Thursday, July 22, 2021

Hosting a UKRunChat Hour

I tweeted recently that watching people do epic things was awesome but also brought me down because I want to be doing that stuff and through injury just cannot. That may appear a very selfish view, but it really isn’t. I will always support and congratulate someone’s achievement without any other motive than genuinely being happy for them. A reply to my tweet from @tyrelady* said “How about being epic by hosting a session of @UKRunChat”. That set about the events that saw me host last nights hour from 8-9pm..

The communications from UKRunChat were excellent – clear instructions on what to do and how to approach it and timings. I had 6 questions pre-canned and was good to go. There was time for a panic though as I figured out how to schedule tweets. I loaded up the schedule with my intro and then the questions all at 10min intervals.. I also, luckily, had a tweet loaded that said it’s 1hr to go.. I checked my phone, and that tweet hadn’t been sent. I ran up to the laptop to check and realised that whilst the times were all ok the date was inexplicably the 26/07! I hadn’t paid much attention as figured that the default was the current date. It isn’t.

I corrected all the dates and that was it good to go!!

My first question went out at 8:01pm… there was silence and a few replies. I did panic a little thinking that the first question had ruined it. I had killed UKRunchat! That was my ego talking because clearly, I was not bringing anything down!! There was a reassuring message from the UKRunchat contact and advice to release the second question. Then conversation then started, and I was running multiple conversation threads. The scheduling released the other questions at the right time and it kept flowing.

I was really having a good time responding to people from all over and with all sorts of backgrounds. The running community really is a diverse and engaging one.

There were so many highlights but as someone with type 1 diabetes the people talking about their conditions and desire to keep running struck the most resounding chord. There were a number of folks with Ulcerative Colitis and heart conditions too… what I really liked was that many of them said that they told their doctors that they were going to do x when they got out and that they did exactly that!! I know it’s not always easy for everyone on the back of a condition to do these types of things and we shouldn’t expect that just because we can with whatever condition we have others will be able to. It does serve as a massive inspiration though and I would urge anyone interested to, with proper consultation with their medical teams, to explore the options to start or increase their exercise regimen.. the message coming through loud and clear was how empowering it is and just how life affirming it is to be out in nature doing something..

This was part of my reasoning around the ‘what are your proud of’ question too – I wanted it to be anything and that’s exactly what it was. For everyone talking about half and full marathons to ultra’s and beyond there were people proud of being able to run 25mins without stopping, or for having completed C25K or , and this was a personal favourite, for getting kudos from their nephew for running a 10km!

Epic is truly in the eye of the beholder and to reinforce that, the running community supports everyone that takes part in this wonderful sport. Those with judgement need not apply.

The hour was flying now and I even got a bunch of likes from Dean Karnazes – I had mentioned him in one of the questions about meeting a running hero and he must have been tagged in getting on for 20 tweets!

As it drew to a close there were responses piling in across all the questions. It was great. I really enjoyed being at the heart of something that was so positive. It really was an epic hour and one that I would recommend anyone to do and one that I will do again for sure!!


The questions I asked were

Q1. I have had type 1 #diabetes for nearly 20years but still train and run as much as ever just with a little more planning and prep. Do you have a condition that you manage? What would your advice be to someone newly diagnosed who wants to run?

Q2. Getting more into running now what are you proudest of? For me it’s my 3:15 marathon pb.

Q3. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Dean Karnazes and the late great Caballo Blanco - have you ever met a running hero and what was that like?

Q4. Have you bought any gym kit or gym machines through lockdown and do you actually use them?

Q5. I know us runners like to take our kit with us wherever we go so what experiences have you had running whilst on holiday?

Q6. Let’s finish with some day-dreaming and a question that has almost certainly been asked before - what’s the one event you’d love to take part in? London marathon? New York? Western states? Utmb? The london 10km?


*I have actually meet the Tyre Lady, although I doubt she will remember, at the Cheltenham Challenge ultra a few years ago.. on a boiling hot-day I was walking up Aggs Hill (if you know you know) and caught up to her. I ran alongside for a while before pushing on.