By Paul L

Sunday 3 January, Solihull

It’s a cold Sunday morning and lying in my bed I am staring at the clock which is blinking back at me telling me its 08:00. Not too early but with the almost zero degrees temperatures outside my bed is comfy and warm. Like most runners who like to participate in races, Sundays are the holy grail of race day so you get used to setting the alarm to get up early and join all the other early risers in getting out in the cold.

It’s the first Sunday of the year and good to start the year off in a positive way.
I have been running for over 10 years always on my own other than in races. I have often thought about joining a running club to either improve my running or for social reasons however I have never found a club that I felt I could truly commit to.

That changed last year when I saw that there was a running club set up aimed at the LGBT community. I decided several Thursdays ago to rock up and introduce myself and get involved with meeting some new friends, gay and straight, who happen to also be into running.

So this brings us to today and my first race where I can put a group name against my own name and run a race representing the Birmingham Swifts. This is a 5 mile off road race along tracks and footpaths through a park covering three differing laps, organised by the Centurion Running club.

114 willing runners have turned up to belt out five miles, with three of us from the Swifts. There is myself, Wolf Swift and Risky Swift. Wolf is used to running off road so any muddy parts will not be a problem for him and we can all breathe a sigh of relief to know that Risky will not have to cross any roads and battle with cars today.

We settled somewhat near to the back of the pack and satellites reached, watches started, we headed off out on the first, somewhat smaller, of the three laps. Pretty soon the pack petered out to allow more space for those that wanted to run faster to push on ahead. We all broke away to run our own pace.

We all expected to finish within a few minutes of each other and that proved to be the case with all three of us giving it our all and finishing just five minutes apart. I have to say there was some great sprint finishing with that pained expression that says “I gave it my all out there this morning” – just see the pictures!

It was a great course and friendly race which is the third part of a 6 month series. We walked back to the race HQ and pondered the next race in February; maybe we can get some more Swifts running in that one. I for one will be there, and I’m looking forward to running more races in 2015 with my new group of running friends.

It’s going to be a good year of running. Swifts Ahoy!

Results by Birmingham Swifts
Paul L- 36:00
Jay – 37:34
Jesús – 40:59

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