Think of the last time you tried something new. Why did you try it? This issue of Serpentimes covers first experiences of all sorts from the first time stepping into the world of triathlon to taking on the Marathon des Sables as a relatively new runner. The reasons people change tack and take on something new are many and varied. It can be anything from an inspirational friend, to raising money for a loved one, a reaction to a relationship breakdown or simply a high-spirited bet.
My biggest adventure with Serpies was born from both a complicated reason and a very simple one. The complicated reason was to get over a messy break-up. The simple reason was buying my first pair of trail shoes in 2010. I still remember viscerally the feeling of running down my first mountain with three good Serpie friends. It was Place Fell in the Lake District, and the picture above shows us nearing the bottom. My brain and heart were pumping with both the adrenalin of an exhilarating descent and the sudden opening up of a different world of running. The simple act of buying some trail shoes and heading to the Lake District with friends for a holiday was the first step on a journey which took me to the completion of the 66 mile Bob Graham Round and an adventure that expanded my mind, my friendships and my love for life.
Many of the pieces in this issue talk about trying something new; training for the London Marathon, run-commuting, ultra-marathons and publishing a printed running magazine (the excellent Like the Wind). We’ve even had a look at how the club began. We hope you enjoy the writing, find inspiration and then get out there and try something new yourself.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we also explore the sharp end of the field with interviews with our first athletes home at the Southern Cross Country Championships, and there are more Serpie travels in Guam and a group trip to the Brussels Half-Marathon. Finally, we wrap things up with reviews of a clutch of motivating running books that may provide you with a spark or two to ignite the beginnings of your next running adventure.
Enjoy Issue Two of the new digital Serpentimes, and go and make the most of the opportunities provided by this wonderful club.
Thank you to the wonderful team behind Issue Two; all the authors who get their own credits and also our sub-editors Kirsty Mansfield, Sophie Cappleman, John Stoneman, Maria Puddu and Anoushka der Sarkissian. Also to Derry Lozano-Hoyland for providing unfailingly great tech design and support, and Andy Williams for helping on the final uploading.
James Edgar is editor of Serpentimes and has been a member of the club for a decade. His running style is ‘individual’ but that didn’t stop him completing the Bob Graham Round in 2012, his proudest Serpie achievement