This has been my first full year as a Redway Runner and what a year it has been!
I started the year mentoring Gill Firmin, as she prepared for her first half-marathon. At the same time I started to train for the Liverpool marathon.
The new year also gave me the opportunity to get involved with beginners for the first time, being a regular helper when Ros Crawley’s group. After running Gill’s first half with her at the mk festival of running, I then took on the mighty Oakley 20, which was a huge milestone for me. I had not run that far since the MK marathon in 2012.
Whilst marathon training, I continued to notch up parkruns in a variety of places and achieved a huge PB in Bedford in March. I achieved my 50 at the end of April. This was around the time I took on my own beginners group and was delighted to have such a great bunch, some of whom have become good friends. I also ran the MK half in May, buddying Elaine Wells.
The high point of my year came on 28 May, when I ran the Liverpool Marathon in 4:29:37, which was 70 minutes quicker than my one and only marathon 5 years earlier. It was my first club trip and the whole weekend was incredible.
So as not to stop running, I did the half at the RR festival of running in June. Soon after, my beginners graduated, which for me was a huge and emotional experience. Further half-marathons followed in Bedford and Bournemouth, as well as the treasure hunt half and the NSPCC half. I also ran the Great South Run and Rockingham 10, which were my first 10 mile events. I took a break from leading beginners, but kept my hand in by leading the homework run.
Illness forced me to withdraw from the Dirt Half and the Winter Half was postponed, but I have kept the mileage up, as I start preparing for the Milton Keynes Marathon in May.
I finished the year by starting a group within the club to help people to address mental health difficulties.
I have some very good friends in the club who have helped me with so many things. I would be foolish to try and list people, but I must single out Martin Lawrence, who has given me the support and confidence to achieve what I have achieved.
Here’s to a 2018 full of running and happiness.