Yesterday, Thursday 23 August 2018, marked the day 47-year-old Newcastle Flyer Dave Mantle achieved a remarkable running milestone – his 1000th Consecutive day of running at least 6km.
Most runners dream of being able to complete just one cycle of a training program with no injuries, no last-minute plans, and no work commitments taking over, but according to an incredibly modest Dave Mantle, this outstanding feat seems to have ‘just happened’!
“I guess I’m just a creature of habit,” Dave said when asked how the milestone came about.
“It’s not the first time I’ve run a streak. After a while, I just found I’d get to a few months and I hadn’t missed a day. And the longer it goes the more reluctant you are to miss it”.
Dave’s consistency over the last 1000 days comes from a social running schedule that is as much of a lifestyle as it is training.
Having just competed in cross-country throughout school, Dave came back to running in his mid-30’s as a way to maintain a healthy weight. He found himself competing around the top 10% of the Newcastle field and took to racing, completing a number of marathons over the next few years. However in 2013, after he ended up in hospital following the 2013 Fernleigh15, Dave’s take on running and his motivation for getting out there changed.
For Dave, running is now just as much of a mental health advantage as it is a physical one, and his involvement with the Newcastle Flyers has a huge part to play.
In 2011 Dave met Flyers’ Club President Richard Palmer and joined the rec running group that is now a community of upwards of 130 people. The club is thriving, and will often see up to 40 people in attendance at one of their most favoured weekly sessions: the Sunday Long Run.
As Long run coordinator, Dave organises a different person each week to set a new loop and pace, and they will often pick people up along the way who come back week after week.
“We meet every single Sunday at 6am at Merewether Surf house.
“We try to encourage everybody to attend. There’s plenty of room to grow!” says Dave.
Dave admits that his break from racing assisted in his ability to achieve consistency of running day in and day out for so many years, but his dedication is a testament to his belief in the mental and social benefits that come with pounding the pavement every day.
“It becomes part of your day and part of a way to manage stress. The social aspect has become very important too” he says.
“My wife [Rebecca] also started running 4 or 5 years ago. That made it easy to run on Christmas Day – if she wants to run on those special days too it makes it ok!”.
And what was his recipe for success over the last 1000 days? A Sunday long run with the Flyers, a Saturday run with his wife, and many mid-week sessions with fellow avid runners from work.
Congratulations Dave. Thanks for inspiring so many to get out there!
Join the Newcastle Flyers and many more in the 2018 Fernleigh15 on October 21! To find out more information and to register click here.
Image: Newcastle Flyers
Article: Nicola Blatchford