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Why I run: Enjoy every second, says Norwich Road Runner Lou Miller as 700th race looms

Lou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K. Picture: Rachel Miller

Lou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K. Picture: Rachel Miller

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Norwich Road Runner Lou Miller looks back on a lifetime of running as he approaches his 700th race

Lou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K. Picture: Rachel MillerLou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K. Picture: Rachel Miller

How did you first get into running?

I couldn’t keep up with my daughters running on the beach. I was out of breath and unfit. This was around 1985 and they were aged 7 and 11, so I realised had to do something about it. 
I chose running as it was easiest at the time and I could fit it in after work and also it was the cheapest. I heard about the Norfolk Half Marathon and trained up to run this, with some advice from Norwich Road Runners. 
I found out about Norwich Road Runners as I was out on a run and met the runners coming the other way down Ketts Hill. They were very friendly and said come and join us. So I did!

What do you like/dislike about running?

I like the comradeship, friendliness, the running community and training advice from the experts, how to run properly etc. No dislikes!

Lou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K. Picture: Rachel MillerLou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K. Picture: Rachel Miller

What gadget/item of clothing could you not do without?

Proper running trainers and a running watch! The watch helped me how to learn how to pace myself.

What’s been your favourite event that you’ve taken part in?

The Nottingham to Grantham 33 mile canal run. I’ve completed it twice. The first time it took me 6 hours 15 minutes. This was around 1996 so I was about 66 years old when i became an ultra runner! 
It was something I’d never done before, it was exciting and something I’d never contemplated doing, it was going into the unknown. I’d already ran the London Marathon, so I had that distance experience first before I took on an ultra. I’ve also ran around Norfolk twice over the years – 240 miles in stages. I first did this in the 1990s and then more recently just about three years ago when I decided to do it again. I took it steadier this time, walk/jog, including hard work on the shingle on the beach at Cley to Weybourne! I’d retired this time so my wife Cynthia and I went out a couple of times a week over a couple of months.

Lou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K series. Picture: Rachel MillerLou Miller in action at the Wroxham 5K series. Picture: Rachel Miller

Do you ever find it hard to gain motivation to run? Why/why not?

Sometimes in the winter it is really hard getting out of the front door, but once I’m out and well wrapped up its fine. I found running a total relaxation away from work. Even though I was on my feet all day running Miller’s Diner and Takeaway, running with club members, helping each other etc took me away from work and relaxed me.

What are your running goals for this year and why?

To complete my 700th race. This should be at the Norwich Road Runners Wroxham 5K series in July. All of a sudden I realised I was approaching my 700th race which ties in with Wroxham! I’ve kept a log book over the years of all my races and times.

Lou Miller and his life on the road. Picture: Rachel MillerLou Miller and his life on the road. Picture: Rachel Miller

Have you had to change your training regime as you’ve got older?

Yes! I still go out and enjoy my running and jogging and keep doing it so I can keep going at the age of 88. 
Due to my age now, even though my legs are fine I have to adjust to my breathing and walk/jog a lot more. I listen to my body and keep within my limits. It keeps me fit and I enjoy meeting lots of friends at the races and it gets me out of the house and gets me fresh air and exercise.

What is your best piece of advice to runners?

The most important part is to enjoy every second! Also, do not over do it, keep within your limits and listen to your body and one of the most important parts of training, rest!

Don Miller with his family. Picture: Rachel MillerDon Miller with his family. Picture: Rachel Miller

Is there anyone you look up to running wise?

It is a running community in Norfolk and all the clubs in Norfolk are friends and help each other out. 
It is something to look forward to and a way of life which I thoroughly enjoy and have done since I started 33 year ago!

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