Ian Jobling’s 2019 with Elvet Striders

I turned 50 in March 2019. For many this half century milestone is a trigger to slow down and take it a bit easier. For me 2019 would be different. I wanted to drop a few pounds and improve my fitness, so I signed up for the Great North Run. I would run my first GNR for Cystic Fibrosis. A training plan was drafted based on 2-3 short runs and a longer weekend run of about 8 miles. Training went well but it took about 3 months for my body to adapt to serious training.

I did my first Durham parkrun in April in a time of 00:36:08. Then a friend and member of Elvet Striders suggested I came down to a track session at Maiden Castle which I did, and boy did I enjoy it. This was when I met Michael Littlewood and Allan Rennick. Both guys were so welcoming and encouraged me to stick at it for age was not a barrier but a challenge to be overcome. My first event for the Striders was the 3 Peaks trail race. The team spirit and forthcoming encouragement from fellow striders was overwhelming. I was hooked and signed up to the Durham 10K which I completed in 01:06:38. I remember that night was so hot, and the atmosphere was electric. Meeting Paula Radcliffe was special. Then it was onto the Darlington 10K which I completed in 00:54:24 minutes. Then came the Gateshead 5K which I ran in 00:25:18.

A two week holiday in Kefalonia was followed by the GNR. My family and I took the Striders bus that morning to Newcastle and everybody was buzzing. It was tough. I had set a target time of 2:15:00 and eventually struggled over the line in 02:16:47 which I was happy with considering it was my first attempt. I did the Tynedale Jelly Tea 10 mile in 01:36 and then it was onto the Coxhoe 10K which I finished in a time of 00:53:36. I was feeling good and was getting quicker. I ran the Hamsterly Forest 10K in 00:56:20 and then got my parkrun PB of 00:54:07 in October a whole 12 minutes faster than I had achieved in April. The Autumn saw me compete in the NEHL Wrekenton 6K XC race 00:54:56, the Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile 01:26:05, then the 12K NECC Championships in Alnwick where I got a time of 01:16:04. This was my hardest race in 2019 and took its toll on me. My final race of the season was the Saltwell 10K where I achieved another PB of 00:52:50 compared to my Durham 10K time of 01:06:38.

My targets for 2020:
Sub 22 minute 5K
Sub 50 minute 10k
Sub 2 hour Half Marathon

I have met some wonderfully supportive people during my time as a Strider. I would especially like to thank Alison for making such a great club run leader, Wendy for her positive encouragement on race day, Allan for making me feel so welcome every time I turn out and to Stephen and Michael for being great team captains and for setting an example of how to train and race to success.

2019 North East Cross Country Championships Alnwick Elvet Striders Men’s Team
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