2018 - A Busy but Fun Year!

January 15, 2019

In 2018 I ran 1012 miles. Received 31 medals. Ran 31 parkruns and 5 junior parkruns with my son. Ran 4 Great Run Local Runs. Finally achieved a sub 50 minutes new 10k PB. Ran in 4 different fancy dress costumes. Was a guest on a running podcast. Did a Twitter Takeover. Met a running legend or two. Unfortunately I also had 2 health scares.


It’s certainly been a busy and interesting year of running for me. But I’ve loved it…. well most of it. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights.


JANUARY 75 miles run.


Destination Boro, a local virtual running challenge for charity had a new challenge this year. I challenged myself to up my distance from last year’s 409.2 miles to 750 miles in 271 days. This year we were put in team to virtually run back from a place in America to Middlesbrough. For us it was New Orleans, 4514.8 miles in 271 days between 7 adults and 2 children.


With already doing 750 miles for 3/4 of the year I decided to see if I could do 1000 miles for the year. It must have been fate as I won an online competition for a free medal for completing 1000 miles for the year!


First race of the year was the TNT10, the Temple Newsam Ten. A trail 10 miler in Leeds. It was a really good run but I had a strange health incident during the run. The following day I had a similar health incident and ended up on the stroke ward at the hospital! Full story of that in my blog – Learning the hard way. I was fine by the way.


FEBRUARY 89 miles run.


After a quiet end to January due to my health scare, February started with 2 races in week.


First up was Muddy Boots 10k, a 10k trail race in my boyhood town of Ripon. The race started and finished at my old junior school, and went passed my first owned house. It was a nice trip down memory lane and a great race!


The following weekend I joined some of the Team Tedious lads at the No Ego Torch Challenge at Lambton Castle. A 4.5 mile night trail race. We loved this race.


March 77.2 miles run.


Snow arrived at the end of March and the early part of April but we still managed to get out running.


February and March had both been good for running and I felt a lot stronger.


The end of the month and the Dishforth Dash 10k, a race I kept looking at came around. I hadn’t entered but you could enter on the day. I felt good so decided to drive down and give it a go. I had no expectations for the race but during it I knew I was running well and ended up with a new 10k PB and finally broke the 50 minute barrier, which I’ve wanted to do for so long. Full story of the day in my blog – Well that was unexpected.


April 86.8 miles run.


The Destination Boro team organised their annual Superhero Run again. Running a half marathon dressed as superheroes around Middlesbrough finishing with running Stewart parkrun. I decided to go as my favourite character.


At the end of the month it was the Stockton Duathlon. The past 2 years I’ve done the Sprint distance, 5k run/20k bike/2.5k run. I hadn’t been on the bike much so decided to try the Super Sprint distance for a different challenge. Loved the fast paced version and was leaping with joy at the end finishing in 7th place.


The following evening I was given the opportunity to go to a private Q & A with the running legend Ben Smith from the 401 Challenge. It was a fascinating and enjoyable evening hosted by Steve Cram. 


May 89.2 miles run.


My wife Justine had been making great progress with her running since doing C25k. Her next goal was to get a sub 60mins 10k PB. We planned a couple of races to try and achieve this with me helping by pacing her round. The 1st race was the Tees Barrage 10k. It was a warm day and we knew it would be tough. Finishing in 61 minutes, there was disappointment but belief that on a cooler day the time was possible.




The following weekend was the Sunderland 10k and another chance. The weather was cooler, slightly and although the pace was a bit quick initially, we settled into our stride. Turning the final bend we could see the finish line and the time was well under 60 minutes. Crossing the line in 58:22, a new 10k PB and sub 60 minutes. The progress Justine has made this year is amazing.


It was great to see and run a bit with Andy from #TeamTedious and also Neale. We all watched as Neale finished the Half Marathon in sub 90 minutes, an achievement he had worked so hard for over the previous months. It was also a pleasure to see and catch up with Colin (the Big Pink Dress), Anji (one of the event organisers), plus many other friends at the event.


The races came thick and fast in May, next up was the Rock and Roll Liverpool Weekend. The whole weekend was fantastic, from meeting up with members of my running club Orchard Eagles and Racecheck #visorclub, to all the support and encouragement on the course and around the city.


