm quite fond of him after all this time.
RichHL asks: Woohoo! Congratulations! So, is there anything you can't say now that you're Member of the Month?

Carpathius says: Cheers Rich :) Only "Haha, I'm in no danger of winning this, only muppets would vote for me". Oh drat, I just said it. Does that answer the question or negate itself and thus require a further answer? I'm so confused.
Bintmcskint asks: Congratulations :)
So...you're on a desert island. You can take one Fetchie, one item of clothing, one kind of food and one household item. Discuss... 

Carpathius says: Thank you UltraBintyOne :)
Hmm. Desert island. I think I would take Fleecy because she's very practical - although rubbish at putting up tents - and she's nice and cheery. And sweary. I would take a sarong because according to Wimmins Magazines there are all sorts of outfits you can make out of a sarong even though I've never been able to make them. Let's hope Fleecy's good at origami. Also I could make a tent or a sail out of it if the need arose. One kind of food... cake is a kind of food and you can have savoury cake and sweet cake so I would have lots of cake with me on this desert island. The household item... tricky. A fork would probably come in handy. A cake fork.
Corrah asks: May congratulations on MOTM. Now my question is what is your favourite race fuel (food and drink) when you are out their doing mad ultra stuff?

Carpathius says: Thanks Corrah :) For drink I pretty much only ever drink water, although I would never say no to a cup of tea even in the middle of an ultra. As for fuel, I'm still learning. I'm not a huge fan of gels although I do use them for convenience. In practice I tend to eat whatever's at checkpoints. Flapjack, cake, cheese straws, jelly babies, fig rolls in the earlier stages and more savoury stuff in the latter stages. Once, a small egg sarnie was the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.
GimmeMedals asks: Congratulations :-) You clearly enjoy races and meeting Fetchies, so my question is which cake is best?

Carpathius says: Thanks GM :) Now there's a hard question to answer. *Ponders*. Lemon drizzle cake, ginger cake, chocolate brownie cake. Mmmmmm..... *shakes self*. Where was I? Oh yes, cake. Lemon cake I think. Unless it's shop-bought cake in which case I will go for a slice of Manor House cake every time.
Autumnleaves asks: Many congrats - well deserved :) Lots of questions have already been asked hmmmm - when did you start running and why?

Carpathius says: Why thank you Mrs Leaves :)
I started running, sort of, in 2011. I can't actually remember why; growing up my entire family were runners and I was crap at it and apart from the odd fun run attached to a race (and a particularly horrible memory of the 1500m at school) I never did any. All of a sudden I decided it was a good idea and began doing a 2.5 mile route from home, getting a little further each time before walking. There was a 4k fun run attached to the local half marathon which I entered, and struggled with (I had to walk) but I felt very silly doing the fun run at my age and wanted to be like all the proper runners doing the half. I also seriously doubted I'd ever be able to run *that* far. So I entered a 10k in November 2011.
Seratonin asks: Well deserved MOTM Carps. What three people, dead or alive, would you invite round to dinner?

Carpathius says: Cheers seratonin :)
I would invite Stephen Fry because he's not only interesting, well read and very funny, he's also sexy as hell *swoons*. Oh hang on, you said three didn't you? *puts candles and champagne glasses away*. Sir Ranulph Fiennes because he'd have the best stories to tell and because I want to see him eat yoghurt with a fork. The third would be Velociraptor because I haven't met her yet and I reckon she's a cracking dinner guest. She might also bring cake ;)
FML asks: Huge congratulations and well deserved. You have run races from 1 mile to 50km, what is your favourite distance and favourite race - don't be biased toward Endure 24 because of me :)

Carpathius says: Bless you FML :) Sharing a tent with you at Endure 24 was definitely one of the highlights of my running year! Actually the whole of Endure 24 was awesome, I loved every second. It's definitely at the top of my favourites list. As for distance, probably 30 miles. I'm always going to have a soft spot for that distance as it was the first time I'd raced anything longer than a half marathon.
swittle asks: Delighted that the jury have voted you in! A question: you graced my 60th birthday by racing with me at Martlesham. When you reach *that* birthday, where would you race, and why?

