Runner on track for his best year ever
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.”