Wednesday, 8 December 2010
However, I was fortunate to get a lift most of the way home with a colleague who somehow managed to avoid most of the gridlocked roads and navigate his way around abandoned cars.
On Tuesday, with little prospect of any trains or buses and my car buried deep under snow at Milngavie station. I decided that running into work might be my best option. Many drivers had spent the night in their cars on gridlocked motorways and so driving was not an option even if I could manage to get my car out. I have covered the 8 miles to work many times and even taking it easy can be there within about 55 minutes but running it deep snow with temperatures said to have plummeted to -15c overnight meant that this could be a bit of an adventure!
Having packed my work clothes and some spare winter gear into my rucksack, I set off wearing about 5 layers, two hats and two pairs of gloves. My Asics Trabucco trail shoes grip well in the snow so I wore those, it was hard going and extremely cold as I passed one or two people trying to dig their cars out of the snow. After a mile and a half I noticed a train at the station so I jumped on and remarkably it left just about 5 minutes late. I was looking forward to arriving at work having run all the way but I was a little relieved to be sat on the warm train. It soon became packed out with commuters trying to battle their way into work and there was a great deal of optimism until it came to a sudden halt 4 stops out of the City Centre. It was clear it was going to be a long wait and so I jumped out and started to run. In the city the pavements were treacherously icy but I slithered my way along the Clyde side and up into an almost deserted City Centre. I got some odd looks as I ran along Bothwell St passing a few commuters cautiously edging their way along the icy footpaths but I had made it, with the help of the train in about 85 minutes!
Sunday, 5 December 2010
The bad weather has continued to prevent me training this week. I had planned an easy run this morning but a slight thaw yesterday followed by freezing temperatures overnight and another light dusting of snow on top of the ice made even a trip to Tesco a hazardous experience.
Last winter, the snow lay of the ground here from mid December right through to the middle of February but I still managed to train hard for the London Marathon. This was because the snow stayed as snow and was reasonably easy to run in for most of the time. At the moment, I am taking the opportunity for a rest before I start marathon training again. Later this week I hope to get out for some lunchtime training sessions as the paths are a bit better in the city centre - some training should be possible.
Above - some photos from my marathon training route last winter. Let's hope the snow starts to clear soon.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Victoria Park City of Glasgow took the men's title, unfortunately it wasn't down to my below par performance. Derek Gibb (2nd), Alan Ramsay (5th) Derek Watson (12th) and David McCormack (18th) made up the victorious A team. I finished in 36th position and third counter in the B team who finished 9th out of 12 teams entered. The race was won by Garscube's Ben Melby in 28.11.
Both the West and East District Championships scheduled for this Saturday have been cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions.
Good luck to Gerry Craig who has left the artic weather behind to compete in the Singapore Marathon this weekend. The race starts at 5 am to miss the worst of the heat! This will be Gerry's third marathon of the year and he has also competed in the Scottish 50k Championships finishing third overall.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Next Saturday is the West of Scotland Champs at Irvine.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Saturday, 6 November 2010
With doubts in my mind about how running Kielder Marathon 3 weeks ago would effect me today, I set off at a steady pace and ran within myself for the first lap. I didn't feel too bad and pushed on a bit over the second lap. I was running well at this time last year but still didn't crack 30 minutes on this course finishing in 30.20 for 51st place. I wasn't expecting to get anywhere near that this time out but I seemed to maintain a good pace on the second lap and was surprised to cross the line in 30.47 and 52nd place. Disappointingly, that put me only 6th in my age group , won by Kilbarchan's Donald Petrie in 29.07. There is always a top class field for this classic race and this year was no exception with 178 finishers and 42 of them under 30 minutes. First woman was Elspeth Curran from Glasgow University in 27.44.
First in for Victoria Park City of Glasgow was Allan Ramsay (16th in 27.18) ahead of his dad, Peter (90th in 33.38) and Kenny McVey taking the 2nd V60 spot in 34.19.
