Mark Draper
Team New Balance
Birthdate: June 28, 1984
Location: London, England
Coach: Rob Denmark
Personal Bests:
1,500m: 3:41.0
Mile: 3:56.8
3,000m: 7:53.9
5,000m: 13:34
Major Achievements:
European Indoor Finalist 3000m
European Cross Country Representative
"Most people enjoy what they're pretty good at right? So I started out running for my school. Over time the reasoning changed as I wanted to continually get better and aim higher. I'm still at that stage now, I'm not satisfied. Come to think of it, I probably never will be. But I see that as a good thing."

Mark Draper

How did you get started running?

When I was told I could skip school to run a cross country race I was all over it. Like any lad I'd rather run round a field than sit in a classroom—I just happen to be okay at it as well which helped.

Favorite training venue:

At a place called Chicksands near my parent's home. It's a woodland full of pine trees with plenty of running and biking trails.

What is your favorite workout?

Sunday long run for sure. Because you get to catch up with friends and have a laugh along the way.

Favorite racing venue:

Crystal Palace, London. The atmosphere there on a summer Friday night is electric! (The Armory is pretty good as well).

Favorite race event:

5000m. So much can happen, no two 5000m races are ever the same.

What is your pre-race / warm-up routine?

It starts with a slow jog with the pace eventually building up. Usually with some of my favourite tunes. Then I stretch for a bit which relaxes me. This is the point at which I take in my surroundings and have a think about what I'm going to attempt to do.

I then do some light running drills and dynamic stretching.

Then finally I finish with some long race paced strides.

Piece of your race-day kit you would never be without:

Shorts. Trust me it's embarrassing... I've been there!

What food or snack is your guiltiest pleasure?

Coca-Cola—Once it hits your lips, it's so good!

What would most people be surprised to learn about you?

I can read.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Don't eat yellow snow—seriously.

Most embarrassing running moment:

Turning up to final call at the English School Championships not realizing I had forgotten my shorts. Oh the joy!

Who would you most like to run with?

Liv Tyler, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Jessica Biel—any of the above.

What tips do you have for new runners?

Running is hard. No matter how good you are. So accept it. Embrace it. And most importantly, never give up.

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