It`s been a while - so hello.
What have I been up to...well first I must mention the London marathon (the GOOD part).
My club is lucky enough to be asked to help out in the primary finishing area of London marathon - it`s the 2nd time I`ve helped out but it seemed more of an honour this time. There are a number of jobs within the primary area - Approach marshals, Hustler * (my job this time), 1st Aiders, Chip snippers, Medal Hangers, Chip cleaners, lost chip helpers....etc etc (I`m sure you do but please do thank these guys in your next race). Anyway we get there early (07:30) to get briefed up on any last minute changes & start to unpack & hang all the medals..... Shortly afterwards the different waves of mini-marathons runners (kids) come through. Then time for lunch (10.30 am), then comes the wheelchair athletes - there`s a right battle to come first - amazing to watch.
Then the elites - ladies first - we watch from just a few feet way just behind the press & applaud them in. Amazing how `fresh` they look - good to see Jo Pavey & Louise Damen - real shame about Liz. Then it`s the turn of men - it`s jaw dropping how quick these guys are.....then it`s mad panic as we have about 10 minutes to turn the barriers around & back in place, get into position if you are on the ramps, hang medals unto your arms as the fastest club runners come all the way through. It`s quite quiet and I manage to snap a few shots off & say hello to Ben, Andy & Chris. Around the 3.10 - 3.15 it`s getting busier and busier & by about 3.30 it`s forgot your friends just make sure the runners are filing through to the ramps making sure they are alright (you know what it`s like just after the line) - some are fine & need help big style - one lady politely said to me she was going to faint & gave me a time scale - she duly did and was helped by St John`s - bless her.
I did manage to see a couple of friends who were lucky enough to come through the same lane as I was hustling which was nice. Some amazing performances - it just underlines to me that anyone can do a marathon it just what time you want. I can write a novel about my day but let`s just round off by saying it`s amazing to be part of such an event.
Now the `BAD` part - my 10 mile race a week later - Maidenhead 10. A favourite of mine (ran it twice before), not only my favourite distance but it`s on Good Friday too. I get there a little bit late (for me) and go for a `warm up` - 3 miles but finish with about 15 mins to spare. My target time is 01:19 - I felt good (maybe too good) but by mile 5 I was blowing - at the 7 mile marker I was walking. I decided to save the legs for another day and let runners pass by & effectively jogged back - I did help & pull a few runners down the home straight & the numbers of Fetch there was good but it was a BAD day but popping down to see my sister in Yate helped out.
While I was down that way I went along to the first Bristol parkrun at Ashton Court - just have a look at the profile & mile split times - I would have cried if I`d seen the 1st mile split as I was running as fast as I could......
Yes a final mile split of 06:39 - my mile PB is 06:28 and I`m very happy with that - I do not need to go that fast....I was apologising to runners as I went past saying "sorry I cannot help it" - unreal & very odd going that fast but not working that hard - that was my 98th parkrun...
My 100th parkrun came round very quickly - only because of the Royal Wedding it meant I attended my 99th on the Friday at Frimley & 100th at my home park - Basingstoke - which was nice. I would say I`ve got an e-mail to prove it but that`s not actually the case :-/ anyway job done let`s look ahead for the 250th.....
The next day I was at the North Dorset Village Marathon - this was the BEAUTY part (yeah got them all in). Since the Lightning Run I had only done a couple of 15 milers - not enough to grab a time, nor was it the course as it was a bit lumpy.....all good for the Dartmoor Discovery (which I`ve since pulled out of). Anyway I looked at a target time of 04:22 (10 minute/ m). This event is in a beautiful part of the country - with some breath taking views - well I`m sure the hill that you run up gets you out of breath first but the views are just stunning & it`s good to run around the countryside. I loved the feeling of running long - a couple of hills in the last part of the course were not really necessary! I walked up the crest at 21 and slowed down towards the end but I guess that was the lack of the longer runs showing through. I did have the pleasure of running with Brian Mills at 18 miles - he was running his 777th marathon and was looking for a sub 04:30 (2nd marathon in 3 days) - even with me speeding up a bit I just managed to finish ahead of him.
All in all a great day out running at a great event with a bit of camping thrown in too.
Next up is the Hook 6 - an event I`m really looking forward too. My last 6 mile was this one back in 2008 - I need to beat a time of..........00:51:12 - yes I am quietly confident.
As for pulling out of the Dartmoor Discovery - I`m not too bad with that decision as I`m missing my long runs & my hill work so no regrets. It does clear the way for the 10Kms - BUPA 10,000, Yateley 10Km, Sam Run. I`ll still fit in a few long slow runs so I`m in shape for the Thunder Run - Come on you "Willy Wonkas" (full team name is "Willy Wonka is Dead") and maybe an ultra in July......