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Holly Harper. What's your end game?

Written by George Fisher

Image for article Holly Harper. What's your end game?

‘What’s your end game?’ - a friend asked me discussing our goals in running over a post exam brunch, feeling rather uninspired and full of brunch; I plumbed for a decent pb: ‘maybe a sub 1:30 half marathon or a sub 40 10K?’ My pb’s are currently 1:31:11 and 41:19 respectively.

But it got me thinking- what is my end game? Why do I run? And what is it that I personally need to achieve in running? Because facing it, if I really really wanted to break those pb’s I set aged 17, surely I’d have chased them by now?

But what is that one goal I just couldn’t hang up my trainers up with pride without completing? I know at 20 I’m maybe getting a little ahead of myself, and I’m not near ready to hang my trainers up- (I will at least get those pb’s in first...).

And then it hit me- the round. I set my eyes on the Bob Graham Round when I was 17 after Jasmine Paris’ female record crushing 15hr 23 minute round. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to go crush any records, for me, it’s a more personal goal. I’d be happy to finish, let alone a sub 24hr.

After a bout of patella tendinitis that October- February 2017, training for a road marathon the coming April, followed by A-levels, my mother passing away and the subsequent months of grief, going to university and starting new sports, the round seemed to loose its urgency for me. But remained in the back of my mind as that thing I never finished, or even attempted, and it eats me up.

Since being back for summer and getting out on the legs again I realised they mean so much more to me than just training, being on the fells has, and continues to give me the clarity and headspace I’ve needed to make it through some of the darkest and overcast times of my life; but if I’m going to do the legs anyway, I may as well commit to making this the year I finally put that attempt in... Right?

I was told the round was an unrealistic goal for me at 17, and maybe it still is at 20, we’ll see. So, what’s your end game?