It was fantastic to discover the crisp escapism of an autumnal run. No one around, just the squirrels diving across my path of endless orange leaves.
The Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was back today after an absence in 2015. For this event you could run, swim or cycle a range of distances. It was to be my first race since my double Berlin marathons in September and since I've only done one run this year I knew today wasn't a day for any personal bests.
The event was similar to my other experience, which was great. Good vibes, enthusiastic volunteers and lots of live music throughout meant I was excited to partake in this fun run.
The looped circuit was advertised with a 1, 3 or 6 mile option. Our GPS devices today said we were closer to 5.5 miles. Maybe if you ran in the middle of the track the whole way around it would have been closer to the distance.
I took this at a relaxed pace and could have gone faster, which gives me confidence for the upcoming events I have signed up for.
No official timing but you get a snazzy medal to wear for your effort. For an early bird entry price of £5.50 for the run it was an absolute bargain. Looking forward to the next Sport Relief event.
Without doubt the Berlin Double Marathon weekend was the pinnacle of the year. I finally achieved a sub 1:30 skate marathon time as well as accomplishing my first ever run marathon. The training was tough both physically and mentally. Along the way I also completed a bunch of other new races, including a number of other double event weekends and even had time to design a medal for one of the events. I lost a GoPro but got this massive medal holder. (I still would have preferred my camera). This has been an action packed year that has ended with me enrolling in yoga. Whilst I've dabbled with yoga with friends before, I'm now enjoying actual classes and the contrast it gives to my usual sporting activies.
I've already signed up for a few obstacle events next year. For me it was disappointing to see that some events, namely Nuclear and Nuts Challenge have increased their "early bird," prices by £30 on top of what it was this time last year! (I'll be skipping them this year). There are quite a few other events to keep me busy besides anyway.
Overall 2016 will be a little low key than this year, but the absence of marathon training should mean I can focus my energy on other things!
2015 events that gave finishing mementos: The Nuts Challenge (2 laps) ; Dirty Dozen (London South); Electric Run (London); Urban Ninja (Tooting Bec); Tower of London Run (10k); Spartan Race (Allianz Park); Nuclear Rush (6k); Tough Mudder (Midlands); London River Rat Race; Dublin Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon; London Inline (half) Marathon; Run to the Beat (Wembley); Berlin Inline Marathon; Berlin Run Marathon.
After today's Run to the Beat event I was still short of the milage I should be doing during my taper period. So I decided to top up my distance with something I've been meaning to try for a while, a giant game of Etch a Sketch, using my legs and GPS device. It took three attempts to draw the 5k route to create my "velociraptor."
This activity required a bit of orienteering but added an element of purpose and excitement to my run which I've been struggling to find of late. As I ran the backside of the raptor it reminded me of The Oatmeal's idea of 'inventing bizarre ways of measuring distances.'
So this is the most running I've ever done in a single day. Feeling good.
Now in it's second year in the UK. Run or Dye is attracting a lot of fun runners who don't mind getting a little colourful.
"Any tips, reviews and advice are my own opinions and are not to be taken as professional view points. The information on this site is what has worked for me and is here for guidance only, but I hope you gain insight into the various activities I partake in." Jonathan Chen