Tuesday 19 December 2017

Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects Samphire Hoe , Kent

33.75 Miles  6:40:42   122 Starters   4th Overall

Start (cold)
I was back today at Samphire Hoe in Kent for the annual Christmas Party that is the Usual Suspects Challenge event. Today was extra special as it was Brenda's 300th Marathon and there was quite an Irish contingent there today.

All about B
Francis, Peter, Maighread and Philip had all traveled over for the event and despite too many Stella on Friday night were all there at the start line by 9am. Sean also made a belated appearance. Conditions were cold but other wise perfect. It was also Lynda Copson's 100 which all made for a colorful affair.

With Philip
What was interesting about today was seeing how people had fared after the 10 in 10 and there was a lot of the 10 in 10 runners there.

Rob was still pounding out 50K's as was Sam. Enda continued where he left off . Andrew, Ian and many more were there amazingly still running.

Injuries were still rife among some however and some were still out of action. Martyn was still walking but supporting and Dawn hobbled around for a lap and spent the day clipping. Somei too was there but was only able to do half marathon due to shin issues.
Maighread was there too

After many awards were given out we were off at 9am. I decided today to put an effort in for the first half marathon and take any pressure off time. I was also testing out my shin injury and based on seeing what Somei had done with her own shin I also taped my own up similar.

Beer time
I didn't go near the aid station for the first 4 laps and came through half marathon in 2:10 (59 min 10K). That was OK. I hadn't killed myself and the shin was OK. It was also great spending some time with Apryl on her 1st year anniversary of her own 100th marathon. There as also a lot of tooing and frooing with the Rose family.

Mean time Brenda and Philip were steadily getting things done with loads of photos and the weather was stunning though cold.

All for her dad
I pulled it back a lot in the second half marathon aiming to get in around 5hrs. I had in my head today I wanted to go out for 2 extra laps. I came in with a very pedestrian 5:05 marathon which meant that I really had to push the 8th lap to make sure I came out for a 9th. Fortunately 45 mins did that and I had 10 minutes to spare. A reasonably  slow last lap had me finish in 6:40.

Classic Lynda photo bomb
Most of the celebrations had been done and dusted by the time I finished but I got some bucks fizz and cake from Lynda and the Irish crowd were all still there. We got some lovely photos with Brenda before they all headed off to  the pub. I left to go home soon after.

Photos: Philip McAvoy, Philip Rand

Stats for today

Wednesday 6 December 2017


10 marathons in 10 days
Photo: Nelson Howe
This was a challenge that was in the making for a year. I entered with a special early bird price and had organised accommodation much in advance though it did change a couple of times during the year as I found better bargains. Kris traveled with me for the duration.

Before the start
(TiT == Ten in Ten)
Each event was set up with different cut off times to be out on your last lap. For Marathon it was pretty generous but there was always a chance that with some of the shorter loop courses that you could get an Ultra in. When it was announced the week before that the cut offs would be extended and that there may be a 50K option on all the courses there seemed a real possibility of an Ultra everyday.

The series itself was individual events that you could sign up for independently and around 100-150 ran everyday. By doing all 10 you completed the series. Around 70 signed up for all 10. This meant that there were always plenty of fresh legs around. Everyone had their own strategy and what they wanted to do. This went from 10x10K's, 10x half marathons, 10 x marathons (some very fast Averaging <3:30) and 10 x Ultra's. There were many combinations in-between.

Suffice to say there was lots of running and my goal was to stay on the course until I was pulled off and what ever that yielded.

The marvelous Twinnies and Enda
The attrition rate was also quite high with casualties all through the series which was sad to see but it was amazing that these guys kept turning up and walking or helping. It was truly inspiring.

The first couple of days were at Samphire Hoe, beneath the white cliffs of Dover. It was the normal course and the weather day 1 was perfect and just a little blowey on day 2. It was the normal 3.8 mile loop on the sea wall.

