(Amazingly) Delayed Yorkshire Marathon 2017 Recap


In Which I’m Not Even Joking, It’s Almost Time For 2018 Yorkshire Marathon It’s THAT Delayed

Good evening! (I’m guessing. Evening here, but I don’t know where you are. Or when you’ll read this. Or IF! Oh my.)

Finally got around to writing my race recap for York Marathon 2017 (as written in the title. So this sentence is pretty much just filler. I’d skip it if I were you.)

We (myself and Hayley) drove down from lovely Edinburgh to equally lovely York on the Saturday morning. We arrived at an Airbnb (how modern of us) at around 3pm after a 4hr car journey. (Making sure you know it’s a car we drove and not a train.)

The host of the Airbnb had been in touch to tell us that she wouldn’t be there and had left details on where the keys to the house were, which meant that instead of just a room for the night we had access to a whole house the the bargain price of £35. It was a lovely house too, but I’m not telling you where because even after I left a 5* review and we left the house as we found it, the host didn’t leave me ANY review and yeah, I’m THAT petty sometimes.

We were planning on doing a Ghost Walk around York (theres a few that go on every night but the one you want starts from outside the front of the Minster. Best one.) But as it was a Saturday night York was heaving with Stag and Hen parties so didn’t fancy being heckled from people more interested in spirits rather than spirits.

Instead we had a bit of a wander around by ourselves (I think? Wooooooooo…..) and then made our way back to the house. We ordered take-away (carbs for the next mornings marathon.) I can’t remember what I ordered (Chips? Rice?) but Hayley ordered a Viking Pizza and it arrived like this and OHMYLIFE was it good!

BlogPizza

And then, to bed!

Before too long my alarm was going off and it was time to get up and at ’em.

The start of the marathon was (as is always) up at York university. You can pay on a transfer bus that takes you from York train station to the start, and back again at the end. As the uni is a few miles out, it always makes sense.

The marathon then makes its way from the Uni into York city centre (just before mile 2 on the handy map below) and then out towards little towns and villages dotted around the place. We had a chat and it made more sense for Hayley to cheer on from the city centre then make her way to the University for the end, rather than be stuck at the Uni all day. (Handily gave herself an extra hour in bed there. Convenient!)

yorkshire_marathon_route

Breakfast was the standard coffee and a crappy microwave burger. (It works for me!) Then I was off on my way for the bus which was around a 30 minute walk. (Nice warm up.)

Huge queue to get on but they put on loadsa buses so didn’t have to wait long.

Arriving at the start I messaged Paul to see where he was at. It was his first marathon today and so I said I’d run it with him for support and general niceness. He found me in the toilet queue (I needed to go, wasn’t just there for the fun) and then (after) we made our way to the start to line up.

JUST realised I didn’t take many pics for this post so you’ll have to imagine. No wait, I did art at school I’m sure I can do the scene justice! Give your thoughts a break, stop imagining and start VISUALISING!

Paint

Now, don’t let the picture fool you. First: That’s actually a drawing and not a photo. Second: There were more people than that.

Before we knew it, it was go time. It’s always a very well organised start and this year was the same. No waiting around to get to the start line, just a nice steady walk.

We started at a nice steady pace and the plan was to keep to that and walk through each water station (which are roughly 5k apart.) 15mins in and we’re approaching the town centre and I started looking for the missus. Saw her at the side, ran over to give her a kiss (Awwwwhhhhhh) and then we ran by the minster. (Me and Paul, not me and Hayley. That’d be against the rules.)

5k: First water station. All good.

10k: Just over an hour. All good.

Carried on a bit further and then felt a slight pain in my knee. Got steadily worse until around mile 11 where I told Paul that he should bugger off on alone so he doesn’t miss out on a decent time for his first marathon, and from then on it was painful.

1/2 Marathon in 2hr 12minutes.

Mile 13 is downhill to the turn around at mile 14 and I saw Paul coming up the opposite side so stopped for a little talk and told him I was in pain and not to expect me to be at the end anytime soon after him. From here to the end is a combination of slow running and hobbling. Few minutes run, more minutes hobble.

Mile 14-16 is steadily slightly uphill so that hurt.

Mile 16 to 18 is nicely steadily downhill so that was better, but still hurt. Mile 18 turn around and go back up. You shit.

Saw the archbishop of York on the way up high-fiving the runners. He was decked out in his traditional purple robes and I honestly thought it was someone in a Magneto fancy dress costume.

Mile 20 arrived (not soon enough) and it looked like I was going to record a PW (Personal Worst) time, I was estimating that due to the speed I was going and the amount I was slowing I’d be around 5hr 20mins. Ugh. Ah well, goonies never say die and all that!

