The start of 2017 for many was good riddance to a rotten year but for me 2016 was one of the best years in a long while; there was been a landmark birthday and adventures to be had. Kick starting 2016 was a New Years Eve 10k, a blustery fenland run in Ely alongside 300 other runners followed by a biting cold half marathon in February and a hilly North London half marathon in March in which I gained a PB.
This surprised me as there are virtually no hills where I live in the flatlands of East Anglia. I loved running this half marathon but especially my finishers photo…me crossing the line with Thor and Darth Vader and in October as I crossed the finish line in the Perkins Eastern Half Marathon the same thing happened…there they were!!!. All of these events were just a warm up in the preparation for taking part in the Virgin London Marathon 2016 and there was a lot of excitement about who would be the one millionth runner to cross the line since it started in 1981? I took a tumble with another runner at mile 13 on Tower Bridge, hobbled sobbed and dragged my way round to the finish line but needless to say I am running the VLM again this year.
Apart from all of the running events, semi-serious and fun (a Wineathlon with 13 other Where’s Wally’s, a Zombie run and an Only Fools Ride Horses OCR), coaching and playing football for my local team I also did my 1st ever tandem skydive at 35000 feet just 2 miles from my house. I loved it and wanted to do it again solo.
Of all these things the most exciting of them all was the knowledge that the small Fenland town in which I live had announced it had started The Chatteris Cycling Club. I was in my element, cycling in one form or another has been embedded in my DNA since I was born thanks to my dad a keen time trial cyclist and European mountain road bike adventurer. My first bike had been a chopper with stabilisers followed by a racer (the ones with the gears on the frame) while all the other kids in the street had a BMX or mountain bike. Looking back I realise that this was actually really cool. This love has spilled over onto two members in my family who share as much passion for riding as I do.
I love riding with the Chatteris Cycling Club. I took part in my 1st hilly 100km sportive in December. New Year’s Day started with a bitterly cold, wet cake and coffee club ride and I will continue training for numerous races coming up including The Gran Fondo Tour of Cambridgeshire in June. Whether it is just heading off on my bike for a ride out over 10 miles or 100 miles there is nothing like the sound of the tyres rolling along the tarmac - remember that feeling you had when you first learnt to ride your bike and from that moment every ride was an adventure? It never left me.