Richard Lord - Sport Inspired by You
As part of our new Sport Inspired by You campaign we have taken real life stories from athletes of all abilities to inspire the next generation of athletes. Sport is a great way to improve yourself both physically and mentally as well as a great way to make new friends. Many do often wonder how others got started or can be overwhelmed at the beginning stages. So let these stories show you how anyone can get involved and just how fun and exhilarating sport can be.
- How did you get started in running?
Before I took up running, I could never see myself as a runner. I played and coached Rugby League in the West Midlands before I relocated to West Yorkshire in 2010. After playing and being involved with team sports for so long I wanted to see what I could do personally with my own fitness. I set myself a challenge to be able to run the Liverpool 5k Santa Dash one year and set about building up my fitness to cope with plodding along the route in Liverpool City Centre dressed as Father Christmas. Once I had experience 'race' day, I was hooked. I wanted to take part in more events and to experience the camaraderie with other runners going through the same thing that I was. It was a great feeling.
As I started attending parkrun at Pontefract most weeks, I was inspired by not just the faster runners, but by the volunteers who cheerily supported and helped marshal the course week in and week out. Through them smiling and encouraging, it gave me a greater love for running and an increased feeling that I had something that I could give. I could help give hope and encouragement to other runners on their running journey. I came up with the phrase 'smiles through the miles' so to help remind others that we do this for fun, and that we should always remember we are blessed to be able to do what we love doing.
- What are your goals for 2019?
One goal I have this year is that I am looking to take on the Yorkshire Marathon in October 2019. This will be my fifth marathon and whilst they don't get any easier, the lure of the challenge kicks in once again! I am happily running socially at the moment at this time of year and taking in parkruns locally as well as running with Sweatshop Running Community at Castleford and with Pontefract Athletics Club, and training runs locally.
- Who/what has been your inspiration?
Other people have told me how I have inspired them through what I have achieved through my running over the years, but it is still the volunteers and marshals who help inspire me and hopefully continue help to inspire others as well. If we all give a little more than we receive, the world will be a better place.
I like to take selfies when I run or at races to record the great memories that we have and to celebrate being able to run with and around friends and friendly people. The running community is a friendly one and it is through this spirit of togetherness of social running that we are able to bring more people to taking those first few steps into running.