Digging deep I started to count my steps. Run for 100, walk for 100. Keep the rhythm, feel the rhyme. The crowds at Yorkshire marathon are always fantastic and the support is brilliant. The cheers of the crowd really do motivate you on. (Looking back, that is. Not at the time. At the time you want to shout “No I will NOT run faster and I am NOT almost there!” But you don’t, because it’s hard enough to breathe as it is.)

Before long the end was in sight, and so was a nice sit down.

Amazingly, I finished in 04:51:47! (Paul finished in 04:22:32 but no one likes a show off.)

Total number of Yorkshire Marathons I’ve completed: 5

Total number of Marathons I’ve completed: EIGHT!

Met Hayley at the end and also Paul and his missus were waiting too. (He’d been sick after finishing. Serves him right.)

Congratulated each other then made our separate ways. Myself and Hayley got to the pub for beer and recovery chips and then a four hour drive back up to Scotland. (I had a shower first otherwise that’d be an interesting scent to take!)

Already entered Yorkshire Marathon 2018. Standard.

20171008_163226 (1)

York Marathon Recap – 20th October 2013


In Which I (Painfully) Finish My Second Marathon

Saturday 19th October

I’d been following my carbing up plan quite well and felt good about how it had gone. Myself and Sarah went out for dinner with Sarahs mum and dad (Susan and Ironman Tony) and I had a chip sandwich.

Me and Sarah then went to Sports Direct to buy some last minute marathon things like a gel belt, running socks, energy bars and… well, these (not for the marathon)

Not Marathon Standard

Not Marathon Standard

Afterwards we got home and I packed my bag as I was staying in the Premier Inn in York so I could be ready for the run in the morning. Sarah was having to work on the Sunday so she was staying at home with the cats.

She dropped me at the train station just before 7pm and I got stuck behind a bloke who was using the ticket machine. The machine had a large sign on it saying ‘Credit/Debit cards only’ but that didn’t stop him trying to insert coins. Even though there was no coin slot, just the card slot. Aware of how close it was getting to the train arriving, I stepped in.

‘I think it only takes cards.’ I said.

‘No, it takes coins.’ He replied.

‘Pretty sure it’s just cards.’

‘No, it’d say if it only took cards.’

‘It does, on that sign.’

‘Ah.’

Anyway, after I bought my ticket (using a card) I had about two minutes to spare before the train came. I got on it just in time, and settled in for the hour journey to York.

When I arrived in York it was pouring down, not a good sign for the marathon. Luckily the hotel was only a few minutes walk from the station and check-in was nice and quick. I got to the room and noticed something… SUPER KING SIZED BED! Awesome.

I had a bath, then laid out my gear for the morning.

L-R Back Row: Running Stuff L-R Front Row: See Above

L-R Back Row: Running Stuff
L-R Front Row: See Above

I got into my massive bed and watched The Hulk (wasn’t incredible) then tried to sleep.

Sunday 20th October

01:30 Woke up.

02:45 Woke up.

04:15 Woke up.

05:55 Woke up.

06:00 Alarm went off, but luckily I was already awake.

I forced myself to eat some porridge and had a coffee with lots of sugar. I then got ready in all my race kit and made sure I had everything.

Game Face - Level: Serious

Game Face – Level: Serious

I’d booked onto a transfer coach from York Train Station which said I could be on it anytime between 07:30 and 08:00. I checked out and wandered down to the station and got there about 07:10 so carried on walking and had a little wander down over the river to York Minster. I took a picture, but have made it into a motivational picture so it’s at the end of the blog entry. Down there *Down pointing arrow*

After walking back to the station, I got on a bus which was full of nervous looking people. I sat upstairs (because I’m cool) and an elderly bloke got on and sat next to me. I got chatting to him and it turns out he was 65 years old and he goes around the world, running on average A MARATHON A MONTH.

He had on a Boston Marathon finishers jacket from 1999 so I said that he must be fast. ‘Not really,’ he said ‘I didn’t get there through qualification. I know one of the Kennedy family.’

‘Kennedy family as in… the former President?’

‘That’s them.’ He said. Then followed it with:

‘Had a police escort from the airport and back too.’ AS THOUGH THIS WAS A NORMAL THING TO SAY!

Before too long we arrived at York University where the race was starting and ending and myself and the gentleman wished each other luck. We then both ended up walking in the same direction, the direction of the race (seeing as though that’s why we were there.)

We chatted a bit more then I said that I was going to the baggage drop so we wished each other good luck again and went our seperate ways. Except that when I’d dropped my baggage, I queued for the toilet and ended up stood next to the same bloke again. He was chatting to someone else though, so I didn’t have to make anymore conversation.

Until after I came out of the toilets and he noticed me, so I did what any polite Englishman would do and wished him luck.

I followed the signs to the start of the race and got into the correct section for my predicted time. For the past few days I’d been talking to people on Twitter about the race and told a few people that I’d keep an eye out for their race numbers. As I looked around I noticed a name and a number on a bloke, who as it turns out was Rob who I tweet with!

