Nearly the end of the year… here’s my reflection, on an unexpected year that in March came close to taking running away from me. Have you seen my scar? >> That said there were plenty of highlights from the store, coaching and personal perspective…
In January we combined a level of expertise across a number of disciplines from injury management and prevention to coaching and sports testing. Along came GB Ultra Runner, Marcus Scotney, Physio supremo, Ian Brocklesby, Osteo Michael Robson and nutrionist Hannah Bailey… Not forgettig Colin Papworth the sorcerer of all things podiatry and running technique. Oh yes, then there’s me, lead Coach and lover of heart rate training. The team have been increasingly busy with fixing and mending, preventing and strengthening and helping runners to run further and faster with one to one sessions and workshops. You can meet the Team here >>
We have also had plenty of fun working with Run England – South Yorkshire, organising workshops and coaching sessions for the Run Leaders – An enthusiatic and inspirational bunch that have been great to work alongside.
Best update to a road shoe in 2014 has to go to the Saucony Triuymph ISO, HoughBoy, keeps shouting about them too >> The Triumph ISO is a forerunner of what promisies to be a cracking new range of Saucony runners in 2015, so keep your eyes peeled through the coming months. The Saucony Kinvara 5, for me personally, is another great update. More width, better wear characteristics and removal of the varus return. Just love to run in these shoes, they’re just brill! Whilst we are at it, the worst has to be the New Balance 1080, no balance to that shoe at all, we cancelled all the orders despite it being one of our better shoes of 2013.
Another cracking update, or perhaps it should classed as a new shoe, in the Trail secion has to be the Salomon S Lab Sense Softground. I have run and run in these and I just can’t fault them. Fit and comfort, grip at anytime of year and just about any condition of trail. OK so the grip on wet rock may be a touch lacking at times, you just have to learn where to place your feet.
That said the Fell Cross has some way to go on rock, just hang onto your socks for 2015 with the latest incarnation of the shoe. Looks mighty promising. Plus, in late January is that a Salomon road shoe, I see? It might just be…
As to the best event of the year it has to be my first visit to the Snowdon International Mountain Race. OK so I couldn’t race as I was only just back to a shuffle, but I could get the camera out and cheer on Stuart ‘Bondy’ and Helen ‘Gala Runner’ of Team Accelerate as both won their respective race catergories. So all good… Debs also got to race as did one or two other folk I know. All in all it is a cracking race, great atmosphere, well supported and organised and involves an iconic mountain, what more could you want?
Then there was the disaster that was the Sheffield Half Marathon… I think I had my say, so enough said, well I said it here actually >>
Talking of racing, I have also had the pleasure of coaching some cracking athletes, or at the very least helping with their development. Stu Walker, is someone, who like Stuart Bond ‘Bondy’, is no quitter. He just runs a little slower and a little bit further. Bondy has returned to his very best running in 2015, grabbing a couple of course records along the way, (Great working with you Bondy, a total pleasure!) whilst Run-a-bout Stu has continued to get lost on ultra’s he should have won by a mile. Then came two cracking results…
Stuart Walker ran the Mount Fuji uphill race to finish 22nd before he ran the Matterhorn Ultraks Ultra in which he finished 18th overall. He is at last starting to see his own potential… roll on 2015, but no getting lost, Dr Walker, especially as he will be racing for Team Accelerate-Scott.
To help with not getting lost I have to admit to getting my hands on the new Suunto Ambit Sapphire. With smart watch features via bluetooth connection with your phone I have been impressed with reliability and speed of picking up a GPS signal. The fact that Movescount is so useful from a coaching point of view for analysing running and pefrormance data makes the Ambit range the best choice for anyone who is serious about their training. Oh yes, they also have top navigation features… Plus I think it looks very smart.
Rosie Swale-Pope adventurer and runner provided us with the most entertaining and inspiring talk of the year >>. Some would say she is as mad as a box of frogs, yet she is one of the most sincere and nicest people on the planet. She is currently running across America…
Team Accelerate Duathlete Julian Lings had a cracking year… at the Zofingen World Champs he finished 10th in the World, 1st in Age Group (by a mile) before reclaiming his British Championship title. Another succesful year for another Team Accelerate Runner, Tom Saville saw him hit the podium in the Fell Championships, Gold at the Team Relays and another England vest.
A day’s photo shoot about sums us what it’s like working here at Accelerate…it’s like an extended family and then your family gets involved! My son Ben, took the pictures for Pete and Scott-Running whilst Dot Kesterton and Chris Shelton had to run and smile a lot. Both are members of Team Accelerate-Scott and have both managed to cause a little worry in 2014. Dot, was treated for cancer earlier in the year, running everyday to her radiation therapy – what a star egh? Chris, like me has spent some time in plaster. He will be back running in the New Year. Stay healthy, the pair of you! As to Ben, you can spot his photo’s in the store, national advertising next year as we tie the knott further with Scott in the New Year.
My year would not have been complete without the great support from my wife Debs. An absolute rock following my Quad rupture. We did manage to finish the summer on a high, and what a summer we had, as we took the chance to go run the Welsh Mountains >>. Thanks for being there Debs.