After Hugin Ultra 
Being the first and second day we all took it easy except Jon, Paul and Martin (Martin would pull out with Hamstring issues a few days later) who were pounding out the fast ones. It was interesting to see what everyone was doing. Enda had a plan for 4:30-4:45 each day and walk an ultra lap if it felt Ok. Rob was pounding out the 50K's. Jimmi and Sam running together were also pounding out
the 50K's. Lots of people were stopping at marathon and Kris similar to me deciding to stay on the course every day until being hauled off. Lee also set out his stall early to just run and run and run. Nick of course chasing world records was on a 50K schedule daily. Lorraine steadily got through her 10 in 10. Dawn decided to go fast and long and for most of the series and kept it up. She however had some off days and near the end suffered bad (like most of us) from shin issues. Somei looking a little under prepared but stuck it out for a great series in the end and was a source of constant inspiration. The running couple Mylene and Pete eased through every day and just got stronger. Louise and Steve paired up and would run marathon every day and just got quicker and quicker. Debra, Paul and Sharon did an amazingly fast marathon series and Keith was consistently fast. It was all very impressive.
Margate Gales

Kat doing what Kat does consistently came in marathon distance just over 6hrs every day. Neil ran with a variety of women everyday and not just Kat. Gary who was suffering from Achilles issues managed a few days before pulling out. Elaine always looking strong did steady marathons every day (including a park run on the second Saturday in Pegwell bay). The Twins were just magnificent and powered by wine sailed through the challenge.

There were many other who I didnt know all did fantastic. There were also many many 100 celebrations, flake runs, 52 in 52's , 300's and 250's throughout the week and we were well fed on cake.

Freezing in Deal
So in near perfect conditions I got through 2 x 50K's in Samphire Hoe and thanked the lucky stars the wind stayed away. The concrete as always was brutal. In the ladies race Dawn was fast and went long and Tara sticking close to Paul had 50K in her sights every day. Kris also looking strong and went long both days.

It was interesting that there was a 50K option. It arose because Nick was chasing his world records and Guinness only accepted 50K or more as an Ultra. They became very popular and I managed 7 in total.

After Samphire Hoe we had a change of accommodation to a wonderful Air BNB in Margate center and that became Cru central for the next week. Day 3 also saw a change in venue to Deal. I thought I hadn't done this course before but when I arrived I realised that I had done it twice before at the Leap Day marathon and the Marathon Day marathon. Both were sub 4's so it had good memories. It was straight out and back into and through Deal before returning to the start line. There was light winds and nothing too wild and it ended up being a comfortable run for most. An extra lap and a short extra bit brought  in 50K. Paul had an amazing cake at the end for his 100th. Today's medal is one of my favorites from the series and is the traditional Saxon Shore marathon medal.

Day 4 we kept moving East, this time to Pegwell Bay and the Hugin Challenge around the Pegwell Bay reserve climbing past the Hugin ship at least 8 times. It was a rather short loop and I ran today with Paul and Garry. We decided to take it easy today and targeted 5hrs 40mins for marathon and came in at 5:38. An extra loop walked with Kris brought me in for 29.5 miles. Weather today was quite good as well and it was a rather enjoyable run.

The mighty Quinner
Night times became recovery with lots of foam rolling, Netflix, microwave dinners and early nights. The new Air BNB also had the most wonderful bath and Epsom Salts became the formula of choice.

Staying in Margate meant the next 4 runs were fairly close with Day 5 and 6 within 2 miles of the house on Margate sea front. The weather however decided to turn on us and a howling gale came in throwing heavy seas into the mix. This meant the 6.7 mile loop became a loop of wind in the back and a gale in the face. It was a tough tough day. I have little memories of the day except keeping the head down and getting on with it. I still went long enough with a 50K run.

For Day 6 the weather improved a bit and we were back on the same course. I think everyone got concrete weary after this day and there was collective relief on getting through the day. Again a fairly un-exciting run but another 50K was done without too much drama. I did however notice afterwards a hot spot on the front of my right shin. Kris got us all worried about the throught of a stress fracture but there was no choice but to soldier on. Meanwhile Kris was still powering ahead with another long and seemingly effortless run. Both of us have managed Ultra each day at this stage.

Brenda and Kris getting the vest
Day 7 & 8 were on a new course for me at Ramsgate. This was surprisingly hilly at >2000ft for Marathon but still had a sea wall and long straight out and backs through the park. The weather was cold and we even had snow flurries on Day 7. My shin was getting progressively worse and as a consequence I was slowing down. Upto now I had been well under any cuttoff for getting out for an Ultra but in Ramsgate I found myself under pressure. On one occasion during Day 7 I had to put in a fast lap just to stay under the cutoff. Fortunately I made it by 15 minutes and got out for a 50K. On Day 8 I was even slower and sorer so decided to cut it short at 30.5 Miles. I enjoyed these two courses. One of the challenges had the Advent Calendar Medal which is truly special. Everyone else seemed to be coping well with most making it through with what they had planned. To date that was 8 consecutive Ultras for me and Kris was still powering away going long every day and looking stronger if that was possible.
All over Phew!

