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The beginning

The beginning was some years ago now. My earliest entry on the Power of 10 (Pof10) is 8th February 2009, when I was a mere 58 years old.

My interest sort of began when I was 50. I got back from a holiday to find that a friend had just run the Crouch End 10K to celebrate her 50th. I was deeply impressed and decided I’d give a 10K a try. Not in any spirit of one-upmanship, you understand, just to see if I could.

I could, so I did for a while run 10K races on the road. Possibly the highlight being watching the sun not go down after finishing a 10K as part of the Tromso Midnight Sun Marathon festival.

The inspiration

But then I found inspiration in Sylvester Stein. I read about him in a free newspaper I picked up while jogging to St Pancras one day in 2008. He had just become the BMAF M85 100m champion. A few weeks later I beat him over 100 metres in an open meeting at Parliament Hill, though he did give me a nearly 30 year start. My ambition then became to be the BMAF M80 100m champion in 2031, which is still not beyond the bounds of possibility. Sylvester gave up sprinting because “there was no one left to run against”, which may not be the problem I have, looking at how competitive this year’s M70 100m was in Derby.

Exploring a bit further I found age group athletics, the opportunity to compete against other silly old so-and-sos roughly my own age, and realised that the years spent road running had for me been essentially wasted. I’m too thickset to drag myself much further than 400m.

The present

Now, I thoroughly enjoy participation in athletics – I came back to it in 2008 after a 35-year break, and belong to London Heathside, a local club with much of its activity based in Finsbury Park, which is wonderfully convenient for where I live. And on many weeks I take part in the Finsbury parkrun – marshalled by volunteers and discreetly bankrolled by big business, which takes place every Saturday at 9 a.m. – its free and fun, and it keeps me fit.