by Caryl Thompson

Everyone said I was mad – taking up running at the grand (old) age of 61 – but it’s been fabulous.

 September 2019 a raw beginner, graduating to my first official Grangemoor 5k Parkrun in November 2019!! At the start, I didn’t think I’d make it, but it was great. 

 I was now running 3 times a week and decided to enter the Cardiff Bay 10k in March 2020. Training went well, then came COVID. The Cardiff Bay 10k was cancelled – but I had managed to run my own 10k a week beforehand – whoopee!

 With Lockdown, I was determined to carry on running 3 times a week as usual. Andrea’s virtual social runs and challenges on Mondays and Thursdays kept me going, with a non parkrun 5k on a Saturday. I struggled to keep up my distance during this time and grew tired after 5 or 6k, but at least I was still running.

 I had a difficult 6 months at the second half of 2020, family and health issues, but managed a 10k run with Andrea on 31st December 2020. The following day I tested positive for Coronavirus.

 It’s been another difficult 6 to 9 months, as Covid has taken its toll. I had to start from scratch with gentle short walks, building up to a few jogging steps and walking steps. Although not back to my pre-Covid fitness (I have been diagnosed with long Covid and get really tired), I took the plunge and entered the Severn Bridge 10k.

 It was superb – the atmosphere was tremendous – I managed the first 5k with my fastest pace this year, and no walking! Then there were a few more inclines, so I needed to walk some bits, but that didn’t matter. With 1k left I was nearly at the finish, but there was another incline to overcome! Finally, I’d made it – and in my fastest time this year – I was so proud.

 So – you’re never too old to start running – and give yourselves a challenge. I’ve got the Cardiff Bay 10k coming up in 4 weeks and I can’t wait…