Brenda and Sean arrived and everything was right with the world again and a new life was injected into the series. A nice night out in Margate if that isnt an oxymoron where we even seen "guns" Jon drinking Guinness before his 9th consecutive sub 3:25 and we were off for the last 2 days to Bettshanger park. Given my leg was hanging off and knowing the hilly course that was ahead of us I had no aspirations for an ultra today. But the running gods were with me and access road works meant we were on a new shorter loop with no normal ultra cut off time. The 2.4 mile loop meant that after marathon distance I had plenty of time to get out for the all important extra loop to make short ultra no 9. Brenda and Kris both had great runs and we all went back to Margate happy campers. Lucky for me as I would not have made the ultra cut off otherwise. Highlight of the day was Kris getting inducted into the Irish 100 marathon club. Sophie also became the youngest ever 100 marathon achiever at the tender age of 20.

News came through that the original (or nearly the original) course had been reinstated at Bettsanger for the last day as had the normal cut off. That was my dream of 10 in 10 Ultras in ruins as I knew that I just wasn't up for it and it was due to be a painful hobble for me. I was joined in the pain train by Somei, Dawn and Neil all of whom seemed to have the same shin issue interestingly on the same shin. Resigned to this we all headed off in very dodgy weather on a long a painful run. Some people did amazing with Jon and Pete in particular having their fastest run of the series. Brenda was on her 299th marathon and I was delighted to be there to witness this.

Finishing in near dusk we picked up the last medal and said out goodbyes and it was off straight to the airport. What an experience! I could have written a novel about this series but have decided to cut it short in the spirit of sparing boredom. I'm sure I have missed some amazing accomplishments in this write up for which I apologise and promise to edit and update it as they come to me.

A big thank you to Traviss and Rachel of course and all the helpers who clipped and fed and looked after us. You were all amazing.

Photos: Nelson Howe, Philip Rand and Sharon Daw

Stats for all the days

Thursday 16 November 2017


#214 Remembrance  4:56:57

>6lbs of metal today
Phoenix Running put on this event and its sure to be a hit going forward. It was a remembrance run that will be run the weekend of remembrance Sunday every year. This year in its first running was actually on 11/11.

It was on the marathon course at Walton On Thames so was the standard out and back 10.5k lap.

receiving 100 medal and cert
I arrived early with Brenda as there were due to be lots of awards today as well as a special race brief. A quick registration and we all gathered outside the leisure centre. There was a steady drizzle but it wasnt too cold.

Rik's new challenge series "Global Marathon Challenges" were giving out awards and I received two awards. First one was my second 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Due to a quirk in the rules it is actually a rolling year and my 52 in 365 days (52 weeks and 1 day) was good enough. This was also followed by a 100 in 100 weeks which I managed to do in 699 days. The medals were huge and we also got some lovely certs. There were 2 more 52 presentations and 6 more 100 inductees including Philip McEvoy and Enda Cleary from Ireland. I quickly changed into my new 100 in 100 shirt and we headed to the start.
Brian Mills 1300

At 9:00 we were off and I started steady but not fast and sloshed my way through the first 5K to the turn around. It was wet and muddy and drizzly. At the turn around point (32 mins) Fiona was there encouraging everyone and I settled in for what was a slow but steady run.

Special for the day was Brian Mills running his 1300th marathon. He was struggling bad with injury and this will be his last marathon of 2017.

There was a fairly big crowd today and noone was going super fast. It was a very sociable day with lots of shout outs and high fives along the route. I ran a little with Richard Boese before he speeded up and left me.

One of the unique things about today was the "race freeze" that occurred at 11am (2 hours into the race). On the sound of a hooter the whole race stopped as did cyclists, dog walkers and pedestrians. You could hear the cannon's go off in the distance and after 2 minutes we were off again. This 2 minutes would be taken off at the end.

With Philip
Half way was in a pedestrian 2hrs 20 and I stopped for some sweets at the tuck shop and kept plodding along. Enda was going great and would go on to do a sub 4. On the last 5K I reckoned I needed to speed up a bit to make the 5hr mark so ran it all and even caught quite a few enroute. In the end I was easily under at 4:56 and about 10 came in after me all under 5 hrs.

It was cold at the finish and we got the most amazing 2.5lbs weight medal.

It was a good day out and now roll on the 10 in 10 in 10 days time.

