Run­ner on track for his best year ever

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

AN In­ter­na­tional fell­run­ning cham­pion from Macclesfield is aim­ing for an­other award win­ning sea­son this year.

Simon Bai­ley, 35, has scaled heights to win medals in events across the globe in Bor­neo and Alaska, but says that the Peak Dis­trict beauty-spot of Shut­lingsloe, near Macclesfield, beats the com­pe­ti­tion when it comes to his favourite places to run.

While win­ter is a quiet time for fell-run­ners, at the mo­ment while not com­pet­ing as much the six-time English cham­pion – the first to have achieved this ac­co­lade on so many oc­ca­sions – leads a busy dou­ble life as a sheep farmer. As well as the English Cham­pi­onship, he also has won the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship, the Bri­tish and English Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships and taken part in the Com­mon­wealth Games.

Hav­ing grown up just out­side Macclesfield in Rush­ton Spencer, he cites Wildboarclough’s fell race as be­ing the first that sparked his in­ter­est in the sport. He went on to run with the Stafford­shire Moor­lands team, and is now a mem­ber of the Mer­cia Fell Run­ners.

Simon said: “I just love to run. Com­pet­ing at the level I do never be­comes bor­ing, though ob­vi­ously you have to work ex­tremely hard to keep your fit­ness lev­els at the right level and you have to eat prop­erly as well.”

On the world stage, Bai­ley came eleventh in the 2004 World Moun­tain Run­ning Tro­phy in Alaska, fourth at the Com­mon­wealth Games Moun­tain Run­ning Cham­pi­onships and fifth at the 2000 World Ju­nior Moun­tain Run­ning Tro­phy in Bor­neo.

Bai­ley, who lives on Cloudside Farm near Bosley Cloud with his two chil­dren and wife, is in train­ing for the 2015 English Cham­pi­onships later in the year – but in the shorter term the next thing on his cal­en­dar is lamb­ing sea­son.

He said: “It is strange go­ing from com­pet­ing in fell run­ning to run­ning the farm. But spend­ing time with my fam­ily and on the farm makes me happy, so it is nice to be able to do both.”

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