It’s a time for reflection and contemplation at the end of the year: what were the achievements gained and which challenges will be pursued in the months ahead. Equally important, it is a time to again consider why we run and do we continue to enjoy all the key rewards that are on offer. The final fellrunning installment in the calendar year is perhaps an ideal litmus test of running enjoyment. As is an early assessment of identified personal goals.
The Auld Lang Syne is a fun-filled frolic for all, whether you’re an Olympic triathlete or plodder with Hobbit-feet. Some try to keep up with Brownlees, most wear fancy dress and nearly all adorn smiles as wide as Worth valley. Normally the route takes in bog, fields, becks and moor tracks: the regular route was however substituted to a ‘safer’ course due to icy conditions. Basically this just meant less field and beck, and more bog and squelch!
There were Ninja Turtles, Baywatch babes, muppets, religious radicals and robots. Actually, as far as I’m aware there weren’t any robots, but there was a Star Wars Stormtrooper. Pah! Clowns challenged cavemen while a snow-woman tussled with a sumo-wrestler. Spectators were cold in the icy wind, but hopefully warmed by the spectacle all around. Runners fell into bog and were assisted by men in pin-striped suits; marshals at key race points were thanked by zombies and criminals. Laughter was shared, I’d like to think nearly all had fun and I might’ve even got a coffee chocolate from one of the bounty of wacky prizes won by the Brownlees.
And so to the year ahead: setting goals are personal and not all about the quickening times. Indeed, as a fellrunner – and an average, middle of the pack duffer like me – it’s equally about the experience and trying out something new. So, I’ve set a few PBs to smash, but also identified a few stonking races to whet the appetite. Lakeland classics, catching ferries to fell race and also training for the Big Ben are all on the list. Higher is sometimes more of an achievement than further. If nothing else one can see where it all started.
Whilst still reflecting back I’ve somehow managed to already conjure up a new 5km PB. I can now only contemplate how fortunate 2015 could be for me…
Best of running to all my friends: whether you’re a bogtrotter or Parkrun bagger!