30 Dec

New Year – New Experiences

Nos Galan actionChristmas may be unwrapped for another year and the batteries in THAT toy are as flat as your own seem to be but there are new challenges ahead for us runners and they start with a bold new approach. What will you do for the first time in 2017? How will you start this bright, fresh New Year? RunABC South reporter Alan Newman has a few memories and some ideas to share…    

Before the advent of parkrun there were few opportunities to get competitive or even just active on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. That has certainly changed with many local events organising double and even triple runs as the calendar changes. For example, within a few miles of my home I could run at Maidstone parkrun on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at 9am followed by a short drive to try Shorne Woods for the first time at 10:30am on 01/01/17!

I remember deciding to spend one New Year’s Eve differently. I had managed to persuade my running and life partner Sue to join me on a short run starting at 11:50pm, so the last and first thing we would be doing in each year was running together. We had just moved to a new house and relocated 300 miles south from Lancashire and it seemed to be the right thing to do as we had no party invites.

Our run experience was wonderful. We set off for the posh houses on the hill and at the stroke of midnight we were outside a particularly palatial abode when their firework display started and we had a free show. On the way home we received verbal encouragement and enthusiastic hand waving from some nice young men in a car – at least we like to think that was what it was – and we immediately felt like we belonged in our new community!

Of course, there are midnight races around the world and there used to be a fantastic example at Mountain Ash in Wales – the Nos Galan race. Unfortunately, safety considerations have altered the programme so the main event now starts at 7pm but there is still a brilliant atmosphere in the Rhondda so take a look at the Nos Galan website and consider this for 2017/18 as entries are closed for this year.