22–23 Mar 2025 277 days to go! #GetOutside

Zeph Brand

G’day! I’m Zeph, aka nuttyrunr and originally from Queensland, Australia but moved to the UK in 2010.
I started treadmill running after losing my Mum to lung and brain cancer in 2007 at the age of 28, but it wasn’t until I moved to the UK in 2010 and after spending 1.5 years on holiday and gaining a LOT of weight (heaviest was around 16st-17st) that I started to take this running business more seriously.
As a kid I was always a sprinter, never a long distance/endurance runner so swapping disciplines whilst also being excessively overweight posed to be quite a challenge.
My first race was the Race for Life 5K which nearly killed me and I couldn’t walk for a week – I completed it in around 50 mins. Then I signed up for the Great North Run thinking I wouldn’t get in, but I did, so the training for my first half marathon began. I deferred for a few years either due to not being ready or an injury such as breaking my 5th metatarsal in 2012; but in 2016 I finally completed the GNR in an atrocious time of 2:50, but I still completed it! The following year (2017), I finished in 2:04, smashing my time by 46 mins and in 2019 I finished in 2:00:01 which was slightly disappointing as I was aiming for under 2 hours but it was a PB nonetheless.
The first 2 GNR I ran for Cancer Research the first year and Macmillan the second, raising around £2000.
In 2019 I ran 3 half marathons all within 5 weeks of each other; the GNR mentioned above, Ealing half in 1:58 which finally got me under 2 hours for a half then at the Oxford half I achieved a PB of 1:54.
Although I love road racing, there is nothing better than popping on a pair of grippy shoes and heading out on the trails. Some of my favourite races have been on the trails, in particular the annual May the Fourth/Revenge of the Fifth trail run in Shropshire and any Tough Runner race.
I love encouraging anyone and everyone to run and helping those who find running difficult; whether it be physically or mentally – being overweight and struggling with it myself has given me the advantage of being able to see things from that perspective. I’ve also had my fair share of injuries which also gives me a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.
I think the running community is an absolutely smashing community to be a part of and I’m very proud to call myself a runner.
My runspirations are Dean Karnazes, Kevin Webber, Pamela Chapman-Markle, Sally McRae, Joshua Stevens, Courtney Dauwalter, Maggie Guterl, Magda Boulet, The Jenkins Brothers, Jim Walmsley, John Kelly and anyone who attempts/finishes Badwater! My fave running brand is HOKA ONE ONE and my dream/goal races are Ultra Trail Australia, UTMB and anything in Iceland.