I sometimes wish that I’d started all this running nonsense when I was reasonably fitter way back in my 20’s but I didn’t. Nor were my 30’s the decade of exercise. My 40’s were almost over and then I started. Great plan.
I was a 40 a day smoking, horribly overweight, beer drinking, fast food addict when I was challenged in April 2014 to run the London Marathon. I had never run before and, to be honest, had no real inclination to run, but a challenge is a challenge after all and it was for Charity.
In April 2015, after training through the winter I did run the London Marathon just squeaking under 6 hours by a couple of minutes. And I realised two fundamental things: I run slowly and I hate running. Okay, hate is a very strong word, I..um.. dislike running but at the same time get a weirdly satisfying satisfaction from it.
It was at this point a decision had to be made: stop this crazy running lark and return to the good old days or take it to a whole new level, for me anyway.
I chose to enter the Isle of Wight challenge 2016, a simple matter of running around the coastal path of the Island, all 66 miles of it. The first quarter of the race was wonderful, my first ever trail run and the sun shone with a slight breeze. If this was Ultra trail running then I was a converted man, no more road running for me.
And then it went wrong. Snow, hail, rain, mud, swamps, more mud, blisters upon blisters, rain, steps up and down, so many steps. And it got cold and windy and wet and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I gave up. I did manage 60 miles and it was slow and I hated parts of it but it did give me a taste of Ultra running. I loved the camaraderie, the food and the sense of belonging to a group of people who just want to push themselves that little bit further. These are Ultra runners, the ultra crazies in the crazy world of running.
This wasn’t just about times, this was about beating the odds and this was about finishing.
Now I have entered this unique group this is about my journey forward.. I’m going to be 50 years old in 3 months, I’m still overweight but I don’t care, so join me as we run slowly but go ever further and further.