Category Archives: Running

BTR Liverpool Run for Rhys 5k – My Recollections

Last month over the Bank Holiday weekend, I took part in the BTR Liverpool Run for Rhys 5k event. Held in the lush surroundings of Croxteth Park, the purpose of this was to support the Rhys Jones Community Centre in Croxteth, setup to celebrate and honour Rhys’s memory after his tragic murder eleven years ago, which shocked Liverpool and the whole nation.

This was the first time I had taken part in the run, and I enjoyed it despite the heavy rainfall. Arriving at the start outside Croxteth Hall, there was a good crowd of runners taking part, along with representatives from Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Radio City, and Everton in the Community, all giving their support. The weather certainly didn’t affect the positivity and feel good atmosphere, although there were a good number huddling inside the hall foyer to keep dry before the start. Who could blame them?

For me personally, the run was memorable for several reasons. From standing in the pouring rain in a sea of blue at the start, passing a loud mooing cow (no seriously!), stepping in a big puddle twice, to crossing the finishing line, my memories of the day were plentiful. In addition, I also remember the course being tougher then I anticipated, due to the rain, wind, mud, puddles and leaf stained track making this 5k run, the toughest I have ever done. This is because I had to concentrate and stay mentally sharp throughout, which as a runner was a useful and valuable experience.

Previously I had never completed a run in such conditions, so this was a new challenge I faced head-on. I was never dazed by this, and I managed to overcome the difficulties posed by the weather and complete the run in 34 minutes, which I was delighted to challenge and conquer. Despite being completely soaked to the skin, I really enjoyed the run, with the warm support and camaraderie among the runners and local crowds certainly gaving a warm buzz, to a wet Sunday morning in Croxteth. I would certainly do it all again whatever the weather brings.

I would like to thank BTR Liverpool, Rhys Jones Community Centre, Croxteth Park and to everyone else involved, including to Rhys’s family for organising and supporting the event. It was a very special day for the city of Liverpool, in not only supporting the centre, but also to honour and celebrate Rhys’s life.

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BTR Liverpool Half Marathon 2018 – My Recollections

Have you ever felt the urge to do something you have never done before?

Something that challenges and pushes you out of your comfort zone?

Last month, I did exactly the above, when I ran the BTR Liverpool Half-Marathon for the first time. Whilst I have previously taken part in the Santa Dash and Scouse 5k for charity, my reasons for doing the Liverpool Half-Marathon were different. As well as to lose a few pounds, I had also set myself a personal challenge of running a half-marathon, so this forced me to step out of my comfort zone.

In order to take the half-marathon seriously, I trained hard over a period of 12 weeks. This was to ensure I was physically and mentally prepared, although I must confess there were occasions when I wondered what I had let myself in for. However I was excited and looking forward to tackling the half-marathon, and as race day approached, the hardest part was keeping focused, whilst trying to remain calm on the surface.  Indeed the night before, I barely managed to grab any sleep, as I was pumped up, full of adrenaline and raring to go!

On the morning of the half-marathon, I arrived at the Pier Head feeling relaxed, calm, and yet keeping my mind solely on the challenge that lay ahead. Taking up position at the start, I was surrounded by blue skies, beautiful sunshine, and a carnival-like atmosphere, with plenty of colourful sights, sounds of music and joyous excitement. There were thousands of runners taking part, with lots running for charity, including several dressed in superhero outfits and funny costumes. I even recall noticing a runner dressed up as Captain America, and another as a bumblebee, which certainly added to the fun-filled mood.

Soon the run started, and everything that I had prepared and trained for, came together instantly. It struck me that I was now entering the unknown, like Christopher Columbus sailing and discovering America.

The route itself was demanding, yet also picturesque. From Mann Island, the route passed along Upper Parliament Street, Park Lane, Sefton Park, through Otterspool Park and back along Otterspool Promenade, to the finishing line at the Three Graces. Running along the route, taking in the sights was a delight for me, and along with the cheers and encouragement of fellow runners and passers-by, certainly kept my spirits up.

I realised the half-marathon was always going to be a physically draining effort. However I learned it also required a great amount of mental strength, to persevere to the finish. I discovered this when I felt a sharp pain in my right leg, about halfway through the race, which prevented me from running at my best, meaning I had to power walk the remaining distance. Rather than damaging my confidence, this setback only served to spur me on to keep going, despite the pain. This was rewarded when I eventually completed the half-marathon in a time of 2 hours and 51 minutes, of which I was delighted and ecstatic.

