On March 31st last year the National Lottery Olympic Park run took place. Although I had been ‘running’ for a number of years it didn’t even cross my mind to enter it. I had previously done one half marathon, in under 2 hours, and used to go out running 3 or 4 times a week but I didn’t have any real aims except to keep reasonably fit. Was I really a runner then?
Towards the end of last year my thoughtful daughter pointed me towards #stepup and I took the bait, pledging to run a marathon in my 65th year. I now had an aim for my ‘running’. At about the same time I discovered Parkruns and have been an almost ever present at my local one, Riddlesdown, ever since. I entered and ran half marathons in Jerusalem, Marseille, Orpington and have others on my calender. I ran a 10k a few weeks ago in a time I would not have considered possible last year (thanks to my encouraging daughter). And of course I have the Amsterdam marathon waiting for me in October.
Last weekend was the Anniversary 5 mile run in the Olympic Park. When entries were available I was eagerly on line and was successful. I was doing it on my own, there was no pressure but just the thought of running into and finishing on the track that so many inspiring athletes had done last summer was enough.
I could have taken it easy, strolled round and enjoyed the sights. But no, I wanted to run it. And I did. 1178 runners might have been in front of me, but 10,059 were behind me and I was 8th in my 60-64 age category. And Victoria Pendleton did only beat me by less than 2 miniutes
It was after on the way home, after a burger and a couple of pints ciders that I thought to myself; “now I am a runner”.