My New Year's resolution in 2014 was to take part in a 10k event every month (notice I don't say run in a 10k event). January was a rainy seafront in Cleethorpes, this month it was a beautiful, if rather cold, morning at Catterick in Yorkshire. How did I get on?
The, admittedly scenic, route through the Yorkshire countryside took in several hills that proved more than a challenge for my mediocre level of fitness, the second of which at around the 6.5k mark reducing me to a forward (just) stumble that couldn't be described as "running" by even the most generous of onlookers.
The event started at the Phoenix House Recovery Centre based at Catterick Garrison and was held to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes. Phoenix House is run by the charity and forms part of the Defence Recovery Capability. Their aim is to "inspire those who have suffered from life changing injuries or illnesses while serving our country and enable them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives."
One of 4 specialist centres in the UK offering support in the form of education, vocational training, welfare, sport and vocational training even visiting Phoenix House and reading about their lives is simultaneously uplifting and humbling. Read some of the Hero Stories on their website and you'll see what I mean.
That hill, rising 50m in little more than half a kilometre, then continuing to rise gradually for around another 700m proved my undoing and it took me a disappointing 67 minutes to complete the course, finishing an inglorious 203rd out of 219 participants.
But I am undaunted! 2 months gone and 2 events completed. Just hope the next course is a little flatter!
Written by Mike Gamble: Director JEM Retail Consultants