So, after months of anticipation, Write This Run 2013 has been and gone. And what an amazing day it was!
One of the things that came up was the recommendation of “little and often” rather than the occasional War and Peace, with a guideline of 300 words three times a week. I’m assuming that the 300 word limit referred to the title. Anyway, I’ll try to keep this one (uncharacteristically) brief, but if you want to know more about the day, a quick search on Twitter or a visit to WriteThisRun will bring up a wealth of information.
To be honest, the whole day passed in a happy blur while I sat, awestruck, taking it all in. I’ll try to sum up a few of my favourite bits…
- Marvellous Mimi Anderson captivated the entire room with tales of her breathtaking achievements and making 100+ mile races sound like a Parkrun. A real life action hero, it was like being in the presence of Batman (if Batman was also a grandmother, which I’m fairly certain he isn’t, so Mimi wins).
- Rhalou Allerhand talked to us about… well, I’m still not sure. But her presentation had been rehearsed to a 2D basset hound, and featured porn, chickens and a bit of running, so what’s not to like? I wet myself laughing three times during Rhalou’s presentation (okay, one time was partly due to my tiny acorn bladder).
- I finally got to meet some of my favourite bloggers, including the super-shibby Jen (Two Itchy Feet)and official lovely bloke Chris (Any Idiot Can Run). I also had a chance to catch up with an old buddy, Mr Running himself, Simon Freeman (simonfreeman.co.uk).
- Kevin Betts kicked the arse of the stigma surrounding mental health with a genuinely moving presentation. Was it just me, or did anyone else think there seemed to be an awful lot of pollen in the room during his bit? Top bloke.
300 words? Really?
- Top running coach Karen Weir shared some great tips on running form. Apparently, we should aim to keep our glutes 30% engaged. A few people weren’t sure how to measure this, but I find the easiest way is to engage them to 70%, then take away 10% engagement and just halve what’s left. Simple. She also advised us to keep a credit card clenched between our butt cheeks. I think she meant an imaginary one, but my way is better as it deters potential muggers.
- After all the speakers had speaked (real word) we got the chance to run in the olympic slipstream of the super-chilled Scott Overall. He’d told us all about his background and training regime, and I think I’ve worked out the secret of his success: Run really really fast. Just for the record, I had him in my sights and could have taken him at any time during the 5k loop of Hampton Park. The fact that he was jogging effortlessly, eating a baguette and doing the Times crossword while I wheezed along a couple of hundred metres behind him is neither here nor there.
At the end, we got a goody bag that was verging on being a hamper and put most race bags to shame. Please note that the attached photo doesn’t really do it justice, as by the time I took it a lot of the contents were already hiding in my tummy. I may have added the Garmin.
If you missed out on Write This Run this time around, I’d urge you to sign up for their newsletter. Even if you’re a runner who’s never blogged or a blogger who’s never run, there’s never been a better time to start.
I may have nudged myself over 300 words. Don’t tell anyone.