About Me

My name is James and I am a 36 year old runner from Northern Ireland. When I say runner, it's something I do as a hobby, but I want to get better and faster at it. I wanted to start writing a blog about my aims to run a half marathon in under 1 hour 25 minutes. Well, this is it...

I started running at a very early age. I was about six years old when my mum decided to cycle to my auntie and uncles house 5 miles away. I ran beside her the whole way and I remember all the adults told about this distance seemed quite impressed. I'm not sure how long it took us, only that it was a hot summer's day and I got a fly in my eye. That was my introduction to running.

I was a chubby kid, more square shaped than anything. My childhood memories seem to be filled with classmates calling me fat. I liked being active, but I also liked food. Neither of these has changed much.

At the age of seven I ran my first 10K at the Lisburn Fun Run in a time of 1 hour 17 minutes. I got shouted at when I got home by my mum and dad, telling me I was capable of running much quicker. I ran this race for the next four years, I think my fastest was 47 minutes at the age of eleven. I was still fat though.
When I started high school I instantly fell in love with playing rugby. I played the whole way through school, then at club level and then for the Ulster Under 18 team. This was then stopped as I discovered a love of partying, drinking, unhealthy food and all the other distractions that were fun at the time.
At school I did athletics, but I did this more as a way of rugby training than anything. However I soon realised that I could do the 800 m quite well compared to everyone else, and represented my school for this. My fastest time was 2 min 08 sec, a time which I don't think I could run now.

I pretty much stopped running after school, with some brief time learning kick boxing and gym work being my only sporting activities. Then one night in 2009 I got drunk and decided to enter the Barcelona Marathon. I still have no idea why I picked Spain as the location for my first big race, but I loved the experience and completed it in 4 hours 10 mins. However I wasn't keen on the amount of time spent training for a full marathon, and decided my next run should be a half marathon.
I have ran the Great North Run twice now, the last one in 1 hour 32 mins. My next goal is to run it under 1 hour 25 minutes.

I work as a bin man in Northern Ireland. It pays the bills but it is not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I make music as a sideline, and would like to do this full time, along with running challenges.

Life is a bit like a race, if you stop everyone else passes you. I want to keep moving forward, seeing new places, doing different things and having new experiences. Running can also help me do that, and I have a few adventures in my head that I would like to make reality.
I'm 36 years old now and I want to start making changes now, so that when I am 40 I am doing all the things I love to do. Running around Barcelona was a great way to see a new city, and I would like to do more of these, compete with other novice runners at home, raise money for charity and do a few big challenges as well. I hope to do these and share my experiences on my blog.

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