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Well 15 months on, and I am still hanging round…

I was run over by a lorry on the 7th of October 2014. Despite the paramedics and police telling my wife I could lose my foot, I am still complete and still very much part of the running fraternity.

It is 30 years since I took up the sport and I bought my first pair of running shoes – a pair of Nike Cova Windrunners. Other makes were available and they were £35. I say other makes were available but there certainly wasn’t the choice that is available nowadays! Stability shoes, neutral, pronate, supinate, added cushion, racing flats and more and more brands too. It is a devil of a job trying to get a black pair! There are orange, red, yellows, green and all far too bright for someone my age!

In 30 years I have seen an awful lot, although I am sure people will have seen more as I haven’t travelled a great deal. Some of the big changes are due to finances, there are a lot of road races that have been finished due to the price of road closures and policing etc. Great shame, as I used to love nothing more than a 10k road race. As road racing  is in its decline, parkrun has taken off, and X country racing has absolutely taken off. The local harrier league must have 6 times the female competitors it used to have and the men must have doubled. I reckon a lot of this is down to the scarce road racing, but probably more so by the 2012 olympics raising the profile of athletics in England.

The growth in the sport is what has kept me involved. For the best part of a year, I was an official at a local parkrun. I was picked up by a good friend who drove me to the event regularly and gave me a shoulder to lean on when I was aching from using crutches. The support and team spirit in the parkrun organisation is tremendous as people get to know your face and they always pass the time of day with words of encouragement.  They always want to know how you are and if you are anywhere nearer running. The cheer when you turn up with sticks instead of crutches brings a lump to your throat.

There are a lot of runners who have taken the step from fun runners who like to socialise and keep fit, to the club runners who like to compete. That’s great for the sport, so long as it is growth and not demise in either quarter. The new members of clubs bring a new enthusiasm into the club and that is great news for clubs. Our club is definitely benefitting from increased membership and it all bodes well for the future of athletics.

So here I am, 15 months later and still part of a great sporting family of runners. I am managing the occasional run and I am now starting to look ahead to setting some targets this year. I walk well but running hurts, probably more after than during. I have had a lot of support from some good friends, fellow runners and this blog post is a big thank you to all who have been involved.

My son and his girlfriend both run for my club and in an attempt to keep me involved I was asked to be treasurer at the last AGM. It is good to remain part of a club. I have a lot of friends there and on my good days there is always someone there for me to trot along with.

Last year, I achieved my first target – same size shoe on both feet! Now I hope the next target will be managing two training runs with the club and possibly a long run at the weekends. At the moment a long run is around 4-5 miles, I would like to be able to do 10. I did tell my friend recently, that age and weight are against me.  Christmas doesn’t help that very much but I will make my targets achievable, realistic and I certainly won’t be rushing them.

The last time I wrote a blog for this site, I was very low and predicting the end of my time as a runner. Well it is testament to what I said in that post about runners being generally nice people. It is the running community that has got me through this and kept me involved. I won’t name people but the main players know who they are. It is a big thank you to them for supporting me through everything, I hope someday I can pay you all back.

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About Brian Bailes

I have been running now for almost 30 years and love it! Running is a great sport that anyone can do, and is as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.

Author: Brian Bailes
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