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My Running Journey – Neil Marshall

This is my story of my running journey, from the very first run to completing The Wall Ultra Marathon in under 18 hrs!

My running journey began around ten years ago. It was 2010 and at the time I was around 17.5 stone. My daughter was about 6 and after a recent promotion, I was finding it hard to get to the gym. So I decided to go for a run.

First run

Four miles to pick my wife’s car up. I got to two and walked the rest. I stuck at it and entered the Great North Run in 2011. I set the goal of doing it without stopping and coming in under 2 hours. I finished in 2:00.33!!

Great North Run

Most people would say that’s great but it wasn’t 1:59.59! Since then I’ve ran the GNR every year (apart from 2015 after a drunken fall ruled me out with a broken shoulder!!). I have a PB of 1:35 and have now ran 10k’s, half-marathons, four marathons, and the national three peaks. Not to mention The Wall Ultra Marathon, Carlisle to Newcastle in 18 hours.


I’ve ran more miles this year than ever, and I would love to see that reflected in a 10k PB (I have been stuck at 43:00 dead for six years!!) I want to complete another ultra for my 40th next year.

Me and TrueSapien

I discovered Truesapien via Instagram in 2019 after seeing people wearing their gear. Usually I’d go for ‘bigger’ brands, but I’m not one for over elaborate patterns. Monochrome is what I like! I read about what TrueSapien stood for and about how it’s in our nature as humans to push and challenge ourselves, look for answers to problems, not to just accept things for what they are. It really struck a chord.

I’ve met a lot of like minded people due to being TrueSapien, watching their progress and passion, pushing themselves to their limits.

My biggest lesson

The biggest lesson I’ve learned during my running journey, is to vary your training. It’s not all about running your fastest on each run. I log all my runs in a journal since 2017 and it’s a massive boost to you see your progress.

You’re not in competition with anyone but yourself. Build on what you have done and always strive to be better than you were the day before.

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