Cutty Sark (Brighton marathon training, week 8)

Eight weeks of Brighton marathon training plan completed this morning with my regular running partner, Simon, on a long run of just over 26k from our homes, in Beckenham, out to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and back. This was my second longest run ever which, on the one hand, is an achievement I take some satisfaction from, but on the other, it leaves me a little daunted by the longer runs** remaining in the second eight weeks of my training plan not to mention 42.2k on race day itself …  All the same, since tiredness and stiffness only began to become apparent from around 19k, I guess we did pretty well. This week I didn’t use any nutrition during the run, set out without breakfast and ate a low carb meal the previous evening. I rationalised that this would stimulate my body to use fat as an energy source rather than rely on stored carbohydrates, or those added during the run. I am now thinking that I will save proper “practice of race nutrition” for longer, possibly harder, runs later in my training.

The hardest run this week was Sunday’s interval session. I missed my target pace – fast intervals at 3:40/km – by quite a margin although I think I might have set it too high in the first place. Although I used intuition to come up with this target, it matches the pace suggested by the McMillan Running calculator for 400m sprint work for my ability, but perhaps given the number of sets and that I am in the midst of marathon training this was too optimistic. It didn’t help that I misread my watch during an early fast interval and stopped after 60 seconds instead of 90. After taking the additional 30 seconds of rest I made the next several fast intervals a few seconds longer to compensate which of course made it even harder to hit my target. Ho hum.

The most joyful run of the week was the first. As is my occasional habit, I travelled to my sister’s on Friday evening and, having spent a relaxing evening with her and her family, slept over before running Oak Hill parkrun with her the next morning. This time she had asked me to pace her to a course best 22:30 which fitted in well with my marathon training. As soon as we set off I could see that she was running fast and strong. By the time I moved alongside her, at about 500m, she had settled in to 22:05 pace and I could see no reason to slow her down. Briefly, perhaps during the fourth kilometre, I needed to encourage her to work a little to maintain the pace she had set, but she rallied and was even able to push during the final half kilometre to reel in a runner or two ahead. She finished in 22:00, a 32 second course best and just 10 seconds outside her all time PB!

week 8 – ending Thursday 9 February

day* training
Fri
Sat 52 mins including 22:03 parkrun 5k (4:45/km average)
Sun 11 mins easy (warm up)
10 x
{
90 secs fast
90 secs jog
}
12 mins easy (warm down)
(4:57/km average)
over all sets:
{
(3:57/km average)
(5:33/km average)
}
(5:10/km average)
Mon (swim 1.4k, 41 mins)
Tue 11 mins easy (warm up)
2 x
{
12 mins tempo
3 mins jog
}
12 mins easy (warm down)
(5:11/km average)
over all sets:
{
(4:08/km average)
(5:27/km average)
}
(5:09/km average)
Wed
Thu 130 mins easy (4:57/km average)
total 4 hrs 48 mins (+8 mins versus training plan)
* The plan I’m using has long runs on a Sunday, as is traditional. I currently do mine on a Thursday, hence the shift compared to the snippet below.

caption

Week 8 of the ‘2016 improver plan’ that I am using as a template for my training. [Available via Virgin London Marathon plans, devised by Martin Yelling.]

** Remaining long runs are: 75 minutes, 150 (which I am swapping for Brighton Half), 160, 170, 205, 90 and 70 followed by the race itself.

Advertisements

“Daddy, on parkrunday …”

My five and a half year old daughter has done two junior parkruns. She ran both last year at Brockwell Park; one in August and one in September. She sometimes mentions parkrun to me and I to her, but fairly infrequently. She is of course aware that I run most days and even has a fairly good grasp of my regular running routine although she probably hasn’t seen my training plan t-shirt since around the time of her last parkrun.

My wife mentioned just a little earlier this evening that five and half year old seemed to be expecting to go parkrunning with me this weekend. A moment ago a freshly post bath time little girl in a fluffy red dressing gown made an irresistible request.

“Daddy, on parkrunday can you wear the same t-shirt as me and your running shorts?”

Recovery is t-shirt shaped.

My five and a half year old daughter has a fairly good grasp of my regular running routine although she probably hasn’t seen the t-shirt since around the time of her last parkrun.

The t-shirt request does not apply to my own bespoke training plan t-shirt which is, of course, unique. We will be wearing our prized limited edition parkrun 10th anniversary t-shirts. And black shorts. I can’t wait 🙂

parkrun anniversary tshirt

My prized limited edition parkrun 10th anniversary t-shirt. This shirt and an array of other official parkrun items are available at Wiggle.

