Get running! 10k challenge weeks away.
Evening Gazette reporter JOHN SUTTON is training for the race and is keeping a weekly diary of how he gets on. Today he meets his trainer Phil Barker.
THE FIRST thing Phil tells me as we jog out to meet the photographer is to slow down.
"One of your colleagues did this, ran like mad and was there panting after 200m," he said, pointing at the tarmac.
Phil Barker, The Master, as I'll call him from now on, is my running Guru.
He's appeared in this paper before, berating out of shape hacks.
I thought he was naked from the waist down when we met, but this was due to his very short running shorts.
I'm quite tempted by a pair, but only after the thighs have toned up a bit - I don't want my 63-year-old coach getting all the wolf whistles as I loll along in his wake.
Since my triumph (ahem) in the Middlesbrough 5K in March, the training regime collapsed faster than an anorexic in a drinking contest with a Sunday league rugby team.
Earlier this year, I was out pounding the streets three or four nights a week after work and before having tea - not any more.
This is due to the heat mostly, I can't run when it's too hot and the only thing you achieve is sunburn, dehydration and sore nipples, but that's what the Vaseline is for, honest.
But The Master won't accept these big girl's blouse excuses, and nor will my bosses here at Gazette towers who want you, readers, to be able to follow my "journey".
It's time to get back in the sneakers.
There are illustrious names in this newsroom who've run the hallowed 10K gauntlet - I'd like to beat them, and will resign if I don't at least beat the girls. This is a new challenge. My body has been wandering this earth for a quarter of a century now, and the last quarter of that has been largely inactive.
Drink has been taken. Cigs have been smoked. All with the gay abandon of youth and immortality.
These last few months though, I've found the odd grey hair and started to think the music in nightclubs is too loud. I shake my head and tut at youngsters who speed off at traffic lights. It's time to start taking better care of myself. In the next few weeks I'll keep you posted on my progress, and give you all the latest news on the 10K - which is only 68 days away.
Follow the stories of our Tees Pride Team as they limber up for the big event on September 6.
But most of all, SIGN UP YOURSELF! Go to www.middlesbrough10krun.com Last one to the start line stinks like a hairy, wet, jogger's rancid armpit..
GO GO GO: Join John Sutton on the 10K Challenge. Here he's put through his paces by trainer Phil Barker