Sunday 3 February, 08:30
Left home at 03:40 to drive the three hours to this race. On arrival it was -4C and dark. Picked up bib and tshirt and went back to car for breakfast.
Bumped into Tom on the way to the start, I ran a lot of the L50 recce in January with him. He was doing the full 26.2.
Ran with Tom easy pace and he kept the chat going. It was forest trails and not too difficult. Near the start an icy stretch was dicey, one runner fell spectacularly.
I really wasn’t being tested running at the pace Tom needed but there was stunning scenery to enjoy.
I definitely started my watch on the start but 5 miles in I realised it wasn’t tracking.
I’d intended this as an easy long run to familiarise myself with this area; job done.
Distance: 13.1 miles
Pace: 11:45 min/mile
Sunday 28 October, 10:00
Sunny and cold, I layered up for the chill. Felt ok so tried to set a decent pace from the start and hold on.
At 5 miles a Vegan Runner named Ben caught up to me, introduced himself, and we ran together for the middle part. About 11 miles he pressed on, but I overtook him at 12 miles on an uphill section and then dashed down to the finish.
Had not checked my splits or the time, and initially thought it must be a PB. Found out later I’d done Sheffield Half 11 seconds quicker earlier this year. Enjoyed it though.
Distance: official 13.1 miles; TomTom 13.15 miles
Avg pace: 7:50 min/mile
Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10
I’d been given free entry to this race after cancelling my place on the Windermere Marathon in May with terrible Achilles trouble. Drove up from home, leaving at 04:30 for the early start. Raining again like the previous weekend.
I knew there were some hills, from the course profile. Set off steady, the first mile was flattish, then came a steep and long climb. There were lots of steep descents too. I picked up strength and speed in the middle and enjoyed passing a few runners.
Though it was similar weather to York I layered my tops the same and my hands were fine, not frozen.
It would have been more beautiful in crisp sunny autumn sunshine; today the hills were shrouded in cloud. I smiled a lot, per usual, knew I’d got plenty of energy to get me round.
Left adductor tightened up a bit. There was some car traffic on the minor roads the race is run on, but not the expected logjam. Approaching the finish chute I undid my jacket and got a ‘vegan runner’ shout out from the announcer.
Collecting my medal and giving back the timing device, the lady helping me commented “you’ve got a lovely smile”, which topped off my run nicely.
Finished 91st out of something like 302 runners. I was 10th in my age category out of 27. Happy with that, there looked to be a lot of gnarly, local old blokes running like mountain goats.
Distance: official 13.1 miles; Tom Tom 13.08 miles
Time: official 1:56:25; Tom Tom 1:56:23
Avg pace: 8:52 min/mile
Ascent: official 1700ft; Tom Tom 1664ft
Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10
Sunday 8 April, 09:42
8C, bright but overcast, slight breeze. Ideal running conditions. The start was delayed due to police dealing with something on the route.
I’d met a few vegan runners outside the Crucible before the race. Felt calm and ready.
The race climbed gradually up Ecclesall Road, then got steeper. Passed Zaz from the VR group just after Endcliffe Park. Feeling strong and legs bouncy on the hills. Seemed to pass a lot of slower runners, my trail racing paying off.
After 6 miles the route turned left towards Dore & Totley. Somewhere round mile 7-ish I looked across and saw Billy Sharp (SUFC) in the crowd. I shouted “Billy”, (waved) “It’s Billy Sharp!!” Laughed and sped onwards. Best bit of the race!
From here it was mostly downhill, still running by feel rather than Tom Tom watch. Pressed on and tried hard down Eccy Road, there had been the odd shout here and there ‘go vegan runner’. Big crowds except for the country part.
I’d been checking off the mile markers and with a mile to go I gritted my teeth and pushed harder. Up Charter Row and Pinstone Street I gave it everything. Left it all out on the course.
Really pleased to knock 10 minutes off my best time for this race. Surprised at the average pace, given the 5 miles of uphill.
Distance: 13.18 miles
Time: official 1:42:58, Tom Tom 1:42:52
Avg pace: 7:46 min/mile
Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10
Sunday 12 April, 09:37
6C, windy, overcast – turned brighter later. Ran with Jeff, just intended to take it steady with a lot of climbing on the outward run. Thought the hills were OK but my heart rate readings were off the scale; partly due to not wetting the contacts, mostly because it was tough. After a drink at 5 miles the route turned flatter then downhill. My legs held out to the end, really enjoyed the crowds and the shouts of ‘Jeff and Steve’. The time was a PB for a race half marathon. Good preparation for the Liverpool Marathon in June.
Distance (Garmin): 21:22km
Time: 1:53:03 (official)
Avg HR: 167bpm! (spikes, hills)
Avg pace: 5:20 min/km
White trainers #2
A cold day, 8C, cloudy and trying to rain. Ran the Worksop Half with Jeff. It was difficult to decide what to wear, as it was very cold standing around the starting area but I thought I’d warm up quickly on the run. Wore calf guards, lightweight running jacket and carried 2 gels in Hilly waist pack. I got a bit warm after a few miles and unzipped the jacket.
Felt strong for the first half, legs bouncy, enjoying the mostly gentle hills and countryside. It is a brilliant course, very scenic. Had a drink at the three water points and laughed at the sponge station signs at 8 miles. Left knee got a niggle half way through but nothing major. Jeff had a bit of stitch and ankle pain. With a couple of miles left we agreed to keep to a sensible pace and enjoy the run, rather than push it along and chase the clock. A sensible decision, I think, avoiding possible injury. My legs still felt strong towards the end, whereas last year my thighs were suffering at the end.
We’d run this race faster than my recent training pace, which was a challenge and resulted in a raised HR but I kept it going OK. A great run and very pleased to come in close to 2 hours. Maybe we will return again next year…?
Distance: 21.1km (Garmin shows 21.09km)
Time: 2:00:11 (both Garmin and chip time the same)
Avg HR: 159bpm
Avg pace: 5:42 min/km
Central Lancs Half Marathon, 2 January 2010, 10:00.
A very cold 4C near Preston. Having travelled through rain, wind and hail in the early morning it stayed throughout the race. Did this half marathon with my twin brother Jeff, and we agreed not to check split times or other data, just run how we feel and have a chat on the way round. The course was fairly flat and undulating and we set off on an easy pace. Towards the end, 1:46 minutes in, another runner asked what time it was and we realised we were in for a 2 hour finish or thereabouts. Stepped up the pace slightly over the last mile and managed a PB. Very pleased and a great run with Jeff.
I probably overdressed for the cold, felt very warm after a couple of miles and took hat and gloves off and unzipped as much as possible. Didn’t need the 2 gels I’d carried and felt the big McD breakfast a couple of times during the race. One McMuffin too many!
A very well organised run, lots of helpful and encouraging stewards on the course.
Distance: 21.48km (Garmin)
Time: 1:58:38 (Garmin – no chip timing, official time given as just over 1:59)
Avg HR: 159bpm
Avg pace: 5:31 min/km – very surprised, it felt easy
Avg cadence: 88spm
Garmin HRM battery died when trying to download, hence the delay posting these stats.