Two Marathons, Same Day.

The Spooky Halloween Challenge & Pumpkin Marathon

As part of my training for LEJOG next spring, I wanted to make sure I was comfortable in running for 50 miles+ in a day. These marathons came up, and I thought “perfect!”, a simple course with the emphasis on running steady and consistently.

I’d weighed it up pretty quickly, exactly how to play this one; the course wasn’t completely flat, it had a couple a couple of vague hills within the 1km laps. It didn’t take a genius to work out that if I played it right, and worked on 9 minute miles, I could finish both of them in around 4 hours (hopefully) relatively comfortably… Good plan Daniel; you’ve really excelled yourself once again in both sensibility, and maths.

Lands End to John O’ Groats

My 1,000 mile mission from one end of the country to the other next spring is building up momentum.

Target of £2,000 in Corporate sponsorship. Raising money for Sport Relief, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and East Cheshire Hospice.

Early days, and interest is already growing from local companies. Looks like there’s no backing out now…

The Macclesfield Half Marathon

This was to be my 2nd ever half marathon, as I don’t really do this distance very often. I had a great deal of fun winding people up; particularly non-runners, talking about this as short distance training or a light sprint. In truth, I find half marathons really difficult. You can’t settle into a pace like you can in a marathon; a gentle plod with very little stress. With a half marathon, I’m well out of my comfort zone from the starting gun.

The Route.

The Route.

Garmins and GPS Running

Recently, I bit the bullet and finally caved to the allure of GPS technology. Maybe it was the 3rd or 4th time being utterly lost during endurance events, maybe it was seeing how easy it was for those runners with these ‘magic watches’ that told them which direction to head in every time the signs were not clear, or perhaps it was just the childlike craving for anything ‘James Bond’ and gadget like…

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Running VS Age!

Like many others my age, I am a man fast approaching 30 years old! I’ve done the maths and checked it twice; that’s definitely right. Next summer I will have been alive on this planet for 3 whole decades…

Now I’m not one of those people that is ‘overly’ concerned with age; it’s just a number really. To illustrate how little my age concerns me: Here is a frankly terrifying image of me from 2007, followed by a photograph from the finish line of a 40 mile ultra-marathon last month.

These are both me, surprisingly. But one is old and over the hill...

These are both me, surprisingly. But one is old and over the hill…

The Gritstone Grind

An unexpected 35 mile scenic trail route, running from Kidsgrove up to Disley; and my second ever ultra-marathon.

Summit of the Bosley Cloud.

Summit of the Bosley Cloud.

This is an existing trail called the ‘Gritstone Trail’ surprisingly enough; available for anyone to do any time (lots of people will walk it over 2 or 3 days) and I highly recommend it, as it really shows off the area in picturesque fashion.

I call it “unexpected”, as you run through and over villages and towns not renowned for their scenic qualities. The key word here is “over”; there are a LOT of hills and the views are spectacular on a clear day. Areas like Mow Cop castle, the Bosley Cloud, Teggs Nose and White Nancy being the notable high up bits.

Track Race Afternoon in Stockport

When I was still in school, I never really got into running; it just didn’t interest me. I formed this opinion due to school running consisting mostly of short distance races, and I had discovered from my other sports, that I was not really much a sprinter.

As I’ve got older, it has become abundantly clear that I have much more prominent slow twitch fibres than fast twitch in my muscles. The difference being that in my older years, I now realise that just because you are not good at something, is not necessarily reason to avoid it altogether.

First Ultra Marathon

Two years ago, I decided that I needed to run a marathon as something to tick off my life-list. It was great; the instant respect you get from people; the sense of accomplishment; the feeling of ‘belonging’ in the runner’s community. I knew right there and then that I needed to do more of this.

The problem is that even as you get better at them, faster and stronger; that feeling of accomplishment is not quite the same. I’m not saying they get easier… Actually, yeah I am. I’m saying they get easy; completing a marathon has become so routine and normal, it has become almost mundane.

Packing for a Race

It’s the morning of the day before my first official ‘ultra’ marathon. I’ve chosen ‘Run to the Castle’, as it promises to be a very scenic route up the Welsh coast, to Harlech Castle; a nice, cool 40 miles. Also it will count towards the prestigious ‘100 marathon Club’, which I would love to attain quickly.

Castle

Benefits of Yoga

Around 6 months ago, I went to a yoga class. Now, as a man (and I am a man; I had is confirmed by a medical professional), there is a certain stigma attached to doing yoga. I wasn’t expecting too much; a few breathing exercises; maybe get stretched out a bit? I certainly wasn’t expecting a workout from this non-holistic activity.