I’m a runner: Fred Sirieix

Photo by Ben Knight

I like to say hi to other runners. There’s a bond – you appreciate what the other person is doing because you’re doing the same thing. No one recognises me from First Dates when I’m running, as I’m not wearing my blue suit.

I never listen to music when I run – I listen to the beat of my heart. I like to feel the blood pumping in my veins. If I’m running for a long time, I take my hydration pack. I like to disappear up a mountain or into the woods and come back two hours later.

I don’t care how I look when I’m running. I don’t even have proper kit. I wear long sleeves if it’s cold, a T-shirt or vest if it’s not. I change my trainers once a year and wear a baseball cap to keep sweat from my eyes.

Diets are nonsense – champagne and butter are good for you. I like to eat well and I eat a lot. The important thing is to use more calories than you take in – that way you can eat what you like.

When I started to run, I felt like an urban gazelle. I was 26. I would just run. Sometimes I’d come back three hours later. When I finish running, I feel that satisfaction, joy and rush of adrenaline.

Wherever I go, I run. It’s a great way to discover places. I’ve run in the Caribbean, Dubai, Taiwan and New York. Sometimes I plan a route, other times I just set out.

I always push myself to the limit. I was running in Italy recently, early in the morning. I got to the top of the hill and had to vomit. I stopped for a minute, then carried on. It was no problem – just my body telling me, ‘Come on mate, that’s a bit too much!’

I organise the Mayfair Power and Tower Race in aid of Galvin’s Chance (an into-work programme for disadvantaged young people). It’s a 4.5km run around Hyde Park, followed by 475 stairs to Galvin at Windows – the restaurant where I’m general manager – for a champagne breakfast. I started it nine years ago. Last year, for every kilometre I ran, I boxed a round with former champ Clinton McKenzie.

I often run to work. I start the day with 300 press-ups, then biceps curls, shoulder presses and back exercises for 15-20 minutes. That’s my morning exercise before I have coffee; then I run or cycle to work.

Running with a friend can push me harder. Recently, my friend set the pace and I had to follow – I hadn’t run that fast for a long time.

I ran 42 miles between Glasgow and Edinburgh. We were in Scotland launching Galvin’s Chance and decided to raise some money. I had previously run Le Marathon du Medoc in Bordeaux – I ran the ultra marathon because I wanted to know what it was like to run further than 26 miles.

My favourite…

Weather: I prefer to run when it’s very hot and sunny, but I don’t mind the rain – it’s just like life; you’ve got to take it as it comes.

Place to run: I love running in the woods in my home town of Limoges – it’s beautiful. I feel like an animal – it’s just me, nature and my heart pounding.

Runners: My children are definitely my favourite runners. They like to run everywhere they can – they remind me of me when I was a boy.


The Mayfair Power and Tower Race is on June 3rd.