Meet the Club Member: Tony

Meet the Club Member: Tony Payne was fastest Serpie at this year's London Marathon and The Big Half, helping the men secure gold in the UKA team champs in both events. Good luck at the Asian Games later this month!

Picture from Meet the Club Member: Tony

You are...

Tony Payne, member since January 2017 


Marathon: 2:19:39
Half: 67:46
10km: 31.47
10,000: 31.25.20
5 km: 15:30
5,000: 14:51.71

What brought you to the club

When training with the Cottage Relocated training group and the Thursday marathon group, the Serpies were those that were friendliest and most welcoming to me. So an easy choice. 

When you aren't running, you are...

I used to be a lawyer at a sports technology company. Presently, I am a “full time” runner based temporarily at altitude at Colorado Springs - which unfortunately does not remunerate as well.

The most challenging thing you have ever done

During my university days I once tried to combine my biggest 4 day training block (45km run, 18kms easy, 10 mile tempo, 35km run) with a 3 day music festival. I completed both endurance endeavours. My fitness did not improve as a result.

Your favourite book

A book I have enjoyed recently was Endure by Alex Hutchison. Hutchison is a fantastic running journalist, and he reviews the literature regarding pushing the limits of endurance in sport, with a particular focus on the marathon. It’s a fascinating read which I think any endurance athlete during a training block would find very useful and entertaining.

If you could be an animal, you would want to be...

A house cat with a loving wealthy owner. I could sleep for 18 hours a day.

What you like best about the club

It goes without saying that the people is what makes Serpentine so great. Personally, when I am racing anywhere in the UK, it massively helps to hear the choruses of “Go Serpie!” (especially when I am hurting!).

Most unusual race you have ever done

In 2012 I ran the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon as part of a team from my home town, Dunedin New Zealand. The race starts at the top of Mount Hood and finishes on the Oregon Coast – and over 1000 teams of 12 runners compete. Each runner runs three legs of about 8 to 12kms each. It was a logistical nightmare and almost as tough as a marathon on my legs by the third relay leg.

Your top training tip

If you are not improving don’t be afraid to change your training. Over 4 years I ran within about 2 minutes of my marathon PB about 6 times (2:25) before making some significant changes to improve my PB by 5 minutes. Another tip is don’t be too rigid, if some other runners are doing a similar run or workout, always take the company! You will both be better for it.

Your next big goal

I am currently training at altitude in Colorado Springs for the Asian Games marathon where I will compete for Thailand (on August 25th). I recently changed my allegiance from New Zealand to Thailand as NZ selection standards are too difficult to realistically achieve (the Kiwi Commonwealth games standard was 2:12!). Thailand have been very supportive and are keen for me to compete internationally, which is great.

At the Asian games, amongst others, I’ll be up against 2:06 and 2:09 Japanese marathoners, some “Bahrainis” and “Qataris” (ahem, Kenyans) and the might of the Korean Peninsula. I’ve been scoping out the South Korean team who is also training in Colorado Springs. Wish me luck!

Something you have never told anyone else or that would surprise others

As a 14 year old, competing in my first New Zealand national secondary schools cross country race, I finished 153rd out of about 200 athletes. I’m still awful at XC compared to my road running…but I have improved a bit since then.

Photo: Si Davis


Archive of previous profiles: Elizabeth Ayres, David Evans, Eddie Ware, Coralie Frost, Karen Hancock, Vanessa Armond, Elvira Gonzalo, Aga Wicinska, Will Green

If you would like to be featured in our 'Meet the Club Member' series, please email me.

Eda Korkmaz

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Submitted: 11 August 2018