Friday, 5 November 2010
More music than running this week, last night it was back to Oran Mor to see James Walsh. The Starsailor front man returned to Oran Mor less than a year since he appeared on an unlikely double bill with Ian Broudie. This time it was a solo performance save for a string quartet that joined him later on. Walsh started with two classics - Tell me it's not over and Alcoholic before switching to the piano for some new material and a superb slowed down version of Lullaby. The stripped down acoustic delivery of Starsailor songs and Walsh's powerful vocals somehow seem perfect for this intimate venue and his quiet humour charms the audience as he works his way through the old favourites and his newer material.
It was not a full house - the die hard fans were there though and it would be a shame to have missed this show. James Walsh is an accomplished live performer and all too soon he is leaving the stage. He returns for a lively encore and finishes with Good Souls.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Friday, 22 October 2010
Sunday, 17 October 2010
The temperature was -3c as I drove from Hexham into the Kielder forest and reservoir area at 8am this morning but by the time the race started it had cleared up and was a lovely sunny day. Two things struck me as I arrived. The first was the absolutely stunning scenery that confirmed Steve's claim that it was the most beautiful marathon in Britain, the second thing was the huge area the reservoir covers and reality sunk in. I was about to start the most challenging race I have ever done on less training than is probably needed.
Up at the start there was a short delay to allow all competitors to be bussed up from the car park but that was the only blip in what was otherwise an extremely well organised race. There were around 1500 runners lining up, including an elite team challenge of teams from Britain, Europe and the rest of the world. Steve Cram started the race before joining in, though it was rumoured he would be dropping out at half way.
I was slightly concerned by the uphill start that went on for the best part of a mile before dropping down to the finish area and we were away on the paths. My race plan went out of the window early on as I got into a group and felt comfortable knocking out 7 minute miles. This was a little faster than I had planned for but it felt OK and I got chatting to a local runner from Hexham, who had run exactly the same time as me in London. The course was undulating but we were either running up or down, never on the flat. Whilst there were no very severe hills in the first half, there were some fairly steep climbs but my legs were recovering well on the downhills. I went through halfway in just under 1.32 but the locals warned me there was a tough stretch coming up. They were not wrong, some steep climbs and steep descents until we arrived at the dam at 18 miles - the only flat section on the course. As we turned to head back to the finish there was a strong head wind that didn't bode well for the last 8 miles but we were sheltered a little by the trees and so it was the hills in the last 6 miles that proved to be a real challenge.
The course marking was excellent with mile markers, all but two were very accurate, and warning signs for every steep incline or decline. This seemed a bit of a luxury but the downhills tended to be quite twisty and so extra care was needed to avoid skidding off the paths. The downside of this though is the last thing you want to see after the 22 mile marker is a 'steep incline' sign!
In the last 4 miles or so, I was tiring but still relatively strong. However, the hills were energy sapping and I had a few heart stopping moments on the downhills as my hamstrings felt like they were cramping up. At half way I was in 37th position but, despite the field being strung out by this stage, I think I passed five or six runners who were really struggling. Two passed me looking very strong so I reckon I was comfortably in the top thirty five when I crossed the finish line in 3.13.40. Consensus was that the course was about 20 minutes slower than a road marathon so it compares with my London performance but official results are not yet available.
This was a great race to be part of, a friendly atmosphere, and great scenery. It seemed to me that most of the runners were from the North East but there were some from further afield. I would certainly recommend this if you are looking for a real challenge and something a bit different - but don't expect a PB!
Steve Cram finished the race in 3.47, looking very fresh.
Saturday, 16 October 2010
It is rumoured that Steve Cram will be competing having just returned from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
I won't be bettering my London time on this course and so my plan will be to run very comfortably for the first half of the race to get the measure of the course and conditions and then try and run a negative split by pushing on in the second half if I feel I can do it. This is the opposite of my normal London tactics. I will be happy with a time of around 3.15 tomorrow but I have no idea whether this is realistic for the course so I might have to adjust my targets as I go along. I have run London Marathon 18 times but I may just learn something new about marathon running tomorrow.
