Pat began his career in track and field athletics as a competitor in his native West Midlands of the UK, where he represented Staffordshire on the track and in cross country. He was a county champion, both as junior and senior, with bests of 3min 49.6sec for 1500 metres, 4.09.4 for the Mile, 8.11.6 for 3000 metres, and 14.30.6 for 5000 metres. Until advised otherwise, he is led to believe that he is still Mile record holder at the Wenlock Olympian Games, acknowledged precursor of the modern Olympics.
Following university in East Anglia during the mid-seventies – when he also won Norfolk county track titles – he taught English in France for four years. During that time, he ran for clubs in Brittany, in central France, and in Paris, managing several second places in track and cross country races, but not a single victory.
He returned to the UK in the late 70s, to live in London and pursue a career in media. He began with Time Out magazine, quickly graduating to The Times throughout the 1980s, and since then, as a freelance has taken in a wide spectrum of the written, audio-visual and electronic media.
In 1984, he researched, wrote and presented an Olympic archive evening for the National Film Theatre at London’s South Bank.
He has now been a journalist for almost 30 years, with extensive experience in broadcasting, including producing, editing and writing; and English/French language commentary, including on-screen.
He has worked in broadcasting for BBCTV, Channel 4, BskyB, both on and off-screen, writing own material. Worked as advisor/consultant for Japan’s Nippon TV when it was broadcaster for the 1991 World Athletics Championships. Consulted for Eurosport and Screensport, work included negotiating contracts, advising multi-lingual commentary teams and doing commentary.
In journalism, is currently athletics correspondent for the Financial Times; and has worked as freelance for wide variety of publications around the world, including GQ Magazine, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph in the UK; New York Times, Washington Post and Sports Illustrated in the USA; the Irish Times and Tribune; Libération and L’Equipe in France; La Republicca, Corriere della Sera and Gazetta dello Sport in Italy, Die Zeit and SportsLive in Germany; Tages Anzeiger in Switzerland; The Age in Australia; India Today and India Express. He has produced documentaries for BBC2 and Eurosport, and written/presented BBC Radio 4 documentaries.
In the early 1990s, he was asked to help film and publicise road races abroad. Other race directors saw the advantages, and sought out his help. Out of this grew the media service Globe Runner Productions, whose expertise stretches from full production (filming, editing, voicing and scheduling) of a race video, through facilitation of TV news highlights for the international agencies and news channels, to international radio reports, and print and electronic press releases, both for general and speciality outlets.
The Perfect Distance, his book on rivalry between Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett was published in 2004.