Hi all, I’m Paul Gardner, a newbie to running and also to the Red Rose family.
I call it a family because that’s just how it feels.
I suppose I accidentally fell into running as I’d ‘encouraged’ 14 of my colleagues to enter the Bury 10k at the end of last summer as a team effort and to raise money for charity. Of course as it was my idea, I had to run too. My ‘training’ consisted of a grand total of 10 runs over 6 weeks and I didn’t really enjoy the race, but the support and positivity that followed made me wonder what made all these crazy running types actually tick.
I tried Preston parkrun and again I saw the camaraderie around the event, everyone was happy and supportive of each other and I wanted to be part of it. So I challenged myself with the runeveryday in October and before the month was completed, I started to enjoy the physical side of running and more importantly I started to make new friends, meeting more of the local running community! That’s right, I caught the bug, I too wanted to be one of those crazy running types. There was also no doubt that Red Rose membership was looming because a lot of those supportive and friendly people I mentioned earlier hailed from the same family.
So just 4 months after the Bury 10k, I’ve done 3 more, lost some weight, taken a shine to parkrun (in the valley too!) and continued to enjoy running, meeting loads of supportive and friendly people too.
My other sport is sailing a Laser dinghy (and often swimming back to it!) so the cold and wet winter months of running aren’t a problem. That’s not an invite to throw a bucket of water at me as I run past though.
I’ve set my 2017 challenges as racing for a medal once per month and covering a total running distance of 1000km, I’m calling that one the ‘million metres running challenge’ just to big it up a little for the non-runners.
I’m looking forward to meeting many more of you in the coming months. Thanks for reading, Paul.