I approached him and introduced myself and we had a chat while we were waiting for the run to begin. It started pretty much bang on 09:30 and then we were off, I was running my 2nd ever marathon!

There was another bloke alongside myself and Rob (Dave, I think) that Rob had met that morning, and he had a Garmin watch so we stayed with him for a bit as he was updating us with pace. My immediate plan was to stay chatting with Rob for as long as I could, then work out another plan.

The first couple miles of the run took us towards the city centre where we ran passed a few pubs that I like going in, then around the Minster and away from York. The crowds so far were amazing, especially near the Minster where they were 2-3 deep.

I stuck with Rob until about mile 4 -5 where I had a call of nature and veered off. By the time I got back on the course, Rob was well away so my new-immediate plan became to keep running until the Energy Drink station at mile 6.

Mile 6 went by and then soon after the 10k clock was in view. My first 10k of the 42k was done in 59:13 (My 2nd quickest ever 10k!)

At around mile 7 (I think) I saw Ironman Tony, Susan and Hannah in the crowd cheering me on. I waved, and kept on running. It gave me a nice boost to see familiar faces. After that the sun came out and made it a very warm run.

The next boost I got was being high fived by a female vicar in full sunday vicar-dress outside a church.

Before too long I was into double figures for the millage, having gone passed the 10 mile point.

The next few miles went by, soaking up the cheers from the crowd lining the route, and I was very happy to see the 20k clock as it meant the halfway point wasn’t too far ahead.

2nd 10k done in 01:03:10

1/2 Marathon: 02:10:24

Had to give myself a bit of a talking to around mile 14 due to starting to get tired and negative thoughts coming into my head. I told myself that I can have 3 minutes of walking, then I have to zip up my man suit and get on with the marathon. Which is exactly what I did.

So far, so good. On target for finishing in under 04:30 too!

That was until I got to about mile 16 and a tosser tossed an empty bottle down at his feet instead of to the side, which meant that it went under my foot and caused me to slip slightly, but enough to twist my left knee.

I felt a jolt in my knee, but it didn’t feel too bad so on I ran. By now I’d got into a run/walk rhythm where I was running for 5 minutes then walking for 30 seconds.

Just after mile 18 I heard someone coming in the opposite direction shout ‘Marc! Marc Hemingway!’ and it turns out it was Rachael, also from Twitter. Plus I’d recognised Gemma from Twitter who said she was going to be cheering everyone on from the Mile 18 marker (and she was!) It’s little things like this that cheer you up when you feel rubbish.

I eventually reached the 30k clock and the third 10k was done in a time of 01:03:29, only a few seconds slower than my 2nd 10k section.

By the time I’d reached mile 20 my knee was hurting, and felt like it had a bit of swelling.

But still, I was in the last 10k of the marathon so was feeling good about myself. I couldn’t run nearly as much as I would’ve liked due to the throbbing in my knee so started running 100 paces and then walking 50.

I’d printed off a split-time race thing which I’d fastened onto my wrist and with each mile could see that the 04:30 finish was getting further and further away. Nothing to be done about that now though, so didn’t let it get to me.

I’d been taking on energy gels roughly ever 45 minutes so didn’t feel drained. There were water stations ever 3 miles and Energy drink stations every 6 so was nicely hydrated still.

The mile markers were passing slower than earlier, but still passing.

I reached mile 23 and told myself there was only 5k to go. The sun was beaming by this point, so made sure I kept sipping at my water bottle.

I reached mile 24.

Then mile 25.

On the corner just after Mile 25 I heard Ironman Tony shouting me from the side, so I smiled for a photo and then carried on for the last bit of the run. Then, at roughly mile 25 1/2, was a nice hill to run up. Bastards.

Pretty much walked all the way to the top and Mile marker 26, and a little further the end, was in sight. The crowd was cheering and shouting everyones names from their race numbers all the way to the end and I finally crossed, arms in the air, in a time of 04:48:19.

Slower than I wanted, but a new personal PB by almost 8 minutes.

I made my way through the finishers section where I picked up my T-Shirt and Medal, and then went and met up with the In-Laws. We went for a beer.

Sorry, can't hear you over the sound of my AWESOME LOOT!

Sorry, can’t hear you over the sound of my AWESOME LOOT!

When I got home I recovered with a cold bath, followed by beer and chinese food. Sarah got home from work around 10:30 and had brought me a McFlurry (Mississippi Mud Pie flavour.)

After Blackpool Marathon it took about 6 weeks for my legs to get back to normal, but three days after York I’m almost back to normal already. Apart from a couple of little blisters, and a sore knee, I didn’t get any major problems.

After I finished the marathon I said that that’s it for running for a while and that I’m not going to sign up to anything longer than a 10K for ages.

EDIT: I’m now pre-registered for York Marathon 2014.

York in the early morning, made into a motivational pic.

