Outside interest: running

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 20 Apr 2016

John BloorChartered planner Jonathan Bloor tackles on and off-road running and when he's not working as a regional director at Richborough Estates. 

How did you get into running?

My dad was a very good runner, so from the age of seven or eight I was jogging around the lanes and parks where lived. I kept running at school and college and have continued to do so into my professional career when time allows.

What does it involve?

Depending on work and other commitments I'll run from once or twice a week to five of six times including maybe a 10-miler at the weekend, sometimes on my own or with friends. Even on holiday I'll explore by running. In July I'm doing the Race to the Stones ultramarathon, 100km along the oldest path in Britain. It starts in the Chilterns and ends in the North Wessex Downs, finishing at the 5,000-year-old stone circle at Avebury.

Why do you do it?

I enjoy the physical feeling of being fit and healthy and the metal relaxation, especially after a stressful day – it's an amazing way of letting the pressures of work melt away.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

The discipline of training can be hard: if you have a race in the diary motivating yourself can be touch, but I also enjoy how it focuses the mind to do the work so you don't get a terrible time.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

The feeling of freedom and relaxation is great. What I love about running is it's easy, inexpensive and can be done wherever you are; you don't need expensive running shoes and kit, in fact some say running in bare feet is the best way of running.

Are there any similarities between your day job and running?

Training regimes and deadlines are similar in running and planning whether you're building up to race day or a timescale for a planning application. Other similarities are the need for perseverance, mental strength and level-headedness in the face of difficult issues, be they tricky cross-country courses or problems with politicians and the public over a planning application. 

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com