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Interview with DocM

westmoors asks: Congratulations Doc. If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

DocM says: Thank you. this is a difficult question....so on the basis that first answers are always best im going to go for Mr Bean/Rowan Atkinson. I love a bit of humour and Rowan Atkinson is an intelligent educated man, so i think he'd make for good company and id come away with a smile on my face.
Neilio asks: Well done Doc. Red sauce or brown?

DocM says: Thank you. there is only one possible answer to this question, its got to be brown....unless its macaroni cheese when it must be Heinz tomato ketchup
DrPhleecingD asks: Congrats Doc! Do you have a running mantra? If not, what would yours be?

DocM says: thank you. i thought the answer was no....but actually there are two things i do say (sometimes out loud) I either count slowly up to and back down from 20 or i catch myself saying "yes you are doing this" which makes me smile.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Congrats Doc. Great job! Do you find it hard letting a dog you have trained go into his/her working life? And what do you think of cani-cross? Well done again. :-) G

DocM says: Thanks
I could write a whole blog for this one, may be I will, but in short, I adore the pups, I build up a strong relationship with them as this is what makes the training possible. So yes its hard to say goodbye (there are tears) I don't get to hand the pups over my self to to the recipient but they are given my details (and i'll pass on photos and a letter about the pup). Ive been very lucky that all my dogs have got in touch to say that they are happy and Ive been lucky enough to have regular contact with 3 of them. Seeing them together, and hearing the recipients stories, I get to know first hand how very very special these dogs are to their owners and then its tears of joy. No one, not even me, could love those dogs as much as their recipients do.

Cani-cross looks fun, but like all sport involving animals it is dependent on people choosing dogs who are suited to it and want to do it. The welfare of the dogs has to come first. Its not right for all breeds.In may younger days I race Siberian Huskies, the dogs were bred specifically for racing, their lifestyle, diet and routine revolved around treating them as athletes, but they only raced if they enjoyed it. I see many happy dogs running parkrun, but it breaks my heart when i see people dragging dogs round who are not wanting to run or are too young and therefore in danger of being caused long term harm . (people do the same to children......)
Autumnleaves asks: Well done DM :) What made you take up running?

DocM says: thank you. I took up running after having 4 children I needed to get fit again and rejoin the human race! Id never been a runner but had done other fitness activities (gym classes mainly). I was told by a friend about a ladies running group which was specially during school hours, with no classes in school holidays so you never felt like you missed out. This meant everyone had the same issues of easing back in at the start of term. i think that the solidarity and social aspect of it really got me hooked plus the lady running the group (Suzy Fitt...yes it is her real name) was excellent at motivating and pushing you beyond what you thought you could do.
Fenland Flier asks: Congratulations Doc, turning the tables on you. Large races and a big goodie bag or smaller races and a cup of tea and no goodies?

DocM says: Ha ha. thanks for the question. I love them both but if i had to choose, Id pick the small club race with a cup of tea. With the small races the volunteers are mainly passionate runners who feel your pain and I love being cheered on, but love it even more when its done with genuine passion.
Ness asks: Congratulations on MOTM. What is the best piece of advice you have been given for either running or life in general?

DocM says: thanks
The best piece of running advice i have been given is from my massage man (who is a fast and experienced runner). The advice is to learn to run on tired legs. The early part of a race will take care of itself but the latter stages where it begins to hurt are what you need to train for. If you can run when your legs are tiring, you start to pass a few people and your brain gets a boost, suddenly anything becomes possible and you stop thinking about giving up. As I run most days my runs often start with some degree of fatigue so the sensation of running on tired legs becomes a familiar feeling and more easy to deal with. With a few days of tapering before a race and carefully managing the pace early on ive often been able to avoid fading in the later part of hard run races.
northernslowcoach asks: Congratulations Doc :) Favourite post run snack?

