Meet The Leaders – Robert Taylor

How long have you been running?

Probably since I turned 14. I had bad asthma as a child, and was forbidden from running or anything that might leave me short of breath. I remember a PE lesson when I was 13, where we were doing track events. Then completely out of the blue I found myself winning the 400 and 800 metre runs. Subsequently I really took to running after that, but then I went to University the running dropped off.

When I left University, I was working behind the bar in the Withy Arms. I got chatting to Ian and Gareth Fairey who persuaded me to enter the Badger Set 10k at Cuerden Valley. The rest, as they say, is history…


Why become a leader?

Damian made me do it!!! I first started with RunSmart when we considered a busy run to be one with 12 people – how times have changed! As the group grew, Damian approached me and asked me if I would like to train as a leader – probably because of my stunningly good looks, athletic physique and boundless personality. I said yes, and in all seriousness, I now wouldn’t swap the experience of seeing so many Runsmarties out running and achieving amazing things for anything J

If you could run any race in the world, what would it be?

I really want to run London – for the experience of running it. However, I have entered the ballot 7 times and never got a place, so maybe it’s not meant to be. I’d like to say something really cool, like the Marathon De Sable, but these days I’d settle for a trail run with a good view. The Three Towers Ultra has always attracted me, mainly because I’d finish next to my front door and can get straight into the bath!

How many running trainers do you own?

I refuse to answer such a personal question.

Is running one of your favourite things?

Yeah, sure, after Pizza, Netflix, my dog, reading, the couch, a hot shower, sleeping and eating. Running is definitely in my top ten!

What is your favourite RunSmart route, and what is your favourite non-RunSmart route?

Running around Cuerden is always great when the light is nice but outside of RunSmart, I love running in the Lake District, on the Pennine Moors. There’s a smashing run up in Helensburgh as it packs 1253ft of elevation into 6k which is tough, and worth it.

Tea or Coffee?

Tea, white, one sugar – cheers.

Pineapple on pizza?

Yeah, definitely. I once had peaches on a pizza too – not as bad as it sounds in all honesty.

Some facts about myself?

I don’t take myself seriously, and love to make people smile. My life consists of work, walking the dog, entertaining my 5 year old and coming up with hilarious responses to questions for RunSmart blogs. I used to run because I was good at it, however after an injury in 2019 and far too much cake, I now run to control my belly. I don’t especially love running – I have favourite routes, and favourite trainers, I even have favourite post-run snacks, but running can be quite the chore sometimes – for me it’s something worth doing, which is my main motivation.

If there is something daft happening, there’s a reasonably high chance I am involved. Especially if there is fancy dress, pizza or tea involved!

I am able to count on one hand the number of times I turned down a brew since 2016.

Fun fact?

I’m terrible with names, and if I call you Chief, Captain, Lovely or whatever is written on your t-shirt, there’s a high chance I’ve forgotten yours.

Crazy Runnert