Most Saturdays I’m rudely awoken from my peaceful slumber by the grating creak of the front door opening and the discordant sounds of my dad and brother pestering my mum about where their water bottles are, so they can go out running.

Despite this being utterly annoying, their efforts are not in vain. Although I consider myself to be reasonably athletic, I’m definitely not athletic enough to have had a sporting career be put on hold by the pandemic, but my brother, Nathan Wright, who recently turned fifteen (happy birthday, bro!) has run multiple Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon’s among other competitions. It is only now, barging into his room, proclaiming ‘I’ve come to annoy you', that I’ve ever thought to ask him about it.

‘How did you start running?’ I fiercely inquired, ‘the truth is, I was into football beforehand’ – ah yes, I remember that – ‘I should omit the fact that my dad forced me to do park runs to improve my fitness, but that’s basically where I got my passion for running from and then I started going to a running club a year later.’ Following his response, I probed to see what exactly this ‘passion’ encapsulated and he eloquently explained to me that his favourite part about running is how sociable it is and the opportunities provided to see other people. ‘Perhaps it’s because you don’t really like team sports but you still like talking to people?’, I pushed. ‘Yeah, that’s exactly it.’

Eager to hear more about his successes I excitedly asked about how he felt after running his five kilometres personal best time, but he just scrunched his freckled nose and laughed softly – ‘really sad, because I did it on a school treadmill and it shut down so I didn’t get to take a picture of it, so it’s lost in the archives’. My smile fading and feeling miserable for him, he endeavoured to tell me stories about the forever vanished 16 minutes and 42 seconds, but for what it’s worth, I believe you, Nathan, I believe you.

More cheerfully, he spoke about the elation he felt back in early 2020 when achieving his best recorded time for the 5km. ‘I was going to my grandmother’s house because my dad had to chop a tree down’ – exhilarating details(!) – ‘and because it’s a park run you don’t know your official time until about two hours after you’ve finished, I remember being overjoyed that it was under eighteen minutes!’ He told me, as his eyes lit up.

‘What about the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?’ I asked. ‘I was diagnosed with Sever’s disease, which is growing pains in the Achilles, this greatly hindered me because I wasn’t allowed to run for the majority of three months due to the pain I experienced.’ Nathan went on to prove his perseverance by elucidating upon what he did instead. He wasn’t just going to give up. He spoke about his new-found love for cycling, the trips to the physiotherapist, the old wives’ tale remedies given to him by random strangers and the weight fitness training that was key to making his Achilles tendon stronger. ‘Patience, waiting for my injury to heal when I desperately wanted to get back on the track, is something that running has taught me that’s made me a better person’, he concluded.

Luckily, unlike many other sports, running has not been hampered too much by the coronavirus. I know this because the Saturday morning madness in my house has not stopped. The competitions may have been cancelled but most great runners have been practising social-distancing for years because nobody can get near them, you don’t need a team, special facilities or equipment. However, Nathan sadly said that ‘[his] favourite thing, as [he] previously said, is the social aspect of running and that has been something massively reduced by Co-vid.’

‘What about the future?’ That was my final question, as lockdown ends and things start opening up. Nathan deliberated for a second, fixing his eyes on the TV screen and looking away, after a pause he culminated with: ‘I’m not sure what I want to do with my future but running will always be my passion and if I want to enjoy my career I think running is something I should aspire to do professionally.’