Thursday, 27 October 2011

Windermere 10K 1986......a triumph for the local boys.

  The 3rd 4th and 5th miles of last Sunday's were covered in 6.55 6.57 and 6.43.  I have "run" 24 miles since  (Monday 4, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and today 7) and I haven't been anywhere near 8 minute mileing for any of them!
  The 10K race certainly seems to have taken quite a toll!  But I was quite pleased with the way the race went ; if not entirely with the time.  The LEA TOWN race was the 138th 10K.
  This date 25 years ago I was in the Lake District for the 11th.......
              A LOOK AT THIS DAY 25 YEARS AGO
 For the first time in 1986 the organisers staged a supporting 10K to the Wimdermere Marina Marathon. It was to be over a one lap route taking in  part of the scenic marathon course.   8oo extra runners were attracted to the region from all parts for the shorter event, held whilst the 26.2 mile race was in progress.  But it was local runners who filled the first 3 places.

  Unchallenged out front was a local runner who had already become a dominant figures on the fells......
.........KENNY STUART of KESWICK.  Between 1983 and 1986 he had swept all before him in fell races and has since become a fell legend.  He was the 1st to win the British fell Champs. 3 times.  1st Brit to win a World Mountain Championship.  His record times for classic events like Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Skiddaw are still standing.
 By this year perhaps he felt he had fulfilled all his fell running ambitions and decided to turn his amazing talent to road running.  He had already made a tremendous marathon debut in Glasgow winning in 2:14.03!  He would go on to record 2:11.36 in the 1989 Houston marathon; not bad for a "fell runner".
 Hardly surprising then that on October 26th he was the target for all the spectators' attention as we lined up the WINDERMERE MARINA 10K.   He went on to win relatively unchallenged by just over a minute in 29.55 from CRAIG ROBERTS (Kendal) 30:57)  with GRAHAM HUDDLESTON (Kendal)  3rd in 31:07.
 Craig Roberts, now 48 has recently won the World Mountain Champs in the M45 category; so still going well.   In 21st place was PETER HALL (Barrow). Peter has no races listed for 2011 but his record shows a 40.18 10K at the age of 69 last year.   A "slow down" of just 7 minutes in 25 years!  

 In 4th place was PAUL PICKUP (Longwood) who had won the Malta Marathon I ran back in February  beating me again as I ran 32.22 for 9th place.   Perhaps if I hadn't run 5 races in the previous 7 weeks I might have done better but that's the way it was back then.
 There would be only one more race in November before the end of the year and so the training intensity continued with weeks of 89 and 83 miles.
 I  no doubt knew that the PRESTON 10 on Nov.16th would
attract a high quality field featuring some talented much younger runners and would be a severe test for a 37 year old.
       No rest   let up for the wicked!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Manchester XC league....Heaton Park...the ladies!

They say "ladies first"..........well I did do work on the ladies video from Saturday first but once again met with "music issues". Here's the final version..........10 minutes......

Meanwhile,  yesterday's easy 4 miler and today's 2 res run gave me a chance to assess the collateral damage from Sunday's 10K.   Calves (OK), hamstrings (OK),  knees (some pain) which eased throughout today's run.  Some icing needed.  Heart and lungs......weary!!   But a good last uphill mile today so am on the way back.  
   Plenty of company by the water today: mainly grandparents dragging kids on half term around the reservoir trails! 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Filming at the Manchester XC League Heaton Park

 I was tempted to make a return to cross country racing with a nostalgic tour of Heaton Park where my running journey began in the early '60s but I decided that  a road 10K would serve be a better tune up race for my planned half marathon.
 So instead I was able to enjoy the "crack" at the event without the pressure of competing.  Hardly Steven Spielsberg but hope you enjoy the videos of the ladies and mens races.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A good day's hunting at the LEA TOWN 10K.

