B2PQ&A: Mitch Hawkins


“I get a slightly fuzzy feeling when people call me ‘Stroke’”

Mitch on Mitch


Jay on Mitch

I asked Mitch to write a little bio about himself for this thing, and he gave me the four letters you can see above. At first I assumed he was having some sort of breakdown or perhaps had sneezed and headbutted his keyboard. I’m always doing that. TKGF. See? But it turns out that ESFJ sums up his personality traits, as defined by a Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment1. But when not being a smartypants, Mitch devotes much of his time to running really really fast, writing an ace blog (www.ravenousruns.blogspot.com) and being a genuinely smashing bloke. I love reading his stuff; it paints a picture of what proper running is all about, while still oozing warmth and whatever the polar opposite of elite snobbery is. He was also kind enough to write a guest post on this very blog a while back. Be sure to follow him over on the Twitter (@RavenousRuns), especially if you like pictures of beards, baking and beefcakes.

Do people still use the word “beefcake”?

The Big 12…

1. Which actor would portray you in a movie of your running life? (If someone’s already made a movie of your running life, you can skip this question).

Hattie Jacques – there isn’t a moment of screen time in existence that wasn’t improved by an appearance from Hattie. This probably says more about me than the question above.

2. What’s the one song that never fails to give you a mid-run boost?

Any song to which I can pretend I’m starring in my own music video. Come on, we’ve all done it.

Current favourite is – The Flaming Lips – The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song

3. In 12 words or less, explain why people should read your blog. You can double up to 24 words, as long as one of them is “octopus”.

Laughs, Tears, Desolation, Redemption and Cake – and that was just writing it.

4. Why did you start running?

Jealousy and guilt. I’d been doing BMF in Sefton Park and my friends entered the Liverpool Half Marathon in 2008. At the time it seemed impossible and I didn’t give it a go. In a fit of pique I entered the Liverpool 10K later in the year and was hooked.

5. Why do you keep running?

Anyone who has seen a photo of me pre-2007 would know the answer to that.

mitch born to plod

6. Running’s nice, isn’t it?

It has its moments – 6am on a cold February morning isn’t one of them. There are definitely worse ways to pass the time though.

7. What’s the best goodie bag you ever received?

The spread of Food and Drink at the finish of Frankfurt Marathon is immense. Fruit, Cake, Beer and help yourself. I thought I’d died (well I did about mile 20 but that’s another story)

8. Still on the subject of goodie bags, imagine you’re a race director with an unlimited budget. What five items would you put in the ultimate goodie bag.



A Massive Chocolate Brownie

Voucher for a pair of Running Shoes of your choice

Second bottle of champagne for backup in case the first one isn’t enough

9. Favourite place to run?

With my squad on a summer’s evening along the waterfront, clipping along at a decent pace and enjoying the banter. Wouldn’t swap it for anything.

10. A law is passed that states all runners must have a nickname, like Caballo Blanco or Alan “the Turtle” Winthorpe. What’s yours?

Having Mitch as a first name leaves you slightly impervious to nicknames. I do still get a slightly fuzzy feeling when people call me ‘Stroke’ (from my rowing days). That would do nicely. Feeling all fuzzy now actually.

11. If you had a time machine and could go back to when you first started running, what advice would you give your younger self? It’s a special running-themed time machine, so you can only offer words of wisdom that are directly related to running. That means no lottery numbers or warnings of “whatever you do, don’t trust that cheesemonger”.

It will take time to find your groove. Appreciate what you have today and don’t wish your life away for tomorrow. Keep the faith – consistency is the key to success so cut the heroics.

Just because your goals aren’t the same as someone else’s, it doesn’t make them any less valid.

Lastly, respect isn’t an automatic right. It’s hard to earn and easy to lose. Keep your head down, your mouth shut and work hard.

12. How are you today?

I’ll tell you after I’ve finished this Gin and Tonic. It won’t be my last.

I did one of those tests once. Apparently I’m a koala. I think I might have done it wrong. 

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