DocM says: Thanks, i love a glass of Erdinger alcohol free beer and a banana......its usually a few hours before i start to fancy much else.
Bintmcskint asks: Congratulations, Doc :-) You are stranded on a desert island. You can take one type of food, one book and one Fetchie. What and who do you take and why?

DocM says: Thanks, i thought hard about this and its a difficult one. The food would be chocolate cake, the book would have to be something practical as im not much of a reader, but just one Fetchie? If I took take v'rap she could climb a tree and get the coconuts down, Jono could call up one of his navy mates and get us a lift home, Watford Wobble and Fizz could do a bit planting vegetables to sustain us, McGoohan could blog about the adventure......but just one I think maybe Fellrunning, he'd have practial skills to offer, could teach me to deal with the isolation and i think would tell some great stories on those long desert evenings.
Ron Burgundy asks: Nice one Doc :-) If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be?

DocM says: :)
perhaps the most difficult question. one thing id quite like is to witness the first year or so of my twins lives......yes i was there, but life was really hard at the time (3 children under 2 when they were born), it was such a blurr, so to see it again without the sleep deprivation and the struggle and with loosing my mum when they were 9 months old ......gosh that sounds really tough when you write it down....
Hitch asks: Congratulations Doc. I see you on the forums a lot. which is your favourite thread and why?

DocM says: thanks. At the risk of offending all other threads.....my favourite is 1500 thread, the first thread I joined, I was made instantly welcome and the first fetchies I met were from a 1500 thread meet up (nottingham marathon/half 2015). I feel i am hanging out with the elite by being on the thread (heaven knows how i can managed the same target as the other members)but despite the mighty joint achievements of everyone it is very down to earth. Occasionally running is discussed on the thread too!
FurryH asks: Which part of Hertfordshire do you like running in and why?

DocM says: Hertfordshire actually offers some great places to run. It's not as flat as most people think (as anyone who has done the welwyn 10km will have discovered!). I particularly like the fields, trails and lanes around Tewin and Bramfield (north east of Welwyn) Quiet countryside with lovely views and plenty of variety.
BaronessBL asks: If not Sheringham - what is your favourite beer festival.... and indeed what is your favourite beer pint :-)

DocM says: Sheringham is the best......beer, seaside and steam engines, nothing more could improve on that. And of course there is no favorite pint.....you have to try them all by which point you have no idea which was best! See you there in July :)
Hills of Death (HOD) asks: Well done Doc What is your favourite Fetch Thread and why

DocM says: thanks ....see my reply to Hitch, but Ill say it again, I love you all on the 1500 thread.:)
Mrs Jigs (Luverlylegs) asks: I seem to remember that you have had a very interesting and versatile career, what has been your favourite job and why?

DocM says: As the dog training is a voluntary post i cant include that so of the paid work ive done working in the sexually transmitted diseases clinic during the 90's was good. No time wasters (not the sort of place people go unless they have to), the patients were polite and otherwise fit and healthy. Most would accept advice and education as they didn't really want to come back again. And most of what you encountered you could treat effectively. Of course I met some interesting characters too and became quite adept at working out what really had happened when you saw two (or three) people from a relationship who told quite different versions of the truth.
Captain S asks: what’s your favourite distance for a race and would it be road or trail?

DocM says: good question...why have i never done a trail race?, i must put that on my to do list. Ive always raced on road and i consider half marathon as my race distance, but now ive done a couple of 10km i can see considerable merit in it and will do a few more.
.B. asks: Congratulations Doc. Which race distance would you most like to PB at? And when are you going to go for it? :-)

DocM says: thanks
I think age has dictated that im unlikely to PB at any distance unless I go for a distance I've not tried before so id prefer to look at WAVA scores, in which case id like an half marathon WAVA PB, to match my parkrun WAVA PBs (70%) but im not sure it will ever happen...who knows Ill keep trying for now
CogNoscensme AHA asks: Congratulations Doc. Why do men have nipples?

DocM says: Thanks, but you won’t like the answer, men are much the same as women, just some parts are less functional 🤣
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