Future Event: The Rutland Spring Half Marathon 8th April 2018

The Rutland Spring Half Marathon, takes place on the 8th April 2018.

The Rutland Spring Half Marathon

The course offers exceptional views of the lake from Hambleton Peninsula. For those who have taken part in our September race, this course covers the section of the route half marathoners miss in our September addition of the race. Its such a lovely part of the course we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to race there.

Entries are limited to 500 so don’t miss out. You can expect the same friendly welcome, beautiful course, great feedstations, medal, t-shirt and amazing experience you’d expect from our September race.

Free Event in Birmingham 17th January 2017

For anyone already running marathons or planning to do so, then there is a fantastic night coming up with two tremendous national coaches, Bud Baldaro and Nick Anderson. The coaches will be hosting a marathon preparation evening at Birmingham University on Wednesday 17th January and I thoroughly recommend your attendance should you be free and are keen to learn!

To book your place please follow the link and fill in your details to book as a guest; I fully expect this event to fill up by the evening so I would get it on your calendar earlier rather than later.


Sunday 29th October 2017: Worksop Half Marathon

By Sam Blease.

If you go down to the woods today don’t be surprised to see about 3000 runners, many of them dressed for Halloween, tackling 13.1 beautiful but undulating miles. Worksop half marathon is a road race but it takes you through the picturesque Clumber Park. There were plenty of PB’s achieved – maybe this was due to runners being chased by ghosts & ghouls, witches and evil spirits? Even Jason’s from Friday 13th put in an appearance (photo above). You’d have to be fast to beat him to the line though, he finished the run in 1:41! A lovely morning out, chilly but dry & fairly light winds. This run is a lot of fun & worth doing just to see the fancy dress.

To see a video event tap link below.

Worksop Half Marathon

Interesting Person of the Week: Mike Edwards

We all meet so many interesting people through our running and other activities and sometimes don’t share their stories, so in this section there will be stories and an an “Interesting Person of the Week”. Mike Edwards is the first, with many more to come.

Mike is now in the 70-74 age group. Mike has been a good club runner for over 30 years. He has a fast P.B., for a marathon of 3.01 which also must be frustrating as it’s so close to sub 3 hours. It did make me laugh as I read this because he is another runner with dodgy knee’s who took up cycling. It seems that most cyclists are ex runners with running injuries. Anyway here’s his story,

“I gave up running for a while about twelve years ago because of a dodgy knee and after an arthroscopy got into mountain biking which strengthened my leg muscles supporting the knee thus enabled me to start running again. I actually suffered a heart attack in 2011 whilst mountain biking, but had a procedure called angioplasty(stents fitted) at Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital. The consultant who carried out the angioplasty, Nick Palmer cleared me to return to whatever I was doing previously. I got fit again at Lion Quays Leisure Club under the guidance of Michelle Bowen who was cardio rehab trained which involved gym work and swimming. In 2012 I went to watch my eldest son complete a Sprint Triathlon in Nantwich, became inspired and the following year took part myself.

I found triathlon very satisfying doing the three disciplines, although I am not the best of swimmers(self taught front crawl or freestyle as they now call it). I have completed about a dozen Sprints since then, the last on the 24th September 2017 at Ludlow. I swim at Chirk Leisure Centre two or three times a week and also ride road, cycle-cross and mountain bike and have recently introduced a gym programme to strengthen my upper body and core which has improved my running, although I am a great deal slower than I used to be. What I find is that entering a Triathlon gives me incentive to train and I am already entered for Chirk Sprint Tri next April.

Over the last eighteen months or so I have been going to the Park Run at Erddig Hall, Wrexham(NT) and am enjoying running one week and volunteering the alternate week. I also run on a Thursday morning with my long time running buddy, Les Leech and have been to Park Runs at Delamere, Congeleton and Braunstone Leicester as a PR tourist.

I completed my second Braunstone, Leicester Park Run on Saturday and recorded a PB of 29:41 and was third in my age group 70-74. I run, cycle(road, cyclo-cross and mountain bike) and swim. Entered Chirk Sprint Triathlon 2018 last night to motivate myself to train across the winter.”

The Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Elyri: Saturday 28th October 2017

It was the 35th time this famous marathon has been run. It’s been voted the best marathon in the U.K., for more than a few times. Although I didn’t run this year, when I did it, it was the most interesting, wild, beautiful and challenging Marathon I have ever done. To most runners it’s not one for worrying about going fast or getting a P.B., it’s about a great experience.

This year Bath AC runner Daniel Jones returned to Llanberis to take the men’s title in 2.36.54 whilst Northampton athlete Hayley Munn produced a stunning performance in the women’s race in 2.57.34, taking over six minutes off the course record.

