Steve Chidgey was born to run the London Marathon – yet, when he sets off on 23rd April with thousands of others, it will be his first ever marathon.
He loved PE at school, started hiking at an early age and joined the Air Cadets at 13, which opened the way to more sports but also taught him a spirit of adventure and achievement.
Steve, now aged 32, works at Parkdean Resorts in Newquay as a sales advisor. Born in Yorkshire, he moved to Newquay for the surfing and kite surfing. “I surf every day in the summer and three times a week in the winter!” He’s undoubtedly a man of many athletic talents.
He’s running the Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of Cornish conservation charity Newquay Zoo. Although Steve has no direct link to the zoo, his family has always been involved with animals, from dogs, cats and horses to snakes and arachnids. His sister is a keeper at another collection; Steve’s favourite zoo animal is the giraffe.
“At first, running was about getting fit for my surfing, but now I do it for health and mental focus. I think by keeping active you have less risk of hitting health-related problems in later life. There’s heart disease in my family, so any way of keeping that at arm’s length is fine by me!
“I have never run a marathon before or even a half marathon. This will certainly test my mind and body to the limits – I will not be happy unless I know in my heart I have given everything. I hope that my friends, family and local people will get on board and sponsor me so I can also make a big contribution to Newquay Zoo and its conservation work.”
The extra training – 14 miles four times a week, a regime which leaves him constantly sore and aching – is having unintended consequences: “Running more has made me stronger out on the ocean. I have noticed a massive difference in lung capacity and feel that this benefits my surfing, especially when taking heavy wipe-outs and being held underwater for long periods.”
“Achievement takes a lot of hard work dedication and pure grit, I work in a high-pressure sales environment and the challenges that I put myself through keep me calm and my life in perspective.”Follow