York in the early morning, made into a motivational pic.

Four Days Til York Marathon


In Which I BRING ON THE CARBS!

In just 4 short days, I, Marc Hemingway, will have finished my 2nd ever marathon. (4 days and an hour or so. Maybe two hours. Hopefully less than 4 days and three hours. Oh my God, what if I’ve not finished! What if I… Wait, what’s happening? Blog post? Ohhhhhhhh, right! Sorry.)

Before Blackpool Marathon I gave myself a list of 3 things that were rated as Happy, Happier, Happiest results. They were as follows:

  • Happy: Finish the Marathon.
  • Happier: Finish in under 5 hours.
  • Happiest: Finish in under 4:30.

I ended up nicely in the middle with a finish of 4:55. For York marathon I’ve got a list of 4 things, rated as Happy, Happier, Happiest, Happiester:

  • Happy: Beat my time of 4:55.
  • Happier: Beat Robs time of 4:45.
  • Happiest: Finish in under 4:30.
  • Happiester: Beat Steves time of 4:20.

(No, YOU’RE competitive.)

If I finish nicely in the middle again, I should get a time of round about 4:37 which I’ll be more than chuffed with. I’ve been taking this one more serious than the last, with more training (probably still not nearly enough) and am also lighter than I was in Blackpool.

For the April marathon I weighed around 210lbs but now I weigh around 200lbs, and have been researching how to carb up properly. Plus I’m taking 5 energy gels instead of one energy bar, and there’s energy drinks on the route instead of just water. As I said, taking it seriously.

Just spilt coffee down my t-shirt. That has no bearing on this post, but thought I’d mention it. Also, Chandler just said ‘Yes, I’m quite the woodsman.’ (On TV, he’s not in my living room.) Hahahaha! Chandler!

Reading about carb loading, they say to start loading 2-3 days before the marathon, so I’m starting tomorrow. 85 to 95 percent of your calories for these days should come from carbs and they say eat about four grams of carbs for every pound of body weight (for a 150 pound runner that’s 600 grams—or 2,400 calories—of carbs per day.) One gram of carbs equals 4 calories.

For me that works out at 3’400 calories a day, with 3’000 being carbs. You know what that means? PIG OUT SESSIONS! (That’s how it works, right?) Of course not, (I just read that it doesn’t, gutted) what it means is that I should be eating 5-6 meals instead of 3 a day. (Turns out crisps are like 80% carbs! Wayhey!)

Also going to be eating lots of:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Brown Bread
  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Jelly Beans
  • Sports Drinks
  • Porridge

And then I’m going to go smash this marathon right in its mouth. Wish me luck!

(Also, thank you to everyone that’s congratulated me on getting into the New York marathon, but I haven’t. It’s original old York.)

Marathon Looming… (As in getting nearer, not making rugs or anything…)


In Which I Zip Up My Man Suit

It turns out that the marathon is closer than I thought. It’s been slowly creeping up on me like a slowly, creepy, marathony bastard.

I thought I had about 9 weeks until the York Marathon on 20th October, but I don’t. It’s eight weeks on Sunday.

Adding in a week for tapering, that gives me seven weeks left of training.

Bearing in mind I haven’t been following my training plan that I was supposed to be following, I decided I needed to sort out my training and up my game.

Looking at my averages for each week, I’m nowhere near doing the distances I should be. I was talking to someone on Twitter and they said to aim for 50 miles a week! I’m lucky if I do 15!

Barney – Marathon Advice

THAT is why I’m zipping up my man suit and getting it sorted. Instead of running home from work twice a week (3.5miles each time) or cycling to work and back twice a week (3.5mile each way, same distance as running. Why wouldn’t it be? Weirdo) I’m setting myself TARGETS.

I tried following a training plan through MyAsics and while it gave me a good idea of what to aim for each week, I didn’t stick to it. I work different days and shifts each week so it can be hard to follow a plan that says ‘do this on this day and that on that day’. It lets you move run days around but only so much. That’s why I’ve decided to plan out my running schedule on a week to week basis.

“But Marc!” You scream (because you aren’t anywhere near me) “How will you stick to it?”

“Ha!” I loudly laugh, spinning as I do so as I don’t know in which direction you are, “I already AM sticking to it!”

I’ve changed my bike route to work so instead of 3.5miles it’s now 5miles. I’ve changed the cycle home to 10miles instead of 3.5miles.

Instead of running home twice a week (7miles total) I’m now running TO work and back once a week (7miles) , and then running home a 10k route on the other day. (6.2 miles, so a total of 13.2miles instead of 7.)

I’m also upping my millage one a day off too to get in a long run. Before I was doing 3-5mile runs (I once did an 8) where as now I’ll be doing at least 10mile runs once a week, upping the distance a bit each week towards the marathon.

