Hi there, my name is James, I am an ultrarunner, coffee addict and absolute sucker for punishment. This blog charts my adventures in running from weighing 130kg in 2015 to running my first marathon in 6 months and going to to run the legendary Marathon des Sables less than three years later. My blog explores mental health, running kit reviews, race documentaries and all the lessons I learnt the hard way along the way.
While my running journey only really started in 2015 the idea of running a marathon came over 15 years ago, on my 20th birthday, when I made a drunken promise to myself and gathered friends. Between my slurred words and stumbled steps, I announced:
“I will run a marathon”
When the hangover faded I thought more about this ridiculous resolution; I was a university student, over-weight and under-motivated and yet I loved the idea of challenging my doubt. Yet for the next five or so years I ignored the idea of it, barely laced up a running shoe and only ran to get the tube on time.
On my 25th birthday the run up had been cut in half. Now I couldn’t ignore it any more, I needed to get fit. Yet my lacklustre approach once again won the day; entering the odd 10km ‘run’ here and there but letting the burgers, beer and ballooning belly fill the intervening time between them.
All that changed when 2015 came swinging in.
This was me in 2015. I had lost friends and family and had the partner I was about to start building a life together with, break my heart. I felt lost and the depression that had blanketed me for my adult life swallowed me whole.
Overweight, under motivated and lonely I no longer liked the man who looked back at me in the mirror. It seemed inescapable and unending until late one night in August I simply got up from the sofa that had become my comfort blanket, laced up a beaten pair of old trainers and went for a run. I still don’t know what drove my to rise from my stupor but out the door I went. It wasn’t fast, it certainly wasn’t far but I felt the ember of hope spark up within. It’s not melodramatic to say that this simple one kilometre run saved my life. I was on my road to change and in that instant I became a runner.
I entered the London Marathon ballot earlier in 2015 but thought nothing of it, chances of winning a coveted spot slim at best. It wasn’t until the October when I completed my first ever Half Marathon that the idea of running a marathon became a reality. I came back from that race, beaten by it thanks to the lack of training and respect for the distance. Thats when I found my acceptance magazine for the London Marathon. I started this blog in 2010, to document my life after university, but it wasn’t until that day that I truly found a purpose for it. It was then that The Morning Coffee Run was born.
Since then it’s charted my training from running novice to a Marathon des Sables finisher and 20+-time marathon runner. In doing so it has become more than just a blog, it has become a community. Through Facebook and Instagram it has evolved into a place for fellow runners to pick up tips, share their own and ultimately inspire one another to keep plodding along.
Hi James, just read your story after reading of your UTMB effort. Having put it off far too long, my goal for 2023 as by then I’ll be a MV 65 is to run the 50k of the Cotswolds Way Challenge in June 23. My furthest trail run was the Naunton 19 in 2013 but have done a couple of half marathons, 10k and mile races + some sprint tri’s both road and trail. I stopped racing in 2016 due to a recurring back injury but have continued to run up to half marathon distance on and off road. Why am I telling you this, you’ve inspired me to try again and despite your dnf you will I know try again. So look forward and be proud of all you’ve achieved as the best is yet to come 👍✊👏
Best wishes, Mark . Instagram here4therunning