Wednesday, 10 August 2016

New Adventures….




So has it really been ten weeks plus since that memorable day in Durban !!!

Well it has – so I guess a quick catch up is needed…


June – basic stats.

Run = A total of 44 Miles were run – 20 of those were at Endure 24 weekend & 4 x parkruns.
Bike = 164 Miles.
Swim = 1.2 Miles.

So a real easy month – which is something I learnt from my mistakes last year.


July – Stats

Miles = 135 Miles (Yearly Total = 1,000 Miles)
Longest Run = 26.2 Miles (South Downs Midnight Marathon)
Races = 5 (Elstead `Marathon, Runnymede Relay, New Forest Ten, Yateley 10Km & South Downs Midnight Marathon),
parkruns = 5 off


Bikram Yoga Sessions = 2 off

Sports Massage = 2 off
Bikes Miles = 100 Miles (Inc. Farnham Charity Ride – 50M)
Swim Sessions = 5.1 Miles (Inc. Friday Night - Half Moon Swim


Also attended a Sight Loss Awareness & Guide Running course – yeap I`m a Guide Runner.  

So getting back into it nicely.


What`s new on the horizon – basically some fun events. I have a mile race, `Race The Train`, Pilgrims Marathon, Redbull Steeplechase, Snowdonia Marathon & Cyprus Challenge all planned in before the end of the year.

Also, and before it gets colder a couple of Sprint & one Standard Triathlons.

This really ties up with the main plan - that is to complete a Half Ironman next year -
Ironman 70.3 UK Exmoor (June 2017) to be more precise then complete a full distance triathlon in the following year.


There is a special, personal reason why it has to be Exmoor and with that in mind I recently went down there to see another triathlon event being held at Wimbleball Lake –
Xman Events - Wimbleball – a truly extreme event. I was so impressed with anyone who got into the water that day, regardless if they crossed the finish line later on or not.  The bike course is just horrific – 109 Miles with 3,462 mtrs elevation !!!!







Am I good enough ?? That question I often ask myself when I step out of `that comfort zone` – well I don`t know is the honest answer but if you never ask then you will never know.  

“Having the courage to try is the most important accomplishment of all”



PS This doesn`t mean I`m giving up the cross countries or the ultras – it just means I`m going to have more fun.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Comrades – Alarm bells going off everywhere…….well not quite everywhere !!!



What can I say about `The Comrades Marathon` that hasn`t been said already ??      

It is truly an iconic event which is a must for all endurance runners. It is, for me such a brutal race – 55 miles or so of relentless asphalt with enough camber in the roads to match the elevation gains and all to be completed in less than 12 hours with 5 cut-off`s along the way. Sure the route is supported well but it`s down to you and you alone make that huge personal journey from the start and make it through the finish line in time.

I feel truly privileged & proud to have run Comrades in both directions and in back to back years & to finish within both the new & old cut-offs.

So to recap slightly.

After last year`s race I felt very fortunate to have completed within the 12 hour cut off. I was caught out by the hills in the first 40Kms & going into the race tired. Even before I finished I knew I could do better & I knew I would be back.  So before I put together my training plan I spent some time looking at my past training. This time going for more an even balanced mileage build up & constant hill work in January, February, March & April & more cross training plus to keep the motivation up I would do `30 mins min` a day for Jan & April – any exercise for 30 mins a day. My main training plan was a diluted 24 week 50  mile a week 100M plan from the fantastic `Relentless Forward Progress` by Bryon Powell.

My training had gone well, no real niggles – it is hard to try in a 24 week plan to `simmer` at the right moments & `not boil` over but a hot 55 mile hilly race in South Africa tends to keep you focused.

My brain was full of powerful mantras.

It`s possible

And my personal favourite from wonderful `The Pursuit of Happyness`


Despite the deliberate changes in my plan the Pre-Comrades mileage between the two years was less than 5 miles (819 / 815). My `Pen qualifier` time difference was only 25 seconds. I`d even worked my speed – getting my midweek `4 mile speed` loop down to 00:28:52 a time not seen since 2013.

I have to say I felt good going to South Africa.

I booked the same flights as last year – Wednesday & back on Tuesday from / to Heathrow - Joburg – Durban but didn`t leave it till March to book them. We landed at Joburg and I must admit we did have to get a wiggle on to catch the connecting flight to Durban – maybe bit more of a 1hr 55 min turnaround was needed. The plane to Durban was packed full of Comrades runners inc. Jonas Buud who came in 2nd a couple of years back & is the current 100Km World Champion.

We landed in Durban and got the group bus from the airport to Durban – costing R80, it was nice to catch up with some familiar faces on the bus. I was staying at the Blue Waters Hotel along the main beach road in Durban so ideal for the Up & Down run plus you don`t want too much of a warm up for the North Beach parkrun. I got dropped off & checked in and after a quick shower & change I went straight to the expo - remembering the tag chip from my shoe. I got my race pack & made my way inside the expo. This is the only place where you can buy Comrades branded merchandise – I had planned to bring a lot back. Also on the wanted list was `pace bands` - I wanted 3 timed bands and despite booking a hotel in PMB for the evening before the race I did also wanted to keep options open by buying a bus ticket leaving Durban early in the morning. After about a couple of hours I went back to the hotel. The evening plan`s was to attend the International meet & greet at the Hilton but I thought a quiet night would be best suited.   

On Friday I went on the `Comrades Marathon Bus` route. I was on Hideo`s bus. It was very informative & professional. We stopped first at Comrades Marathon House and then followed the route back from the start to Durban. One sight from last year that stuck in my mind was Ethembeni School – hugely inspirational & very moving.





Seeing as I wasn’t going to run with my phone/camera I planned to take loads of photos of the route
inc the `Wall Of Honour` - I had completely missed seeing this during the Up run last year.



It was a fascinating tour & well worth doing but maybe do the run first then go back and do the tour another year. 

In the evening I met up fellow `members` of Runner`s World Comrades forum for a really good meal & natter at Spiga – thanks justanothrrnr for organising.

Saturday morning, well that`s parkrun of course. It was amazing how North Beach parkrun coped with 1,873 other parkrunners – a world`s best for attendance. Oh and a cheeky course PB for me (00:30:18 – 469th place). 

Later that evening I made my way to the Hotel in Pietermaritzburg & the wonderful Ascot Bush Lodge - it is a fabulous place. By accident really I met up & had dinner with Dave & Mel Ross, Penny, Greta, Stephanie, Caroline & Paul which was great. We retired about 9:30pm & I got my kit ready for the morning – I had even remembered a metal spoon for my morning porridge. Now seeing at I wasn`t planning to drop a bag in at the start or take anything back I didn`t bring much with me so I used the alarm on the Garmin & set it to 02:30am ready for the 05:30am race start. 

I must of woken up fairly soon after drifting off and like last year realised my Garmin was switched on so in a daze I must of switched it off……and woke at 04:49am – Yeap 41 mins to race start !!!! Looking back it did remind me of the Four Weddings & a Funeral scene. The hotel staff were amazing & they realised that Mel was still there & woke her up. The Hotel wasn`t fair from the start as you could hear the PA / music system. I couldn`t miss Comrades because I over-slept could I ???

We drove down Woodhouse Road until the junction of Boshoff Road, I ditched my `warm gear` in the car. As we pulled up at the junction we saw cars & cars in a tailback `heading` towards the start but not moving very fast at all. Other runners were bailing from cars & coaches left, right & centre and making the rest of the way on foot so I thanked Mel for absolute star & I bailed out here too. 

Looking at `Map my run` afterwards the start / City Hall was 1.7 miles away – lucky I followed a couple of `A` pen runners and made good time – ok not ideal at all doing a warm up at what I think was sub 7:30 pace with an incredibly high heart rate but needs must. I went through the first security gates & could see the pens. I got into the first pen I could (sorry for pen jumping) & caught my breath. I thought to myself “I had my the start” then literally the famous sounds of the Shosholoza came on. I had a huge grin & thought “Right Gower don`t mess this up anymore. This is your day - Start slow”


(I am very close to this person)

After about 3 minutes I crossed the start line –It felt like the whole race went past me in the 1st mile or so but I didn`t care I was running the Comrades Marathon – I couldn`t believe that only 45 mins ago I was still asleep and probably dreaming about Comrades !!!  


Yes I had remember to start the Garmin when the gun went off this year.

After about 3 miles & the first down section I pulled to the side & applied sun-cream (Sachets are wonderful), took my shoes & socks off & rubbed Vaseline around my toes & sorted out my race gear & grabbed a discarded smock but couldn`t find any gloves . I still needed breakfast !!!

The plan was always to do better than last year. Plan `A` was sub 10:30 hrs (Bronze), then sub 11hrs (still bronze) & then if the wheels did fall off it gave me 60 mins to come home for another Vic Clapham medal. I checked my wrists bands & had put the right ones on – 10:30, 11:00 & International Area & settled down in a what seemed a very relaxed pace.  I also had my fitbit on.

Even though I was wearing a 10:30 paceband it didn`t mean too much but only where & what time I need to be. As it happens I was running at the right pace – I hit the 1st top `checks` smack on pace. This boasted the confidence and I felt more relaxed. I did have a bit of hip flexor tightness but put that as the unexpected warm up & it will go after a while – I never gave it much of a thought after that. Each water / feed station I stopped to grab a couple of things – keeping it very light and washed it down with coke.

I chatted to Dave Wood from Reading – another back to back runner for a little while, then just a bit further up I saw Hideo which was nice as he kept me going last year when I thought I was down & out. I just kept going at this comfortable pace –despite the ups & downs and the walk breaks my mile splits seemed to very constant. I was good to go past all these sights we saw from Friday`s coach trip & brought back so many memories from last year. 





I went past the marathon point – not that it really – at around 04:50 / 05:00 . The Miles or as it happens the Kms were nicely being ticked down. There was certain sections I was really looking forward to – coming up now was `Arthur`s Seat` & the `Wall Of Honour` - I wanted that good second half & wanted to see my Comrades plaque once again. 

I must admit I did get where `Arthur’s Seat` was a bit wrong as I picked a flower…..and then realised it was still miles away. There was no-way I was going to upset the Running Gods by throwing his flower away so I kept hold of that flower for about 4 miles cradling in my hand like if I was holding a small bird !!!!  Eventually Arthur`s Seat appeared & I said “Good Morning Arthur” and placed that carefully held flower down with the rest – ok it was a bit battered & wilted but the thought was there. Just after that I crossed to the other side of the road & patted my Comrades Plaque.

The views around this area were stunning and really did take your mind off running.



As the KMs signs counted down I knew a sub 10:30 would be slightly out of touch but if I kept it steady it would close. Soon we saw the 21Kms to go sign – that`s only a half marathon & we could see Durban!!!

The next big milestone was the 50 Mile mark. My official 50M PB is still Caesars Camp at 11:51:55 – I was well under that. I went through in about 9:20 ish. This was a major boast plus shortly after that the Kms become single digits. I saw a couple of runners cramp up so I eased off the pace & took walk breaks.  

I did actually feel that 7-5 Kms were tough but once you see that 5Kms sign – well we all know what that`s means. To be fair I was counted these down from 30Kms but only one left. Then 4Kms…..I was going to do this. I thought back to 2014 You-Tube clip of the race where Ellie Greenwood passes Ian Sharman with such a wonderful smooth cadence. 3Kms to go…2Kms to go – ok who put that bridge there….then 1Km to go. Even though I was battered (& do mean battered like I`ve never felt before in a race before) you just had to smile & acknowledge the spectators’ cheers back.

The I saw it….The Kingsmead Cricket Ground. What a sight. Two corners to go before you get to run inside. It was like I wasn`t running at all – all the aches & pains had magically disappeared. It was a truly wonderful place and like last year you wanted it to end but didn`t. Then you saw the best sight on the course – it was worth every single metre in those 89.21 KMs – The Finish.

I went through feeling so great and like I was the first one there. I was given my medal & because my number had two strips on they gave me my back to back medal – I had done it.

I did make the International Tent before they ran out of beer – I exchanged two tickets for two beers but it`s wasn’t time for beer – told you I felt battered !!! I said a quick hello & sat down for a minute or so & looked around for Mel & David but couldn`t see them. I knew I had to keep moving as I didn`t want to end up in the medical tent so I made my excuses and made my way back to the hotel. Sorry John1946 if I didn`t make too much sense on the footbridge.  

I can totally understand John Tarrant infatuation of Comrades. It is a fantastic race.

But will I be back??

Well I never say never…..I did things in training I didn`t think was possible. I pushed myself further than ever before. I got out of that safety zone, I grew, I made friends & I had fun (esp at the after Comrades Party) so if I don`t go back then thank you Comrades for being such a part of my life.



Lastly thank you again Mel.





Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Have a plan not a wish.







The main concentration for March was Manchester Marathon – not only would this be my 50th Marathon but importantly it was my shot at a sub 4 hour time. Unlike last year`s Comrades campaign, this time out I had only 3 Marathons as planned Comrades Pen qualifiers...

