Runner’s Story: Gareth Finlay
‘’Running makes me feel alive and helps fight my feelings of anxiety’’
Gareth Finlay, 44, from Ashton-U-Lyne, completed the full 2021 Tour of Tameside. After running all four races in the 2019 Tour of Tameside, Gareth signed up to complete the 2021 race weekend. With the tour on his doorstep, it seemed an obvious challenge to tackle in a bid to regain his confidence in running which he lost during the lockdown.
‘’I took part in the 2019 tour and really enjoyed it! I love meeting new people and seeing familiar faces. Crossing the finish line is definitely my favourite part of every race! The sensation you feel when crossing that line is a great one and it really keeps me motivated to stay on track and run!’’
We asked Gareth what training advice for others he had and why being active is important to him;
‘Firstly, believe in yourself. It’s important to know that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. My usual training programme would consist of running 10kms for two nights back to back and then push myself to complete 11miles. I always make sure I eat well the night before and two nights before the run I get a good night’s sleep – on the eve of the race I find I struggle to get my eight hours! Lastly, the first mile always lies, the run gets easier after you complete that first hurdle!’’
Before running the tour, Gareth hadn’t taken part in any competitive racing since before the first lockdown. Due to the lack of training and chances to get out and about meant that he finished last place in each of the races for 2021. But, this didn’t lessen his motivation to reach the finish line day after day.
‘’Running makes me feel alive and helps fight my feelings of anxiety. It allows me to clear my head and just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other! It makes every day different as opposed to doing the same repetitive things day in day out’’
Gareth is hoping to take part in the 2022 Tour of Tameside.
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