As Father’s Day is only around the corner, Daddies Escape blogger, Peter tells us more about what Daddies Escape do and how it was founded. So over to you Peter…
I thought it best to describe Daddies Escape from my own perspective as someone who joined a few months after the group was started. The original three who started the group are Liam, Shaun and Frankie although they kindly consider me as a founder member also.
Like many runners, I have more than a passing interest in coffee and where I live in Denton there is a Costa. I would regularly go in and just got chatting to a barista called Frankie Yan. As I was regularly entering races, I kept on seeing Frankie at different events and we always found time to exchange a handshake at the end. Up to this point, I had ran on my own for over 6 years and when Frankie said that he was in a running group with some friends and asked me to join, I can admit to feeling a little daunted at first as I thought I might be out of my depth and slow compared to the others.
Our first run was early one cold morning in winter of 2016 and we had arranged to meet at Flowery Fields railway station in Newton. I met Frankie then Liam and Shaun arrived to join us. It was handshakes all round and everyone was really welcoming. We did a road route that was probably about 10K and all the way round; I had nothing but support and encouragement. We chatted about life, family, a few jokes and general banter which I’d never had before and the miles seem to disappear. Either I managed to keep up or they all slowed down for me but there was never a time, nor has there been since a time, when anyone has commented on pace. It is an unwritten rule that we are supportive before competitive; friends before opponents.
This is unique and a main driver why people seem to join us; there is never any criticism about speed, times or pace. Having said this, by enjoying your running more, your times drop and you automatically improve. The overwhelming ingredient is encouragement. Some run occasionally, some never seem to stop. This latter category is especially true for Liam and Shaun who both have unique life-transforming stories to tell but I will leave it to them to tell you.
We don’t have a running agenda as such or a regular time or night. Once you join the group, your mobile number is added onto the Daddies Escape WhatsApp group and then if you are going for a run, you just post it to the group and more than often than not, there will be someone who wants to join you, regardless of the weather or time. This last winter, we regularly met up for four mile runs in the mornings before work then a quick coffee and you’re all set up for the day.
“We enter a LOT of races. On race day, we generally run our own races and meet at the end so there is no pressure if ‘you’re not feeling it’ on the day. Equally, if you want to try for a PB, there will be someone who will help to get you under it and push you. Again, this is not something that has to be worked at as its the heart of who we are and what we are about. We car-share and travel together and the road trips are especially fun; notably the Great North Run and Chester Marathon (see these blog posts on the Daddies Escape blog at: http://www.daddiesescape.wordpress.com)“
Being dads, we all understand that there will be times when we can’t get out due to work or kids and again, never a word is said as we all understand the demands. They will just be glad to see you when you next find time to go out. For me, May and June are difficult months to find time to run as I work in education and that’s when the workload is highest for me. Still, the WhatsApp Messenger keeps pinging to keep me up to date.
From the original three, the club has now grown. We have a large number of followers on our Strava club and for the people who run in our colours, there are about 16 people although I may be way out with this number, I think it could be more!
“I cannot understate the extra level of enjoyment you get from running with supportive friends.”
I cannot understate the extra level enjoyment you get from running with supportive friends.
I can honestly say the hardest part is trying to run when laughing. Personally, every race time has dropped since I began running with the ‘Daddies’. I am fitter, happier and lighter than I was two years ago and cannot thank this bunch enough for inviting me.
If you run alone or want to get into race events and really enjoy running with supportive friends, come along and try a run with us.
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