This might be the most exciting thing has has ever happened to me…

Team SOAS photo of Tamsyn with the slogan "A year from now, you'll wish you had started today"

OMG OMG OMG! That was what went running through my mind when I opened up laptop this morning, but I didn’t have much time to ponder the contents of the SOAS Racing email that I had read as I was going to parkrun. Not just any parkrun, but Eastleigh parkrun, which has returned (for three weeks only) to its birthplace at Lakeside. It’s where my love for running started back in 2010. The picture below is one of the earliest pictures that exists of me running, and it was taken there!

Eastleigh parkrun August 2010
Eastleigh parkrun August 2010

Since then, I have returned to Lakeside during training runs and for open water swimming, but I’ve not often done 5k there.

Lakeside panorama
Lakeside panorama © Emily Smith

Wet parkrun

I had been hoping that it would be a dry day, not because I’m bothered about running in the rain, but because I know how easily the course at Lakeside gets churned up – it would be a shame if it is unable to go ahead for the next three weeks. Alas, it was not to be. It had rained steadily all night and was still raining when we got up. This meant that some areas of the course were under water and it was VERY muddy and slippery!

I ran with Lynda for a few hundred metres, which was good, as it was her 50th event. Then I met up with Ellie and ran with her for a while, before doing the last lap with James. That’s what I love about parkrun – it really is a social event that encourages runners of all ages and abilities to run together. However, for many people, it is a weekly chance to push themselves and this week was no exception. The Lordshill boys battled it out for the first six places. LRR marshal, Neil, managed to snap the speedy chaps part way around the lap:

Lakeside speedies
The fastest runners © Neil Garton

Post-run cuppa with friends

I didn’t want to push myself as I’m still struggling with sinusitis and I need to do a 13-mile run tomorrow, so I was happy to finish in 73rd place in 30:48. Afterwards, we went to the cafe to warm up with a cuppa. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to stop after parkrun, so I enjoyed catching up with a few other runners/triathletes.

LRRs enjoying a cuppa after parkrun
LRRs enjoying a cuppa after parkrun

I’m trying to avoid ‘junk miles’ this year, but sometimes it’s good for the soul just to get out and run with friends. I’ve signed up for Jantastic again this year, but I’m not setting myself hard targets as I don’t want to ruin my training by forcing myself to run when I don’t need or want to. I’m trying to educate myself to be a better runner and coach.

One of the books that is helping me with that aim is ‘Triathlon Science‘ by Joe Friel and Jim Vance – I’ll be sharing what I learn with you. I’ve also been reading ‘The Ghost Runner‘ by Bill Jones, which was one of Stu’s Christmas gifts (he’s a fast reader, so he finished it over a week ago). It’s a really interesting biography of John Tarrant, an amazing runner from yesteryear.

My exciting news

So… the news you’ve all been waiting for. This is what I saw in my inbox this morning:

Congratulations! You have been selected for the SOAS Racing 2014 Brand Ambassador Team.

How exciting is that?! I applied a while ago and am absolutely ecstatic that I have been selected. It’s a brilliant opportunity for me to work with a brand whose values I identify with. I’m also looking forward to connecting with some of the other team members this year.

So what does it mean for you? Well, I am hoping to be an even more conscientious blogger, as well as being more active on Twitter. I’m also going to make an extra effort to take my camera/phone with me to events (and use it)! Oh yes, and you’re going to be seeing me wearing some awesome kit that is comfortable and attractive… and it all matches 😀

If you haven’t heard about the brand before, please visit their website: and their blog:

5 Responses

  1. Well done! That’s amazing 🙂 Slightly off topic… but that Cafe you visited was where I had my first ever weekend job when I was 16!

    • Ha ha! I bet you’re glad you went to college and uni, otherwise you might have had to spend the rest of your life there! When the door is open, it is one of the coldest places I know!

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