Swanage SSRC 10k / 9.75k

I ran Swanage Sea Rowing Club’s annual run each year from 2007 to 2010 in its original incarnation as a four mile fun run. Since its reincarnation in 2013 as a 10k yesterday’s race was my first.

I started out with a target of 40:30 in mind since I knew the course was undulating/hilly. As I wouldn’t be making a PB attempt. I did a minimal taper; modifying the preceding two runs from a Thursday 20k long run and an easy 10k on Saturday to two easy runs of just under 10k on Wednesday and Friday. Taking into account the constant elevation changes I didn’t run to a pace target, but rather set out to maintain my effort by heart rate. From the start we gained about 26 metres to the high point of the course at one mile. Noting my heart rate of 154, and that I’d averaged a pace of 4:09/km climbing to this point, I decided on 155 as my target heart rate for the remainder of the race.

first

Since Swanage Sea Rowing Club’s annual event reincarnated in 2013 as a 10k, yesterday’s was my first.

The undulating course through country lanes and quiet seaside town roads made for an enjoyable and quite exhilarating run. The roads weren’t closed to traffic, but this had almost no impact on my race. In addition to the excellent marshals there were quite a few clusters of supporters at various points on the course giving generous encouragement to everyone who passed. Beyond about three kilometres I was effectively running on my own having started immediately behind those actually standing on the start line and passed perhaps eight or ten runners during the initial climb and subsequent kilometre. I could see the two runners ahead of me for the remainder of the race, except when I briefly lost sight of them around a corner or over the brow of a hill, and used them to keep myself focussed. Not trying for a PB I didn’t push hard to reel them in, but held on to them to help ensure I didn’t relax too much. I remember noting that as my watched chimed 6 kilometres the time shown was exactly 24 minutes and so on target for something around 40 minutes. I think it was at this marker or perhaps at the next that I noticed my watch chime the completed kilometre exactly at the marker.

The final kilometre marker appeared just before the course joined the sea front and with the actual road surface absent during the road works it was absolutely necessary to run on the, still paved, pavement. Finishing uphill and back into the car park at Swanage FC the time recorded on my Garmin, 39:18 and just 14 seconds outside my PB set at the almost perfectly flat Brighton 10k in November, caused me to immediately check the distance field. I hadn’t been pressing hard and notwithstanding the ascents and descents I finished still feeling relatively fresh.

My FR620 showed 9.77km. Looking on Strava, which displays distances to one decimal place, the eight activity records I have seen are all either 9.8 or 9.7 kilometres. Present in equal number this, of course, produces an average of 9.75km; 250m short. [update March 2017, since my original post I have become aware that Strava doesn’t round to one decimal place, it actually truncates. Consequently, my original text now struck-through should read “9.80km, 200m short”]  Since it is highly unlikely that the eight runners all ran the perfect racing line I think the course was probably at least 300m [update March 2017, “250m”] short.

Having become a more serious, and for that matter GPS-device-owning, runner since my previous entries the status of the run has become more significant. I appreciate the presence of the word “fun”, in some descriptions of the event, is a strong indicator and the course doesn’t appear to be certified, but all the same I am mildly bemused that the organisers laid out a clearly short course for an event which they chose to describe as a 10k. Given how well everything else was organised – advance and on the day registration, marshalling, direction signs, post run water and medals, club house cakes and winners’ presentations – it seems bizarre. Not having run the 10k in either 2013 or 2014 it may be that the course was changed from a more accurate one to accommodate the significant ongoing road works which appeared in a couple of places on the course. Even so it would apparently have been a simple matter to add another 300m [update March 2017, “250m”] 

Again running an event with both my step-dad Alan and brother-in-law Rob we entered as a team and at the winners’ presentations we claimed the team prize. It may well be that we were the only team, but the significant piece of carved Purbeck stone is still ours to keep until next year. I think it looks quite fetching on the Purbeck stone hearth, also adorned with a Swanage swan, at my mum and Alan’s house in Dorset.

At the winners' ceremonies we claimed the team prize. It may be we were the only group of runners who entered as a team.

