Why I Run

Why do we run? More to the point, why do I run? Reasons like ‘extending life expectancy’ and ‘to lose weight’ don’t strike a cord. They would hardly get me out of bed in the morning or keep me going through these bitter, winter nights. My ‘why’ comes from who I am as a person.


Its an overused word but I am ambitious and always have been. I constantly feel the need to achieve. When I get too close to my comfort zone I feel like I am wasting time and almost, trapped. I often wonder whether its the approval of others that makes me or the approval of myself, from myself. Hell thats cheesy but its true.


A middle of the pack runner I assumed myself less talented as a child, but how could I know? I’d never practiced with purpose to prove that perception wrong, I always assumed ability was a birth right. This recently made me curious, just how good could I be? Can I finish an Ultra? Could I dare to dream of competing?

These idol curiosities remain unanswered four months on and to be honest, I almost don’t want the answer. If curiosity can push me to invest so much in one endeavor, what happens when it is fulfilled? But maybe I’ll never find the answer, after all we constantly evolve with practice.

The Calm Between The Storms

Another ‘why’ comes from my nagging, busy brain. Switching off and dialing down can be hard but guess what helps? Losing myself in mountains, trails, or countryside with little more than relentless forward motion. Lost in thought, stress and anxiety fall away making room for random wanderings and time to check in with myself. Add Robbie Williams blaring ‘Millennium’ through my ears and I can think of no better way to spend a warm, summers day.

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Darren Smith

Training with purpose since October 2016 Darren has gone from trailing the pack to winning local races and the times keep on falling. A true believer in hard work over natural talent he writes to help others realise their true potential. Darren's race schedule for 2018 includes the Hardmoors Wainstones marathon (1st place), Keswick Mountain Festival (10th place), Scafell Skyrace and Salomon Ring Of Steall (World Championship race.)

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