My proudest running moment, or is it moments?
I was asked to write about this by our media team, little did I know how hard it would be and that in itself as you will see makes me so, so happy that I joined Congleton Harriers in the spring of 2015.
I ran the local Parkrun before I joined the Harriers, seeing some of them there was a catalyst to me joining I am sure but also the Boxing Day run of 2014 when I met many of them for the first time in the annual run up the Cloud. However, back to Parkrun. A couple of months after I joined the Harriers such was my progress I managed no less than 8 PBs in a period of 10 weeks, including a string of 5 on the trot, something I have always been very proud of. However, another Parkrun proud moment for me was very recent, October 2022, when I reached the Parkrun total of 300. The fact had passed me by until I got there with a lot of people looking at me, clearly word had spread and I was duly embarrassed at the start when the RD announced the fact but also in that week’s report where it read “Local running Legend ... completed 300 Parkruns this week”. I think the kindness had something to do with me helping out regularly but hey ho, it was very nice indeed of Steve to write about me in this way. My aim, by the way, is to complete my 500 by the time I get to 70, that will be a proud moment if I get there!
Number 300 at Congleton
In my first year with the Harriers as rules allow, myself and both of my two daughters ran the Congleton Half Marathon in our new club colours. I hoped to get under 2 hours, in the event I managed 1.49.29 and in doing so beat them both! Sadly, as I knew it would, it did not last for long (being in front of them) ☹ but none the less another proud moment for sure.
At the end of the Half
As many Harriers will know I am very fond of the Staffordshire Moorlands Series. Since I first tried a few in the summer of 2015 I have been hooked (missing very few since) and have always run my heart out in the hope of one day getting a top three age group place. In, I think it was 2018, half-way through the series I was sitting well placed to achieve this, but then at the Biddulph event I fell badly twice and two of my closest rivals overtook me in the final stages which cost me two points. I ended up in Macclesfield A&E afterwards and then missed the next event due to my injuries. I came back for the last event which I did well at, but sadly the missing race and loss of two points meant I finished fourth in the series when I would have been second - a bitter blow. Never one to give up and fast forward to 2023 (there was no series for two years) and a new age category. Again I gave it my all and this time managed one 2nd, four 3rds and one 4th place in the six races and ended 3rd overall, I was happy and another proud moment.
Top of the Roaches 2015
Dashing down Shuttlingsloe 2023
Now back a little to 2017, my eldest daughter, known for her sometimes ‘spur of the moment things’ had the bright idea of us entering the Manchester Marathon as a family relay team. Now, a debate on it had been going on for a bit so without agreement she decided to enter us, the only request I got was for my credit card details!. Anyway, we all thought in reality it was a great thing to do, so my wife Sandra did the first leg from the start to Sale, Louise the second to the back of Altrincham, me the third returning to the Hale / Sale area and then Sarah-Jane, our strongest runner to bring us home - which we did in a respectable time of 3:41:04. It was made more of a family affair as my eldest brother who lives in Sale (and lives on the actual route) provided transport, refreshments and showers for us. The picture below is at the finish when we had replaced our club t-shirts for the marathon's. Another very proud moment.
Now back a little again, January 2020, remember that? Well, before it all started all my immediate family went on a trip to Orlando to run the DOPEY in aide of the Haematology department at Salford Royal Hospital to whom I owe so much, and again my thanks to all those that sponsored us. For those that don’t know, it's an event over four days - 5K day 1, 10K day 2, ½ Marathon day 3 and, yes, you guessed it, the full one on day 4. Well, I was very confident to get to the end of day 3, as for day 4 - well, whatever was going to happen was going to happen. My fears were thankfully unfounded, we did the lot and all got over the finish line of the marathon (and for endless reasons) this was yet another very proud moment and testimony to how resilient the body is and how much the years of running with the Harriers had prepared us all.
At the Finish Line!
So, my proudest moment - well, it's been very hard but I have to say by an extremely thin margin (but also based on the pain I went through) my judgement is the Sandbach 10K in August 2022.
Well, though I have not over the years been a big 10K competitive race runner, I have nonetheless run a lot of them. I have always wanted to get under 50 minutes, I once got close at Wilmslow but missed it by some 7 seconds sadly. So to finally get a time of 49.29 was a very proud moment for me, particularly as my 65th birthday was only a month away. The day was made very special as in the same race my younger daughter also got a PB. A great day all round in the sunshine as you can see – we even had matching trainers!