An Hour Of My Life

Posted on October 23, 2010



Runners from left to right: Laura, Vicky, Jenna and me.


Last weekend I decided to spend an hour of my life running around Victoria Park, London to raise money for charity. This is the first time I have competed in a running event since coming last in every track event at school (I was quite partial to sausage rolls at the time).

In fact I lie. I did not just decide to do this last week. It was the result of a foolish agreement made in slight jest after a few drinks two months ago.

Running and I have never seen eye to eye. I’ve never really had the body for it – my gene pool gave up on the caveman hunter part of hunter/gatherer – opting instead for the gatherer/sitter – and I would like to say we do it very well!

I had been stressing over the impending run for weeks. My training regime had at best been sporadic – some weeks I had run my legs off – others I was slumped half comatose in front of the TV.

Having enjoyed climbing mountains on my travels I thought I would easily slip into the pro-active training schedule needed to prepare for a first long distance run. But no, it does not come naturally to me.

The run date, Sunday 17th October, loomed and my friends were coming down from Norfolk on Saturday to join me in the run. We had planned a few early evening non-alcoholic drinks to catch up over and discuss the following day.

Unfortunately we got a bit carried away in the mirth of friendly banter and I found myself travelling home at 1am slightly the worse for ware. Nothing a glass of water and some paracetamol won’t cure! – I hoped.

I awoke in the morning to vigorous complaints from my stomach. Ignoring this forced down a cup of tea and a tiny breakfast and made my way down to the event – now certain that I would embarrass myself.

My Dad standing by the 8km mark as I pass

My doubts proved astonishingly misguided – my nerves and hangover disappeared during the aerobics warm-up and once on the track I began to enjoy pounding past some of the other 3,500 runners.

Only twice did I feel like I was going to be sick, only once I felt very faint and I had one stitch to contend with but zero stops along the 10km track. I was very proud to finish in 55minutes!

This has certainly spurred me on, providing a new sense of sporting belief in myself that has not existed in years. I am writing this having started my training for next year’s Great North Run – a half marathon.

Aside from the personal benefits this run has given me – it is a great feeling to have raised money for such an important cause. Unfortunately cancer seems to affect all of us directly or indirectly.

I hope this type of activity will become a regular feature over the course of the next few years. And trust me on this – I’m the most unlikely person to A) Run and B) Enjoyed it. So I urge you all to put on your trainers and have a go.

Oh by the way, you can still sponsor me here if you like! Gift Aid means the donation gets money added onto it by the government!

Posted in: The Odd Box