Athens Marathon in November (04:31:11 – Pen G) & Marathon Day Marathon in February (04:16:10 - Pen F) & this one in Manchester.

I am pleased to say I managed a steady paced run & finished strongly in 03:46:10. This got me into the same Pen as last year`s Comrades – Pen `D` (ahead of the Green Number Club). As I`ve not really focused on endurance speed or huge mileage but elevation so to end up with the same result as last year is really pleasing.


Interesting – Mileage last year from January to May was 614 miles….and this year it`s 622 miles, also my Pen D qualifier last year was London in 03:46:40
J  #Spooky

So all in all a pleasing steady Month with some good cross training.

April - Scores on the Doors...


Miles = 150.5 Miles (Yearly Total = 622 Miles)
Time On Feet = 23 hrs 33 mins 00 sec (Ave 09:27 pace)
Elevation =  9,912 ft (Total 44,512 ft) 
Highest Weekly Mileage = 50.7 Miles (End Of March / April)
Longest Run = 26.2 Miles (Manchester Marathon)
Longest `Time on Your Feet` Run = 3hrs 46 mins 04sec (Exc. Bag Reclaim time !!! )
Highest `Back To Back` Run / Miles = 5 Days / 43.5 Miles (End Of March / April)
Races = 2 (Combe Gibbet To Overton & Manchester Marathon)
Parkruns = 4 off

Bikram Yoga Sessions = 4 off (5 Hrs 00 Mins)
PT Sessions = 2 off (2 Hrs)
Sports Massage = 2 off
Bikes Miles = 95.4 Miles
Swim Sessions = 2 off (1.3 Miles)

Now the focus is on the race day…....re-reading of `Make sure of your Comrades Medal` will be in full flow.




Friday, 1 April 2016

Write your own story......


I remember Lindsey Parry at the end of Runners World dinner saying we write our own stories so why not make it a good one. So this month or say I say last month - being March - when I put my Comrades plan together it would be a `good` (read fun) month.

Mileage with the help of a bit of flu it was down, as was the elevation. On the whole I`ve done what I set out to do - it was a good one & had some (a lot) of fun & I even managed to get a PB.    


March

Miles
= 141.80 (Yearly Total =  471.80)
Time On Feet = 22 hrs 03 Mins (Ave 9:20)
Elevation = 10,049 ft (Yearly Total = 34,600 ft) - Now heading down Everest :-)
Highest Weekly Run = 45.20 Miles
Longest Run = 32 Miles
Longest `Time On Your Feet` Run = 5 hrs 31 Mins (New Forest 50 Kms)
Highest `Back To Back` Days / Miles = 3 Days / 27.1 Miles
Races = 8 (Leith Hill Half, The Grizzy, New Forest 50 Km, Fleet Half, Guernsey Easter 5Kms, 4.8M XC, Relay - 4 x 1.15M & 10Km.
parkruns = 1 (Yes one !)

Yoga Sessions = 0 (this is bad, very bad)
PT Sessions = 3
Sport Massage = 1
Bike Miles = 59.8 Miles
Swim Sessions = 0 (Also bad)

Highlights = As I`ve said it was a good month but the biggest highlight has to be the brilliant event which is `The Grizzy` - 20 Miles which takes you along some very scenic sights, along beaches, cliff-tops, through rivers, up & down steep hills & through waist deep sticky mud....don`t be put off as it`s heaps of fun. One of the best events I`ve been fortunate to run. Maybe don`t try a 60M bike ride with 5,800 ft elevation the day before though.    

The New Forest 50Km was a bit of a `B race` - I wanted to get a PB and with a little help from an audio book (The Secret) & fellow Cove Joggers supporters I managed to have a great day & grab a 20 min PB. That weekend I managed a good `back to day` runs with the local Fleet Half the next day.        

Also the Guernsey Easter races I wanted to do well - my weekly `Wednesday Night 4M Loop` speed sessions had been going well so I wanted to see what that meant when racing on a flat 5Km & 10Km. I was really pleased with the outcome - not only the finishing times but how I felt during each race & how I recovered for the next one (4 races in 4 days).  

Now it`s April and time to knuckle down and get a good month in so it`s back to the hills & 30 min a day challenge and DO SOME YOGA.

This is a great interview from Marathon Talk with Caroline Wostmann  (interview starts at 59:40)



Good luck if you are marathon running this month...





Have fun.




