Event-starved Novocastrians may have been celebrating last week with news of a new running race for the community calendar.
I use the word race loosely because for many it will merely be a chance to test themselves after months of lockdown and a barren stretch of cancelled event after cancelled event.
Signing up for a fitness event is a fantastic way to add some motivation to your training program. It gives you a clear goal and time frame to work with. You can gradually increase your training workload over time to the distance you have entered. For first-timers this may be geared around just completing the course. For the more experienced a personal best time might be the focus.
H Events announced last week they would host Recovery Run Newcastle around the harbour foreshore on November 14. Distances on offer are five kilometres and 10km but entrants must be double vaccinated against coronavirus.
The course is flat and a good entry point for those who may have taken up running or walking during lockdown life. You could test yourself on the flat then look for a further challenge in the new year with NewRun's Herald Hill2Harbour 10km on April 3 next year.
Recovery Run Newcastle is not the only new event to hit the city's shores. H Events will also stage a triathlon, to be supported by City of Newcastle, at Stockton in February next year.
The annual Sparke Helmore Newcastle City Tri around the Newcastle harbour foreshore is usually held in February but has been rescheduled until November next year.
H Events director Paul Humphreys said the move opened up the opportunity to offer a triathlon in Stockton in February instead.
The Stockton event will be held over three days from February 4 to 6, starting with a fun run on the Friday evening, an aquathlon (swim and run) on the Saturday morning and two triathlon events on the Sunday. They will be a sprint distance course of 750-metre swim, 20km bike and 5km run, and an Olympic course with all distances doubled.
"We're making it a three-day festival," Mr Humphreys said. "It's a flat course, so the sprint distance should suit novices, but there is something for all levels."
Flat means fast for the diehards as well as a comfortable introduction to triathlon for beginners.
The beauty of triathlon events is that you can do them solo or in a team. My first triathlon was as part of a team with a work colleague. I did the swim and run leg with a welcome rest in between cheering him through the bike leg. It gave me the confidence to go back the following couple of years and try the full event on my own, albeit the shortest course available.
It is just over three months away, which provides ample time to train up for the swim, cycle or run, or perhaps all three.
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Renee Valentine is a journalist, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.
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