Saturday 9 p.m. and I still haven't decided what to run tomorrow.  No family obligations so I'll definitely do a 10K as planned.  The choice?  A repeat visit to Blackpool where the season started back in March.  A 2 lap very flat  tour of Stanley Park.  A chance to monitor how my form is compared with 7 months ago.  Or a return to nearby Salwick for a familiar undulating course, the LEA TOWN 10K (formerly the Kirkham 10K)

  Setting aside the fact that the Blackpool race would cost us £4 more each  we settled for the later starting  LEA TOWN 10K which would make for a less frantic Sunday morning.  Regretably the race is "unregistered" so finishing times will not appear on any athleticsdata/power of ten records or rankings.  Largely irrelevant in my case as I'm not fast enough to make the M60 rankings anyway!
  The last  time Pat and I were in this part of the Fylde Coast we managed a rare age group double win. Could we repeat the feat today, perhaps? 
 That question being answered  as soon as we turned in to park, seeing leading M60 ALAN HUDSON (Wesham)  walking towards us.  He tells me he has been injured again.  I know he will have benefitted from a break and will be firing on all cylindars again!
  As usual I'm one of the last to assemble for the 11 a.m. start which is curiously  at least 200 yards further down the lane from where we started this race, memorably  the morning Princess Diana died.  Interesting to see what the garmin gives us on this mile marked kilometre event (?) !   2011 ?
 Inevitably in events we compete with "significant" others.  Runners we generally finish behind or should generally beat.  The first mile is often where we take stock.  Reaching the marker after the first undulating mile I've only just passed M70 TED ORRELL but JAYNE PERRY (Lancaster & Morecambe) and dad Steve are only just in front and not going away.  The garmin gives me 7.00 minutes. Solid but not sparkling.  Final results suggest I am well into the 50s position wise.
 I catch Steve and Jayne, who has beaten me easily twice in recent weeks. 
                         Do I pass or tuck in behind?
My racing head tells me to pass and continue the chase for the usual string of slowing runners in front.  The inclines of the second mile don't help (7.12) but the next 3 are fairly flat and my younger rivals are paying for their imprudent early pace.  
 The hunt is going well as one by one runners are coming back.  Better miles recorded  6.55, 6.57 and 6.43 but  I think it's more that I'm maintaining overall pace and effort whilst they are slowing down.
 One undulating mile to go and although I catch seasoned F50 Preston Harrier, Philippa Walsh,  making a return to 10K racing,  this 6th mile is back to 7.03 and I know I'm going to be over 43 minutes yet again.  As the results confirm.
   43.23    38th of 139 finishers.  2nd M60 as ALAN HUDSON confirms his return to form, beating me by 3 and a half minutes.   Perhaps we should have returned to Stanley Park where the flatter course would have  undoubtedly given a sub 43 time and a category win.
  Jogging back down the course Pat comes into view and I run the last 200 metres with her and see her make a return to 10K racing with 58.01.   She is first F60 but F65 CAROL DOUGLAS was 7 mins. in front with a  superb 51:00.

LUKE MINNS  generally seen running  800/1500 for BLACKPOOL & FYLDE  (as pictured above) would appear to have largely unchalleged judging  by his 32.49 from ex- Copeland star M40  EDDIE SIMPSON (33.44) now with Dallam Sports.  
   GEMMA ADAMS (PRESTON HARRIERS) was first lady in 39.46. 
Eddie featured on the front cover of ATHLETICS WEEKLY in October 1991 seen running the second leg as his COPELAND team won the Northern 6 stage relay. Still going well!


