Ray’s story: since beating alcoholism I have had PBs in life, and running!
I got into the Racecheck #visorclub in June 2017; I was one of the lucky ones whom submitted a few reviews and my name was pulled out of the hat. As soon as I learnt about the #visorclub on Twitter I knew I wanted to be part of it.
My main sport is running, which I have been doing since 2013, and have been a member of Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club for the last two years.
The running community have been very supportive, especially since I shared the fact that I had a drinking problem. With this support behind me I managed to stop drinking alcohol altogether on the 19th March 2019. I used to drink every night and got to a point where I was hiding empty cans, or filling up bottles with water, so it looked like I didn’t drink so much.
I tried not to drink the night before a race, but found myself having one or two, then sometimes more. If I had a good race I couldn’t blame the night before, even if I had a bad race I still wouldn’t blame the alcohol. I decided enough was enough because I couldn’t just have one drink I needed to stop completely, it was really hard for a few weeks, I went to a meeting and my problem seemed tame compared to others but we all were in the same boat as ‘alcoholics’. I suppose if it wasn’t for the running part of my life I would be a lot worse off, I distanced myself from my brother and father many years ago who both died of alcohol related illnesses. I didn’t want to be another statistic in all honesty and I certainly don’t need alcohol anymore; besides it was slowing me down.
The support from family and friends on social media, and at home, including the #visorclub has really helped me and really does make you feel that you are not alone. If you want advice, and are willing to take on board this advice, it makes your life that much more comfortable. I have met a few #visorclub members in person at various races. If it’s a big event I often tweet to see if there is a meet up and I’m now part of the #visorclub equinox 24h team race.
If I was to describe the #visorclub with three words, I would say: welcoming, supportive and friendly.
What’s in store for the rest of the year for me? To get faster at 5k and 10k, and possibly complete a half marathon. I have had a few personal bests since giving up alcohol and have also started to go to Parkruns. I have lot of people to thank for my new zest, and handle on life, and #visorclub are a special part of that.
Racecheck is a web and app community helping recreational athletes find, book and plan great endurance events through the power of race reviews, while also helping organisers promote their races to a highly relevant audience.