12 half-marathons in 12 months in memory of Dylan Howells

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In January, my mate and I decided we needed a long-lasting challenge that would ensure we were busy in 2017. We decided we would do 12 half marathons in 12 months. 

Finding events these days is easier than ever, but fitting them in is another thing! 

Our first run took us to Blackmore Vale in Dorset, 5th February, on a freezing cold day. The run was good and we trotted around together to get the first one off the list.

March was an interesting month, with 3 runs booked in for 3 weeks on the bounce. Firstly off to Colchester, Essex, 12th March, for another cold, but perfect running conditions, with friends from Essex. The New Forest tracks next, 18th March, across some splendid scenery and mud; but, a really friendly small event. For the third run this month it was off to Yeovil, 26th March, which was hilly and very busy. Another really well-organised and varied route which took in so much scenery.

Into April and we set off to Southampton, 23rd April, for a big running event. Some fabulous views over the river Itchen over the bridge, a real treat. 

In May we ended up doing the Casterbridge half in Dorchester, 28th May, with the White Star Running events – a real hoot and a very sociable event with perfect feed stations – with beer! Say no more, booked this again! 

In June a bit of a break, but July saw the aptly named ‘Dorset Invader’ near Blandford, 30th July, which was the longest half-marathon I’ve ever heard of at 14.5 miles. Very muddy, hilly and a very fun event.

The hilliest event was now upon us. The Camelot Challenge in Sherborne, 23rd September, seemed to take us on every hill in the vicinity, but great cake at the end! 

Nearer home brought us to Bournemouth, 8th October, on a very chilly but still day. Running on the headland and next to the beach was perfect. Great crowd participation too.

Double-figures and a back-to-back run; first Dorney Lake, 18th November, followed by Gosport the next day. In Dorney Lake it was even more special as my sister came and shouted me on, made my day! Wet, cold but at least it was level. A quick turn-around and off around Gosport. The views were splendid, running beside the Solent and with the weather clearing from the previous day we had done the double!

The last run, a festive half in Portsmouth, 17th December, and the Santa hat was on! The route took us through the harbour, muddy again, before the tide came in! Interesting route and more great views across the Solent. 

That was it, 12 done, over 150 miles covered and lots of training – not sure where 2017 went? A massive thanks to CRY for the support throughout. Really proud to have worn the CRY t-shirt and helped spread the word a little about the cause and such a great charity. This has all been in memory of my Brother-in-Law, Dylan, – so cruelly taken. also, my amazing sister who has been SO strong throughout – very proud of you Sis, you’re amazing! 

Andy Dallimore