Athlete profile: Mark Berry

I have been coaching Mark for over 18 months now and I’ve really built a strong relationship with Mark. He is a super inspiring athlete and is what you’d see in the dictionary when you look up words like dedication, motivation and commitment. He was a general no exercise at all type of guy and opted to spend days at the pub instead of being healthy. But I’ll let you read on and see for yourself.

1. You’ve now run sub 3 nearly 10 times. You’re most recent marathon was in Nanago, japan where you ran a new PB of 2:51:20. You’ve also competed at the Dubai, Bali, Hobart, Canberra, Gold Coast, Sunshine coast, Melbourne marathons. Have I missed anything?
Yes mate you’ve missed a few. In total I’ve now done 17 marathons.
Melb x4,GOR x2,GCM x2, Canberra x2, Adelaide, Hobart, Wangaratta, Sunshine Coast, Bali, Dubai, and Nagano

2. Was your first marathon experience like and how did it differ to Nanago?
My first marathon was Melbourne in 2014. It was pretty scary to be honest as it was my first ever competitive run. I basically had no idea what I was doing but I had been running for a nearly a year before committing to the run, and boy was I sore for a couple of weeks after.
With Nagano it was completely different I now seem to always sleep well the night before a marathon and don’t really get nervous and for me I’m just racing myself and that feeling you get after a marathon just keeps me coming back for more,and also my recovery time is a lot quicker than it was when I did my first marathon.

3. Tell us, what your life looked like before turning to running.
God life before running 😂, where do I start… Well basically I was a middle aged drinker haha. I would drink beers from Thursday through to Sunday sippers at the local footy or golf clubs and never really did any exercise, but always in the back of my mind wanted to do something challenging but had no idea what.

4. What was the catalyst for you change? Did it happen over an extended period of time or did you just simply wake up one day and try to live a healthier lifestyle?
I went to the doctors one day with a chest infection and just feeling like shit and he told me I was a middle aged bloke that could probably loose a bit of weight which was a fair call at 100kg+. I was driving home that night and said to myself that’s it! It’s time to change your life mate and when your wife and kids laugh at you for falling asleep on the computer and call you a drunken looser, that really was the sealer for me. So I was hell bent on turning my life around. Then that’s when I said I’m going to start running to lose weight and get off the beers. I really made a commitment to do it for 3 months and boy, that was hard! But I got through that then got to 6 months and thought to myself, I wonder if I could run a marathon… So I just signed up for Melbourne. And as they say, the rest is history….

5. I’ve always wondered about your email name “Boogs”, can you explain what it means?
Ha the nickname “Boogs”! Well I actually got that from my brothers probably from picking my nose to much as all 6 year old kids do. 😂 So that would be well over 40 years old and it has just stuck my whole life through school and my cricketing days.

6. What is your favourite distance to run and why?
Without doubt it is the marathon as it is a distance that you have to really pace yourself well at or as most runners know it can get very ugly very quickly if you don’t and I do think there’s an art to pacing a marathon and running your own race where as the shorter distances can be a bit more forgiving.

7. You work full time, have a wife and kids. How do you manage to fit in all of your training around your lifestyle?
Yes I work full time my boss might not agree with me 😂but I’m lucky as my kids are older know 20,18,16 and my awesome wife does most of the running around while I train after work and before work I think she prefers me doing this than getting on the beers.

8. What has been your most memorable running experience and why?
Most memorable is a really tough one but Nagano would be up there as the Japanese do some funny stuff in there warm ups and some of the gear they wear is a classic but they certainly know how to support a marathon with the biggest crowds I’ve ever run a marathon in front of,to be honest I remember every marathon and have enjoyed them all.

9. Whats is your favourite workout and your least favourite workout and why?
I don’t really have a favourite or least favourite session as they are all hard work but I do actually enjoy all of them and I think to myself that I can do the session you put in front of me so that gives me a bit of a buzz and it’s a good feeling that at my age there’s still a bit of life in the legs plus I know that there is a reward at the end of all the sessions I do and that is to stand on the start line for another marathon knowing I’ve given it 100% in my preparation.

10. Where would your ultimate run be and why?
My ultimate run would be Berlin I think as it is flat and fast with massive crowd support and I might get to see Kipchoge cruise past me at one of the turn around points running 2:50 pace!

11. So you’re 48, would you ever consider competing at any of the World Masters events like the marathon?
Well I’ve always said to myself with my running that I’m going to give it 100% and not die wondering I want to sit back when I can’t run and say to myself well you had a crack at it so if an opportunity like that ever presented it’s self then absolutely I would have a go.

12. Finally, whats next for Mark Berry?
What’s next I’ve got GCM then on to Melbourne then hoping to send the year out with a bit of a bang in December.

Thanks mark for your time, letting be involved with your running journey and we wish you the all the best with the rest of the year and beyond!

For those wanting to follow Mark’s journey, you can check him out on here on Strava, Facebook and Instagram.