Stats for today

Tuesday 7 November 2017


#213 Ballinasloe 4:31:16

Very busy road
This low key MCI run event was hosted by the Sheridan family just on the outskirts of Ballinasloe on the Galway Roscommon border. The host venue was the Ballinasloe rugby club and we had full use of the facilities including free parking.

I arrived early after an aborted attempt to come down the night before. A 5am start had me in the car park just after 7. Registered via the lovely Catherine Guthrie I waited warm in the car. It was a cold but bright morning. There was also a 10K and a half marathon on the same route later in the morning.

There were 36 finishers in the marathon but with Jimmy and Larry also making an appearance there seemed more. At 8am we were off on the early start.

A fairly pedestrian start had us following Aidan Hogan who still suffering from injury would hobble round today.

Couldn't catch David today
The first 1 km was along a fairly busy main road passing lots of cows and dung (it smelled like Laois). Turning left we climbed a small hill onto a bog road and followed it round for a couple of K. There were a few angry dogs on this patch that thankfully got bored on the next laps and for the most part left us alone.

Climbing slightly unto an exposed out and back section (500m each way) on a bog road we turned around and ran straight back towards the M6 for 1.66 miles before climbing over the motorway. Immediately turning left we followed a windy slightly undulating road back towards Ballinasloe. Before entering the town we took the pedestrian bridge back over the motor way and immediately hit the busy road again crossing over and back in the last mile back to the rugby club.

The wind was light but and it was cold but most got away with Tshirts. I started with gloves and a buff but dis-guarded the gloves after 1 lap. The first lap (10.5K) was in 57 minutes and I got in and out of the club house before the 9am start (mostly half marathoners). The second lap was quite strong as well bringing me through half marathon in 2:03 just slightly behind my Dublin time.

The 3rd lap was slow and I walked a bit and to be honest got a little bored with the long straight roads. A 1:15 lap time brought me trough in 3:18 and David Brady running a strong race (be it from the 9am start) led me out on the last lap.  I kept David in sight all the way and as I approached the finish I was within 20m of him. This brought me through marathon distance in 4:31 over 8 minutes faster than Dublin and I felt a lot stronger.

I didn't hang around as I had to get home but it was overall a very enjoyable day.

Stats for today

Tuesday 31 October 2017


#212 Dublin 4:39:47

This was my 13th running of the Dublin Marathon and my slowest. This year it was on a Sunday again and they had opened the entry upto 20000, making it one of the top 4 biggest marathons in Europe. Sunday is good and they handled the extra crowds with no issue.

Organisation was flawless and the weather was perfect and probably the best conditions that I have actually run this event.

Mile 25
It was a long weekend that started on Friday with the Crusaders "Pot Luck" dinner at Coach Cottles house. A very relaxed affair with loads of carbs. I had to leave early to get to the airport to pickup my guest for the weekend Costas. Saturday started with a parkrun in Cabinteely where I was Lantern Rouge and was last over the line in a sprightly 46 minutes (given that I was tail walker). It was Orla, Neil and Kate's 50th parkrun and there was cake.

Walking from the city centre, the afternoon was at the expo. It was good as always and an interesting goodie bag accompanied my number. There were loads of people I knew at the expo. A dart back home was curtailed by engineering works at Connolly and a further walk home was not in the plan. That was too much walking the day before a big event. A good nights sleep and an extra hour in bed had me at the bus stop at 7am. You would think I would know by now that buses dont go that early on a Sunday and after a 20 min wait it was into the car and park in the normal spot beside the Pepper Canister church.

For the first time I made it to Bob Manson's office to leave my stuff off. This was very generous and great to see my club-mates before the start. But in future I think I will use the baggage collection area as I love the atmosphere here particularly afterwards (so much human debris) and it is a bit out of the way when picking up the gear afterwards. But it was good to get in the club photo for the first time.
Great Cru support

A quick walk had me at the start line early and I had decided to have a strategy of starting at the back of the wave, try for a good start and stay ahead of Olwyn's 4hr pacer group as long as I could. On time we were off in perfect conditions with even the sun coming out to help us on our way. 27 mins got me through 5K and I had a forced toilet stop soon after. The wind was into the face for the first 10K and I always feel this is the toughest part of the course. I still managed through 10K in 57 mins (right on 4hr pace). I kept pushing for the first half except the up hill after the underpass at Kilmainham (I now regret that). The toilet stop meant that I just missed the 2hr half and at 2:03 it was still my best half marathon since Limerick in April. The pace groups slowly began to reel me in. I had started just with the 3:40 guys and by half way the 3:50 just came through with Rolando leading the charge (apparently the were 6 seconds up at half way).

