Yorkshire Marathon - 11/10/15
Blog by Lauren Pennock
Seeing as people keep asking me how the marathon went, I thought I'd write you a running commentary! Enjoy and thanks again for all your support :)
Mile 1- OMG I'm running a marathon whose stupid idea was this?!
Mile 2- Ooh look the Minster isn't it pretty?! Now slow down you moron you've still got 24 miles to run - CAMERA better speed up!
Mile 3 - This marathon malarkey is easy. I've ran a parkrun already.
Mile 4 - Do I carry this water or fling it? It's kind of annoying but I also want water. I'll keep it
Mile 5 - Is that a vicar giving high 5s to runner or am I hallucinating?! No it definitely is - we're only 5 miles in I can't be delusional just yet
Mile 6 - Wow that's 10k down. Maybe I can do this!
Mile 7 - I've just been overtaken by batman and a guy dressed as Elsa from frozen playing all the songs. I wanna stay with them and sing along but they're too fast
Mile 8 - Gees no one wants to talk to me. I keep trying to make friends but no one is going for it. I also can't feel my feet. Brilliant.
Mile 9 - Next water station. Now do I go for the water or the energy drink? I can't decide so grab both. Energy drink is disgusting so that gets shot at a bin pretty quickly, although I miss and nearly take a woman out - oops.
Mile 10 - I like 10, it's a nice round number. Only a Parkrun till half way.
Mile 11 - My feet are back with me and man I wish they weren't - it feels funny!
Mile 12 - ooh nearly half way and my legs feel fab although I really need the loo - time to brave the queues!
Mile 13 - HALF WAY! Although that toilet queue really cost me some time, best get a shimmy on
Mile 14 - Perhaps that mile was a bit fast, although I can see the 4:30 pacer and I'm right on track for a half decent time. I'm also pretty sure I just saw Elvis...
Mile 15 - I'm ridiculously bored now. I ask the person next to me if they're bored too but just get a hard stare back. Time to make friends with the headphones again... I'm sorry I got angry at you, can we please be pals again? My feet have once again gone on vacation..,,
Mile 16 - Now I remember why I meant to sort out my iPod, new tunes desperately needed. On the plus side 10 miles to go! Yahoo!
Mile 17 - oh god. This is that out and back but Stewart warned me about this morning. Oh dear we're running down, which can only mean we need to go back up. Slow down!!!
Mile 18 - Slowing down really isn't an issue anymore as my legs have decided they wanna pack in now. The tops of my thighs are hurting so much I managed to convince myself ive got trochanteric bursitis. Commence in head revision of orthopaedic conditions... Man I'm seriously going mad now!
Mile 19 - Awkward number. Almost 20 but not. Enough said
Mile 20 - Yipppeee 10k to go! I can do a 10k right? I'm sure ive ran 10k with my legs more tired than they are now?! I can do this...
Mile 21 - I wanna go home. I hate this marathon. Why didn't any sane people stop me?! On the plus side ive now caught up to Elsa and have commenced a frozen sing along - much to the dismay of those around me!
Mile 22 - everywhere hurts. I can't do this I'm gonna drop out. My feet have also come back to say hello - WHY NOW?! MUST KEEP RUNNING.
Mile 23 - Only a parkrun to go. I can do a parkrun right? Now the mind has gone as well as the legs, I think this is what they mean by hitting the wall. I've also lost Elsa again so back out the headphones come luckily I've found my S Club 7 songs although they aren't really helping.
Mile 24 - 2 to go. Not that far. Keep going. 21 minutes and it's over. Nearly there
Mile 25 - I'm sure that mile was longer than the first 24. Elsa seems to have put a bit of effort in and has caught me up. I am not been beaten by a man in a dress. LAUREN GET YOURSELF TOGETHER!
Mile 26 - Nearly there... Nearly there- Where is this finish line! OMG LOOK AT THAT HILL!!!! What cruel person finishes a marathon up a massive hill???!!!
Mile 26.2 - I DID IT!!! I actually completed a marathon! Nice decent hill sprint to finish, seems like all those sprints up Whiteladies have paid off and the bling is awesome!
Six runners took on the popular and picturesque Yorkshire Marathon in York. Trish Speedie managed a 12 minute PB finishing in 3:35 with David Hodgson 3:29, Stewart Hart 4:22, Cheryl Hepples 4:21, Lauren Pennock 4:35 and Julie Hodgson 5:36 also having good runs.
Kielder Marathon - 04/010/15
Report by Ian Hague
On 4th October Lisa Bennett and I took part in the Kielder Marathon. I had some longer duration triathlon training under my belt by the time I started following a training program from a book by Don Fink - ‘Mastering the Marathon, Time Efficient Training Secrets for the 40-plus Athlete’ and Lisa followed a plan from Rob. Both plans were very similar in many ways, with many training sessions based on heart rate zones and time spent in ‘that zone’. This enabled us to share some of the longer run sessions which helped pass the time more quickly.
