Mark Beech

2024-03-13: 3K

3,000 days ago I awoke quite early, and being unable to get back to sleep decided to go out for a run around the Arboretum, this would prove to be the last time I would try to take up running. I had previously given up part way through the Couch to 5K program a couple of times (one of them once discovering that the road from Trefforest to Pontypridd Common was not quite flat) so this time went straight into running 5K.

As anyone who has known me for more than three kilo-days can tell you I hate all sports, and once I got home from the Arboretum the first thing I did was to throw my trainers in the bin. The promise of a free t-shirt (offer now expired) however encouraged me to try running another 5K just under a week later – this time a muddy route around Perry Hall, sporting brand new £6 Decathlon running shoes.

The Decathlon running shoes went up in price, year after year they cost £1 more than the one before, until at the end of the Elizabethan age I started running in £17 Crocs instead (yellow ones). I do still have my original pair, which after retiring from running spent a season as my work shoes.

For the avoidance of doubt I still hate all sports, but I do enjoy some good stats. Somehow I managed to get out and run on some 2,382 of the last 3,000 days (and 1,364 of the last 1,364) during which time I have covered about 7,557 miles in about 1,276 hours.

I have completed about 90 races, at distances ranging from 400 meters (in 90 seconds) to 40 miles (in 11 hours, 11 minutes), including about 5 road marathons (three of them at the original Boston, but my fastest being 4:12 running away from Wolverhampton). My favourite distance being the 3K (especially the Glasgow ‘3K of the Green’ which I sadly don’t get to run much any-more because my new job gets in the way) which proves just as painful as a 5K but is over quicker. I’ve run races in England, Scotland, and Wales – I’ve even spent about 36 hours running around a lake in Yorkshire at night. Outwith races I’ve also found myself running in Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark – often around parks.

One of the absolute best things about running over these past 3,000 days are the amazing, incredible, and often slightly crazy, people I’ve met along the way.