04 October 2014

It started in the pub

…which is where most crazy ideas start. Isn’t it?

And that’s where the adventure of a lifetime started for me. A typical evening in the pub, cos that’s what we did most nights after work back then - we were young after all!

A few of my friends had already run previous Nike 10K events, but this evening, October 4th 2004, Metro published their first night time edition - with a wraparound sponsored by Nike. To advertise their first Nocturnal 10K, through the streets of South London.

This got us talking about possibly entering it…several beers later, we all agreed that we’ll enter that evening.

The next day

Yawn. That’s what I usually do at the start of each day.

And my mail…the mail that said that the other three that agreed to enter Nike 10K had entered.

I hadn’t. Maybe it was a bad dream. No, no it wasn’t. Everyone entered. Well, it’d be wrong of me not to wouldn’t it?

I bit the bullet. I entered the Nike 10K Nocturnal run.

What was I thinking?!

I hadn’t run since being at school over a decade ago, if you don’t count the bits where I ran for a bus, or a train, or from boulders rolling down the street (in hindsight, after watching various films, I believe the way to avoid such boulders is to step out of the way)

A couple of weeks passed

It’s ok, isn’t it? Running, it’s ok? Anyone can do it? Yeah, it’s ok.

That’s what I told myself.


I went out for a run a couple of weekends after entering. I must have run for around 40 seconds before thinking “WHY THE HELL DID I ENTER THIS”.

Wow. why?!

Ok, I needed a plan. And, those of you who know me, a plan is much better executed by buying a gadget. I bought a gadget. A Garmin Forerunner 201 - their top end version of, what I believe, was Garmin’s first range of running watches.

Well, I guess I need to run now, I’ve just spent over £100 on a big bit of electronics

Walk before you run

It’s an old saying, but it’s true. I obviously didn’t have it in me to be able to run long stretches in a row, so I took to walking.

I walked to London Bridge in the evening. I got off at Crayford and walked home. I did that for at least a week. Then I went for a run.

And that run wasn’t that as painful as the first attempt at running.

A little bit of running will work wouldn’t it?

And that’s what I did, a couple of runs each week of around 2 or 3 miles, and lots of walking. I have what I believe are all my logged Garmin runs - in the 3 weeks before 28/11/2004 when the Nike 10K was run, I covered 18 miles.

30km of running training for a 10km race.

Hah. That’s a pattern I have followed a lot for some of more recent races.

28th November 2004 - Nike 10K - Run Nocturnal

I did it. 55 mins 30 seconds.

My legs hurt so much for the coming days, but I still went to work the next day, getting through up the stairs at Dartford station was difficult, more difficult was going downstairs, as anyone who has run hard can attest to.


Back to the title of this post.


I planned to write this blog post many weeks back, I felt it important to mark the tenth anniversary of me getting into this crazy running thing that I’ve got myself into. So, I hope you liked my vague recollections of what started me off on this path 10 years ago.

Today marks 10 years since I decided running would be something I should be doing…but there’s more:

Today is 10 years since the first parkrun in Bushy. And whilst I planned to run Dartford parkrun (if I woke up), I was asked to be ‘tail runner’ for today’s run, which I gladly took on…I was once one of those runners taking it slowly, quite fitting for today!

In a little over 10 weeks time I’ll be running my 19th marathon in Honolulu.

I also ran my 10th Marathon in Chicago on 10/10/10 (which is a date that works both in the US and the UK)

Ten seems to have some sort of significance in my running life!

For the next Ten weeks…

I’ll be writing 10 blog posts about running. Stories about running, where I will write about my running experiences, and things I’ve learnt over the past decade.

I’ll have them out each weekend (time permitting!), though haven’t yet planned what the theme of what all weeks will be…just a few.

I hope you’ll pop back and have a read - it’ll make a change from my blog posts about ‘the train company’


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Related links

Southeastern Railway Action Group
Dartford Rail Travellers' Association
Dartford Rail Travellers Association (Facebook)
Dartford Rail Travellers Association (Twitter)