Before – Average Run Miles a Week: 12-15, Average Bike Miles a Week: 14. Total = 26-29

Last Week – Average Run Miles: 25, Average Bike Miles: 32. Total = 57. DOUBLE what I’d normally do.

That’s without a longer run or a long bike ride. And you know what? I feel a LOT better for it. I’m still getting in a rest day or two each week and don’t feel burnt out or anything. I can feel the difference in my legs already.

After all, October 20th will arrive whether I’ve trained properly or not. I’ll finish the marathon, whether I’ve trained properly or not. The only differences that training will achieve are:

1. It’ll hurt a lot less than last time.

2. I’ll get round the course a lot quicker than last time.

That’s more than enough motivation for me.

marathon2

British 10k Recap – 14th July 2013 (And a recap of our London trip)


In Which I Get VERY Hot and VERY Sweaty

(This bit is about our trip down and what we did the day before the race. If you just want race stuff, scroll down. I don’t mind. *sigh*)

Saturday 13th July

The night before we’d dropped Indy off at Susan and Ironman Tonys house to cat sit for the weekend. Hannah has just got a kitten called Nahla, who decided to chase Indy around their house, growl at him and pretty much bully him a bit. Wouldn’t be so bad, but she’s 10 weeks old and he’s massive compared to her! They got on better by the end of the weekend though, so don’t be worrying or phoning the RSPCA or anything.

Our train left at 6:50am and at about 7:50am I went to the buffet car and got a drink and a bacon sandwich each for me and Sarah. (Because I’m a good husband.) It only took a little over three hours to get to London and it was bloody hot when we got there. Straight out of Kings Cross Station, down to the tube, bought tickets, onto the tube where is was STUPIDLY hot, off the tube, up the escalator, over the road, into the hotel, check in please! (Think I might begin a career as a travel writer.)

“Sorry Sir, you can’t check in for another three hours.”

Bugger.

We left our bags in a luggage room in the hotel and then made our way to Starbucks to come up with a plan. As the tube was so so sweaty, we went for a walk along the Thames to see what we could see. Over the river we could see the London Eye, but at £20 each decided not to have a go. We walked along to St. Pauls Cathedral and went for a nosy. There was a street sign (St. Pauls Walk, I think…) with a bloke posing on it, shouting to his wife.

“Use the viewfinder. Look through the viewfinder. USE THE VIEWFINDER!!”

Bet he doesn’t buy his wife a drink and a bacon sandwich.

We crossed the Millennium bridge to the south side of the river, and made our way under London Bridge (wasn’t falling down), passed the Belfast Battleship thing, passed a girl doing a sort of Kate Bush dance recital (looked like a mental) and up to Tower Bridge, which we walked across back to the north side of the river and had a shufty at the Tower of London.

photo (9)

We were both very hot and a little bothered by the amount of people so decided to tube it back to the hotel instead of walking. Arrived back at the hotel just before checking in time, got our room key then went to our room where Sarah managed to pull the curtain off it’s rail.

After chilling out (literally, had the air-con as cold as it’d go) we set off again in the direction of Piccadilly Circus via the tube. (I love the tube, it’s brilliant. It’s like a puzzle and transport all in one, plus you get to go underground and get on fast trains and who doesn’t like that?!)

We wandered around for a bit taking in the sights then went to Pizza Express for some food. After some lovely pizza and ice cream we walked up to the Queens theater where we had tickets to see Les Miserables.  I had a beer, Sarah had a Pimms. At the interval, we both had another ice cream. Both really enjoyed the show, the actors must’ve been boiling because we were hot just sitting there watching. Afterwards Sarah bought the Les Mis CD and we made our way back to the hotel, and an earlyish night.

photo (12)

Sunday 14th July

Got up and got my kit ready. I was a lot less nervous about this run than I normally am, which I put down to not thinking I’d be running a PB. What with 25’000 other runners and 30 degree heat, I wasn’t going to push it. I ate a flapjack whilst we walked to the tube. (Yay, tube!)

The race was starting quite near to where we went last night, so found our way there easily. We then followed the crowd to where the entrance to the run was advertised. After going through the baggage drop (didn’t have a bag, except Sar… I didn’t have a bag.) we made our way along The Mall which ended in Buckingham palace. (The road ended before the Palace. You don’t go through it. Probably get told off if you tried.)

photo (4)

The crowd surged to the right, and so did we. (So does Prince Phillip) Made our way alongside the park and to the start of the race which was packed. We arranged a meet up point for afterwards, then Sarah went and sat in the park (for a nice relaxing hour or so) while I lined up. (For a nice hour or so of running and sweating.) Think I can see now who had the better idea.

Race time was scheduled to began at 9:35am but with the amount of people I didn’t expect to start til after 10. (10am, not 10 people.)

