So it's that time of the year to look back and reflect on the year that is coming to an end.
On reflection I struggle to summarise the year as successful as I didn't achieve my aims of smash any PBs but at the same time I look back on a year of running which I have probably enjoyed more than any other.
In summary the highlights for the year were that I ran my first ultra (110K at Spitfire Scramble in August) and I became a dad! Two pretty awesome achievements!
2016 looked something like this....
The first quarter was dominated by half marathons, three in three months, but my first running event of the year was a UK fitness bloggers 5K in support of RODS on 30th January. Great fun and great to meet some online friends in person.
The run earned me my first but of bling in the shape of this rather cool little number.
The very next day I celebrated my birthday with a half marathon, not the PB I had hoped for due to illness over the New Year period but an enjoyable run none the less.
February saw another half marathon and an improvement on my time but my sights were set on a great run and PB attempt at my third half marathon of the year in March.
March saw my entry into the North London Half Marathon promising the 'greatest finish line in the world' with the final few hundred metres being inside Wembley stadium. I felt in PB shape but a dodgy back the day before put pay to that idea meaning I ran the first few miles in trepidation missing out on PB pace, still my second fastest Half Marathon time wasn't too bad. It was actually really beneficial to run the same distance a couple of times in quick succession so I could work on my race strategy and targets.
May saw the first marathon of the year with my first (but not last) running of the excellent Halstead marathon. I felt in or around the best marathon shape I had ever been in but the hottest weekend of the year quickly sapped me of any PB possibility. Still I received a nice lobster skin tone and a giant medal for my troubles.
The start of July brought around the years big event, the St Petersburg Marathon in Russia, my first marathon abroad and my biggest event in terms of participants.
I never felt in brilliant shape so wasn't expecting a great time, hot and humid conditions punished me and the other runners meaning a difficult race but a terrific experience.
Unexpectedly the Spitfire Scamble in August became an even bigger event the I anticipated, instead of running a few laps as part of a team I ended up taking the plunge and running solo covering 11 laps and 110K in total. In hindsight easiest my best and most enjoyable running event I have taken part in.
The summer ended with a highly anticipated run at the Bacchus marathon, in fancy dress with my running buddies. I wasn't really in marathon shape but a brilliant event, so much fun and a great way to run my slowest marathon ever!
Then come October thoughts of running went out the window as life changed completely with the arrival, all be it slightly earlier than anticipated, of this little chap.
So come my last race of the year, a 5 miler in a local park I had only managed a handful of runs in several weeks and although I felt pretty rusty my legs were fresh and energised.
The Harold Wood Running Club 5 mile event was a great event to end the year with as it started less than a mile from the flat, took place around the parks where I usually train and gave me the opportunity to meet a few online running buddies in person.
The best thing of all was being able to hang my finishers medal around the little chaps neck when I got home.
So the year ends with a massive change to life and running but one I wouldn't want to go back on!
I suppose my competitive side is disappointed to not have a PB this year, unless I manage to pull one out of the bag at New Years Eve Parkrun, but looking back on ten events, three marathons and my first ultra all packed full of fun and great experiences is no bad thing at all.
I hope your 2016 has seen you enjoy your running and achieve your goals and 2017 brings you plenty of happy miles!