If I survive I will post a race report tomorrow evening.
Results should appear here after the race
Friday, 15 October 2010
Too much eating and not enough running but that might not be a bad thing the week before a marathon. I managed two easy 6k runs around Krakow Old Town - it was very cold first thing in the morning.
I now have to turn my attention to Sunday's race and I am not sure what I am letting myself in for! This will be a significant challenge for me for a number of reasons, I have never run two marathons in a year, I have never run an off-road marathon and most importantly, I have not trained anywhere near as much as I normally do for London Marathon. Running a trail marathon will be very different from my annual run around the streets of London and as this is the first ever Kielder Marathon I am not sure what to expect. From what I can find out the course is undulating but I don't think there is much steep climbing.
If nothing else, it will be good to be part of a new race and an interesting challenge but it is difficult to know what my target should be time wise. The course will be a lot slower than London and some chat on the Runners World forum suggests it could be about 20 minutes or more slower than a road race. I will need to have a think about my race plan over the next 24 hours!
Sunday, 10 October 2010
I was down at Mugdock early this morning and ran for around an hour before the Turbo X race started. I wish I had been competing again this year, it is a challenging course but great fun. However, it is far too close to the Kielder Marathon next Sunday so I had to sit this one out.
I ran around parts of the course and although I missed out some of the more challenging parts, it was clear that the recent wet weather was going to make it tough going for the competitors today.
As I was running round the course I spotted a few good spots to take some photos and watch some of the action. Some of the best parts of the course are quite inaccessible, so I settled for taking some within a mile of the start and then jogged through the woods to take some more at about 8 1/2 miles and just near the end of the fearsome 'Turbo X' zone.
Not surprisingly, the fell runners dominated the race. Shettleston's Tom Owens romped home with a lead of over 6 minutes from second placed Brian Mcewan who was first vet home in an impressive time of 1.15.29. Anna Frost was 12th overall and first woman home in 1.22.29. VP City of Glasgow's Jacqui Thompson was third woman and first vet in 1.29.59, and as far as I could see, Victoria park's only entrant today.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
I am planning to go and spectate this year and will take my camera to get some photos.
This is 10 miles of off-road terrain that takes the runners through some extreme challenges. Energy sapping hills, cold rivers and muddy channels are just some of the obstacles in store for competitors tomorrow. In the later stages of the race comes the 'Turbo X' zone, the most difficult part of the course.
I am sorry to miss this one but I am looking forward to going down to watch.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
I have been in Liverpool this week and managed a few easy runs along the waterfront towards South Liverpool. It is a good few years since I ran along here and the landscape has changed dramatically. I have run the Riverside 5 mile Road Race many years ago but a marina and hundreds of flats have appeared since then.
Kilomathon results are now available. I finished 16th overall and first vet50. Obviously I now feel a little differently about the entry fee - big budget races may have big prizes!
Sunday, 3 October 2010
The course itself was far more challenging than I thought it would be. Starting from the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston just outside Edinburgh. The first few km were around the showground and along rough paths around the perimeter fence of the airport before heading off along country lanes to the Forth Road Bridge. Crossing the bridge was good but it was a steep incline and went on for much longer than I expected. Coming down off the bridge just after 10k marker, the leading runners were heading back in the opposite direction. By this time the field was strung out and whilst there was not much chance of me catching anyone, there was a big gap behind me too. Running through the picturesque riverside town of Queensferry should have been enjoyable but the cobbled streets made it a bit of a challenge. We then hit a huge climb out of the town and by country lanes back towards the airport and the finish line.