The day of the race was ideal with cool dry conditions and little breeze. The event was pretty well organized except that the transfer busses from the remote car parking had difficulty turning at the drop off point near the start, and as a consequence, the start was delayed by some 20 or so minutes, leaving the more punctual participants standing around getting cold.
The field consisted of 6-700 athletes. The route was undulating on a mixture of tarmac and smooth trails and the training we had done on the Guisborough Hills put us in good stead. We ran separately. I used my heart rate monitor to pace myself and found the technique very effective, finding myself gradually picking off those who had gone out too fast. This was very satisfying! I felt strong and confident of a good time. Despite having been plagued with left hip and hamstring problems in the few months leading up the race, my leg felt as good as it had been.
I had, however, prepared myself mentally for the risk of failure and felt hints of problems developing from around 20 miles. Low and behold at just after mile 24 my chronic hip/glute problem acutely manifested itself with excruciating pain on the outside of my left knee (IT band pain?) and I had to sit down to absorb it or fall over. After a time I managed to start hobbling the remaining distance, periodically crying out as the pain welled up. Several runners who I had overtaken began to trickle past. After a sit and a stretch I managed to walk with a least a little fluidity and Lisa who was running strongly caught me up and slowed down to enquire if I was ok. I urged her to keep on going, she was in line to finish second woman. Desperate to get a time of under 3hrs 30 minutes, I managed to run the last few hundred meters to cross the line in a time of 3:26:56. Not bad for a 1st attempt on an undulating route with injury thrown in. I can’t really grumble.
So is it worth getting your Snickers in a twist over a Marathon (sorry!) where you feel you might not have reached your potential? No is the answer, for me it was a mental as well as a physical test and I had prepared myself for both. It is about more than the 1st few steps, it is about the ‘longer run’, not just this marathon but hopefully the challenges of the ones to come. I plan to revisit Kielder next year!
Lisa finished as 2nd woman with a cracking time of 3:26:29, not bad considering she was only hoping to get just under 4 hours. Reflecting on a catch phrase from the Hong Kong Phooey cartoons of my youth, “I was proud to be ‘run over’ by the very humble, very well respected and excellent athlete that Lisa Bennett is! Well done Lisa, you are having a great season, and well deserved!
Chester Marathon 2015 - My Secret Marathon
Report by Diane Hall
Back in March I ran the Locke Park 20 miler and finished comfortably after the disaster the year before. Running for 20+ years I have always thought about running a marathon but it just didn't happen, the 20 miler now made me think it was more achievable. The next thing I knew in April Graham put my entry in for Chester Marathon, it was far enough away and also had been entered by a fair few people we knew that hopefully no one would notice my entry, Dave Aspin being the only one who would dig enough. Michelle knew but was sworn to secrecy, Beth couldn't keep a secret so she was definitely kept out of the loop, Cheryl Hepples was training for York so we did our long runs together. Keeping it from Terry Saffin was hard, I thought she might cotton on when I said I was running 18 miles with Cheryl but she didn't, must have been having one of her "blond moments". Anyway it looked like my secret was safe. At least if something happened and I had to pull out nobody would know.
The morning of the marathon couldn't have been better, overcast with hardly any wind. I lined up with everyone else behind the 5hr start, the start was on the Roodee (race course), the grass was wet so we had all been offered plastic over shoes to keep our feet dry before the start, great idea. I got talking to a few ladies who were also doing their first marathon so we set off together, gossiping as we went, trying to run slow enough to hopefully keep going to the end. Near to 10 miles there was only 3 of us together, Patsy from Norwich and Ray, a guy we caught and ran with. Patsy decided to walk a bit at 14 miles and told us both to carry on, I ended up running on my own after about 15miles, when I checked the results later Ray DNF. I did find it quite difficult to keep my pace slow, Grahams saying going around in my head "you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube". The aim was to finish, even if I had to crawl, I wasn't giving up now. The course was supposed to be flat, if you're a plodder it’s not, those slight drags are.........a bit of a nuisance.
Graham had brought his bike to catch me on different parts of the course, taking wonderful photos of me along the way, everyone who knows me knows I hate having them taken, I was too tired in places to object, he also gave me great encouragement till I finally at 23 miles told him nicely I would see him at the finish.
