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What do you want from your running hub?

Dearly beloved runners,

My heart is warmed to see our congregation of runners growing on a weekly basis. I am grateful for the following and can only presume that what we are trying to achieve here at the Run Venture Running Hub is what you require, and what you would want from a local running shop/ café/ advice centre.

To that end I want to know what it is you want from us?

You wanted more road running shoes and so we obliged; you wanted certain branded nutrition and we obliged.

I tend to stock what I believe to be good, fit for purpose and what I would want from my local running store. However, just because I don’t like a brand, piece of kit or running shoe doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stock it.

I like to personally test where possible all the products we stock to be able to comment first hand on what the qualities and deficiencies are. Failing that, I get the staff and ambassadors to test kit for me.

We have tried to build a place that is your happy place - as a runner and as a member of the wider running community. We sort of want you to feel like this is your second front room... but no slippers please!

We all run for different reasons - from fitness and weight management, to being part of a family. I used to run for competition, my career and now more recently for mental wellbeing.

On my return from a recent pilgrimage to the National Memorial Arboretum, a recovery and reflective run was exactly the antidote for my mood, as was returning to our little running hub, where friendly faces came in for coffee and a chat. This all helped me to put my thoughts and memories into alignment once more.

My family came with me to the Armed Forces Memorial where I showed them the etched names of friends and former colleagues who had sadly lost their lives in service, alongside myself.

My six-year-old daughter asked:

“Is your name up there Daddy?”

My wife and other kids looked around for some place to mentally hide from the overwhelming irony of this innocent question.

“No sweetie...“

“Why not?”

Other than the obvious ‘because I’m still alive’ there wasn’t much much more of an answer or explanation.

The fact pointed out by my stepdaughter to Abigail, the questioner, that if my name had been up there, she wouldn’t have even existed to ask such a question, and none of us would have been there that day to remember those on the wall.

The reality of it was only by chance, a matter of feet, a few minutes, seconds, other people’s decisions, that I wasn’t up there next to those in my patrol.

I’ve had very dark days and the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of males under the age of 50 in the UK is not lost on me.

However, I have running, and I have you - the running community - alongside the constant of my family to unconsciously support me.

I hope our running hub can support you in so many ways too.