With many cadets, volunteers, parents and staff taking part in our My Mighty Marathon challenge this New Year, we thought we would ask some of them about their activities. Charlie Maling, a Training Development Officer in the national office, is a keen runner and shares how she started the New Year…
It was 9 am on 1 January 2019 and I was jogging down to the local underground station. Quite a few partygoers were still wandering in the opposite direction, after plenty of New Year’s Eve merriment! So why was I in bed at ten and jumping up early on New Year’s Day rather than ‘going out and having fun’?
The answer is that on 1 January every year, Serpentine Running Club host their New Year’s Day 10k race in Hyde Park. Ten kilometres of brisk, chilly winter morning racing – for most, run on a sore head. For me, though, running hard on the first day of a new year sets the tone for the way I want the next 364 to go.
I jogged from Marble Arch to the race start where my friends were waiting. We dropped our bags and started to warm up. It was lovely to be out chatting and socialising rather than complaining about a hangover! At eleven am, we lined up on the packed and buzzing start line waiting for the final countdown.
Three…two…one… we were off! It was cold enough that my shoelaces felt like tiny whips against my ankles and I huddled in behind taller runners for the first couple of miles to keep out of the wind. Nevertheless, I have never felt so strong! I didn’t want to begin my new year with the guilty feeling of having indulged too much over Christmas. I wanted to begin by achieving something, by setting the bar for the year ahead. My goal was to run a PB (personal best) and to finally dip under 40 minutes for 10km. I felt great throughout the race – it was fun to look at the startled stares of dog walkers who had dragged themselves out for their pets’ first walk of the year, and I even relished pushing through the pain barrier at 7km, overtaking those who had set off too fast or had a drink too many the night before. Even the bit at the end where I had to dodge two geese and a squirrel was exhilarating.
I finished the race in 39 minutes 13 seconds, joined minutes later by two of my female team-mates, which meant we won the team prize! The race photos say it all – I was grinning all over my face. Beginning the year with a hard, fast run leaves me feeling like I can do anything I put my mind to. It leaves me feeling strong and determined. And best of all, running in the morning means I can eat as much as I like for brunch!
If you’re taking part in My Mighty Marathon, whether you’re doing one mile at a time or tackling all of them at once, get in touch and tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org!