Monday, 3 August 2015

Dublin Rock and Roll Half Marathon 2nd August 2015

A brief 36 hours in Dublin for the Dublin Rock and Roll Half Marathon. The Rock and Roll races are a series of races, mainly in America, but a few further a field, Dublin been one.

After a really warm Saturday registering and looking around the city (including some Carb loading in a Temple Bar Pub), it was an early night before a 6am alarm. The start was on the North bank of the Liffey towards the East of the city. The race had competitors from all around the world (42 countries I recall) and with cool slightly damp weather it was ideal running weather.

The first 3 miles followed the river, crossing it part way to the South side before heading passed the Guinness Factory at 3 miles. It then headed briefly towards the city centre with the addition of a small hill before heading West again. Mile 3 to 8 were through some residential and industrial areas of the city before entering Pheonix Park, the biggest walled park in Europe.

Smiling at 3 Miles

The first mile of the park was uphill followed by a narrow path (possibly the only criticism of the route, as the volume of runners made it difficult to make up any ground). The route then followed the wider roads of the park undulating up and down until reaching the finish.

Still Smiling at 8 miles

Live bands played throughout the route at approximately mile intervals to keep everyone motivated. It was not a race that saw many spectators, but those who did come and watch were very supportive. This was a shame as it was a route that allowed for seeing runners at multiple times quite easily (Mrs C, managed to see me at 3, 8 and the finish).

I managed to keep a steady pace, covering every mile in under 10 minutes, except mile 13 which was a done in 10:16 (one hill too many). My Garmin clocked up the half marathon in around 2:09, however the official time was 2:11 due to my route covering 13.3 miles. This may be due to a brief toilet stop at around 2.5 miles.

There was even free beer at the end, although it turned out to be alcohol free.

The Rock and Roll Half Marathon also provides the biggest bling of a medal you are likely to receive, which did manage to get the attention of the customs at Dublin Airport on the way home.

May not contain Alcohol, but it was free

36 Half Marathons completed, only 14 to go. Next stop Stockholm in September....

Monday, 27 July 2015

Tour T-Shirt has arrived

New Running Man Tour shirt has arrived, thanks Diane and Rebecca from DTW for adding the lettering. Now just got to get to Dublin and run a half marathon this weekend to try it out.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Mrs Running Man - First Parkrun with Mrs C in Aldenham

First Parkrun for Mrs C in Aldenham, North London. Great route around the lake and lovely to run it together.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Angel View Race - 09 07 2015

According to my watch this was the quickest 6 miles I have ever run, unfortunately the race was significantly shortened due to an error by one of the marshals misdirecting the runners. A shame given it was a great venue for a race taking a run around the Angel of the North as part of the route.

A nice steady run near the back (it was a very competitive field), with some great support by the other Blackhill Bounders and especially the Juniors who pushed me home to the finish.

Only just over 3 weeks to Dublin so panic starting to set in.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Couple of Challenging Weekends

Last 2 weekends have seen some extremes of running and sport.

27th and 28th May I took part in the Blackhill Bounders Coast to Consett challenge. 110 miles from Whitehaven to Consett non-stop over night relay. Overall I ran 10 miles, cycled 25 and drove the support van for the rest (a very tiring experience)

Another early start this last weekend, Haven Point Triathlon in South Shields, 5am alarm to get to the start before 6:30 when the roads close. This was my 5th Tri since starting last year and the quickest yet. I finally broke the exclusive 1:30 barrier with a time of 1:23:47. Training now starts for the Coast to Coast bike ride in September and the 2 half marathons I need to complete before then.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Weardale Triathlon - 14th June 2015

A very wet day in Stanhope but a great event completed. Went for safety on the bike and took my hybrid rather than the slicks on the road bike, so a little slower than last year, but still managed to beat last year’s swim and run times.
Although not half marathons, the triathlons are great fun and good all round training.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Momentum is gathering - 3 races booked already

It’s been a busy week, over 200 new followers on the Facebook Page and 3 races booked.
2nd August – Dublin Rock and Roll Half Marathon
12th September – Stockholm Half Marathon
10th October – Vantaa (Helsinki) Half Marathon
That leaves 12 races to do which need to include
The momentum is certainly starting to increase

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Running Western Europe

The Running Man is back….
I have decided to try and Run Western Europe by the time I reach 50 (not in an Adolf Hitler or Angela Merkel Way, but in a half marathon way). This will hopefully end up as 50 half marathons, in 20 different countries by January 2018 finishing with frozen Half Marathon in the Arctic Circle. The map shows completed countries in green, races booked in Orange and still to sort in Red. Have booked Stockholm Half Marathon in September and Helsinki in October this year to kick start it.
That just leaves Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and Iceland to run in.
Going to give it a good go, time and fitness permitting. May even do the last year for charity.
Any one fancy a trip away you are more than welcome to join me on tour.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

3 More Half Marathons and only 3 days until first Marathon

The first 3 months of 2014 have involved a lot of running in training for my first Marathon, The Virgin London Marathon on 13th April. 425 miles to be precise from 1st January to date. That has included Half Marathon 27, 28 and 29.

