A change of club from Gateshead Harriers to Sunderland Harriers in 1996 gave Micky Thompson the change he needed to get his marathon career off the ground.
Sunderland, at that time, were one of the leading marathon clubs in the country with a host of runners under the 2hr 20min mark and team victories in the London Marathon. And it was not long before the Seaham athlete was winning team medals in the London marathon with gold in 1998 where he clocked 2:26:49 for the winning team that included Malcolm Price, Brian Rushworth and Mike Cherrington.
Thompson then recorded a pb of 2:25:22 for the silver medal in the winning team of 1999 and 2:27 in the bronze medal winning team in 2000. He had teamed up with his new coach and former marathon man Ritchie Tough and was training with Jeff Laws and Stevie Coxon and other lads from the club. He was happy with the change as the training suited his marathon aspirations.
“Malcolm Price was great to train with as he was in fantastic form and helped me to improve. I was doing two sessions weekly and the rest of the training was long runs, increasing my mileage to up to 100 miles a week. I had great success with the relay teams, winning two silver medals in the Northern 6-stage.’’
His best race for Sunderland was in the Great North Run in 1997 where ran a pb of 1:07:37 and the London Marathon with his 2:25:22 performance. His highlight was being selected for the North of England team for the Portsmouth 5-mile Road Race.
When he turned 40 he moved up to the the veteran age group in 2008 and tasted more success by being a member of the team that won the British Masters 10- Mile Road Race team gold on his 40th birthday at Tynedale. He then took a five-year break and found that he had put weight on despite being active and playing golf, so he decided to get back into training and re-join the Harriers.
He said: “My first race back was in February in 2016 in the Signals Road Relay and the team won bronze, this was followed by the Gateshead 5k Road Race where I ran 16:18 for 19th position in the UK rankings for an Over-45.
“I was selected as a reserve for England Over-45 team for the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International at Glasgow and three years later I made the team." He was a team member of the Sunderland team that won BMAF relay team silver in 2009 and team gold in 2018.
“My running career was launched while I was at school, doing cross country and I did well, winning the school fun run over 5-mile and the local Seaton Farm fun run over 8 mile. In 1984 I joined Gateshead Harriers, the reason I joined was my mam promised to buy me a motorbike, so I was determined to succeed. I enjoyed the training with Sid Robson who was my coach at the time then two years later I was coached by John Stephenson. I progressed well, was making top five in cross country and road races."
“In 1985 I ran for Durham County Schools cross country team at the English Schools Championships at Norwich, a great experience as the standard was high. I finished 159th position, disappointed but it gave me the determination to do better."
“In 1987 in the North East Counties Track and Field Championships 3000m metres, I won silver behind Paddy Mulhall and third was Mark Hudspith. On the 27th May 1992 my best individual run for Gateshead was in the 5000 metres at Tyneside Track League at Gateshead. I finished in 14:43 for sixth position, it was won by Mike McLeod in 14:15, in third place was Brian Rushworth with 14:20. Ray Smedley was eighth and Glenn Forster ninth. Eleven runners ran under 15 mins in a top quality race. It was the only 5000m race where I ran under 15mins."
“I was injured not long after suffering from a knee injury, I was entered for the Blaydon race on the 9th June but had to withdraw, I didn't get back racing until September.”
The 52-year-old has kept busy during lockdown by keeping fit through running, cycling, walking and playing golf. He is now looking forward in anticipation of the season ahead when Lockdown eases to get back where he left off over a year ago.
He offers some advice for veteran runners going through the age groups. "The difference between training as a senior and now is keeping mileage to no more than 50 miles a week and include in that two quality sessions."
His pbs are: Track; 800m 2:00 min, 1500m - 4 min, 3000m - 8:28, 5000m 14:43, 10,000m 31:10. Road; 5k - 15:07, 10k - 30:57, 10 mile - 50:57, Half Marathon 1:07:37 Marathon 2:25:22.