I'm not sure of the exact date, but about a year ago I was walking home from the supermarket, listening to my iPod, when I saw the advert for the Pangbourne 10k whilst Geddy Lee sang in my ear about running a marathon. It was then that I decided to give running a try. And if I survived the winter, I'd enter the race in 2014.

It's now just four days away and I'm feeling a degree of trepidation ahead of Sunday's race. This, of course, is ludicrous! I've already run two 10k races, 21 parkruns and I'm 12 weeks into my training plan for a 10 mile race in November. But somehow the Pangbourne 10k has earned itself a place of honour in my race calendar. Is it simply because it was the igniter of my passion for running? Is it because it's my local race? Is it because of that steep climb into Sulham Woods about a mile into the race? I'm not really sure.

A clue may be found in the other race that features heavily in my mind: the Reading Half Marathon. Both of these races are well known in the area. Pangbourne through its extensive deployment of advertising boards and everyone knows to avoid Reading town centre when the half marathon is on. Only the festival trumps the notoriety of the half marathon for road closures and traffic issues.

Maybe the bubble will burst on Sunday and I'll just see the Pangbourne 10k as a nice local race worthy of an annual outing. Only time will tell.

About Matt

Not known for sport at school, I took up running in my mid-forties. Very soon I caught the running bug and progressed from the Couch to 5K programme, via parkrun, various 10k races and the Great North Run to running marathons and beyond in the UK and overseas. Now in my fifties, I still run fast enough to impress my friends and family, but not fast enough to think I've missed a vocation as an Olympian!

Race History

Follow me