The saying “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” is often overused but it does make my task of starting this blog much easier.
In November, I was looking for a new challenge, something to kick start my running. I am not quick but I can keep running so distance was the key.
Unfortunately my organisational skills are sufficiently poor that I had failed to enter the ballots for most of the prestige marathons in Europe and my luck sufficiently bad that I wouldn’t have got a place anyway.
This counts out most popular marathons so I would have to go longer.
The Royal Parks
Last year I ran the 50 kilometre Royal Parks Foundation Ultra (https://royalparksultra.com/) race along the banks of the Thames from Hyde Park to Blackfriars Bridge and then all the way along to Bushy Park via Putney and Richmond.
Running 31 miles might not sound fun but it was honestly a pleasure to run through such beautiful areas of the nation’s capital.
I legitimised the length by telling myself it was only 5 miles more than a marathon. In fact, I finished in 5.39, less than half an hour longer than my first and only marathon up to then.
It wasn’t about going quick. It was just about putting one foot in front of the other, keeping up a pace and eating lots whilst trotting along.
As the speed is not an issue, you even get to chat away to people you meet. Those you overtake and those who overtake you.
The comradery of running a distance further a marathon means that everyone is helping everyone just to get to the finish.
So back to now and what to try next. Or more importantly, how far to go next.
When I started running, my heroes were, and still are, Scott Jurek, Rich Roll and Dean Karnazes.
Athletes who did marathons before breakfast, rode around islands for fun and then did the same again after lunch.
Unfortunately I have a 9-5 job and I don’t live in Boulder, Colorado or Southern California but if you’re going to aim for something, aim high.
So I went to http://www.ultramarathonrunning.com/ and started looking at events.
There are hundreds. From 30 miles to multi-day uber events that make my eyes water just thinking about them.
One of my first half marathons was in Brighton, a town my family are from and holds some of my most favourite memories from childhood and beyond.
It seemed like a good place to begin but it seemed like an even better place to end.
And so I decided on The London2Brighton Challenge in May – 100 kilometres from Richmond to Brighton (http://www.london2brightonchallenge.com/).
The problem is, now I need to some training. Lots of training.
I need to fix my knee, strengthen my glutes , stretch out my calves ,work on my core and then run. Run more and further than I ever have.
On the way I’ll try to take pictures and write words here and on social media to keep me entertained and hopefully anyone else.
The journey may start with one step but it will take me thousands more to reach Brighton Race Course and I hope you join me on the way.