Tuesday, 27 December 2011

12 moments of 2011

- Some of my moments in 2011...

  1. One Track Marathon.
  2. Two weeks volunteered at parkrun (pretty poor really).
  3. Three PBs (St Patrick`s 5M Scurry, Elstead Marathon (5.4M), Hook 6).
  4. Four weeks ran over 50 miles (shocked).
  5. Five weeks ran less than 10 miles.
  6. Six laps of the Thunder Run completed...how many next year?? (clue = see below).
  7. Seven miles extra ran in races by getting lost.
  8. Eight Marathons / Ultras completed.
  9. Nine times ten – my target for 2012 (gulp).
  10. Ten new parkrun events ran.
  11. Eleven events already entered for 2012.
  12. Twelve hours & 9 minutes ran at SIS Lightning Run resulting in 51.43 Miles.
May the New Year bring you all you wish for.

Happy 2012 folks.

Next Up - Stubbington Green 10Km (15th Jan). My TR24 training plan starts in the 2nd week of February so having an easy January to ensure feeling all fresh & free from niggles for that.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Andover Track Marathon.

Apart from the 5 x 1 mile races & 15M practice run the other month all this running around a track is a bit new to me. I`m not a track person but a track marathon is something I`ve wanted to do for a while now - mind over matter stuff / strong minded so I jumped at the chance when I saw this event open. Plus I think the door is slightly open for 6 hrs or maybe 12 hrs track events :-)

Come race day - I was a bit concerned with the weather forecast - more concerned with possible rain than the cold. I had managed to twist Alan`s (from the club) arm & he entered too , I collected him nice and early and made our way down the M3, A303. Well talk about black clouds - I thought the world was coming to an end - lucky just after Basingstoke it cleared up.

We got to the Andover AC track really early - we had half planned to run the Andover parkrun if we had time - and guess what - we had time Well we would have got cold standing around. It was so icy that they had to use an alternative parkrun course (3 laps of football pitches) - pace was going to be very easy. It was all very social & nice to chat & catch up with folks - parkrun done in 29:05 (yes I know I need to go back a grab that sub 23 for a `new` event). After a quick change of gear & drink it was time to make our way over (talking less than 200 metres) to the track.

I have to say it was like an Ultra event - with a small, relaxed field of runners (35 runners). I looked around and saw some faces I knew & some I didn`t.

Great race briefing by Ian. It covered all the points I was concerned with - how are the laps going to be counted, am I going to run more - not that I minded too much as I`d already run a parkrun plus I don`t mind more than 26.2M anyway but it`s always a concern I guess at these types of events.

My `race` plan was not racing - somewhere around 4:20 + would be good. It wasn`t about time today it was all about head & body reaction. I did feel quite weird not carrying stuff - gels, water etc. Kit wise I went with bouncy shoes, Full recovery legs, Tec T-Shirt, Fetch vest, arm warmers, gloves, buff around my neck & hat & sunnies.

We made our way over to the start - it sure was cold when not in the sun plus a little bit icy still. After a couple of minutes we were off. One thing I was looking forward to was seeing how the faster runners would be especially towards the end of the race. There was no point in getting worried about being lapped......however I didn`t expect it to be lapped within TWO laps yes 800 metres Lets just say I stayed in the second lap most of the race - I guess it was a bit like going into the fast lane of the motorway when you first learnt to drive a car Come lap three of four I generally stopped trying to count the laps, I looked at it as no point worrying until at least maybe 4 hrs 15 mins into.

Now at the race briefing we were told about Garmins about GPS and that they should be turned off - well I didn`t. I used the stopwatch function a bit ensuing I had a gel every hour but wasn`t using it for distance travelled until later on.

Looking back I cannot tell you too much of the race itself - the laps kept ticking over - I had switched off. It wasn`t a `heads down look at the floor` race I was looking around seeing where people were, how they were running. Thanking the lap counters with thumbs up as I went past. Chatting to other runners when paces permitted. Time (& laps) soon ticked by.

I looked at the Garmin - & I knew I should have asked but it said I was coming up to `20 Mile`. I had always planned a treat at 20M - the ipod A bit of music then a catch up on Marathon Talk. Before I knew it I was was thinking I was around 98 laps - I thought I better ask....only to be told I was on 92 laps - 6 out - that`s 1.5 M out :0 What was ever worse than that was hearing the bell for other runners who had one lap left !!!

Never mind - switched on ipod & listened to the show... I couldn`t believe it. I just got round to the interview with Steve Jones - well the bit with Will Cockerill & I only to be told I have two laps to go. Well packed the ipod away and enjoyed these last two laps. I didn`t mind running but I didn`t mind finishing either - it was nice to be congratulated by Matt. I was handed the goodie bag and the most unusual `medal` I`ve ever received....

I stood around talking but I was getting cold - I had bought extra clothes & a thermos of coffee - I`m so glad I did. I`ve never got so cold after a race before. I sat in the car to defrost.

If you get a chance to enter a `TZ Runs` event then snatch it (& do buy a T-Shirt)

Race Stats;

1) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 116cal
2) - 1m - 8:45(8:45/m) - 117cal
3) - 1m - 8:52(8:52/m) - 118cal
4) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 117cal
5) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 118cal
6) - 1m - 9:18(9:18/m) - 117cal
7) - 1m - 9:13(9:13/m) - 118cal
8) - 1m - 9:20(9:20/m) - 118cal
9) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 118cal
10) - 1m - 9:37(9:37/m) - 117cal
11) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 118cal
12) - 1m - 9:34(9:34/m) - 118cal
13) - 1m - 9:38(9:38/m) - 118cal
14) - 1m - 9:45(9:45/m) - 119cal
15) - 1m - 10:13(10:13/m) - 118cal
16) - 1m - 10:12(10:12/m) - 118cal
17) - 1m - 10:20(10:20/m) - 120cal
18) - 1m - 10:51(10:51/m) - 121cal
19) - 1m - 10:46(10:46/m) - 121cal
20) - 1m - 10:58(10:58/m) - 122cal
21) - 1m - 11:05(11:05/m) - 121cal
22) - 1m - 12:21(12:21/m) - 115cal
23) - 1m - 11:34(11:34/m) - 120cal
24) - 1m - 12:00(12:00/m) - 117cal
25) - 1m - 11:59(11:59/m) - 116cal
26) - 1m - 12:44(12:44/m) - 111cal
27) - 1m - 12:15(12:15/m) - 111cal
28) - 0.64m - 7:26(11:36/m) - 76cal

Finish time - 04:45:10

Final Garmin Distance - 27.64 M - opps but all good experience

(I`ll try to get the actual lap splits as they would be quite interesting to see)

Race Website / Results

Next up - a parkrun festive overload & (if the cold subsides) a `Sunrise to Sunset` Challenge on the 27th Dec.

Oh - The training plan for next year`s Thunder Run is coming on nicely :-)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

When in Rome, do as the Romans do - well not quite but you will know what I mean....

I booked a last minute cheeky pre-Christmas sun break to Lanzarote – I know not even Rome. I do mean last minute – I guess a couple of weeks notice. With a few days to go I decided to have a look on one of these `what`s on the Island` websites and to my surprise I only found a running race. I knew there had recently been a challenge type of race but I was really surprised there was a race on the day after my arrival and fairly local too :-)

The race itself was called the `The Lanzarote International Marathon` which was staged on a lapped course – 4 laps for the Marathon, 2 laps for the Half & 1 lap for the “Quarter”. I registered my details on the race website – all a bit odd really, and I was in. The last day you had to collect the race number & timing chip was on Saturday. The race itself was in Costa Teguise, which was about 15 mins drive from the airport, my hotel was also about 15 mins away – yes the opposite way !! I managed to blag a lift from the airport to Race HQ and collected my number. I thought the race itself was quite cheap (€20 for the half & € 20 deposit for the chip timer).

Due to resting up since the Poppy Day Marathon (meaning I missed the Frozen Fat Ass 50Km- gutted) I knew entering the marathon would not be the best idea ever so I entered the half instead – well I was going to run on holiday anyway why not pick up a t-shirt & bits for doing so. The plan was not to race but steady 9.00`s.

Come race morning I left the hotel fairly early – the race was due to start at 9.00am. I was one of the 1st to arrive. I found a coffee shop overseeing the start area & watched as others arrive. I dropped my bag & went for a warm up (1M @ 9:18/m pace) – which felt tough....thank goodness I wasn`t racing !!!

Just before 9:00am we formed behind the start & waited...and waited...waited..unsure what the delay was for. I think we got going around 9:20. I felt a bit odd wearing vest & shorts as so many runners were wearing Tri-suits.

I hadn`t looked at the course in too much detail and soon myself seeing the lead wheelchair racers coming towards me. Then the after 5 miles or so the 1st of the half marathon runners (well I hope they were). After about ¾ of a mile we enter the entrance of the Sands Hotel where we switched back towards the start – great when a race does that. I hadn`t realise the incline / slope from the start !! After we went through the start / finish gantry we headed out the other way – basically out along the coastal paved footpath. Just after the 23 mins I saw the 1st runner coming towards me looking more comfortable than the lead cyclist (I looked when I was returned to that point – it was just after 4.5M). We headed out to the furthest point on the course & headed back – again most of this time you could see runners coming the other was. I got a shout from a fellow Brit running from Midland Police, also a massive shout of “Come on Fetchie” from someone watching. I had noticed not too many Brits, quite a few Irish but only 6 or so Brits that I could see - inc 2 ladies who sat next to me on the plane going out there.

