Jamie Flaherty, 30, has been new to running in 2020.
The Civil Service manager from the north-west of Glasgow took it up during the early weeks of lockdown on a whim and later joined his local club, Garscube Harriers.
Jamie started at around nine minutes per mile and is now at six minutes per mile on fast sessions. He is running 40-50 miles per week.
There couldn’t be a more suitable ‘standard-bearer’ for our Keep On Running campaign – launched in September as we asked clubs and groups to engage with lockdown runners.
Here’s a few thoughts from Jamie . . .
‘Off their head’ and ‘for the watching’ is how I used to describe the sight of a person jogging down the street on a bitingly cold Christmas morning.
‘Exercising on the quintessential day of eating and drinking was as alien a concept for me as it gets.
‘Yet, two weeks ago, I found myself asking a friend if they fancied a Festive Run on the big day. I suggested an early 10 miles round the hills and tracks that make up the West Highland Way.
It was only later, when I started up the washing machine, filled with running clobber, for the 47th time that week that it struck me. I am one of them now and there is no going back.
‘According to the multitude of apps that record every and all bits of running related data through the magic of a small black thing wrapped around my wrist, since April this year I’ve run 1,018.1 miles (or approximately 1739km for those ‘people’).
‘After three years of inactivity aside from a weekly hungover game of five-a-side football, I decided on a whim to attempt a half-marathon.
‘This was largely/completely out of lockdown induced boredom. I did some basic searching, found a training plan, and decided to give it a shot by starting with a four-mile run.
‘Since that initial four miler, I’ve not looked back. A half-marathon, at first extremely daunting, is now just average fare for a Sunday morning.
‘Undoubtedly, my continued running throughout the year has been aided by a friend who also picked up the running bug at the same time and I believe that our mutual support of one another was crucial in navigating that tricky mid-year pubs reopening patch, which tried its hardest to derail any future 10,000m WR efforts.
‘At the start of the year I had no idea how many hours I would waste on reading about carbon-fibre plates or admiring the mile splits of my cousin’s friend’s window cleaner on Strava.
‘Over the past couple of months, myself and said friend have been running with a local club, Garscube Harriers, who have put on great weekly COVID-19 compliant sessions.
‘Everyone from the volunteers to the other members have been extremely welcoming.
‘And joining the club has taken my fascination with the sport up another notch. Running interval sessions alongside seasoned runners who have no qualms about leaving you gasping for breath and questioning why you ever decided to buy a pair of split-shorts has become a real highlight of the week.
‘Long may it continue . . .’
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