First race was the 5k on the Saturday morning. A great start to the weekend with a run around the docks. Justine achieved a PB and it was a good leg stretcher for me.


The following morning was the Half Marathon for me with Justine spectating. Really enjoyed the run, had no set goals apart from trying to enjoy myself. Found the last 3 miles really tough but finished in 2:01:10.


Shortly after finishing, the 1 mile fun run took place. A few of the Eagles ran this together and it was such a laugh if very slow!


I ended the month by doing my 100th parkrun at Redcar parkrun. The Destination Boro Team were having a bit of tourist parkrun there so I joined them. I did my 50th dressed as Santa Stormtrooper so decided to wear my inflatable dinosaur costume for my 100th, just for a bit of fun.


June 81 miles run.


Another good month of running with 2 races which I had not done before.


The Blaydon Race in Newcastle is always run on the evening of the 9th June. It’s a very iconic race in the Northeast and hard to get into.


With the 9th of June being a Saturday this year and other events happening in the city, the start time was brought forward to 3pm. This meant on a sunny day it would be a warm run and it certainly was.


Although it was a tough run it was great to take part in such a nostalgic race. Having all the #TeamTedious lads there was amazing. Not only to share the experience but because we are terrible at planning and getting the team together.


Later in the month, my running club had their annual Summer Solstice Run. A 33 mile social run, but with options to join the run at different checkpoints along the route.



I decided to cover a distance of around 13 miles in the middle of the route. The run started at 11pm so I met up at just pass midnight. A few hours later we had run up Roseberry Topping and back down and around the local villages. Returning to my start point, I’d done 13 miles. I felt good and was easily persuaded to run a few more miles to the next checkpoint. Which turned into finishing the run back at the original start. Only adding another 9 miles on to the 13 I intended to do. 22.4 miles done, my longest run to date.


At work (school) the children had a visit from GB sprinter Richard Kilty. I managed to grab a picture and have a chat.


July 62.5 miles run.


At my work, a school, I had the pleasure of running the Race For Life with the children. Great fun going round and round the school field and for a worthy cause.


My son’s school were invited to a Go Run For Fun event in the park over the road from our house. I popped over to show the children support and bumped into Richard Kilty again.


The following week and it was a return to the midweek evening race, the Durham 10k. Neale and Michael from #TeamTedious were there. Michael and me ran round together, helping and encouragement each other as we found it tough in the summer evening heat. At the finish I saw some friends and met Ben ‘401’ Smith again and we had a good chat about the Q&A, the Durham 10k and his plans for the future.


At the end of the month I travelled to Wales with my wife and son for a two week holiday. Running was still on the agenda as we did the Penrhyn parkrun together on our first morning on holiday.


August 91.4 miles run.


Still on holiday and still running. The family did the Aberystwyth parkrun together and some other runs taking in the welsh scenery.


Another busy month of running continued after the holiday and finished with a team relay race.


The Orchard Eagles Running Club entered a few teams for the first time into the NYMAC North York Moors Athletics Club Relays. Teams of 4 running in relay around a one mile course. Great fun and a new experience for many of us.


September 114.5 miles ran.


My most miles in a month ever and a very busy month of events.


The month started with the #TeamTedious lads meeting up to run the South Shields parkrun. Nothing unusual about that, we had met up a couple of times earlier in the year. But after the run, we sat down and recorded a podcast for A Runner’s Ramble Podcast. It was a new experience but a fun and interesting one. We talked about why we started running and how running affects our family lives. Have a listen here – https://soundcloud.com/runnersramblepodcast/running-family-life-team-tedious


The following day was the Tees Pride 10k, my local 10k race. Again I ran with Justine and we tried to run sub 60 minutes again but the weather was too warm and we were only seconds over.


The following weekend Justine and myself travelled to York for the Vale of York Half Marathon. We would be running together again as it was Justine’s first half marathon.


It was a nice flat course on closed country roads and started/finished on a runway. A steady paced run all the way round helped us finish in 2:15. A good time for Justine’s first half marathon.


My 3rd race in 3 weekends was the Trail Outlaws RAF Spadeadam Half Marathon. I’d fancied doing a Trail Outlaws race for a while and when my friend was involved in organising this new Trail Outlaws race I had to do it.


