On the first day of 2014 I lined up with over 400 other people to keep a promise I made to myself over 6 months ago by taking part in my first 10k for almost 4 years. But could I finish?
Actually I was there to fulfil an objective I set myself around May of last year after discovering I had become so unfit I couldn't jog the quarter mile to my local pub (a route, as you might have guessed, that is extremely familiar to me). Totally disgusted with this I set myself the objective of getting fit enough to participate in 10k events again by the end of the year.
This has not been entirely plain sailing. Somehow nearly 4 years have elapsed since the last time I was running on a regular basis and starting again has been a painful experience. Despite taking things very gradually I have gone through a back problem as well as straining various leg muscles and I was about to answer the question "Was it all worthwhile?"
Well I'm happy to say it has been as I managed to get round the 10k course without stopping. At over 63 minutes I was pretty slow and finishing 386 out of the 433 finishers is probably not something to normally be proud of, but for me it was. After all, I can now get to the pub much more quickly!
As I have found before there was a great sense of camaraderie amongst those taking part. People you have never met before chat freely and everyone is very encouraging of each other whatever their level of ability. There always seems to be a mutually supportive atmosphere of participating in a shared experience at these events.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the God Janus, after whom January is named. Well, in the year I turn 50, my New Year's Resolution is to try and take part in a 10k event every month. My next one is in Dewsbury in early February. Perhaps I can break the 60 minute barrier!
More immediately I am subjecting myself to the Dryathlon again this year. 31 days without an alcoholic drink. This may be more painful than the running!