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The running diaries – #TeamCardiff 2017

23 January 2017

Alex Norton (BA 2015) has joined #TeamCardiff for the 2017 Cardiff University/ Cardiff Half Marathon. In the 8 months leading up to the race he’ll be sharing his training highs and lows – currently the lows are winning but Alex is hoping a high is just around the next bend.

“In deepest, darkest January, the prospect of walking, running or trudging (select the most applicable verb) the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon seems an age away.

And let’s be honest, it is. At the time of writing, there are a full 36 weeks and two days to go. Regrettably, though, Christmas has rendered me incapable of stepping outside of the house; a 21.1km (13.1miles) race course needs to be afforded the respect of a long run-up.

Inspired by the slow realisation of doom, I shuffle wheezily around the suburbs of north Cardiff twice or thrice a week. Some of the roads I puff down are on the course itself, and it is in completing small sections that the scale of the challenge becomes palpable.

The longest competitive race I’ve run is 5km – a convivial Saturday morning Parkrun through Bute Park, if you’re interested.

So why am I doing this? Well, as a member of Cardiff University’s Development and Alumni team, I’m almost certainly under some sort of contractual obligation.

There are other contributing factors. The first is my desire to accomplish a physical feat of some note before slipping smugly back into lifelong sedentarism. The second, however, is by far the most important reason to retrieve your running shoes from the wardrobe depths.

Cardiff University is a world leading institution in the fields of neuroscience and cancer research, and every penny raised by those wearing #TeamCardiff colours goes to whichever of those causes the runner chooses.

Last year, we raised £31,000 – and I know first-hand from speaking to some of those involved what an incredible difference that money will make.

Motivation aplenty. I hope that it, and the spinach and hot water-based diet I’ve now been placed on, will power me through the next eight months or so – during which time, I’ll be periodically updating you with my progress (or conspicuous lack thereof).

If anyone fancies their chances against me – and you should – there remain free places available on #TeamCardiff. To find out more, why not attend our launch event as the Students’ Union’s Y Plas on Thursday, 26th January? It would be helpful if someone else ate the cupcakes.”