I thought I would start by sharing my running past and the reason for starting my running journey. As a kid, unlike most, I used to enjoy cross country. I never had the sprint speed. Nor did I have the skills at football. That was putting it mildly. Square feet comes to mind. I always seemed to be blessed with a decent engine. Tractor style.
As a kid, I always wanted to do the Great North Run. Start small. Then one real ambition burned. After being down in London for an ill fated Newcastle United F.A. Cup final, my dad and I were watching the TV the night before the game. Sat in the hotel room, a history of the London Marathon was on. A build up programme the night before the race. I watched with interest and stated to my dad, I will run that race one day. My dad said maybe, it’s a long way. I knew I could do it one day. A challenge ain’t a challenge if it was easy.
Flash forward a few years, university hit. Booze, bad food and late nights had taken its toll. By this point, I had done 3 Great North Runs. Never really at any great pace nor did I take it seriously. Post university, I ballooned in weight. To the point where after a visit to hospital with severe stomach pains, they thought I had Crohns disease. They said the weight I had gained was increasing the stomach cramps severity. Doctor said in a quite frank manner, if I continued the way I was, I would dig myself an early grave. When that is said to you, it makes you look very hard at yourself.
As it materialised, all I had was bad IBS. Also my mates said my weight had got out of hand. At my biggest, I was 18 stone plus. So I needed to hit the gym. The issue is the gym is just plain boring. Never found it interesting but stuck at for nearly 2 years. Lost a fair bit of weight. Got down to 14 ish stone. My girlfriend at the time thought I was losing weight to meet someone. It was simply not the case. I just simply just didn’t want to end up in a casket.
So to keep my weight loss going, I started to run again. Then made my best move ever. I joined a running club. Heaton was the club. Found the sessions friendly and challenging. Move forward to present day, I am a proud member of Heaton Harrier. I have been there vice captain and I am the club treasurer. I have not only run more half marathons, 8 marathons to date (including London, told me dad I would), competed at northern and national cross championships, over 100 parkruns and countless other races. Road, trail and fell. I have the following PB’s…
10K: 38.10 (Haven’t raced one in ages)
10 Miles: 1hr 30 secs
Half Marathon: 1hr 21 Mins 38 Secs
20 Miles: 2hrs 13 Mins 31 Secs
Marathon: 3hrs 6 Mins 2 Secs