Friday, 21 October 2011


 The start to my 1986 season couldn't have been any better with the win in the BRASS MONKEY HALF MARATHON and there had really no let up throughout the year with 19 more races completed including 2 marathons and 5 more half marathons.  3 of them  in the last 5 weeks.
 Hardly surprising then that by this date OCTOBER 19 I was looking forward to an end of year break with only 3 more races planned.  
 The first would be a local one. The HORSFORTH (HARRIERS) 10K.  It has a new venue now but back in 1986 it was based at the college where I did my P.E. degree; TRINITY & ALL SAINTS.  The host club had only recently been established.
 I remember clearly the initial discussion I had with one of the original members when he enquired about vests for them and I queried whether they would be better adding to the membership of LEEDS CITY up the road.  Of course they went ahead and whilst not an elite club they have gone from strength to strength in the way many clubs set up in the 1980s have done.
 The course for the 10K was a testing one, heading over the hill towards Yeadon, swinging right past the LEEDS BRADFORD  airport before swinging right and right again along the undulating lanes back towards Horsforth. With an unwelcome sting in the tail with the climb back up to the college.

 JOHN CONVERY (pictured  left in 1986 ) repeated his September Kirkstall 10K win running 31.51 but I couldn't repeat my 3rd.   The event attracted a better quality field and I was pushed back to 8th with 32.44, despite running 20 seconds faster.
 As was the norm at this time in local races, our VALLEY STRIDERS vests were prominent at the sharp end.  TERRY BEAN followed John C. for 2nd (32.04)  KEITH CLUDERAY followed me in for 9th and HILARY MC EWAN was 11th. So 5 Striders in 11.      Great times for the club!
 Sadly Hilary passed away prematurely  and 12th place ALAN SPENCE also died this year. 
 Looking down to other names in the top 40 runners we find fell racing stalwart GARY DEVINE (16TH 33.34)  Bingley's MIKE SMITH now proud owner of multiple World Masters medals at various distances and has recorded 19.41 (5K) and 42.16 (10K) at the age of 69.   Teammate SEAN JORDAN has returned to racing in the last few years after a bit of a break (25 th in 34.50);he is still running under 40 minutes (39.26 this year).

 In 31st position was KEVIN O'HARA then running for Otley (31st 35.17).  I know Kevin is still fit and well because he flew past me on his bike this very morning as I was out for my jog.  
 But it would appear  the majority of the first 40 in this 1986 have long since hung their road racing shoes up. Perhaps only to be expected!
   With the metric distance still in its infancy this  race was only the 10th 10K I'd run with the first still the fastest  back in 1983 .   I was becoming fairly apparent  that the marathon racing and training wasn't helping  my speed over the shorter distance!  
   Good possibily of notching up the 138th this obligations permitting.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

referrer spam

 A quick message to fellow bloggers.............

I suppose like me you check the Stats button on the dashboard
to see how many views your blog is getting.
 There are some peaks of course but nothing like the peak witnessed at exactly 11.oo a.m. last Sunday......152 views! 
          Fine in a whole day but not at a specific time.
The "invalid"  traffic source would appear to from  "google correction" and other sites.
 Research reveals that this activity is called "referrer spam" and apparently  it is designed to encourage us to do the natural thing and click on their site and others; but the advice is that  we should ignore it and eventually it will go away!
                Any one else receiving extraordinary view traffic from these sources?

It's a shame really because it obviously distorts the real traffic figures and is a bit of a nuisance.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


  More often than not we see 100 year olds being presented with their birthday card from the Queen, commonly  sat  surrounded by nursing home staff. 
  In contrast,  Londoner FAUJA SINGH has deservedly grabbed many world headlines since the weekend,   following his performance in the TORONTO  WATERFRONT MARATHON  (his 8th)  of  8:11.05.  A  world record as theoldest ever marathoner.   He had returned to Toronto having run 5:40 in 2003.  He is said to run 10 miles EVERY DAY.
 Of course  the "Turbaned Tornado" as he is being called, is an amazing man and well deserves his accolades.   But  his record has perhaps overshadowed the fantastic performance of the winner of the M80 age group.....ED WHITLOCK.......beating all 60 year old and 70 year olds....recording  3:15.50.