As I headed towards the Start Finish area I couldn`t really help putting in a faster mile – showboating I guess. Then on the 2nd lap I settled back down to near enough the pace I wanted. My foot was feeling fine but knew doing the half was the right decision. The inclines did seem to get a bit tougher but the pace stayed roughly the same. In the 11th mile it got a bit narrow & we had to move over to let the amazing front wheelchair racers coming through – quite a battle going on there. Only a mile or so left. It was nice to feel strong in the final miles overtaking other runners (but you didn`t know if they were doing the full or not). I saw about 5 or so runners in front slowly picking them off – I took the last one right on the line :-)

As we finishing the RD came over & handed me my medal & said “Well done Mr. K. from UK” & then got `attacked` by the big bear mascot. I headed through the marquee & handed my chip in & got my €20 back & collected the tec T-Shirt, my bag and moved down the line..half a banana, a sandwich or two, water, a bottle of coke, cake, ice cream. You could of had a free massage & a paddling pool had been set up to soak your feet - I headed outside to enjoy the goodies. Where I bumped into the Midland Police runners – had the briefest of chats but did say I missed the most important freebie – the beer !!! I After he went I went back in the sample that beer stuff & they did mind return trips – it was nice :-)

Afterwards I sat in the stands to watch the remaining runners finish – inc the marathon runners. So many came in were really excellent time esp the older age group runners. It was a nice way to end the day. Afterwards I headed back to the hotel in Puerto Del Carmen where I had a few more of those beers type of drinks

Good event & so glad I spotted it & ran it.

Race stats;

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:00(9:00/m) - 115cal
2) - 1m - 9:05(9:05/m) - 117cal
3) - 1m - 8:58(8:58/m) - 118cal
4) - 1m - 8:41(8:41/m) - 118cal
5) - 1m - 8:53(8:53/m) - 117cal
6) - 1m - 8:42(8:42/m) - 118cal
7) - 1m - 8:38(8:38/m) - 117cal
8) - 1m - 8:50(8:50/m) - 118cal
9) - 1m - 8:48(8:48/m) - 117cal
10) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 118ca
11) - 1m - 9:21(9:21/m) - 118cal
12) - 1m - 9:08(9:08/m) - 117cal
13) - 0.91m - 8:18(9:08/m) - 107cal

Next up – was a few more days of rest out there.

Next running event – Andover Track Marathon (17th Dec).

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old”

- Poppy Day Marathon – 11/11/11 @ 11:11am

It was only fitting that I signed up for this event as this time of the year is the anniversary of my Dad`s passing.

I got there early & met with some folks I knew – RFJ & Silent Runner from the parkrun, Jovi Runner from GRN & TR24, also there was Plodding Hippo, Trin, Foxy Davy, Paul, MX, Matt, AJH & Mark from JW Ultra. I even met someone who I`ve wanted to meet for ages Dave – he has run over 120 10Kms. The field of runners was really quite amazing - around the 60 mark but what was amazing to see the full range of experience there – Brian Mills running his 809th, someone else running there 1st & congratulations to a 100th being run.

Soon it was time to go over to the assembly area, we stood together listening to the race briefing, Foxy Davy (RD) turned to Paul who read out a couple of verses of `The fallen”

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Such a powerful verse. Yes we will remember them. Time does take the sharpness out of the loss but you never forget them. This is not a selfish thought as I know the Men & Women of the three Services do a heck of job often in difficult & dangerous circumstances, with seemingly more making the biggest sacrifices but my thoughts naturally turn inwards at this time. I will not go into too much detail as it was very emotional.....all very odd really and quite unexpected. I did run with them not far from my thoughts.

Afterwards photos were taken and we headed out to the start line – we had to do a small loop & then 7 larger loops. At the correct time we were off. It was nice to see the poppies on show or the Help the Heroes colours being worn (someone even had Help the Heroes socks on & TZ running with combat trousers on). My plan was not fixed - somewhere in the 3:50 – 4:10 region, which looking back was I guess the wrong idea. Too much scope - I think a 20 minute window over 26 miles was too much – smaller window next time esp. on a flat course. As we headed around the first loop I felt very comfortable, almost jogging really. I saw the group begin to snake down the path. In the second mile I pushed up the pace then settled back down around the 4:00hr pace.

This carried on but I was making sure paid attention to the course – I didn`t want to take a wrong turn. Soon enough we past the water station / finish point so had a bit of fun with the helpers there & carried on. Even at this early stage I wanted to run the complete way without stopping – doesn`t sound much it`s something I have not done for a while – run a complete marathon.

I was happy with my pace, the only thing I wasn`t too happy with was the tightness of my left ankle – I managed to pick up this niggle from previous Friday where I ran 15M on a track while breaking in new trainers (the trainers I had on) – I thought it was having the laces done up too tight which made the front of the ankle quite sore. Eventually (in the 11th mile) I had to stop to retie my laces – ggrrrrrr. (Not a walking stop so ok ish) unsure why doesn`t show on the Garmin as a stop I don`t know.

I carried on but the pace was slowing down – gels every 60 mins but I took my 1st drink at around 17 & bit miles – I tried to pick the pace up but couldn`t get back to 9.00 / 9.10. Still the miles ticked past & the laps counted down. Soon enough the 1st of speedy runners came past – which is actually nice to see. I think it was 6 Men & the 1st Lady that went past. Despite my decreasing speed I was managing to overtake a few runners & even lapped a couple myself I gave some encouragement where I could. My ankle was still bugging me – not painful as such just making me aware that all is not ok.

Suddenly I was on my last lap – all very odd as none of this `20M` mental barrier with these laps - I guess looking back the 3rd from last lap was the toughest. Shortly after I had started my last lap I went passed RFJ – this should not happen in any race except the egg & spoon race I guess. He was not too well but I knew he was going to finish & it was his last lap too so not too long to go. I had guessed my expected time from 2 laps out & was just about to hit that if I was lucky with the final pickup pace.

As I went around the final corner I made for home – just about managing to sprint past a walker :) I was congratulated by FD & handed one of the nicest medals I have – cracking design.

(photo pinched)

My time – 4:10:57 (& ran all the way)

I grabbed my bag, put on some warm clothes, had a drink & a few nibbles & watched several other runners finish. After about 10 / 15 mins we headed inside for a drink at the bar, a bit of hot food & a chat. Which was nice – so many racers (like parkruns) people just leave. Top tip here – Afterwards go for a coffee & a talk running as it`s nearly as good as running.

Super event FD - thanks

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:17(9:17/m) - 116cal
2) - 1m - 8:45(8:45/m) - 118cal
3) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 117cal
4) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 117cal
5) - 1m - 8:50(8:50/m) - 118cal
6) - 1m - 8:59(8:59/m) - 117cal
7) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 118cal
8) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 117cal
9) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 118cal
10) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 118cal
11) - 1m - 9:46(9:46/m) - 118cal *
12) - 1m - 8:56(8:56/m) - 118cal
13) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 118cal
14) - 1m - 9:13(9:13/m) - 119cal
15) - 1m - 9:18(9:18/m) - 118cal
16) - 1m - 9:27(9:27/m) - 119cal
17) - 1m - 9:53(9:53/m) - 119cal
18) - 1m - 10:11(10:11/m) - 119cal
19) - 1m - 9:45(9:45/m) - 119cal
20) - 1m - 10:08(10:08/m) - 119cal
21) - 1m - 10:25(10:25/m) - 119cal
22) - 1m - 10:16(10:16/m) - 120cal
23) - 1m - 10:27(10:27/m) - 120cal
24) - 1m - 10:47(10:47/m) - 117cal
25) - 1m - 10:49(10:49/m) - 120cal
26) - 1m - 10:17(10:17/m) - 119cal
27) - 0.2m - 1:50(9:07/m) - 23cal

Race Results - LINK

What`s next – well I don`t really know.

I do have the `Frozen Fat Ass 50Km` down for the 27th but I do think my ankle needs rest now as it did swell up & with my busy year next year it might be the best idea – but we will see. Oddly enough I do have a scheduled Medical at the Doctor`s next week I may fully rest till then & see how it goes then.......

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Adidas Thunder Run 24hr

Category – Solo Man

Wwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee & gulp :-)

I guess I better look at training plans & future races - I do like this one already The "Pony "Express" New Forest Ultra

(I think I will do this one for charity so if I do rattle the penny jar please give generously - thanks)

.....boing, boing....

Advice tips & Ideas for training.....

"My tips for the TR24. Training wise just get miles in your legs. I did 200+ miles in the two months leading up to the event, the longest single training run I did was 43 miles.

On the event itself you need to go for every lap at a similar pace from start to finish, the guy who won did pretty much every one of his 20 laps @ 1h10 or there abouts. Keep eating all the time and keep your electrolytes up, plan your food in advance. If you can get someone to support you to help with kit changes and food it is a massive help, regular sock & top changes are a big boost. With breaks I would avoid sitting down at al, just keep moving and take food on your walk breaks, walk all the hills...you can walk this circuit at a brisk walk of about 1h 25l. Caffeine drinks help with the night time."

Also links Utra Disco Stu blog TR24 - 2010

This is what it`s all about.....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

"Please, Sir, I want some more".......

Picture the scene.........."Please, Sir, I want some more" - said Mr. K.

The Race Director - Henk - is a likeable chap who is well known in the Ultra circles & known for his outspoken, unsympathetic manner & use of swear words; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

"What, are you some kind of f***ing d**head ?? " said the Race Director at length, in a loud voice

"Please, Sir," replied Mr. K, "I want some more."

(OK some poetic license has been applied to the above)

Yes it was time to go back to the scene - yes the Caesar`s Camp Midnight 30. I ran this event in 2009 and back then it was my first Ultra (well really my 1st Marathon too) and after missing out last year it was time to go back for some more. The above `profile` picture was taken shortly after I finished in 2009.

On the morning of the race I decide to help out at the local parkrun (Frimley Lodge) - As I Marshalling I get to watch the runners go past & I am always amazed by their determination - whether they are going at 5.00/m or 11.00/m - they all want to finish - someone comes 1st & someone comes last. I did miss the running part & more importantly the coffee & chat at the Canal Cafe.

Shortly afterwards I head off to help Henk out but they are practically set up - apart from the tent that thinks it`s a hot air balloon !!!. It was good to say hello to a couple of folks I knew. I helped out at the gate & wander down later for the latter part of the race briefing. As well as profits of the event being handed out to Charity there was also two awards being handed out - I did miss this part so sorry if the titles of the awards are wrong - One for the "Hurry the f*ck up, you are taking your f*cking time award" to a guy who has finished last each time and the "Donkey award" to a runner who has attempted the 100 miler for 5 years running but still never finished. Well I did warn you. And with a "3, 2, 1 - F*ck off you lot" Henk sent the 100 & 50 milers away.

