What is the difference between a race and a social run? Sometimes, nothing!

Over the weekend, I took part in one of my favourite events, the Ranger Ultras Peak District South and North. This race can be seen as a two-day, 93km stage race or as two standalone races (50km on Saturday and 43km on Sunday). If you run just the Saturday or just the Sunday, it is a standard fell race. If you run the Saturday and Sunday, your times for the two races are added together to give you your total time.

My favourite form of running? Social runs

I am lucky enough to participate in a wide range of running events, including marathons, cross-country, fell races, track races, ultramarathons, and relays. But, without a doubt, my favourite runs are social, i.e. runs where I head out with like-minded people to run, enjoy the conversation, appreciate the scenery, and explore new areas.

Running with a bigger safety margin

I have written before about my notion of ‘running within myself’. In essence, this means listening to your body and ensuring that you do not go ‘into the red’, i.e. not pushing too hard. Following this course of action, I have been able to: run every day for nearly five years, take part in a wide range of events (from 100 metres to 440 kilometres) without injury, and (bar one lapse of concentration) without getting into distress or difficulty.

Running a Marathon Race for the England Masters Team

Today was a fun outing, participating in the Chester Marathon. This race was a triple competition for me. First, it was a regular marathon (along with 4586 other people).   Secondly, it was the British Masters 2023 Marathon Championship (I was competing in the Men, aged 65-69 category). Finally, it was an international masters match between England and Wales (and I was selected to run in the England team).

Changing gear, running in a country park, and being part of a club

Three weeks ago, I ran 118km and set new PBs for 50 miles and 100 km. One of the side effects (for me) of running longer distances is that it tends to slow my running down for several weeks. I suspect it is partly physical (wear and tear etc) but also mental (the metronome in my running brain gets slower for a long event and is reluctant to move to a faster beat. In four weeks, I have a half marathon and in six weeks, I have a marathon – so I need to improve my speed to run these in the same time I was running earlier in the year.

A meal can be an adventure too

Yesterday I was in Paris in preparation for catching a train to Chamonix for a few days of hiking and running in the mountains. Yesterday morning, I ran with Let’s Run Paris, and in the afternoon, I went shopping for some things for my trip and settled into my hotel. My hotel was the Terminus Hotel, immediately opposite Gare du Lyon, the station for Geneva.

In praise of social running, sight-running, and Paris

I am in Paris today, one of my favourite cities, and I ran with one of my favourite running groups, the Let’s Run Paris group.  I have been running regularly since 1981 but I have only been ‘social’ for less than ten years. For me, social means a) running with other people, b) sometimes running with people I don’t already know, and c) actively sharing what I know and learning from what others know.

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