 He was the first over 70 to run under 3 hours (2:59.10) in 2003.  His time of 2:54.48 at the age of 73 is said to be the equivalent of 2:04 for a 20 year old!
 Not content having run 3:25.43 in Rotterdam in April 2011; he actually improved his M80 world record with the 3:15.50 at the Toronto event.
 The Masters Athletics magazine which dropped on my mat this morning reveals he is not just a marathoner.  He illuminated the WORLD MASTERS T. & F. championships setting no less than 3 world records.   1500 metres (5:48.93 ,  5000 m. (21:32.87) and 10,000
(42:39.95).  Not surprisingly he gave the cross country event a miss!

Ed was born in London and hence has proudly worn his FASTRAX
Ranelagh Harriers vest on many occasions but  now lives in Ontario in Canada.   A truly remarkable athlete. 
  Clearly I will need to try to find out more about his training and lifestyle as he is performing at the same level as myself but is 18 years older than me!!
  I shall refrain at this point from complaining about the weather today which gave me a real reminder that winter is just around the corner.  Trogging around the res,  I really thought it might snow at times! 
 What a complete contrast to  last Saturday morning when a young man came towards me running on the canal with his soddened t-shirt in hand; his upper body soaking up the autumn rays.   England in the autumn..............nightmare!  
   But  Ed Whitlock  will no doubt have to cope with the weather we have ......and worse.

Monday, 17 October 2011


  I  had never observed or competed in a race before  which the competitors were told to line up in  a single file and  counted through...for safety reasons.  Not quite possible for a race with thousands in,  but with fields only amouting to dozens easily possible at yesterday's ENGLISH SCHOOLS FELL CHAMPIONSHIPS hosted by Cockmouth School in the northern Lake District.
 This was only the 4th time these championships were being held  with competitors  representing their school  rather than their county as they do in the English Schools T. & F. and cross country championships. So the numbers taking part are relatively low, the majority northern based, making the safety count an easy one.  Having said that 123 contested the mixed  under 16 race,  70 the under 14, 76 the under 12 and 63 the last race for sixth formers.
 Pat and myself were there to see if friend Sally's ever improving daughter, GEORGIA MALIR could get amongst the medals in the under 16 girls race.  The gold and silver looked out of reach on previous form but if she fought well a 3rd place was up for grabs. 
  She was the sole representative from St. Mary's Menston, the school where I taught in the 1970s.
 She didn't disappoint; fighting hard to stay ahead of the 4th placer who was finishing hard on her heels  as they passed me with just 300 metres left.
With a recent win in our COMPLETE RUNNER cross country league and a 19.10 5K on the road (at just 15!) she is certainly emerging as a very versatile capable young athlete. 
  It was also pleasing to see another young lady receive a silver medal in the under 14 girls race.  We had met RHIANNON WICKHAM and her dad, Paul, the previous day in the shop when we fixed her up with some INOV 8 Mudclaws for the race. .  They proved a good choice for the mud strewn course with its steep inclines.  Well done, Rhiannon and your  winning Clitheroe Royal G.S. team.
To be able to attend the event I'd switched the "long" run (well long for me) to Saturday.  We were working at the Nelson branch but with boss Pat's permission I was allowed out to enjoy a run on a beautiful autumn morning.   I ploughed  up the canal  past REEDLEY MARINA
towards Burnley for 5 miles in 44.41 ,  feeling the effect of Thursday's track 5K,  but with a breeze behind surprised myself coming back in 40.23 adding an easy mile for 11.
  That left me just an easy 3 Sunday a.m. for 44 on the week  which proved more than enough  for a pre-breakfast run!

Friday, 14 October 2011

CHANGE 4 LIFE.....not for you, Terry!

 After Sunday's 12 mile run I thought that I would be sensible and leave this week's track visit until Thursday.
I was a good decision because after easy runs on Monday(4)  andTuesday (6) I was still feeling the 12 miler in the old legs as I did the 2 RESRUN;  with company from Sally M. for a pleasant change.
 A fortnight ago at the track, I aborted kilometre reps when after 4 they started to drift to 4.53;nothing in the legs at all.
                 So yesterday I was interesting to see how a straight 5K would go. 
 I can cope with 12 and a half laps of the track and give it my utmost but running solo does mean that it works out at TEMPO pace.  For once conditions were fairly favourable just a breeze against on the back straight.
 Back on song the laps went to my normal pattern; one of acceleration as the legs loosen up.