The Marathon basically has three big hills: Hill 1 – long and steep for miles to Pen y Pass which you can chug up, you can see that hill in the photo above. You then turn off onto a trail road/track and it’s a steep downhill for miles. Hill 2 – is a steady climb, on the road for miles then it’s the last hill, Hill 3 – at around mile 21. It does’nt last long but it’s so, so steep everyone around me was walking. Finally, the hill ends but it is very, very, muddy, and steep downhill which also frustratingly prevents you running in some places. You then turn of the track and come into the town into the finish line to the rapturous applause of the huge crowd on the Llanberis high street. We got a Snowdonia Marathon Slate Coaster and a Cotton T shirt at the end.

Men’s top 5

1 Daniel Jones 2:36:54 Team Bath AC

2 Matt Hobbs 2:42:34 Pudsey and Bramley AC

3 Paul Jones 2:43:45 Shrewsbury AC

4 Gareth Petts 2:45:30 Whitney RR

5 Will Russell 2:46:24 Hercules Wimbledon

Women’s top 5

1 Hayley Munn 2:57:25 Northampton RR

2 Andrea Rowlands 3:01:38 Eryri Harriers

3 Sarah Cumber 3:13:43 Halifax Harriers AC

4 Jessica Parry-Williams 3:15:51 Les Croupiers RC

5 Emma Wookey 3:15:57 Lliswerry Runners

Full results via the TDL Event Services website here 

Entries to the 2018 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri are live on the 1st of December 2017, with the 2018 race date Saturday 27th of October

Further info via the Brooks Snowdonia Marathon Eryri website www.snowdoniamarathon.co.uk, on Facebook and Twitter @marathoneryri

My husband and I are the worst parents: Running the ING Amsterdam Marathon with young children.

Nine years ago my husband and I ran the ING Amsterdam Marathon when our children were young. Here’s that story………………..

For 12 years while my children were young I didn’t run. I didn’t do that much exercise except walking the kids to school and a little bit at the gym. So when my oldest was 12 years old I said to my husband “I’d like to run another marathon”. I’d run two marathons in my mid twenties and had obviously forgotten how hard it was and that you do need to train, although the longest run for those was only 13 miles.

Anyway, I worked up to jogging to an hour on the treadmill and my husband ran with me outside. We built it up to an 11 mile run and then entered The Leek Half Marathon. I had no idea it was hilly, my god those hills. We must be the worst parents in the world because we just left the kids at the playground at the start with their Gameboys and off we went. They were 11 & 13 years old but I worried about them the whole time.

I think we did a few more 11-16 miles runs and then it was time for ING Amsterdam Marathon. We walked to exhaustion on the Saturday, not a good idea. Again, we were the worst parents ever. We left our kids in the Amsterdam Stadium with their Gameboys, sweets, biscuits, etc. They were there for over 3 hours before my husband came in. I worried about them the whole time again. We both finished in a bit of a state, my husband toe was sliced open from fairly new shoes and I obviously hadn’t done enough training. Still we got to the airport and flew out and got the kids to bed at 2am, 4 hours sleep before school. Poor kids.

The Centurion Running Autumn 100 Race: Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 October 2017

By Akgun Ozsoy

After a year, I was at Goring again for Centurion Running’s Autumn 100 race. My goal was finishing my 3rd 100 miles under 24 hours and earning that “One Day” buckle. Last year I completed A100 in 25:17 and then did a very slow SDW100 (28:18) in June. This time I promised myself not to talk about problems I have had before -and during- the race because after running several ultra marathons I have realised that these are all inevitable parts of this sport. Simply if I wanted to tackle these issues, I should have been prepared well in every aspect.

After SDW100, I did two very hilly races. Ultimate Trails 110k (19:43) in July and then 10 Peaks Brecon Beacons (21:24) in September. In addition to several long runs before A100, I guess circuits classes which I have been attending almost a year did a big impact. These workouts are great for core strength and endurance.

I was very excited before the race but my confidence was high as well. This year my wife and daughter came with me too and I asked them to come back to the Village Hall before 10am on Sunday.

We had a brief chat with Iain Stewart while waiting for the race brief. This was his last race for grand slam and I think this is a big challenge. Congratulations to him by the way.

My plan was simple. Completing 50 miles 10 hours and then every 25 miles in 7 hours. I started the race at a steady pace and arrived Little Wittenham almost in 2 hours. Another goal was consuming less food in order to avoid stomach problems. So at each CP I ate very few things which I am familiar and left immediately. The first leg was completed in 4:15 as last year.

Rather than sitting in the Village Hall for long, I aimed to leave as soon as possible. Last year I spent more than a hour in total at this warm and cosy CP so I just taped my feet and left in 10 minutes.

The 2nd leg was my favourite one. Small towns in between trails among the forest and then the picturesque Swyncombe. Brigitte Groves was in North Stoke CP and the team here was marvellous again. Thanks for the picture and the warm soup again.

I managed to complete 50 miles in 10 hours but I think the critical part of the race started at this point. I pushed myself hard during the 3rd leg and always tried to run more and more. Just ignored the wind and focused on the trail during the night. Did not waste time at Chain Hill as well and left in a minute after picking up few grapes only. I tried Jack Daniel’s fudge at Bury Downs, of course, they were great. And the infamous last leg! I already knew that the Reading sign and the Reading CP was not close so enjoyed the quiet trail along the Thames. The volunteers at this CP was great as well with their Hawaiian shirts but I left after a couple of minutes because the clock on the wall was reminding the time. On the way back, the night section was over I was feeling well. Did not spend much time at Whitchurch CP as well, left just after getting two grapes in seconds.

