Back in 2015 I entered the GNR with a friend I wanted to do something for a local children’s hospice that would be completely out of the box for me. I had never ran before, I hated running. I avoided the treadmill in the gym, even as far back as school I remember getting a detention for detouring across school during a PE lesson which involved running the 1 mile loop around the school grounds.
Leaving Hull at 4am to drive 150 miles just to reach a start line is nothing out of the ordinary for me however driving towards a mountain range to start a race is slightly out of my comfort zone. As I approached the turn for Keswick I was even worried or nervous about the size of the hills as this was just a kit check and final injury check before the Lakeland 100. (which I would later fail at badly but that’s another story).
When trying to balance running and family life I often try and find races in places were the kids will enjoy themselves while I’m running and we can have a day out so we get the best of both worlds. So Dalby Forrest ticked all the boxes and I’d seen a few others had done it and said it was good fun so I thought I’d give it a bash. NO EGO the race series is called and that sounded like it was made for me – men of my stature don’t usually have egos, we leave that to the people who aren’t as good as us…
I thought that I knew a thing about running in South Africa when I’d completed 10 Comrades, 5 Two Oceans, cross country, 10ks and many, many marathons. However, arriving in the UK about 10 years ago, I realised that we have that most wonderful thing here called the Public Right of Way. We can run until we are tired, and then run some more – all off road. It was this off road running that led me to go further, explore Chester, Wales and the Lakes. With Dave Douglas who has inspired from day 1 (“Hi, I’m Dave, let’s do 20 miles tomorrow” in snowy Feb!) and my new found running mates, I discovered how tough one has to be to run in British weather, how beautiful the countryside is and that you can do this all relatively injury free.