Carpathius says: Thank you so much switts. I'm joining some proper notable names in the dock.
I really don't know. I might do something properly mad, like Comrades *gales of laughter float across the internet*. Ok, maybe not Comrades. UTMB possibly. Either something like that or I'll go back to the beginning of my running hobby and do a 10k. Perhaps I will come and race in your local 10k - if I do, you have to run it with me!
Sombrero asks: Many congratulations. I have a serious question for you. Why has there never been a superhero badger? If there was one, what would it be called? Superbadger is not an acceptable answer.

Carpathius says: Cheers Som :) There hasn't?! That's shocking; there should be. I think she would be ferocious and scary like a honey badger but nice and fluffy too. Her name would be Honey SuperBad(ger) and since that wouldn't fit on a little Lycra bra-and-knickers combination she'd get to wear some actual clothing. With go-faster stripe, obvs.
Diogenes asks: Congratulations Carp, Fleecy stole my question so instead I'll go with a old standard, what is your most memorable running experience?

Carpathius says: Cheers Dio :)
There have been several, for various reasons. I think the most memorable for good reasons was the Kings Forest 50k in 2014. It's four laps and I'd missed the cut-off for starting the fourth lap but they let me through anyway because I felt ok and was determined to finish. About ten minutes later, in the middle of nowhere, I wondered what the hell I'd been thinking - I was on my own, there was nobody behind me and the chances of catching anyone up were stupidly small. I'd forgotten my Garmin that day so I had no idea how far I'd gone, how far I still had to go, what the time was or anything. I decided I'd quit at the point the course crossed the only road where there was a shortcut to the finish.

For some reason I didn't. I kept plodding on, alone and so tired I didn't even recognise some of the course (I thought I'd gone wrong at one point and doubled back on myself). All of a sudden I realised I was jog/walking through a beautiful, silent forest under the power of my own legs and felt very peaceful, very happy and almost strong and there wasn't anywhere on Earth I'd rather have been at that moment. It's a good feeling, I don't always get it, but I'm always chasing it again.
Lalli asks: Congrats, Carpathius! My question is; what got you running in the first place?

Carpathius says: Thanks Lalli!
I have no idea (or I can't remember - one of the two). My family have been runners since I was little - back in the Dark Ages when runners were stringy men who wore shorts and vests no matter what the weather and women were viewed with high suspicion my dad was chairman of the club I'm now a member of. My mum still runs - I run with her often. My sisters run (they run a lot faster than I do which I will admit isn't difficult). I however did not run. I remember the beginnings of becoming a runner, I just can't for the life of me remember why I went out on that first run.
Bru-Bru asks: Congratulations! What makes a favourite race for you?

Carpathius says: Cheers Bru-Bru :)
I think rose-tinted spectacles make a favourite race a lot of the time. I remember the good bits and forget about the points at which I either wanted to cry and scream or actually did. A good course definitely helps - for me that's rural with not many long straight bits, preferably off-road. I think my favourite races have been hard but rewarding for some reason, either distance or time or feeling good about running.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congrats. I'm getting lazy with my MotM Qs - gonna ask same again as I asked AL: what is your fave thing about Fetch? Fetchveryone.com website rather than Fetch the man, unless you'd rather! Well done again! :-) G

Carpathius says: Thank you HappyG(rrr) :)
My favourite thing about the website is that it's so different from any other social forum I've been on. I would never have considered meeting up with people I knew as only an avatar and username until I found the awesome people that inhabit Fetchland but I have met people through here that I genuinely consider to be friends even though I have to remind myself that I've never met some of them. The ones I have met have lived up to expectations and each time I've met Fetchies I have had a fantastic time. The last two years' worth of RNR, Hell Down South, Endure 24, St. Neots, Brighton, Kent Roadrunner, all wonderful memories which make me grin like a loony.
As for Fetch the man... well since you ask, I can't help noticing that he has a cracking pair of elbows.
BaronessBL asks: Congratulations on MotM it's very well deserved......you seem to do a lot of different running (& indeed cycling) activities so does that keep you at a level of fitness where you can do - say - an Ultra at shorter notice or do you follow a particular training schedule that allows you to build in training for the longer distance races as and when you do them ...... (does that question make sense? Not sure it does really!) ;-)