The course from the website has been described as "a 10 mile loop, there are no road crossings and the running surface is on fire-trail, access tracks and single track. At night we use light-sticks in strategic places. This is a tough loop!! We have measured the altitude rise and drop multiple times. Due to a landslide at one part causing an uphill diversion we now have the final course measured at 1,520 ft per lap, making the 100 miles 15,200 ft in climb (30 Miles = 4,560ft & 50 Miles = 7,600ft). There will be two checkpoints, one at the start and one at 5.6 miles"

Shortly afterwards I made my excuses and left - slept like a log till early evening. Like any race it is key to get there early and despite this event being 10 mins away from home I went back at around 10.00 pm. I saw some of the 50M & 100M come in - I checked who had pulled out :-( I saw Big Pete which was great - he was looking good. I did fluff around with what to wear - in the end I went for Brooks GTS 11`s, full length Skins, arm warmers, long sleeved Helly Hanson top, club vest, gloves & my JW Ultra hat. I did go with a gel belt but didn`t bother with a drink belt.

My race plan was to try to improve on 2009 results - I was 5th then with a time of 6:50:49. Ok I thought I may not improve on the time but position wise it would be nice - I was only 23 mins away from 1st place. One area where I lost a lot of time was at the end of each lap. Slick changeover was the word this year.

At around 10 to Midnight we got a race briefing from Henk - another cracking delivery :-) There was 9 of us in the 30M race (I did see 2 more had joined us later on). At the start I noted 7 runners (plus a dog) raced off at the start. I didn`t chase them - I had all night :-) Unlike the training for 2009 where I had spent time over Caesar`s Camp (7 x 10M approx) this year I had not stepped a foot over there - soon enough I found out why that wasn`t the best training plan ever.

Never try new things in race folks......like HILLS.

Even from the first hill my plan was to walk up the up slopes. 1st bleep of the Garmin - excellent 29 to go :-) As I looked over Aldershot & Farnborough from the Viewpoint I could see the street lights in the background. In the foreground I could see head torches bobbing around beneath me. The skies were clear - we were lucky with the weather.

The course was well marked but I made sure I remembered the course. I chatted to other runners when I went past. As the miles ticked past I got onto the relative flat part on the far side of the course, then it was felt downhill to the checkpoint at 5.6M or so. I sadly saw Pete there who was being talked out of pulling out - stomach issues :-( I was hoping to run with Pete later on - always next year Pete.

I didn`t hang around too long and off I went. During the next bit I came along the two runners dressed as Centurions complete with sandals, yes sandals :-O (They did 70M like that). Soon enough it was back up the Viewpoint and the run back home - I guess breaking the route up into sections help. A quick run down the last hill & bleep with the bar-code scanner & that was the 1st lap done - a shade of 2 hrs. I popped to the car to take a drink & a quick twitter update (why I don`t know - who else would be up at that time of night???) & off I went for round 2.

Despite running Amsterdam the week before I thought my legs were surprising good - this 30M race did to me had an odd feeling like a bit of a `fun run` when you compared it to the other runners on the course - these guys had already done 50 or 60 miles - top respect to them. It does become easier when you think "only doing the 30", "only one lap to go" It would be different if I was running 3 laps by myself on a Tuesday morning - this running lark is I guess a mindset thing. I had collected my ipod but didn`t feel the need to use it - it was actually nice to run on your own listening to the nocturnal activity. As I came through the start / finish area for the second time I noted the time - even though I wasn`t racing I did think it might be slower than 2009 - I wonder how many 30 milers I had past..........

As I started my 3rd & final lap I was aware of a fast runner behind - I think he was a 100M runner - it was. He caught me up as I came down the slope of the Viewpoint (he was flying down - I guess he was a fell runner). I caught him on the flat but then he flew down the next hill. Again I caught up with him on the next flat / rise. We chatted together for the next mile or so. Nice bloke (Robin (or Robert) Britton) - I think he ran the Great Union (145M) in 31 hours or so :-O I left him at the back of the course. At the checkpoint there were two guys there - one nearly asleep & the other had 5 miles to go - same as me but as it turned out he (John Poole) had started his 50 mile race late as he had run Beachy Head in the morning and then drove over (!!!) - that is some double. Again really nice chap and as we chatted on this home run stretch we talked about different races - he had done so much including coming in 4th at the Thames Ring 250 mile `race` in an incredible time of 79 hrs 58 mins - I left him with about a one & half miles to go, and soon enough came to the final hill and down into the race HQ. I thanked Henk for putting on another fantastic event.

Despite being out there for 7 hrs & 19 mins & up all night I felt quite good - OK my quads were shot but generally OK. I guess it feels different when the sun breaks through the night sky & you could enjoy a bit of food & drink. It was nice to get & reply to text & FB messages. I had a quick chat with Pete whilst eating `breakfast` - Rice pudding & 2 packets of Randoms (healthy I know). I went over to Henk again & thanked him & made my way home.

So my 15th Marathon (8th Ultra) done but to me it`s not a Marathon or ultra numbers game as I do too many races & have fun at other distances - it`s all about the running game.

Caesars Camp Website

Distance   2009 Results    2011 Results
10M          02:05:36          02:04:29
20M          02:17:52          02:25:50
30m           02:27:21          02:49:03
Position     5th (from 14)   6th (from 11) - Doh I best go back next year then...

My race report from 2009 (Fetch Everyone)

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 11:29(11:29/m) - 122cal
2) - 1m - 12:54(12:54/m) - 114cal
3) - 1m - 11:48(11:48/m) - 124cal
4) - 1m - 11:34(11:34/m) - 122cal
5) - 1m - 10:15(10:15/m) - 134cal
6) - 1m - 14:33(14:33/m) - 127cal
7) - 1m - 12:15(12:15/m) - 121cal
8) - 1m - 11:42(11:42/m) - 122cal
9) - 1m - 13:27(13:27/m) - 117cal
10) - 1m - 10:46(10:46/m) - 126cal

11) - 1m - 16:59(16:59/m) - 114cal
12) - 1m - 13:49(13:49/m) - 119cal
13) - 1m - 13:20(13:20/m) - 113cal
14) - 1m - 13:50(13:50/m) - 114cal
15) - 1m - 10:51(10:51/m) - 131cal
16) - 1m - 14:41(14:41/m) - 116cal
17) - 1m - 13:01(13:01/m) - 115cal
18) - 1m - 14:29(14:29/m) - 110cal
19) - 1m - 14:15(14:15/m) - 115cal
20) - 1m - 15:00(15:00/m) - 109cal

21) - 1m - 20:19(20:19/m) - 113cal
22) - 1m - 17:11(17:11/m) - 102cal
23) - 1m - 16:30(16:30/m) - 108cal
24) - 1m - 17:00(17:00/m) - 107cal
25) - 1m - 12:09(12:09/m) - 125cal
26) - 1m - 13:40(13:40/m) - 122cal
27) - 1m - 16:53(16:53/m) - 113cal
28) - 1m - 18:00(18:00/m) - 100cal
29) - 1m - 18:00(18:00/m) - 94cal
30) - 1m - 16:54(16:54/m) - 103cal
31) - 1m - 11:48(11:48/m) - 121cal
32) - 0.01m - 7(14:43/m) - 2cal

31.7M in 07:19:30

The day`s plan - after a long shower - was to pop down the running club & then make my way to to Fleet for the 10Km race there.............to watch the 10Km. Again all so impressive to watch from the two 32 mins guys to the 1 hr & 10 mins runners.

Next up - a bit of rest really with the Poppy Day Enigma Marathon (11th Nov) being next on the list.

Other news - After thinking long & hard I have decided that I need to spend more time on the track so I`ve (hopefully) entered the Andover Marathon - 105 laps & 195 mtrs - on the 17th December. Don`t worry I shall keep out of the inside lane :-)

Friday, 21 October 2011


Hopefully no repeat of the last oversea`s trip the club took - the infamous delay at Benidorm ... surely lightning could not hit twice, well I guess three times for me :-/

We took the early flight from Southampton (07:05), which did mean a 04:00 am start from home & collecting Dennis & Dave along the way. Timing wise it was perfect with meeting the others (Margaret, Colin & Brian) at the terminal. (Wendy, Karen & Steve were flying from Heathrow - I have a feeling they didn`t want to fly with me). We played `Spot the runner` in the terminal & on the plane - we didn`t need to look too far as the couple in the seats behind were from Sandhurst Joggers (the only time Cove Joggers were in front of SJ`s). Transport wise & hotel location were spot on - close enough to the train station & only two stops from the Expo & Stadium (start / finish area).

We wandered around the Expo in the afternoon - not too much there at all & prices did seem high which was a shame really & we headed back to the hotel before it was too late as we had arranged to got into town with the rest of the Running Crazy group for dinner later on. All I will say about that it didn`t go to plan which was a real shame as that idea did have potential. Anyway an early night beckoned.

Race morning - alarms off at 06:00 am. As I was room sharing I thought we might be pushed for time as we decided to leave the hotel at 8:00 to give us enough time at the stadium to savour the moment. A it happens time wasn`t a problem, breakfast was `Oat so Simple` pot & black coffee, showered & changed will still enough time to have a run before we left (2M @ roughly 8.00/m pace - blaming excitement there). The train was packed but it was only two stops, loads of folks everywhere so I`m glad we made the early trip. At the bag drop I bumped into Fetchies (katiec, Naomi P, BCRB & Dave B) and made our way into the stadium & zone C, where we saw Mrs Jigs, Rick OShay, Joopsy & Big Al - great timing as we had only to wait a couple of minutes or so for the start..

As it happens I didn`t hear the start - it only took 2 minutes or so to cross the line, and then the slow part getting out of the stadium & the narrow start but anyway. I had not really studied the course layout too much - I knew the 1st bit we had to do a number of times of times. As we headed into the park (1.5 M) the Red vest of a Sandhurst Jogger went past ... damm but nothing new there then :-) After a slow 1st mile we (Myself & Dave) had settled down to a nice pace - somewhere around the 3:40 pace..was I in PB (or close to PB shape???). I felt quite good as the miles ticked past - enjoying the course, seeing the other runners, having a chat with Dave. I think it was around the 5M spot we could see the lead pack on the other side of the road coming towards us - always good if that happens. Spotted so many Serpentine Vests. I was enjoying the course - snaking around the city, not knowing what was coming next.

Even as we moved towards the canal (8 M ish), it was OK - seeing the runners on the far side, listening to the numbers of barge playing music - we spotted our 1st walker (wow long day for someone) & saw a horse on the course (dangerous of what). We saw Malcolm (Running Crazy) just before 10M - I think we went through 10 M in 01:25:00 so all pretty good there & steady pace. This stretch (8 M to 15 M or so) was along the canal - found it a little tough but pace remained the same. Dave had stopped for a pee so I was on my own.

I guess around the 17.5 M area I notice my left hamstring tighten a bit (I decided not to wear my compression shorts - I had wondered if I feel any difference...) I thought I had only slow the pace a little bit (8:45 / 8:50 from 8:20) so it was a shame I saw my 1st 9.xx on the Garmin, followed by another one in the next mile. By this stage the weather was quite warm - my arm warmer had come off miles ago - I had tried to fluff around with the buff so at the next water station I took some time to sort that out..(10:15/m). The walking through the water stations then almost came a done thing as I found myself taking a break through the next & the next - I think my pace in between the stations was about 8:40/m pace but these breaks were adding minutes.. I was now off PB pace and off 3:45 (target) pace.

I thought going past the Heineken factory was a bit cruel but it did make me smile & there wasn`t too many miles left.. We headed back into the park (less than 3 Km maybe 4 Km to go) where I saw so many people walking. Under the 40 Km gantry (as it happens so the race data tells me I went though the 40 Km in exactly my PB to the second - 03:39:41). 2 Km to go - not far at all, 1 Km to go...around the corner and under the 500 metres to go sign...into the Stadium and into the home straight.

I don`t think I had a great race - 1st 17M was good but it was only 6 mins or so quicker then Athens - so I felt a bit of a fraud raising my arms up as I finished but it was another sub 4 done. I guess it`s not really a true PB unless it`s hard & tough going. I collected my bag without a problem & headed up into the stadium to wait for Dave and watch finishers. As it happens Dave finished shortly afterwards & we headed back onto the course to watch out for our Club`s Half-Marathon runners.

We stood at the 1 Km to go gantry. An excellent place too - the sun was out we could spot our vests a long way out plus they didn`t know we were there so the surprise value was great :-) Afterwards we met up in the stands to watch Dennis come through in an amazing time. In the evening we had decided to go for a Club meal (15 of us) & luckily enough we found a fantastic place & then made our way into the city for Post Race Running Crazy Party.......

The next morning, with well deserved hangovers we headed into the heart of Amsterdam for a Tourist day. I highly recommend the Bus with the canal tour a good way to spend 3 hours or so. The flight home was (surprisingly) uneventfully :-)

All in all a really good mini break with really good company.

Race stats -

5 Kilometer 27:07 (27:07)
10 Kilometer 52:57 (25:50)
15 Kilometer 1:19:02 (26:05)
20 Kilometer 1:45:11 (26:09)
Half marathon 1:51:04
25 Kilometer 2:11:31 (26:20)
30 Kilometer 2:40:13 (28:42) (20M I think was 02:52:xx)
35 Kilometer 3:10:02 (29:49)
40 Kilometer 3:39:41 (29:39)
Finish Time - 3:52:28

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 8:57(8:57/m) - 127cal
2) - 1m - 8:22(8:22/m) - 129cal
3) - 1m - 8:29(8:29/m) - 130cal
4) - 1m - 8:21(8:21/m) - 129cal
5) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 131cal
6) - 1m - 8:22(8:22/m) - 130cal
7) - 1m - 8:29(8:29/m) - 129cal
8) - 1m - 8:18(8:18/m) - 130cal
9) - 1m - 8:19(8:19/m) - 131cal
10) - 1m - 8:12(8:12/m) - 129cal
11) - 1m - 8:15(8:15/m) - 129cal
12) - 1m - 8:25(8:25/m) - 130cal
13) - 1m - 8:33(8:33/m) - 128cal
14) - 1m - 8:17(8:17/m) - 129cal
15) - 1m - 8:27(8:27/m) - 130cal
16) - 1m - 8:20(8:20/m) - 129cal
17) - 1m - 9:04(9:04/m) - 135cal
18) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 128cal
19) - 1m - 10:15(10:15/m) - 122cal - flaffing
20) - 1m - 8:59(8:59/m) - 129cal
21) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 129cal
22) - 1m - 9:35(9:35/m) - 129cal
23) - 1m - 9:19(9:19/m) - 132cal
24) - 1m - 9:58(9:58/m) - 129cal
25) - 1m - 9:13(9:13/m) - 130cal
26) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 129cal
27) - 0.4m - 3:29(8:42/m) - 52cal

Video Pt II

Next up - This Saturday night - Caesar`s Camp Midnight 30 - I best get out the rock climbing ropes & oxygen then............

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

What a difference a day makes.....

After, and to be honest what was not the best week ever I wanted to blast out a fast parkrun & kick those head demons into touch. My `warm up` run was good - 3 laps of the Frimley Lodge parkrun course - a progressive 4.65M (8:45/m, 8:36/m, 8:32/m, 8:23/m, 5:15/m (8:06/m) ). I started the parkrun well - maybe a bit too fast but as I ran along the canal & just before where you turn off the canal I indicated to the Marshal that I was pulling out and stopped just past him. My mind was not into it, thinking about too much stuff - all pretty much negative. And that was that - my 1st DNF. I couldn`t really face the `walk of shame` so I jogged along the canal up the stairs and back along the road to start got changed & that was it.

Sunday was a trip down to safe ground for the Salisbury Half Marathon but more importantly it was a different day.

This was always going to be an easy, medium length run in a nice area on a different course (& cheap too at £14.00). I collected Dave at 7:30 am and drove the familiar route down the M3 & A303. We got there early, collected numbers & had a cup of tea. The great thing with the Salisbury races is that the parking right right opposite the start at the Fire Station. We had only taken a quick peak at the course - 1st few miles were the same as the last few miles with a loop in between the two & a hill somewhere around the 5 mile mark. After a quick short warm up, we made our way to the back of the starting area and after the race briefing off we went..

The 1st mile marker seemed to come around really quite quickly - I checked the garmin - 9:33/m. This was normal as Dave is almost always runs a progressive race. Even at this early stage it was just nice to run somewhere different, Miles 2, 3 & 4 came around - we kept the pace fairly steady. Mile 5 was nice as it was where the hill was - we kept the pace in-line with the pace of the race. Even coming down the hill at mile 6 it was constant - a couple of runners past us here. At this point it was almost the turn for home - it felt good, we wee still passing people (inc a group of ramblers that almost formed a road block !!). Upper, Middle & Lower Woodford was a pretty part of the course.

It was around this point (9M) that an elderly gentleman from Andover AC came past us (we had gone past him a few miles back - it`s the Club vest thing) & saw him race off into the distance - well till the next turn in the road anyway !. We carried on and soon enough we joined back the early part of the course - and we had picked up the pace which was nice. As we saw the Fire Station we remembered that we had to run past & around the field !!

Well what a cruel, cruel finish that was - you see the finishing gantry and heard the cheers so you naturally sped up - then run past the finish (well run past the side of it anyway).....round the corner, down a lane, down a track, then unto a field, around a corner, along the river, run along the far side of the cark parking area & around the last corner & under gantry.

Finished in 1:57:40 - and despite a few last speedy miles thrown in we never did quite catch that chap from Andover AC (Later stalked as a V70 runner).

An event well worth running up for, the goody bag was good too - which included a Buff (I`ve never received a Buff before as a race memento)

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:33(9:33/m) - 127cal
2) - 1m - 8:51(8:51/m) - 128cal
3) - 1m - 9:13(9:13/m) - 131cal
4) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 130cal
5) - 1m - 9:02(9:02/m) - 131cal
6) - 1m - 9:11(9:11/m) - 130cal
7) - 1m - 8:43(8:43/m) - 132cal
8) - 1m - 8:47(8:47/m) - 130cal
9) - 1m - 8:54(8:54/m) - 130cal
10) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 132cal
11) - 1m - 8:45(8:45/m) - 130cal
12) - 1m - 8:37(8:37/m) - 129cal
13) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 130cal
14) - 0.21m - 1:41(8:07/m) - 26cal

Other news - I`ve posted off my entry form the Sunrise To Sunset Challenge  on the 27th December (Start time 08:20 to 16:01 around a 0.84M course) plus entries for the Thunder Run 24 open soon........

Next up - An easy week, then the Amsterdam Marathon on the 16th with the Club & Running Crazy. Bring on the snow !!!

Thursday, 6 October 2011


A delayed race report from my little trip down the canal at the JW Ultra.

Like most ultras, it`s a small event but don`t let that put you off entering because you will miss out on a real gem of an event, full of very nice runners, marshals, helpers & spot on organisers (& a bit like who`s who in running).

We start at Stratford Upon Avon and start at the same time as the relay runners. The first section is quite nice except the steps and then work along the Canal - again very nice except where the food fair is (smells of bacon butty etc) and then through Stratford. After that it`s Canal all the way. I had aimed for around the 5hr / 5hr 10min mark. A nice pace nothing too fast like last year (1st 16M at sub 9.00/m pace), and again I had planned to stop along the way to update folks on FB (*). As you can see from the photos it is such a nice route especially if the weather is kind.

I covered the 1st 6.57M in 63 mins (1st Gel)   & then the first checkpoint & relay change over point (approx 10 miles) at around 1:34, a quick grab of drink and off I went again. I stop for my 2nd gel at 12.75M (2hrs 4mins) and my 3rd at 17.63M (3hrs 2mins) – I went through the 2nd & final checkpoint / change over (approx 20M) at 3hrs 31mins. For info 26.2M in 4hrs 41 mins.

Now I had planned to take the latter part very easy but I was listening to Tony Audenshaw @ Marathon Talk talking about “*** your Legs” (show 88) on the ipod so I decided to sped up a bit.......this, however was my downfall as I was not paying attention to the route instructions (what bridges to cross, which canal to take at a intersection).....and I followed another runner (who I think was just out for a jog) and took the wrong turn at mile 28.4M.

I knew it was wrong when I ran out of canal (!!!!) & ended going up (always up) a steep slope into a housing estate.....I only went a mile the wrong way (which meant 2 miles extra of course). Nothing worse than being out on the course when the Garmin clicks over the event distance and you can`t see the finish...!!! As I neared the correct course I took a call from Yeti, who asked where I was, I replied “Where are you?” She said “she was at the finish” ....and I thought “I wish I was at the finish” Apparently I was spotted heading in the wrong direction....

That error cost me at least 25 mins – eventually I saw the finish and crossed the line (in a sheepish manner) in 5:45:20 having run 32:59 Miles (Last year I was 4:54) – I wonder if there is such a thing as `over, over distance training`???

Great event – I must do the short course again :-)

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 10:12(10:12/m) - 127cal
2) - 1m - 10:44(10:44/m) - 123cal
3) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 131cal
4) - 1m - 9:12(9:12/m) - 130cal
5) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 129cal
6) - 1m - 9:44(9:44/m) - 131cal
7) - 1m - 11:19(11:19/m) - 128cal *
8) - 1m - 9:38(9:38/m) - 130cal
9) - 1m - 9:39(9:39/m) - 130cal
10) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 129cal
11) - 1m - 9:57(9:57/m) - 128cal
12) - 1m - 9:31(9:31/m) - 126cal
13) - 1m - 16:03(16:03/m) - 129cal *
14) - 1m - 9:47(9:47/m) - 127cal
15) - 1m - 9:47(9:47/m) - 131cal
16) - 1m - 11:07(11:07/m) - 124cal
17) - 1m - 10:38(10:38/m) - 126cal
18) - 1m - 12:50(12:50/m) - 121cal *
19) - 1m - 10:09(10:09/m) - 127cal
20) - 1m - 10:54(10:54/m) - 126cal
21) - 1m - 12:17(12:17/m) - 130cal
22) - 1m - 11:22(11:22/m) - 124cal
23) - 1m - 12:24(12:24/m) - 119cal
24) - 1m - 15:30(15:30/m) - 122cal *
25) - 1m - 9:49(9:49/m) - 128cal
26) - 1m - 9:28(9:28/m) - 130cal
27) - 1m - 12:39(12:39/m) - 130cal **
28) - 1m - 10:24(10:24/m) - 129cal
29) - 1m - 10:25(10:25/m) - 119cal
30) - 1m - 14:36(14:36/m) - 119cal - opps
31) - 1m - 11:28(11:28/m) - 120cal
32) - 0.59m - 5:53(9:55/m) - 75cal

* Updating FB along the way

Result Link

Race Photos Link

Other stuff.

FETCH Mile (Friday 30th September)

I`ve been on one of those running tracks :-O A FETCH Mile - I know it was not going to be a PB attempt seeing as it was 6 days after the JW Ultra but I was pleased how I went about running 4 and a bit laps. I went in the sub 7:30 group with 3 others :-) After seeing so much of GO MO GO Farah over the summer I thought I would try to same game...no not a his pace but to run at the back, which I did for the 1st two laps increasing the pace but still at the back running my own race. In the 3rd lap I picked up the pace even more but still didn`t feel flat out, come the 4th lap I thought I was moving nicely. With half a lap to go I still wasn`t pushing it and almost `cruised` (5:30 - 5:15 pace) through the line. I was a little surprised when I heard I ran 06:33 (I did forget to stop the Garmin) - which was only 5 seconds away from PB - so again it`s all about pacing. Nice place Palmer Park in Reading too & good company too.

Connect Garmin Link

Julian Farrell 10Km (Sunday 2nd October)

Again never a PB attempt, for two good reasons. 1. A hilly course. 2. I wanted this 6 miles to be the second section of a medium run (it was as I ran 9 miles by myself beforehand). Despite being a local race I had never run it. So I thought it was about time I ran. I got there early & said hello to club mates & park runners. So enough we made our way to the starting area and without much of a fuss we were off. I thought steady 50 mins would be a good time all things considered. A small loop first then down past the start area and out unto the familiar Frimley Park 10Km route. Instead of turning left around the 6Km mark we carried on straight - well up would be the better word...what a killer drag up the incline..my pace had really slowed down. I thanked the helpers at the water station there & slowed down a bit for a soaking by hose. I was counting down the Kms here, thinking there must be one more hill before the finish - it never came. I came through the line in 50:52 (however the race results says 50:06) so not a bad result really.

Connect Garmin Link

This week I`ve entered the fabulous named event......"Frozen Fat Ass 50Km" race in November - how cool is that :-) I really cannot wait to finish that one to say I`ve done that.

Other news - I`ll rather not go into but I never like giving up on anything or doing something I don`t want to do especially when my mind is made up but when do you decide to call it day?? :-(

Next up - the Salisbury Half on Sunday (easy / steady run), then the Amsterdam Marathon where I`m thinking a sub 3:45 would be good, then 6 days later the Caesars Camp Midnight 30 :-O I am glad of these long runs at the moment.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Great balls of fire..............

My Great North weekend....

It`s the Great North weekend - which is something I have planned since early January - flights, accommodation, day plan, car parking etc etc. Normally I fly up from Heathrow T5 on the Saturday afternoon after racing around Bedfont parkrun in the morning but this year I booked up a Friday afternoon flight - meaning I could give the Newcastle parkrun a bit of a go (so the `different event / location` rule of a sub 23 mins run applied).

When I arrived in Newcastle it was so different to the sunny & warm conditions I have just left down South - raining & with skies of solid dark clouds - but as the metro station is linked to the airport it wasn`t much of a problem. I had already booked the Travelodge for the Saturday & Sunday night (an amazing deal - read a mammoth error on their side - of £1.00 per night) & thought is was best I didn`t disturb that deal. So I booked in a hotel in Osbourne Road (1.2M away from the parkrun), which despite getting soaked in the evening (forgotten a brolly) was OK - had amazing fish & chips from Jesmond Hotel & Brassiere & had a fairly early night.

Jesmond Hotel

Up and about early on Saturday & breakfast came in the form of a pot `Oats So Simple` & black coffee and checked out before 7.30 am. I had left my main bag there so I only had my small rucksack with me - I found the underpass, a quick scoot around the band stand & the old museum and out unto the Town Moor where I met the famous Town Moor cows in my warm up (2.7M in 27 mins). A quick chat with Kelly & 154 Rob, Pestomum & 2 Flat Feet we made our way to the start. Newcastle parkrun is a flat course, mainly on solid path with a small section of hard trail & a couple of gate (which are nicely held open) - so my goal of sub 23 mins.

I didn`t want to look at the mile bleeps so I thought if I looked at the Km markers I`ll be able to work out if I was slowing down too much....good plan eh.... 1st Km = 4:14....... 2nd Km = 8:33.......3rd Km = 13:16 (I had slowed down - what are the chances of that)....... 4th Km = thank goodness I had only 1 more Km to go - lets give it some - come on I can see the finish flag & no runner is getting past me......... 5 Km = finished & why am I not on the floor being sick???

An incredible time of 22:14 - my fastest 5 Km since I think April 2010 & only 21 seconds away from my PB (& I still managed to say hello to the kind marshals out on the course). Afterwards I managed a quick word with Tom Williams (of Marathon Talk) & out for a cool down (i.e. run to the coffee shop with Kelly - who managed a super time of 19:49). Had coffee & grabbed my bag from the hotel & made my way to Newcastle...

Race data;

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 6:53(6:53/m) - 126cal
2) - 1m - 7:28(7:28/m) - 131cal
3) - 1m - 7:33(7:33/m) - 130cal
4) - 0.06m - 21(5:37/m) - 7cal

Pace Zone Summary

Pace Zone: 6:00-6:19/mile: 2.7%
Pace Zone: 6:20-6:39/mile: 7.6%
Pace Zone: 6:40-6:59/mile: 24.6%
Pace Zone: 7:00-7:19/mile: 25.4%
Pace Zone: 7:20-7:39/mile: 18.8%
Pace Zone: 7:40-7:59/mile: 10.3%
Pace Zone: 8:00-8:19/mile: 3.6%
Pace Zone: 8:20-8:39/mile: 1.8%

I got to the hotel early & managed to check without fuss & after a quick shower & change I made my way (basically opposite the hotel) to the Quayside to watch the City Games - Mo is super quick - then a quick wander over to the Expo. Dinner was not as exciting as the previous night but I did have a walk down by the Tyne.

Morning of the race day I was up quite early (4.00am) - opps - but at least I wasn`t rushed. Again breakfast was oh so simple with coffee. I do like running through the streets before everyone else at a big race - time to enjoy the peace and quiet. I made my way to the starting area and looked back up the dual carriageway - it was so empty.

I grabbed a drink started to people watch - some of their faces were real pictures - talk about shock and awe. I made my way down to our footbridge & met up with MrSJ for a pre-race chat. As time moved on other arrived too - Mandie, Steve, RLTW, Stringy, James & Emily, Dasher Dart & GP (I`m sure others were there too). Just after the start of the wheel chair race I made my excuses and made my way though to my pen (B - same as last year). I must of started a bit more towards the back of the pen this year - as I crossed the line in just over two minutes. (I did also high five Mo).

My race plan wasn`t too clear in my head - I just wanted to have a good feeling afterwards knowing I had run well - no PB or not even a course PB (if there such a thing) or even close but just a good run would do. I had gone down the left (apparently the fun side) - Mile 1 = steady I resisted the fast first mile routine, 2nd, 3rd & the 4th Mile I steadied the ship. Now at this point I had a plan - I tried to run 8.00/m at the New Forest 10 in July & failed at mile 8 so I thought "right let`s try again.....but without taking gels or water" Mile 5 I seemed to get boxed in a lot (what a rookie !!). Mile 6, 7 & 8 I put my foot down a bit - looking at the profile it is the downhill section. Mile 9 & 10 - I slowed down as I knew all about the uphill part. Just after John Reid Road I saw MrSj - he was doing really well (he too had move over to the `fun side`) - he said he was dying - I just said `"die at the end as there`s more medics around". I`m sure he said something I cannot type but did say Jovi Runner was just ahead. At this stage the rain which was quite gently before came pouring down - which I must say was quite nice. I saw Jovi Runner in front and just after after the last roundabout I said "Come on" and pushed on.

