My running story began upon moving to a tiny island in the middle of the atlantic ocean in October 2015. With some serious humidity and being 18 miles long it probably doesn’t strike as the most obvious place to take up running. However, moving to our 3rd new country in as many years I was keen to meet new people.
I remember turning up to a track night. My legs were like jelly and I was intimidated, memories of school athletics flooding my brain. What the hell was I, a mother of 2 on the wrong side of 30 doing at a running track? The guy running the session asked why I was there. I said my hairdresser had sent me (no joke) he laughed. He asked if I ran, I said I last ran regularly in school, he laughed. He asked me what I wanted to do and I said run a marathon….he laughed again!
In honesty the group I met at that track were awesome. Everyone in Bermuda seemed to run. Every speed of runner was at the track. It was a hive of activity and coach Steve was right “everyone ends up here in the end”.
I made some incredible friendships through running on that tiny island. None less than a fellow ex-pat Lorna. Her utter belief in what we could achieve saw us run our first marathon in New York in 3hrs 39mins, just over a year after I started running. It was an amazing event with memories that I will always treasure.
At the track and with those friends there was a sense of belonging. It didn’t matter where you were from, what you or your husband did, whose mother you were, I was suddenly a “runner”. It definitely sounded pretty weird to start with but I learned that actually more important than the physical improvements from running, was the time spent with friends, working towards a goal, loosing yourself in the moment and getting some endorphins flowing!
Having returned to Dorset after 4 years living abroad, I started running again and joined Poole runners in October 2018. Logistics might be tricky for me to get there and races seem a lot more tricky to get an entry for, but once again I hoped to find a sense of community and achieve some goals.