At the winners’ presentations we claimed the team prize. It may well be that we were the only team.

results

official time
+ 200m
+ 250m
+ 300m
39:19
40:08 (projected assuming constant pace)
40:20 (projected assuming constant pace)
40:32 (projected assuming constant pace)
biometric summary average HR – 154
max HR – 160 (estimated personal maximum – 172)
average cadence – 188
approx start weight – 69.6kg
position overall – 16 out of 166

Winter Winfrith

The day after Boxing Day I travelled with my immediate family to Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset to stay with my mum and her husband Alan. It is always a real pleasure to visit them and to see also, as we almost invariably do, other members of my extended maternal family. This time the visits of the various branches of the family coincided completely on only one day and so it was that early on Sunday the twenty eighth four of us – Alan, Skip, Robert and I – set out for a run. It was very cold with the temperature around zero degrees and a crisp, hard frost on all the flora and most of the man-made surfaces. Safety was our primary concern as we left the relatively good grip of the un-made Blacknoll Lane and turned onto the icy tarmac of Gatemore Road and headed North towards what Ordnance Survey labels Winfrith Heath though locals, including my mum and Alan, generally refer to as Egdon Heath.

Egdon Heath

“Egdon Heath”

The first few tens of metres on Gatemore Road were probably the most icy of the entire run. Having traversed these and acquired some confidence in my level of grip I ran on ahead of the other three and completed a 10k loop that I’ve become familiar with over the last two or three years; via Winfrith/Egdon Heath, Moreton, Redbridge and Tadnoll Mill. I ran separately partly because our paces are too disparate to make running together feasible in most contexts, but primarily because it really was so cold that I needed to maintain my regular easy pace – a little under 5 minutes per kilometre or 8 minutes per mile – to ensure I stayed warm. Even so, wearing two tops, running tights, gloves and a hat, it wasn’t until I reached 5k that I felt comfortable; my fingers in particular became painfully cold within the first kilometre and only stopped being a distraction at half way.

Egdon Heath from Blacknoll Hill

“Egdon Heath from Blacknoll Hill”

On subsequent days, running on my own, temperatures were forecast to rise slightly each day, but actually seemed to decrease marginally. The second morning I ran the same 10k loop again and the next I chose an extended 16k variant this time changing my second layer from a running t-shirt to a parkrun fleece. Even with the increased insulation and long sleeves – pulled down to cover most of my thinly-gloved hands – it still required 5k of easy running to warm my fingers. At least the increasingly cold temperatures were offset by the roads becoming dryer on each successive day and so ice and the danger of slipping became less of a consideration. Running the loop anti-clockwise I reached 5k each day just as I forked South West leaving Moreton. This section – from Moreton via Redbridge to Tadnoll Mill – is my favourite part of the route whenever I run it …

Winfrith Heath

A 10k loop that I’ve become familiar with over the last two or three years via Winfrith Heath, Moreton, Redbridge and Tadnoll Mill.

… It’s probably no coincidence that this section is almost entirely downhill, but add to this that the roads tend to be even quieter than the rest of the route which itself is very quiet by most standards. The one notable climb is short and through natural woodland to Redbridge. On the first day I saw three deer in the road ahead of me as I approached the top of the climb and the eponymous bridge itself; I’ve never seen deer whilst running before. They lifted their heads individually several times to look at me before apparently coming to a consensus and skittering off into the trees. As I rounded the corner to the bridge I came upon a healthy looking country fox about to cross it in the same direction as me. He looked over his shoulder to catch my eye and then quickly doubled back towards me, off the road and down into the railway cutting.

On the third day I saw two of the three deer again in the same place. The smallest seemed to misjudge how close he wanted to allow me to come; his hooves momentarily slipped on the tarmac as he tried to rectify the distance between us and pursue the larger deer that had already disappeared from my sight into the trees. On both these days I saw two or three pheasants during my run.

Silver Birch on Egdon Heath

“Silver Birch on Egdon Heath”

As is probably apparent from the disparity between the weather described and that in the images; the photographs in this post weren’t taken during my most recent visit. They were actually taken by Alan during a run just after sunrise on 30 November and I thought they were so beautiful when I first saw them that I have wanted to include them in a post ever since. Despite the chronological and weather shifts they still encapsulate my enjoyment running my last 22 miles of 2014.

Blacknoll Sunrise from Egdon Heath

“Sunrise over Blacknoll Hill from Egdon Heath”

Just another parkrun

Yesterday I ran at Oak Hill parkrun where my sister Cathy is a regular. We had planned to run it together anticipating that it would be her 50th parkrun, but unfortunately life intervened and it was actually her 49th parkrun overall (and 41st at her home run). So, just another parkrun.

This was my 40th parkrun and my 4th at Oak Hill. I first ran at Oak Hill in October 2012, in just my 7th parkrun, and I recorded 20:32 in a non PB attempt. At the time my 5k PB stood at 20:12 and I improved it a week later to 19:50; both these at Dulwich. I returned twice in May this year; running an easy 24:58 at the beginning of the month and a 23:05 at the end pacing my sister to a 26 second PB of 23:04. Having recognised the potential of the course in 2012 – it is distinctly flatter than my own home run at Dulwich – I planned yesterday’s run as a PB attempt.

packages

Oak Hill parkrun: Two and three quarter anti clockwise laps, only 7 metre elevation difference between lowest point (just before the start, marked green) and highest point (approximately opposite start on return side of the lap) and just a couple of sharp turns.

Knowing that the alternate course was much less PB friendly I checked out whether there were any planned changes …tweet 001tweet 002

Even as I opened a BBC weather tab in my browser the parkrun weather fairy most politely joined the conversation, waving his/her wand, and offered to help …tweet 005

My only concern centred around the parkrun weather fairy’s definition of “cold”. It transpired that the forecast temperature for 9:00am on parkrun day was zero degrees Celsius. Hmm … Before I had time to contemplate this further a regular Oak Hill runner got in touch about a member of the Oak Hill parkrun community …tweet 003

I had also tweeted my target time of 18:45 …tweet 004

I had heard a little about the planned purple event from my sister and decided to wear something subtly appropriate; as much as anything to show general solidarity with the parkrun community since I don’t know Henry myself.

caption

Something suitably subtly egotistical …
[ images and my original t-shirt courtesy of Xempo ]

Come parkrun day morning my sister, her husband and my nephew had all confirmed that they were parkrunning and so we jogged the mile and a bit from their home to Oak Hill Park together. The morning was crisp and clear and the forecast zero degrees was believable with frost visible on many surfaces. Arriving at the park in good time I continued my warm up around the course by way of assessing the surface. Unfortunately frost was visible on many parts of the course and although I didn’t slip, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to accelerate hard or take turns sharply. There was one particular segment about 900m from the start – which we would traverse three times on the two and three quarter lap route – where there was small, muddy, partially frozen puddle. It was too big to attempt to jump over in the conditions and as I exited it I found the next several steps were compromised by the semi-frozen mud coating the sole of my shoe and leaving me with almost no grip until those steps passed and the lubricant had been deposited on the clean, dry tarmac beyond the puddle …

Nonetheless I completed my warm up without incident and having assembled at the finish line we walked en masse to the start line as seems to be Oak Hill parkrun tradition.

2014 12 13 - parkrun start line

En masse to the start line …
[ image Claire Sliwerski ]

As the run briefing came to an end I took up a start position on the shoulder of, and said hello to, a runner at the front whom my sister had pointed out as being Rebecca and of similar pace to me. I was glad to have started well forward since the course is run entirely on paths of approximately the width shown above. I set out to hold on to the runners in front whilst testing out the surface at as close to my goal pace of 3:45/km as seemed reasonable.

I found that I had to ease into and out of bends both in terms of pace and racing line. When running in a straight line I felt relatively ok, but I didn’t want to test the limits of my grip anywhere close to the point of actually slipping. Attempting to check my Garmin early on proved difficult; firstly my eyes were watering profusely due to the cold and also I couldn’t spare the time to distract my eyes and attention from the challenge of staying on my feet. Managing to decipher three fifty something or other I decided to abandon Garmin checks and simply run by feel as tempered by the conditions.

I found the muddy puddle much as I’d left it on my warm up: Positioned about halfway down the Southern side of the lap it fell on a slight bend, just after a subtle change in camber and just before a short climb up to the high point of the course. I focussed on minimizing any change in speed or direction so that the lack of grip wouldn’t be too critical. I found that as I started the climb I had almost no grip at all and slowed significantly as I took tentative steps and waited for my grip to return. Within the expected ten or so steps it did and I ran along the high ridge before turning down the most significant decline – a 4 metre descent over 100 metres – to pass the finish line for the first time. Knowing what to expect I felt more relaxed entering the second lap and passed Rebecca and another much younger runner shortly afterwards. Or it may have been a lap later. What I do remember is that the muddy puddle was easier the second time around, but that on the third and final pass – by which time I’d been lapping runners for some time – the mud had spread significantly up the incline. This time I slowed more than I had even the first time … And had to wait and wait for my shoes to regain grip … When finally they did it felt as though I had almost come to a stop. By now threading through and around numerous other runners I ran along the high ridge for the final time and used the decline to finish as fast as possible.

