A normal running year for me tends to be: pick an interesting race or challenge; get enthusiastic about running, enter a few races along the way; tick off the objective. Then… lose motivation, lose the fitness and repeat. Typically I’m done “training” by July, feeling out of shape by September, guilty by October and back into it by December.

I know this cycle of motivation doesn’t affect everyone but having chatted to a few Cosmics, some might recognise the signs. So, at the beginning of March, in an attempt to stave off the inevitable, I put an entry into the inaugural Lakes in Day Race.

http://www.lakesinaday.co.uk – An ultra marathon which runs from Caldbeck in the North Lake District, 48 miles, to Cartmell in the South.

For those that know me, it won’t come as a great surprise to note that having hardly run in the preceding month, I found myself contemplating the 5 hour drive to the registration with some reluctance. Fate intervened… Before I had cancelled my place, I was contacted by Richard, a friend of Kev Harper’s, who was keen to share a lift.

Normally when I line up to start these longer races there is a sense of nervous excitement. Am I fit enough? Am I well enough rested? Will I finish the race? It all washes away when the race kicks off and tension is replaced by the thrill of being part of the race.

This time was different, with a sense of weariness, I was also wandering whether I could really be bothered… Needless to say, not the best mindset to start a 48 mile race with.

14 or so hours later I’d had plenty of time to ponder the question and despite the rain, darkness and turned ankle, I concluded that there were a bunch of great reasons to take part.

Whether you were in the top 5 (under 11 hours) or last to beat the cut off (almost 24 hours) stepping onto the start line and then finishing is a great achievement! I am not sure whose achievement is the greater or whether it matters. On that day we were all in “the club”.

This 5 minute animation tells a bit of a story: