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My First Marathon: Stockholm Marathon 1989

I did my first marathon in 1989. I did run at school and stopped like a lot of people, then in my mid 20’s I started running again. I had been living in London for about 3 years and had always kept fit by cycling around London, oblivious to the traffic. I would be petrified to cycle around London now. After a few months of running I decided to do a half marathon. I looked in the Runners World magazine and decided to enter the Watford Half-Marathon. I sent off for the application form, filled it in and sent it back with a cheque and stamped SAE so I could receive the results. Remember this was the ‘back in day’ where online entry didn’t exist (not for me anyway). I did the half-marathon without any problems. Then of course the obvious next thing is to do was a marathon.

I entered the Stockholm Marathon via the same method as before. I must of only done about half a dozen runs until I did my longest which I think could of been as much as 15 miles!! The next day I had a sore knee which lasted about 6-7 weeks, more or less right up until the marathon. As the event came closer, I thought, I can’t chicken out now, I’ve told everyone I’m doing it, accommodation is booked and my cousin had decided to do it as well. For some reason I decided to work in London even the night before. I flew out on the first flight out of Heathrow to Stockholm. I arrive, took a taxi to the park, where my cousin was waiting for me. He had flew from Monte Carlo for the marathon. I think the marathon started at 1pm in the afternoon. I would never do something so daft nowadays, what if the plane was late?

Anyway, the Stockholm Marathon started. It was amazing Bands, Massages, Drinks, Food all as you ran and a fantastic crowd. I can remember crossing lots of bridges and it seemed to be drizzling with rain for a lot of it. By 18 miles I was knackered and my knee was sore, so there was some walking.

Finally, I got to the Stadium at the end before the 5 hour cut off point. My cousin greeted me with “I thought you were never going to get here, I’ve been waiting for ages.”We walked back to where we were staying. Our accommodation was a boat on the river. I was so, so, so tired. My cousin had to push me out to get something for dinner. We had a McDonalds. The next day we flew home. I was shattered and I thought “never again”. I was not fit and it’s not the way to run a marathon. Did I do another marathon?

Book Recommendation: Running Science (Editor, John Brewer)

If I was going to buy someone a running book this Christmas, I would buy this. An increasing number of people are buying E-books rather than hardback books, myself included. However, this is one of the few books I will have on my shelf at home. I enjoy reading it and find it so informative. It explains the Science of Running in a way that anyone can understand. It has large pages, large pictures and large print. It’s also not full of stuff that is not relevant or too academic. My attention span is very short so this is perfect for me. The content is excellent. The format is brilliant. Each page begin with a question and then it is explained. E.g.,

What affects recovery rate after exercise? Can I become a better runner by changing my style? Will supplements improve my running? Will a cup of coffee help me run better? Are Sports Drinks good for me? Can I run through pain? What should I think about when I’m running? How can I keep my mind positive? How much should I increase my Training? What is HIIT and should I be doing it? Is more mileage in training always better? How quickly do I lose fitness if I stop running? Can a heart rate monitor improve performance? Will core strength and stability training keep me injury free? Can sports massage help with injuries or performance? Is running bad for my knees? Will a foam roller make me a better runner?

Authors: John Brewer, Iain Fletcher, Laura Charalambous, Bob Murray, Daniel Craighead, Andy Lane, Charles Pedlar, James Earle, Paul Larkins, Anna Barnsley,

Book Available from Amazon Amazon link for Running Science Book

Book Review: Get Fit, Not Fat, Author: Greg Whyte

This book has been out for a few years. I’ve had mine for a few years. I’ve just noticed the price on Amazon is £7.99, a bargain, it certainly was not that cheap when I got mine. The book explains why we should should exercise but the best thing I find about this book is the large coloured pages with large photo’s of exercises. Probably, about half the content of the book is photo’s of different exercises, i.e., strength exercises, flexibility exercises and balance exercises. It’s ideal for me because I can’t remember what exercises to do and how to do them properly. I pick about 5 exercises for a 15 minutes session. I normally do the exercises ar the gym but it would be perfect for someone who doesn’t belong to a gym. I have thought about buying another to give to my elderly mum and dad and my lazy sister (she hates exercise but 15 minutes is doable) as it has each exercise in three levels, easy, medium and hard.

The book is available on Amazon Link to Get Fit Not Fat

Race Review Draycote Water 10km Race Series: Race 1; October, Race 2 November 2017 (This will be updated every month as results come in).

This is a great event. It is a series that runs every second Sunday of each month from October to March. It is located in Draycote Water, Warwickshire., which has a large lake and the course goes around the lake. If you live in the Midlands I recommend this series, as it’s a pretty course and it’s a longer distance from most other race series. If you are doing a spring marathon then, free parkruns, this series, 1-2 Half-Marathons and a 20 mile Race will set you up perfectly.

It was a windy but a dry day, so fairy good weather for running. Parking was really easy, and picking up numbers was easy too. We left our clothes in the car which was fine, although they had a bag drop too.

Although they advertise this course as easy, flat, I found it had some hills. It was pretty and traffic-free and encompasses a short run and back along the Farborough Dam followed by a lap of the reservoir, starting and finishing close to the country park.

All result time below are chip time. (Click links for more)

Results: Race 1 Sunday 8th of October 2017:Draycote Water 10km Series: Race 1

Men’s:

1. Paul Andrews 35.02

2. Ryan Smith 35.28

3. Lewis Cherry 37.49

Women’s:

1. Louise Andrews 44.31

2. Rachel Smith 46.12

3. Lisa Robertson 47.13

Results: Race 2 Sunday 12th November 2017: Draycote Water 10km Series Race 2.