2014 12 13 - Oak Hill parkrun

Passing the finish line for the second time, with one full lap to go. I think. I really hope I didn’t look like this after only three quarters of a lap.
[ image Claire Sliwerski ]

I stopped my watch at 19:15 and official results later confirmed this. I’m totally satisfied with this in context and on my warm down with my sister I was already excitedly expressing my hope that next Spring or Summer I’ll be able to parkrun at Oak Hill for two or three weeks consecutively and extract the true potential from the course. I noted that my average HR for today’s time was 151 compared to other recent 5k events where I have recorded an average HR of 158 to 160. I’m sure at least 18:45 is achievable …

It’s a great feeling to finish in good company. Although I often arrive and depart from parkruns and races on my own, my friends and the community of parkrun always makes me feel welcome. And the special company of family before, during and after yesterday’s run was a real treat. We all enjoyed our parkruns and the subsequent planning and anticipation of our next events. And I really should mention that my nephew casually recorded a 45 second PB in today’s conditions!

2014 12 13 - post parkrun

It’s a great feeling to finish in good company:
Rebecca, another purple runner, my sister, yours truly and my nephew.
[ image Claire Sliwerski ]

So, yes, just another parkrun.

race data summary

finish time 19:15
splits pace
3:53, 3:51, 3:54, 3:53, 3:44
approx HR
146, 150, 152, 153, 155
biometric summary average HR – 151
max HR – 159 (estimated personal maximum – 172)
average cadence – 191
approx start weight – 67.5kg
positions overall – 4 out of 117
gender – 4 out of 78
category VM45-49 – 1 out of 12

… Into the light! Part 2

a unique race
The Bournemouth Supersonic 10k on Saturday was unique in my running experience to date. Three other members of my family also ran the same race; my sister Cathy, brother in law Rob and stepdad Alan. Cathy has been running for nearly six years and has run distances from the mile through parkruns, 10k, half, full and ultra marathons. Whilst Rob has been running for three years and Alan for only six months, they are in a similar position this being their first race and having completed a little over 20 parkruns between them.

post race heroes

Post race: Myself, my brother in law Rob, sister Cathy and stepdad Alan.

It could be argued that this was a family participation PB equalling event as I have run one parkrun in which three other members of my family also ran, but if anyone were to attempt this argument I would of course immediately point out that parkrun isn’t a race and, though not a disqualifying factor as such, I would also mention that the family members participating at Oak Hill parkrun that day were Cathy, her husband (Skip – a different brother in law) and their son; a single family unit rather than individuals from across the breadth of my family as was the case on Saturday. In any case the most momentous statistic, which epitomised the unique nature of the race to me, was that it was Alan’s 70th birthday in the week before the race. That it was also my 49th AG/birth-day in that week qualifies merely as a footnote*.

Going into the race our targets were:

  • Alan – sub 70 minutes (and to raise £250 for the RNLI)
  • Rob – sub 60 minutes
  • Cathy – sub 48 minutes (a season’s best and all time second best 10k, Cathy opines that her not quite sub 47 minute PB was most likely due to a short course …)
  • myself – 39:29

getting to the start line
This year’s second edition of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival consisted of four races on the Saturday – two junior races over 1.5k at 2pm and 2k at 2:30pm, the Supersonic 10k at 4pm and the Speed of Light 5k at 7pm – plus two races, half marathon and marathon, on the Sunday. Given the title of my post it’s a shame the 10k wasn’t the event run at dusk with LED arm bands provided, but there it is.

At the end of May we agreed as a family to make the race the centre piece of a weekend celebrating Alan’s birthday and signed up to run; Alan had only been running for a couple of months at the time! Meanwhile I was running again and optimistic the 10k would be a race with which to mark the end of a reasonably successful, albeit somewhat truncated, summer of racing. Unfortunately that return proved premature and my summer of racing failed to materialise, but by the weekend of the race I had completed 8 weeks gradually increasing mileage to return to typical training mileage, 3 further weeks of hard training and a taper week. The final three weeks, culminating in race day, included my first runs at race pace; two good parkruns, and I was confident I was in a good place to improve my existing PB of 39:33.

