My name is Col and at the age of nearly 52 I decided that I would start running. It had always annoyed me that I could walk for miles but I struggled to run for a bus. Over the course of 2020, with the lockdowns, work started to dry up (I work as a professional mountain guide).
I found that I had put on weight and become very unfit, so at the start of 2021 I set myself a goal to try to walk an average of 10km everyday. By the time I got to July, I had lost 30kg and started running. By the end of the year I had hiked and run a total of over 4000km and I finished my first ever half marathon, the RunThrough event at Aintree Racecourse just before Christmas…I really wanted to carry on my running with a challenge that would also raise money for a local charity.
The Anthony Seddon Fund is a mental health charity based in East Manchester that was set up in the name of one of my partner’s school friends who sadly took his own life aged 30 after suffering with bi-polar disorder. Due to the effects of Covid19 demand for their services has gone through the roof and they are very stretched as they are only a small charity, so small in fact that when I offered to fundraise for them there was no budget for an Anthony Seddon running top so I’m busy getting some made for myself.
After having my own history of problems with depression and anxiety in the past I thought this was a perfect charity to raise funds for and decided I was going to run: 100 5ks, 50 10ks and 25 half marathons over the course of the year. If you add all those runs together you get a total of 1525km which is pretty much the distance from my house in Manchester to Barcelona so I’ve called it “Col’s Run To The Sun”.
At the time of writing, I am nearly three weeks in and have managed 9 of the 5ks, 4 of the 10ks and one half marathon which means I’m virtually 113km from home, or just north of Birmingham. Most of the runs have been just me plodding around local streets and trails although once the work season starts next month then there will be routes in The Lake District, Skye, Snowdonia and the Yorkshire Dales to look forward to.
My partner, son and I also volunteer as marshals at RunThrough events, some of you may have seen us as you don’t get many 5 year old marshals and I have been using the free race entries to pencil in some races to get me closer to my goal. So far I’m down to do half marathons at Oulton Park, Heaton Park, Alton Towers and the Cheshire one, 10ks at Chester Zoo, Tatton and Altrincham and the 5k at Aintree.
Hopefully I will manage to stay injury free and keep up my commitment and motivation through the year, particularly when work really picks up and I find myself doing hikes like the Yorkshire 3 Peaks most weekends as well.