2012 was another full year of running pleasure, with a few ups and downs. Well, there was just one 'down' really - the chest infection in July that prevented me taking up my place in the Lakeland 50. However, even that became a big positive when I got to watch everyone else play instead and empathise in their pleasure and pain (been there, done that, know what it feels like). I gave my voluntary services for the weekend in between grabbing a few hours' sleep in my car and capturing a photographic record until my camera battery gave up. A few days later I wondered if my 2012 entry fee plus dragging myself off my sick bed and travelling two hours northwards to volunteer might allow a discounted entry for 2013. I made a tentative enquiry.
Err, no chance, your money's already gone to charity (stupid boy for asking).
Oh, sorry, please excuse my impertinence. I'll just settle for a small token of your esteem in the form of a 'thank-you', then. (Dream on again.) I felt even more grateful for the free cups of tea I'd enjoyed over the weekend. ;-)
The big 'high' of the year of course had to be the Runfurther series, Grand Slam number 3 and the party in Ringinglow in November. Many thanks once again to outgoing team Karen MacDonald, Simon Berry and creator Mark Hartell, and best wishes to new man at the helm Mark Barnes, and Jon Steele.
The scarcity of PBs that began a year or two ago continued this year, with a few PWs thrown in to remind me that I'm getting old and (even) slow(er). Then the Runfurther series of regular weekend Ultras came to an end and I concentrated more on short sharp races like Parkruns and fell races, plus running to work on some days. Things suddenly clicked at the beginning of December with a 5th PB of the year at the 5k Parkrun, followed the next day by PB6 on the Gravy Pud fell race. The roll continued to the end of the month with PB number 10 on the 10k Adlington Winter Warmer. Talk about finishing with a flourish!
Events/races = 61
Total miles = 1,592
PBs = 10
Ultra marathons = 16
(Total ultras since the first in 1996 = 158.)
Next year I become a V50. How novel it would be if the PBs continued.
Finally, on a poignant note, October saw the passing away of inspirational Pennine fell runner Darren Holloway (DazH) at the tender age of 42 while running the Ian Hodgson Relay fell race in the Lake District. I had followed his blog (Laidbackfellrunner) for a few years and found him truly inspirational. I had run a few local fell races he'd also run but always missed him. I always intended to make his acquaintance as soon as I recognised him but that chance is now gone. The outpouring of tributes on the FRA forum was immense and reduced me to tears many times as I read it (still does in fact). In his memory a large sum (over £10,000 so far, original target £2,000) has been raised on Justgiving for Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team and North West Air Ambulance.
Rest in peace, Daz.