It was a very tough course around the active RAF base in a strong wind but the scenery was stunning. I loved the race and it lived up to my expectations of a Trail Outlaws’ race.


Last weekend of the month and I went up to Sunderland parkrun to run with Michael on his 50th parkrun. I finally received my 100 parkruns t-shirt earlier in the week so gave it an outing.


The end of the month was the end of the Destination Boro Challenge. Our team achieved our team target and with 2 days to go I achieved my own target of 750 miles.


October 78.6 miles run.


After a busy September, I still had the Kielder Half Marathon to do before I could take it easy.


Kielder was a tough course but had stunning views. Most of #TeamTedious were there, Michael and myself ran together again. Neither of us were fully fit. I had a chest infection and my mind was not fully on running. I had found a lump on my left breast a few days before. The day after Kielder I saw my doctor and he said it was just a fatty lump.


We pushed and encouraged each other round the course. Celebrating at the finish, the achievement of actually just finishing.


I took running easier after Kielder for the rest of the month. I finished the month with a fun 5k, the Muddy Roads Halloween Trail 5k. Getting dressed up in spooky costume and running around the local nature reserve in the dark with people trying to scare you was great fun!


November 90 miles run.


Plenty of running again this month but just the one race. The Guy Fawkes 10 race in Ripley was a 10 mile hilly road race.


Again running with Justine, it was another lovely course with stunning views of the countryside. Justine was struggling

with a back injury on the day and the race became a run/walk for us. A good race though and one we would do again when fully fit.


December 83 miles run.


Into the festive period but no let up on the running and races!


Justine had wanted to try a Hardmoors Trail Race for a while to see if she would enjoy trail running so we entered the Hardmoors Roseberry Topping 10k. It was a great race on the Yorkshire Moors and we really enjoyed sliding and scrambling in the mud. Although it was classed as 10k we actually ran 9 miles!



I was offered the chance to do a Twitter Takeover for Running Dads months ago but could never find the right race, mainly because of bad phone signal. The Hardmoorsrace was good for it though. Telling my story of the race as it happened on the Running Dads Twitter account was a fantastic experience. Read more about it in my blog – Taking over while taking on.


The following weekend Justine and myself joined members of our running club at the Poultry Run. An 8 mile hilly multi terrain race in Loftus. Many runners get dressed in festive attire so we decided to join them. Christmas Tree costumes for the ladies and Angel costumes for the gents.


It was a fun race and the Sunday dinner afterwards in the pub made it a great social day out with the Orchard Eagles Running Club.


A couple of days before Christmas, was the What a Wheeze races, a 5k and a 1 miler. Many of the same Eagles were at the event and again festive attired. Justine, Finlay and myself ran the 1 miler together before Justine ran the 5k on her own. Another fun event shared with our running club.


No rest on Christmas Day from running as Justine and me ran Albert parkrun with a few Eagles.


With a few days left to go in the year, I still had 2 running events to go. The first was the Orchard Eagles’ Winter Solstice Run. The full run is 33 miles but like the Summer Solstice Run I decided to just do part of the route. I ran 14.7 miles from Seamer to the top of Roseberry Topping and back to Seamer.



Covering the 14 miles meant I had ran 1000 miles for the year. I was so happy to achieve this as it was a big step up from the 723 miles I did last year. I finally got to wear the medal I won back in January as well.


Two days later was my last race and run of the year. The new South Shields Landmark Challenge. A running and navigation challenge set in South Shields. The idea was as a team to plot a route from the start point and work your way to all 18 checkpoints. Take a picture at each point before finishing at the final checkpoint. 3 of us from #TeamTedious made up a team and we came 15th out of 42 teams. Not bad considering our knowledge of the area wasn’t too good.





So that’s it. A very busy year. But a great year of running, events, opportunities and experiences.


My running has kept improving, friendships have flourished and new ones have been created.


All I can hope for now is that 2019 will continue in the same way.


Have a great year of running guys and girls.


And remember, ‘Run Just Run‘, it helps clear your head.


Twitter: @Run_Just_Run

Instagram: @run.just.run

Blog: https://runjustrun.wordpress.com

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