Let me just start by saying that I’m not ‘good’ at running – I’ll never trouble the podium; I place very much middle of the pack; and those in the know wouldn’t say that any of my achievements are that impressive in the grand scheme of things.
To be honest, I don’t even particularly enjoy running most of the time. It’s tiring; often hurts; can get a bit monotonous; and you don’t get any sense of team spirit like in, say, football or rugby. I’m not entirely sure why I do it. In the winter it can be awful.
That said, I couldn’t ever see myself not running. It’s one of those rare sports where it doesn’t take much to get started. A pair of trainers is relatively inexpensive and then you’re only a pair of shorts and a t-shirt away from getting out and exploring. It also keeps me reasonably fit – well, enough not to have to follow any sort of healthy regime anyway.
I’ve been doing it for at least 20 years and generally I’ll run about 20 miles a week – or up to 40+ if I’m daft enough to do another marathon. I recently trained for and completed a marathon along the canal from Bingley during lockdown 3, just because I was a bit bored. I also did 45 straight days from the beginning of 2021, averaging 6 miles a day. I’m not entirely sure why; it seemed like a good idea at the time.
My brother calls me the ‘unorthodox runner’. I don’t really train properly – no warm-ups, no cool downs, no core work – I don’t follow plans properly, drink too much before a difficult/long run and my diet is terrible. I don’t really care too much about times and I think it infuriates him. He’s a lot more competitive than I am. I just think that as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing then it doesn’t really matter what anybody else thinks about it.
A few years ago, I took up fell running which I really enjoy. The trouble is that living in York, it’s a fair distance to get anywhere you might call ‘the fells’. With a demanding six and eight-year-old to look after it gets even more difficult. Fell running allows you to be as slow as you want but it still looks and sounds impressive. I’ve run the Yorkshire Three Peaks Marathon twice, completing it on both occasions in under five hours. This sounds impressive until you find out that the men’s over-70 record is half an hour quicker!
I’ve entered the Yorkshire Marathon again for 2021, having run the first one in 2013. It starts less than two miles away from home so it doesn’t take much planning for me to run it. I tend to run for the ‘fun’ of it but have raised funds for both the Stroke Association and Global Action Nepal by running the Edinburgh and London Marathons respectively. The latter was an experience I’ll never forget – although I was a little disappointed to be overtaken by a runner in a Big Ben costume when turning the final corner onto the Mall.
Andy Smith, of Lupton Fawcett, fell running.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.