Showing posts from 2017

Wheaton Aston 10k

In what is now a post Christmas tradition I made my third appearance at the Wheaton Aston 10k that I won in 32.22 last year and still stands as my PB.  Whilst I no longer focus on the shorter races any more I was pretty confident that my PB would be smashed. In the lead up to the start the conditions were really poor - plenty of standing water some of which covered the entire width of the road, it was blustery, near freezing and started to gently snow about 10 minutes before the start although this cleared before the race began.  I quickly decided that the conditions were not particularly conducive to fast running and decided to just go with the flow and run it as a race rather than go for a time. Relaxing in the lead group. In the first km I was in a lead group of 4 and whilst we went through the first km in a decent lick of 3.18 I was well in control.  Over the next 3km the pace slowed considerably - 3.36, 3.30 & 3.31 and despite the conditions it was really slow.  After

Petzl Nightrunner Grizedale

In what is starting to become a bit of a tradition I entered the Grizedale night event as part of a long weekend away in the Lake District.   As this is the third year in a row that I’ve done the event it would be a good test of relative fitness assuming the course conditions are more or less the same.   Unfortunately, it became clear that this would be far from the case as I waited in the event centre car park.   There was already some snow on the ground, it was -2C and is was starting to snow again about 90 minutes before the start.   It was even getting to the point about having to decide whether to bail from the event, as if the snow started to settle on the roads it would be almost impossible to get back to Ambleside safely.   Thankfully, about an hour before the start it stopped again, so the race was on! Can just about make me out in seven layers stripping down just before the off! Due to how cold it was I decided to race in my leggings for the first time ever and als

Lee Mill Fell Relay

Since my return from New Zealand I've just been focussed on keeping things ticking over and I haven't really done any sessions of note since late September.  For me this is as close as I get to having an 'off season' and it's the one time of the year where I can slot in some 'fun' events and the Lee Mill Fell Race Relay was exactly that.  The course was approximately 10km and included around 370 metres of climb. At the event centre it was a pretty chilly 2 degrees and the ground was pretty soft, but on the hills it was clear there would be some snow to contend with.  I was second leg for Mercia Fell Runners and whilst waiting for the start of my leg the finish times of the leaders were much much slower than in 2016.  I started in 8th, about 4-5 minutes from the leader and then around 30 seconds - 3 minutes behind those between 2nd - 7th. Handover at the start. Quite early on it was difficult to gauge who was racing and who was just warming up on th

ASB Auckland Marathon

Since the Chester Marathon the plan was to have a rest and I had booked a trip to New Zealand for some R&R.  Me being me I couldn't help to see whether there was any races and I stumbled across the Auckland Marathon which coincidentally is the largest marathon in New Zealand.  Upon contacting the organisers I was duly offered a free entry and that was that.  In my mind I knew it was a mad idea, but I could just trot round and enjoy it all for a change. Since Chester the legs initially recovered well but a combination of jet lag, walking around 10 miles a day plus some runs in Queenstown that included around 6km of hills resulted in them feeling pretty dead.  In fact I was even thinking of pulling out; it felt like trying to hit a moving target at times by attempting to juggle recovery whilst keeping the legs moving.  As the days got closer I was contacted by the organisers who wanted to profile me as a 'contender' for the race.  Ok, so no backing out now as I was in

MBNA Chester Marathon

Today was the big one that I've been working towards for several months.  The build up has not been without its mishaps; mainly an injury I sustained to the back of my knee a couple of months ago resulting in my weekly mileage actually being less than in the run up to the Greater Manchester Marathon.  On the back of Manchester I was selected to represent England in the V35-39 category at Chester in a match against the Celtic nations so the race was a step up in importance to me.  Before the race I was hoping for sub 2.26 (2.27.59 PB), maybe even sub 2.25 if everything fell into place.  The plan was to play to my strengths and go through half way in 73 mins, and try to increase the pace in the second half.  Easier said than done, but I also gave myself a get out clause that if I started to get into the mix then I would then focus on my race position rather than time - there is no point in just going purely for time if the race conditions dictate different tactics.  That said, I neve

Great Bristol Half Marathon

As part of my build up to the Chester Marathon in three weeks time I entered the Great Bristol Half Marathon so I could see where my fitness is at and give me an idea of what sort of pace I should be aiming for.  My last Half Marathon was the Ramathon back in June where I finished in 71.00, but today was I hoping for sub 70 mins, if not a touch quicker but easier said than done. I was accepted for an elite entry and was 'seeded' 9th out of 9 elites, but knowing my current form and peeking at everyone elses recent race results I thought somewhere between 5th and 7th was on, assuming there were no other non-elites that could run faster.  As it later turned out I think only 6 or 7 elites actually started. I tried not to set off like a lunatic and I was in around 12th after the first few hundred metres before quickly settling into 10th.  After the first km two groups of four had formed, the first group pulling away into a decent lead of about 30 metres, followed by the second g