Where it all began

After months of deliberation and putting it off, Iv finally got around to starting up my blog…..and here it is!! Its on here where I’ll share my running stories, mainly of fell races I take part in but also any other events I think might make for an interesting read. First of all though I want to just give you a little insight into how I got into running, and how Iv got to where I am now with it……

So, I suppose the only place to start is the beginning, and how I got into running in the first place.

Obviously I ran at school, I didn’t have a choice in that, but as it happens I did really enjoy but just never pursued it any further as the only thing I was really interested in was playing football. Flash forward 13 years and to the year 2014, and this was the year my fiancée (we’ll call her Katie, as that’s her name) and I moved into our first home together. This might sound irrelevant but this is where my running journey started. Katie had been running for years, she’d been a member of the local athletics club when she was younger, and although she didn’t run competitively anymore she still enjoyed going out for runs around our village, and this is where I come in. I decided to join Katie for a short 2 mile run one evening in the summer of 2014 and didn’t enjoy it one bit! I felt tired, out of breath, and just generally unfit which put me off. Katie did persuade me to go out with her again over the summer months but I wasn’t digging it, it wasn’t for me and I was just doing it to accompany her………but then I tried Parkrun!

January 2015, and like every New Year most of us make New Years resolutions, and mine was to start running and get fit. Katie’s dad (also a runner) informed Katie and I of Parkrun as we’d not been aware of it, and gave us all the details on how to register and where the local run was. A few days later Katie and I, along with her dad, were lined up at our local Parkrun and ready to run. I was wearing a pair of trainers leant to me, a pair of football shorts, and a walking jacket……I couldn’t of looked less like a runner if Id have tried. Appearances aside though, I thoroughly enjoyed the run, finding it so much more interesting and rewarding than just running around the streets. I ran just over 25mins that day, which for a first time I think I did alright.  first parkrun

As the weeks and months went on I was at the local park most Saturday mornings, 8:30am prompt ready to run! The outfit got better, and times came tumbling down. After just three months I was running sub 20mins and finishing high up the field. I know Parkrun isn’t a race, its an event organised to get all abilities out exercising, its an amazing thing. However, I’m super competitive and treat it like a race, and just want run as fast as I can and beat as many people as I can, getting as quick a times as possible along the way. In just four months Id gone from not enjoying running at all, to wanting to represent the Uk in Rio 2016. Come April though, things changed a little…..

It was my 30th birthday, and as a gift from Katie, her sister, and parents, I received a pair of bright orange inov-8 fell shoes. I didn’t even know what fell running was at the time, Id just heard Katie’s dad (its about time I introduced him now instead of calling him ‘Katie’s dad…..Paul, his names Paul) talk about it as he’d done a few races. It sounded fun though, and the trainers looked amazing, so I was ready to leave the paths and roads and head for the countryside, and give this fell running a bash.

Just a few weeks later and Paul and I were heading to the Peak District, spanking new trainers in hand and a pair of the shortest shorts Iv ever worn. I didn’t have a clue what I was letting myself in for as I didn’t even know what the sport entailed, it was very unnerving. The race was Bamford Sheepdog Trials, which is a 4.5 mile race up Win Hill, which is around 450m high!!!! That’s roughly 450m higher than anything Id ever ran up before!! It was hard, really hard, I remember talking to myself as I climbed up the hill, saying “what am I doing”. Once at the top though the views alone made it all worth while, it was spectacular, but before you can take it all in you’re on the decent…..the fun bit. It was this exact moment that got me addicted fell running, the buzz and excitement of running down hill fast. I was 10 years old again! I was absolutely buzzing after the race, knackered, but buzzing. I had no interest in road running from that day, Rio 2016 was off, I wanted to be a fell runner.bamford fell photo

After Bamford I was on the hunt for more fell races, and with Paul we went on the hunt. We didn’t get to many that year really, we only managed probably another 6 or 7. I was still doing Parkruns regularly and training well though so I was keeping my feet in (pardon the pun), but I wanted to be in the hills more. As 2016 came around we were getting to the Peak District more often, taking part in races every other month. My results got better and better and I was starting to get to know some of the faces, as the fell running community is very close. Its a great environment to be in, the people are great, the areas we run in are out of this world, and there’s cracking little pubs.

Away from the fells and my Parkrun times where getting better too, I was now running sub 19s, even hitting 18:34 after just 16 months of being running. Id fell in love with the sport at this point and was thinking about it more and more, about how to train to get faster and stronger. I don’t really enjoy training though, I find it a choir and boring at times, but I know it has to be done to get to where I want to be so plug away at it.

Advance 12 months and to the present day. Iv got my Parkrun time down to 17:34, and I’m getting to a fell race with Paul at least once a month. I’m really happy with where Iv come with it, especially the fell running. There’s some very strong and fast runners at these races and I’m slowly getting on their tails, finishing right at the top end of the field and in good times. Iv got a hell of a lot to learn though as I’m only scratching the surface of the sport, there’s races Id love to do but I’m nowhere near that level yet…….one day though!Paul and I.JPGSo that’s how it all started, and how I got to where I am now. I owe a lot to Katie for getting me into running, those tough runs around the village that I hated gave me the taste, but I also have Paul to thank, for introducing me into the sport which Iv fell in love with. Paul and I make pretty much every race together, its a sport we both have a passion for and its great to have some one to share the enthusiasm with. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading my future blogs about races and share the enthusiasm with us.

Author: littlejoerunner

As well as running around the streets and countryside for fun, I'm also a keen photographer. I don't do it as much as I like due to time constraints, but if I do get a spare few hours I love going out and taking some landscape photos, or just taking pictures of my daughter in her day to day activities. Which leads me to my family. I'm engaged to my gorgeous fiancée Katie, whom I marry in August 2018. We have our little girl Martha, who is just the best thing in the world. Aside from hobbies and family, I have to work like most of the worlds popualtion. The career that choose me was construction, and in particular roof rainwater drainage systems. It's not the best job in world but I quite enjoy it and I get to travel the country. That's about it really, there's not much else to say about little old me.

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