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Member of the Month - AntClark

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pedroscalls asks: Congratulations, well deserved. If time and money was no object, where would you love to go and run?

AntClark says: Thanks pedroscalls, tricky one as loads of places I'd love to run. Marathon wise Tokyo is the race I'd love to do and Ultra think it's got to be Comrades. Just need to find the cash to get to both ;-)
Race Jase asks: Congrats on MOTM and perhaps more importantly congrats on your stonking international debut. :-) now you have sampled the ultra scene, do you think your strengths lie here or in piddly little distances like the marathon? What is next on the agenda?

AntClark says: Cheers Jase, Watching yourself in Berlin I would love to go Sub 2:30 at the Marathon, But now have thoughts of Sub 7 at 100k so both very much on my mind. but England vest again next year at 100k is target currently. Maybe a fast autumn marathon if I can get the summer right. I seem to be able to keep going and speed is not my strongest so maybe Ultra is the future?
Windsor Wool asks: Well done Ant. From afar it looked like you went from being injured to a fabulous 100k debut in a very short period. What was key in preparation? Were you always confident that your body would stand up to the ramp-up in miles?

AntClark says: Hi Windsor Wool, thank you. To be honest, NO. I was cleared by the physio and chiropractor to resume training in January then I got selected. After discussions with both, and my Ultra superstar teammates at Bournemouth AC, I created a training plan and stuck to it. LUCKY maybe?! I did make sure I only ran once a day to minimise the chances of break down and was on a strict diet - thankfully it worked. :-)
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congrats Ant. Was great watching you all going round and round at Perth. (But I didn't know you were a Fetchie or I'd have given you more cheers!) What was your favourite pub in Perth (or didn't you get to do much socialising while you were up here?!) Congrats again on a great 100k performance, representing your country. :-) G

AntClark says: Were you wearing the Fetch vest HappyG(rrr) ?? If so I gave you a shout at one point and we exchange brief pleasantries :-) Didn't really have time for the pubs but had a couple of great meals in the 3 Brothers. With plenty of drink on the Sunday night I must add!
Huntsman asks: Well deserved MOTM. What keeps you motivated Ant to keep pounding out the miles and what do you think has been the key to you improving your marathon times over the years.

AntClark says: Cheers Tony, Age! Kinda worried at some point it's going to start going the other way. Very lucky in Bournemouth and easy to get inspired to keep pushing. Also Sub 2:45 thread keeps me very motivated, how can you not with all the great performances from the groups. Big things for me are training schedule and nutrition combined. Seems to be working
James74 asks: Big Congrats Ant on the England vest, well deserved. Your training is something to behold! As Jase asks, whats next target?

AntClark says: Cheers James, Don't actually think I answered Jase's question either. Next Target is Bournemouth Marathon but I have a couple of late entry requests so this might change slightly. If summer goes well might try and find a slightly faster course.
Hills of Death (HOD) asks: Ant fantastic rise to fame mate ;-) what do you put down to your success and also what's your approach the Ultra v Marathon training.

AntClark says: Thanks Hills of Death (HOD) :-) Success I guess is down to focus and a very supportive family. Approach I must admit is to copy Marigold's (Steve Way's) approach. Slightly modified but when you get to training and run with guys like I do at Bournemouth AC I always have someone in front of me to chase. I'm lucky I seem to have a great endurance base and can keep going - but at 5k I'm a bit rubbish in comparison ;-)
McGoohan asks: Well done Ant. As you've upped the distance somewhat, how far is *too* far? Is there a point at which you would look at a race and think 'No, that's much too far'?

AntClark says: Hi McGoohan, I'm still a single day runner, not done any multi-day events so at the moment don't really fancy them. But never say never. I guess 100 miles is next ;-)
baz p asks: Congrats Ant, well deserved.

Now that you have sampled racing 100k, do you think you can go further and faster? Do you think this will help go sub 2:30 @ the marathon (after all its only 7 seconds ;) ).

Whats your best cake recipe?