There were a couple of steep downhills for me, my quads were screaming, there were also a couple of nasty hills, I didn't even attempt to run them. They say a marathon is made up of 2 races 20 and 6, my goodness that 6 was blooming hard. My watch died on mile 22 so I was running blind. I was struggling for the last couple of miles so ran and walked using lampposts, bins and cones as run/ walk guides. I got to the last 500m to go and my legs were crying for me to stop so I ran and walked to 400m, then I kept repeating to myself "a lap of the track, a lap of the track", finishing on the Roodee the last 200m was the longest 200m I have ever ran, my leg kept knotting and cramping, just run, just keep going I was saying, I didn't hear or see Graham, the crowds were amazing just willing you on to the finish, the clock was showing 5.03 I wasn't sure about my time but was really pleased to finish so close to 5hrs. I picked up my medal and goody bag and almost cried, I'd done it, I had nothing to prove to myself anymore. Chester Marathon is one I would recommend, the setup, co urse, officials and the marshals were brilliant, water stations with gels, energy drinks and water, the crowds on the course, for all the races I have ran this is one of the best, I couldn't find fault with any of it, maybe the official pictures when they come out though.
Photos courtesy Karen Newton
24 New Marske Harriers pounded the 13.1 miles from Redcar’s ‘Tuned In’ in the 33rd running of the Redcar Half Marathon. Organised by Redcar Borough Council along with Everyone Active and New Marske Harriers, many more club members volunteered to ensure the 900+ runners in the Half Marathon, Beacon 5k and the Go Run For Fun mile race had a great time.
First home for New Marske was Darren Thom in 6th place with a personal best (PB) of 1:14:17. James Allinson was next home in 26th, PB 1:21:55 with Kay Neesam 38th and 2nd lady in a PB of 1:24:32. Sharon Bulman was 4th Lady and Kath Aspin 7th Lady. There were also PB’s for Chris Whiles, Charlotte Stonehouse, Cheryl Poulter and Tanya Dixon.
Jade Jones was 3rd and 1st Lady in the wheelchair race with Ian Thompson 7th. There were also age group wins in the Go Run For Run Race for Matthew Chinnock, Jack Farrel and Essie Croce.
San Francisco Marathon July 26th 2015
Marathon # 17
By Paul Cleasby
It was the perfect timing of the San Francisco Marathon that attracted me to it initially. The last week in July is an ideal time for a marathon if you’re married to a teacher and have children of school age.
It’s a long way to go to run a race so it seemed sensible to fit a holiday around the race. A visit to California was much easier to sell to the family than persuading them to come out and support a race on the sea front in Redcar.
The down side of a July marathon for me is that I am never in decent shape. I seem to follow a yearly cycle of peaking in the early spring and then degenerating gradually over the rest of the year before re-focusing again in late winter. The same pattern was apparent this year with a very pleasing sub 3 in Tokyo and a surprising pb at London in April. Thereafter the monthly mileage decreased, the weight increased and the race times got slower.
I had intended to train properly for the event and give the distance the respect it obviously deserves. As sometimes happens however, a combination of work pressures and family engagements meant I was unable to get the long runs in that I needed in order to give myself the best chance of peaking at the right time. As a consequence I decided to keep the race under wraps to avoid putting myself under any pressure and just run it for fun. This meant that for the first time ever I was going to do a marathon having done no long runs. My longest run since the London marathon in April was 15 miles and my weekly mileage was hovering around 25-30 miles per week. Adequate for keeping fit and healthy but obviously not enough for me to be race ready.
Race shoes were deliberately left back in the UK to prevent any late bravado inspired changes of mind and I opted for a rather worn pair of long run trainers, very definitely coming to the end of their street-life.
The expo was in a dockside warehouse and was fairly small scale, no big shoe manufacturers; no massive Adidas boost zones or the like. The stall-holders present were still enthusiastic enough and as ever the free samples kept the children entertained. Perhaps the highlight of the Expo was the food afterwards. There was a large corral of street food trucks supported by micro brewery stalls. Tex-Mex, Pulled Pork, Indian Street food, Crème Brule, Cotton Candy and beer. What more could you ask for!
As seems to be common at these city marathons the day before the race the organisers put on a 5k breakfast run. This one was no different although it had the added interests for running geeks of being attended by Dean Karnazes the ultra runner and author of a number of very readable running books.
Having asked for the obligatory selfie, I left him in peace and jogged the 5k with a Canadian lady vet who had over 100 marathons to her name. I’m generally not a massive fan of running 5k the day before a race, no matter how easy the pace but as I was determined not to race I was not unduly stressed.
When I collected my number from the expo I have to confess I felt something of a fraud. I’d obtained a sub elite entry due to my London time but had to register at the elite desk. My lack of training was beginning to make me feel guilty. ‘No matter’ I thought I’ll just start at the back of my pen and not get sucked in to starting off too fast.
