A Year of The Allrounder

You often don’t realise how much you’ve actually done over a year until you sit back and look through it all. It may seem like time goes pretty quickly; the last twelve months tend to morph into one big chunk where the individual bit gets lost. A bit like when you buy loads of plasticine (note: we don’t actually buy plasticine any more. We do buy Lego though) and squash it all together so it just a big ball of different colours.

In the olden days people used diaries to reminisce over the past (yep, we know some people still do), nowadays it’s a lot easier, what with people saving pretty much everything that happens on various social channels. It’s like an automatic memoir of everything you found important enough to tell the world. At the time you’re probably not doing it for the sake of prosperity, but it’s there, waiting to be looked at.

It’s exactly one year since we started The Allrounder, and looking back at the various posts and pictures that we’ve put up over the past few months, it would appear we’ve been up to a fair bit. A lot more than we would have expected to do twelve months ago. A lot of it we’d actually forgotten.

First of all, we did a hell of a lot of races. 32 in fact, if you count the medals we finished the year with (note: there were some without medals. We don’t talk about them). Some of those races were one’s we’d done before. Old favourites like the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k, the Putney and Fulham riverside half marathon or the Amba City of London Mile. But most were new ones. Races in places we’d never been to before. Exciting races where we didn’t know what to expect. Races like The Oxford and Milton Keynes half marathons, or the Bristol + Bath Marathon.

There were loads of new ones closer to home as well, popping up in every corner of the city. Up near Wembley was the Vitality North London Half, Ealing saw its first West London 10k run and there was even a new Central London race in the form of the Winter Run.

So yeah, it was a big year for running. We had our favourites, notably from the guys over at RunThrough with their array of events across the city, and then there was the Richmond Runfest Half Marathon, which as races go, was pretty damn impossible to find fault with. Which is more than can be said for our running.

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It’ll probably come as no surprise that the biggest race of the year was the London Marathon. After years of trying to nab a place, we finally got in. A pretty big deal when you’re a runner that’s lived in London for nine years. We may not have been at the peak of fitness at the time, and a slight incident with slipping on a bottle at 5k didn’t help matters. But as we always say (we kind of have to), time isn’t everything. It’s an experience well never forget; one of those things that adds a sense of closure to something in your mind. We’re doing it again this year though, hopefully with a slightly better time.

Even though we said we never would, we could help ourselves and ended up doing Tough Mudder again. We even made a little video with Sony Xperia and ShortList magazine to explain the experience. Not going to do it again though. Definitely not (note: this is not legally binding)

We didn’t just run though, oh no. We walked a long way as well. 100km in fact, from London all the way to Cambridge in what we found out was a ridiculously tough challenge, probably the hardest we’ve ever attempted if we’re being honest. 23 hours walking in the cold and wet with a bag on your back isn’t fun. Well, at least not until you get to the end and drink champagne.

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It wasn’t all fitness though, we left our kit behind and headed of Interrailing for two weeks. Stopping at twelve different cities across France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, eating and drinking a fair bit along the way. We met a few people, learnt a lot of interesting things and saw a lot of stuff we’d always wanted to see. Sat on trains a lot as well, obviously.

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We also headed over to Switzerland to cycle up and down the Alps, seeing every season imaginable along the way. As trips go it was one hell of adventure. We ran, swam, cycled, ate a lot and ended up seeing some breathtaking scenery. The beer wasn’t bad either. Making our way on a bike to the top of a mountain, through a layer of fog, to find ourselves in pelting snow was a bit of a shock. Especially when we only brought shorts.

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We nipped over to Wales to do some downhill nighttime mountain biking before climbing through a small hole and making our way through a disused mine. Two things we never even contemplated doing before. We also never realised they’d be quite so fun. Sure, they were scary as hell, but a lot of fun things are.

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We had a few guest posts from some pretty amazing people. Individuals like Charley Radcliffe telling us about how he left the city to move to the mountains, Lucja Leonard and her 110km race across Cappodicia, Adam Chapman and his succesfull completion of the legendary Bob Graham Round and Daniel Reeds and his amazing experience at the Mongol Derby. It all puts us to shame.

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There’s was loads of other stuff as well. More than we can be bothered to write in detail here. Things like learning (or a least trying to learn) how to fence, paddleboarding in Paddington, Crab Fishing in Cornwall, nipping over to the French Riviera for the first Nightray festival, cycling 100 miles (ish) to Surrey for Ride London and we even met David Coulthard, Duncan Goodhew MBE and some runner called Mo Farah.

So yeah, we were pretty busy over the last twelve months. But don’t worry, we’re not going to start getting lazy. 2015 was merely the beginning. 2016 is going to be a hell of a lot busier. More races, more gruelling long distance walks, more travelling, more fitness classes and definitely a lot more food.

We’re going to spice things up a bit by making some nice videos for your viewing pleasure. We’re heading over to South America to see why everyone seems so intent on holding sporting events over there. We’ll test loads more kit, run more marathons, we’re taking up climbing properly, hell, we may even try a spot of ballroom dancing if we have time. We’ll also be posting a series of Allrounder fitness workouts, what with us successfully passing our PT exams.

So thanks for reading. We hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. We definitely have. Well, apart from a couple of bits at Tough Mudder.

And if there’s anything you think we’re missing, let us know via email or on Twitter. We are The Allrounder after all – we’ll pretty much give anything a go.

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