I ran the last 4 miles very well and at the end, I arrived Goring in 23 hours 41 minutes! All hard training sessions were for this moment and I was very happy while receiving the special buckle. Thanks to Nici Griffin, James Elson and all volunteers for organising such a fantastic event. Special thanks to my wife Reside Ozsoy and my daughter Suna. It is very obvious that when your loved ones are waiting for you at the finish line, you are running with a different enthusiasm.

Jonny Mellor Misses Out on Commonwealth Games Place

English marathon runner Jonny Mellor has called the decision not to pick him for the 2018 Commonwealth Games “very short sighted” after he ran 63 seconds inside the qualifying standard.

England Athletics announced their 75-person team on Tuesday, but did not select a male marathon runner.

The body told Mellor he was not considered to be a medal contender.

His time of two hours 12 minutes 57 seconds in Berlin would have won Commonwealth gold in 1998 and 2010.

“I never take anything for granted – but I did expect to be on the team, to be honest. So when I found out it was a little bit of a shock,” Mellor told BBC Sport.

Mellor was told he had not been selected for the Gold Coast event in a phone call from England Athletics earlier this month.

The 30-year-old submitted an appeal but England Athletics lawyers contacted him on 6 October and said that it had been unsuccessful.

“They basically explained that just running the qualifying time does not justify your selection and they didn’t really go into any details about any points I’d raised in my appeal,” Mellor said.

“It just felt like a copy and pasted email.

“We dedicate our lives to it and work so hard for it and to get it taken away from you like this is really, really upsetting.”

Great Birmingham Marathon 15th October 2017: A report from a Sub 2 hour 30 min marathon runner.

By Dan Robinson

I found myself on the start line of my local marathon just a week after smashing myself to pieces to run a new PB of 2.29 at Chester Marathon. Conventional wisdom would tell you that this isn’t the ideal preparation for 26.2 miles but luckily I had only entered the race with the intention of pacing a training partner as far as I could manage and then jogging home and enjoying what I hoped would be a good atmosphere.

08:30 was an early start time which didn’t help reduce the sluggish feeling in my legs and I was just focused on trying to get up to speed off the line. I genuinely didn’t know how long I would be able to hold the pace my friend had requested, of around 5:45 per mile but I just determined to follow the old cliché of taking one mile at a time. As it was the first year of this event we weren’t too sure about the depth of the field. As we set off from Alexander Stadium it quickly became clear that there wasn’t much of a field at all and I was quickly in 6th place as the first few guys rapidly spread out.

The initial miles were relatively rolling with not much in the way of crowd and at that stage it felt like it could be a very long day. At 10km we were fractionally off the anticipated pace but given the hilly start I wasn’t too concerned. My pal was already starting to struggle though and I tried to reassure him that we just needed to run the course to effort and forget about split times. Luckily, we were soon onto the first of two loops which took in the very familiar territory of Cannon Hill Park up to Bournville and back. There was far more support on this section of the course which was great and the miles seemed to tick by much more quickly. By this stage I was needing to encourage my friend a fair bit, he was struggling well before halfway which I knew would be psychologically really challenging. We worked our way through halfway about 90s down on time and in the same position. By about mile 18 he was really beginning to struggle and my presence was probably more of an irritation than a help. For the next mile he kept encouraging me to push on. I was reluctant at first but I think he wanted to drop to his own pace. Finally a shout from the side of the road that a couple of guys were struggling ahead convinced me to push on and try and get the podium on behalf of my mate as that had been a big target for him. I picked it up slightly and actually felt much more comfortable. I reflected that if I had had these legs the previous week I would have been able to improve my PB by a considerably greater margin. It shows that despite spending so much time thinking about preparation there are things we can’t control. It was a great feeling to be so in control in the final miles of a home race and my club vest was attracting plenty of support. It is a rare thing to be able to enjoy the final miles of a marathon so I just relaxed and did exactly that, even hi-fiving people in the final few miles. I passed the third placed runner at about mile 23 and ran my fastest 400m of the race immediately after just to make sure he didn’t harbour any illusions of hanging on so that I could resume my relaxed state. The finish was a little more subdued than the previous half marathon finishes in the city, largely due to the location limiting the number of spectators but there were still enough there to make it feel special.

There are races which are satisfying because you have targeted them and worked hard to achieve a specific goal. On the other hand, this was just an absolute bonus with no pressure and a real sense of enjoyment from a personal point of view. I was disappointed on behalf of my friend but he still showed tremendous guts to finish 5th, an amazing effort given the way he felt on the day. For me, this was simply a matter of enjoying the fitness I had worked so hard for and taking advantage when my legs felt so much better than expected.