I wanted to re-live that thought I has a couple of weeks ago - running down the last mile in a great mood, high five`s all round & sprinted towards & through the finish.

Now as I came past the 200 sign & towards the line the finishing area marshals decided to open up the far hand lane - and so it was just me and this other runner to go through first. As we got closer we sped up, closer & closer, faster & faster - as we got unto the grass we were shoulder to shoulder - I was living that dream. Side by side we neared the finishing line...despite it not getting any closer.

The finish line did of course come but I think the other guy was half a shoe in front. We crossed the line & shook hands - see photos & more importantly the video - I met with Jovi Runner & MrSJ (ok I was too knackered to move after that finish) & after 6 attempt in different buses I found my bag & made my way to the pub.

Marathon Photos Link

Was I pleased with my run - then yes I was and as it happened my pace was 7:59/m (13.19M @ 1:45:19) Fastest Half for 12 months

Race Data;

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 7:51(7:51/m) - 126cal
2) - 1m - 8:05(8:05/m) - 133cal
3) - 1m - 8:05(8:05/m) - 130cal
4) - 1m - 8:04(8:04/m) - 130cal
5) - 1m - 8:12(8:12/m) - 129cal
6) - 1m - 7:43(7:43/m) - 131cal
7) - 1m - 7:42(7:42/m) - 132cal
8) - 1m - 7:50(7:50/m) - 129cal
9) - 1m - 8:12(8:12/m) - 130cal
10) - 1m - 8:06(8:06/m) - 130cal
11) - 1m - 8:18(8:18/m) - 129cal
12) - 1m - 8:12(8:12/m) - 129cal
13) - 1m - 7:37(7:37/m) - 131cal
14) - 0.19m - 1:23(7:07/m) - 24cal

Pace Zone Summary
Pace Zone: 6:40-6:59/mile: 1.3%
Pace Zone: 7:00-7:19/mile: 4.5%
Pace Zone: 7:20-7:39/mile: 17.5%
Pace Zone: 7:40-7:59/mile: 24.6%
Pace Zone: 8:00-8:19/mile: 23.9%
Pace Zone: 8:20-8:39/mile: 13.7%
Pace Zone: 8:40-8:59/mile: 5.7%
Pace Zone: 9:00-9:19/mile: 2.6%
Pace Zone: 9:20-9:39/mile: 1.5%

In the evening had a cracking night spent new & old friends catching up with their day..

Now it seems I cannot go through an airport in a straight forward way.....I am pleased to say that Newcastle didn`t disappoint. I booked the early flight (11:50) so not to waste the whole day travelling back, I made check in plenty of time (so I thought). When I checked in the nice people at BA said I was on `Stand by` but I could qualify for £200 compensation if I wanted to. They said the next flight was 13:40 ish so I said yes - I`ll move to the later flight....Now I am totally lost by the next bit as I didn`t get on my stand by flight nor did I get the £200 but when I went to the Information desk to ensure I was booked on that next flight I was flagged & got compensation of £216 (time on ground delay ???!!!??? ) !! I caught that later flight - the world went mad for 5 minutes I seemed to be in the middle of it (again).

BTW - I have put the money to good use - by entering a couple of races.

Next up - After this week`s recovery week (including a sports massage) the JW Ultra. A nice 30 mile trip along a Canal counting Ducks, Swans, Bridges, Barges, Fetchies & Pirates....

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Top Gear...nah, more like Top Event.....

Autumn Spitfire 20

What is it about this event I like...the two undulating laps, the sling-shot cornering, the close location, the numbers of runners I know on race day, the easy parking, the friendly marshals & recently the terrible weather??? I don`t know but I do. So to run laps 7 & 8...yes my 4th time here.

My `training plan`* is been coming along nicely, with the long runs getting a bit longer each time but this was the 1st continuous run that would start with a “2”. The plan was to run a progressive run – idea given to me by Gobi (thanks). The plan was 5M @ 9.08/m pace, then 5M @ 8.53/m, 4M @ 8.38/m, 4M @ 8.23/m and then the last 2M at whatever pace I had left.

There was only 2 little problems with this – a) the latter part of the course is where the lumps are so not easy to increase the pace there and b) the last time I had done thins plan I had done a number of 20M+ runs. These two issues were countered by 2 advantages – as I said I had done this plan before at Bramley 20 & it had worked a treat, the 2nd was I had been practicing my progressive runs – even at parkruns – where my 1st 3.1M run pre 9.00am parkrun were slower than my actual offical 9.00am start parkrun.

Come race day I collected Dave & off we go to Dunsfold Aerodrome (just over 20 miles away), we get there early. Park up & before a grab a tea we bump into the Andover crowd (Matt, Mark & Martin) & then the Chineham Park runners. As the start time moves closer as move towards the stating area – I bump into Ben (who is flying at the moment) & wished him well. Even thou I wasn`t fully racing it today I went with my race kit (inc a pair of sunnies – what a complete waste of time those were). So a finishing time of 2:54:04 in mind & completing the 1st 10M in exactly 1:30:00 pacing was the key.

The 1st 3M of the course is now completely flat and all within the aerodrome (start / finish is at the back of the aerodrome) so it was good to control those 1st few miles, Mile 3-4 was a bit lumpy, 5M was generally flat, 6M was now off unto quieter country roads, but just before the 7M there was a sharp incline that made your lunges work overtime, Mile 17 is I guess one of my favourite miles on the course, however it does end going uphill & with the 18M in sight – then only two left. Then the final corner before entering the road to the pub & the gates – all but over then or half the fun gone depending on your race distance.

We kept it steady in the 1st few miles & not being drawn along by other runners racing off into the distance. Just outside the gates Dave disappears into the bushes so I drop the pace a little so he doesn`t need to sprint to catch up – 1st part nearly spot on. Second 5M I increase the pace a touch, knowing Dave longest run since London but is generally going well. About mile 8 I just get in front but I can still hear him. At the pub (around 9.5M) I wait for him as he has dropped back – another trip to the bushes – anyway he says to carry on – so I did.

I go through the start / finish mats at I think spot on 1:30:xx but I feel I`ve slipped back & start to push the pace. Mile 11 bleep went off – 8:16 – OMG – I wonder if I`ve ruined my race for the sake of 1 fast mile – stupid, stupid, stupid... I dropped my speed down but my pacing is all over the place – was it due to the undulations of the course or me? Had I gotten away with the a fast mile 11????

Now starting the last 4 miles (I do not count miles 19 & 20 as that`s nearly the finish I can run free pace – yippee), anyway this last 4M is where I struggle – I need 8:23 – disappointing 1st mile – too slow. Crazy 2nd mile (what a muppet) – way too fast, 3rd mile about right, and the lay of the land getting me in the last mile of the four.

I see the mile marker & I`m free of the garmin – I try to give it legs & run for home....ok not too much left. Ok the last 5 or 6 miles were in the rain & I could feel the legs tighten up but I push. Some guy at 19M comes flying past me and the group I`m tracking so I try to go with him – he is too strong but I increase my pace & take this group....maybe I was paying the price for those fast 11th & 16th Miles??

I head around the corner & through the gates & around the final corner – I get a couple of shouts (thanks) & through the finishing mats. I see Ruth who had a really good run & Joh just finishing behind. We grab a coffee as we are getting really cold. I get changed & wait for Dave to come through – he does shortly after. So that`s his first long run done. We grab another coffee & watch the weather clear a bit!!!

Garmin Splits :

9:11, 9:07, 9:08, 9:22, 9:06,
9:01, 8:51, 8:56, 8:57, 9:21,
8:16, 8:34, 8:29, 8:36,
8:39, 8:11, 8:26, 8:30,
8:22, 7:15 (0.88m @ 8:13/m).

*I`ve had to modify a standard Marathon plan as it`s so hard to find a decent plan that includes 6 x 10Km off-road laps being the Thunder Run & a 30M canal run (JW Ultra), a marathon on foreign soil (Amsterdam), a 30M fun run that starts at Midnight (Midnight 30) and a couple of half marathons thrown somewhere in.

Next up – something I`ve planned for about 10 months – the Newcastle parkrun......oh and the Great North Run the day after :-)

Monday, 29 August 2011

From one beach to another...

Burnham Beeches Half Marathon -

One of the year`s favourite events for me. It`s a championship event, which normally means they have a good route, good facilities (inc use of the venue`s open air swimming pool afterwards), quick results, plenty of parking etc.

I normally use this event as a gauge for the forthcoming Great North Run for example,

BB`09 - 01:52:20 v GNR `09 - 01:48:04

BB`10 - 01:46:39 v GNR `10 - 01:43:15

Seeing as my build up was slightly different to previous visits to BB i.e. holiday break beforehand rather than afterwards - only got back on Tuesday - I knew I would not be `racing` this one - which was a shame really.

I took up Dave (club mate) on his offer to drive, along with hungover Dan, we get there nice and early - especially good as the start is a good 20 mins walk away from the parking (good to ease the legs off afterwards), we get a cup of tea, watch the starting area fill up. I say hello to several familiar faces - some I`ve not seen for a while. We assemble towards the back of the staring area, and wait - I guess there is a problem as the start is delayed for 15 mins or so – lack of toilets leading to massive ques. Anyway we start - and one of the `odd` things about this course is that after 500 metres there is a massive slope you need to `run` up so that slows the pace down but then it`s out unto the surrounding roads.