I finished in 1.47.08, slightly slower than my target time but well up the field (no results yet but I think I finished in the top 15) and I was relatively pleased with the first part of my double marathon challenge (the easiest part admittedly). It was a good hard workout and I enjoyed racing over an unfamiliar distance and along a course I hadn't run before but there is plenty of room for improvement.
Firstly, the race was supposed to be 26.2 km but every one's Garmins were reading 26.5. Fair enough, it could be argued that Garmins are not 100% accurate but the consensus was that this course was slightly over distance. Once I downloaded the data it appears that three of the km's were about 100 metres long the rest were about spot on. The second problem was trying to get out of the car park after the race - it was chaotic and took the best part of an hour! (and they charged us £3.50 to park!).
A nice touch was getting your finish time texted to you within a few hours of finishing but it was disappointing that it didn't include finish position or age group position. Despite this it has the makings of a good race and I was pleased with my performance. The race takes place next year on the same day as the London Marathon, so I won't be able to take part but it is timed about 5 weeks before Edinburgh Marathon and so I can see a much bigger field next year - hope they sort the car park out by then!
Update and full results will follow when available.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
However, before that I am about to undertake a double marathon challenge - starting this Sunday when I run the Scotland Kilomathon a 26.2 km race just outside Edinburgh and taking in two crossings of the Forth Road Bridge. This is the first Kilomathon to be held in Scotland and so it is a bit of an unknown quantity but I have decided to run it as a final tune-up for the Kielder Marathon - a challenging trail marathon around the Kielder Reservoir in Northumberland.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
On Friday I headed out for my last long run before the Kielder Marathon in 3 weeks time. I decided that instead of running the same route I have done for the last two weekends I would go out with the intention of running for 3 hours, mainly on the road, but not worry too much about the distance. I also wanted to include some climbing to help me prepare for what I might find at Kielder.
I set off along the McDonalds path to the Allander before hitting the Rangers path to the Tickled Trout before doubling back on the Auchenhowie Rd and right to Langbank and the steep climb to Baldernock Church. The first real climb of the day at 4 miles and over a mile of climbing before I drop down to the main Rd by Bardowie Loch. I have to run along the busy Balmore Rd for a mile before heading to the Canal by the paths through Cawder Golf Club. Once on the Canal it is a flat and steady run into Kirkintilloch. I head back along the main road back as far as the Stables and then along the Canal to Torrance. Here I head off into unknown territory, along the country lanes and some more hills before arriving back at Baldernock church. Here I turn right and more climbing before dropping down onto the Strathblane Rd and head for a lap of the Milngavie Reservoirs before running along the roads back home. I run 23 miles in three hours, including over 1000ft of ascent and I finished feeling quite strong. A great start to the weekend.
This morning I joined the Victoria Park Sunday club run from the Allander. I wasn't sure how my legs would feel after my Friday run. It was more hill running today and we covered some of the lanes I ran two days before. We ran a loop through Baldernock and then over the 'High Caves' taking us up some tough hills. A slight navigational blip meant we added an additional hill but I felt good and kept up with the group reasonably well. Shorter but much faster than my Friday run, we covered 9.3 miles in 67 minutes.
I am missing racing now though and I am planning to race next Sunday before easing off for two weeks to prepare for Kielder.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
If you took part in the Mersey Marathon in the 80's then Alan Rothwell is looking for any information or memorabila. If you can help the please get in touch with Alan
Monday, 20 September 2010
A virtually unknown former boxer, Benson Masya first won the race in 1991 in 61:28 seconds – the third fastest time in the world that year. The Kenyan, who went on to become the Great North Run’s most successful contestant, held off the challenge of Paul Davies-Hale by nine seconds. This was only days after Benson took part in the Southport Waterloo summer handicap race - two laps of the Marine Lake.
