It hardly seems possible but it’s already over two weeks since our Christmas party, where a chance encounter with a Kinder Egg container has shaped the next four months of my life. That was a wonderful night, and my incredible good fortune was enhanced by the many good wishes and congratulations I received. Thank you.
So as 2017 gets under way, and a frenetic December social calendar gives way into a rather more sober January, I was reminded of why I got into this running business in the first place.
The slow but steady expansion of the stomach is a plight familiar to many a man who awakens one morning to find himself progressed well into the disquieting epoch that is his mid- forties. There is the dawning realisation that no longer being in your thirties comes at a price. That price being worse hangovers, mysterious random twinges and the ever-expanding midriff.
I find all gyms tedious, and many pretentious, so I gave running a go instead. Like so many others I started with a ‘couch to 5K’ and was a little doubtful it would be the right exercise for me. But much to my surprise I enjoyed it and started to notice real progress fairly quickly. Running became addictive, but a good, healthy addiction.
Before long I discovered Parkrun and started to notice Eagle vests everywhere I ran. I’m not sure how many times I visited the old website before I finally joined the club and apprehensively headed to the ‘Eagle bench’ one Monday evening. But I needn’t have worried – everyone was very welcoming and friendly.
It’s now over three and half years since that couch to 5K started me off, and running is now so much more than an alternative to the gym. It is new friends, a running community, volunteering, and the excitement of receiving race packs.
And now it’s about starting training for my second marathon. I ran Edinburgh in 2015 and it wasn’t exactly brilliant. An old knee injury flared up at mile 20 meaning the last six miles were painfully slow – quite literally. I hobbled across the finish line at 4 hours 30 minutes.
I’m hoping for a lot better in London, but injury prevention will be a very important consideration for me. I don’t fancy another Edinburgh.
However, I need to find something to write about in the weeks ahead, so I’ll leave details of my less than arduous relationship with the foam roller for a future blog.
For now it’s a big thank you for the opportunity, and the best of luck to my fellow ballot winners, and all other Eagles with marathons and races this year.
No doubt I’ll see you out there…