Saturday, 7 September 2013

Xempo Performance Day 2013 #xempoday

Congratulations, you and Jacqueline are in!!! As soon as the email entered my inbox with those words in the subject line I was over the moon. Some weeks ago I had nominated my second cousin Jacqueline in the 'Hype A Runner' competition being run by Xempo. At the time I was unaware that should she get one of the winning slots that I too would get to participate in the prize - a Performance Day so double delight ensured when our place was secured and a huge thank you once again to everyone who voted for us.

It seems to create some level of embarrassment for Jacqui when reading my words so I will refrain from publishing them with the blog but needless to say I felt she was a very worthy winner as someone who came to running late and has embraced it for the same reasons that I love it.

We arrived very early and chatted in the car park for a while before going into the athletics centre, very nice it was too with an indoor and outdoor track. Signing in we were handed out goody bags, selected our new socks by size, a coconut water and heading over to collect our t-shirts. Once again, super delighted to fit in the orange category for sub 1:55 half marathoners as I love some bright kit so orange will be great for the winter. We had out pics taken, chatted to some other runners and then settled in our seats to hear the guest speakers. 

First up some of the nominators and nominees of the competition stood up and told their stories, all of which had an abundance of inspiration, admiration and emotion. It was so great to hear these stories of selflessness and determination from so many. Running, although a solo sport has brought together so many in friendship it is truly very inspiring. I could feel myself getting drawn back into the love of running and was determined I would be back on track and up to speed soon enough.

Then we were hit with words of wisdom and heaps of useful advice from experienced and world renowned (I think) coach Nick Anderson follwed by Scott Mitchell, Physiotherapist at his public speaking debut - the nerves were evident but he broke through the other side to give us some really useful information re training and avoiding injury.

Running hero - Steve Way
The delightful and highly entertaining Steve Way told us his story from overweight, 40 a day smoker, to amazing 2:19 marathon runner who has worn the GB vest. Although brooding and moody on his picture in the backdrop, he was such an effervescent character with a big childlike grin on his face throughout the day. He is making the step change into ultra running and I think he may well be my new running hero. Following Steve - possible a hard act to follow-  was Paul Martelletti, with a similar story to Steve. A man who lived hard and had little idea of his running ability who went on to run a 2:16 marathon... awesome!

We had a break for lunch where there were cheese rolls or geek that I am took a quinoa salad. Later in the afternoon we went out and hit the track while Nick and Scott took us through some mobilisation exercises and stretched before some running drills. Great to see that both Paul and Steve were also learning from the session and goodness knows what they could do with more work on technique when they are such strong runners already... the mind boggles.

We left the day, fully motivated, full of information and I was excited to get out and run and getting back to a plan I felt I could now stick to. A huge thank you to the organisers who were great, the day went off without a hitch and was a great prize. 
A short video has been put together of the day and can be seen here. A nice write up can also be found on the Xempo website blog page.

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