As I've said before, though my main goal is the Parish Walk for this year, I intend to do as many races as I possibly can, as long as they don't interfere with my training for the 'Big Race.'
In fact for the 10k championships and the recent Manx Open 20k, I did actually put the PW work 'on hold.'
In my humble opinion, with the possible exception of one or two of the front runners who perhaps want to keep their form and fitness to themselves, I would advocate more of you that don't usually take part in the shorter distance walks or even the runs, should have a go.
For one thing they're great training and though it is important to make sure you've done enough endurance sessions, it is also essential to improve your conditioning by walking fast and running or some kind of aerobic exercise if you are hoping to get the best from your body.
It is also enjoyable to meet and talk to people, many of whom you'll be competing with and beside come June. Who knows you may even pick up a tip or two.
Last night, while sitting on the sofa watching television, my back began to itch. Trying to relieve myself of this distraction, I tried to rub against the material of the couch and believe it or not managed to hurt a muscle. If the Parish Walk had been today, I probably wouldn't have started.
So, really that's the main reason for not sticking all your eggs in the Parish basket. By all means be focused. Let it set all the parameters for your programme. But remember anything can happen between now and then, as well as during the event, so make sure you have plenty of other things going on.
Of course, if you don't want to enter any of these other events, remember that many of the athletic community that make the Parish Walk possible, also compete in and organise them. Therefore, you could put a little back in yourself by becoming a volunteer. You'll be in good company as the likes of Sean Hands, Robbie Callister and Jock Waddington to name just a few are all regular contributors.
I'm sure that Paul Jackson would love to hear from anyone who has any free time over Easter as he is still short of marshals and other helpers. You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 487873.
It would be fantastic if I could now get down from this pulpit without breaking my leg.