As it`s Dave`s comeback long run (not really run since the Sam Run back in July) & Dan`s hangover we keep the pace sensible & run together (making sure we don`t block the road). We the plan to sped up towards the end (8 M+) but go round steady, I chat to a few runners along the way. As we move through the miles the runners spread out and we carry on with our pace - still running in a formation - Cove Joggers pack of 3 - which is good. The hills along the course are towards the back end of the lap (4.5 - 6M) which are good fun & catch a few out (inc Dan).

Second lap - It is a good feeling passing people – even when not racing but it does the importance of correct pacing. We keep the pace steady esp at 9, 10 & 11M – knowing that the last bit will a bit tougher. Some good lessons for Dan at towards the end of course. I`m also learning that the Nike Swifts may not the shoe for me – but it could be `a bit of holiday footwear` hangover. We eventually come round the last corner & into the School field – down the slope (which is more fun as the grass is damp). Past the `I`m not a 400 metre runner` sign and come through the finish together.

Nice run & the soak in the pool afterwards was nice.

Splits & Garmin data;

1) - 1m - 10:07(10:07/m) - 128cal
2) - 1m - 8:47(8:47/m) - 132cal
3) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 132cal
4) - 1m - 8:42(8:42/m) - 131cal
5) - 1m - 8:24(8:24/m) - 129cal
6) - 1m - 9:38(9:38/m) - 135cal
7) - 1m - 8:43(8:43/m) - 132cal
8) - 1m - 9:51(9:51/m) - 135cal
9) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 133cal
10) - 1m - 9:00(9:00/m) - 130cal
11) - 1m - 9:00(9:00/m) - 132cal
12) - 1m - 10:23(10:23/m) - 132cal
13) - 0.81m - 8:02(9:57/m) - 102cal

(Last year my garmin measured it as as 12.75M & in 20090 it was 13.09M – twists and turns & a lot of the course is under tree cover)

Next up – some long slow runs, a night on the beer, the Club`s (Morris & Jean`s) BBQ & the last (or 1st depending on your viewpoint) Woodland 5 & a bit on Wednesday night, then the Surrey Spitfire 20 at the weekend (a 5 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 2 plan may be on the cards there – unsure yet)

PS Great news already in for next year – Fleet Half Marathon & Reading Half Marathons are not going to clash – Fleet Half is on 25th March & Reading is on the 1st April – just fingers crossed for the Lightning 12hr (but I do have a plan B in place :-) )

Oh if you want to read a true inspiring running blog then read James Adams`s blog - an incredible & awesome run;

Thursday, 4 August 2011

#TR24 - It`s like a mini Glastonbury * but instead of rain we ran.

Thunder Run 24 - if you don`t know is a 24 hour off-road 10Km relay race in teams 1 - 8, which started at noon on Saturday.

I had been promoted to the "Willy Wonka" team - they had taken 2nd place (with 28 laps) in last year`s event so the pressure was on esp as the standard would un-doubtable be higher this year.

Getting there early on Friday evening was again a good move, even with the M25 the plan was to get there around 5.00pm. I left at 2.00pm and managed the M25 without problems - all was going well until 4.15pm (yes after I let them know my ETA). Got stuck at the M40 / M42 junction - let`s just say I like it`s the M1 & cross country route next year. I arrive at 7.00pm. I say hello to Mick, Simon & poor Shielsy who all arrive around lunch time. Shielsy had already fallen fowl of the uneven ground / tent guy rope & was out of action for the weekend - gutted for her. As is standard they watched as I put up the my tent but decided to help with the newly acquired gazebo (tip - gazebo is a must bring item). We settled in for the evening & watched the campsite fill up - I chatted to a few folks including B-Lass & MXHornet (a soloist).

In the morning I did what I said I would do at 9.00am - instead of going to the nearby parkrun I put my feet up, sat in the early morning sun had breakfast & drank coffee. As more team mates arrived we watched them struggle with their tents. As time moved towards noon you could feel the excitement build. Soon enough we moved to the start / finish area - my goodness there were loads of runners - Patrick (RD) has certainly got his wish for wanted to go bigger than before. Simon used his captain`s card well & decided to run in the 1st leg, I was batting in 5th spot so I would not be out for hours (well 3 hrs 15 mins to be precise). I would be running after Jamie & handed over to Simon. Last year I completed 4 laps - 52:22, 56:30, 55:52 & 53:18 & even thou I was in faster team I expected to run laps in similar times but more laps. Soon enough Jamie arrived back and my weekend had started. I had forgotten how undulating the course was but it was nice to see the small course changes. Soon enough I was on the ridge at 7.5Km, homeward bound, then turning the last corner and into the home stretch & handing the `baton` to Simon. Lap one completed in 52:24 (2 seconds slower - gutted).

I think one of the keys with this type of relay is to use the time well - eat first, then clean up & then rest & then finally get ready for the next lap. As we chatted we saw runners going in & going out - soon enough it was time to get ready again. Lap two was just before 7:30pm. Again the plan was to keep to a similar time - I did feel kind of jealous of the solo runners & from my running in the 12hr Lightning Run I knew how they felt when a speedy runner in 5`s or 8`s went past - total respect to them. I completed lap No. 2 in 53:04 with Simon & his head torch on and waiting - night running now.

One thing I guess you would miss if you ran as a solo or in pairs is the post lap chat - we had good group - Willy Wonks & the Thunder Crackers. Hilary had kindly stepped in to take Shielsy place (end up completing an amazing 3 laps). As the clock move round it was my turn to don the head torch (& rear light) I went out for lap 3 just before midnight. Two things I noticed during the night lap was the amount of dust being kicked up by other runners in the wooded area (kind of like driving though fog & switched the main beam on) and the other was that because you could not see the undualating course it felt flatter. I managed to avoid being caught out by the tree routes in the `technical` area & finished in 57:11 - 18.6 miles that day I wonder what would `Race Day` bring.

I did my normal routine, eat, shower, rest - note I didn`t say sleep as I think at best I got my head down for about 45 mins - sleep must count if over 60 mins. I tried to work out when my lap would be - It was the `good morning` lap where it starts in darkness & by the end the sun is up & the tireness was gone - I handed over to Simon at around 5:30am - lap time of 55:04. Jamie had run well but decided to call it a day - he had put in some quick times and helped the team into a strong position.

It was time for breakfast , a wash & a catch up on who had done what during the night. We were doing well - around 8th to 10th place depending when you looked - Chris had picked up the pace. At his stage of the game it was all about counting down the laps - working out the running order. Soon enough I was heading back out for my 5th Lap - felt tough but seeing the solo runners still out there pushed you on. Once again I was handing over to Simon - lap time 55:45.

We had decided on our final lap was to do a team lap. Simon had completed his lap in a similar time to my lap & we tried to get him to do a double - strangely enough without success so Wendy, Chris & Myself headed out. We walked the incline but even by doing that we picked up Jamie at the 8Km in good time. Around the corner & up the last incline where Simon was - we got into formation and with our flag held high we went through the finish line together - out last (& my 6th) lap was around the 01:07:39 mark. We had completed 26 laps & ended up 10th in the mixed 5`s.

6 x 10Km in 52:24, 53:04, 57:11, 55:04, 55:45, 1:07:39

(For the record - 1st came in with 33 Laps, 2nd = 33 Laps, 3rd = 32 Laps)

Will I be there next year for the hat-trick? The answer is YES, and yes I do like the idea of `A team of one`

For a better description of the weekend & some fancy music (& thanks to 26.2 RRC)

Edit - Here`s another -

Edit (& an important one) - I will never play cards or gamble against MrSJ & Jovi Runner....played the `injured` card so well - 6 laps each & well done to Mandie doing a double lap. 

* Thanks to Shielsy for the Glastonbury idea :-) 

Garmin route of our team lap

Oh I manage a little recovery race last night - Yateley 10Km in a reasonable time of.......49:49 - which is the same time as last month`s Yateley 10Km AND Sam`s 10Km Run - what are the chances of hitting the same time in 3 races??

Next up - Is a trip to buy 3 lottery tickets - not really but off for some warm weather training & then the Burnham Beaches Half on the 21st August (so glad my 10Km season has ended)

Friday, 29 July 2011

DNS = Did Not Scribe...

No I haven`t managed to write the race reports for the races prior to this weekend`s Thunder Run 24 hr.

I can say the Woodlands 5 & a bit (42:43) & Yateley 10 KMs (49:49) are as good as ever. The Sam Run is a fantastic event (49:49 yes another 49:49) which should be much bigger than it is (everyone note for next year). The Elstead Marathon is not a marathon but a wonderful village race over mixed surfaces - road, sand, trails & even has a river crossing over 5.4 Miles (43:50) - they don`t like to advertise this race but keep your eyes open for it next year. Going to one of the pubs in the village afterwards was really good too.

If you only did say 3 races next year then I really would say the New Forest 10 (01:22:50 ) must be one of three (plus the Poole parkrun (22:57) the day before :-)) - it is a great race. The whole weekend was just great - camping in the site just behind the race start, running, BBQ afterwards, big club turnout, the loads of faces I knew - just a great weekend. I aimed for 8.00`s but backed off & almost jogged the last two miles - maybe too early for 8:00`s but at least I have a bench mark & no harm was done.

I also managed to take part in this year`s Bounders Relay - an excellent race where teams of 4 all run 2 miles legs of hilly, off-road loop (where the Woodlands 5 is held). Last year Cove entered two teams - this year we entered 4 teams, this included two brand new members - brilliant. Hoping to have 5 teams next year. Great evening`s fun.

Next up the Thunder Run 24 - which is big but next year it`s even bigger. ;-)

Must dash...........

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A question.

Is writer`s block - well more precisely blogger`s block` a sports injury?

If so can anyone suggest a suitable treatment as like most injuries they come on at the worst possible moment - as I have 5 race reports to write (inc a whole weekend in the New Forest) & a chat with Ultra Runner Dean Karnazes......

Next event (not to write up about) - The Thunder Run on the 30th July - sigh.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Going off-road

Forest 5 -

One could easily mistake this event as Cross Country event as there are club vests everywhere - Bracknell Forrest Runners, Sandhurst Joggers, Reading Road Runners, Runnymede Runners, Fleet & Crookham AC, Chineham Park, Farnham Runners etc etc - I do say `mistake this` as I`ve never run a proper XC event - that could change this Winter.... there were mountain bikers everywhere but that`s just cheating.