Up on a balcony was a bloke with a microphone that kept talking about stuff but I wasn’t really paying attention, I was more bothered about trying to find a place to stand in the line up that was out of the direct sunlight. He then introduced Katrina (from Katrina and the Waves, most famous for ‘Walking On Sunshine’ and ‘Love Shine A Light’ and… that’s it I think.) The music started, and Katrina started singing a song that I had never heard before, and judging by peoples reactions, NO ONE had ever heard before. I was texting Sarah while I was waiting and she text me saying she’s Googled the song from the title (Sun Street. Anyone?) and it was a Top 30 hit 30 years ago. I think it also explains why Katrina was met with utter utter silence, when halfway through the song she shouted ‘SING IT!’

photo (13)

“Katrina, do you fancy doing a bit of a sing song to get the crowd going?”

“Yeah! I’ve got JUST the song!”

“I think I know the one you’re gonna say, with it being as warm as it is, and seeing everyone WALKING ON the street in the SUNSHINE…!”

“That’s the one! Say it with me!”

“Walki…”

“SUNSTREET!!!

Whispers to colleague “See if Banarama are available, will you?”

 

Katrina (and she waves)

Katrina (and she waves)

Anyway, after a while of waiting the run began (Katrina sang ‘Love Shines A Light’, and then ‘Walking On Sunshine.’ I think ALL her songs have either the word ‘sun’ or ‘shine’ in them. Not checked, so don’t go telling people that.)

The race was started in waves, to ease congestion on the route, and so I didn’t get going til about 10:20. Straight down Piccadilly and passed the Ritz we went, before turning right and then left a bit. The amount of people running meant that, no matter how well it was organised, there were places where the roads weren’t wide enough for all the runners so most people (including me) had to walk in quite a few places til it thinned out.

It was hot.

Luckily there were about 3 or 4 water stations on route so didn’t have to go long before getting a drink. I tried to keep my water rationed as much as I could, then pouring what was left in the bottle over my head before the next water station, where I got a full bottle. Seemed to work quite well, as I stayed hydrated throughout the race.

Loads of people were eager to run off and over take other runners, which I fully understand, but what I don’t understand is those runners that overtake you, get in front of you, then slow to a walk RIGHT IN FRONT OF WHERE YOU ARE RUNNING. If you’re going to walk, move to the side of the road, not to in front of me. I saw about five people get tripped due to over eagerness of over taking too. Serves them right, don’t force your way through the pack, wait for an opening. You aren’t an elite. (And… breathe…)

Saw St. Pauls Cathedral and Tower Bridge (shouldn’t’ve bothered walking on to see them yesterday) and then I was on my way back to where the run began (and where Sarah was sunning herself in the park.) The crowds on the route were fantastic, there was hardly any part of it that wasn’t lined with cheering families. (Not that people without a family aren’t allowed to cheer. I’m sure they cheer just as well. Again, not researched this.)

Another water station came into view, and I was sweating enough to fill every single empty water bottle that lined the streets of London. Again, I’d made sure I’d kept a bit of water in my bottle to pour over my head before taking a bottle. I looked to the water station and it was manned (boyed?) by Scouts and Cubs, all about 9-10 years old.

AHA! Said a voice in my head. (And not just because they’d be another 80’s band better than Katrina and the Waves.)

AHA! I wonder if I can get a few boys to soak my sweaty body with water! (NEVER thought I’d think or type that. I wonder if it’ll come up in the ‘What people searched for to find my blog’ thing at some point?)

Anyway, I reached for a bottle of water with my left hand, and as I stretched I put my right arm underneath the outstretched hand and threw all the water I had left over a child that had given up his Sunday morning to help out charities and thousands of runners, with no gain for himself.

He was drenched.

Straight away, the retaliation came. He threw water at me, as did the next waterboy, and the next. It was brilliant, and cooled me down fantastically. JUST what you need in 30 degree heat. (If you were a runner at the back of the race and the water station had run out of water when you got there, blame the Scouts.)

Tate Modern passed on the other side of the river, as did the London Eye, then we went passed Big Ben and the houses of Parliament. (Where, the next day, myself and Sarah walked by. There was a loud mouth American tour guide and Sarah said we should tag along. I said he might be crap, which was then verified by someone in his group pointing at the Houses of Parliament and saying ‘Is that where the Queen lives?’ The tour guide looked up, thought for a second, then said ‘Yeah, yeah it is.’ Idiot.)

I could hear the cheers of the announcers at the end of the run. I looked to my right, and could see where it finished. Once around this round-a-bout, passed Westminster Abbey and I was done. Except, no. Once passed Westminster Abbey, down a road and back up that road, THEN round the round-a-bout and finished.

01:07:28 – My second slowest 10k yet, but as I never tried to get going because of the crowds and the heat, that was fine with me.

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I got a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade and made my way to the baggage bays where the medals were. Sarah called me and said she was near the palace, so I told her to wait where she was and I’m make my way up. I picked up my medal and then jogged up the Mall to where she was watching the changing of the guards (or something.)

