Running should be savoured and not taken for granted

Hello and welcome to the second post in my sports blog. Last week I focused on the joys of sport and running being for everyone and the current World Athletics Championships have really driven this home. People from 207 countries across the globe have joined together to participate in a sport we love. The new javelin world champion Julius Yego should be an inspiration to all having gone from honing his technique by watching YouTube videos to gaining Kenya’s first World Championship gold in a field event.

However these championships have also highlighted the fact that the ability to compete should never be taken for granted. The controversy over team selection aside, injury is something every athlete will face at some point in their career. Unfortunately this can be career ending but most of the time athletes can recover.

While Dai Greene and Perri Shakes-Drayton missed the World Championships after persistent injury prevented them meeting the UK athletics qualifying standards, Usain Bolt and David Rudisha both managed to spectacularly overcome injury and win gold.

With patience and common sense most injuries can be overcome and interviews with athletes such as Greene and Shakes-Drayton show how much getting back into competing means to them. Greene has stated that throughout his long running injury trouble he ‘never once thought about stopping’ ( and it looks like he may well be back on his way to the top.

The frustration at being unable to run is something people of all ability experience. This has been driven home to me by two recent events: a friend whose bike crash has put him out of running for several months and an unprovoked dog attack on someone very close to me. Six weeks, two operations and 33 stitches in the left calf later, the dog bite is getting better but I have witnessed at first hand the frustration caused by being physically unable to run and train. I will never forget the grin on her face when she managed a very slow ten minute jog last week.

For those of us lucky enough to currently be without injury it is important to be sensible and remember we are not immune. Even if you feel you are not running well, try to appreciate the ability to run.

If you are currently struggling with injury it is the joy you get from running that you should try and hold onto. The vast majority of people will recover and get back to running, whether that is in the World Championships or simply around your local park.

Everyone can enjoy running but being able to do so should be savoured and not taken for granted.

Anyway, I think that is enough from me for now. I hope you have found this blog interesting and I will post again in a week or two.


The joys of running are for everyone

Hi everyone and welcome to my sports blog, primarily focusing on running. I suppose I had better start by introducing myself, my name is Liz Mooney and I am a 20 year old, very enthusiastic cross country runner. I have always been into sport but only seriously took up running a few years ago, joining Gateshead Harriers around Christmas 2012.

When I started at Cambridge University the following September, studying history, I joined the Cambridge University Hare and Hounds (CUHH) and running has become an increasingly important part of my life. I am currently CUHH ladies captain and was thrilled to gain a bronze medal for England at the Home Countries International cross country in Antrim last March.

I feel that this shows it is never too late to take up a sport, especially running. Male distance runners tend to peak in their mid to late 20s and women a few years later but running can be taken up by anyone of any age or ability. Throughout most of my school career my main interest was hockey. I competed in the occasional ‘cross country’ race in order to help make up a team but a foray into Gateshead Harriers at the age of 12 only lasted a month or two because I did not enjoy it.

Despite this I was persuaded to give running another go, largely because the only compliment I ever seemed to get in hockey was that I was good at running after the ball. It proved to be the best decision I have ever made. The group I joined at Gateshead was full of like-minded people and introduced me to proper cross country. Running around an athletics track or school playing field just can’t compare to the thrill of hills and shin deep mud. The exhilaration of cross country was a new experience and one I was determined to repeat – many people have told me these sentiments make me slightly crazy!

It was joining CUHH that really transformed my unpromising start into performances I could not have dreamed of a year ago. The supporting environment of a university sports club is hard t o beat, as is the inspirational coaching of Phil O’dell.

Being part of CUHH has made my first two years of university and has driven home to me how important sport is, no matter what level you participate at. The club encompasses those of all abilities and mass participation in running is growing nationwide. Sport England’s Active People Survey found a total of 2.162million people aged 16 and over took part in athletics for at least 30 minutes a week from October 2013 to October 2014. This was an increase on the figure of 2.016million for the previous year.

Sport is not only good for our physical health; it is good mentally as well, giving you goals to aim for and friends to treasure forever. These benefits are just as available to the slowest runners as the fastest and it is my hope that events such as the upcoming athletics World Championships in Beijing will continue to raise the profile of a sport I love.

Running is great because everyone can do it at their own level and it is never too late to start!

Anyway, enough babble from me. I hope you have found this blog interesting, I intend to add new ones every couple of weeks analysing any developments in the world of running.

Hopefully see you then,