This year I shared the wonder of Keswick Half Marathon with Daniel and my younger brother (as well as my Dad), both of whom were running their first ever half marathon. An awesome race, a wonderful route in both its familiarity and its persistent surprise inclines, and a fantastic atmosphere throughout.
We ran together, enduring long hills and enjoying sweeping landscapes as we went. People cheered us on and I retained a smile throughout, and the last few miles were glorious in their challenge, the road smirking underfoot as the hills kept coming!
We reached Keswick for the final mile and I powered on ahead, finding some leftover energy to use up before the inevitable crash that I love and loathe in equal measure. Daniel followed on not far behind, and as I approached the finish line I heard his name called out in celebration over the tannoy. Crossing the line never gets old: this time a little faster, in a little less agony, with the knowledge accumulated over three years of distance running.
We hit our favourite veggie café for a sweet tea and some chilli before the long drive home. Then, that evening we celebrated with a drink (I've been sober for over a month - wine has never tasted so sweet!), homemade pizzas and a pub quiz - well earned pleasures that come best after fresh air and spent energy.
Another adventure shared with Daniel, and another fantastic day in my running shoes. Today I'm mourning the passing of one of my favourite events, and tomorrow I'll get back to training for the next!