Whilst it seems that just about everyone goes out running these days, it has not always been like that. 

Back in the day it tended to be for serious athletes or for those who used running to get fit for other sports which required a degree of endurance. 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how my running had taken me into other sports such as when I used to do some pre-season conditioning running with former England international footballer Danny Mills and other pro footballers. 

All who were naturally gifted when it came to running and so much so that Danny and many other ex-professionals now take part in marathons. 

However, it wasn’t just talented footballers who I worked with. 

I also worked with several top boxers and whilst they perhaps did not have the same natural fluidity to that of the footballers when it came to running, they most certainly knew how to grind it out and had a turn of pace when required. 

I always put them into categories by way of where they were at with their careers and number of rounds boxed with regards to their next bout whilst also taking into consideration their fighting weights. 

For instance, the featherweights and lightweights would always have the endurance of a Duracell battery whereas the heavyweights were more explosive and powerful. 

Then of course the welterweights and middleweights who were more like middle distance athletes or indeed decathletes. 

Nevertheless, even the heavyweights such as Herbie Hide and Sam Sexton required endurance what with both being championship fighters potentially boxing over 12 rounds and whilst they were naturally fast over the sprints, they could also churn out six-minute miles and indeed even a sub six-minute mile when really pushed. 

As for those in the lighter weight divisions, you had Jackson Williams who could run all day long proven by some of his running adventures since retiring from the sport of boxing such as when he ran across the USA a few years ago. 

Or the very dedicated and disciplined Jon Thaxton, who whilst he ended his career at lightweight, I always considered him to be more in the region to that of the slightly heavier welterweights and indeed even middleweights what with his natural physique. 

Eastern Daily Press: Neil Featherby pushing British and European Lightweight Champion Jon Thaxton during one of their

He and the kick boxer Gary Briggs along with Steve Russell and Danny Smith, who now lives in Canada and is completely addicted to running, were the guys who not only had good endurance but lots of explosive power too. Some of the workouts with them were exceptional, for which they would push the footballers all the way when putting on mixed sessions. 

There were several others too such as Earl Ling, who what he lacked with a natural flair for running was more than made up for by his determination and dare I say fun and hilarious laughter which he brought to each session. Danny McIntosh, who not only won an English title, but a European title too, could have been a pretty good all-rounder if he had applied himself to athletics ie anything from the 400m up to the marathon. 

I also worked with several other superb boxers such as the world IBF Featherweight champion Paul Ingle, who ran a 34-minute 10k plus a few sessions with some other great lads such as former ABA champion Steve Swales, who has now turned his attentions to running and doing really well. Among others are Scott Miller, also an ABA Champion, Danny Hunt and Graham Earl. 

However, I also did a couple of one-to-one sessions with Bulgarian Olympic silver medallist Toncho Tonchev and what a super guy and natural athlete he was. There was a slight problem though as he hardly spoke a word of English for which trying to get across to him what we were doing was more difficult than the running itself. 

Yes, running has been good to me and opened so many doors during my lifetime in sport. 

The people I have met along the way have all inspired me, that’s for sure. 

When it comes to being further inspired by people in boxing though, this also includes some of the very top boxing trainers such as the Ingle family from Sheffield and of course Graham Everett from Norwich. 

Last week my column featured young Michael Clark who was going to run for the English Schools in Dublin last weekend. Well Michael, not only did himself proud but Norfolk running too when finishing in fifth place in his first international race. 

Have a great Easter weekend all and keep on running, because I intend to for as long as I possibly can.