We have seen an incredible week in the UK with hosts of FKT’s. On the 268 mile Pennine Way Damian Hall took 3 hours off the mark set just a week earlier by American John Kelly (2 x Barclay marathons finisher). The record previously lasted for over 20 years.
We have seen Beth Pascall break the female Bob Graham round in the Lake district in 14hours and some change. Not only that, she has taken the 5th fastest position on the all time run of the famous route too, taking the record from the amazing Jasmin Paris – yes, the lady that won the famous Spine Race in 2019 outright.
Both achievements are unbelievable and set on iconic, famous trails in the UK that have been runners from the Elite to weekend warriors over time, and overseas challengers who have been successful such as Killian Jornet taking the Bob Graham Round last year and John Kelly above holding the Pennine Way record for a week. How must Damian have felt in his preparation when suddenly a week before John made ‘his miles’ challenge even harder.
I believe lockdown has opened the windows of running. Gone has been the pressure of races. The good and bad pressure and goals of that. And an opportunity to look at why and how ‘run’ in a different way challenges our perception. I for one have evolved.
There is a lady who started lockdown with her first run ever. This proceeded to 5km and then a virtual 50miler (Lakeland 50). Now, I am not challenging anyone to that rate of progress. The significance and danger of pushing too early an easy message. But, we can see how running can change people.
But, whatever it is hiking, running, walking, jogging, sprinting, they are your miles. Damian’s 268 was his, my weekend 20 miler was mine. Your 3miler is yours. No lesser or greater significance to ourselves because they are ours. Whether we dragged our heavy body through the metres, or flew like the wind they are your miles.