A long, hard slog of a year...

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David Coulter during the Mad March Mare.
David Coulter during the Mad March Mare.

"ALMOST 12 months ago, I threw on a pair of tights for the first time (honest!) and did something I never thought I would ever do.

"For I was one of the 800 plus people to wade through glooping mud and ice cold streams and lakes all in the name of physical activity. I know, sounds far-fetched doesn't it.

"I enjoyed Challenge Northumberland's Checkatrade Mad March Mare, a 10km mud run through and around the beautiful setting of Hexham Racecourse, so much in 2016 that I am registered and raring to tackle the course again when it returns on March 4.

"The prospect of scurrying through mud-drenched tunnels, clambering over tyre walls and ducking and diving under fallen trees has again pulled me in, and I cannot wait.

"But this year, it has inspired me to go that extra mile this year and I'm planning on 2017 being a big year, personally.

"For my latest bright idea (!) is to compete in as many local sporting events as possible throughout the year, the Mad March kickstarting the programme.

"Another repeat performance for me will be the Simplyhealth Great North Run on September 10 as my place is guaranteed in the world's largest half marathon, with thanks to the organisers Great Run Company.

"The aim is to fit in runs in between, and perhaps after the GNR too, in a big bid to get myself fit once and for all.

"Well always having a general level of fitness, and enjoying exercise on a moderate level, I've been spurred on to up my efforts this year.

"I hit a real low point in December when I dislocated my shoulder for the fourth time, and I don't mind admitting I took it badly and started to mope about in my miserable state.

"I'm now on the waiting list for a shoulder operation, and the indication is I could be waiting for up to 12 months, so I'm trying to turn the time in between into something positive.

"I was bitten again by the running bug when I took part in the Prudhoe Riverside parkrun launch in November, and it has continued through my injury and I'm now out at 5.30am every other morning. I plan to return to the Prudhoe excellent, free, parkrun at some point, and the one year anniversary is a must attend!

"While competing in the various events, I would be open to 'guesting' for local clubs if they wished to get their profile out there too.

"I'll be sure to let you all know how I get on as we go on. Hopefully, you'll all be sick of me come December!"

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