Last year I managed to talk a `non-running` mate into running this event - he must of enjoyed it as he entered again this year So we get there early and go for a warm up (1.3M @ 9.39/m), we get back and meet Dave & Dennis (other Cove Joggers) in the car park & made our way to the start. The start is a bit congested so I held back at the start (see time difference - 17`s) despite the uphill 1st mile & the heavy legs the trail began to clear. I knew the legs would be tired after Sunday`s 10Km so I decided to wear my new Compression Calf sleeves & bouncy shoes but still felt hard work The 2nd mile is down-hill mile so it felt easier - I didn`t know the splits as I`m not looking at the Garmin as I go round.

Just after the 2M beep we turn a sharp-ish corner & go up a incline. I pushed up a bit here but soon the advantage was lost as a couple of the group I was running join up again - damm what a rookie. Then it`s the turn of the hill at around 2.25M - all I am trying to do is keep it steady. I pass a few runners here which is good & see a couple of `vests` in front (no names being mentioned). I had forgotten how lumpy this course was as for some reason I thought it was down hill after the earlier hill (I was in a state of shocked) but pushed on. I was passing more runners than runners passing me so all good there I guess. I still couldn`t catch Jon from Chineham but at least he wasn`t gaining ground either.

I remembered from last year (due to twists & turns, ups & downs) the course came up short on the Garmin so I was pleased to hear the 4M beep - again taken back up the numbers of ups & downs we still had to go before the finish line but soon enough it was the downhill run-in & through the finish.

Afterwards I sat down & caught up with various folks - got to say hello to emdee which was good.

Race data;

Splits - 08:21, 07:43, 07:57, 08:06, 07:21 (0.9M @ 08:09/m)

Garmin time - 39:28
Gun to tape time - 39:45

Good fun & well worth turning up for - for the racing & catching up with a few folk.

Next up - Elstead `Marathon` (5.4M) via Woodland 5 & a bit

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ok - catch up time......

Opps.....when will I learn??

End of May saw one of my favourite events - the BUPA 10,000.

This event I had marked as an `A` race - I wanted to do well. I had a good `build up` (can I use such terms???) race at Hook 6 so I was feeling good......... Now looking back I guess I was feeling `too` good & I`m thinking because I prefer longer races I needed more than one `build up` race as a marker but anyway....

I got there nice and early via Waterloo. I played the game of "Guess the runners" on the train - always good fun. I had a good look around & dropped my bag in & went for a warm up. This is an area I`m working on esp on these shorter, faster races - how long & how far should a warm up be...???. Anyway I did 2.3M @ 9.33/m pace (At Hook I did 2.19M @ 9.24/m - in similar weather conditions) and made my way in the starting area. I`m sure I put down a realistic finishing time but good Red A - well at least I wasn`t dressed as a Nun this time.... After the introduction were made - Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey, Mo Farah - we were off.

I thought I was good pace - maybe a bit fast but ok. The 1Km marker came around blooming quickly - ekkk. My Garmin went off - I looked - maybe I shouldn`t have but I did - 06:57...I wanted 07:30 - too fast & don`t forget I was slowing down too...when will I learn??? My mile 3 I was feeling it - I didn`t like it. I was thinking "Ok half way - miles 5 & 6 are with the support of the crowd". As you turn into Embankment & through the underpass you can see the runners coming at you which is a huge help plus I got a few cheers from the marshals (thanks Muds) & the crowds (I always run to one side or the other for that very reason). Anyway I dug deep in these final miles - hoping Alison from the club wouldn`t pass me....

I saw the pub - `Lord Moon of the mail` - and checked my watch - 00:45:10. so no PB today then. Around the corner...seeing the 400 metre sign...longing for the end. I eventually got there, as I finished I turned around to shake hands with Iwan Thomas who had just finished too - I cannot say I beat him as he started in wave behind PLUS he was the official starter! !! As I was catching my breath I saw Alison finish - another cracking race `when not racing` ....I also saw Jon from Chineham Park (who had beaten me at Maidenhead).

So all in all a disappointing race for me really but I`ll get there - pacing is so the key.........maybe setting an `A race` so early is not a good idea either....

Official stats -

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 6:58(6:58/m) - 126cal
2) - 1m - 7:27(7:27/m) - 132cal
3) - 1m - 7:55(7:55/m) - 138cal
4) - 1m - 7:51(7:51/m) - 138cal
5) - 1m - 7:36(7:36/m) - 132cal
6) - 1m - 7:42(7:42/m) - 132cal
7) - 0.29m - 2:10(7:30/m) - 38cal

5 Km = 00:23:19
10 Km = 00:47:36

My times compared to Alison`s over the last two years

Mine - 2010 = 00:46:05 v 2011 = 00:47:36

Alison - 2010 = 00:47:26 v 2011 = 00:45:50

Basically Alison holds a 25 second lead - bring on next year (& yes I`ve already entered)

Walking down past the Mail you realise why this a good race - you cannot help to cheer on the runners who are just finishing and into the Lord Moon for post-race drinks & a very good catch up.

Next up - Is (was) the Yateley 10Km on Wednesday night...................


So it does make for a better race then......

Yateley 10Km

I will admit that racing a 10Km two days before an undulating 10Km is not the best preparation ever....

For those who don`t know this is the 1st in a great little series of 3 monthly 10 Km always on the 1st Wednesday night of the month and is full of local club & parkrun runners. I decided to drive thus saving my legs a bit, park up & grab my number and off for a warm up (1.2M @ 8.33/m). So the plan & knowing the undulating first few Kms was to keep it steady with picking up the pace if the legs were ok- simple as that.

Moved into the starting area with the other Covies - good turnout by the club too - and off we went. I got in my normal position - on the left hand side of the road. I do this as the Cove Joggers support crew is normally found at the Pub !!! To be fair we do past this pub twice so it`s a good waiting point. Anyway off I went testing out the legs as I go. Past the 1st mile in just under 8.00/m - all good. I pass Nick from Windle - quick wave & hello and push up the hill - good steady 2nd mile.some of which was downhill. Just before the water station at 5 Km I see Tim (V50 sub 17min 5 Km runner) walking & pulling up. I past the water - not slowing down pinching a few places. down the hill & unto my favourite part of the course - Reading Road. This is a straight road for a mile at the 3.5 M to 4.5 M stage.

Just before this bit I pick up a `stalker` - boy is he drafting. I push the pace a little and he is still there... I finally manage to `drop him` when at the next water station he slows down to grab a cup. Round a couple of turns and a final push up the hill at 9 Km - giving it a bit for the club-mates waiting & watching from the pub (9.5 Km)....and they were not there - ohh a long sprint finish then :-) Sprinted in catching a few runners in the last few metres and through the line.

Split Summary -

1) - 1m - 7:56(7:56/m) - 130cal
2) - 1m - 7:47(7:47/m) - 131cal
3) - 1m - 7:28(7:28/m) - 131cal
4) - 1m - 7:31(7:31/m) - 132cal
5) - 1m - 7:43(7:43/m) - 132cal
6) - 1m - 7:47(7:47/m) - 130cal
7) - 0.25m - 1:34(6:18/m) - 31cal

10Km - 00:47:44

So the 2nd 10Km in two days and only 6 seconds slower on a much undulating course - I`m happy with that. So pacing does help then :-).

Next up - Wargrave 10Km - a new event to me.


Getting there................

Wargrave 10 Km

A new event for me - nice when that happens.

A (Berkshire) Championship race so must be good then. We get there early (4 from Cove - Dave, Dan & Dennis) as numbers need to be collected on the day & manage to find shelter from the drizzle & grab a coffee. A short warm up (0.78M @ 9:24/m) we assembled at the start in the approx finish times area (normally a good event when I see this) and after a bit of generally chit chat with John (Ex Cove now Sandhurst), Jon (Chineham Park), Dave & Dan we were off. The plan here was to not look at the garmin but run to how I felt. I didn`t know too much about the course - a small loop then a hill & then back around coming in the same way as went out with little flat - undulating throughout.

Dave disappeared off into the distance - well as far as you can around a loop of the park, with John following & Dan a little ahead of me. Out of the park and along the local roads - here I met Darth Vader - well it sounded like him - thankfully it only last a mile or so. Jon past me around about here too. I resisted the urge to chase down. No-one said anything about the times as the various bleeps from the garmins went out at the Kms & mile points which was good - I didn`t want to know. I still felt good as we pushed up the hill just before 3M - it was nice to do a new event and not knowing the course and what was around the corner. I chased down the various club vests - a lot were out on display.

At the half way stage - I remember the Hook race where I pushed the pace so I did same which was roughly where I lost my group of runners I had seemed to have settled in with - each taking turns the front. Again I didn`t take any water at the water stations - seeing as it was still drizzling there wasn`t a need. I took a few more places here. I saw Dan in front being chased down by Jon. The next time I saw them Jon was in front. We were now at the 7 Km stage of the race so time to push harder - one mile to go, 8 Km mark & then the final mile then I saw the 9 Km mark. I joined up with a big group of runners then I managed to surge ahead - half expecting them to all chase me down in the final 200 metres or so but they didn`t - well a couple of youngsters did - big cheer from Dave. and through the line. I didn`t chase down Jon in the end. Saw Dennis come in - who took 1st place in his age group - V75 - 01:11:04

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 7:24(7:24/m) - 128cal
2) - 1m - 7:33(7:33/m) - 131cal
3) - 1m - 8:06(8:06/m) - 132cal
4) - 1m - 7:29(7:29/m) - 131cal
5) - 1m - 7:18(7:18/m) - 131cal
6) - 1m - 7:12(7:12/m) - 130cal
7) - 0.24m - 1:38(6:50/m) - 30cal

10Km - 00:46:38 - ok still 85 seconds away from my PB but a seasons best over a lumpy course with a little too much downhill for my liking (more of an uphill man) but happy with that - promising you could say.

Good event and I`ll be back for more

Am I `enjoying` these shorter faster races? Well that would be saying ;-)

Next up - Forest 5 - this Wednesday night & time to go off road.