I’m not usually one for contrived occasions or made up ‘special’ days. I generally find them quite tacky and something for bandwagon jumpers and event junkies to clamour over in an attempt to be seen before moving onto the next thing.
But I make a rare exception for Global Running Day.
Running has had such a major impact on my physical and mental health since I started that it’s something I’ve become quite passionate about, so any movement which encourages people to get out and run any distance or any time gets my support.
Today, June 3rd, is Global Running Day.
This time last year I was on holiday in Manhattan, with the dates picked specifically to coincide with the day and a race on Governors Island at the weekend. I knew the New York Road Runners were organising hourly group runs through Central Park to mark the occasion and since I was planning a holiday there it was something I wanted to be part of.
It was one of the highlights of the trip. Running through one of the most famous parks in the world, and over the finish line of the New York City marathon – it was a total no brainer.
Fast forward a year to today. The world has changed a lot since then, we are just about allowed to run with other people in small groups whilst adhering to the necessary social distancing measures. But obviously that means no properly organised group runs, so no repeat of last years celebrations anywhere.
However, like many other organisations have done for their own events, the NYRR have come up with the idea of a virtual mile run to mark the day.
Back in January I had made tentative plans to return to New York for the same week this year again but clearly that’s impossible at the minute so I jumped on the chance of feeling part of the NYRR aspect of Global Running Day once more and duly signed up.
I had planned to run today anyway, albeit for more than a mile, so I decided to get out early and get the mile ticked off which would then allow me to get on with my day and then go for my intended longer run this evening.
So off I went at 8am for a loop around the local estate. After the stifling hot weather of recent days it was great for it to be overcast and quite cool, perfect for running. I donned my Global Running Day buff from last year and my NYRR shirt that I’d never actually worn yet. It was a bit snug when I bought it, and it’s equally as snug now (!) but I figured I was out early so no-one would see me!!!
The run itself was fantastic. I’d been purposely holding back on pace for quite a while now due to a lack of confidence that I’d be able to sustain it, that I’d blow up, throw the head up, jack in the run and become frustrated but this morning felt different.
I still didn’t go as fast and hard as I maybe could, but I upped the pace a bit and was pleased to get round largely untroubled for what was my fastest mile for quite some time.
But, regardless of speed, it felt good to be part of a global community all doing the same thing today. Maybe there’s something to be said for this running lark after all!
(BTW, nearly 600 words on one mile! Who says I can’t talk?)