Guernsey native Lee Merrien is a middle distance and long-distance runner. He finished eighth at the 2010 European Championships. A year later, he took first in the Island Games’ half-marathon on the Isle of Wight.
Who’s your Olympic idol and why?
Can I have two? Sir Steve Redgrave, a gold medalist at five Olympics… enough said! Sir Chris Hoy in particular after winning the Kilo in 2004. Having seen two of his competitors break the world record, he then broke it himself to win gold.
What is your earliest memory of watching the Games?
It’s actually probably the Ben Johnson/Carl Lewis rivalry in the 100m. I remember the final, unfortunately it was tainted, but it’s my earliest memory.
If you weren’t competing in your sport, which one do you think you’d like to try?
That’s a tough one as I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I guess based on the individuals I have a lot admiration for athletes who cycle or row, but I don’t think I’d be a good cyclist or rower!
What is your favorite thing about the Games?
The history of the event. Records can be broken, but athletes will never lose their status as an Olympian.
What do you love the most about your sport?
Again, probably the history but also the challenge and what it stands for. I guess arguable whilst there are other hardcore endurance challenges out there the Marathon is still seen as one of the ultimate endurance tests.
What do you hope people take away from seeing the Games hosted in your home country?
To show what sport has to offer and what can be achieve with hard work and commitment.
Outside of competition, what are you looking to do in London during the Games?
My event is the on the last day of the Games, so I won’t really get chance to see too many other sports in action. But I hope to take away some good memories to tell the grandkids and hopefully enjoy the closing ceremonies.
Aside from your sport, what else do you love to do?
Having a young family and because I spend a lot of time away from home, I like doing things with them. Because of training and work (I run a running group and a coaching business) I don’t have a lot of free time. Being in Guernsey though we have great beaches so it nice to be able to spend time with there.
What special talent do you wish you had?
Um… I wish I had a better memory! It’s not really a special talent, but a good memory would help me recall the punch line of a joke or remember the details of a story I’m telling!
What’s your favorite thing to do in London?
I like the River boat cruises you can do to get around London and see the place from a different perspective. London Marathon use this form of transport to get the athletes back to the athlete hotel, and on sunny day it’s great.
Favorite British band?
Not sure I have one particular favorite, but I like Oasis, The Verve and U2.
Favorite British TV show?
“The Inbetweeners”. You have to watch it to appreciate it! Be warned, it’s quite crude!