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I’m a running camel, but hopefully in 2018 that can all change...

PUBLISHED: 11:38 27 December 2017

Colney Lane Parkrun. If you look closely you'll see David Powles in a black hat in the background struggling to reach his running goals. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Colney Lane Parkrun. If you look closely you'll see David Powles in a black hat in the background struggling to reach his running goals. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Does anyone else partake in New Year running resolutions?

While generally I’m not a massive one for making lists of things to change in the year ahead (it only makes you depressed when you look back and see how many you’ve failed!), I normally start the year with a few ambitions based around running.

I would imagine that’s probably a result of all that available thinking time when pounding the streets of Norfolk, it always makes running easier when you have something to focus upon.

For 2018 I reckon there are four priorities I’ll be focusing upon, one of which I’m fully expecting to have to repeat this time next year - but a man can dream.

They are as follows...

SUB 20 MINUTE PARKRUN

If you are an Eaton Park regular you might be familiar with the sight of a 6ft2in bald man regularly crossing the finish line while swearing profusely. Well, that’s me and it’s all because of my prolonged attempts to run 5k under 20 minutes. On at least six ocassions I’ve clocked times under 20 minutes and 10 seconds but the swearing usually happens as my Runkeeper smugly (well that’s how it seems) informs me I’ve hit the 20 minute mark at that final corner.

For a plethora of reasons I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall and one that I’m sure will be familiar to many runners. After a period of rapid improvement I don’t seem to be getting any slower, but can’t get any quicker either.

Each time I come close I put it down to a particular reason; lack of proper training, tiredness from the kids, tiredness from the work, tiredness from playing squash, age, a few beers the night before, but in the year ahead I’m determined to do what I can to put it right. If you spot me and happen to be a faster runner - any chance a lift?

AT LEAST TWO HALF MARATHONS

I think every runner, from the very top to the very bottom, has favoured distances and while I enjoy the shorter events, half marathons are the ones I really look forward to (although in the case of the Bungay Half those horrid half a dozen early hills normally put pay to that!). It’s probably because I’m a plodder and while not particularly fast I can go at a decent speed for a relatively long period of time. If I was an animal I’d be a camel.

I had intended to give the Cambridge Half a try this year but was put off by the £30-plus sign up fee, the steepest I’ve seen for such a race so far.

Instead I’ll be heading across the border for March’s Stowmarket Half and possibly two others at the start and end of Summer. If you are looking for an event yourself I’d recommend the Bungay Half (great atmosphere and nice crowds) and the Great Yarmouth Half (it can be a hot one but is very picturesque).

STAY ALIVE

Running into work last week it dawned on me I take too many risks and must regularly be the curse of drivers as I confidently step in front of them as they are about to turn into the road or set off from traffic lights. With a wife and two kids at home it’s probably time to follow the green cross code, even if it does mess with your running time.

SECRET RUNNING PROJECT

I’m remaining tight-lipped about this one but watch out in the new year for some exciting new running plans from our sports teams.

Whatever your running ambitions I hope you have a safe and fruitful 12 months on the streets of our county. See you there.

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