Locked down but running into the next half century

This is SUCH a great post from my British friend Dave, who has just had a milestone birthday, turning 50 under lockdown.

Dave has been featured here & has blogged for us here too. And now he shares his 50th birthday run in ‘lockdown.’

It’s a happy, upbeat post, and I just LOVE how Dave has found all the positives in lockdown.

Well done, you!

At which point, I am handing over the blog to the birthday boy 🙂

This should have been a big year for races.

I turned 50 on Friday and the plan was to take advantage of moving up an age category in my local half marathon in two weeks time.

Combined with this were plans for a series of triathlons, capitalising on the fact my swimming was finally coming on over the winter.

Both my wife—Kathakoli Dasgupta—and myself have written in this blog how we met in Delhi through running and, upon moving to the UK 5 years back, decided to enter triathlons, mainly because I couldn’t swim and Katha couldn’t ride a bike!

This year everything would have come to fruition — even the weather in the UK is stunning—the best May on record—and lends itself to jumping into a lake.

But, as for the world over, Covid-19 has changed everything.

It was 10 weeks ago that the UK went into lockdown. The restrictions imposed though have been less austere than other countries, and the one thing that wasn’t stopped—in fact it was actively encouraged—was going outside for exercise, once a day.

There was lots of confusion as to what this really meant, but common sense prevailed and it turned out to be a great, uplifting, unique time.

For the first month, hardly anyone was going around in cars, so with the daylight getting longer it was perfect for going out on the bike after working from home, or going for a run in the middle of the road, as if it had been shut-off for race day.

And so many new people being seen running, walking or cycling was fantastic: let’s hope there’s a legacy from it.

Of course there was frustration about how things would develop and whether races, organised club meets etc would happen.

The longer it’s gone on, though, the more resigned everyone’s become that we’ll do things same time, same place — just with a year’s interval.

So, to give myself a positive goal, I decided doing a ‘fit at fifty’ challenge.

Each day in the week leading up to my birthday I had to do a 50 minute workout in the garden and I had to do 50 miles (80km) of cycling and 50 miles of running across the week.

It was fantastic.

I went onto trails close to where we live that I hadn’t been on for several years —some even for the first time. Just proves there can be as much on your doorstep as there is in to weekend travel breaks we currently can’t do. My final run of the week was in glorious sunshine on the beach. The tide was so far out that it was a mile before I reached the water.

And no-one can argue I wasn’t adequately socially distancing!

Thanks, my friend, for sharing your birthday with us.


  1. Neither of us knew we were both writing blogs for you yesterday. When we finally talked about it, Dave was anxious as to whose blog would get published first. Thank goodness you chose his! He would have sulked otherwise. Who said he turned 50!


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