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A Trip Down Memory Lane

‘Some dance to remember, some dance to forget…’

From The Eagles, Hotel California.

I’ve always thought these lyrics that ‘dance’ could be replaced by ‘run’, as I feel running also has the ability to do both. Often running can be used as a form of escape, especially for me right now with a busy life, as often running is the only part of the day that’s my own and I can’t be bothered! But as I’ve been running for so long, much of it brings back memories of places, people and certain times in my life. Recently I’ve felt that I have had a few more of these thoughts than usual this year, or maybe it’s just because I’m getting older (41 now) and becoming even more sentimental!

In March, I was over in San Francisco and visited the track where I ran my first sub 4 minute mile back in September 2002. It was an emotional feeling to be back and to be running on that tartan track, especially considering I’d only been there for one race, but that one race had helped launch my career. Becoming part of the mile history is something I am super proud of. It got me thinking about one of the tracks I spent almost every Tuesday night of my youth running round: Yate track, which is where I did one of my last sessions before heading out to San Fran. Since then, I’d only been back once (June 28th 2005) which is amazing to realise, having been place I’d used so often for so long.

Fast forward to September 4th 2019 … and I’m driving back through the lanes towards the Yate track and all kinds of memories come flooding back! Maybe it’s because I’ve got a 90s music channel on the radio and when I don’t like the track for an authentic nostalgic blast there are three albums that my mum and myself played many times on the journey there and back …

Soundtrack to my 90’s

Simple Red- Stars


REM- Automatic for the people


Crowded House- Recurring Dream

Still going strong!

I remember the route and all those thoughts of a 14 to 18 year old, and all the time I spent with my mum and her support on those Tuesday evenings with the wind, rain and cold weather.  Week after week and rep after rep, this time helped shaped my life, and I’m still running, work in running and can’t see myself ever doing anything else!

Chasing times…

So for the reason we’re heading to Yate … I’m asking the running gods for a favour … we need some good weather, and a chance for Paralympic athlete Steve Morris to chase a 3:56 1500m time for the Worlds. He ran 3:59 in Paris last week, and we are getting there after an injury hit start to summer, but we need a few less seconds. As most runners and coaches do, I’ve spent hours checking weather forecasts and it looks pretty good, breezy, a tad chilly but Ok! Then on the day the Severn Bridge is shut for an accident … a sign? … no we must plough on … we must try and get there … we’ve come too far!

The weather gods are kind, we arrive to nice weather and many familiar faces that I’ve know for years! Couldn’t help noticed (and take a picture) of the club records, and I’m still there for the U20 1500m, Mile and 3000m from back in 1997.

Steve hit 4:01 for the win with help from Rob Howorth (and myself!). Not what we wanted but a good and honest effort. Plus a great evening spent thinking about the past and what (and where) helped shape my career, and it wont be 15 years till I’m back again…

Some traditions have to be kept!

P.S as with tradition I bought myself a Lucozade on the way home!

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James Thie
James Thie
Multiple World Indoor Championships and Commonwealth Games middle distance runner. Coaching the runners of the future.

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