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My Love Affair with Running

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I have had a bit of a love hate relationship with running for as long as I can remember.



When I was still at school, I would compete in cross-country and almost every weekend would be competing for Burnley athletic club. I stopped running for Burnley when I was 13 or 14 in favour of trying to play football (badly) but would still run at school. I was in awe of the great distance runners of the time Hicham El Guerrouj, Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe. I can still vividly remember her winning the London Marathon on her debut in 2002, the way she just pulled away from the field and led on her own for more than half the race was amazing. Feeling inspired, I went running that afternoon and tried her famous head bobble – It didn’t make me any faster, I just got laughed at! She did the same again in 2003 – this time smashing all world records that stood in her way!

I wasn’t even 16 yet and had I been 18 the following April I would’ve tried to enter the London Marathon there and then. However, I joined the Army later that year and that’s when I fell right back out of love with running again. I was pretty fit and had enjoyed running on my own terms, now I had to run when someone else wanted me to. So I started swimming instead. I still followed the London Marathon every year, and like thousands of other people saw Paula having her infamous poo at the side of the road in 2005! If anything, that put me off even more of trying to enter the famous race!

I subsequently left the Army and was more than happy not to do any exercise at all! I played football on a Sunday for a few years (badly - again), and kept up with the swimming when I could. I still didn’t do any running at all, until around 2010 and decided that if I got into the next years London Marathon I would start running again properly. I even joined the athletic team at University that September, not that I went to any training sessions! I didn’t get into the London Marathon in 2011 so I ordered pizza to celebrate/commiserate. I was lucky enough to go to London in 2012 and catch some of the Olympics; these amazing athletes inspired me. I started running again, I did a local 5km, and it wasn’t too bad. I did a few 10k races, all while still entering the London Marathon and not getting a place. In 2014, I completed the Great North Run, which was such an amazing atmosphere! I was in love with running again, well - most of the time,until my wife gave birth to our beautiful boy Milo in March 2017. I have done a few events since then but slowly and steadily got to the heaviest and most unfit that I have ever been, often using Milo as an excuse not to get out and run. Really, it has just been laziness on my part.

In October, I again got a rejection from the London Marathon, but this time I didn’t order my usual pizza to celebrate/commiserate not getting into the 2019 edition. Instead, I decided to enter the Windermere Marathon, which takes place on May 19th. Along the way, I hope to raise 10% of the average wage in Lancashire over the next year which is £2,156. I will be working closely with local charities such as the Foxton Centre, Emmaus in Preston and Penwortham Churches Together Food Bank who all do fantastic work in getting food to people who need it the most and helping the homeless.

Training got well underway towards the end of October where I started running 3/4 times a week. It’s been made a lot easier by running with a group of work colleagues one night a week. That definitely helps beat the monotony of running on my own and helped me improve along the way but even they think I am crazy for running a marathon. Even so, I am determined to get to that finish line just one-step at a time! If you want to donate, the link is here https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lancashire-relief. I would be appreciative of anything you can spare. If you want to help on some of the projects with these charities, please do get in touch.
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