Ray Middleton


How did your running journey start?

I was always a good runner at school but when I left school, I pursued other Sports such as Cycle Speedway and Water Polo. I got back into Athletics when I represented Trumans Brewery at the UK Breweries Championships in the mid 70’s.

What were your main/favourite distances?

My favourite distance was 400 metres. I found my distance when I ran the anchor leg (4 x400m relay) for Truman’s and took the team to victory.

What would you consider your greatest personal athletic achievement, and what did it mean to you?

My greatest personal achievement other than completing the London Marathon in just over 3 hours, was to win the Essex Vets 400 metre title.

How did your approach to running change throughout your career?

My approach to running changed throughout my career. Initially I just loved competing so took part in all track distances and long-distance road/country races, but once I joined Walthamstow AC under the guidance of Clive Ridley I specialised in the track distances of 400 and 800 metres.

Favourite race you’ve seen and why

My favourite race(s) I’ve seen is the men’s 400 metres relay at major Olympic and World Championships. It doesn’t matter if its Phil Brown or Martin Rooney, watching this race brings back the adrenaline rush every time.

What injuries have you had, how did you treat them, and how did it affect you mentally?

I’ve had Stress fractures, blood blisters, heel spur, and hamstring injuries. Because time waits for no one each time I had an injury, I felt cheated out of competing. My worst one was when I got a bad hamstring injury just before the Essex County Championships and couldn’t defend my title.

What was/has been your number one challenge throughout your career, and how did you overcome it?

My number one challenge throughout my running career was to stay injury free, and continually improve on my Personal best times at 400 and 800 metres. My biggest regret was not taking up running (joining a running club) earlier, in particular being part of Clive’s training group.

What is your number one piece of advice?

My Piece of advice to all budding athletes is enjoy the sport, but most importantly to listen to your coach’s advice.