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Matthew Smith

I did my first race as a 7 year old at Fairlands Valley Park in the early 1980s when I joined hundreds of other youngsters at the Stevenage Fun Run. I finished outside the first 100, but improved each year and won the Under 11 race a few years later. In 1987, representing Barclay School, I won the North Herts Schools District cross country and was invited by the late Bert Hill to join Stevenage and North Herts Athletic Club. I enjoyed many years competing for the club before leaving for university. I represented Hertfordshire in 8 English Schools Championships, achieving a best position of 7th in 1991.
In 1993 I was first selected to run for Great Britain, at a junior cross country international in Belgium. Since then I have represented Great Britain and England as a senior at European and World Championships on the track, road and at cross country. In 2003 I won the English National Senior Cross Country Championships and was the British team's first finisher at the World Cross Country. Graduating then to road running, I was 16th in the 2005 London Marathon, 7th in the Great North Run half marathon in 2004, and in 2006 ran my marathon personal best of 2hrs 14mins in Dublin. My marathon time is inside the qualifying standard for the 2008 Olympic Games. Moving to New Zealand I won the Auckland Marathon Championship in 2007, the New Zealand half marathon in 2008 and was 3rd in the Australian Gold Coast Marathon in 2009 in a time of 2hrs 16mins which gave me a ranking of 4th in the UK. I intend to run in the Christchurch Marathon in June 2010.