12 months, 12 races – 10k challenge
by Alison Dacey

I had planned to write this blog at the end of December or the beginning of 2018, so failed on that one, but as I was marshalling at parkrun this morning I decided that I’d better get on and write it.

I do like to set goals every now and again and once I’ve said them out loud, in front of family and friends that’s it, I definitely have to commit to them. Which was how I found myself running a 10k every month last year.  Why would I do that? I have a slightly competitive streak, and when a friend had told me he and his sister were doing a race every month throughout 2016 – any race just as long as they got a medal, I decided that I would do a race every month in 2017, but make each one a 10k.

Alison with her medal haul.

I did actually enjoy it; every now and then I felt the pressure of having to find a race which was reasonably local, but by and large it was fun! Some races I ran on my own but in many of the others there were usually some fellow WRP’ers to join up with – always good for moral support and a laugh.  Finding the 4 Relish Tunnels races in Bath helped fill up the calendar, and possibly were some of my favourites. December was the most problematic as I had assumed that there would be loads of Christmas 10k’s to choose from – WRONG!   There were loads of Santa Races but they were all 5k’s and some of the local 10k’s had gone by the time I realised this!   I ended up being completely out of my comfort zone when I signed up for Cottrell Park’s Christmas Cracker 10k as it was mixed terrain…..in December! But with a fellow WRP runner and a great atmosphere it was a brilliant one with which to end 2017.

So my 2017 running calendar went something like this:

  • January​​ – The Lliswerry 8 (not strictly a 10k but hey in my book 8 miles counts)
  • February​ – Two Tunnels 10k Bath – running through railway tunnels in the dark is fun honest.
  • March​​ – St David’s 10k – a good local one albeit a bit of a soggy start this year.
  • April​ – Cardiff Bay 10k – a hot one where I started in completely the wrong pen (with all the speedy ones) which really affected my race psychologically but I survived.
  • May​ – Two Tunnels Bath 10k – thought I might get bored doing this again but no…..really enjoyed it.
  • June​ – Caerphilly 10k – an absolute scorcher- the garden hoses of friendly locals really helped!
  • July​​ – Two Tunnels Bath 10k – number three – only one more to complete the series.
  • August​​ – Two Tunnels Bath 10k – the final one in the series – a real sense of achievement.
  • September​ – Mic Morris Torfaen 10k – all downhill – loved it.
  • October​ – Light Up 10k Cardiff Bay – a challenge with Storm Brian whipping around the barrage and it’s very very dark!
  • November​ – Richard Burton 10k– this was fun and some great views of the viaduct. A lovely shirt, slate coaster instead of a medal and a Welsh cake to boot!
  • December​ – Cottrell Park 10k – a new experience for me with mixed terrain and a fair bit of mud but did actually enjoy it.

    Cottrell Park Christmas Cracker

I haven’t gone mad this year – not signed up for much yet……the Whitchurch Race to Victory 5k, Porthkerry 5 (a bit worried about this one!!), Cardiff Half and Lanzarote Half (yayyyy…Winter sunshine).

One thing I have committed to doing this year, after feeling very guilty about only having done one last year, is to volunteer once a month at parkrun.  So far, I have managed it, so if anyone else out there fancies being a marshal, do it – it’s a great free event and couldn’t run without volunteers.

Now what else can I sign up for……….try for London Marathon?

(Main picture: Alison, 3rd from left, with the WRP squad at Richard Burton 10k.)

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