Ladies and gentlemen! Please place your grubby running shoes by the door, don your finest non-sweaty non-Lycra attire (assuming you have any) and take a seat and a glass of prosecco for the Weekend Debrief Awards. Oh and don’t worry, canapes in the form of miniature cakes will circulate shortly.
As your host, I would like to begin with some thank yous. Actually, just one thank you: to you all, from me. It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch this community grow, turn from virtual to ‘real’ in many cases, meet up with a fair few of you over the years, both by design and accident, and to provide a place for us to all talk running on a Monday morning – and through the week. I’ve loved following the progress of your running journeys, while hopefully not boring you too much with mine.
Many of you have asked what I’m doing next. Well, thanks to the stealth tax I’ve been levying for some years now – £1 for every “running will bugger up your knees” comment below the line on any running-related article – I’m taking my new personal jet to my tropical island home. I’m not sure what to do with the rest of the billions, but I’m thinking of a run for PM soon on a platform of compulsory parkruns for all.
So without further ado, to the awards.
And first up, we have the prestigious Best running blog story award, which goes to…. astasolillja. Two days after the birth of his son – well, I can only quote from the great man:
After the finish [of parkrun] one of the runners came over and asked if we’d had the baby yet. “yeah we did…early hours of Thursday morning!”
“Excellent” he said. “What did you get?”
“I’m not sure but I think it was around 16.52” I replied.
“Riiiight….I actually meant was it a boy or a girl!”
To be honest, I think we should all just be grateful he didn’t name the poor boy Runfaster.
Next, for the best chicken soup that can cure everything recipe: Kizbot. My Grandad used to think that there was very little that Germolene couldn’t sort out. Blisters, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, you name it, he Germolened it. I feel like Kizbot very much takes this approach with chicken soup. Only her cure is much less pink and much tastier, I’m sure.
Next, for reminding us all what it’s really about: Breezehillpete. Pete emailed me this week to say“Running has been great for my physical health and more importantly, my mental health – it helps me cope with the occasionally crippling SAD that takes me in the winter months and tackling a job that can take something of a toll. And this blog has made me a better runner. That may not sound that impressive but I promise, I really am grateful.” Pete, we are all grateful for you, too, for your honesty, courage, and also some cracking Strava pictures.
For resolutely holding on to a username so unmemorable that I bet even he can’t remember it: ID4238703 I suspect he’s just too fast to change it. We’ve had a very similar lunchtime run route for years and I swear 95% of the time I only ever see a blur.
For further services to sheer speed: Leanmachine. And for bouncing back from injury with true panache. Good luck in those autumn races.
For services to Dan the Man (ooo-err missus): Hilary Sutcliffe.
For making me almost, ALMOST, want to run up mountains: MoutainRunnerMum
For letting me run London with her (and not even minding when I had some beer en route): Keepyourdistance. Good luck in the next one, you are going to smash it, I know.
Others… guys, I’m going to miss someone out, of course. But lovebison, kaniraj, OrangeLaces, RubyGeegee, Gillbla, TixhiiDon, MessePip, Shanghaidiver, HandsomeDevil, trixiebacon, chasrle, remembersthe90s, and many many more, thank you. And not just regulars but new runners too, who continue to find the blog and share their stories. Many of you talk about graduating Coach to 5k, which always strikes a real chord with me as that’s where I started too. Keep running, it’ll change your life – it’s certainly changed mine.
And finally, for summing up the whole thing beautifully in an email last week: Hathycol
“The commentators here are some of the most supportive people on the web I’ve ever had the privilege of ‘speaking’ with – although hell, you could say that about the whole blog. I’ve not ever met up with anyone or run with anyone as I’m a really solitary runner, but, well, this blog has always been here when I have a question or concern. I may be a plodder but I’ve always been welcome, I’ve never been belittled for my speed or distances, I’ve been made to feel a part of the community as much as anyone else. I started commenting at the end of couch to 5km and now I have two marathons under my belt. Don’t think I’d have done that without the blog.
Right, I’m off to have a little sob into my tea. Please tell me about your own running one last time, and nominate your own favourite moments. And stay in touch on Strava and Facebook – and soon here.