Name: Colin Barnett
I have been running for three years and have been competing for over two years now.
I started running due to mental health issues as I had an addiction to gambling and a tendency to abuse alcohol.
One day, after having gone through a rough patch with my addictions, my partner persuaded me to go out for a run. I went out for a couple of miles and when I returned the endorphins immediately kicked in and that was it.
As I gradually started building up the mileage, the addictions began to fade away. Running helped me cut back on the drinking, I stopped smoking and cured my gambling addiction.
I discovered that running gave me the same adrenaline rush I would get from gambling, but in a much more positive way. I was happier and easier to live with.
Running outside, it takes me away from everything. Just getting active and training hard, it makes me feel alive.
I usually try and run every day, if I need rest I will. I try to run anywhere from 50 - 70 miles a week if possible.
The highlight of my running career took place this year when I completed three ultra-marathons - known as the Triple Crown. They consist of the 53-mile Highland Fling, the 96-mile West Highland Way and the 42-mile Devil o’ the Highlands foot races. I completed all three in a combined time of 36 hours 20 minutes and 37 seconds. This made me the third-place finisher for this year’s Triple Crown.
A further highlight for me was being awarded an ActiveLife membership for a year as part of the Picky Sponsorship Programme. This felt like public recognition of my achievements so far, and belief in what I may yet achieve.
I am keen to work on my strength which will improve my overall fitness. I find that during my longer runs, I often fatigue at the end. Improving my all-around strength will make me a better runner.
Since starting the membership I’ve tried new classes such as Strength Circuits and HIIT Strength, classes I’ve never attended before, and I’m loving it. I also use the gym, track and pool.
I feel that the membership will make a real difference to my training regime and look forward to seeing what next year brings.
I never thought I would be a runner - so what I am achieving now is unbelievable. I’m so grateful for all the help and support I’ve received these past couple of years.