“One of these days I won’t be able to do this any more. Today is NOT that day.” One of my favourite quotes and one that, fortunately, still holds true. More than this, 2022 has been a very good year and one which I’ve enjoyed to the full. Fast approaching my 70th birthday I’m well aware that it will all end sooner or later but for now I’m riding the wave. Here, self-indulgently, I’ll review my running year.

Weight and health
Other than a bit of a bug late in the year I’ve remained in good health. In particular I seem to have escaped Covid altogether, though I’ve never actually been tested for it. My target weight is 80kg and I’ve largely fluctuated around 81-82 (though am slipping a little as we speak). A healthy weight is a must for enjoyable running. I’ve adopted a vegan lifestyle which is easy, aligns with my animal rights views, is a no-brainer for anyone concerned about the environment and climate change, and provides a healthy diet.

In my case anyway, total mileage has always correlated with running performance. In 2022 I ran 2,310km (1,435 miles), a record year, overtaking my 2021 total on Christmas Day. I have to admit retirement from full time work has freed up lots of time for running 🙂

I try to get out 4-5 times a week, usually alone but sometimes in company. It’s mostly easy running though I try to always throw in a serious hill, and occasionally a time trial or speedwork at the track. The flat out stuff I leave for race day.

The Races – (I love Race Day!)
11 Jan – Jersey Spartan 5k – 24.25 – I’m happy with anything in the 24s for a 5k.

29 Mar – Spartans 5k – 24.18

10 Apr – Spartans Spring 10k – 49.45 – sub-50 which is my 10k target.

19 April – Spartans 5k – 24.21

22 May – Durrell Challenge 13k 72.42. Tough old race, from town out to the Zoo, two serious hills in there. Finished strong and three minutes faster than last year. 146th out of 395.

12 June – Jersey Half-Marathon 1:57.45. Died a bit of a death on the tough final section but content enough with sub-2.

26 June – Headway 10k 49.39. 46th out of 105.

5 July – Spartan 5k 23.17. The highlight of the year and maybe my second fastest 5k ever. Winged feet, one of those rare occasions when it all comes right.

21 July – Spartans 10k (actually 9.76k) at Les Platons 50.02. Always a deceivingly tough course for which one needs to summon extra mental strength.

11 Aug – Spartan 8k Jardin d’Olivet 40.22

14 Aug – Jayson Lee Memorial 10k 49.18. 65th out of 219. Always a good race to run and well supported by the running community.

9 Oct – Spartans Autumn 10k 50.07. My favourite course (St Catherine) so annoying I was outside the 50.

18 Oct – Spartan 5k 24.43. Lost about 30 seconds after colliding with a bike, my own stupid fault. Could have been much worse.

6 Nov – Durrell Dash 12k approx – 62.39. 89th out of 203. Lost time re-tying shoelace, a rookie error on this tough course.

20 Nov – Frubbs 10 miler 1:30.14. My one really poor race, at the tail end of some sort of bug. I was treading water in the last few miles as many others floated past me.

Before it all turned bad

20 Dec – Spartan 5k handicap 24.02. A fun race where the slower runners start ahead of the faster. It produced a good time in my case.

26 Dec – Spartans Boxing Day 10k 49.49. I couldn’t hold on to a fast start and my splits drifted upwards as the race progressed. Still, another sub-50.

Chasing Nicola in vain, Boxing Day

31 Dec – Bouley Bay Hill Climb (1.6km) 10.13. This annual torture attracted a nice crowd with the youngsters very much in evidence, this being one of the few races that is open to all with no age restrictions due to distance. I was a little way off my 2021 time but never mind.

Plans for 2022?
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Maintain body weight, maintain running consistency, keep running the races hard. And as I slip into the M70 age group I might be tempted onto a plane to enter a few UK races – there are few other silly old buggers still running here in Jersey 🙂

Happy New Year to all.