             1.50  1.52  1.50  1.52  1.51  1.51 1.48  1.49  1.47  1.48 `1.47  1.43   49........22.40

 Very reassuring compared with the poor session 14 days prior and very comparable with 5K track tempo runs e.g. 22.44 in February 2010.
 More to the point is that a speed endurance run like this with  the pace achieved really begs the question why I do 5K as a rep/interval session at all!    I don't seem to be able to endanger much more if any speed putting in the intervals!! 
perhaps I should just either stick to 5K tempo runs or perhaps 2 x 2 miles or ensure rep/interval sessions total 5 miles or so.   Part of growing old I suppose; unless I cut down some of the long runs and concentrated on more speed.

 As explained in previous posts the changing rooms etc have been closed  until 4 p.m. over the summer.   But  PENDLE LEISURE TRUST are to start a new scheme called CHANGE 4 LIFE which will be catering for locals who wish to lose weight, improve their health and become more healthy.
 They will sign up for 12 weeks for £60.  They will receive advise on diet and weight management and be put through their paces in the gym and outside via cycling, walking and may even use the track.
 So I thought of course that as the gym would now be open I would be able , as previous, to use the track and then shower off before journeying back to Yorkshire.  Not so............
     There would be no one behind the desk; the staff would all be engaged helping the overweight and unfit.   There would be no one to take our money.
 So runners not wanting to lose wieght, already living a healthy lifestyle and already active would still be excluded.   Unless they joined the scheme!  Which would cost me, as once per week user, £5 per session.
 I rang the Trust and having all this confirmed, I suggested that they have an "honesty box" so that us runners could use the facilities and pay as we go, at the previous rate.  Failing that we'll just continue to trespass........but if I'm reprimanded I'll be writing to the local press about restricted use of the track even though the facility is open.  Madness.
Another weekend without a race for me but if you are racing.........including your first parkrun, Laura!..................have a good one.....I'm sure you will find it easier than 12.5 laps on a track!


Wednesday, 12 October 2011


 A lot of people seem to go through their whole life existing by "the seat of their pants".  They do achieve things but usually by the narrowest margin,  without too much thought or advance preparation.  You know the type; perhaps YOU!   You  pass exams only after lots of last minute, late night revising.  You are still chopping vegetables as your  guests arrive for dinner.
           You run onto the platform as your train wheels are starting to turn.  

In running terms,  they arrive for training as the first rep is about to start.  They park up for a race as the 5 minute warning sounds out.  They only decide on that day's run as they are leaving the door.   They need a kick up the butt, don't they? 

 Well,  one sportswear company (Oiselle) in America, where else, has just the answer! (Remember their runner's wedding dress)
You can literally organise your training week by arranging the (under) pants you wear.  I say you....... I think they only do ladies......they call them RUNDIES!!  Nice one.

 Buying the 7 pack  in 7 different colours with 7 different training  "sessions" printed on the rear you could lay them out in your knicker drawer in the order of your runs.
 Presumably if you train twice a day you'll need to buy 2 packs of 7.  You wouldn't want to be wearing your pants twice, 
 now would you, girls?

Could these be a new FASTRAX  product? 
Is this another U.S. idea we'll be adopting soon?
Probably not. If we did they would defnitely NOT be cotton and
they would NOT  shrink as makers Oiselle suggest they will(!)

But they might just be the way to get the runner buying them  to organise their training for the week ahead and with no repeats   on  the  printing  on the rear,  they can be assured of a varied training week,   if nothing else!

They wouldn't do for me though, would they?  I wouldn't wear the ones printed with REST and my simple brain can't cope with FARTLEK.  Never trained fartlek in all my time running.
 I wonder if they would be prepared to make up a special set with EASY 4  and STEADY 8 on instead;   do them in wicking, breathable polyester and cut for a man. Now that's an idea!


