It’s Saturday morning and you have a decision to make. Will you: a) sit on the sofa and watch Saturday Kitchen whilst trying not to look at your BlackBerry; or b) grab your trainers and a very good sports bra (if applicable) and get outside for a run? To aid you in your decision, we spoke to three runners to find out what they love about the endorphine enducing delights of one of the most accessible sports around.
Jessie is a nurse who lives in London has been running off and on for 9 years. She enjoys 5km races and is aiming to do a 10km soon.
Winston is a Digital Promo Manager who lives in London. He was a casual runner, but joined London’s oldest AC club, Herne Hill Harriers in 2010. Since then he has been increasing his training at the Tooting and Battersea tracks with the help of the coaches and team members. Last year he won the XC Club Champs, Dewar Shield (which he will be defending in December!) and this year did his first Marathon (London), in 2.59.
Geraldine is a lawyer who lives in Hong Kong. She was “not a sporty person” growing up and although she started running in her 20s, after a couple of years gave it up. Two years ago, out of the blue, she “felt the overwhelming urge” to put on her trainers and go for a run. She did 5k and was hooked. This year she has run two half-marathons and next year is running the London Marathon for charity.
So, why do you love running?
Winston: The competition of a race, the high of a finish, and the rhythm, it’s fundamental to the spirit.
Jessie: I feel a sense of freedom – you don’t need lots of equipment and can do it anywhere. I also enjoy running with friends – and it is healthier & cheaper than going to the pub with them. I like having events to keep up my motivation – and to raise money for charity.
Geraldine: Running is a form of meditation for me. When I run, I alternate between focussing on my body – becoming more familiar with it at a micro-level and getting to know every muscle and movement – and focussing on my mind – emptying it and thinking nothing. My attunement to my surroundings heightens as a result, so that when I switch to looking around me, I have a sense of being more connected to my environment. I have finished long runs where I am exhausted physically but mentally buzzing and alive. It is an irreplaceable feeling.
And why did you start running?
Winston: To improve my fitness levels, and to swap the all night crew, for the get fit crew!
Jessie: To get fit and try to lose weight without having to pay gym fees and also to raise money for charity. I started with the Race for Life 5km run along with some friends, and then the Nike Run London events.
Geraldine: Vanity! I didn’t want to get to middle-age and find I was slowing down, putting on weight, feeling unattractive and turning old prematurely. I took up running to stay young and it genuinely works for that!