3060 Robin Hood Marathon 2013


16 weeks of Advanced marathon training was going great (the 18 week program up to 55 Miles) finishing with the Jelly T race, where I finished in 5936 for 10 miles.

Next was the Great north run where I picked up a nasty toe injury with the loss of a nail(I know nothing unusual there) but the skin on the end of the toe was also a funny blue colour and painful to run on.

Unfortunately this was the end of my marathon training, even though I was already in the tapering phase; there were still two weeks left. So the plan was to rest until the day before the marathon and try out Braunestone parkrun.

A beautiful park with ducks sees you go around 2 laps, though I took it easy to see how I would feel with my gammy toe finishing in 21 mins. Seemed to go alright, it was great to be back running again,  felt tired but that’s normal after a 5K 

We travelled in absolute luxury thanks to P and K in a Jaguar XJ, setting off early from Leicester as there were a lot of road works and road closures, arriving in good time like organised professionals, something like myself 😉

I always wanted a ride in a Jag, it has a fantastic on-board computer to help navigate us to the race, even though P knew the way, as he had taken us in 2008. Oh and the sound system? Van Halen was pounding. If I had the money I would buy one of these cars but then again when we got there, parked just up from us on the sports ground, was Deb parked in a cabriolet Austin Martin, I hung around for her but sadly I must have missed her, oh well, whatever, nevermind.

So it was great to finally notice Ryan Hogben and Emma Wright who must have been waving quite a while before I eventually noticed them, so TBH had the magic 3 in the race. It really cheered me up to be running with others from the club a few hundred miles from home, thanks.

I did have a race plan using the Running free website http://www.runningfreeonline.com/Tools/Racing_Splits to run ultra-negative, to aim for 2:50, working in KM; as it’s a shorter distance and mathematically less room for error, kind of like Mo does, slow at first then run when you have to but after my injury, it just all went out, I thought just run and see how you feel, missing 2 weeks I knew there would be trouble but how bad would it effect me?

I started with my trademark bottle, having worked out that after an hour I lose 2lbs; so 1 and a half times that, with the power of maths makes 3 pounds which roughly equals an 800 and 600 ml SIS bottle but that’s on a normal day, this is the middle of the country where it’s still summer 😉 can you guess what happened?

Well the start was of the pulse variety or wave if you want to call it that, so faster colours should start first, as other people have commented I often start where I am not supposed to but when there is clearly unfit people in front of you, you realise that enforcing these things should be done.

Starting in the same place as in 08 but a different route entirely, I have to say not as good, though for the half people have said it made it faster but running through housing estates towards tobacco factories and Boots for the second half is hardly inspiring, what were they thinking, oh I know they need reminding how much they are hurting for running this long?

Most of the race I was running on my lonesome which didn’t really help then things started going wrong. I missed my SIS water bottle at 11 miles and the water stations didn’t seem to be where they said they were in the race information … I had run OK until 17 miles but a bit too fast, especially on a hot day, the 3 hour flag bearer went past me with a squad of about 15 people, shouting encouragement for me to keep up, I did for a couple of miles but with the heat I was flagging.

The route scenery improved running around a lake but straight into a powerful headwind. Every mile got progressively worse but there was great support from the local people, someone noticed the vest and shouted “Howere the lads” 

At mile 22 my hamstring tightened up and I had to walk for 5 minutes, it was agonising as it was about 245, thinking if only I could run a fast parkrun I would be finished. Thankfully after a little rest I was able to run again but only at about 8 minute miles, the last stretch over the bridge was just what I fancied going uphill.  The last stretch going back on yourself through the trees to the start line was awful(Bruno Mars: Treasure)

Robinhood5editBut finishing in the stadium was relief with all the supporters cheering you on. I stirred them up and showboated for a bit instantly forgetting the pain until someone shouted “there is someone behind you”   at the finish line there were the cheerleaders, a group that had worked as hard as the runners cheering everyone on, oh and people on stilts but I was pleased I was done.

Well organised but they seemed to have only a dozen songs, guess it gets expensive?(Daft Punk: Get lucky, Katy Perry: Hot & Cold, and a couple of 80’s turnips.) All endings were beginnings as I started and finished to Daft Punk.

I wanted to do a sub 3 hours or at least qualify for VLM in good for age; for me that would be sub 305 but looking at the positives it was a course PB since it was a new course! but you know from 08 to finish in 347 to 308, position 36 out 918 is not too bad but ultimately I’d like to shake your hand disappointment, looks like you win again but this time might be the last.


2012: A Year of PB

Whitley Bay. Churchill Playing Fields Track.

Whitley Bay. Churchill Playing Fields Track.

January kicked off with the Run for Bob,a charity fun run at Whitley Bay promenade, a scenic route around the front with mixed terrain, mainly road then trail around the river? or is it the sea then ending on a track. Really enjoyed the route though the wind was a bit wild, still a good run. I remember someone had made some delicious potatoe and spinach samosas or something afterwards – a real treat.

Next was the Brass Monkey half marathon in York, I achieved my HM PB of 1,28 enjoyed the run, conditions were very windy but no rain. It was good

Brass monkey half marathon York

seeing so many people I knew from Newcastle parkrun,seventy odd mile away but it turned out my club colours are the same as Hartlepool so I was regularly  implored come on Hartlepool!Mileage total was 79.

