Gray-t effort. Meet our champion World Mountain runner.. and top tips to be the best

Karl at work


Our Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Karl Gray, has been selected to run and represent Great Britain in the World Mountain long distance race taking place in Slovenia on the 18th June.


The selection came after he took part in the 3 Peaks Race, a total of 26 miles, and completed it in an impressive 2 hours 57 minutes – making him the Yorkshire champion and V40 record holder.


Specialist physiotherapist, Alison Cadman, said, “Karl is a quiet but inspirational leader. He is unassuming and an extremely modest person.


“It is a great success in being selected for this prestigious team event, and he deserves recognition for his talents both as a runner and as a clinician.”


When did you start running? I started fell running back in 2002. I’d recently stopped playing football and was looking at other ways I could keep fit. I was working with Dave Hyde (now retired neuro physiotherapist) who was a fell runner and it was he who talked me into giving it a try. I tried it and fell in love with the sport.


Who’s your hero runner/sportsman and why?  The Brownlee brothers who are our triathlete champions. I have lots of sporting heroes that span a multitude of sports. The one that stands out is Ole Einer Bjorndallen, a winter biathlete (combination of cross country skiing and shooting). He has dominated his sport for the last 20 years being the most successful winter Olympian in history, and who won a gold medal at the last winter Olympics aged 40.


What makes a good runner Patience, consistency, dedication and mental strength.


Have you ever been injured? Tell us about it? I suffered a knee injury in 2009 which prevented me from running for over 6 months. This was definitely a low point and it wasn’t certain that I’d be able to run at my previous level again. However, this resulted in making me much more focused in the way I trained and the desire to see how good I could be? All my major successes have come after my injury.


 What do you think about when you’re running. If I’m doing a high intensity session you can’t really think of anything other than the pain your body is going through. However, on longer steadier training sessions I just let my mind wander from work stuff, planned holidays, family, chores still to do etc. It’s a great stress reliever!!


Fave soundtrack to run to? I never listen to music while I’m running. I do the vast majority of my training off road in woodland, hills and valleys and it’s great just to run in that blissful silence, away from traffic noise etc.