We are glad to have Dan Lawson as Ambassador of the S24H 2019 international competition!
Daniel Lawson is a professional athlete, ultrarunner and member of the Great Britain 24hr Endurance Team. He won the IAU 24-Hour European Championships in 2016 with 261.843 km and ranked the 5th at the IAU 24-Hour European Championships 2018 in Timisoara, when he ran 253.4325 km.
We invite you to read a special interview with Dan, where you can discover some insights on his relationship with ultrarunning, tips for an endurance race and also his impressions about Timisoara and Romania.
If you wish to find out other things about Dan, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to him in person in May, as he will participate in the S24H 2019 competition.
What determined you to start running?
I ran a lot when I was very young, my first half marathon was at age 12. But then I gave up running to play football for almost 20 years. After that long I started to fall out of love with football, it was dominated by ego and aggression. I craved for something more peaceful and fulfilling, so I started to run again and haven’t stopped since. I love the stillness it brings to me, the calmness I find in my mind when I run, the time alone and the time to commune with nature. And all the wonderful people I’ve met through running.
Which was your first ultramarathon and what memories does it bring back?
My first ultramarathon was a 56 mile from London to Brighton. I had no idea I went off pretty fast, but needed to, I had no idea of the route, so followed another runner who had a map. I made myself a sandwich to eat on the way, but it turned into mush in my pocket. I had nothing to drink. And with 10 km left I started to feel very, very dizzy. I stopped also for the toilet, I squatted down and my legs got stuck and I couldn’t get back up. I loved it though and managed to finish 2nd.
What was the most difficult ultramarathon that you’ve taken part in and why?
The Ultra Gobi in China, 400 km non stop. It took me just under 70 hours, but I only managed 45 minutes of sleep. My mind was a total state, so many hallucinations and confusing thoughts. For many miles I floated out of my body. Quite scary, but quite good fun as well.
What is the most important lesson learned from ultrarunning?
That there are always downs as well as ups. Enjoy the hard times because the good ones soon follow.
How do you motivate yourself to get over difficult moments in races?
I remind myself this is what I love doing. And I do it to get through these difficult times. They are always only transitory. It’s the same in life!
What would you say to a person that runs an ultramarathon for the first time?
Smile and don’t run too fast at the start. Better to be strong at the end.
Where will you run in 2019, besides S24H? Please name a few races where runners can meet you.
I am running across Jordan trying to set the fastest time with my friend. Then in May I go to Hungary to take part in my first 6 day race. Later on in the year is the IAU 24-Hour World Championships in France and also I will run in the mountain at Ultra Tour Monte Rosa.
What was your first contact with Romania like, on the occasion of the IAU 24h European Championships in 2018?
I’ve always wanted to visit Romania, I used to watch the Romanian football team lots, Hagi, Dumitrescu. So it was great to visit last year. And what a beautiful town Timisoara is! Wow, I loved it, so much history and beauty and the people were so amazing! The venue for the run is brilliant, with people watching and cheering all 24 hours. It was such a pleasure to be there!