I then slowed down immediately and the second half was a true walk/run suffer-fest pretty much all the way. I went through a very bad patch around 15 miles and recovered but at that stage it was pretty slow going.  Eventually just past Terrenure Olwyn , Joe and Don came past. At that stage I pretty much gave up. It was 19 miles in and I decided to just take it easy and enjoy the last 10K odd.

I love the new finish from Nutely Lane through to Merrion Square. I think this should be kept as the atmosphere is just super. Unfortunately I was too slow today for the Cru corner as they disperse as soon as the 4hr pacers come through, but never the less it was a great atmosphere for the last few K.

Support as always was amazing. It was absolutely relentless and up there with New York and London. I was absolutely delighted to come in under 4:40. My knee survived and I now hope that injury is gone. Nice goodie bag and T-Shirt and wonderful medal were the prize today.

Lots of festivities in O'Donohoes, Foleys, The Gingerman and the Bankers was great after with loads of people staying. I think I saw everyone. That night I went to the club dinner at the HQ which was a lovely finish to the day.

Special congrats to my O50 Cru team for national silver and Leinster and Dublin Gold. I would have had to go sun 3:22 to be a scorer this year. What strength in depth we now have.

If you have never done Dublin. Do it!!!

Photos; Paul Kelly and Maurice Frazer

Stats for the day:

Monday 23 October 2017


Eeyore's Expedition

I was back at 100 Aker Wood for the annual running Winnie the Pooh b2b marathon series. This year it was Eeyore and Piglet were the themes for the runs.

Collette and Kris had traveled over and Brenda also came along with us for a strong Irish contingent. Philip and Elma traveled separately for Philips first Winnie. He later admitted it was the toughest marathon that he had ever done.

The event was a 6hr timed challenge around the fiendishly difficult 100 Aker Wood course. This has several hills that are completely unrunnable on the 5.25 mile loop. Fortunately this year the weather was good. The course generates close to 3000ft of climb for marathon distance.

The Irish
I only managed baby Ultra distance on day 1. As I had mis-calculated the flights on day 2  I had to stop short at half marathon to do an airport run.

On Day 1 at 9:30 we were off. I was in full fancy dress with Eeyore headdress and new Ultra Marathon Grey T. Kris headed off into the distance and similar to last year managed 7 laps for her 3rd out 3 wins on this course. She also was 2nd overall from over 150 starters. On day 2 she also did Ultra but was beaten by a lovely woman into 2nd place. She will have to content herself with 3 wins and a second.

It was a brutal course with the first mile being steep steep steep downhill. For me with my dodgy knees it wasn't runnable, and I am a crap downhill runner anyway. Mile 2 was back to the picnic aid station and was steep steep steep uphill. These first 2 miles took approx 25-30 mins on average. This was pretty much the same as the second 3.25 miles which though not as steep seemed to be endlessly uphill. The second half was a larger loop with drags more than climbs and it was always a welcome site to come back to finish the loop at the picnic aid station.

The Eeyore headdress lasted one lap before I was melting and had to dis-guard it. There was sweat coming out everywhere.

I wasn't feeling great today and knowing I had tomorrow to run as well I took it relatively easy making sure however that I was well within the cut-off for the marathon and always had an intention to go out for a 6th Ultra lap. I finished marathon in 5:40 with 20 mins to spare and headed out for the final lap and coasted in for Ultra #54. It was a tough tough marathon.

Philip, Brenda and Collette stayed together all day and did a solid run to finish. Brenda in particular is on her count down to 300 and needed today and tomorrows runs to make her goal of pre-Christmas.

This is one of the toughest courses you will come across and there were lots of brave efforts out there particularly with about half the field running day 2 as well. Philip Rand had hit 299th and 300th over the weekend which was great to witness.

As Day 2 for me was only a half marathon it doesn't deserve a report.

Stats for today:

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Galway Bay

Galway Bay 4:48:40

I'm ambivalent to this marathon. Its very very busy (too busy for me) but is on one of my favourite training routes. I have done it a few times before and even own a 3:42 time, but I am nowhere near that at the moment.

I picked up my number around 8pm on Friday but they already had run out of T-Shirts in my size
(despite me putting the size on the registration). I hate that. One very helpful person at registration told me to email the organisers and they would send me one. On Sat morning they had run out of all male T-Shirts and they were told the same. I have emailed so will wait and see.

