I started running in March 2014. I say running but I still don’t class myself as a ‘runner’ although I don’t know what I’ll have to accomplish to make me change that perspective! At the end of a depressing day of feeling fat & frumpy (size 18, 14st at 5ft 4) I decided that I was going to do something about it & take up running. As I hadn’t done anything physical really in about 3yrs & hadn’t actually ran probably since being in college playing hockey (now 34yrs old!) I knew this wasn’t going to be easy! My friend Hayley is a runner & I was always a little envious of her getting excited about a new distance she’d completed or a new PB. So that chilly March evening I put on an old pair of trainers & thought ‘here goes nothing!’ After a long & hard 14min 59sec non stop slow jog, with the aid of mapmyrun, I completed my first 1 mile.
The next day I downloaded the Couch to 5k app & on the 18th May I completed the ridiculously hot Manchester 10k in 1hr 28mins 45sec. On Frankie’s birthday, 19th April, 1 year, 1 month & 8 days after that painful, slow first 1 mile run & with the help of the myasics run app & our new Nike ID lunar glide 6 trainers, my wife Frankie & I stood at our respective start lines ready to run our first half marathon (13.1miles!) as part of the Manchester Marathon relay team.
Frankie ran the 1st half. Her start line was at White City Retail Park in Stretford. We were doing this run, as with the other 2 10km’s we’ve done so far, for charity. She had her British Heart Foundation vest on & was loaded with High 5 Sports Nutrition IsoGel’s to keep her going.
The relay runners (teams of 2 & 4) were started separately at the back of the field, 30mins after the elite runners. Frankie’s section of the course took her from Stretford to Altrincham where, after a very stressful hour of getting the crammed Metrolink from Trafford Bar to Altrincham & then trying to find the relay change over point with no real direction & contradicting information from the stewards, I eventually found my start line. I stripped off from my warm clothes, handed my belongings to my ever supportive parents & saw Frankie coming down the hill to her finish line. She looked exhausted! And she should be! Recording 2hr 13min 20sec, smashing what we had estimated by 15mins! Good job I was at Altrincham early for the change over!!
So we ran 20metres or so together to activate/deactivate each other’s chips across Frankie’s finish line & my start line, no conversation, just a shout of ‘it gets easier after 7miles!’ & I was off. As Frankie had done such an amazing time it put me up with the marathon runners who were clearly tired by this time so I seemed to be passing them with ease. Cheers from the brilliant support around Sale & Timperley, of how good I was looking. They probably hadn’t realised the marathon runners 16mile mark was only my 3rd mile! But sometime after 2hrs I started along Chester Road, realising where I was, the crowds getting bigger & I had the heart lifting feeling of seeing the turn to the finish line. With aching legs, knee & bum I ran as fast as I could down the finishing straight. 2hrs 31min 45sec! Spotting Frankie, family & friends & hearing them cheer me on was an amazing feeling i’ll never forget! A well deserved & very tasty myprotein shake, tshirt & the all important finished relay medal in hand I had finished my 1st half marathon.