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A welcome to Fly 5k, and reflections at nearly 25.

Hi everyone,


As the membership of Fly 5k has grown a bit over the last couple of weeks, and we approach our 25th event this Saturday, it seems like a good time to say a proper welcome to our newest members and recap on where we came from and what Fly 5k hopefully provides.


For me personally, Fly 5k started off as something regular to look forward to on a Saturday. It was about having a reason to (try to) run my own version of fast, and taking part in an event with people I knew. But also, and more and more since our first event on 6th June, it’s become about the fun of making lots of new connections, seeing people getting to know each other, providing bucket loads of support and motivation to each other every week, and being inspired by others efforts, as well as sharing a few laughs. I know a lot of us feel the same way.


I also know that pushing yourself for a time isn’t everyone’s motivation. Just getting out and enjoying a run, and being able to share it with others, perhaps even actually running with others, is special in 2020.


Someone last week said they felt they couldn’t possibly compete with the remarkable times of the runners at the front of the Fly 5k pack, whilst another said it was exciting to be on the same race sheet as them! Both agreed they loved the group.


We do have some very fast runners taking part each week, and I love that. Equally we’re not all going to get selected for the World Athletics Champs, but we do all hopefully get a buzz out of running, and that’s what counts. I love seeing everyone’s times, and especially the excitement of a Fly 5k PB or better still a lifetime PB. We’ve had loads of those since June! As well as plenty of first ever 5ks, several birthday Fly 5ks and even a wedding day morning Fly 5k!


We have ex club mates who’ve emigrated and can now race with us again, and friends and family members who may never be in the same “real” races but can share a race with Fly 5k. This is not a virtual race by the way. The effort is 100% real!


We can also be more outward looking, with the inter club competition every few weeks allowing us to compete in a way that perhaps our own club activities and virtual leagues may not at this time.


And of course, you get to see where your efforts have placed you in the results, as well as all those stats to analyse!


We can’t all run together in real life very easily right now, but we can do it together here, and we’re great at supporting each other, it’s such a positive and friendly group.


I was thinking last night, to a newcomer this may seem like a very random bunch of faces. A lot of the founding Fly 5k members are from my running club so we knew each other already. Whilst it was always the intention to grow, someone then invited 100 of their closest friends all at once, and a feeling of terror came over me!... but it steadily grew from there, and in a really good way. Over time I hope you’ll feel like part of a tight knit group, the Fly 5k family! Drawn from over 70 different running clubs in total, and those in the “not in a running club” club! There are plenty of people here who take part week in week out who I’ve never met, but I feel I know them now. And we’re a very mixed bunch, with runners from under ten years old to 80!


As we hit the perhaps intimidating looking number of 1.0K members in the Facebook group (over 1,100 Fly 5k members in total), it’s worth remembering that each one of those people is just you, someone you know, or someone who has the same passion as you who you haven’t met yet!


So I hope you’re still having fun and enjoying Fly 5k if you’re a long time member, and that you’ll enjoy being part of the family if you’ve recently joined, and you’re very welcome.

Finally, over the last few weeks we’ve moved to having different hosts / race directors each week, and I’m so thankful to Ruth, Steve, Paul, Kate and Heather who are all amazing, thank you, and to Dom Reed who was the first person who said I should do this when I asked, and has been supportive ever since, helping as a group moderator and host too.


Thanks to everyone who has encouraged their friends and running club mates to join us, and to you all for making Fly 5k such a great event each week.


Cheers for now, and roll on Saturday!


Graham

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