AntClark says: Cheers baz p, 100k yes think I can go a bit faster also same for the marathon as finished both races strong. Don't bake sorry, leave that to the wife :-) BUT would never turn away Coffee or Carrot cake (When not on race diet that is!) ;-)
Sunbed Athlete asks: Well done on MOTM 😀
Do you run faster with or without the facial hair?


AntClark says: ha ha Sunbed Athlete, well Marathon was clean shaven and 100k was with what you might call an attempt at a beard. so maybe a shave is the answer to 100k PB
Nelly asks: Congratulations Ant on a fantastic result at ACP100. You're obviously part of a great group of runners at BAC. Presumably having the likes of Steve Way, Jez Bragg, etc on hand to run with and share their experience with you has been of great help both with the marathon and ultras, but how much of your training do you do alone and how much with clubmates?

AntClark says: Hi Nelly, thanks :-) So I do 1 main session a week with the BAC boys on the Bournemouth Prom (BAC Marathon Sessions) and then normally all others are alone. But I do often run with Steve, Jez and Jon from BAC in the week when schedules allow as we all live close together, but nothing guaranteed.
milemonster asks: A tough question: What do you think your next 100km time will be if the weather is favourable and the course is flat?

AntClark says: good question milemonster, lets just say I would like it to have a 6 at the start ;-)
westmoors asks: Conragulations Ant. What do you think has been the biggest contribution to your improvements - changing clubs, running with faster athletes, more miles. weight loss, changes in nutrition or something else?

AntClark says: A bit of all I think, Changing clubs was not the reason, that was more to do with contributing to the Club where I was training. But diet and more miles contributed and chasing the fast boys works. Also Fetch and strava when you know people are looking at your training it make you complete the session when things aren't going well.
Deadbeat asks: Congratulations mate. Do those arm warmers really make you run faster?

AntClark says: Andy you need to try them ;-) they did the job.
paul the builder asks: Congratulations! What on earth is in the water down in Bournemouth? Seriously - what do you put the area/club's success down to?

AntClark says: You can blame Marigold :-) everyone is a little bit motivated and with England vests and GB vests from 100k - 24h it certainly helps get you thinking. And I can't get into the top 25 best marathon times bournemouthac.co.uk
_andy asks: Congrats Ant - proud to have you here as part of the Fetch community and here's hoping that we can all tap in to your wisdom and advice. Speaking of which, what got you into both runner and ultra-distance? Who, what, why and all that? Which hopefully covers good autobiographical details and major inspirations and epiphanies. Congrats again, for both the 100k (those 42 laps in Perth are my least favourite ultra, sadly) and MOTM.

AntClark says: Cheers Andy. Proud to be part of the fetch community I think I've been on here daily since 2007 :-) I'll try and answer in order. I got into running because I packed up football and got fat (17 ish stone) so gave up smoking just before my boy was born and vowed to get fit. Basically got addicted. Started normal jogging, did some 10k's, loved racing and getting better. Then in 2009 ran my first marathon in Paris sub 3 :-) then tried year on year to get better until I really changed my training inspired by Marigold and the rest is history and all in my fetch log. Funny I loved Perth, maybe because I had a good run ;-)
clare1976 asks: Congratulations on your performance at the ACP100k and MoTM, well deserved! Do you do any cross training or strength / core work to compliment all the running miles and prevent injury? If so, what, and do you think it makes a difference?

AntClark says: Hi Clare, not before my injury. But I did get a road bike during the summer. Then returning from injury I added a daily routine of stretching and core work with some Pilates. Seemed to help and I'll be keeping it in my training from now on.
Craig D asks: Was being beaten by me at the Beast many years ago the catalyst for your recent success?

AntClark says: You might be right Craig ;-)
one of the first photos I uploaded to the fetch gallery. BUT I think your trip to India was the turning point.
mushroom asks: Congratulations. If you were told that you have only 3 more runs left in you, what would you do?

AntClark says: That's a tough one. Ok so not actual races as I kind of answered that before. 3 runs - 1) GB Vest 100k, 2) Sub 2:25 Marathon (anywhere) 3) run a marathon with my boy when he's old enough. Think I would finish happy then :-)
jamesstewart13 asks: Yo, congrats on your MotM award. What, if anything, would you do differently at ACP if you had your time again?