Monday, 29 February 2016

When you`ve got the chance - make the most of your opportunity - Simon Cowell



That is the first & probably only time I quote Simon Cowell !!

Ok confession time.  I don`t watch too much TV and I`ve got into the habit of watching talent shows on YouTube - the best of talent shows. I find them inspiration. These guys have trained for hours and hours and when it`s time and the spotlight is on them they have risen to the challenge & shined.

Anyway and quickly moving on to the scores on the doors.....

February.

Miles = 170.30 (Yearly Total = 330)
Time on Feet = 30 hrs 38 Mins (Ave 10:48 pace)
Elevation = 13,229 ft (Yearly Total = 24,551ft)
Highest Weekly Run = 78.50 Miles
Longest Run = 35.2 Miles
Longest `Time On Your Feet` Run = 7 hrs 33 mins (Pilgrims Challenge Day Two)
Highest `Back To Back` Day`s / Miles = 3 Days / 74.5 Miles
Races = 5 (Pilgrims Challenge Day I & II, Bramley 20, Marathon Day Marathon, SXC League - Polecat Valley)
parkruns = 3

Yoga Sessions / hours = 2 off / 3 hrs
PT Sessions = 2
Sport Massages = 2
Bike Miles / Time = 59.9 / 4 hrs 28 mins
Swim Sessions / Miles / Time = 4 off / 2.9 Miles / 2 hrs 5 mins

Highlights - Wow it`s been a terrific month for training. Big back to back miles with the Pilgrims Challenge (2 x 33 Miles days + bonus miles), a return to the fantastic Bramley 20 event. An early Marathon (No. 48) where I managed to improve my Comrades pen position. Highest swimming miles since I was a kid. One rest day - nearly made that 30 minute minimum challenge :-)


Training is #FunFunFun

Do your very best - that`s all you can do !Jai Waetford`s Grandfather



Sunday, 31 January 2016

How big is your Mountain?




..well I guess it`s personal to you and that`s ok.

Mine, if you don`t know, is `Comrades - the Down Run` - at the end of May.

Just to rewind a little bit. I had eased back my running in the last quarter of last year - mainly to recharge my batteries for this year. This gave me time to plan & plot this year`s campaign - a Down Run. I think I have plotted well.

Last year`s training was good - looking back I learnt what was good & what wasn`t and where I could improve things.

Ok so more longer slower runs and more hills needed. Everest is approx. 29,000 ft - and that`s my target - let`s see if I can `get up & down` Everest by the time I finish Comrades in May.

I also want more Cross Training so I`m doing something every day. I think 30 minutes minimum a day is ok. Everyone has 30 mins don't they??

So to the Scores on the Door...

January

Miles
=  159.2 Miles
Time on Feet = 27 Hrs & 40 Mins (Ave 10:53 pace)
Elevation = 11,322 ft
Highest Weekly Run = 38.6 Miles
Longest Run = 22.9 Miles
Longest `Time On Your Feet` Run = 5hrs 35 mins (Winter Tanners 20)
Highest `Back To Back Day`s / Miles` = 4 Days / 33.4 Miles
Races = 5 (Tadworth Ten, Winter Tanners 20, TVXC League - Bracknell, SXC League - Manor Park Country Park & Stonehenge Stomp 30Km)
parkruns = 7

Yoga Sessions & hours = 3 off & 3 1/2 hrs (All Bikram yoga)
PT Sessions = 3
Sport Massages = 1
Bike Miles / Time = 36.3 Miles / 2hrs 47 mins.
Swim Sessions / Miles / Time = 3 off, 2.0 M & 1hr 33mins

Highlights - Has to be that my 1st Claim Club - Cove Joggers - have joined a Cross Country League (Southern XC). Ok I was running XC under my 2nd Claim Vest (Windle Valley) but now I get to do TWO leagues a year. #DoubleTheMud #DoubleTheFun

Conclusions - Great Month. Mixing it up & doing something everyday has helped. Without overdoing January has been the highest mileage since last May. Who knew that Cross Training helps the body recover??

Last Year`s January Blog

Here is January`s training....


Mix it up




Thursday, 12 November 2015

It definitely wasn`t a case of `beware of Greeks bearing gifts`

…….as this one is a beauty.



After what seems like ages I`m back running – ok it`s not advisable to jump straight into a Marathon length run but tickets & hotel were booked.

