My Running Story - Julian Ollive
I did some running during my secondary schooling, I regularly won the sports day 1500m (reflecting back this was obviously because no one else could be bothered to run that far…) but when I stepped up to county, I was a very last last…in my adult years I’d done a bit of ad hoc running here and there but it wasn’t until the football ‘career’ was halted by injury and the premier league dream at 38 was finally over that I needed something else. In 2018 I had a major life event that changed everything and I needed something positive to focus on, something to fill some time and that was also just for me. I’d always wanted to a marathon in my 40th year but thought using this as a stimulus for some motivation and positivity that I should do it now, which was in spring 2019. I got myself a Garmin watch, as the step counter on my own watch was woefully inaccurate but decided not to (and still don’t) do the ‘Strava’ thing. I absolutely get why people do it but for me I didn’t need to put myself up against anything or anyone, mentally I didn’t want to feel any negativity about my running, it’s not really a competitive sport for me…well, maybe it is on race day but it’s only ever about what it gives me and the most important thing is what it does for my sense of self. It took me a really long time to join the club. I’ve lived in Easingwold for 13yrs and thought about joining for at least a year before I plucked up the courage to contact someone and ask what it’s all about. After telling them what my 5k and 10k times were I was told I was definitely a ‘red grouper’ - whatever that meant at the time! This was in 2020, so I joined when you had to be on the money to get your slot when released via email from only 8 available due to covid protocol’s. The run was in Coxwold and it was brilliant. It’s a run that I do often, it’s nostalgic and I can trace all the positivity from the club back to that day and I’m grateful to those that made the effort to talk to me. If they hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have come back and that would have been such a missed opportunity. I always describe the club to others as equally social, as much as it is a sports club. I love the races and the club competitions and am eternally humbled and inspired by those who give up their time to provide us with this opportunities. Volunteers really do make the world go round. Don’t be put off by thinking that you’re not fast enough, it’s definitely not about that, whatever your speed there is a differentiated group for you to run in and if you don’t want to run a race then you don’t have to. It really is a very accessible and friendly club. It’s made a significant impact on my life and has made me happier and feel more connected with the town and with other people. And I’ve got a lot quicker, and in your 40s it’s nice to do a sport where you can continue to get quicker, and this is definitely down to being a club runner. If you’re considering joining, don’t wait a year like me, come along and give it a try, I’ll think it’ll be for you.
Julian Ollive Club member