One of my reasons for starting this blog was to challenge myself to get better at running, to run more and in doing so connect with more people and find new places to run.

But that’s just a bit vague and so I need a target to work towards to push myself. On Sunday I finished the Wakefield Hospice 10K in a time of 42 minutes and 11 seconds. It’s not a race I would choose to have done, though having done it twice now I can say its a fairly easy, if slightly uninspiring course. The atmosphere is very friendly and there’s anice smattering of support from the sidelines as you run the fairly flat, out and back course.

After finishing you can grab a bottle of water and a finisher’s t-shirt. For those of you that love your goodie bags, this isn’t a race for you. Though if you’re putting yourself through a 10k run on your Sunday morning and paying double digits for the privilege I’d argue that there’s much cheaper and easier ways to get your hands on a medal, a sachet of isotonic drink and a flapjack.

The world’s tiniest, best trophy!

If you work with a pretty great team of people like I do though you really don’t need a medal or a flapjack when someone presents all the team at work on Monday with tiny trophies like this. I think it’s the first trophy I’ve received since my days as a teenager playing sunday league football, and even then it generally wasn’t for the quality of my football skills but just for turning up to training every week and getting involved without complaining.

The run was done with colleagues from work with the aim of raising money for Wakefield Hospice. At the time of writing we’ve raised £436. Though there were other members of the team who clearly brought in more donations than me, it was gratifying to be involved in this as this is the only race I’ve ever done with the intention of raising funds for charity.

I went home on Sunday feeling satisfied with my efforts and doing the course 30 seconds faster than last time. It’s one of very few races I’ve ever done more than once and knowing I’ve beat my previous time by 30 seconds gave me hope that I can continue to improve my times, even at the ripe old age of 36.

42 minutes 11 seconds is not a PB but it is a time I’m definitely happy with. My PB is a time somewhere just under 40 minutes, but that was a long time ago in the days before I used Strava or before I decided it was worth keeping a record of any achievements. I was young, had no kids to look after and figured I would probably run another sub 40 minutes sometime soon. It annoys me that I didn’t recognise it at the time for the achievement it was and it especially annoys me that when someone asks me what my PB is I can’t actually say with any certainty.

So my first goal to work towards is to run another sub 40 minute 10K by the end of June. I suspect soon I’ll also want to try and improve on my best half marathon time which I do know is 1 hour 37 mins and 18 seconds. That was 7 years ago in Edinburgh. I need to find a race to do that in, probably around October time, and need to set myself a specific goal. If anyone knows of any good half marathon choices to consider around that time then please let me know, in the meantime, bring on June and a sub 40 minutes.

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