Running in Suffolk


Featured image from 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

For the first time in four years I found myself going into 2016 without a Spring marathon booked, so I decided to set my sights on another challenge - an ultra marathon. I've fancied having a go at an ultra for a while now, since completing a few marathons, and originally had my eyes set on the Stort 30 back in October. Unfortunately this didn't happen for a few reasons, so instead I decided to slowly increase my training in the same way that I would for a Spring marathon and started looking for an event that I could sign up for. I'd heard of the EnduranceLife Coast Trail Series events, as there is a CTS Suffolk event that takes place slightly further North along the coast from where I live. I know people who have taken part in the half marathon and ultra races and they've only ever had good things to say about the events,

During the last weekend of January I finally achieved my first parkrun milestone and joined the ever-growing 50 club. That's taking part in 50 parkruns and every runner who reaches this milestone is rewarded with a red 50 t-shirt. It's taken me a while to get there, since going along to my first parkrun at the end of 2012 (I wrote a short blog about it at the time), working out at only an average of 1.25 parkruns per month. 2013 and 2014 were slightly quieter with my marathon training long runs taking over on Saturday mornings and our closest parkrun being a little drive away. Fast forward to September 2014 and we have a new parkrun almost on the doorstep (I can run there in less than 8 mins), say hello to the awesome Kesgrave parkrun. As long as we're around, I'll be there on Saturday morning, ready for the 9am

Photo copyright the East Anglian Daily Times. On the 28th November we headed to The Kings Forest, just North-West of Bury St Edmunds, for the Festive Forest Challenge, a series of trail races organised by Positive Steps PT in support of St Nicholas Hospice. Myself, Pip Cresdee and Carl Thompson all opted for the 20 mile race, however there were also options of 10k and half marathon distance events, all three were open to walkers and runners alike. Turning up on a bright, but cold, November morning, the car park at West Stow Country Park was teaming with enthusiastic people ready to head out into the forest and take on their respective distance challenges. Festive fancy dress was encouraged and was certainly embraced with lots of santa hats, Christmas jumpers and elf costumes on show. After a run briefing, everyone headed across the road for the start of the challenge. There was a real mix of people taking part, from

The Whole Hog, organised by Eight Point Two events is probably one of my favourite alternative running events of the year. It takes place in October at Wantisden Valley, situated in the Suffolk countryside. Kicking off with an individual race, this is then followed by a team race where groups of three make their way through the 7 miles of mud, fields, woods, water and obstacles. I've taken part in the Whole Hog three times now, each time in a team of three and enjoy this type of obstacle race, one that doesn't have the time pressures of road racing. My team for this year was assembled quite late in the day and included myself, Ryan Ostler and Pete Smith. We didn't have any expectations with regard to time but decided to head out, give it our all and see how it went. The course had changed just slightly this year, setting off in