Hello Runners!

My name is Richard Jackson-Hookins and I'm a keen runner from Dinas Powys.

This is my first blog post so I’ll start with a bit about me, why I run and also how running has helped me. Hopefully this will inspire some of you thinking about running to give it a go.

I'd describe myself as a competitive club runner of a fairly good standard that constantly seeks to improve to the highest level possible. You could call me a PB seeker! I’m reasonably happy with my standard of running at the moment. There’s definitely bigger improvements to come but I'm under no illusion that although I'm at a decent club standard, there are much better runners, faster runners out there that reach much higher levels that I could only dream about - and that’s one of the good things about running.

So Why I Run

I’ve been running since May 2012 and I run for my local club Penarth and Dinas Runners.
I started running quite spontaneously after years of not much physical activity apart from the odd game of 5 aside football or occasional bike ride.

In my younger years, I played a lot of sport. I played ice hockey for the junior Cardiff teams and I was also selected to play for the Great Britain Ice-Hockey teams including under 14's, under 16's and under 19's age categories. Ice hockey held my love and passion and it held my true talent. I turned my back on ice-hockey because at the time professional salaries were limited, the constant long coach trips every weekend were horrendous (you don’t get that with running) and I faced the typical distractions of a young 19-year-old lad. Turning my back on this sport was something I look back on with regret, but taking up running over 10 years later brought me a new passion.

Since I've been a club runner the drive to succeed has returned, and I still get that competitive buzz that was present in my younger years playing hockey. Of course, my running achievements will always be limited in comparison to my days as a teenager playing the game I loved so much, but the successes I do have now in running are so satisfying, because I know just how hard I have to work to achieve them. Running filled a huge void in my life and I'm very grateful for that. Running made me feel happy, it gave me structure and it showed me that it was fun to compete again. I’ve made new friends, discovered a fun new sport and I really enjoy the training and competing.

I personally enjoy the competitive side of running, but running offers much more than just racing. There are lots of different clubs or groups out there to join, they all offer good training but also great social opportunities. You can make new friends, enjoy a shared passion and get fit and healthy at the same time.

Is running for you?

  • Would you like to get fit?
  • Would you like to make new friends?
  • Do you enjoy pushing yourself?
  • Do you enjoy structure to your life?
  • Are you looking to fill a void in your life?
  • Do you want to drop weight or trim up?
  • Giving up smoking?
  • Trying to get healthy?
  • New year’s resolution?
  • Want a new hobby?
  • Would you like to discover a running community that is friendly and welcoming?

If you answer YES to any of the above, give running a try – you might like it.

I never thought I would enjoy running, but becoming a runner was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Running truly is a great activity that offers something for everyone no matter what your ability. From youngsters to super vets, fast or slow - it caters for all.

Happy running everyone!