John's Bury 10k Update - 'Where are you going Daddy?'

Posted on
06 September 2018

Everytime I’ve been out running recently, my little girl Josie who is nearly 3 asks “where are you going Daddy?” “Running” I say. “Why?” “Can I come too?” she asks.

 So Why? Aside the obvious health benefits, its hard; requires effort, you end up breathless, in pain, and right back where you started having run a big pointless circle.

As long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed playing & watching sport. Running was recreational; something I did to keep fit but I didn’t take part in any organised runs. Then at Christmas 2013 a friend asked if I fancied doing the Liverpool half marathon in March. In truth my training was sporadic, and as I stood in front of the Liver Buildings on a cold March Sunday morning at 9am waiting for Brendan Rogers to start the race, I did question my sanity. Half an hour in I realised why people take part in these events. It was a stunning route along Pier Head, Sefton Park and Liverpool Mariner, the support generous, with great camaraderie and banter amongst the runners.

I was hooked. Park Run became a regular Saturday feature. PB’s, cadence, GPS, pronation, VO2max, became part of my language. At first it was about chasing times, but then weekends, even holidays were planned around events in Snowdonia, Anglesey, The Lakes, York and further afield in Ireland, Paris & Spain.

I’d never felt as fit and healthy. Then quite unexpectedly I became a father – twice. So aged 50 I had 2 children under the age of 2. Gradually the 5.30am get ups and the late nights took their toll. The babies were winning; my girth increased and the running started to fall away.  Reflux, nappies, weaning, Witches on Brooms, became my new vocabulary.

In May of this year a friend called to say he couldn’t compete in the Manchester 10K, and would I like his place. Why not? The day of the race was a sweltering. At 7km I stopped and started to walk. I was hot, unfit, not really enjoying the event and a bit disappointed in myself. I needed to do something.

A couple of days later I was chatting to Kat in the kitchen at Persona Head Office. She mentioned that she’d recently competed in a Tough Mudder event, and had surprised herself at how much she’d enjoyed it. The conversation turned to the Bury 10K and the possibility of entering a Persona team. A month later we’d assembled a team of 14 willing - and a few who needed a little persuading - runners / walkers.

With 8 weeks to go we ticked off the team photograph, and the training began. From the outset I’ve been amazed at how everybody has embraced, and actually enjoyed the challenge. Whenever I bump into one of the team members the conversation quickly turns to training, and how each of us are doing. We’ve had training sessions, written blogs, and designed our own fantastic Persona running t-shirts. It’s been a real team effort – with Bernard taking some great photos, and the Comms Team brilliantly promoting us, the event and our chosen charity Bleakholt. (Here's the link to our Just Giving page.)

So why run? I was in Nuttall Park at the weekend with my family. My little girl Josie was excitedly running around. Back and forth, up and down in her own pointless small circles.  “What are you doing Josie?” I asked. “I’m running Daddy, I like running” she replied. That’s it, I like running too, I really enjoy it, and doing it as part of a team has been a great new experience.

If you'd like to read more about the team challenge, click here.