Wow, London you were amazing. A four minute PB, finishing in 2:48.25. What an event! April 22nd; after 16 long weeks of training, waiting, battling with cold, dark winter mornings and nights, skipping along icy pavements and running across snow covered trails, the London Marathon was finally here, a lovely hot and sunny 23 degrees! Billed as the hottest London Marathon on record, it was going to be a bit of a shock to the system after months of training in freezing temperature - you've got to love the British weather. London and the Expo We headed down to London and the expo on Saturday to collect my number. The expo is pretty crazy but also a great experience in itself - as busy as it can be the day before, we always end up bumping into people that we know, and there's plenty to see and do - including getting the obligatory
Last weekend saw the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, more commonly known as the UTMB, roll into Chamonix as the world's best ulta-trail runners took to the Alpine trails, battling it out for the top spots. The week-long event hosts five different races with the PTL, CCC, TDS, OCC and UTMB all being staged on different days. The number of elite runners taking on the various events is huge, it's like a who's-who of ultra running with familiar names including; Jim Walmsley, Kilian Jornet, Caroline Chaverot, Sally McRae, Holly Rush, Tim Tollefson, Damian Hall, Rory Bosio and Emelie Forsberg to name but a few. Alongside these athletes are thousands of runners all taking on these challenging events for their own reasons, having already put in the hard work to event qualify to take part. I wasn't in Chamonix this year, but it's well and truly safe to say that I was addicted to the
This coming Sunday, 10th September, will see tens of thousands of runners descend on Tyneside for the world's largest half marathon, the Great North Run. Now in its 37th year, the iconic half marathon attracts over 54,000 runners, with the vast majority running for charity. 2017 will be my eighth consecutive Great North Run and the 2010 event was my first ever race and mass-participation event. I entered the ballot at the beginning of 2010, as I'd been running a little in an attempt to get fit and I'd watched the event on TV many times, always taken in by the atmosphere and the sheer number of runners, I didn't expect to get a place. My Grandparents also lived close to the finish line in South Shields, so it was great to turn the experience into a family weekend, catching up with relatives too. That first race was hard work, training hadn't
At the end of June 2017 I took part in my first long-distance ultra marathon - Race to the King. The event is a double marathon, covering just over 53 miles across the South Downs Way, starting in Arundel and finishing at Winchester Cathedral. It was a brilliant event and an amazing experience. I finished 3rd overall in a time of 8 hours 52 minutes. I wrote the following article for issue 202 of Running Magazine about the whole experience.
It was an early start for a Saturday morning, making the trip from Suffolk to West Sussex with Pip and Carl for the Maverick Inov-8 Original Race, the first of their 2017 series. I'd heard about the Maverick races through their social media channels and my mate Carl had and taken part in their Oxfordshire race, towards the end of last year, and really recommended the event. I actually won my place through Running Heroes, which was a nice bonus as I was planning to enter anyway. If you've not heard of Running Heroes, you get rewards for being active and can win prizes in challenges, it's totally free; what's not to like! Check it out at https://uk.runningheroes.com. The Start The start/finish and event HQ was at Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre which made for easy parking, lots of toilets and plenty of space for registration. There were stalls selling Maverick merchandise, refreshments and headline
Epic Journey On Friday 30th September I headed North with Pip after work, embarking on a 5 hour car journey to a cottage in rural Northumberland where we were staying for the Kielder Marathon. If you picture an extremely isolated farm house in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields, forest, sheep and grey stone walls, you will have a pretty good idea of the type of place we were staying. We were sharing the cottage with our friends Kate and Hannah, who had booked the day off work and were already there waiting for us to arrive. Following a pretty seamless five hours of A roads and motorways, our sat nav decided that it would attempt to take us to the cottage along narrow tracks that went across fields and into dense forest. After a half an hour of driving in the pitch black; a few tight three-point turns, a couple
The late May Bank Holiday is when one of London's most iconic 10k races takes place. This year, with the headline sponsor changing over from BUPA to Vitality, the now Vitality London 10,000 took place on Monday 30th May andÂ saw over 12,000 runners crossing the finish line outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall. This was to be my fourth year of running in the London 10,000. There's something about this 10k that keeps me coming back year after year. It's a well-organised race with a large charity element to it, well supported and the route passes some of London's best-known landmarks, as it heads away from the start on The Mall next to Green Park, past Trafalgar Square and along the Strand, before looping around the Bank of England and heading back to the finish along Birdcage Walk and The Mall. Due to the number of runners taking part, the race starts in
Featured image from http://www.redbull.com I first heard about the Wings for Life World Run last year in 2015. I religiously listen to the Marathon Talk podcast and in Episode 278 they featured an interview with Kate Carter, Lifestyle editor at The Guardian and editor of their Running Blog, who finished first UK female last year. It sounded like a brilliant event and after I saw that the 2016 edition was coming to Cambridge, just an hour down the road, it wasn't long before I signed up and had my place. It's a unique concept for a running race, whereby all runners and wheelchair competitors set off at the same time, 11am UTC (12pm BST) across 34 countries around the world. Half an hour later, a catcher car sets off and gradually increases it's speed. As soon as the catcher car overtakes you, you're out of the race and the concept is to run as far as you