Welcome to FitnessMomentum45 at 22:19 on a Friday night, I’m tired after a rather exhausting day but one I have relished too. You see I got to interview one of my own personal inspirations today. Mr John Hunter aka the ” Machine ” or my own favourite Optimus Prime.
Roseberry Topping ( a little adventure)
I first heard of John after completing my first ever Event – Paras10 at Catterick in 2013. I was interested in doing the Tab the following year, so I asked who had the best time for it on their Facebook Page?! The reply I got back was John Hunter ( The Machine ) course record holder too.
When they told me the time I sprayed my coffee over the keyboard, honestly I thought that’s impossible to do that. I wasn’t unfit by any stretch but this was a scary level of fitness. So someone sent me a link to a newspaper to have a look at it. Sure enough I was right insanely fit another level.
John you see once held the Guinness Books World Record, for running a loaded full Marathon in the quickest time in 1991. Yep loaded 45lbs in a Patrol Pack completing it in 4:07:00. I was stunned at this I couldn’t get my head round it, I mean it’s an achievement to run a Marathon sub4. To be only 7mins over with 45lbs ( just under 3 stone ). So a 3 times World Record holder in all doing that.
John was also the World Coal Carrying Champion at the age of 49. Running uphill at a distance of a 1000 metres – with an 8 stone bag of coal on his shoulders. It was doing the Coal Carrying Event in his early 20’s, that John knew he had a gift for it. Hence why he’s won multiple Endurance Events during his time! Beating guys half his age too most of the time. Link below: https://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/coal-hump-star-john-is-on-top-of-the-world-1-5553723
If you’re into running or anything fitness wise you can’t help but be inspired by this. So I upped my training for the next years Tab ( Military term for covering ground at speed in their full kit – ready for operations ). I knew that I’d never reach his course record, but it gave me the belief I’d beat the cut off time of under 1:50:00.
Luckily I met John 2yrs later at the Winter Fan Dance, Back to Back Event run by AEE – Avalanche Endurance Events. It’s at Pen Y Fan in Wales and the notorious training ground for the SAS. Yep another Tabbing Event but it’s unforgiving on the weak willed. John flew past me on the Roman Road on the return. Finished 3rd that year I think for his Category. John is also a 7 times winner of the Fan Dance Race too.
I had a great laugh and chat after with John and one other Rob Paine, Rob winning it that year I think if memory serves me correctly. Never a dull moment in the company of those two – two great friends both of them. Once that horn goes they’re fierce competitors don’t be fooled in that.
I asked John while on our way up to the Trig Point at Roseberry Topping, what’s your secret to success at Events? His reply was a simple I train 6 days a wk, unless on holiday abroad with his wife! Still goes out training on holiday too just not as much. In his fine Scarborough tone he goes Billy if you want it bad, you have to put the hours in period.
So here is a man who’s been in the Building game most his days, it’s a hard living and very unforgiving too. He runs his own business doing building work, yet trains 6 days a week. He’s out of the house for 5:00 am each morning with his trusty kettlebells, doing a 1000 metres farmers walk and doing 30 press ups every second lamppost. That’s naughty!! John hardly ever drinks either a cheeky Sambuca or Port.
” it’s not the beauty of the building you should look at, it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time “
I asked John do you think you’ve got the recognition you deserve, for what you’ve achieved over the years, his simple reply was yes ( I disagree though ). Hell Week the hit SAS selection test programme shown in 2016. John was selected for it as his Load Carrying and Tabbing wins said it all.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have Tabbed Kielder Marathon & Fort William Marathon with John ( all his fault too ). Hand on heart the two hardest things I’ve ever done Event wise! Yet the most rewarding as we share a unique bond, John goes not many people can do what we’ve done. To earn his respect and have his friendship means the world to me.
At Kielder Marathon 2016: 25yrs anniversary from when he entered the GWBOR, I was his PA that day ( private joke ).
We discussed Footballers today at the end of our 7 mile Tab. I told John straight I love watching my football, but I said how can an ordinary person relate with a modern footballer? An average one is easy on 40 grand a wk, yet they aren’t inspiring as athletes! They’ve the best of nutrition the best physios and support teams, yet some will bitch & moan about doing training ( not all granted ). An average footballer will run 5 miles per game 6 tops.
Here’s these guys and women I know, who do these Endurance Events all over the UK. Who train 5-6 times a wk for the love it not for the fame or glory either. I find it sad that most ordinary people will never even have heard of them.
One can only be inspired and motivated by these athletes like Jasmine Paris a Vet from Edinburgh, who destroyed the course record for the Spine Ultra just recently by 12hrs or so…