19th January was the Brass Monkey Race in York, which was flat and fast, not quite a PB, but second quickest time ever and 3rd time under 2 hours, finishing 1:59:36. 16th March, I took place in a slightly hillier Northumberland Half Marathon, which as a marathon training run was taken fairly easy in a steady 2:03:54. Final half marathon (ish) took place 29th March around lake Coniston, an “undulating” 14 miles in a respectable 2:13:15 followed by a nice few drinks in the Lakes.

Sunday is the big one, first ever Marathon and one of the biggest races on the planet. Will post an update if and when I survive it. Nigel

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Race number 26 - Coniston 14

Saturday 12th October I completed Half Marathon number 26 (well actually slightly more than a half marathon), 14 miles around Lake Coniston. This is the 3rd year running I have completed this run and I managed to knock 14 minutes of last years’ time, so another PB in 2013. It was a lovely run in, relatively warm weather for the time of year, followed by a number of pints of Coniston Bluebird to ensure I rehydrated at the end. The photo is a few of the Blackhill Bounders enjoying a beer at the end.
Next Half will be in the new year, 6 done this year, target for 6 more in 2014


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

25 Half Marathons Done, only 25 more to go

2 more half marathons completed since my last post and 2 PB’s achieved.
I took part in the Northumberland Coastal Run on 14th July, which is a tough run from Beadnall to Alnmouth on a mixture of beach, coastal tracks and some roads. Back in 2011 it took me 2:26 to complete this tough route, this year I managed to get this down to 2:18. A great run and one I will definitely do again.
To follow this I took part with 56,000 other people in last weekend’s Great North Run. This was my 6th attempt at the biggest half marathon and my previous best was 2:09:56 back in 2010. This year proved to be my best yet with a finishing time of 1:59:57, a full 10 minutes faster than my previous best and my second fastest half marathon to date. A happy day out. One more half marathon left this year which is the Coniston 14 next month

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

23rd Half Marathon Completed - 13.1 miles across Morecambe Bay.

Another half marathon completed on Sunday, The Cross Bay Challenge for the 2nd year running. The conditions were much improved this year with better weather and a tail wind rather than a head wind all of the way. It is still one of the most unusual runs in that it is all on sand and water. 2 major river crossing, one of which is ¼ of a mile wide and over knee deep, this tends to slow your pace down. I still managed to scrape in under 2hrs 7 minutes, which was 32 minutes faster than last year. Made the right choice using an old pair of trainers that are now off to be recycled! Next long race is the Northumbria Coastal run in July

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Half Marathon of the North - my 22nd Half Marathon.

Another day another half Marathon, this time the Half Marathon of The North around Sunderland. After a heavy week of entertaining, I wasn't expecting a great run but managed a credible 2hrs 6minutes. This was partly due to fear that my trainers would be pinched in Hendon if I didn't speed up.

The next question is can I do another 28 half marathons in the next 4 1/2 years thus achieving 50 half marathons before my 50th Birthday. Got to be worth a go. Watch this space....

Saturday, 23 March 2013

2 snowy events in March

It has been a while since I last updated the Runningman blog, since the Great North Run last September I have kept running, but no half marathons to talk about. I had planned to do the Brass Monkey Half in York in January but it was cancelled due to snow.

2 weeks ago I ran the Northumberland half marathon in Ponteland, a really enjoyable run through the Northumberland countryside, made slightly harder by snow and hailstones. Still management under 10 minute miles throughout to complete it in around 2:08.

Ponteland was a walk in the park compared to today's Cumbrian Commotion in Grizedale forest. According to Cumbria Police you shouldn't travel to the Lakes unless absolutely necessary, so ignoring this advice the Elddis Off Road Truckers, myself, Mark and Richard set off for an extreme triathlon. The weather was certainly challenging, even the trusty Land Rover got a modified wing when it went off the road in the ice trying to get to Grizedale start. For safety reasons the biking section was slightly reduced, but the race still involved a 1.5 mile run, mostly up hill and all on snow and ice, followed by 1 1/2 hours mountain bike through Grizedale, a 3 mile trail run over the mount to Coniston, a 3 man kayak around a course on Coniston water, a run back over the mountain back to Grizedale to finish with an assault course. Easy?

I stopped counting how many times I fell off the bike after I got to ten, I face planted in the snow running, slipped over in a river, waded in freezing water in Coniston, but the team still managed a respectable 3:22. Now enjoying several pints in my favourite pub in the Lakes to rehydrate...

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Cross Bay Half Marathon - The Most Bonkers Race I Have Ever Done

Another day another Half Marathon. Ran the Cross Bay Half Marathon, which is one of the most unusual races, and has been voted one of the best runs in the UK. It basically runs across Morecambe Bay when the tide goes out. I should have known there was an issue, when the pre-race briefing mentioned the quick-sand if you veer off the course.