As I crossed the finished line, the reality of what I had achieved sunk in, and I felt extremely proud, even I was feeling numb and in pain, whilst walking like John Wayne!

Looking back, I feel great pride in succeeding and meeting my goal of completing the half-marathon. Of course, there are aspects of the training, preparation and running I would have done differently in hindsight, but what I achieved in completing the half-marathon though my hard-work and determined efforts, shows that anyone can achieve anything.

To conclude, if what I have achieved inspires other disabled people like myself, then I am proud to have helped in blazing the trail.

Thanks for reading!

Radio City Scouse 5k – My Recollections

Last month, I mentioned why I was taking part in the Radio City Scouse 5k on my birthday. I am pleased to say, that I completed the run in less than 40 minutes, and raised £980.10 for Maghull Young Adults Social Club (MYASC).

Two years previously, I had done the Liverpool Santa Dash for charity. However this was even more special to me, because MYASC is a cause very close to my heart. As I reflect on my achievement, I feel a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment.

My experience of the Scouse 5k was great fun, with so many colourful wscouse5k_pic1igs, Scouse moustaches, blue skies and sunshine. This contributed to a carnival atmosphere, which excited me. Whilst the course was more difficult than I imagined (especially running up Brownlow Hill), and my red coloured wig kept sliding, I never wavered in my determination once. This was rewarded when I saw my mum and dad, at the finish.

As I approached the finish, I saw my dad speaking to the announcer, who then shouted “Happy Birthday” to me over the loudspeaker, as I crossed the finish line. My mum told me later on, that she was emotional and extremely proud too.

I would like to thank all of my family, friends, colleagues and everyone who not only sponsored me, but also for their good wishes and encouragement. This was not only special, but it is also one of the proudest achievements in my life, and I hope this gives encouragement to many others. This is because what I have done proves that disability is no barrier, to what an individual can achieve.

To conclude, I would like to say once again…

Thank you for all of your support!scouse5k_pic2

Why I am running in the Radio City Scouse 5k

Hello readers!

On Sunday 18th September (incidentally my birthday), I shall be taking part in the Radio City Scouse 5k run, being held in Liverpool City Centre. I am doing this through my own initiative, to raise money for Maghull Young Adults Social Club (MYASC). MYASC is a monthly social evening for adults (18+) with learning difficulties, allowing them to meet new friends, and relax in a safe and friendly environment, whilst at the same time developing social skills, and personal confidence.

MYASC is a local cause very close to my heart. This is because I am autistic, and having attended the club for over thirteen years, I have made several friends who are special to me today, and have developed as a person. Therefore I owe a great deal to MYASC, as along with my family and others, they have helped me get where I am today, in developing my social skills and confidence.

Having taken up running in January, I came up with the idea of taking part in the Scouse 5k, to raise money for MYASC. I wanted to do this to help other adults with learning difficulties, and to support the local community, by giving something back.

Since I have taken this forward, my family, friends and work colleagues have given me so much support and encouragement, which I am both appreciative and grateful for.

I will be sharing my thoughts on my Scouse 5k experience very soon!

Thank you for all your support!

Santa Dashing for Charity

As people, I believe in giving something back to others. On Sunday 7th December, I recently took part in the 10th anniversary BTR Liverpool Santa Dash, to raise money for the chosen charities of Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL). These charities were The Walton Centre and Ronald McDonald House.

I wanted to do this, because I had never took part in anything like it before, and I thought it would be a rather fun way to give back to the community, with the added bonus of trying to get fit at the same time!

From the start at the Pier Head, to the finish line at Liverpool Town Hall, I powered along the 5K route. This was through my determination, strength, and the enthusiasm, humour and cheering of the crowd and my fellow Santas, despite the cold and blustery weather, which never deterred me. A lovely memory that sticks in my mind was of my mum and dad, waving proudly to me outside Moorfields Station, as I ran past, waving back to them. My mum told me later, they arrived two minutes previously, so my timing was spot on!

Liverpool Santa Dash 2014 was a tremendous success, with around 8,500 Santas taking part, raising money for many wonderful causes. We even managed to take the World Santa Dash title back from Las Vegas.

Personally, I am proud to say that I completed the Santa Dash in 39 minutes, and raised £242 for LDL’s chosen charities. I would like to thank my LDL colleagues, and my family for all their wonderful support, encouragement and kindness in sponsoring me throughout.

It was a fantastic experience.