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

When the going gets tough.....jump on a bus!

 Details of the 26 marathons I've run are a bit fuzzy; it's been a few years.  But if I'd have started a marathon event last Sunday  I think I would know whether I ran the whole race or took a break on a bus  accompanying the runners. Only to get off the bus towards the end and claim 3rd place in the SALOMON KIELDER MARATHON.
 Not sure if it's been featured on National TV but the saga of the Sunderland Harrier in question has been unfolding throughout the day on Tyne Tees TV. 


 The 7.55 a.m. news broadcast  just reported that he had won the 10K race on Sunday, decided to race the marathon on Sunday as well, had initially been thought to have finished 3rd but had then been disqualified following comments from those just behind.
The 4th place runner said he had definitely NOT been past and only 2 had beaten him.
 The lunchtime news  stated that  the runner was adament that he had run the whole race and could back up his claim with evidence from his garmin.  Steve Cram, organiser, implied that evidence from chip timings suggested that he had covered the second half at world record pace.
 Further reports were saying the accused runner had apologised to the organisers saying that he had boarded a bus at the 20 mile point, stayed on it for 5 miles then left it for the rest of the race going across the line in 3rd place as if in error.
 His previous day's anger at  being falsely accused had obviously subsided and the memory of boarding a bus, riding on it for 5 miles, getting off,  hiding behind a tree and rejoining the race in 3rd place had returned.  When  it came back later. he remembered "making his mistake" of rejoining the race  and has apologised for the confusion his mistake had caused. 
 He declined this evening to face the TV reporter leaving his tearful wife to speak for him.
What a great shame that his apparent action on the Sunday has overshadowed his win in the shorter race.
Doubtless he reached 20 miles in a state of fatigue, clearly  made worse by the previous day's effort and decided to call it a day.  But rather than face up to the fact that his back to back double race attempt was a mistake, his sense of judgement  became a blur, undoubtedly  effected by 20 miles of endeavour .
  He remembered the glory and attention he had enjoyed the day before.......... and wanted more!
  It worked.....for a while. He was featured on TV  after the race saying how "absolutely, unbelieveably tough" the marathon had been. 
  Naturally his well respected club are embarrased by the action of their new member and it will be interesting to see whether any further action is taken by regional  "authorities".

Monday, 10 October 2011


 The new season of THE COMPLETE RUNNER CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE began yesterday, October 9 2011, with a the first races hosted as efficiently as ever by Gordon Agar and his SKYRAC A.C. team at Nunroyd Park, Guiseley, Leeds.
 A damp, humid afternoon but the heavy rain forecast held off and a great afternoon's racing was enjoyed.  The highlight , again, has to be the packing of the LEEDS CITY senior men with 6 in the first 10; 13 in the top 35.  Where were they for the Yorkshire 6 man relay?

 Not a great day for photos but here's a flavour of the event...........

Saturday, 8 October 2011


  Looking at the race profiles of various runners it's amazing how they differ.   For some there is NO  punctuation; EVERY Saturday morning they do a local 5K parkrun!  Nothing else.  Many others similarly stick to the road throughout the year, some similarly racing every week but unlike the parkrunners they  like to vary the distance and  aren't afraid to travel a tad if needs be.
  Thousands  of unattached non-club runners settle for a mass marathon, a mass half marathon and  a mass 10K.   I now tend to do what many average club runners do;   some key races of varying distances with "tune up" races in between totalling about 20 or so in the year.   Each to his own as they say.
 In contrast "traditionalists" , including thousands of youngsters,  will start their cross country this weekend.  A summer of track racing behind them; perhaps fresh from a short September break.
A  cross country journey that will see the very best teenagers enjoy and endure as many as 20 races from Octotber to March.  An exhausting, gruelling programme of races which will see them representing their school  and club in local league events before Christmas;   then after, the more important  Championships.   County championships for school and club.   Regional club championships.  National school and club championships.   Inter Counties. International Schools .......
  So with all this on offer I just wonder why  United Kingdom Athletics includes u/20 u/17 u/15 and u/13 races in their Cross Challenge races which will see some youngsters travelling to Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Antrim and Birmingham!   3 of them after Christmas when all they have important races school and club races.
  No surprise some youngsters give up when they leave "parental care" and escape to university.
  Our COMPLETE RUNNER CROSS COUNTRY league of 4 events starts Sunday Oct 9  just up the road at Guiseley; kindly hosted by SKYRAC A.C
  There was no cross country for me in the ' autumn binge of road races continued...
 1986.  Sept 7.  Windmill 1/2 marathon  71.09   Sept 14  Kirkstall 10K  33.04  Sept 28 Blackpool Half Marathon  70.19............surely time for a break you might think?!!

