I’m not the sort of person who obsessively logs all the miles I run – I’m not on Strava and I hardly ever download stuff onto Garmin Connect – and that’s partly why I like to have a bit of a running review at the end of each year, thinking about how things went and how they might have been better. I’ve entered more running events this year than ever before, but a lot of them were just as training exercises.
It was only when I was compiling a list of these that I suddenly realised that, of the 22 times I’ve run marathon distance or further, seven of them have been this year; and it would have been eight if I’d completed the Hardmoors 50 too. That wasn’t planned, but it’s quite good to know I’ve got to the point where I can hack that sort of volume without getting injured. So here (as some sort of record for me as much as anything else) is the list for this year, with links to reviews where I’ve done them – although I’ve been so busy studying for my sports massage therapy qualification and renovating a house that I haven’t blogged as much as I’d like recently.
Yorkshire Cross Country Championships. I was a bit scared to enter this, but actually loved it.
Temple Newsam Ten (miles). Third time I’ve done this, a fun event for the new year.
No Ego Challenge (head torch run), Dalby Forest. First dark run I’ve ever done, very rainy but fun.
Hardmoors Saltburn Marathon. Fabulous coastal trail, very muddy, but a great day.
Harewood House Half. Great hill training!
Daffodil Dash Half, Temple Newsam. Always a spring favourite.
Vale of York 10 (miles). My home village race, so I have to do it!
Helmsley 10K. Fab trail race with an Easter egg at the end.
Pocklington 10K. The only one of our summer 10K series I managed, I was so busy.
North Lincolnshire Half. First road half I’ve done for ages – a great PB course.
Hardmoors Wainstones Marathon. Tough but fabulous!
Ravenscar Half. One of my favourite races, spectacular coastal scenery.
Hardmoors 110 Relay. Part of a team of four, great fun.
Top of the Wolds 10K. Massive hill in this road race, excellent cake.
Conquer the Forest Half, Dalby Forest. Beautiful woodland trails.
Yorkshire Wolds Half. A lovely undulating road event – great mug!
Hardmoors Farndale Marathon. My favourite Hardmoors event so far, beautiful course.
The Princess Challenge (17 miles). Where else can you run in a tiara and tutu?!
There are two other things I’ve done this year and really enjoyed. In February I attended a trail running training day with Kim and Jayson Cavill, two amazing Yorkshire runners and coaches. This was held at the Yorkshire Cycle Hub in beautiful Fryupdale, which I can really recommend if you’re in the area. Great café there too! Since the summer I’ve also been attending a weekly circuit training group. I feel very lucky that Courage Fitness set this up in my home village, and I really think it’s helped me to get a bit stronger over the last few months. I’ll certainly be keeping that up in the new year, and also hope to investigate a local yoga for runners and cyclists class I’ve heard about.
So, what’s in store for 2020? (Am I just old, or can anyone else not believe it’s actually 2020?!) I’m repeating the Temple Newsam Ten, No Ego Challenge head torch run, Endurancelife Northumberland and Vale of York 10 because I love them all. In March I’m doing the Golden Fleece Circuit – a local event I’ve discovered that will be a good training run. My main event of the spring is the Highland Fling, which I’m really excited about. This race covers the first 53 miles of the West Highland Way and is so popular there’s a ballot for entry. In May I have the Windermere Marathon, then in June it’s Race to the Castle, a new event from Threshold Events. They also organise Race to the Stones, which I did a couple of years ago and really loved. In July I’m planning to take on what might be my biggest challenge yet, doing Endure 24 solo; basically I’ll see howmany five mile laps I can do in 24 hours! In August I can’t resist Hardmoors Farndale again. At the end of August it’s UTMB, the holy gail of trail running. I have the points to enter either the OCC or the CCC, and the ballot is open from now until early January. I applied for entry to the OCC last year and didn’t get in, so that means that if I enter this year I’ll have double the chance of getting in – the London Marathon folk could learn a thing or two from this system! In September I have the Hardmoors Fryupdale marathon, which I didn’t manage to get into this year, but am getting a place this year in return for marshalling at the Wainstones event in May. That’s it for now!
I feel very lucky that I’ve done so many fabulous runs this year and not had any injuries – touch wood. At my age I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep doing this sort of thing. Hopefully for a while yet! Over the Christmas holidays I’m going to be running for fun and would like to get some hills in as I haven’t done much hilly running over the last couple of months. Then I’ll knuckle down to some Highland Fling training in January.
I hope you all have a great Christmas. Happy running in 2020!