Six years on

You started running at around the same time as me. Every evening, you’d embark on a short powerwalk to clear your head after the day’s work. I was living at home and joined you on occasion. One evening, we decided to break into a gentle run. That was where it all started.

When I moved out, I fell in and out of running. I entered the occasional race and trained sporadically. But, living in a flat with other twenty-something year olds, the lure of London’s nightlife was stronger than my desire to run, I suppose.

But you persisted. Undeterred by others around you that didn’t share your love for running, you gradually built up the distance. You weren’t in such a rush to enter races, preferring to gain confidence before diving into this new and unfamiliar world. But I guess you didn’t feel the need to prove yourself just yet. Your time would come.

When you entered your first half marathon, we ran together. We were at similar levels of fitness and your goal was to break two hours. We crossed the finish line in 1 hour 57 minutes, hand in hand. This photo makes me smile every time I look at it. It captures the bond we share through running.

The Croydon half marathon, photo via Dad

It was the first of many races we would enter and run together. At some point along the way I became faster and, when racing together, you expressed that you didn’t want to hold me back. But it’s been an honour to be able to use this speed to pace you and help you to meet some of your race goals. That sub 50 minute 10k we ran recently? Although you modestly tried to apportion credit to me, it was your legs and dedicated training regime that got you round.

On Sunday, we ran another half marathon together. You wanted to run under 1 hour and 50 minutes and I agreed to pace you. I knew you could do this, but after losing your footing and tripping at mile eight, your rhythm and confidence were shaken. I knew you still had it in you to fight on and meet your target. I suppose I felt frustrated with myself for not being able to convince you of this at the time. But there will be other opportunities and other races.

Six years on, as your first marathon draws closer, I wish I could be there to share your big moment. But I respect your wish to complete this out of the spotlight, under as little pressure as possible. Hopefully the time will come when we can run 26.2 miles together. But until then, I am grateful for the shared hobby we have and I am extremely proud of you, Dad.

Yesterday, Dad and I ran the Purple Patch Down Tow Up Flow half marathon, which was a very well organised, scenic route that I/we can highly recommend.


11 thoughts on “Six years on

  1. This is lovely. My dad no longer runs but his enthusiasm for it when I was a kid is a huge part of what makes me a runner today. He started a New Year’s Day 10K about 30 years ago in my home town and, although organised by a club now, my brothers and I still run it; my dad enjoys it from the finish line with a beer. A shared interest and history in sport is such a powerful thing. Your dad sounds awesome, just like you.

  2. This brought a tear to my eye! My Dad got me into running, back in the day he ran a 2.53 marathon so was always pretty good. Sometimes we would run together over the Heathland and it’s only now I look back and realise how much he had to hold back for me! It’s such a lovely thing to do together.

    Massive amounts of luck to your Dad for his first marathon

  3. The Dad and Daughter running duo, it’s lovely.. This post is so sweet. Hope your Dad is feeling better after the fall at mile 8. Wishing him lots of luck for his first marathon, and I’m sure you can’t wait to run one together 🙂

  4. This is really sweet! I’d love to run with my dad, but considering he is gearing up for his second hip replacement, looks like we’ll have to stick to cycling. 🙂

  5. It’s great being able to share something like this with your parents, all my family are runners in some form but we don’t get out together much. But the other week my little brother and I were doing a long run on the trails, my dad joined us for half of it and it was really cool being out together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s