As the year is drawing to a close I can’t help but look back on the obstacles I have overcome this year. If you asked me how I thought 2016 would go this time last year I’m pretty sure that I would be a lot different to how it turned out.
For starters I never dreamed that I would suffer from a bout of Pneumonia, with it taking the best part of a year to recover from.
I also didn’t dream that I would have taken part in so many events. But the thrill of a finish (and a medal) can draw you in and as a result signing up for more races becomes extremely addictive.
Here I look back at some of those races:
London Winter Run – the first of many 10k races I took part in, was one of the hardest. Little did I know under the surface I was developing an illness which was the cause of my bad performance. That said, it was a great route with an amazing atmosphere. I shall be running this one again in February 2017 – hoping this will be more enjoyable and that I will train enough to get a sub 60 minute time.
British Heart Foundation Olympic Park 10k – One that I will not be running again. This was 2 loops round the Olympic Park on one of the coldest days I have ever encountered. The cold from this run was the nail on the coffin for me. A week later I was in A&E and eventually after being misdiagnosed twice, hooked up to IV antibiotics, under house arrest for two weeks with nurses visiting three times a day. It’s not a race I look back at fondly. In addition it was a shambles. Thinking I had knocked 10 minutes of my PB I quickly discovered that the race was not measured out correctly….So it was actually less than 10k.
The Gauntlet Games – The first race post Pneumonia. Great to get me back into the racing world but utterly boring and quite frankly disappointing. Built for those new to OCR racing rather than seasoned racers. Not one that I would personally run again but would recommend to those who want to have an introduction to the OCR world.
WAR Adrenaline Race – Second time racing this one. In a new location for 2016, I found this quite difficult to get into. In vast private grounds, the opportunities for spectators to cheer you on were few and far between. Obstacles were limited and often repeated – lots of inverted walls. Probably not one I would run again – but one that has always involved a big group of Regiment Fitness members, so has the potential to be fun.
Hackney Half Marathon – The hottest day of the year. No training could prepare us for this day. The fact that I ran this (or ran/walked this) so soon after my recovery was an achievement itself – especially when so many said I shouldn’t. 2 hours 46 minutes – 26 minutes over my half marathon PB is pretty good going with gammy lungs and on the hottest day of the year. This is planned in the diary for 2017, a week after the London Marathon, in the hope to prove to myself I can do better when I am fit and well.
Hatfield Broad Oak 10k – An old faithful, local event. A race that brings a nice group together to run, followed by drinks and lunch nearby. Sadly, due to holidays booked, I wont be running this one in 2017. But it is definitely one I will run again in the future.
Hatfield Forest 10k – This 10k was set in the stunning Hatfield Forest. It was a race that made me realise that my health and strength was coming back to me. Running through the forest was simply amazing. I intend to get back up to the Forest for some training runs in the coming months.
Mission 24 – A 24 hour boot camp run by Regiment Fitness. The second year I have taken part and something that only those that have the strongest mind would be able to complete. I was personally over the moon to complete this the second time around, managing 18 out of 24 sessions, an epic acheivement. Though, not an event I am looking to complete again. Improving on my previous years performance is enough for me.
The British 10k London – This route was amazing. The crowds were inspiring. This is definitely a race I have my eye on for summer 2017. After a year catching up on the fitness I lost, I managed to get my best time of the year for a 10k race. Mainly flat, running amongst the amazing sites of London, it is one I would thoroughly recommend to all – new and seasoned runners. Plus they give an amazing medal and t-shirt upon completion.
London Rat Race – Mixed reviews on this one. It is very costly for what it is. If you enjoy water you will love this one. Throwing ourselves in and out of the Thames it was a good laugh. My only issue – running laps. There were three laps in total. When I run an obstacle race I want that – obstacles – the more the better. It was still a fun race to complete as a group. Next year I will be running Rat Race Dirty Weekend – a 20 mile obstacle race weekend run by the same company.
Bear Grylls Survival Race – Sorry Bear Grylls, but this was the biggest disappointment in my running calendar. Over priced, minimal obstacles, lots of running. Here you are just paying for the name. Bear Grylls was no where to be seen and obstacles were actually closed. We did recieve an invitation to run again, after complaining, but to be honest I have other events I would prefer to try out.
GR8 10k – Another local run around the farm lands of Bishops Stortford. Raining, hilly and generally quite slow. A dissapointing performance for me. However, the day prior to this event I had completed the same route tabbing – so it is no surprise that I just was not feeling this one. Two years running this race in a row (no medal), I will be skipping this in 2017.
Commando Series – An epic end to the year. The best OCR race I have completed in 2016. Amazing organisation, friendly staff and stunning backdrop. This was a great way to end my racing year. I will definitely be returning to Commando Series at Hever Castle and I would recommend this one whole heartedly to others.
So that’s it. Six 10k runs, five OCR races, one 24-hour Boot Camp, one Half Marathon and a partridge in a pear tree!
The year has proved to be a rollercoaster of events and emotions – with me appreciating my health and strength more than ever before. Having fun with exisiting friends and making new ones.
With nine events already scheduled for 2017 – I am hoping the next 12 months to be bigger, better and stronger.