My first year of running in races.

Most of my blogs are anecdotal but when it comes down to it, running is a serious business. We each run for a reason and those are as diverse as they are personal.

My personal goal was to assist my weight loss and it worked. I’d already lost 2.5 stone when I started running, and consistently moving a few miles each week, at increasing speeds, helped me shift another 1.5 stone. It also gave me focus because after my first 10k I realised I could do more and set my sights on a half marathon, which I achieved exactly one year after I started running. I’m very proud of that.

So this year is coming to an end and in order to set goals for 2019 I’ve been thinking about the races I’ve run, the good and bad points, which ones I’d like to repeat and why.

Here are just three. I’d bore you rigid if I prattled on about them all on one blog.

March 2018 – Wakefield Hospice 10k.

This was my first race and I was absolutely pooping bricks but so excited at the same time. My stomach was in my shoes as we began the walk to the starting line and I think my running buddy might’ve be been a tad embarrassed. I looked like a version of Victoria Wood in tights, I talked too much and I did some crap stretches (I had no idea what to do but it seemed the done thing to do). When the gun went, I set off like a shot singing such tuneful delights as “Gonna make you sweat, SWEAT!” in a Monty Pythonesque voice.

He ran off.

But it was a well, organised, fairly cheap race. No medal though, which doesn’t really bother me. I prefer a nice t-shirt. The field size was okay – a couple of thousand – and the support was good and constant all the way round the course.

  • Toilets: I missed the starting so I didn’t experience them until the end of the race (I needed a wee the whole way round).
  • Bag drop: Not used so I can’t comment.
  • Medal: No
  • T-shirt: Yes
  • Goody bag: Not so good. But the point of the race was to raise money for the Hospice and no profit taken so I’m okay with that.
  • Hills: One very long one. But looking back, I’ve run worse so I’ll class it as not so bad.
  • Repeat? Yes. And I’m booked in already. My PB is my goal on this one.

April 2018 – Hornsea One Third Marathon

This was one of my favourites. Probably because Hornsea was my first race with ‘marathon’ in the title. It was the one where I wee’d myself at mile 8 and had to run right through the finish line and not stop until I found the toilets to assess the damage to my pride.

  • Toilets: Not many but aptly placed and ample for my needs post race.
  • Bag drop: Some old dears said we could leave a bag with them. They seemed trustworthy.
  • Medal: Yes, but not very fancy.
  • T-shirt: Yes, but not a sports t-shirt.
  • Goody bag: No. But you got a banana.
  • Hills: Fairly flat, with a few little mounds but. Nothing that’ll leave you wheezing with heavy lead legs.
  • Repeat? Yes. It’s small and friendly. And I like the distance. I’m booked in already.

September 2018 – Pontefract Half Marathon

This was my first big challenge and the adrenaline was running high on the day of the race. I loved it from start to finish. Even the spectator support was strong with lots of people offering us Haribo and Jelly Babies.

  • Toilets: Ample near the start of the course but got busy towards the start of the race with quite big queues. My advice is to frequent them early.
  • Bag drop: A closed tent in the middle of the town centre. Someone always on guard, easy to drop and pick up. Completely free.
  • Medal: Yes, nice and heavy.
  • T-shirt: Yes, neon yellow and a good fit. I wear it most dark mornings.
  • Goody bag: Yes, with crisps and sweets. Happy with that.
  • Hills: Fairly flat, with a few hills. I heard people complaining but to say I don’t like hills I didn’t find them too taxing.
  • Repeat? Yes, definitely because I loved the course and the ease of parking etc. And yes, I’m booked in already.

So what’s my goal for 2019? It would be obvious for me to say that I’m aiming to try and get some PB’s. Although, to be honest, keeping running without injury is higher on my agenda because I like how it makes me feel about myself. And if I’m injured, I can’t run. So maybe technique would be something to focus on.

In 2019 I’ll keep running, racing and blogging. And I’ll try and keep motivating others to join the Urban Fox Running Community.


Keep running 🦊.

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