I was pleased overall with how 2015 went. I had started the year by doing some low key and enjoyable races at Stockton 5k Trail Series. I really enjoyed these as it was a good chance to run hard on some new trails and I ended up winning the overall standings competition. A big thanks to Victoria Fawcett and her team who set up the event – I can’t recommend the series enough.
From there I started training twice per week with my coach, Keith. I’ve been running with him since I was 14 and he’s always been great for inspiring me and helping me get more out of myself. I started to build up my confidence which set me up for some local track races, where I went from running 16.49 in one of the earlier 5000metres and got my time down to 15.53 in August. These were great training sessions for me and I was pleased to be in the top 3 in most of the track races each month.
The hightlight of the year was winning the Ray Harrison Memorial 10km in 32.37, and following it up a few weeks later with 9th position at Middlesbrough 10km (32 mins 28 seconds). On both of these weeks I had run a lot of miles and I was feeling pretty tired before the race. I was trying to simulate running hard for the last 10km of the Great North Run when my legs were tired.
The 2 races were big confidence boosts for me going into the Great North Run. I finished the Great North Run in 71 mins and 47 seconds, which put me in 39th position. On the day, I was very disappointed with this run as I knew I was in great shape going into the race. Things didn’t go to plan for me on the day and I decided to take a bit of a break from running (I had planned this but I injured myself during the GNR and I was out for 6 weeks which was way too long! A bad end to the year really.)