Pat began his career in track and field athletics as a competitor in his native West Midlands of the UK, where he represented Staffordshire and the Midland Counties 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 14.30.2 for 5000 metres. He won a national indoor bronze medal in 1971, and until advised otherwise, believes that he is still Mile record holder at the Wenlock Olympian Games, acknowledged precursor of the modern Olympic Games.

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 followed that by freelancing in a wide spectrum of the written, audio-visual and electronic media. He has now been a journalist for over 35 years, contributing to publications as various as the Financial Times, 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; El Païs in Spain; 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 and India Today.

He has produced radio and television documentaries for BBC, in addition to working in broadcast media in the USA, Asia and Africa. In the early 1990s, he launched the media service Globe Runner Productions, whose expertise stretched from full production (filming, editing, voicing and scheduling) race videos, 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. He sold the company following the Olympic Games in London 2012, and returned to concentrating on writing.

His publications thus far include The Perfect Distance, an account of the rivalry between Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, which is being made into a movie by BBC Films; The Destiny of Ali Mimoun; and most recently QUICKSILVER, The Mercurial Emil Zátopek. He blogs regularly on