  No  we would be taking the van to sell some gear at the
scenic but equally challenging NIDD VALLEY ROUND TABLE HALF MARATHON and so why not run it?   It was  so often the best plan in terms of time management;  join the "customers" in the event.
  But the 3rd half marathon in 4 weeks would be more of a challenge than the 2 previous on the flat Fylde coast.   This was was over the hill from Ilkley starting from the village of Darley and would involve some very challenging hills in the first few miles  and  see us tackle the steep Clint Bank later.  But in between we would enjoy some very fast flat and downhill running through the village of Hampsthwaite so not all bad.
 By 1986 fellow Valley Strider TERRY BEAN had shed pounds and had emerged as a one of the area's leading distnce runners.  This day he  stamped his authority after the first climb aand even BEN GRANT of Harrogate could make no real impression on him despite the affinity with hills that Ben stills enjoys in his '60s.
Ben is still a force to reckon with on the fells and road .
  I could only let them go into the distance and settled for a fight for 3rd with Ben's teammate JEFF HUTTON.  A fight I lost  finishing 4th as the previous month's efforts took their toll no doubt but I did have the consolation of  finishing in 71.53  and being part of the winning VALLEY STRIDERS team.  ROB JACOBSON  being 3rd counter in 9th place.
 4th place was a repeat of the previous year but in 1985 Ben and Jeff had been behind.  This day they made up for it.
 A very frequent racer at this time was one MICHAEL WALKER of Gosforth in the North east.  He would shoot down the A1  week and week and scoop up the veterans prize.  In this event he achieved an unusual double as his father , John, ran 1:40 as a 67 year old to pick up the V60 award alongside his son.
 I only have a report listing the first 10 finishers of this event.
Perhaps  a reader ran in this and has the full results?  Did you run this one, Martin?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

It's a running dog's life...part 2

 Going back to yesterday's blog in which I was playing with the idea of matching runners with  each of the world's top 5 fastest dogs .....and one other!  to  perform best in the sport of CANIX ( Canine cross country). 

As top dog there could only be one match for THE GREYHOUND,  could there not?   USAIN BOLT.   Jamaica's finest.  As world 100 metre and 200 metre  world and Olympics games record holder  he has to be the perfect match for the world's fastest dog. 
But will Usain be "top dog" himself for much longer? 

Perhaps his position as No.1 will be usurped by YOHAN BLAKE.
Current 100 metre World Champion with a P.B. of 9.82
and as second fastest 200 m. runner of alltime (19.26)  he's the ideal match for no.2 dog THE WHIPPET

Russia's MARIYA SAVINOVA.  Current World 800 metre champion with a time of 1:55.87 would be pleased to be pulled along by THE BORZOI.  (The Russian Wolfhound) 
The SALUKI , another of the world's top 5 fastest breeds, (the Royal Dog of Egypt) was apparently taken to the Middle East by nomadic tribes.   
So quite compatible with  Turkey's  ILHAM TANUI OZBILEN.  A 3:31/ 3.49 1500 m/ miler.
EAMON COUGHLAN, proudly running in the kit of his native Ireland.  3 times Olympian , former World Champion at 5000 metres and 4 times World record holder at the Indoor Mile, hence his "nickname" Chairman Of the Boards"   Perhaps THE IRISH WOLFHOUND would have been a more suitable nickname?

