The Bolton Abbey Half

Again a really fun race this year. I met a member of Didsbury runners who recently moved to Skipton and with Mum and Dad went up to Bolton Abbey pavilion for the start. The organisers made a lot of improvements this year, although the main road to the event was closed there were no queues of cars to get in.

The event had more going before the start too with hot food and drinks available and also bumped into the Physiotherapists  Mark and Katy (Paragon physiotherapty and KT Fitness) who helped me to run correctly this time last year. We talked about things and I told them I had changed my name to Sofie and they were really happy for me. It was super nice to see them.

It was actually this event that led me to seeing them in the first place, I got lucky this time last year. My knee had swollen and I noticed 2 days before the race that it was making clicking sounds. Queue searching for a physio in Skipton who could see me short notice, initially to advise on weather to run it or not, and when I saw they did the run-right training I signed up to that too. Seeing I only started running at the beginning of 2017, I guess that means I have now been running for longer with good form than I have with bad form . I intend to make a separate post about this.

Thankfully it was quite mild compared to last year, into the starting pen, and after 2 minutes silence for Armistace we were off. The course had been altered compared to last year and this time the HM ran from the pavillion to the stepping stones, over the bridge and back. It was quite fun actually as the path drops off on the river side and makes you feel like you are going super fast like a rally driver. 

We then get back to the pavilion and the real hills start, I think there’s almost 700m of climb on this course. Mainly from one hill but you run up it 2 different ways… its beautiful

Another improvement this year is where organisers have put gates into the dry stone wall, where last year there were 15 minute queues at styles. This was on a very steep descent.

I was soo hoping I would be Sofie on the racing bib but the curse struck again. I was in for a real chance as I had contacted the race director when she asked if anyone wanted to change their name but it mustn’t have gone through. By the way the race director was great if any other trans runners decided to go.

The half marathon route joins back up with the 10k and 10 mile routes at various points where it can be an issue to overtake, so there were points where I am running through heather bushes to get past people, but this just adds to the course.

We cross poo bridge at the bottom of the descent and run back to the pavilion through strid wood. It is so nice running through a place I have only ever walked through with my grandparents before, and being proud of walking the red routes, now I am running them.

Out of strid wood and back to the pavilion.

This is the point where the 10mile and 10k race finish, and the HM goes back up the massive hill  from the start, although on a different more scenic route. I remember having the same experience as last year, almost out of body. It is so quiet and I felt something powerful up there. 

At this point I was concerned my legs were going to tire too much on the uphills and I would have to walk, but I made it in the end. Would definitely have benefited from more hill training and more long runs, but I have been relaxed since the great north run and am really happy with how it went at this race. Last year with style queues (read: jumping over dry stone walls) and getting stuck behind a 4×4 at the finish, I ran it in 1:58:06 and came 44th. This year I managed to do it in 1:52:39. I would say the course was a little harder but not by much. I am extremely happy with my position, 16th, next time I need to start nearer the front! Looking at the results on strava later taught me something, next time I am going to go for a mile PB on that last downhill, I thought I was going fast but go FASTER!!! Something fun to look forwards to next time.

Again I prove that running a tough HM makes it look like your face is falling off.

Love you all X

2018 Results

2017 Results

The GNR, Manchester Half Marathon and Relays race update

So I promised a race update, and well I have done 3 races now including the Great North Run, the Manchester Half Marathon and the Manchester Relays (6 by 3.01km)

The Great North Run (GNR)


Thankfully my parents came to  watch the GNR so getting there wasn’t too stressful. We stayed in a hotel and used the trams and taxis for transport. Otherwise I would have found it hard to get there, I had organised to stay at the sleepover in the city, but didn’t know how I would collect all my stuff after the race etc.


There were so many people, 57,000 runners! I’ve already talked about this one on facebook, it was hot and hilly and great fun. I was close to the front as that is where the 1:35:00 pacer was, not sure why they do that, but he was right next to the 1:30 pacer also. In the end I can say I was only 27 seconds behind Mo Farah, at the start… and a bit further behind (only 35 mins or so) at the end. I was really happy with my time, definitely gave everything on this race, had to drink a lot on route as felt like I was baking, but the training over summer paid off as I wasn’t too badly effected in the end.


I used the ph spelling for Sofie, hadn’t quite settled on the name at this point! Underneath was Joseph though, quite formal but I couldn’t run with it.

Super happy with the time given the conditions, and really happy getting 1058th!


