Former champ Davis considers the long run
Updated: 2012-04-22 07:37
Steve Davis believes that running the Sheffield Half Marathon this May will help him prolong his snooker career.
The 54-year-old snooker legend is joining other stars such as Shaun Murphy, Peter Ebdon and Michael Holt for the 13-mile run in Sheffield on May 27, to raise money for the Paul Hunter Foundation.
And six-time World Champion Davis, now playing his 34th consecutive season on the main tour, hopes he's still got plenty of time on the professional circuit.
"It has made me fitter mentally and physically," said Davis, currently ranked 39th in the world, who failed to qualify for this year's World Championship. "Next season is going to be very tough, playing in all the qualifiers and PTC events. There's a lot of travelling involved and sometimes we play three or four matches in a day. So the fitness will definitely help. I'm going to keep the running going after the Half Marathon and maybe aim to run it every year.
"The training has been gruelling. Going the distance at the World Championship leaves you mentally tired and there were times when I lost half a stone over the 17 days. But that's nothing to compare to the physical tiredness I have felt after running - it's genuine exhaustion. When you are running uphill your body is telling you to give up and your legs are going, and you have to overrule it with strength of mind.
"There will be a lot of people dressed as bananas or pantomime characters running past me. I could finish last, it will be close between me and the guy in a deep-sea diving costume with lead boots."
Davis also had some words of encouragement for his son Greg, who will attempt to qualify for the pro circuit when he plays in Q School in Sheffield in May.
"It will be fascinating to see how he gets on," he said. "I know he is practising his head off to be ready and I just hope he enjoys it. He'll have more eyes on him than most of the other players, but hopefully he'll be able to relax and play well.
"He wouldn't let me anywhere near the venue so I won't be able to watch him. The only way I could get away with it would be to disguise myself as a referee. But I'll be on the phone to the venue every five minutes to find out how he's getting on."