Carpathius says: You're too kind Baroness *curtsies*
I don't actually follow a schedule at all, I'm crap at training plans. I make up my training as I go along and don't often know what sort of run I'm going to do until after I've done it. My training consists of going out there and running, mostly at a slow plod, using any excuse to get out there. Club runs, social runs, parkruns, races, back home after shopping, to and from parkrun etc. I have often decided on races at short notice (I entered the Dig Deep Suffolk Intro Ultra about four days before the actual race) so I suppose my level of fitness is such that I can do that. I do believe a lot of it is mental though. People have said to me "you can't do all those races, you have to choose" and I started wondering "well, why not?".
minardi asks: Many congratulations. What question do you wish that someone would ask you?

Carpathius says: Aw, thank you minardi :)
I wish that someone would ask me how I manage to look so fantastically gorgeous all the way through races, and have I considered taking up modelling in exotic locations. Sadly I have reviewed the photographic evidence and that question will remain unasked :-p
Tigerlily asks: Congratulations! Any plans for races in Scotland?

Carpathius says: Thanks Tigerlily :)
Not yet - I live dahn sauf - but there are several races I'd love to do. I've never been to Scotland and a race would be a great reason to go and see the beauty of it.
Liliaicha asks: Do you have any future plans for a 100 mile race?

Carpathius says: I still haven't managed to finish a race longer than 50k, so I don't. Yet. Or maybe never - I found SVP100 hard enough and thought to myself more than once"If I finish this, I need never do it ever again". But then again I said that during my first half marathon, so I'm a pretty unreliable source :-p
mole-thing asks: Congratulations! Blue sheep are native to the Himalayas. Do you have any plans to run there?

Carpathius says: Thanks m_t :)
Plans? No, but you've given me the idea now! *reminds self that self hates hills*
Night-owl asks: Congratulations Who or what inspires you in the Ultra world

Carpathius says: Thank you Owly :)
That's an interesting question actually. Several people do, mostly Fetchies. Bint inspires me because I want to be like her - she's a great runner, fast, and she loves it all and is full of positivity and sensibility which I can be a bit rubbish at. Plodding Hippo because there are many times in races where I've felt rubbish and then thought "What would PH do?" and knowing that I've usually only got one race to finish and thinking of her determination helps me get on with it. Flanker and KinkyS because they do multiple ultras as if they're 5ks and then turn up at St Neots to run the half and still manage to come in an hour before me ;) There's also Rachel, a clubmate but not a Fetchie who has started running ultras this year. Lots of other people have too but Rachel is rather special as she's fighting cancer, the effects of treatment, not being able to eat (!!) and still keeps going.
.B. asks: Congrats Carp, very well-deserved. How would you sell Hell Down South to a runner who likes the idea of the company and cake but not the coldwater and mud? :-)

Carpathius says: Aw, bless you .B. :)
HDS is the most fun I have ever had while running. You don't even notice the cold and the mud because you're too busy trying to splash the nancies who are mincing around the edges, laughing at Fleecy falling over on the only flat, even path in the entire race, giggling wildly while flinging yourself down hills on your arse, snort water out of your nose when Pimps loses his skirt and has to wear it around his neck for the rest of the race, practically cry at the look on CStar's face when Fleecy bounces up behind him and grabs his coconuts, spend the whole race making references to Bint's "snug moustache" and suggest that Linds and Fidgety Midget might want to build a raft before disappearing under the water in Lucifer's Lake and see who gets to the umbrage first. Then for the rest of the year all you have to do is think of it to bring a :) to your face.
Lills asks: Ooooooh, just spotted you are MOTM Carpathius, congratulations! So, do you have a favourite long run training route?

Carpathius says: Aw, thanks Lills :)
One of my go-to routes is laps of Alton Water (hilly end first). My favourite so far has been the recce of the Stour Valley Path from Bures to Cattawade but I've only done it once. Otherwise the River Gipping path is one I do regularly because it's easy to get to and there are so many options of loops and distances with that one.
sparky paul asks: Congratulations Carpathius on your well deserved award, does this mean we will have to kneel in your presence at parkrun? :-)

Carpathius says: Cheers sparky :)
Not unless you are kneeling before me to present me with a platter of cakes. In situations other than cake, a curtsey will do.
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