In 1992 the race incorporating the first ever World Half Marathon Championships, Masya won the race in a world record 60:24. Becoming both world record holder and world champion. Along with Paul Tergat and Joseph Keino, he also led Kenya to team victory ahead of Great Britain and Brazil. This was also the year I ran my fastest ever half marathon, reaching South Shields in 1.16.15
Masya returned in 1994 and ran even faster this time out to snatch victory ahead of Moses Tanui in a UK All-Comers record time of 60:02. Separating the pair of Kenyans proved an almost impossible task but a video replay found in favour of Masya.
in 1995, Tanui returned after the disappointment of the previous year to win in a time of 60:39 with Masya 80 seconds adrift this time. However in 1996, upset at his performance the previous year, Masya returned to win his fourth title with a time of 61:43.
However, despite his triumphs in the North East, Honolulu and the American race circuit, Masya died less than a decade later virtually penniless. At the end of September 2004, Paul Tergat, possibly the greatest of the great Kenyans, was obliterating the marathon world record in Berlin. Yet back in Kitui, in the Rift Valley, news was filtering out of the death of his contemporary, someone who dealt more than his fair share of defeats to the new world record-holder. Benson Masya was 33 when he died, leaving a wife and two young sons.
Sunday, 19 September 2010
and I was on my way again.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Sunday, 5 September 2010
A huge field took part in this morning's Great Scottish Run. Just under 8000 finished the 10k race, won by Shettleston's Matthew Gillespie in 31.12. The last finisher crossed the line in 3.34.27. Just under 9000 competed the half marathon won in 1.01.53 by Ethiopian runner Hailu Mekennen. Andy Hudson and Vicky Harvey travelled from Southport but both were doubtful due to injury. Vicky ruled herself out after an easy run on Saturday but Andy decided to start the race and hope his achilles problems allowed him to finish. I had hoped to run sub 80 minutes, a tough call but I thought it might be possible. There were a few changes to the course this year, the most significant being in the first mile, heading straight up St Vincent Street. This meant a steep climb for the first mile before heading through Finnieston and over the Kingston Bridge from the west. With such a big field I knew I needed to get a good quick start but went far too fast on the challenging first mile. I hit the first mile marker in 5.54! At 4 miles I was spot on the pace i needed but felt it was going to be difficult to keep it going and I had drifted well of the pace by half way. With runners passing me I was into damage limitation mode and managed to keep a reasonable pace going to finish in 1.23.46 for 117th and 6th vet 50. Over three minutes slower than last year. I finished disappointed with my time but I gave it a go - I might have taken it easier at the start but I am not sure it would have improved my time by that much - I just didn't have it in my legs on the day. Andy overcame his injury problems to finish in 1.31.57, a little slower than last year but pleased to have got round in one piece. Andy was 393rd and 24th vet45. I hope to post more photos in the next few days.
Update: for Andy's information - former Pop Idol winner and co-host of teatime TV show 'The Hour' Michelle McManus completed the 10k in 1 hour 42 minutes.
Photos by Chris Upson
Monday, 30 August 2010
Victoria Park City of Glasgow runner, Ralph Connelly ran well at the Paisley 10k to dip under 40 minutes. I haven't found results yet for the Drymen 10k.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Summer finally returned to Scotland this weekend and as the temperature soared, I finished 4th overall and first vet at the Sherrifmuir Challenge 11 mile road race.
The race starts and finishes at the Sheriffmuir Inn, just north of Stirling. I ran this race for the first time last year and it certainly lives up to its name with the first half being mainly downhill, before turning around and running back uphill. It caught me by surprise last year and despite being in 5th place at the turn the brutal hills found me out and I faded back to 12th at the finish. This year, I was determined to run conservatively for the first half to ensure I was still strong for the second half - particularly as the rising temperature looked like adding to the challenge this time. The first half mile is uphill before the downhill section along narrow country lanes and all went to plan for the first mile or so. There were plenty of runners around me but as the miles passed by - whilst still feeling I was running relatively easily - I found myself in 4th place. As we approached the turning point, I felt that I had pulled away from the runners chasing me - the leader passed me on the way back uphill and then second and third running closely together. Soon I was heading back and starting to feel the pain - a mile and a half of fairly steep climbing before the route levels out slightly. Not for long though - and despite knowing the course it still wasn't any easier - the hills seem much steeper on the way back than they did when we were running down them! I calculated that I was the best part of a minute ahead of the runners chasing me at the turn but I knew that I could easily be caught if I started to fade.
