The Man On A Mission

My relationship with running is chequered at best. I grew up as an active child in an active family. As a kid I played everything, football, cricket, tennis, hockey, rugby you name it, I tried everything at least once. And of course I ran. But as I got older and became a moody teenager the interest in sport dwindled down and by the time I was in high school I only really ran, mostly as an excuse to not do anything else. I did Track and Field in the summer and Cross Country in the winter, expertly ensuring that I was never quite good enough for competition by not pushing myself in training or racing. The plan went a bit awry when I won a 3000m race in 2000 at the Sports day at my school. Hanging on in the middle field, the guys in front couldn't hang on to their furious pace they had set and I found myself in first placewith two laps to go completely unchallenged to win in 11 odd minutes. How embarrassing! I made up for it the next day by setting off at a crazy pace in the 1500m only for the go-slow to take in effect with a lap to go. Normal service resumed.

When I left school I ground to virtual inactivity, citing my new found love for the party lifestyle, a brave new world and yada yada yada. The next nine years would see me stop and and start, often in the same week. Most years since I finished my BSc were centered around the annual postgrad and staff fun run, the Lenn Smith. For two or three years, I would do a 5km focussed training regimen and blow out at about three kays and swear to never do that. The 2011 event was probably the first time I enjoyed the darn pesky affair.

It also never helped that my father, now my part time coach, is a pretty darn good runner, he of the 32 minute odd 10km, somewhere around 70 for the half marathon, and a 2:30 marathon. So scratch that, a fantastic runner! The men in my family are strikingly similar, 5'7" size, near identical builds and even with basically the same size feet, as we have learned being able to swap shoes. People always commented how similar I am to my father and why I'm not blazing a trail on marathon routes around the provinces, but alas genetic disposition does not equate to talent, dedication or mental and physical fortitude.

Anyway, to cut a long story shortish, here I am now and a series of events have led me to lacing my shoes and hitting the road again. Just making up for lost time, hey, it's better late than never. While I have no ambition to match the standards that my old man has set, I don't think I'll ever run twice a day for example, the prognosis thus is 'so far so good'.

On your marks! Get set! Go!

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