I got into the event industry because I had always enjoyed organising races and charity fundraising activities while working as a fitness instructor and it was a lot more exciting than trying to encourage middle-aged middle-class people to get fit.
I have worked here since I set up Pennine Events at the end of 2002.
I was attracted to this particular role because after working in the industry for a variety of organisations, I felt it was time for me to try and establish my own business.
Not many people know that I once mistook Olympic gold medallist and Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas for a member of my event crew and asked him to place out some barriers, which he did.
My worst experience at an event was more than 20 years ago when I organised one of my first 10k runs in Battersea Park. I told the marshal at the lapping point the wrong number of laps the runners needed to complete before directing them down to the finish line. When the first finishers had broken the world record I realised what I had done, but too late to do anything about it.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s you never stop learning.
The best event I’ve been involved in was the Tour de France 2007 – well that was the most satisfying. Ride with Brad is the one I feel particularly proud of and the London-Brighton Night Ride stands out for being quite different.
If I could do it all over again I would start Pennine Events earlier in life.
The one thing I can’t stand is negative people.
Outside of work I spend my time keeping active. I cycle, fell-run, play tennis and squash, swim and then relax by socialising with friends over a beer or two. Where I live in Barnoldswick we have a couple of cracking bars with regular live music slots.
If money were no object I’d make all our events free to enter.
The one thing I can’t do my job without is my team.
If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be Christian Prudhomme, general director of the Tour de France.
If I ruled the event industry I’d encourage a more strategic, longer-term approach and broader collaborations.
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