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Meet the Members: Rob Baillie

How long have you been a member of Queen’s Park Harriers?

I joined in September ’18, so just over a year, and I think I’ve only missed a handful of sessions since then.

What's the best thing about running?

Definitely the meditative qualities. For a long time, I’ve been a solo runner, and I never run with headphones in.

I just love the way your mind wanders - I find it like those last few minutes before you fall asleep and your brain makes really odd connections. It really helps me to think through things in an oblique sort of way. It’s not uncommon for me to work out a knotty problem from work without consciously thinking about it when I’m running.

What's your favourite running event?

It has to be parkrun. I don’t get to do it that often, but I never fail to be struck by the wide range of people running, the selflessness of the volunteers and the real community feeling of them. And it’s always a great buzz to go to one as a tourist.

What would you say is your greatest running achievement?

Right now, it’s last year’s Ealing Half Marathon—only my second ever. Ten years ago I did the Redcar Half Marathon, through a blizzard, in 2:14, and swore never to attempt one ever again.

When I did Ealing I was determined to not just get a better time, but to finish with a smile on my face and a desire to do another. I did, and broke 2 hours. I couldn’t have imagined doing that just a year beforehand. That said, it will be overshadowed on the day I beat my nemesis - the 25 minute Gladstone parkrun. You will be mine!

What else do you do?

I spend most of my time trying to love my two girls more than they annoy me, and generally succeeding. Other than that, I’ve been a software developer for longer than I care to think about. I wrote my first bit of code on a Commodore PET, back in about 1981, when I was seven. My mam always said she knew I was getting into these computer thingies when I decided to skip The Dukes of Hazzard, in order to code.

Being the geek I am, that obviously means I also love playing board games, which the kids get subjected to more than they deserve. It’s been said that the only reason I agreed to have two of them is so there’d be four of us to play.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that other members may not know.

I’d put money being the only person in the club who has both competed in a Morris Dancing solo jig competition and can grind a rail on a snowboard.

Thanks Rob!


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