It would be fair to say that, for most of my life, I’ve lived a somewhat sedentary lifestyle.

As a kid, physical activity was anathema to the enjoyment of my school days. I used to try every trick in the book to get out of PE lessons. Partly because I was so unfit that I just didn’t enjoy them, but mainly because I used to get mercilessly bullied by the ‘cool kids’ (and, in secondary school, one of the teachers) as a result of that poor fitness.

Eventually, I found a way to get out of PE lessons permanently. I (along with some friends) built a website for my secondary school — the first school website in the region, no less — and my IT teachers wanted us to update it, maintain it and look after it on the regular, and PE lessons provided a good time to do this. I think the PE teacher was secretly happy that I wasn’t dragging down his average times any more.

The years that have passed since leaving school have seen various aborted attempts to take up running and other sports. Apart from Taekwon-do, which I started in 2016 and am still doing, nothing stuck.

All of which is to explain why, if you’d said to me just over a year ago that I would be training to run a half-marathon in August 2024, I would have spat my drink right in your face and then laughed heartily. And yet, it’s true.

So how did this come about?