The Manchester Half Marathon

I had been in a low mood for about 2 weeks before this one and it had stopped me from doing some running and training. I wasn’t really sure if I was even going to go or not. I got a lot of encouraging messages from friends at the running club to go and decided to act to myself as if I was going to go, setting an alarm, getting my running gear ready etc, which is usually enough to get me to the start line. It got me to about 10k when I just wanted to go home but by then I figured the quickest way back was to get to the finishing line. It wasn’t a good effort on my part, I hadn’t carbed up or prepared for it but I was surprised with my time. Just about 1 minute 30 seconds slower than last year and I had walked for a minute whilst mentally screaming at myself.


My pace dropped after 5k, and you can see how I signed up as Jo this time, instead of Joseph at the GNR, so I didn’t feel the need to modify the bib this time. Bear in mind I signed up for these last year, hence the Joseph at the GNR and Jo here.

Also my position dropped quite a bit, the reverse of last year, although I did intend to go under 1:35 so I think I started in the right area, In the end I wasn’t there mentally, I also think my muscles were quite tight from not running much and not stretching in the week before the race. Which I could feel because I was having to take more steps per minute to keep the speed going.

It was awesome to see Jose and Oscar and heard Margot on other side of road. And also didsbury runners were doing marshalling towards the end and was really good to hear them shouting “go Sofie!”. That is probably the reason I kept some speed, really lucky to be with them. It really feels good to have changed my name 😀


The 52nd Manchester Relays


This is a really fun one, I did this last year also, everyone should do this and the Manchester Mile even if you have never run. Didsbury runners put two teams in again for a 6×3.01k relay race. There is a mix of ultra fast and slower runners and it’s very laid back. The fast ones tend to be students from all over the country who then have a night out in Manchester. Its quite interesting to see how things develop and you get to run the race and cheer others on at the same race. I was really happy with the time too! I think that’s a 3k PB and about 1 minute faster than last year.



Also this was my first race run as Sofie Lewis which was awesome! Although there were a few issues with names but I’ll take it. Could end up being an in joke that I always run under the wrong name.


You might not be able to spot me in this picture as I am extremely well camouflaged.


I have been doing less running than usual for a few weeks now, I think that it could be good in the long run. The “break” was mainly due to feeling low rather than being an injury so I have run enough to maintain fitness. Now I have regrouped I can head into marathon training over the winter and be stronger for it. Next up I have the Bolton Abbey Half Marathon on 11/11 (next Sunday) definitely haven’t done enough long runs but going to go and enjoy it, I should be able to beat last years time which was just under 2 hours, it looks as if the route has changed a bit too so who knows. I asked the race director to change my name to Sofie as they will be printed on the bibs this year, so could be a first! Fingers crossed 😀


Post GRA mental exhaustion

This is the scary reality, people are choosing to create a hell on Earth. I keep hearing people in the UK saying “Trump is OK”, or “I respect trump” it sends shivers up my spine. I remember wondering how evil dictators got into power and I believe we have seen it start in America when trump got in. People need to wake up, all he wants is to remain in power, he doesn’t care about anybody but if people are willing to follow the school bully and swallow the hatred pill and let it make everything OK because they can blame one set of people for the complex problems of life. But it will come for everyone in the end.
Was actually surprised to see this reported at all on the BBC, even though it’s buried. The media coverage on trans issues since the GRA consultation has been extremely upsetting and depressing. I have heard this from many other transgender people too who are feeling exhausted, depressed or numb. Even discounting papers like the daily mail It has been at worst the media calling us rapists, or trans females as “men in dresses” or now a popular way for the BBC to dismiss a transgender human being is to label them a “Trans activist”. It has been completely uninformed such as EVEN the guardians view on the GRA consultation, which alarmingly seemed to be in favour of setting back the equality act. Although it has now been edited to remove a lot of the confusion/misinformation. A lot of the voices in this get to come in, claim they are being silenced for the 27th time on the BBC, whilst on the podium for the 27th time saying trans women are men, criminals, rapists etc and then they go about their lives. Meanwhile we leave the house and get even more abuse and things thrown at us, murdered, or commit suicide.
It has been absolutely shameful and I am glad it will be recorded for the future to look back on in disbelief.
I believe if another Trump ran for PM in either Labour or Conservatives in the UK they would be voted in over here too. It feels like society is on very thin ice. The thing to remember is for things to get better people have to change, they won’t just disappear and that means talking to them.
I knew Trump was bad before the election and I have long since stopped being shocked at what he does, he doesn’t reach a new low for me he has been as bad as they gets since he got in, he has a clear objective, to stay in power and is doing it by whipping up hatred and spending human progress instead of money. Lets hope people have woken up and vote for a future in the mid terms, the damage is already affecting countries worldwide as it has given legitimacy to hate and violence.
Also in brighter trans related news, if you get chance, check out the ITV show Butterfly It’s supposed to be very good!
I do have a running post coming up I promise 😀 and yes I am preaching to the converted, yes Trump isn’t just focussing on transgender people.