Happy New Year! Usually about this time, I am fighting a continual battle with myself to get out of the door and work off some of that holiday indulgence bulge in the name of Janathon. This time I didn’t really think about it, I just didn’t fancy making myself feel guilty if I didn’t get out, and to just enjoy my running (and other activities) for the sake of it. I do enjoy following everyone’s progress though and was prompted to write a blog post after reading this from Running Matters… This morning, as I gathered up some very muddy cones from the Hilly Fields Parkrun course, I had a quick conversation with regular runner Jez about Janathon. He mentioned how hard it is to keep up with the blogging and I proudly informed him that I was one of the early Juneathoners…and even ‘won’ it one year! It’s hard to imagine that now, with hundreds taking part, and some hard-core types clocking more miles in a day than I could run in a week. Good luck to everyone taking part, and enjoy!
During 2013 I ran simply for the fun of it, leaving bigger goals aside for a while and just making the most of the buzz and encouragement I feel from volunteering as Run Director at Hilly Fields. Almost every week I cheer people on to achieve their own goals and sometimes push myself around the course and see if I can beat my PB. In the past few months I have entered a couple of local 10k races and loved every second. First was the Petts Wood 10k, which was more of a mud-slide than a run and then I enjoyed the company of the Run Dem Crew at the Greenwich Movember 10k. The pace I found myself running at has prompted me to enter a few more races and see if I can crack the 10k PB I set about ten years ago, of 52 minutes. My other goal for 2014 is to branch out a bit and try a tri. Yup, I’m going for it! I think a good one to aim for is the local Crystal Palace Triathlon, which usually takes place in May – enough time to get my head, and my body, around it…and the swim bit is in a pool. I know, I know, I’m wussying out, but I think I need to ease into that crazy ‘pile in all together, arms flailing and get your head kicked as you aim for a distant buoy’ thing. So this will be a year of three disciplines, and seeing how well I can divide my time to find enough proficiency in all three to do a triathlon justice.
On New Year’s Eve, we were very sad to hear that a fellow Parkrunner and blogger, Zoe had passed away. We had the pleasure of meeting Zoe and her husband Stephen a couple of times in the past few months (both at Parkruns) and kept up with her determination to reach her 50th Parkrun whilst visiting many new runs as a ‘tourist’ along the way. I am sure that those who have been lucky enough to meet Zoe and Stephen were inspired by Zoe’s spirit of adventure (she and Stephen have also been on many Geocaching adventures in recent times), determination and the support and encouragement she has offered other runners over the years. I had intended to ‘dedicate’ my New Year’s Day Parkrun to Zoe but, as I found myself lost and wandering around unfamiliar streets in Manchester (in the rain), I put this on hold. I think it fitting that I dedicate today’s Hilly Fields Parkrun to Zoe: this time I was volunteering, cheering people on, surrounded by friends in the mud and the rain, something I know Zoe has found so enjoyable in the past year.