It’s only a Mile

It’s only a Mile

This is a guest post from NJ about the Sport Relief Mile.

I decided to take part in the Sport Relief mile after hearing about John Bishop’s ‘week of hell’, it didn’t so much inspire me to do it, just brought home that I could do something to raise money too.

I thought I would enter with our oldest (AJ) who is 9, so that it could be something we could do together. We don’t get much time together as she does a lot of gymnastics every week and we have to split our time between all three of our children.

It’s only a mile and if we raise a few pounds along the way it will be worth it, we set a modest total of £50 to start with and have so far raised £200 which is fantastic. What I had forgotten is that I haven’t done any exercise since coming out of hospital nearly 5 years ago. I still have trouble in a morning with my joints, especially my knees and hands so started to worry that I would only be able to walk round, when I wanted to run!

With a couple of weeks to go I wanted to start a bit of training, a mile doesn’t sound much, but if like me you spend most of your time either driving or sitting behind a desk, a mile is actually a long way. Just to make things more difficult, I got a virus, along with 4 out of the 5 of us in the house, which meant I couldn’t even walk a mile let alone run.

With a week to go I decided if nothing else I had to try to walk at least a mile on a lunchtime, just to get my legs used to it. I am after all an overweight 40-year-old who was running with his ultra fit and slender 9-year-old. It isn’t a race or a competition; I just didn’t want to be left behind.

The day came to pull on the Sport Relief socks and t-shirt (don’t worry I supplied my own shorts) and run 2 laps around the playing fields at Holmfirth swimming pool. A bit of a walk round and a little light jogging, chasing after our hyperactive 2-year-old and I was ready to go. However, the organisers had other ideas and laid on a fitness instructor to lead the warm up.

Five minutes later and with burning thighs we were ready to go, no hanging about and we were off.

We hadn’t got far when the fit and spritely 9-year-old had to be asked to slow down to let her old dad catch up! After the first lap the darling child had left her old dad to it so that she could run at her own pace. It’s not the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was tough.

The weather didn’t help, blazing sun on a lovely March day may have been nice standing watching, but running in it was draining. Never mind though it’s only a mile I kept telling myself and no matter what and how much I had to walk, I was going to make it all the way round.

I spent a few moments trying to catch my breath with a little bit of a walk, when I could hear a pushchair coming up behind me. The indignity of it, not only had my own daughter given up on me and charged off, I was being overtaken by someone pushing a pushchair. That only served to spur me on even more and I started to run again, one last push and I would reach the finish line, imagining myself laying on the grass, but it never happened. A quick jog on, some fast walking and almost a run and it was over, we’d made it to the end.

We’d finished, I was only a couple of hundred yards away from my 9-year-old who had also walked a bit, but well and truly kicked her dad’s ass all the way around.

We stayed around for a while, my daughter’s friend was running in the next mile after ours so we met up with them and watched them go through the same warm up and run as we had done.

A nice atmosphere, lots of families, people not taking it all too seriously and great weather made for a very enjoyable afternoon out, even if my thighs are still burning several hours later.

One final thought on the way home, would my wife and our son be running next year? “Sport Relief is only every two years” came the reply, so until then…


Thanks to BritMums and Kate on Thin Ice who heads up the Charity Connections NJ & AJ were lucky enough to be kitted out with T-shirts, socks, water bottles, wrist bands and Deely Boppers!

I am really proud of what they have done, if you haven’t managed to sponsor or donate any money to Sport Relief then you can always add to NJ & AJ’s total here


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