Ben Fish is a lifelong Blackburn Harrier distance runner who loves nothing more than logging miles, 3895.5 miles to be exact in 2017.

The 35-year-old is a big fan of the great distance runners of the past – so much so that he set up a website vintagerunning to capture their stories.

For the year ahead, the Lancashire runner has ambitions of improving on his 2:19:22 marathon personal best, dipping under 65 minutes for a half marathon and to run over 4,500 miles – in training alone!

Additionally, Fish aims to achieve a top 5 in Northern Road Relays with Blackburn Harriers.


Name: Ben Fish
Age (Jan 2018): 35
Hometown: Darwen
Club: Blackburn Harriers

Main disciplines: Half marathon & marathon.
Other disciplines/events: Track events from 3,000m – 10,000m
Full-time athlete/work/studying: Work full-time as manager of Up & Running in Clitheroe, Lancashire

Goals or targets for 2018

1) A new marathon PB at London in April
2) Sub 65 mins for half marathon
3) Revise old track PBs in the summer
4) Achieve top 5 in Northern Road Relays with Blackburn Harriers
5) Run over 4,500 miles of training for the year

Career Highlights

1) Twice winner of Hastings Half Marathon (2010 & 2017)
2) 1st at Bath Half Marathon with personal best in 2017, 65:16
3) 1st at Inter Counties 10,000m in 2006
4) Ranked 3rd for 5,000m in the UK under-20’s in 2001

Personal bests

1) Marathon: 2hr 19:22 (Rotterdam, 2012)
2) 20 Miles: 1hr 43:19 (Bramley, 2012)
3) Half Marathon: 65:16 (Bath, 2017)
4) 10km: 29:38 (Ribble Valley, 2009)

Interesting or fun facts

I’m certainly not the funniest person in the world, but I don’t take myself too seriously either. I play a bit of guitar, though not particularly well nor frequently enough to improve.

I tried to start a band with a mate of mine about 10+ years ago; we called ourselves Dead Flowers; the music was as cheery as the name suggested. I’m a big Smiths fan and Wayne’s a huge Radiohead fan, but to say we sounded like a cross-between of the two would be over-selling ourselves somewhat!

I have a Royal Enfield motorbike (2010 Bullet classic), which I tend to travel to a lot of races on in the summer months.

Why do you run?

I enjoy running and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I like to race a lot and there’s nothing worse than going into a race under training, so that keeps me motivated to keep at it.

I’m sure many have said this, but there are so many great people I’ve met and friends made through running, I don’t think there’s any other sport like it.

Favourite training session

30x 400m (100m/30 sec jog recovery) This is a session I regularly do on my own, it’s good prep for longer distances races, as it can be as mentally demanding as physical.

If I’m in a big training block I sometimes take it up to 40x 400’s, or if I’m coming back from a layoff it’s 20-25 reps.

Least favourite training session

It’s an essential one I do in marathon build-ups, but the marathon progression run is always a daunting session. It’s a 20-miler with the first half run steady, followed by the second half at marathon race pace.

For some reason it always feels harder than a race, but I know I’m on for a good one if I nail that session.

Favourite pre-race food

I don’t like to eat within three hours of a race, most road races are in the morning, so normally I have a small bowl of cornflakes and a couple of slices of lightly buttered toast. If it’s a track race later in the day, I’ll have a couple of slices of bread with honey or jam 2-3 hours before.

I always have a strong coffee as well.

Favourite post-race food

After a road race, I don’t always have a strong appetite, so I like to go to a decent cafe and have a nice panini or something and have a big cappuccino.

I’m usually ravenous in the evening, especially after a long distance race and will eat anything hefty with a couple of pints of ale!

Favourite runner or runners

My favourite runners tend to be from a bygone era, as I find it really interesting to learn about these characters. Jim Peters is the main one, closely followed by Gordon Pirie and Ron Hill.

Those guys were brilliant, groundbreaking athletes of their day. Peters ran 2hr 17 in 1954 off 100-130 miles per week in a pair of plimsolls.

Chosen charity for ‘fast runners: class of 2018’

Macmillan, a charity that supports everyone affected by cancer, their family and friends.

More information about the group of ‘fast runners: class of 2018’ can be found here.