We then made our way back to where the run started and walked along the same route that I had run just over an hour before. We found a Burger King and I filled up on unhealthy post race food which tasted wonderful.

Afterwards we got back to the hotel where I showered and changed and Sarah had a nap. (Must’ve been hard work, sitting in a park.)

The afternoon was spent pretty much going around the touristy bits of London that we hadn’t seen yet, plus a beer for me and a Pimms for Sarah. She’d earned it.

Amazing People


In Which I Talk About A Couple Of People You Might Not Of Heard Of But Will Probably Tell People About

My marathon running training is going quite well, and to plan at the moment too. (Which is new!) I’ve done a couple of 5 mile runs home, which is roughly 2 miles of uphillness, followed by a nice stretch of 2 miles down hill, then a mile of steady uphillness to finish.

The first 2 miles has a couple of proper hills in which are good training (I keep hearing) but the best part is obviously the downhills. I when I get to this part I feel like holding my hands up in the air and going WHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE all the way down, but as it takes about 15-20 minutes I’m not sure that I could WHHHHHHEEEEEEEE for that long.

The first time I ran the 5 miler I did it in 55:45 and the second time I did it in 54:00. I’m running the same route home tonight, but it’s due to get up to 26 degrees (78F) and have forgotten my water bottle, so might cut it short to 3.5 miles then run to work in the morning to get the miles in.

My training plan for Monday is a steady 7.5 miles and have worked out a route along the Leeds-Liverpool canal to run where it’ll be flat all the way. Not going for hills because that runs about distance, not time, but Monday supposed to be even hotter than today so will have to get up early to go run. Feel free to join in!

Anyway, back to the title of the blog and to your lesson for today. That’s right, it’s not just entertainment here, it’s education too! (Edu-tainment!)

Madonna Buder

Have you heard of her? If so, you can go play outside for a bit while I talk to the class.

Madonna Buder is an athlete. A triathlete, even. Actually, she’s an Ironman triathlete athlete. She didn’t start training until she was 48 years old and since then has completed 45 seperate Ironman events, and over 300 triathlons.

Impressive already, but it gets better:

She’s the oldest person to complete an Ironman event (The event was Ironman Canada) and she finished in 16:32:00.

She was 82 years old.

Those aren’t the best things about Madonna Buder though. The 2nd best thing about her is that they have to keep creating a new age bracket for her as she keeps entering the Ironman events.

The best thing about Buder, however, is this:

She’s been, since the age of 23, a Nun. (Nicknamed, obviously, ‘The Iron Nun.’)

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Madonna Buder ‘The Iron Nun’

Cliff Young

In Australia, they used to have an Ultra Marathon which goes between Sydney and Melbourne. It was 544miles (875k) and was said to be one of the toughest in the world. Before the race was officially run for the first time, the fastest anyone had run between the two places was around 7 days.

Ultra Marathoners and elite runners, 20-30 years old, turned up and the day of the race, as did Cliff Young.

Cliff Young

Cliff Young

Cliff was a farmer. A 61 year old farmer. With arthritis in most of his leg joints. A 61 year old farmer who turned up to race the 544miles in boots and overalls instead of running shoes and shorts.

Obviously, the reporters descended on Cliff and asked him what the hell he was thinking. He told them that he lived on a farm and had 2’000 animals, sometimes he’d have to run after these animals for a couple of days, sometimes three days, before getting them all herded together, so the way he saw it it was only a few more days of doing the same.

The gun went off, the pack went off, and Cliff did a sort of shuffle-walk-stumble run thing. He was left well behind by everyone else.

After 17 hours of running, the Elites and Ultras bedded down for the night, the plan from the get-go being that you ran as far and as hard as you could for 17 hours, slept for 7, then repeated til the end.

When they woke up in the morning to start again, they were told that Cliff Young, in his boots and overalls, was a dozen or so miles in the lead.

He hadn’t slept, and hadn’t stopped.

Turns out that when Cliff said he chased sheep for 2-3 days, he meant continually, never stopping, never sleeping. For three days at a time.

He wasn’t caught for the rest of the race, finishing in a time of 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes, a full 10 hours in front of the closest Elite and close to two days ahead of the record for the fastest run between Sydney and Melbourne.

They presented him with a check for $10’000 for winning the race, and he was shocked because he didn’t know there was any prize money. He felt bad about keeping it saying ‘Everyone else worked just as hard as me’ and so divided the money equally between all the runners.

At age 63 he ran 150 miles within 24 hours.

At 76 year-old he attempted to run AROUND THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA but had to stop after 3’800 miles (6250k) as his only crew member (who was driving the route) passed out from illness. (That’s about the distance from one side of America to the other, and then halfway back again.)

At 79, he became the oldest man to finish a six-day Ultramarathon, and it was while he was dying of cancer.

