2018 for The Urban Challenger

So I thought that 2017 was pretty big having achieved a lot more then I knew I was capable of in terms of Obstacle Course Racing and running events. But me being me…slightly crazy and always trying to push myself to the limits of my endurance and abilities, I set the bar pretty high in terms of my 2018 goals. To really see if I actually achieved anything, here is a quick list of the goals I set for this year and how they went!

Goals set for 2018

Complete a marathon
So my first goal for the year and one that was a massive leap in both my running and my endurance was to complete my first ever marathon. Sub 4 hours seemed pretty far fetched as I didn’t consider myself a particularly fast runner, so I set a smart goal of 4hr30m. As apprehensive as I was going into this event (especially as the furthest I had run up until that point was just over half marathon distance) I couldn’t wait to start my year of Endurance with such a remarkable feat. It was long and arduous, but finishing with a time of 4:12:25 was a big achievement for me.

Get a Spartan Endurance Trifecta

So this was my most sought after achievement for 2018 by far! Completing the Hurricane Heat, the HH12HR and the Spartan Ultra is no easy task (check out how I did). Grit and determination were required and with an amazing team throughout all 3 events, I managed to bag my most loved medal (I mean have you seen the Ultra belt buckle, it’s awesome) and get the recognition very few Spartan racers will get. Taking a step away from the core races and doing something completely different taught me how much I actually have in the tank and what attitude and positivity can get you through.

Europe’s Toughest Mudder

This was something that I just needed to try. An 8 hour event where you run as many 5 mile laps as possible, in the freezing cold with obstacles. Sounded great for my year of Endurance and all in all it was a brilliant event. I did fall short of my 30 mile goal, but getting my 25 mile patch was a good achievement for my first night event on no sleep. Great experience running in a wetsuit strictly for warmth (Artic Enema at 3am is no laughing matter!).

Races
Along with the endurance races I had also managed another 2xTRIFECTA completing a further 9 Spartan races. I managed to get up to my 8x Tough Mudder Headband completing races with both Team Trek and Black Tower Wines which was awesome; Plus this was a big jump on doing the 3 Tough Mudder events I had intended so I was pretty pleased with that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to do any Nuclear Races! I managed to volunteer the Rush event which made me even more jealous that I couldn’t run it, but I am determined to be able to soon!
I had quite a year with road races as well, especially in preparation for the Brighton Marathon. I managed to complete The Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon, The London Big Half and The London Landmarks Half Marathon which is probably my favourite half to date (nothing to do with achieving a PB…I promise). Countless 10km races including loads of RunThrough London events, The Uniqlo 10k and 2 Adidas City Runs. I achieved personal bests in every distance I attempted and really proved that coming out of injury won’t completely derail your progress.

Run Distance

I did have the goal of running an overall distance of 500km+ which I think I have achieved, but as far as goals go, its one that I lost focus on, just as I felt it didn’t have any bearing on my actual progress and it stopped meaning anything to me as the year progressed. Reevaluating your goals is a part of goal setting right?
My Overall Fitness
I believe that I became an all around better athlete in 2018. After my ankle injury at the end of 2017, I had no choice but to become a better runner. With aids such as physio therapy, adidas runners London and track sessions, my running ability got better. I took up Bouldering as often as I could which I love. Its great for grip and increasing that forearm strength as well as all of its other fitness benefits (learning how to climb up if the floor becomes lava). I did set the goal of swimming and cycling more (dreams of a Triathlon) but that never happened unfortunately. I could blame time restraints but that’s just lazy. My focus was elsewhere.

Overall
2018 has been bigger, better and more challenging then last year and I have managed to do some amazing things in the world of road running and OCR! I have met some amazing people on and off course and some of them have helped me through the toughest moments. I’m sure that I will see these guys next season and we will all achieve more great things together.
As with all good things, the journey doesn’t need to stop there! I plan to do some BIG challenges next year and with the goals I have in mind, it is very exciting. Stay tuned on theurbanchallenger.com for more and thanks for reading!
How did your goals for this year go? Did you achieve everything you aimed to? Were there any goals you missed? Are there any goals you needed to reevaluate? Let me know in the comments below and thanks again!

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