Chris Thompson runner

085 Chris Thompson on persistence

This week’s guest is Chris Thompson, who at the age of 39 has qualified for the Tokyo marathon for Team GB. ‘Thommo’ as he is known didn’t suddenly spring to the top in a freak qualification, he has been knocking on the door for 20 years , keeping going, persisting, persevering, through a career full of challenges. Thommo crossed the line a Kew Garden’s in the qualification event with an outpouring of emotion, celebration and joy and in response the athletics community. Not only has Thommo been on the scene, numerous teams, flights, training camps, competitions with so many athletes over the years – but he is one of those people that just adds life into groups and this, I’m certain, is part of reason why there has been this response.

To cap it all off, in the same week that Thommo made the plane to Tokyo his wife Jemma Simpson, now Jemma Thompson had their first child, a young boy Theo. Now if any of you have children, you’ll remember the whirlwind of a child entering your life. 

It was great fun catching up with Thommo, moving at times, and a reminder about the cost and the meaning of pursuing personal goals.

In this conversation we explore;

  • Enjoying the moment
  • Chris’s massive engine but struck my injury and over training
  • A 26 year year athletic career 
  • Chris discusses his early career and his early approach to training, his lack of responsibility
  • Chris’s partnership with Gemma Simpson and a change in attitude
  • Chris lost his off switch.
  • Achilles and broken sacrum
  • Paying less attention to times and focussing on feeling, taking each session at a time and assessing
  • A crushed hand puts the marathon qualifier in jeopardy
  • Questioning immaturity


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