Oh yes, I still have it and remember that day very well.
I had moved to London, I wasn’t particularly active – I had lost my ‘teenage’ weight and was trying to make it big in London.
I lived in Wimbledon.
I loved spinning. The crazy music. It was so much fun.
I got chatting to Gary – Gary was a runner, he was older. He encouraged me to try running. I hated it.
After a while, I realised how easy it was, not as in easy to run, but the fact that you didn’t need to drive somewhere to train, you could run from your front door. I would run around Wimbledon and Wimbledon village – I wasn’t fast, but I was moving.
So, that was it… I built up my running distance. Sometimes I would run with Gary on the treadmill at the gym but I didn’t like the fact that there were mirrors in front of you. That was somewhat off putting!
Then … yes, Gary suggested I enter my first race – Claygate 5 mile – race being used in a very relaxed sense, as I could just about run. It’s 2001. Age 27.. almost 28!
I did it… I didn’t pace it well, completely inexperienced, but I finished it.
Gary was an amazing runner. Even after moving to Reading, I would head back to Kingston to run the Kingston Breakfast run and see him there. Still a great runner.
That was the start… my love of running!