Gareth Amos January 2019 Blog
23 January 2019
Well, here it is, all official and everything, I have entered the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon as part of the Experiment 26.2 Group.
At the time of writing this, we are sixteen weeks away from lacing up for the start line. The most beneficial thing about being part of this experiment is I am not going to be poked and prodded, unless I missed something in the small print...
I have now been running for about four years. When I finished my Open University Degree, I was looking for a couple of things, one, to get back into exercise and two, to replace the void that no longer studying part-time had left. It was at this point when my wife suggested the Couch to 5K programme. So lacing up, I started to enjoy the scenery of Co. Down in a rather sweaty heard of elephants kind of way. Running is hard those first few weeks, building stamina and learning to breathe in a completely new way. Once through these initial weeks, I have truly never looked back.
Running has been a turning point in my life. Since the Couch to 5K programme, I have completed a number of events including distances up to and including half marathons. I am also a keen obstacle racer with a fear of heights, so I am use to overcoming many physical and mental barriers. Joining East Down Athletics Club has made my weekly runs so much easier, love a good chat on a run and they are so friendly, love them all.
The one race that has eluded me over the past couple of years has been a marathon. Upon achieving three half marathons, each one was there to be a stepping stone to kick on and complete a full marathon, but I have just never been able to do so. This is where the Experiment 26.2 group is going to come in. When I first saw the advert and put my application in, didn’t think I would be successful. But seeing the e-mail come through offering to me the opportunity, my heart skipped a beat.
What an amazing group to be a part of. So far we have met on a couple of occasions including a fantastic trip to The Jungle NI. No high obstacles for me even though they did look fun, my challenge was a brain teaser that I thankfully, with the help of my team was able to complete.
But the serious training must now begin. A Better Gym membership to take on a few classes, new Adidas trainers from McKeever Sport/Intersport and plenty of tarmac ahead. With a number of races coming up including the SPAR sponsored Craic 10k and Omagh Half Marathon, along with Titanic 10k, the excellent Belfast marathon coach Stuart Kennedy has really put together a plan that is both manageable and rewarding. Big thank you to Stuart for all your help and support so far. I am sure coming up to the race, you are going to receive many e-mails confirming my aches and pains, I apologise for these in advance. Framar Health have been super in providing a range of nutritional products which will support my efforts, thank you to them for these. All of the sponsors have been fantastic in providing a range of goodies so far including White’s Oats, Linwoods and Tayto.
Throughout this initiative, I will be raising money for Action Mental Health. A charity that is very close to me personally and professionally. Once all this is set up, I will be sure to share through as many channels as I can.
Lastly, thank you to Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon for giving me this opportunity. I can see the coaching and sponsor support is already amazing. I will continue to blog my journey over the coming months and beyond that, see you at the start line.
‘You never fail until you stop trying’ Albert Einstein