A while back, I read a post by Charlie at The Runner Beans about her top 5 running moments. I thought it was a great idea for a post so today I thought I’d share mine. The only problem is, narrowing it down to just 5 is not easy!
The most obvious place to start is my favourite city in the world. I’ve run the Paris marathon 3 times now and taken part in the Breakfast Run twice. Paris was my first ever marathon back in 2010, but for the purposes of this post I’m going to pick my second bite of the cherry in 2014 as one of my top 5 running moments. That was the year my training went almost perfectly and I ran a big PB, finishing in 4:05:07. I felt like I executed the ideal race as everything aligned and I got the result I wanted. And being in Paris was the icing on the cake!
Throughout marathon weekend, London is an amazing place to be – people are friendlier, strangers make conversation and the atmosphere is fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to experience this as both as supporter (2009 and 2012 when Steve ran) and as a runner. I was fortunate enough to get a place in the 2011 event, so my second marathon was in London. I’ll never forget the roar of the crowd as I ran over Tower Bridge and the feeling of making the final turn towards the finish line of this iconic race. I’d love to do it again one day.
After Paris and London, I’ll admit Aviemore seems a little incongruous, but allow me to explain. Back in 2009, I made the transition from what I’ll describe as a “fair weather jogger” to a more regular runner. I had only ever run a (very slow) 5k, but that spring I ran my first ever 10k and began to train for my first ever half marathon – something I had previously believed to be impossible. The night before the race I was nervous, and that’s when Steve employed a somewhat novel tactic to take my mind off things – he proposed! As a result, I remember little of the race itself as my head was filled with plans and ideas (mainly dresses to be honest!) and I was on cloud nine. And when I reached the finish line, Steve was waiting to congratulate me. As a result, Aviemore has become a special place for us and we have returned to this race a couple of times since – I even set my current half marathon PB there!
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Edinburgh marathon: it’s a great course for a PB, but not exactly in Edinburgh; I enjoy the first part of the route, but that out-and-back section along the coast seems never-ending; some of the scenery is quite pleasant, but then there’s the Cockenzie Power Station :-0
But this year, I had one of the best weekends ever at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, thanks to my crazy idea of running 4 races in 2 days – 10k and 5k on Saturday, followed by the half marathon and final leg of the marathon relay on Sunday. It wasn’t about running fast and setting PBs, it was about keeping on going through each event and pushing myself a little further. Running past the Macmillan cheer points and hearing people shouting my name made me feel like a rockstar, and there was something pretty satisfying about finishing the weekend with 4 medals around my neck! Without a doubt, a top running moment, and for that reason it’s one I don’t plan to repeat as I know it wouldn’t be the same. I prefer to remember it as the wonderful experience it was.
5. Christmas Day
For my final choice in my top 5 running moments, I’m going to choose Christmas Day 2014. This was the first time Steve and I had been out for a Christmas Day run, having previously had Christmas as a rest day. On this occasion, however, I was keen to head out for a run together (we normally train separately since we run at such different paces). It was a bright morning and we wore silly Christmas hats for a short run by the river. It was lovely to start the day together, chatting, planning for the year ahead and saying good morning to others who had ventured out to take the air. And unbeknownst to Steve, I had entered us in a virtual event and had medals waiting for us when we got home – nothing quite like having a medal around your neck while you unwrap presents and sip bucks fizz! We hope to now make that Christmas Day run a tradition. Good thing I kept the hats!
Running has given me so many wonderful moments and incredible memories, that I feel this post only just scratches the surface. Hopefully, there are many more fantastic moments to come.
What are your top 5 running moments? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or perhaps even read YOUR post…