Runner Profile: Adrian “Ade” Goode
Thank you David Brewster for my nomination this month.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN!
I am an Ipswich boy born and bred and my school year’s spanned all of the 1970’s. A fantastic decade where we spent all of our free time outside playing in the street or ‘up the woods’.
I guess my earliest memories of running were on a “bath night” on a Sunday evening before school and being called in by my mum. I wasn’t a big fan of having my long 1970’s locks washed so she would have to chase me up the road to catch me. It wasn’t a problem for her as she was an ex-Ipswich Harriers athlete before starting a family.
HIGH SCHOOL/EARLY YEARS
I attended Westbourne “High school” as it was known back then. I wasn’t particularly academic (pretty average) but I enjoyed art, craft and photography.
Sport wise I wasn’t a great footballer/rugby player, I tried but lacked talent. One thing that I did find I had some ability at, was cross country running which I enjoyed the competitive side. In a cross-country race involving the whole year I came 8th. I remember being happy with that.
INTO THE 1980s
After leaving school in 1980 I didn’t really participate in any sport until the mid 80’s. When I did, I played the occasional game of football for Coddenham (sat on the bench mostly), plus badminton and tennis.
At Christchurch Park during Wimbledon fortnight, it was around 1986 that I started to get back into running. Firstly, with a mate then later with my Uncle Derek who was a member of Ipswich Jaffa. The next natural step was for me to also join my uncle at Ipswich Jaffa where I saw myself steadily improve in all distances up to half marathon. I was with Jaffa for a couple of years before changes in my life meant me losing interest and that was it for running for me for the time being.
Jumping forward a decade and into the new millennium, a bit of banter at work brought up the subject of running and how unfit we all were. One of my colleagues was a good runner and a member of Ipswich Jaffa. He was due to run in a new 5k race in Ipswich at Ransomes Europark the following Sunday. I confidently said that I could run it with no training. It was 20 years since I had last run at all – utter madness, right?
Sunday 21st July 2010 came around and I dressed for the race; t-shirt, shorts and a pair of Asics running shoes that I had last run in over 20 years earlier. They were definitely older than some of the other competitors toeing the start line. Amazingly I completed the race and without any walking at all. I was so sore for days afterwards, worse than I’ve ever felt and even after having run 10+ marathons and the SVP100km.
My eldest daughter Carly and later my youngest Kia were both members of Ipswich Harriers. I would take them training on a Tuesday and watch them train and then go home. This later changed however, when instead of just watching them, another dad and myself started running while our daughters trained. It then made sense that we both joined Harriers, a club that I could only have dreamed of being a member of when I was at school. While with them I competed on the track, road and cross country. Meanwhile, my daughters’ interest in running had waned as they discovered boys were more interesting and left the club. This was disappointing for me as they both had a talent for the sport.
PARKRUN & FRR
It’s April 2012 and I was going to be spending a weekend in Twickenham. I was told to bring my shorts and running shoes as there was an event happening in the park. This turned out to be something called ‘Bushy parkrun’; a free, weekly, timed event. What a fantastic idea! The park was already buzzing when we arrived with hundreds of people chatting, jogging and stretching before taking to the start line. I was in pretty good shape and gradually worked my way through the field. I eventually crossed the line in 105th place in a time of 20:58. There were an amazing 844 finishers. On my return home, one of the first things I did was search to see if there were any local to me. At that time there was no parkrun in Ipswich and the nearest parkruns were at Fritton Lake, Gorleston and Norwich. This didn’t change until the 8th September 2012 when Ipswich got its own parkrun. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to run at Ipswich until mid-December as I was recovering from shin splints.
It was at Ipswich parkrun that over the coming weeks and months that a certain Robin Harper became ‘that guy with the beard’ that I needed to get closer to and hopefully one day beat. Both of those things did happen but only if you count the time he was dressed in a red morph suit with virtually no visibility. I made a lot of friends at Ipswich in those early days but particularly with the FRR members. This led to a historic move for me from Ipswich Harriers to FRR sometime in the summer of 2014.
THE FRR YEARS
I remember my first club training session being somewhere around Gulpher Road and there were plenty of recognisable parkrun faces there, most of those are still members today.
I have competed for the club in all distances from 5k at the Twilight series, 5000 metres on the track right through to completing 100k at the 2016 SVP100. To date the SVP100 has to be my favourite race.
2016 was the year I found myself in a running ‘purple patch’ with PBs at:
- 10k (40:02) Little Bromley
- Half Marathon (1:28:45) Great Bentley
- Marathon (3:19:04) London
Unfortunately, I’ve been on a downward trajectory ever since.
Some other notable races for me would be the Snowdonia Trail Marathon which I have completed twice. The SVP50 (only half as good as the 100k) however, I ran/walked that with Kayleigh. It was her first ultra marathon and her encouragement from Stratford St Mary to the finish line was priceless.
How could I not mention the Round Norfolk Relay. I have been involved in it since I joined in 2014, firstly just running a stage then later co-organising it with the very much missed Ben Jacobs. We have spent so much time together driving round the rural lanes of Norfolk. This year’s RNR was a great event as usual but there was a certain emptiness in the air. We really missed you Ben ❤️
One thing that hasn’t been hit by my running funk is my love of parkrun and particularly touristing with Kayleigh. It was parkrun that brought us together and it has been a constant in our lives (covid pause apart). As I write this, I have done 355 parkruns including 81 different locations, well on the way to 100.
It’s been a testing year for all of us and personally my running mojo is at its lowest I’ve known it. However, this will have to change in the coming 9-10 months as I have entered the Outlaw full distance Triathlon that is being held on 28th July 2024. Triathlon is something that I am quite new to, having only done three; a sprint tri, Olympic distance and last year an Outlaw half. In at least two of these I was joined by fellow rookies, Dave Solomon and Ben Jacobs. We really were rookies with none of us being able to swim 25 metres front crawl in a pool only 6 months earlier.
Dave and Ben have both gone on to complete full distance Triathlons in Nottingham, something that I hope to achieve along with fellow FRR rookie Glen Mures and Jason Taylor (Gripper). For those of you that don’t already know, an Outlaw Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run.
“Wish me luck”
When I started writing this, I didn’t mean for it to turn into a bit of a novel but I’ve been running for a long time. Sorry 😀
So, I have a massive winter and early 2024 coming up. March next year sees me turn 60 which looks and sounds ridiculous. New age group though so who knows what that will bring. And remember #BeMoreBen
Right, all that’s left is my nomination for next month’s runner’s profile. Step up Mr Luke Whitwell.