On the morning of the race I was up at 4.00am. The race starts at 5.30am. Normally I’d stress about breakfast but I figured I’d only eaten my evening meal (Thai noodles) at 8pm so my carbohydrate stores wouldn’t need much topping up. An energy bar and a bottle of Gatorade was the breakfast of choice on the 1½ mile walk to the start from the hotel.
Again my conscience was pricked when I handed my baggage into the elite runners truck and it perhaps should have given me a clue as to what was to come. I made my way to the start and I could easily make out the second wave runners but I couldn’t see the entrance to the elite pen. As I got closer to the front I realized exactly why. It was tiny. There were less than 100 runners in this section and I found myself one row back from the start line. To add to my angst I discovered the elites were setting off 2 minutes before the rest of the field.
This meant that within 2 miles I was going to be being passed by all of those athletes who had trained properly for the race and this passing would go on for miles and miles. I was seriously beginning to regret my casual approach to this run. I thought perhaps it would have been wise to wear something a little less conspicuous than my union jack vest but it was too late to do anything about anything now. I was on the start line and the run was about to start.
The weather was cool with a morning mist. No humidity and perfect running conditions. Following the American national anthem the race started and off I set, at the back of my extremely small pen. Now really was the time to be sensible and not get carried away by my enthusiasm, which would undoubtedly lead me to have a very painful race experience within a few miles.
I was perhaps a little too fast over the first couple of miles which are pancake flat, running along the San Franciscan promenade but I quickly settled down into a more sensible pace, perhaps helped by a significant hill at 3 miles. At this point I started being passed by the next wave and it seemed like hundreds and hundreds of people were streaming past me. The early stages of the marathon are generally convivial affairs with runners acknowledging national vests and perhaps having a brief chat as they pass by and this was no different. You can probably guess I was happy to chat to anyone as they passed because I was here for a good time and to enjoy the experience.
The talking in this marathon seemed to stop at about mile 8 when runners hit a series of hills and switchbacks to get up to the Golden Gate Bridge, once at the top runners are recovering from the hills and being careful of their footing as the early morning mist made for slippery conditions under foot. People still seemed to be teeming past me as I settled into 7:30 minute mileing. Running across the bridge is a major selling point for this marathon and you certainly got your money’s worth as it went on for ever, having crossed the bridge, there is a quick turnaround and you get to do it all over again.
After the bridge its back towards the city and within a few miles you are running around a park. This park dominates many of the miles from 14-20. San Francisco is a small city and no doubt finds it difficult to accommodate 26.2 miles of running route so there was no option but to get very familiar with this park. Very pretty it was too but at that point in the run everyone is beginning to tire and the undulations within the park remain a significant challenge. It was at this point other runners who had passed me earlier started to come back to me and I started to notice some were reduced to a walk. With six miles or so to go this was not going to be a pleasurable experience for them. I was feeling tired myself but my decision to reign in my ego and run sensibly was proving wise.
Having escaped the park it was back into the streets of San Francisco and yes more hills. I was 20 miles in now and hadn’t walked. It was my ambition to get around without walking which I thought would be a decent achievement given the lack of training and the amount of hills. I was beginning to enjoy the hills as the race wore on although the down hills were so steep it became uncomfortable running down them as I was worried about what effect they would have on my quads. Memories of Boston were particularly vivid and I didn’t fancy the painful finish I experienced there.
By now it was after 8am and the city was starting to wake up, crowd support in this race is always pretty sparse but by this time people are starting to get up and pockets of support appear.
Miles 23-25 were fairly non-descript. They hurt, time passes slowly and I found myself running around an industrial estate and some service roads. We passed by a baseball stadium, which I suspect is pretty famous but at this stage I was less than fussed. I was counting down the final yards. I could see the Oakland Bridge, which was pretty much at the finish line but I didn’t seem to be getting any closer to it.
A young Irish runner was running beside me expressing the same wish for the finish line to arrive, my watch had already gone well beyond the 26.2 miles before the end finally came into sight.
My Irish runner made a spurt for the finish line and I thought to myself you’ve gone to early my friend and so it was that I couldn’t resist that last burst of testosterone just to make sure I crossed the line before him. Entirely pointless exercise as he probably started 2 minutes behind me but old habits die hard.
My finishing time 3:21:44. Out of the 6067 marathon participants I placed 244th and 35th in my age category. Either my perception of the thousands of people passing me was runner’s paranoia or I moved back up the field as time went on. In any event it was a sensibly paced run, meaning no aches and pains the following day and no walking down the stairs backwards.
[Perhaps the most peculiar split distances you’ll ever see! If anyone can work out the logic of it let me know!]
My overall reflections on the race are that it is certainly a worthwhile destination marathon. It’s an interesting and varied course. The hills are challenging and it’s clearly not a pb course. If you like big city razzmatazz and deafening crowd support this is not the race for you but if variety is a spice in your life, give it a go.