Neil Thom

I am 47 although often told I don’t act my age! I work in a offshore service company that can be very challenging and stressful at times. Running is my stress relief and helps my mental state although if you ask the group many will say that me and Kev are mental. 🤔

I started running approximately 15 years ago but at the time it was purely a means of trying to keep fit. At that time I had no ambition to run any races and preferred to run on my own, at this point my running was steady up to 6 miles and occasional longer run around 9 miles which at that time to me was a huge achievement. Approx 2 and a half years ago I decided that I wanted to run the half marathon in Aviemore having never even raced a 10k. I knew that was could be quite challenging, I put in the training and completed the Aviemore half in just over 2 hours. The following year, 2017,  there was a group put together by Kevin to help promote and prepare runners for the first Newmachar 10k. Prior to this I had always shy’d away from running in a group but Kevin convinced me to come along and give it a go, I ended up assisting and leading the group in Kevin’s absence. I really enjoyed it and with some structure and variation put in to the group and training, I seen massive improvements not only in myself but also the others within the group. After the 10k, myself and Kevin spoke about taken the group forward so decided to do our JS leaders course and set up NRG. It has grown and developed in to something far more than we both anticipated, all thanks to a great group of people and commitment from all. 

In addition to the above I have had many personal achievements in my running.  In 2017 I ran the Aviemore Half Marathon again, this time in 1hr 46mins proof that the training had paid off. 2018 then became a big year for me when in March I completed my first Ultra Marathon D33 (33 miles), finished just under 6hrs broken but totally bitten by the ultra bug. I then ran the Garioch half marathon 2weeks later in 1hrs 51mins and then 2 weeks after that ran my first Marathon in Stirling, completing it in 3hrs 50mins. I then signed up for the Speyside Ultra (37 miles) in August and started on a  14 week training plan helping me to achieve a time of 5hrs 53mins (30th overall and 9th in my age category). Not happy to call it quits for the year I decided last minute to enter Aviemore half marathon again finishing in 1hr 36mins.

2019 is already shaping up to be another challenging year. Entering D33 again along with Speyside but with a added bonus of being accepted in the Ballot for the Highland Fling (53 miles). 

Running is a mental sport, and we are all insane.