A few steps back as it were – When you complete a race like Comrades you feel invincible however you are not - I needed to rest but didn`t & paid the price. August & September`s total running mileage was huge 76 Miles. I did, however do 444 miles on the bike inc. a 4 ½ hrs sportive.  October was `better` at 61 miles including the brilliant `Back to the Future Day` race – jogged out a ½ Marathon distance run in just under 2hrs 15 mins.

I had entered Athens Marathon for a couple of reasons – Athens is a fantastic City – full of culture, it`s relevantly close, great for exploring before or after the race, it is a great event inc the iconic finish stadium, the crowds are wonderful, the weather can be lovely & hot AND route has hills !!  Plus I had ran this race in 2010 – see race report here. I had also hoped to bag a good Comrades pen placement from it. Flights and hotel wise I managed to get the flights via Nectar points & the hotel ( Novotel Hotel in the Omonia District ) was doing an offer.


I flew out late Thursday afternoon, arrived ok & jumped on the train / Metro heading into the heart of the City. I checked in and after a quick shower I was out to my favourite part of the City – Monastiraki  area.  After a fantastic meal & a couple of Mythos I headed back. In the next day I wanted to explore the City – first stop (but I guess actually 12 or so along the metro) was the Olympic Area. Fantastic structures but didn`t appear to be used. After 30 mins or so it was all the way back down to Port part of the City for the Expo. Eventually found it but despite that locating trouble it was a far better expo then last time and a better expo than I was expecting.

The next day I was meeting Wendy & husband Steve we had planned a nice trip up to see the Acropolis & a bit of lunch – it`s a great way to see the city too. The rest of the day was chill time.


I planned, like 2010 to catch one of the earliest buses so up at 4.15 for shower & breakfast. I had already sorted out my kit. I do think travelling through a big City on race morning is just brilliant – the tingles of excitement building. We travelled towards the town of `Marathon` where we go at 9.00am. I briefly see Wendy & wish her well. I get into pen 4  not that I was sprinting off. I chatted to  Bernice from Gosport Road Runners who was also missing the second XC of the Southern Cross Country league
L The plan was a cheeky sub 5 run (& therefore quality for Comrades) – I had a 4 hrs 50 mins pace band as I wanted to see, maybe in the latter part of the race where I was & where I needed to be to achieve this time.


I knew because of the lack of running miles pacing was the key – as we set off it felt like the whole field was going past me but I kept it steady at just over 10 minute / m. I must of had 15 miles of `feeling of being over taken` - then the hills appeared. To be fair they were there all the time but I think folks ran out of gas a bit. An advantage of running Comrades was that when I looked up and saw a hill or incline I just thought “I`ve run Polly Shortts” and picked up the pace. Talking of pace my mile splits were very constant despite the course profile I had started to pass folks who went steaming passed me earlier. I was taking a gel an hour & the water station was simply – water over arm, water over head & drink the rest.
I broke the race down as a 20 miler as that was when it became a downhill course. As I approached the 20 mile point (3.26 hrs) I knew I had done it as long as I didn`t go too mad on this last downhill section. It was a good feeling to slow things down despite the pick-up of pace. I made sure that I kept hydrated & my salt level up so I used one of my SIS tabs in my hand held which I have to say helped – at least it made a nice change of the taste of just water.

My Garmin had gained a bit of distance so I knew I was going to miss a `cherry on top` target but I have to say all things considered was that the run itself was one best I`ve ever done and yes I`ve have run negative split marathons before – inc my PB @ London).
Ok I had a good day & do not get it right every time but one lesson that needs to be learnt is that good pacing in runs so important. No better feeling that nailing a good long run with a good strong finish.


By this stage I had picked up the pace to around 9 min 20 and overtaking loads – the crowds were brilliant esp if you gave them back a bit of acknowledgement. I can say I
didn`t want the race to end but it did and what a finish – the Old Olympic Stadium.  They had switched finishing sides which I have to say plus all the other little tweaks from 2010 had vastly improved the event. The bag collection area was easier to get to. I quickly got changed and headed back to the stands to watch others finish. It is truly brilliant to just sit there and watch others `win` their particular Marathon battle.

B
ravo Athens !!!

Splits – 1st Half = 02:16:07 v 2nd Half = 02:15:03







Next up – more strength build up in the form of Cross Country ;-) #LoveMud

Oh got my Comrades Qualifier - Pen G - but do have two Marathons planned next year to bump up a bit. #OffToSouthAfrica #BackToBack