AntClark says: Hi James, tough question. For ACP I set out with a plan and thankfully excecuted! It was such a big day with being my debut for England and 100k so the nerves had an impact. It was the same for my last 2 London Marathons - when you set out with a plan and then you hit targets without issues and have a great run you're happy for 24 hours, then you start to think 'could I have gone a few seconds a mile faster?' BUT that's why we keep going again and again. Never regret anything and just happy to have a good run. :-)
Bintmcskint asks: Congratulations, Ant! Incredible performance at ACP100k. I was going to ask a serious running question but I think other people have already covered pretty much everything so...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?

AntClark says: Thanks Bintmcskint, love the question :-) I would take; FOOD - Cookies (I love big cookies and don't have them when training. So big treat) BOOK - not big on books but love reading stories in 'Like the Wind' magazine. FETCHIE - Loads I would take, but for the pure craic would have to be 'Jock Itch' :-)
Night-owl asks: Congratulations. If you had to device your own ultra race where would it be how long would it be and what would it consist off

AntClark says: Hi Night-owl, Distance would have to be 100k at the moment. Also a road race, multi check points but not loops for this one, location I think Tuscany, Italy through the wine region. So loads of good food and wine once completed.
_paul asks: The small chocolate egg you picked up at the awards presentation didn't last long at all. However, if it was told last long enough how far do you think you could throw it?

AntClark says: _paul, yes it was enjoyed followed by a few more. Didn't think I would be able to throw a chocolate egg, they taste too good ;-)
jeronimo asks: Awesome Ant well done. My Question: Fancy a beer or two sometime to celebrate?

AntClark says: Cheers Jerry, yes as soon as we finish your 100th marathon with Andy in 3 weeks. Can't wait!
stuart little asks: A cracking run Ant. Just wondering if you planned to step up the distances or was it a natural progression?

AntClark says: I love the Marathon and done a few ultras up to 40 miles - still want to run faster at the marathon but also want to see what I can do longer maybe 100 miles sometime. Now I've done 100k I definetly want to better it so it's going to be a tough choice what races to target. The vest made it an easy choice to step up!
SpeedySteve asks: Do you think owning a campervan bonnet warmer has helped you in any way?

AntClark says: Kept the van warm Steve :-) But I do think your fantastic race, the Wimborne 20, was key to my build up. And definetly the run that made me believe I was ready for 100k
Boab asks: Well done Ant, a pleasure to meet you in person at the ACP. When and where will you do your first 100 miler?

AntClark says: And you Boab, what better way to finally meet. 100 miles hmmmmm not though about that too much as 100k needs more attention. But if in the UK I once support a friend at the end of the South Downs Way 100 and loved the experience so that would be high on the list. However I love runnjng it France so may need to start looking at longer races now. Also multi stage events would be a new experience too.
Jock Itch asks: Well done mate. How is the new business www.xmiles.co.uk going ? The site looks great.

AntClark says: Great thanks Jock and cheers for the plug ;-) Big year 2016 new business and lots more planned even started my own blog at fuelled.run focuses on nutrition with running if anyone is interested :-)
STOOSH asks: Well done Ant on winning MoTM and the recent 100k performance - now that you've got the flat ultra out the way, would you fancy venturing into the offroad hillier ultra's either homeor abroad?

AntClark says: Thanks STOOSH, I would love to have done a few mountain races in France but would love to do some UK based races. Currently planning a 3 day solo mini adventure as training so maybe something later in the summer.
RachG asks: Nutrition: Now you are a local celeb: Where would you recommend in Wimborne for pre-race nutrition and post beer recovery?

AntClark says: Ha ha thanks Rach. Pre-race hmmm Short and Sweet do great smoothies and also very overindulgent milkshakes for post ;-) I'm not the one to recommend post beer recovery as I never get out. Must try the Gin House after London. For any non-locals Tap House and Mister Arms are my favourite pubs.

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