This is a big event with >4000 expected across all events. Around 400 were expected in the marathon though there were only 309 finishers.

Sat morning was a lovely morning and the rain overnight had blown through. Wind was calm which is always the killer on this course. I decided to walk the 1 mile to the start but Humphrey and Theresa came past and gave me a lift. We were there very early and there was a nice buzz around.

For the fist time ever I have seen there were cross country skiers who went off 15 mins before the marathon start. They were fast and in well before everyone else. I believe they were the Irish team that are trying for the winter olympics.

Paula and John on short lap
At 8:30 we were off (no race briefing today) and Kevin English disappeared into the distance to easily win. The course was simple: 2 laps of South Park followed by 4 long laps of Salthill. The long lap headed on the closed road to Salthill (except for the couple of English reg cars parked where they should not have been it was fine), and all the way past Leisure Land to the end of the prom. Up the drag past the golf club right to the end of Knocknacara right up to the Barna Rd turn off. Round a few cones and back towards Salthill. A right turn past the caravan park brought us onto the coast and the new path (laid since the bad storm of the winter of 2015), past the golf club and onto the prom. We followed  the prom in a coned off area (with a slight detour around a statue) brought us back to South Park and the start finish area.

There were numerous races that started at various times and the course always felt very full. Unlike the past I had a clear run not getting caught up in any of the other races and I had a great time chatting and walking and running.

I started off OK and for the first half kept it under 10 minute miles. I felt comfortable but pushing a little. 10K was under an hour and half marathon was 2:07. This was as good as I have been recently. Then a rookie mistake killed me. I decided to run in Asics instead of my normal Hokas. Just after 13 miles my heel started hurting as if it was PF. By the time I finished the loop I was in agony and was struggling to walk. Lap 3 was very very painful and I was seriously considering DNFing (I really wasn't). I was maybe 20 minutes down on this loop and there was lots of walking. Time just frittered away. Things seemed to ease on the last lap and when Derek and Patrick came past me on the drag to the golf club (4K into the 4th large loop) I decided I had to push the last 6K. The pain subsided and I managed maybe 8 minutes improvement in the last 10K with a 9:30 last mile.

I came home in 4:48 for a 2:41 second half. Given I walked for at least 5 miles of it and hobbled probably the same it was OK. HOKA's from now on I think.

In the finishers tent there was some soup and a few give always. I had great memories of a great race in the past and I couldn't help think however it wasn't quite as well resourced as before and was left feeling a little disappointed (probably to do with T-shirt gate). However it still is a super event and in fairness probably the easiest conditions you could get. Cole got his 100 medal and Derek his 200 cert and I headed for home (thanks to Humphrey and Theresa again).

Photos:  Athenry AC and Run Galway Bay

Stats for today.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

ARBTD (cyclopark)

Another Run Bites The Dust

The Cyclopark in Hilington, Hayes in West London was hired out for the day for our exclusive use. It was organised by Running Miles of the Dorney Lakes runs (Neal Skeltons cousins) and it was the same setup. I like it, its simple, easy and efficient.

This was day 1 of 3 and a music themed event as Hayes is the home of Vinyl records. Traffic was pretty bad getting there but even still it was only 50 mins from the house and I got there very early. Number picked up and cup of tea in hand there were quite a few who were at SVN the day before and a few more doing 4 or 5 days in a row.

A quick briefing at 9:20 and we were off. The track was relatively flat though final elevation stats showed >1225ft climb. We basically followed the twists of the track from one end to the other turned around and retraced our steps to the finish. All in all it was a 1.88 mile loop and a novel way using Velcro to count the laps.

Everything worked like clockwork and round and round we went. I decided to go out relatively fast and came through half marathon in 2:10. Given the tough day the day before I eased back at this stage and started to walk the hills. They were short but frequent and kept churning out the laps. I was well under 5 hrs when I came to marathon and started to notice a few others going out in Ultra. I had every intention of going Ultra today and went out for 2 extra laps.

Mighty Steve Edwards
There were a few fasties there like Steve Edwards but I heard them saying course was long and they were a few minutes off. I found my Garmin to be very accurate and came in for 30 miles. Nick Nicholson as he is want to do went for 3 extra laps for a 50K+ to keep his world record attempt on track. Nick was the only one to go further than me today.

After I finished I picked up the very nice medal and goodie bag and headed off to the airport straight away. I like Running Miles events.

Photos Courtesy of Philip Rand

Stats for today