This weekend I was supposed to be running a 10 mile race in Merthyr Tydfil, but due to snow it had to be cancelled.

These things happen, events get cancelled (especially in Wales!), when I played football every season it would be lucky to get a fixture in January.

I was going to do a blog like this to sum up my top five races of 2017, but it’s a bit late now so this list is my top five races I’ve blogged about.

5. East Sussex Cross Country League 13/03/2018

Where better to start with a race I did last week! The last cross country of the 2017-18 season.

I think the season as a whole I enjoyed more than last year because; 1. I knew what to expect 2. I just knew more people in my club.

Due to an achilles injury (which I’m still suffering from!) I had to take a couple of weeks off running, although I did do a bit of swimming.

So to come back and get my highest ever placing in an XC was double decent!

It was a sunny day too and I kept my placing the majority of the race. Although my time was slower compared to when I did the course last year, I think the mud definitely played a factor.

4. East Sussex Cross Country League 12/02/2017

My favourite cross country race so far, I still maintain that Heathfield Park is the hardest course on the series.

Getting there was a nightmare as no one in my running group could give me a lift. Looking back I probably should’ve put something on the Facebook group page. Would’ve saved £30 on the taxi anyway!

Here’s a short extract I wrote about the race itself from my blog, “This was an 8K race. The first 2 kilometres were flat and then downhill on a path, so that part wasn’t too bad. But after 2K. Wow.

Let’s just say after 2K it got tougher, hills streams and what have you. It’s probably the most tired I’ve felt after a race.

I’ve done the Heathfield Park course twice now, and by the time I do it next year I NEED to get trail shoes!

3. Hastings Parkrun 29/04/2017 (Mob Match)

The first Parkrun on this list and another extremely sunny day, things in general are just better when it’s sunnier!

Again a big factor with this race is just a lot of mates were there. With a lot of people I train with, Tuesdays the only time I see them, so it’s nice to actually race against them competitvely, even though Parkrun is officially a time trial.

The fact that 48 people got a time under 20 minutes must’ve meant it was the fastest Parkrun in the UK that morning.

The mob match is an annual meet between Hastings Runners and my club, who won on the day, Hastings AC.

Although it was hot, I just felt good running it. With 1K left I was on 16 minutes, so my time of 20:11 showed how close I was to getting a sub-20. Little did I know I would have to wait eight months before I actually did it at a Parkrun.

2. Hastings Parkrun 02/12/17

Never has anything bugged me so much than when I kept missing on a sub-20 minute 5K by a matter of seconds.

After a long lay-off due to asthma, from October to December the 2nd I did a Parkrun every week apart from one Sunday where I had XC and illness. Actually that’s not every week then, but you get the point I really wanted it!

My times were 20:45, 20:36, 20:13, then I had XC, then ill, then back to 20:40 the week after that. I was going in circles.

I did Hastings Parkrun the following week, and I have never been so disappointed. I had some problems starting my watch, then although it said I had done 5K and my time was 19:57, it turned out to be 20:18.

However, a lot of things fell in to place that morning. The first half of the race I was on track for a sub-20 at the halfway point, as I had been a lot in previous weeks, but I had that extra bit of motivation to dig deep. My time? 19:47.

1. Cardiff 10K 03/09/2017

Unlike when I wanted to get a sub-20, Cardiff 10K was more about just participating in one of the biggest Welsh races of the year.

Also I had never raced a 10K before, so what better way to do my first one with nearly 6000 other people.

I’d probably say this is the race where I took my running to the next level. I joined a running club at home and starting longer distances for my long runs.

Looking back on the build up to this race, I think I just enjoyed the summer. I met a lot of new people as well as spending time with the usuals, got a part-time job at a chippie.

Anyway the race itself couldn’t have gone better. I looked at my watch at 5K and thought, “bloody hell this is fast”, then at the end, among the 5000 people running the race, I found some people from my club to finish the last 1000 metres with.