Interview with Harvey Gallagher

Harvey Gallagher

Harvey Gallagher is a father of five, grandfather, vegan and not-for-profit CEO. He is an avid parkrunner and GoodGym member, as well as an ambassador for Kate Percy’s GoFasterFood and MegaMeterRun. He loves cycling and runs all distances, including ultramarathons.

What is your proudest running achievement?

There are many, but supporting a young man in a Youth Offender Institution to gain a parkrun PB would be one I am proud of. Parkrun is a wonderful thing and helping others to achieve is very rewarding.

What has running taught you? 

Patience! Running long distances and managing injuries takes determination and a will to be in it for long-term gains. But running also touches many people. I’m part of GoodGym and that is another amazing, grassroots community that is bringing people together.

What is your most ambitious running goal?

Running 12 marathons in 12 months in 2019, which included 10 marathons in five months. It took focus and a willingness to run when you don’t feel like it! There’s so little recovery time you just have to get on with it. I ended in Bournemouth on a lovely sunny day by the sea with my wife, and that was ace.

Have you got any memorable running stories to share?

I have run with the London Tube Run group for a few years. The very first time I ran with them, about 3 minutes after setting off, I fell flat on my face and ripped my running tights!

What has been your worst moment as a runner?

The good moments are so much more memorable. I don’t dwell on the tough parts, except to believe that they make me tougher for the next time. For me, hamstring cramp 22 miles into a marathon isn’t so nice!

What is the most miles you’ve ever run in a week?

Maybe 260 miles. But that’s unusual and not to be advised!

What has been your most serious running injury?

It wasn’t a running injury to start with, but I broke my big toe when I was kayaking. It seemed to heal fine, but it comes back to haunt me when I think it’s all okay again. I have run parts of marathons on the side of my foot!

What would persuade you to work with a running coach?

When I feel I have stopped progressing and learning on my own.

What is the best advice you have ever received about your running?

Don’t start races too fast!

If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what would you say?

Start many years sooner, make the most of it throughout your life.

Have you got a running hero?

I admire Kelly Holmes as a role model and someone who improves herself and gives time to others – both are important.

In one sentence, what does running mean to you?

It gives me a focus for personal development and achievement, on my own and as part of a supportive group.

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