TV presenter Suzi Perry is best known for presenting Formula 1 and The Gadget Show. She travels the world for her work and runs in every location. Suzi runs a lap of the racing track in every country she visits and uses running to explore new cities. She is backing her friend Tom Lawton’s new product, Million Mile Light, a new self-powered safety light for runners that you can clip to your belt rather than wear on your head. She runs, rides a motorbike and copes with the demands of live TV and extensive travel. Is there anything she can’t do? Well, she admits that she never wants to run a marathon…
Tell us about your relationship with running.
I was a sporty kid and quite a good runner at school. I used to run 400m for school and had county try-outs. I also used to sprint, but my best friend had longer legs and always used to beat me!
Why do you run around the racing tracks?
Two reasons. One, because it’s a really good social thing to do. There’s a little group of BBC bods that go round together. Secondly, it’s a really good way for me to see how the kerb and cambers have changed. On TV, the elevations get massively flattened out so you never get a true sense of what it’s like if you just watch it. To physically pound around the track gives you a really good sense of what the driver is feeling and the braking point and all of those things. Essentially, it’s a mix of homework and pleasure – and often pain if there’s any big elevation changes!
You must be very well informed when reporting on the races then?
I think so. It might not even be stuff that you use but it comes out in a question that’s very relevant that you wouldn’t ask if you hadn’t done that. I feel much better equipped if I’ve run around the track.
When you run with colleagues, is it a bit of fun or does it get competitive?
Well I’m a bit of a shuffler. I’m not a quick runner anymore. Some people want to try and beat their time but for me it means I can chat about stuff on the way round. I don’t time all my laps. I’m not that competitive anymore.
Do you take part in races?
No I don’t really. The longest run I’ve done has been 10K and I don’t feel any desire to run a marathon. Allison Curbishley and Paula Radcliffe were trying to get me to do the marathon next year but I’m 45 and I don’t really want to go through the hard training. I
prefer doing gentle runs. Each race track is between 5 and 6K and that’s enough for me.
You know your gadgets from presenting The Gadget Show. Are you into running gadgets?
I like to have Bose in-ear headphones. I have tried heart-rate monitors but ultimately I am quite self-motivated and I do highintensity fitness training. I use a timing app that gives me timed alarms but I don’t think technology can really make you do more
than that. I think the brain is the greatest gadget we have.
What made you decide to support the new Million Mile Light?
I think it’s a brilliant idea and it’s quite cool; you can clip it to your belt while you run. Kids can also wear them when walking home from school to be seen. It’s one of those things that’s so simple you wonder why it’s not been invented before.
What’s the most exotic location you’ve been able to run in?
Last year, in Dallas, I was running around a race track that was on top of a building at the YMCA and I could see the whole of Dallas from the track. I run at every place we go to. I like running along the Hudson River in New York and I try and run by the sea. It’s a
good way of seeing areas. Melbourne is one of my favourite places. In some countries the air quality isn’t that good. You need a healthy kind of vibe with a good air quality, like in California.
What’s the best part of being a live TV presenter?
What I would call golden moments, where something happens that just makes you laugh or makes you feel strong emotion. That’s what live broadcasting is about. It can be an incredible interview with someone saying something quite controversial, emotional or funny. And of course, sport should be seen live – especially racing with those tense moments of anticipating overtakes. I love it!
Finally what do you love about running?
It’s addictive and it brings so much to your life. It can clear your head and it’s a great social thing to do. For anyone thinking about it, go out for a jog with your mates – start small and just build up.