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Member of the Month - Columba

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Autumnleaves asks: Congratulations Columba :) really well deserved after your inspirational running this year. Erm, question. ... your wise words on the 700 thread are legendary - what would be your top tip for beginner runners?

Columba says: Absolute beginners who are really struggling: run/walk. But for others: persist; it's the first ten minutes that are the worst.
FML asks: Just want to say Well done, love your comments on the thread and your blogs. Keep on running :)

Columba says: Thank you! I like writing the blogs too, just don't get round to it very often.
LazyDaisy asks: Congrats and well deserved MOTM! What's the biggest challenge you've faced since you started running and how did you overcome it?

Columba says: Thank you, LD. Biggest challenge? - possibly when I started racing, and similarly when I joined the running club, discovering I was so much slower than most other people. With the racing, I overcame it by signing up for a few races with lots of participants, initially a Race for Life. With the running club, and in general, by realising that most other runners are considerably younger than I am, and I rejoice in a fairly decent WAVA.
The Mighty Fleecy asks: Oh hurrah! Well done on being an inspiration to us all! You've shown such dedication with your training and your HM PB was awesome! I'd like to know what your contemporaries think about your running?

Columba says: The few that actually run, of course, take it in their stride (sorry...). The ones that don't run vary, from those who express admiration and tell me they couldn't even run for a bus, to those who have no idea what it entails and no idea how long a half-marathon is (nor a marathon for that matter, so they can't just halve it), to those who think I'm mad. Actually there don't seem to be many of the latter, or maybe they're too polite to say so.

Among people that I think are unlikely to know much about running, I tend to keep quiet about it. But that doesn't include locals, as most of them see me running about town from time to time so they know I do.
Pompey Paul asks: Huge congratulations Columba, well deserved. If I can run like you when I catch up with you I will be happy. So, my question is, how much do you ache after a long run?

Columba says: Quite a lot, PP, quite a lot. Stiffness more noticeable than aching, perhaps. Oh yes, and a tendency to wake up in the night with cramp, and have to leap out of bed and hobble about the room.
Bintmcskint asks: Finally! I have been waiting for this. Well done - so well-deserved :-)
You are stranded on a desert island. You can take one type of food, one book and one Fetchie. What and who do you take and why?

Columba says: Oh dear, how do I choose? Especially the Fetchie?

Well, I might take yoghurt, - plain yoghurt - only I do normally eat it with fresh fruit, and might get a bit bored with it on its own. On the other hand, there might well be fruit on a desert island, which the yoghurt would go well with.

The book - is this in addition to Shakespeare and the Bible, or don't desert islanders do that any more? It's got to be something that will keep me going for a good long time, as I don't know how long I'm going to be on this desert island. So it could be something like The Brothers Karamazov. Alternatively, I could take a book of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry, much of which is so difficult that I could keep on re-reading and puzzling over it.

The Fetchie - well you, of course, Bint... Though there are several others who would also be excellent company...
pedroscalls asks: Congratulations Columba, well deserved. My question is, if money/time was no object, is there a race or route that you would want to run no matter where?

Columba says: Ooh - I wish, I wish I could do Ultras; but that's not a question of money or time, but of energy and of my propensity for getting lost.

I've never even thought about going abroad to race, so haven't got as far as wishing. I had a recent email from someone in my running club, asking who was interested in doing the Loch Ness marathon, half, 10k or 5k. Ooh, I thought, I didn't know there was a Loch Ness 10k. But when I looked at the cost of getting there, and staying there, I decided against it. So that would be nice. Or a race in Edinburgh, which was my university city; it would be good to go back and race in it.
GimmeMedals asks: Congratulations, Columba, on a very deserving MOTM award :-) if money was no object, where in the world would you like to go for a run?

Columba says: I was going to say "see above", but then realised you said "a run" rather than "a race", which is rather a different question. I don't know that I can name specific places, but I love running beside the sea, and indeed anywhere with wonderful views into the distance, but not too high up or it would be cold (think: Everest). New Zealand, maybe. Also have a hankering for Antarctica (bit self-contradictory here, since I've just said I don't want to run where it's cold) but probably only so that I could say I've been to Antarctica.
.B. asks: Congratulations Columba, you are an inspiring runner. Now that you have achieved your half marathon target, do you have another running goal in mind?

Columba says: Indeed i do, .B. My son - the one that trained me for the half mara - tells me that, looking at my race results at different distances he thinks I'm more likely to get that elusive 70% WAVA over a shorter distance rather than a longer one. So next year I shall focus on a 10k, for which he is very willing to train me.
LindsD asks: Congratulations! and well-deserved. Your running is inspirational and your contributions to the site wise and supportive. My question is: can you speak Welsh fluently?

Columba says: No. Haltingly and hesitatingly, yes. Though maybe not even that now, as I am out of practice. When the children were little, they (at least, the three youngest) were in Welsh-medium playgroups/schools, which brought me into contact with a number of native Welsh speakers who were keen to encourage me, but I'm only occasionally in touch with them now and my Welsh has become very rusty indeed.

Previous Winners

December Jigs
November K5 Gus
October Fellrunning
September LindsD
August Helegant
July Dvorak
June run free
May Sigh
April katypie
March Ness
February DocMoye
January Fenland Flier
December Valyrian Plastic
November westmoors
October Windsor Wool
September Joopsy
August Hills of Death (HOD)
July GlennR
June LazyDaisy
May James74
April Doctor K
March Flatlander
February Night-owl
January .B.
December jono.
November Corrah
October The Scribbler
September Big Al Widepants
August Gromit
July HellsBells
June Roobarb
May Nelly
April postieboy
March AntClark
February clare1976
January Duchess
December ChrisHB
November Race Jase
October fetcheveryone
September Columba
August Carpathius
July Autumnleaves
June Tizer
May KinkyS
April kwala
March McGoohan
February Canute
January D2
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November Sharkie
October runningmumof3boys
September swittle
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July MikeR.
June KinkyS
May RevBarbaraG
April Marigold
March becca7
February max71
January ogee
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July CC2 Speedy Goth
June Bintmcskint
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April flanker
March The Terminator
February Johnny Blaze
January Mother Duck
December Toks
November _andy
October Paul the Builder
September Nellers
August Northern Exile
July Fenland Runner
June runnerbean
May Ultra Kanga Kazzaaaaah!!
April GimmeMedals
March Lyra OK
February Elsie Too
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