I had to keep working and thought at one stage that I may have been closing the gap on the runners in front of me. I finally reached the top of the last hill and started the final downhill half mile to the finish, still convinced I might get passed in the run in that seemed to last forever. At last I crossed the line and had held on to 4th overall and first 'extreme' vet - in fact I had opened up a gap of around two and half minute over the 5th placed runner.
Barry Patterson from Falkirk Victoria Harriers won the race in 68.52. Robert Warnock took second and first V40 in 70.03 and Sam Price third in 70.30. I crossed the line next in 71.31, well over a minute faster than last year, for fourth and first V50. Local runner, Richard Coombes from Central AC was fifth in 73.59. Wee County Harrier, Beryl Junnier retained her title in the women's race despite running 60 miles a week in training for her first marathon, in Amsterdam. She finished 7th overall in 74.32.
This is a brutal course but it is small and friendly, well organised race that is well worth the hour or so drive from home. A free beer in the Sherrifmuir Inn is an added bonus!
Results / Route on Garmin
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
Route on Garmin
Friday, 6 August 2010
Having not raced since June and my training being a bit hit and miss over recent weeks, I was a little apprehensive about this race and wasn't sure what to expect. I ran 1.22.41 here last year before going on to run 1.20.19 at Glasgow a month later and so I hoped to run a little faster and would have been very pleased with 1.21. That would have meant I was well on target for a sub 1.20 at Glasgow on 4th September. I decided to start off quite conservatively and ran the first few miles with VPCoG club mate Gerry Craig who was using the race as part of his preparations for the Scottish 100km Championships in September. The first few miles went to plan- I could see my main rivals for the V50 prize up ahead and we were slowly catching them I was on their shoulder by 3 miles and planned to stay there until about 10 miles and see what I had left for the last three miles. Why then had I passed them and pulled away by the time we got to the four mile marker?
At 5 miles the course goes under the main road and there is a steep climb before rejoining it and heading back towards Helensburgh. I felt good but conscious that this hill has caught me out before and so I backed off a little and let the chasing group catch up. Once back on the main road, Clydeside's Gerry Montgomery took off and I tried to stay with him. He has been beating me to the V50 prize over 10k this year and he beat me by a minute at the Kirkintilloch 10k. However, I felt I could give him a race over the longer distance but he is flying at the moment and I couldn't keep with him as he opened up a gap. I felt I was running at a decent pace though so dug in and hoped he may slow a bit later on. On the climb at about 8 miles Gerry Craig eased past me but by this time I was becoming more concerned about making sure I finished within my target time than racing.
I was still feeling good though and after gulping down a gel at 10 miles I sensed I might have been closing down the two Gerry's. I had, however, forgotten the hill at 11 and I started to struggle a little to keep the pace going. Bellahouston' Road Runner, Alastair Maclachlan powered past me on the downhill but I tagged behind him and made him work for the last mile or so. With the finish in sight he pulled away from me to take the 2nd V50 place but I was pleased to finish in 1.22.19 - slightly faster than last year. I was 24th overall and 3rd V50 - Gerry Montgomery won the category in 1.21.08. Gerry Craig was the only other VPCoG finisher in 20th position. 1.21.36 and 5th V40.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Many more to be added so check back here over the next few days
I took advantage of one cloudy day for a slow 2 hour run along some very challenging paths.