As race start approached we made our way to the start area. There were three starting zones and we were represented in them all; Cathy and I in the white zone, Rob in brown and Alan in blue.

my race
I thought there were around 2500 runners in the race and so attempted to place myself between 125 and 250 runners from the front in line with my typical percentage position within a field. Hearing people beside me discussing being “happy with an hour” I moved forward a little to perhaps 100 runners from the front. At the gun I set off briskly and concentrated on negotiating other runners for the first four or five hundred metres. I knew I had started too fast and so, having established a space to run in, checked how much; 3:47/km – not too serious given my goal pace of 3:57/km. I eased off and completed the first kilometre in 3:54. The course lead East from the start line, doubled back at around 2k to head West to around 7.5k – punctuated midway by a trip to the end of the pier and back – before again doubling back for the final 2.5k to a finish on the pier approach.

Garmin 620 GPS track

The fast course included a trip to the end of the 250 metre pier. And back.

Approaching the Eastern turn around my watch showed 3:56/km average pace and I settled in to hold this average pace thinking that a displayed pace of 3:56/km would likely achieve an actual pace of 3:57/km allowing for running/recording a little over distance as is normal when running a mass event/using a GPS device. Smoothing my turn around the single cone as much as possible and running West for the first time I discovered that the conditions weren’t as still as I had believed to that point; there was a slight, but distinct, headwind for the entire Westward stretch. Working harder than I wanted to be, I heard someone call my name and threw up a hand; I found out later this was Rob passing me on the outward stretch. I passed perhaps four or five runners by the time I returned past the start and approached the pier.

The crowds began to grow in line with my consternation at the effort required to hold my average pace at the 3:58/km now displayed. Approaching the turn out onto the pier at about 4.5k I was spurred on by hearing my wife and, I think, one of my daughters calling out encouragement. The outward 250m on the pier was particularly comfortable both underfoot – a smooth, solid wooden surface with good grip – and, as revealed by contrast when I turned around at the end of the pier, because it was sheltered from the wind. The return along the pier was the most exposed part of the course and it was also at that this point that my right ankle began to ache. I was worried that a problem stemming from my well documented, twice sprained ankle was about to surface. Running off the pier and taking the sharpest turn of the course to resume my Westward heading I took great care not to put my ankle under any unnecessary stress as I cornered.

Thankfully my ankle didn’t progress beyond feeling sore and in any event I was distracted from it by a quite intense discomfort in my left shoulder as I ran kilometre six in 4:06 and seven in 4:07. This discomfort lasted perhaps 5 minutes and the water station also fell within the these two kilometres and, though I made superficial use of it, this too probably contributed to my reduced pace. My displayed average pace was now 4:01/km and I resigned myself to not achieving my pre race target. Two male runners passed me during this phase and I was aware that there was an element of negativity creeping in. I resolved to hold on to the turn around point, from where the wind would again be in my favour, and to press for home as best I could with the aim of recovering to a sub 40 minute finish.

Another single cone turn and heading West again progress definitely got easier, I didn’t check my time for the eighth kilometre, but noted my average pace was holding at 4:01/km. Somewhere in the return journey I acknowledged Cathy passing in the opposite direction and then made a point of looking out for Rob too. Seeing two friendly faces helped my resolve and I completed the ninth kilometre in 3:58. I passed one runner in the process and could see I was catching another who was perhaps 30 metres ahead. Whether these were the same two who had passed me during kilometres six and seven I’m not sure, but I made it my aim to catch the second before the end. I upped my pace drawing on my disappointment from knowing I wasn’t going to achieve my target, morphing it into aggression, and passed him with perhaps 300 or 400 metres remaining. Finishing strongly, I ran through the line.

result
I passed through the well organised finish funnel – collecting water, technical t-shirt, finisher’s medal and goody bag – and confirmed that my t-shirt was a good fit before returning to my spectating family hoping to see the others finish too. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of them due to the crowds, but met up with my wife and daughters before looking at my watch for the first time. Ah well. We re-grouped en masse at the RNLI tent where Alan was awarded a second medal and photos were taken. Kudos to Rob for being the only one of the four of us to achieve their pre race time target 😉

  • Alan – 73:24 (and over £500 raised for the RNLI!)
  • Rob – 58:22
  • Cathy – 48:02
  • myself – 40:04 (3:56, 3:59, 3:57, 4:03, 4:02, 4:08, 4:08, 4:05, 3:59, 3:47)

* It was also my 49th AG/birth-day in the week before the race. I wondered about a possibility raised by this event recently.