Next up for my Marathons in a Nutshell is Tim, a fundraiser for a charity called 21st Century which supports tiger conservation in the wild. There are the races he has completed in the last 12 months and are therefore fresh in the mind.
His justgiving page is here . As part of his challenge he has vowed to joggle (run and juggle) 100 marathons to join the 100 marathon club – hence the tiger mask (as you do). take a look at his page and his remarkable challenge. I may well join him in the 100 marathon club, just maybe without the juggling.
- Mablethorpe Marathon 2016
My 4th visit to the Mablethorpe marathon – it’s a staple on the calendar. Well organised and great atmosphere cheered on by late holiday makers and enthusiastic locals. Tough at the end of the 1st lap as the half marathon runners peel off to finish – but they make good pace makers for the full. A killer extra loop at 24 miles finishes off the unprepared or over ambitious but if you can hang on you’ve got a last mile along the sea front with the sea breeze cooling you down.
Enjoy ice cream on the promenade after the finish and cheer the remaining runners on.
- Shires and Spires 35-mile ultramarathon 2017
A gentle introduction to ultramarathons, 35 miles across the rolling hills and country estates of Northamptonshire. Like running through an episode of Downton Abbey. Too hot for first few hours, then too wet, focusing on checkpoints every 10k. Sausage rolls, pasties, cakes, gels, sweets – will put on weight at this rate. Last 10 miles uphill and tough but big chunky medal and running top at finish. Just under 7 hours
- Boston Marathon 2017
No tea parties here, but fields full of cabbages. The UK version of the famous race through the Lincolnshire countryside. Flat as a pancake. Double expresso caffeine gels kicked in at 15 miles and went from sub 5 hour to sub 4 hour pace until blowing up in the last 2 miles. Finish was confusing – running through traffic and around pedestrians like a Sunday training run. Do it for the PB potential not the lingering smell of cabbages.
- 12 Labours of Hercules 2016
This is super tough. HQ in the valley, 12 trials between 1 and 12 miles, all at the top of enormous hills, returning to HQ after each one. 24 hours, 78+ miles, 17,000 ft of total ascent. Trials included archery, collecting spring water and other Hercules based objects – invariably from the top of even more hills. Got lost in the dark with a head torch for company, cursing, everything aching, more gels, GPS maps on phone to the rescue.
Only about 20% finish rate but this year I was one of them – 5th place just under 23 hours.
- Edinburgh Marathon 2017
Great atmosphere and crowd heading out of Edinburgh towards the coast. Blisteringly hot weather so everyone’s outside cheering. After 9 miles reach Musselburgh and run past the finish line at the start of a 17 mile out and back loop. After 12 miles see the leaders heading back, only 12 miles ahead looking fresh as daisies. At 20 miles go for it, 90 seconds a mile quicker – trying to encourage the tortured souls walking towards me 2 hours behind. Finish with a flourish – designer goody bag, big medal and t-shirt. Knackered, sun burnt but happy.
- Leeds Canal Dash 2017
It’s grim up North but this was a pleasant saunter along the canal path from Leeds to Saltaire and back. Low key event so plenty of solo time. Locals were great, lovely scenery, but wildlife was proper tough – geese and swans weren’t moving for anyone. After 20 miles run back through start/finish area past rows of medals with a 6 mile loop the other side – cruel race director.
NEXT UP: LEE KEMP