Route on Garmin
Although we didn't get a chance to run together we did manage to meet up with Andy Hudson and Vicky Harvey who were on holiday further down the coast. Tales of my holiday running adventures must have motivated them, the following day they hired bikes for an 80km ride and the day after that ventured out for their first Lanzarote run.
Monday, 12 July 2010
Monday, 21 June 2010
The course took in most of the centre of Edinburgh before heading towards the coast at Lower Granton and via Newhaven, Leith and Portobello before heading back around Holyrood for the second time and arriving back at Inverleith Park for the finish.
I grabbed a few hours sleep whenever I could but made sure I was around the course to provide encouragement when it was most needed.
Yasmin completed her epic adventure just after 8am on Sunday morning.
Here are some Moon Walk Photos - more to follow
Most of the race is along the tow path of the Forth and Clyde Canal. Not the best surface for speed but at least it is flat. At about 4km it opened up a bit and the field was starting to spread out a little. At half way we turn off the canal and up a steep hill towards Bishopbriggs. The next 2km are along the road before turning back onto the canal. Gerry Craig had opened up a gap but as we turned back onto the canal I saw Chris Upson and Paul Carroll not far behind.
I worked as hard as I could back along the canal and was starting to close Gerry down a little but couldn't catch him as the finish approached. 19th place and 37.33. not a bad performance on this course.
The race was won by Eritrean asylum seeker Robel Negash of Bellahouston Harriers in 32.14 almost a minute ahead of Shettleston's Paul Sorrie.
Gerry Craig finished in 37.26 and 17th position and Peter Ramsay 44.05 - 69th position.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Sunday, 13 June 2010
After yesterday's race, my legs weren't feeling too bad but I was not looking forward to asking them to race again today. Driving down to the start at Loch Lomond I decided to take it easy and just get round to complete the fourth and last race in the Polaroid series. I didn't have a target in mind - just to run and enjoy it. However, as soon as I was lining up at the start I began to think it would be good to try and run inside 40 mins.
I did take it very easy at the start and until we finished climbing at about 2.5km. I then started to work my through the field on the downhill section that followed. At halfway, I was inside 20 mins, passing runners and feeling quite comfortable. The hill at 7km brought back some bad memories of Bendrigg but I was flying over the last few km. With about 800 metres to go I passed Chris Upson , who had done a 10 mile hill race yesterday, and we both managed a sprint to the finish line to dip under 39 mins. I ran 38.50 for 52 place.
Gerry Craig ran his first race since the Edinburgh Marathon and was pleased with his progress to finish in 37.41. Ralph Connolly ran a PB and edged closer to his goal of a sub 40 min clocking but just missed it by 5 seconds! Christine Catterson 45.01 and Donald Branney 45.10 completed the Victoria Park City of Glasgow finishers this morning.
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
Tomorrow I team up with the Southport Waterloo squad for the Bendrigg 10k. A roller coaster of a road race along quiet country lanes around Bendrigg Lodge just outside Kendal. There is a sting in the tail of this race with a steep climb for the last km to the finish line.
Sunday is nearer home and I will pull on my Victoria Park vest for the last in the Polaroid 10k series, the Vale of Leven. Starting at Loch Lomond Shores, the hills in this race come early on with some climbing through Balloch Country park.
I am not expecting fast times for either of these but the plan will be to try hard on Saturday and take it a little easier on Sunday. I have hardly run this week and so hopefully I will be well rested for the next few challenging days.
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
This was the first time this race had taken place and so it was a small group of runners taking part and none of us knew what to expect of the course. The buses dropped us off at the entrance to the forest and within a short walk we were at the start and ready to go. The forest trails were pretty good but a bit rocky in places and despite a short climb at the start, the first mile was fast. A steep climb to the 2 mile marker followed and then we were running along some undulating paths in the shadow of the huge wind turbines that seemed to stretch for miles. Two leaders had disappeared into the distance by this stage, third and fourth were gradually pulling away from me and I was running neck and neck with local runner, Ian Hughes from Calderglen Harriers, in fifth and sixth places. I had narrowly beaten Ian a few weeks ago at the Monklands Half Marathon and by the looks of the youngsters ahead of us and the large gap opening up behind us, we were scrapping for the vets prize. Worryingly, Ian was pulling away from me on the hills but I was catching him and easing past him on the downhill stretches.
