There are so many things that I love about racing. Big races, fast races, hard races, beautiful races. The opportunity to put yourself to the test and prove to yourself that those hard hours of training have yielded the results you hoped for.
Some of my favourite races have not necessarily been the big ones, but rather those situated in stunning locations. The Cortina Skyrace, the Dorset Coastal Trail Race, Alpe D’Huez Triathlon, Ashbourne Duathlon etc. However, one particularly sticks in my mind.
Many years ago, I was allowed, as an ex-Steel City Strider, to race in their annual club championship 10k. On a beautiful Wednesday evening in mid-July, I persuaded my Dad to make a rare return to racing and come with me.
We drove out to the picturesque surroundings of Ladybower Reservoir. With not a ripple on the water, it was the perfect evening for running in this magnificent part of the Peak District.
I have wonderful memories of running that night. One of those great days when the body is perfectly tuned up and moving gracefully – a rare thing for someone who spends a lot of time hunched up on a time trial bike for large parts of the year. Probably my favourite part was jogging back up the course afterwards to find my Dad and run the last 2km with him. Enjoying a sandwich and beer at the Ladybower Inn afterwards as the sun went down over the reservoir will live long in my memory. There is something about the shared sense of endeavour with running racing that bonds people in a special way. It makes running very special for me, and will sustain me in running long after my speed has gone.
With this great memory in mind, I’m excited to be coming back to race the Ladybower Trail Marathon. It’s shaping up to be a great event with a full field ready to put themselves to the test. Training and racing has been going well for me of late, so I’m looking forward to putting myself through my paces on what looks like a fantastic course.
Best of luck to everyone who will be racing in a couple of weeks’ time. It’s shaping up to be a super day.