Neil Featherby: There is an event for everyone and running clubs can help you train for anything
- Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.
I recently wrote about the changes in running and how it is a very different sport now compared to three or four decades ago.
Running is now also very much a pastime which can be enjoyed by thousands who perhaps back in the day would certainly not have entertained the thought of putting on a pair of running shoes, never mind actually getting out there pounding the streets.
Not only have all the various race numbers swelled to max during this running boom, but club memberships have grown to a point where some of them have a waiting list.
With this in mind several new clubs have also set up during the last few years.
During my column of a couple of weeks ago, I also said that just like in business, you have to learn to evolve for which I have also noticed that some of the running clubs have learned to do this by recognising that they have to offer other services and sections which also cater for those who want to additionally take part in other sporting events.
Other sports such as triathlons, cycling and swimming are very popular. Needless to say there are many excellent cycling, swimming and of course triathlon clubs out there, but it just goes to show how things do change.
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All these clubs, be it running or one of the other sports, have committees and for the want of a better word managers to oversee the wellbeing of their members and clubs for which they are run very business-like.
Staying very much on the changes of sport participation, I was recently asked to do an interview on Radio Norfolk about the concern that one in five people are not exercising.
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My first thoughts went towards yes, but how great it is for those 80 per cent of the Norfolk population who are. It wasn't that many years ago when it was far more than one in five who weren't exercising for which it is now quite clear that the mindset of yesteryear when sport was perhaps more considered for the very athletic looking and under 35s now no longer apply.
You only have to look at race results to see how many people the wrong side of 40 or even 50 are finishing in the top 20 per cent of any race field.
I think it is fantastic!
However, it doesn't end there and whilst also talking about people wanting more of a challenge than just running, look at the numbers of 50 and 60+ completing ultra-marathons and even Ironman Triathlons which once upon a time was an event where most people couldn't even comprehend how the super athletes completed such a feat. How the barriers of time have changed and long may it continue.
Finally, all the very best to Mark Armstrong and other friends who this coming Sunday are taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon.
Mark, like all the many others, should be going to the start line confident in the knowledge that they have ticked if not all then certainly most of the boxes with regards to training and dietary preparation for this big event.
Their splits in respect of pace should be firmly fixed in their minds and need to be adhered to from the very first stride.
Pace will most certainly make for the perfect race, but when it goes wrong the most popular words used afterwards are…. 'I was on for' and I don't doubt for one moment that I have said it in the past too.
Most importantly enjoy the day, have a great run and when the medal is hung around your neck after crossing the finish line, it will be a well-deserved reward for all those weeks and months of hard work which will have gone into completing a marathon.