Before long we were out onto the road and I was looking forward to the downhill running to the finish. Mile 8 didn't disappoint and it was fast, very fast but then we were going back uphill and with the help of some local supporters urging him on my rival had pulled away from me. He passed the fourth placed runner who was slowing as I also caught him. I recognised his Irn Bru vest - it was the runner that appeared in all the Scottish papers having collapsed within sight of the finish line at the Edinburgh Marathon and was helped to his feet and over the line by another runner. Considering that was just two weeks ago I couldn't believe he was back racing so soon and running well. I chatted with him about his Edinburgh experience and he told me that despite his problems on the finish straight he ran 3.00.12 in his first ever marathon. Amazingly, the runner who heroically sacrificed his own time to help a fellow runner in distress did dip under three hours on chip timing because he started from further back in the field.
I pushed on and despite the promise of downhill, it certainly didn't feel like it with some long steep climbs as well as downhill sections. Before long we were running into Strathaven and I could see Ian Hughes was flying and had caught up another runner to take third overall. I held on to fifth place and second vet - so my only reward this time was a glass of water and a Jaffa Cake on the finish line.
This was a tough but enjoyable race. I hope it is not the first and last Chris Moon Half. Only 60 runners took part but I am sure it will gain in popularity in the future. There were at least three other races on in and around Glasgow on the same day but this is ideal for anyone looking for a challenging, low key, small and friendly race. The pie and ale were good too. A great day out.
Chris Moon is a former Army officer with operational experience who worked for a charity clearing landmines in Asia and Africa is one of the few westerners to have survived kidnap by the Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia.
Two years later he was blown up in a remote minefield in East Africa. He was walking in a supposedly cleared area in Mozambique in 1995 when the blast resulted in the loss of his lower right arm and leg. Doctors say he survived against the odds due to his determination and fitness.
Within a year of leaving hospital he successfully completed the London Marathon and a Masters Degree in Security Management.
He's done numerous marathons and many of the world's toughest ultra marathons including the Great Sahara Run and Badwater the 135-mile continuous ultra through Death Valley to the mountains.
He's taken parties to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and run the length of Cambodia to raise funds for charities assisting the disabled
Sunday, 6 June 2010
I finished 5th overall in 1.22 - full report to follow.
Friday, 4 June 2010
The idea of crossing Britain on foot has interested me since I first read Wainwight's Coast to Coast book many years ago. The thought of running it is even more appealing and so Matt Beardshall's account of his cross country adventure was a must read. Two runners decided to repeat Wainwright's original route from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay - 180 miles in 7 days. Matt and Vin, accompanied by friend Mal on his mountain bike attempted this challenge back in 2006.
This book is a compelling account of their adventure and the challenges they met along the way. What makes this an interesting read is that these guys are every day runners - they are not Dean Karnazes - and so this was not an easy target they set themselves. Of course I won't tell you whether they all made it across to the east coast in one piece - you should get a copy and read this one for yourself.
I have to admit that despite the enormity of the task, after reading this I couldn't help but be inspired to attempt this myself...one day. I have lent my copy to a few running pals in the hope that they would be similarly motivated but nae luck so far.....maybe there is something wrong with me to even think about attempting this! Even if you are not inclined to race accross Britain, I recommend you at least read about it.
The fastest pensioner title was eventually awarded to its rightful owner, Cheshire based Colin Rathbone who finished in a speedy 3.05.51. Well done Colin - I only hope I am still running those sort of times when I reach 65!
More stories of famous marathon cheats
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Route on Garmin Connect