I’m A Runner: Craig Hinds (Watershed)

Interview by Allister Arendse

Image by Ben Bergh

Occupation: Lead singer, Watershed

Age: 39

Residence: Bryanston

I’ve been running for many years. I won cross-country in primary school like three times. I was a good sprinter too but the older I got the slower I got. In high school I started doing more middle distance like the 800 and 1500m.

Running comes naturally to me. It doesn’t take much effort to put on takkies and run five kays.

I really enjoy it. I’ve been running for a while now and before I knew it I was running 5, 10, 15 kilometres and it’s really cool. I’m getting involved in half marathons now.

For me, I’ve just been one of those guys that keeps himself in shape. At no point have I ever stopped running fairly regularly.

I run three, four, five times a week. Ja, it’s just a jol.

I experience the runner’s high.

After school I studied teaching and taught English and History for two years. Then I formed Watershed.

We’ve released four studio albums and a “Best of” compilation. We’re about to do a new album for this year. My career goals are just to have a couple of worldwide hits.

Our new album drops around September or October.

I run a regular route at Riverclub in Johannesburg. It’s a nice quiet suburb. A nice amount of up hills and down hills to get your breath back.

I think I’ve got a natural style. Sort of an easy running style. I’m looking to get into minimal shoes.

No, none of my band members run. They all smoke and stuff…

There is a similarity between running and music. The more you do it the better you get. Talent is something a lot of people have but what separates the men from the boys is putting the time in. If you put in the time trying to write the next big hit song or trying to achieve a personal best you can.

I enjoy the freedom of being outdoors. I’m an outdoors person. I enjoy the freedom it gives my mind. It gives me time to think and dream, you know.

I’m looking forward to the Knysna Half Marathon now. It’s going to be fun.

Right at the start of a run I know whether it will be a good one or not. If I start too fast I battle to find my rhythm. If I start out slower I can pick it up later.

I remember a guy at school with me Bradley Bunch. We always used to mock him because he used to run on his toes. And we used to think it was hilariously funny because he looked like a girl running there but he was the fastest out of everyone and broke all the records. So he had it right from the beginning.

I love running in the heat of the day. I could get a bee in my bonnet and go running at midday in summer. I prefer a more late afternoon run. I’m a late afternoon guy. Getting up in the morning to go for a run is not great. Once I get out there I enjoy that as well though but I’m more of an afternoon runner.

I just pull on old stuff because I sweat a heck of a lot. I find an old t-shirt and off I go. When I was in Cape Town for Two Oceans I bought some nice gear. I’m getting really psyched about the whole running thing so I bought a bunch of new stuff. New shirts, shorts, socks and the whole vibe. I just need a new watch now.

I listen to… I stick with the trend at the time within the genre I enjoy. I listen to Adele, Cold Play and the older Counting Crows.

Being a musician puts me off running with music because I know I’m going to end up running in time to the beat and so I can’t get away from sticking to the rhythm of the music. I would end up not running naturally. I find it amazing runners are out there with music in. If you’re running on the road you want to know what the cars are doing. If I was running with music and someone ran up behind me I’d probably die of fright.

When you are sitting and brainstorming or writing a song or planning a tour or whatever running is always good. I find a run at the end of the day is just great for ideas and settling your head. I’ll often return from a run and have some creative ideas we can work with. I enjoy that.

My body has adapted to longer distances pretty easily. Cardiovascularly I’m really fit. My legs do get tired but recover pretty quickly. I’ve taken to longer distances quite naturally.

I’ve always played sport so if someone calls me up and says: “Come, let’s run 10 kays” I’ll probably go and do it without too much stress.

I run in Asics Gel Cumulus at the moment but am looking at getting Newtons.

We go to Tasha’s in Morningside fairly regularly for breakfast and coffee. We’ll go to Willoughby’s in Hyde Park. There’s a very cool little spot just up the way from us in the Hobart Centre called Simply Asia. The cool thing with Bryanston is there are so many cool spots.

My wife Natalie is also an athlete. She’s running half marathons too.

The last tour was very cool. We played new songs. We wanted to test new songs on the audience so that when it comes to getting the album ready half the work is done. We know what songs will work better than others. It was a fun tour. It was really nice to play new songs.

I always run while on tour. You don’t know where every road leads and you pretty much just head out and find really cool things.

I really enjoyed running in Plett. We were running along the beach. It was a really beautiful run. Another one we do is Table Mountain. We head up from Bishopscourt right through Kirstenbosch and up along that dirt road that runs along the bottom of Table Mountain. That’s a very cool run.

Both sides of my family are musical and artistic. So I didn’t have too much of a choice in the matter. On my mom’s side, my brothers all either played instruments or were painters. And my dad’s side as well was musical. Putting the time in, writing songs, all the time touring as much as you can, it’s all part of the big picture.

I enjoy running off road because you concentrate on where you’re stepping. When I’m off road I’m not tired anymore. Quite interesting thing I find.

I find running at the coast so much easier. So I suppose to train in Joburg and go do events in Cape Town is a really cool thing. When you train up in Joburg you have an advantage when you get down there.

I tried to get a late entry for the Two Oceans half marathon but couldn’t. But I was watching the front runners come through for the 21-K and could not believe the pace those guys were running at. Even watching those pedigreed athletes you get a high. When you go out for a nice long run and come back you just feel great.

I was watching the 56. That was quite something as well, but I think that’s a bit too far for me.

Hinds ran 1:44:08 in his first half marathon – the Safari 21.1km in Wellington.

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