So that just leaves me ....................................
 could I cope being pulled along by the world's slowest dog,
                                   THE BASSET HOUND
                                      He doesn't look too pleased at the prospect, does he?


Many of you will no doubt have heard of the sport of CANIX (as in CANINE-COUNTRY) in which the runner is pulled along by his/her canine companion with a bungee stretch cord for the perfect hands free assisted running race experience.   It got me thinking that you'd have to match dogs to the runners,    so I was considering 6 breed of dog...............

5 of these 6 breeds are THE FASTEST IN THE WORLD and ONE ISN'T QUITE SO FAST!


EAMON COUGHLAN                USAIN BOLT                           MARIA SAVINOVA

THE GREYHOUND                     THE WHIPPET                                                                             
THE SALUKI                                                         THE BORZOI


                                                        THE BASSET HOUND................

Sunday, 2 October 2011


We experience highs and lows in every aspect of life.  Work, relationships, friendships; and of course our running is not immune to "ups and downs".  
Thursday this week was a low.   The old body didn't cope well with the planned session of K reps with a 10 mile run 2 days before and I pulled the plug after just 4 reps.
 The mile pace had started at 7:22 dropped to 7.44 slightly better at 7:32 but dipped again to 7:48 per mile pace.
  It would be easy to point to the thermometer and talk about the high  temperature prevailing but in truth the body was simply saying just back off for a couple of days.  Give yourself a "wee break"!
  After an easy 3 on Friday and Saturday I was tempted to cover today's long run with company by taking part in the HAREWOOD 10 trail race.  But what would I learn from an undulating trail race with a half marathon pencilled in for a few weeks time? 
  I often say  if you can't "train a distance how can you race that distance?" (and that includes marathons).    So instead I decided to practice what I preach and cover 14 miles on the canal. 

 The plan  for today was a "progression run".  A gradual increase in the pace over the half marathon distance. As regular readers of this blog know and those who know me well will testify that's how I seem to race and train instinctively.  Nowadays I don't have much choice. The longer the run the more fluid I seem to become.  But  I read in Oct.R.W. that this is the Kenyam way.
 "Start at a jog; but end like the Charge of the Light Brigade"  ( see pic for historical insight!)
 "Building pace through training runs preps you to be strong in the second half of a race. Psychologically it gives you confidence and physiologically it trains your body to use different energy systems so you run powered by your fat stores first and preserve glycogen for later" 
 Very good. But I just tend to run "progressively"naturally but good to know it's having a beneficial effect.
 So putting theory into practice..................
  Moderate pace for 2 miles then gradually up through the gears over the miles.  The first 2 miles were on target.........9.05 and 9.00 but with a benign temperature and negligible wind the 3rd mile cranked up to  8.21 .   I thought from that point I would be hard pushed to achieve the acceleration (progression)  I wanted but unlike Thursday the legs did what I  wanted them to do and the times resulting,   clearly highlight just how bad Thursday was.  From half way today I started running  continuous miles as fast  as I had run K reps!  In summary....
9.05   9.00   8.21  8.17   8.11   7.52   7.49   7.46   7.43   7.44   7.35   8.16 (uphill)   7.32 plus .46..............13.1 miles.     Half marathon time 1:46  plus ease down to 14 mile.
     Quite pleasing but  could I go 11 minutes faster in a race?  Time will tell.

So possibly one of the best training runs of the year and the key to it was without doubt backing off for just  a couple of days; easy 3s on Friday and Saturday.
  Today's 14 served as a very good end to the week which totalled 49 miles

The KENYAN weekly  schedule as descibed in the R.W. article  suggests that the long run (20-40K) takes place on a Saturday with Sunday as a day of rest. I'll "rest" but stay mobile with an easy 3 or 4 !