February the mileage was the worst for the year at 70, every month usually running the fantastic Newcastle parkrun the only real race I done was the lunchtime Saltwell Park 5K Handicap race. This was 4 races at the park over the month, think it was a Wednesday, quite a tough course with 2 laps around the park, this means 2 uphill climbs each time from what I remember it really tested you! having to start behind a lot of people, although some really good runners started behind you but soon overtook you, the conditions were cold of course as it was February. Very well organised by George Routledge and his merry crew, enjoyed meeting up with new people and some from parkrun of course.

March Think it was the beginning of March I started my training for the Marathon of the North after Robert kindly gave me a copy of Advanced Marathoning this was the catalyst for something good … This month saw a new 5K PB at the great Newcastle parkrun of 1828.The mileage totalled 150 with the 6 day week training schedule.

April Mostly marathon training again following the 12 week plan but another PB at Newcastle parkrun 1807, so pleased and stayed injury free. Mileage increased to 170, probably my highest.

May Marathon of the North the big one all the hard training paid off with an astonishing PB of 3hrs 6mins, beating my 2007 Robin hood marathon PB by 45 minutes, a great run not entirely flat but mainly through a park and along Seaburn coast, seeing a lot of the locals from parkrun, a really enjoyable day.After the big race, it was feet up for a few days and recovery training for 5 weeks but I do seem to have lost some fitness, though I admit injury free, which was the focus, happy about that anyway.
The end of the month it was time for the Pier to Pier 6.91 Mile coastal run from South Shields to Seaburn. I love the scenery here, past Marsden rock and running on the sand, thankfully the weather was much better than last year when the wind was of hurricane proportions .This resulted in another PB for this race 4429 compared to last year’s 5050.

June The famous Blaydon race, there is only the weather to talk about here, which started off nice walking to town, waiting at the big market at the back (for some reason) the rain erupted, nearly as bad the 2007 Edinburgh marathon, but not quite! It was still a PB(3805) for me as the last time I ran it in 2010 my Achilles snapped after just the first Kilometre(1hr 15).Mileage decreased with just recovery runs to the lowest at 55 miles, this seems a good plan though less training in the summer, although I love running in sunny weather so there again …

July The Great North 10K I was in a right state for this one, too much drink, really enjoyed the course though, around the Quayside then finishing on the track at Gateshead stadium a lovely finish but would of been a lot better sober. Again after many times trying I couldn’t get a GNR place, so Julys mileage was 100 I was getting back in to training for the next marathon.

August No races, except parkrun, which isn’t a race but some really high mileage, in fact the most ever, ever ever! 285 following the killer AM plan, next step up as I am training for Kielder – a tough undulating course.


September 2012 Great Westmorland Fell race Cumbria

September 2012 Great Westmorland Fell race Cumbria

My first fell race, after parkrun of course 🙂 not a good idea when you have put all that marathon training in to risk injury sliding down a hill but(cliché alert) you live and learn. Really enjoyed the race though, the drive to Cumbria but what a race! climbing over the sheep gates at the top of mountains, just when you think it can’t get any worse then more and more gates, although I did enjoy. Another high mileage month 230 whoo hoo, though training was taking its toll.

October Kielder marathon such another brilliant day thoroughly enjoyed it, such magnificent beauty, brilliant conditions, meeting up with the other David Anderson from my club VCAC and the others from parkrun then a postrun pint. Not a PB but only 3 minutes later than MOTN position 20 J and this course is known to be a tough one, I went the wrong way at one point only a slight deviation but no other race gives you this much pleasure for 3 hours, all the training paying off the adrenalin firing into your system, the endorphins, the serotonin or whatever, what a buzz, highly recommended. This month’s mileage was back down to 105 with recovery training.

November We made the pilgrimage to Meca – The Bushy parkrun, where it all began. A long journey on the bus with no sleep and very stiff legs afterwards. The run was amazing though, so many people – over a thousand, lovely scenery West? London and the hospitable welcome we all received from everyone involved, Thank you.
The Norman Woodcock race 3 laps around Gosforth horse racecourse, Another PB for this distance – 5 Miles 2915, beating last years’ time by 3 minutes 27 secs. Mileage for this month was 110.

December First XC, again after parkrun, at Bedewell opposite Monkton stadium enjoyed getting clarted up to the eyeballs but didn’t know I had been spiked until the next day, not a bad time for my first one, not sure how the handicap system works if my time should be slower but seems good at 3617. Enjoyed the race, as I like negotiating the mud but would have enjoyed a hill a bit more. My first attempt at a Fetch meet up came too soon after the previous days racing to do a fast mile on the track but it was great fun and nice to meet up with the parkrun regulars and some new Fetch people. I felt ill and the next day I was in bed with that dreaded lurky.
Another parkrun special, my first ever run on Christmas day, something like a 136 people turned out, it was strange but great to see everyone and run.
Finally the last parkrun of the year, another 5K PB, well sort of – I equalled 1807 but the course was extended, think it was 40M after I got that time earlier in the year, so I am claiming this 🙂
Low mileage at 92 completes the month.

So in Summary total mileage 1536 – the most I have ever ran.  New PBS at 5K, 5M, 7M, half and full marathons but most of all I enjoyed running it really has kept me out of trouble, thanks for all the people that make it possible volunteers organisers runners and you for reading.

Have a happy New Year, peace and love for the new Year xxx