Poem: The Trails, They Are Calling Me

the trails they are calling me
where the trees form a canopy
dancing sunlight and shadows
Narrow pathways and meadows

the trails they are calling me
along the river, mountains to sea
rocks and roots, senses fully aware
damp soil afoot and soothing cool air

the trails they are calling me
to connect with wildlife running free
a fox here, an opossum there
eyes locked in a stag’s stare

the trails they are calling me
to enjoy being lost momentarily
to breathe in deep the serenity
the trails they are calling me

Alastair Vance, 23 May 2019

Why do you run, Dillon Partin?

About Dillon

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

I knew Dillon before I even started running, and before I knew that he was a runner.

We used to play in a band together now and again. He is a phenomenal bass player and you should definitely catch him live, in one of the many bands he plays in! I always loved the chance to make music with him.

I think one of the first events I bumped into him was the Race Across Durham. Turns out we both love trail running. Since then we’ve met at several different races.

Continue reading “Why do you run, Dillon Partin?”

Why do you run, Thelma Fitzgerald?

About Thelma

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

I remember the morning Thelma turned up to run with MRC. It didn’t take more than one word from her for me to work out she came from Ireland, like myself.

Thelma trained with us when we were preparing for the Tobacco Marathon, even though she only planned to run the half. She would turn up for training runs, intending only to run 8-9 miles, and run 18 with the group. 🙂

When are you running a marathon, Thelma?!

Continue reading “Why do you run, Thelma Fitzgerald?”

I’m taking off my boot and streaking!

Have you ever participated in a run streak? I haven’t, but that is changing from tomorrow. Along with my wife, Liz, a load of my running friends, and of course my BibRave family, I will be running at least one mile every day in May!

We want YOU to join us! All you need to do is log your run (or walk) on Strava and join the BibRave Run Club Strava group. Get YOUR friends involved too for some local support! I know it’s generating quite a bit of excitement among my running buddies.

I’m soooo looking forward to it to be honest, and a little nervous at the same time. I just got out of my aircast boot at the weekend. I had to wear it for 30 days to allow my peroneal tendon to heal after injuring it while training.

I’ll be taking it real easy starting out, to ensure I don’t end up back in the boot. My eventual aim is to get back to my regular 22-25 miles a week.

The most consecutive days I’ve ran without a break is around 8-9, so this will definitely be a challenge, but it couldn’t have come along at a better time.

So, are you in? If you post your runs to Instagram or Twitter also, you can use the tags #StravaRun and #BibChat.

Why do you run, AJ?

About AJ

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

AJ has been running with our run club (MRC) for a couple of years now. He never runs without his headphones, even on more relaxed training runs. It always takes a few roars from fellow runners to get his attention.

I remember when AJ started running with us, his wife had given birth only a few weeks before. We often remarked he was either trying to dodge baby duty, or the baby was waking him early enough to join us.

Continue reading “Why do you run, AJ?”

POEM: We’ve Trained For This

despite the fears that cloud our minds
despite the doubts that try to blind
despite the aches that hinder our stride
I know we’ve trained for this

we’ve gone the distance and felt the wall
we’ve supported each other through it all
we’ll finish strong you can bet that for sure
cause I know we’ve trained for this

we were burnt by the sun and beat by the rain
we even did some running in a hurricane
there were days so cold that our fingers froze
so I know we’ve trained for this

our families encouraged us through each training day
without their support we’d only make it half way
twenty-six point two is some serious mileage
but I know, and they know, we’ve trained for this


Alastair Vance, March 14th, 2019

POEM: ROCK N ROLL RALEIGH (2018)

On Sunday past
I went for a dally
Up and over
the hills of Raleigh
The songs that played
were new and old
It was fun to run a
Rock n Roll

The streets were lined
with smiling faces
As runners whisked by
at their own paces
Most hoping to crush
their personal best
With no pressure at all
to run past the rest

As cold a race
I cannot remember
Twice-as-cold as a race
I ran in December
But tell me this
before I go any further
Who can predict
NC’s crazy weather?

My second Half Marathon
is now in the books
And I’m fairly happy
with the time that I took
It was definitely way more hilly
than Tobacco Road
But I’d been expecting worse
based on what I’d been told

It saddens me now
to see the race leave
As running it faster
is something I perceive
Me doing next year
if given the shot
But it’s not to be
chance of that is nought


Alastair Vance, April 14th, 2018