First couple of miles went well, on sand but quite hard packed, so not to bad to run on. Then at around 3.5 miles the water started, the routes became slightly wet, around 1 inch to 2 inch of water for the next mile and a half. This was compounded by a head wind that lasted the full race and rain that felt like hail coming straight at your face. That was fine, then it got slightly more difficult when we had a ¼ mile wade through water that was at times almost waist deep, not what you normally expect on a half marathon. Another 7 miles and another couple of rivers to wade through and finally made it to the end 2:39 minutes after starting. The slowest half marathon too date, but ran every yard it was possible to run and felt that was a pretty good time considering the conditions.

I now have a case of trench foot but thought it was a brilliant event. Maybe next year again?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Greatest Run Ever.

16th June 2012 – 4:11pm Cutlers Hall Road, Shotley Bridge. One of the proudest moments of my life, carrying the Olympic Flame as part of the Torch Relay. Thousands of well wishers including family, friends and most of the Blackhill Bounders Running Club. Amazing Day, one I will never forget

Monday, 9 April 2012

Coniston 14 - 31st March 2012

Another Half Marathon completed, this time slightly longer on a hilly course around Coniston.

Joined by another dozen Blackhill Bounders on one of the best runs in the North. Steady run of 2hrs 26 minutes, which more than happy with.

What to do next?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cumbrian Commotion Completed

3hrs 50 minutes of Hill Running, Mountain Biking, More Hill Running, Kayaking, More Hill Running and finally a couple of challenges to finish the day off.

Although the hot weather proved a bit of a hindrance we managed to complete the event in a respectable time (thanks to some pushing from Mark) and didn’t tip the Kayak – I have officially decided that Kayaking is not a hobby I will be taking up, but I do make a good passenger. The winners must have cheated as they made it in 2hrs 15 minutes, the last team home was a little over 6 hours…

We’ll be looking to beat the time next year if anyone fancies the challenge!!

Thank again for your support, our madness made another £1000 for Willow Burn, so quiet happy about that.

I am now going to attempt the Coniston 14 next Saturday, because I haven’t ran enough last weekend…


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Another year another Challenge

Thought it time to repost to the Running Man Blog. The next challenge is less than 2 weeks away. A team of 3 from Elddis: myself, Richard and Mark, are competing in the Cumbrian Commotion in the Lakes on 24th March. It is what can best be described as an extreme triathlon!!!

Thought I should do some serious training this weekend, so with the help of Andy Heppell and John Million did a 22 mile bike ride, (the longest I have done since at school), then jumped off and did a 5.5 mile run. Seemed a good idea, and after a £30 bill at the Chiropractor to put my back straight, I only feel slightly crippled now.

As always we are raising funds for Willow Burn, I appreciate that many of you have already been very supportive, but if you can help in any way it is appreciated. The link to the Just Giving Page is

Will keep you updated over the next couple of weeks.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Lovely Acknowledgment from Willow Burn at their AGM. Even made the front cover of the Annual Report.

It was humbling to be singled out at the AGM, but my achievement is nothing compared to the efforts of the staff at the hospice. May have to think of another challenge in a couple of years!!


Forgot to update last week, but managed to run another Great North Run in 2:14:57, not best time, but an enjoyable day.


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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Time to run..

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Great North Run 2011

Off early to Newcastle for the 31st Great North Run, my 5th. Weather look ideal, cool and a hint of rain.

It has been a while since I have updated the blog, and since the Coniston 17, I have kept up the running doing 2 further half Marathons - The Hadrian Wall Half Marathon and the Northumbria Coastal Run, plus the 10 Jelly Race

Further update at the end

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Final Update

Good Morning all


Just over a week after the 10th Half Marathon was completed, I thought it appropriate to send an update as since crossing the line in Prague, I have received an overwhelming response with an additional £5000 raised in the last week alone, and several other donations promised. The total has now broke the £20,000 barrier, which is a fantastic figure, and a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last 8 months.


To prove that there must be some level insanity in this challenge I decided to do another half marathon again last Saturday, less than a week after the previous one. This would have been fine if I had not chosen a picturesque route around Coniston in the Lake District. Following the floods in 2009 a bridge was damaged, so they decided to increase the distance to just under 17 miles (longer than I have ever ran), it was also very warm and surprisingly for the Lake District a little hilly. I did however get round in a very tiring 3hours 13minutes, and according to the Garmin GPS device I use, I had managed to burn in-excess of 3000 calories on the way. This was followed by a celebration on Saturday night back in a local pub, during which this calorie deficiency was more than replaced.


A big thanks to everyone who has supported me and all of your kind words on the way. I won’t email anymore other than to hopefully confirm the final total received.




P.S. Have already entered another 4 half marathons this year….. Could be hooked.