November

Men’s

1. Paul Andrews 34.30

2. Ben Plummer 34.50

3. Paul Edwards 37.21

Women’s

1. Jess Orion 44.30

2. Louise Andrews 44.48

3. Chloe Kington 45.00

Girls not engaging in school sport…..but one group may have the answer.

By Anna Kessel (Guardian)

A new study has shown that while girls recognised being physically active is important, only 56% of girls enjoyed taking part versus 71% of boys. Photograph: Alicia Canter for the Guardian

New research from Women in Sport shows girls still turn away from school sport in their droves but the Girls Active programme is seeking to change that.

Another day, another report concluding that girls are not engaging with PE and physical activity compared to their male peers. The difference this time is that two leading sports governing bodies believe they have found a solution – one that works.

Over the past year there has been a proliferation of gendered schemes using pink or princess motifs to entice girls into doing sport or PE, they are “superficial”, according to Ruth Holdaway, the CEO of Women in Sport.

“I despair a little bit,” she says. “Don’t assume that because you make something pink that’s all you need to do. It’s just very superficial when it’s actually very complex.

To read more follow link to the Guardian Engaging Girls in School Sport

Looking for a new challenge? Ride Across America (RAAM) In a team or Solo.

For 36 years RAAM has been challenging ultracyclists from around the globe to push their physical and mental limits to the farthest reaches. Starting in Oceanside, under one of the longest piers in California, RAAM spans 3000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet, crosses 12 states and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland, the east coast sailing mecca.

The route travels west to east, traversing three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian), crosses four of America’s longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio) and the Great Plains.  Also, passing through such iconic American landmarks as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains and Gettysburg.

Open to amateur and professional racers, in solo, 2-, 4- and 8-person relay teams, there is no other race in the world comparable to RAAM. The Race has become a global icon, having had over 35 countries represented. Not only has RAAM proved to be one of the most challenging races in the world, but has become a huge platform for racers to raise awareness and money for charities of their choice. in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Team sizes are 2, 4 and 8 persons.

There is no other Cycle event in the world like RAAM. There is no Race that combines the distance, terrain and weather. It challenges the team spirit from start to finish. It inspires everyone who has bee part of it. It is a test of strength, speed, endurance and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.

Start Dates: Teams (no qualifying required); Saturday 16th June 2018, Solo (need to qualify) Tuesday June 12th 2017

See details on RAAM website RAAM website

51,307 Started, But How Many Finished? The 2017 NYC Marathon by the Numbers

By Paul Snyder (Runners World).

The race through the five boroughs remains the world’s largest 26.2-mile race.

Runners begin the 2017 New York City Marathon by making their way over the Verrazano Bridge. Photo by, EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ

The 2017 New York City Marathon officially greeted 50,766 runners to the finish line on Sunday in Central Park, and although an impressive 98.9 percent of participants made it 26.2 miles, the total fell short of last year’s record-setting 51,388 finishers.

See more: Runner’s World Link for NYC Marathon.

For complete coverage of this year’s race or to find out how to run the streets of New York in 2018, check out our NYC Marathon hub.

Olympic champion Jemima Sumgong handed four-year doping ban.

By Athletics Weekly (photo by Mark Shearman).

News of the Kenyan’s failed test was reported earlier this year and on Tuesday (November 7) the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya announced her sanction.

Sumgong’s ban runs from April 3, 2017 – the date of her provisional suspension – following the failed out-of-competition drugs test which had been taken on February 28.

That prevented the 32-year-old, who won the Virgin Money London Marathon last year as well as claiming Olympic marathon gold in Rio, from defending her London Marathon title.

According to the decision document published by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Sumgong said her failed test was a result of treatment received at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya on February 22 for an ectopic pregnancy. However, the decision document continued to state that the hospital denied that the athlete had been treated at that facility on or prior to that date, but confirmed a subsequent consultative visit.

A letter from the hospital “asserts quite emphatically that the medical sheets provided by the athlete were not authentic”, the decision document read in part.

It added that Sumgong said she did not disclose the treatment on her doping control form or tell anyone, including her husband who is also her coach, because of the “taboo” associated with her condition.

In April the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) released a statement which read in part: “The athlete tested positive for EPO following a no-notice test conducted by the IAAF in Kenya. This was part of an enhanced IAAF out-of-competition testing programme dedicated to elite marathon runners which is supported by the Abbott World Marathon Majors group.”

Read more at: Jemima Sumgong doping ban. (Athletics Weekly).

British Athletics announces key 2018 event dates and selection conditions. By Athletics Weekly

Governing body says being present at British Championships will be a “mandatory condition” for UK athletes seeking selection for major events

British Athletics has announced key dates for its events in 2018 and also confirmed that athletes seeking British team selection to major championships will be required to be present at British Championships events.

Next year the British Indoor Championships are heading to Birmingham ahead of the IAAF World Indoor Championships, but the event is set to clash with the BUCS Nationals indoor event in Sheffield on the same weekend.

The governing body also confirmed that the Müller Anniversary Games is to return to a two-day format in 2018, while “The Para Meet” will accompany “The Meet” as new fixture at the London Stadium in July.

Key events

February 17-18: British Athletics Indoor Championships

February 25: Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

June 30 – July 1: British Athletics Championships

July 14: The Para Meet and The Meet

July 21-22: Müller Anniversary Games

August 18: Müller Grand Prix Birmingham

See more at:

Athletics Weekly Selections