Anyone who’s read more than a couple of my blogs will know that I have a pretty familiar autumn routine, hitting one or two of the same races almost every year going as far back as 2008. This year things were a bit different but I’m still delighted with what I managed to achieve, including my first ever solo marathon two and a half years after the immortal “no more marathons”.
2020 has been the year of a few things. There’s the little matter of a global pandemic and everything surrounding it. It’s been a year of tragic, barely-imaginable loss and heartbreak. The year of lockdown, of not being able to visit any of our loved ones, our friends and family. The year of oh-so-many video calls, of virtual pub quizzes, of substituting sitting in the pub with your mates with sitting on your sofa and getting slowly inebriated while talking all over each other and trying to factor in a delay into the conversation. The year of working from home, of days of meetings over Zoom and Teams, feeling knackered at 5pm just by virtue of speaking into a camera for an entire day.
All of that, but also: it’s been The Year of the Run.
Apart from this little recap back in 2013, I rarely write about the shoes I actually use to run my runs in, which I guess is kinda odd since I’ve acquired quite a collection over the years.
All that’s changed now after around 150 miles in my New Favourite Shoes: the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2.0.
One of the things that I’ve been super impressed by is how the running community has sprung into action with various challenges to keep us all motivated with all of the actual races currently on hiatus.
Back in April I decided to take part in my first ever virtual races, and very rewarding they were too. Both runs were totally solo efforts though, and with some of my favourite ever races being the ones I’ve done with my wife and various friends and family over the years it was time to try and do something as a group, a team challenge in these socially-distanced times.
With the official announcement postponing the 2020 Manchester Marathon coming relatively close to the intended event date I was just going over the very top of the peak of my training plan and so I began to moot ideas to try and still mark the occasion in some way and not let it all go to waste.
The result of all this was the findarace.com Plan B Virtual Half Marathon; a chance to stretch my legs at race pace, earn a cool little medal and raise a bit of money.
After posting my “I’ve signed up for a marathon” blog back in February, it’s safe to say there has been a somewhat significant turn of global events which far, far overshadow whatever little nonsense I was planning on doing this year.
With this coming Sunday’s Marathon For The Christie long since postponed, I’ve gone and signed up for a virtual half to mark the occasion, and by officially registering through Find A Race I still get a cool little medal and all the race proceeds going to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Stay safe everyone. x
Those of you who caught my last blog will be aware that another marathon was all coming, but what I didn’t mention was that my return to action will be fundraising one, aiming to (hopefully) raise a nice big total for The Christie.
And this is why.
Only around 5,000 people on this earth have earned the Six Star marathon medal for completing all six World Marathon Majors, which puts it roughly on a par with climbing Mount Everest in terms of human achievement. It’s a bold and ridiculous idea and if I’m being honest I’m not sure it’s actually doable.
But sod it, let’s have a go eh.
We run the same races, we get different results.
None of the four races in my autumn running calendar should have been anything beyond the unexpected. Or so I thought, until I actually ran them.
At 9am on the 19th May 2019, my wife and I are going to line up together on the startline for the Great Manchester Half Marathon and then we’re going to go and run 13.1 miles each. A half marathon apiece and then shortly after I’m going to forsake the usual post-race pint, I’m gonna change my sweaty T-shirt and I’m gonna go and run the Great Manchester 10k after lunch as a bit of a victory lap.
It all adds up to a mammoth total of 32.4 miles between the two of us, the biggest total we’ve ever done, and it’s all to help raise some money for The Wellspring so they can continue to support the homeless and disadvantaged.