Cliff died in 2003, at the age of 81. He never kept any of his prize money, and gave it all to charities or friends.

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On A Lighter Note

Sometimes you only hear of someone dying when the radio plays a few of their songs that you haven’t heard for a while. Yesterday, they played ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Richard Marx in the morning. ‘Haven’t heard one of his songs in a while!’ I thought.

In the afternoon, they played ANOTHER of his songs. I got on to Twitter and looked to see if he had an account.

Richard Marx: Alive!

Richard Marx: Alive!

PHEW!

Happy First Birthday To My Blog!


In Which I Give You A Load Of Stats And Stuff

27th June 2012 – I posted my first ever blog post, about how I was trying to be a runner.

27th June 2013 – Still trying to be a runner.

Hello! How are you? Hope you’re well. I’m fine, thanks for asking! I’d go so far as saying I’m ‘Good’!

‘Very cheery’, you’d say back, ‘Have you won a free Twix?’

‘No!’ I’d reply. ‘It’s because it’s one year exactly since my first blog post!’

‘Wow!’ Would come your response. ‘I hope you have lots of stats ready!’

‘I do!’ I’d say.

How much do you now wish you lived at my house, when you see you’re missing out on brilliant conversations like this?!

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The first time I ever tried running, it was horrible. Really horrible. Couldn’t even do 1/4 of a mile without walking. I pushed and pushed though, and managed to get a mile done with a mixture of run/walk. After that, my legs were killing me. Did I give up? No! I carried on and on, and gave up a bit, then started again and carried on and on and on and on!

Since then I’ve run the following officially organised runs:

Run Stats

1 x 5k Run

1 x 8.8k Run (Sent wrong way)

5 x 10k Runs (Best time: 56.57)

1 x 1/2 Marathon (02.38)

1 x Full Marathon (04.55)

I’m signed up to the British 10k in July and also the Yorkshire Marathon in October.

I’ve collected 7 medals, 10 T-Shirts, One Water Bottle and One Towel.

As well as the above I’ve started riding a bike a few times a week to work and back, and have learned how to swim. (Not swim to work, not sure how that’d work or why you thought it to be honest…)

Blog Stats

As of yesterday, I reached 1’000 subscribers to my blog. (The DAY before my blog turned a year old! Good timing or what?!)

I’ve had over 15’000 views on the blog in the past 12 months. (Works out about 40 views a day, but  about 14’000 or so must be me.)

I’ve had visitors on my blog from 89 different countries. Google says that there are 194 countries in the world, so that’s almost half!

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One of my favourite stat things on WordPress is that it tells you when someone has found your blog through a search engine, and most of the time what they searched for. (A lot is ‘unknown search term’ and it’s unknown to me what that means.)

Search Stats

The number one search that brings people to my blog is ‘Guide Dog’ because I blogged quite a bit at the start about raising money for the guide dogs. There’s a lot of ‘hemingway run’ or ‘run hemingway’ or ‘hemingway run blog’ searches that get people to my page too, obviously people that know me or that have been on the site before. Another popular search that brings you here is ’50 fat diabetic ahead of you’ which is people searching for the image that I took from the internet and put on the Inspiration bit.

50-fat-diabetic-and-ahead-of-you-tshirt

Most search terms that come up I don’t look at anymore, because it’s obvious how they ended up here. Ones like:

‘Great North 10k Medal’

‘Blackpool Marathon’

‘Leeds 10k 2012 t-shirt’

I’m sure I’ve mentioned each of them quite a few times in various blog entries, especially Blackpool Marathon. (…did I tell you I ran a marathon..?)

Then there’s searches that people do that somehow lead them here, but I can understand why, when it’s those certain words in that certain order. Things like:

‘Bonfire the Manor Eccleshill’ I live near Eccleshill and have ran passed The Manor pub, and have also blogged about a Bonfire Night 5K.

‘Road running Etiquette UK’ I once did a blog entry about running etiquette, so guessing that’s why they got here.

‘Tattoo in Blackpool near the train station’ I’ve mentioned Tattoos, Blackpool, and Train Stations on various entries.

‘Wrestlemania 29 showing in Blackpool’ Bit obscure, but on the Blackpool Marathon blog I mentioned that I watched Wrestlemania afterwards.

Those searches, I can understand why they ended up here.

What I don’t understand is how searches like these ended up here:

‘Homemade radio’ As far as I know, I’ve never made a radio in my life.

‘Guy who got ticket for driving and consuming too many energy drinks’ No idea.

‘Sayings around waiting so long on the toilet’ I don’t even understand what they were asking.

And then there’s this:

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‘Great North Run Tit Flash’

Amazing.

 

EDIT: Thank you to everyone that takes the time to read my blog, and having done so doesn’t send me any abuse or anything, but instead leaves a nice comment, or follows my blog, or ‘likes’ the posts. You’re great. No YOU are. Oh, stop it, you!