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…

Nigel

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 http://www.justgiving.com/OffRoadTruckers


Will keep you updated over the next couple of weeks.


Nigel

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.

 

Nigel

 

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

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mission Complete, 12 months since the mad idea was born, less than 8 months since the first race, Number 10, the Prague Half Marathon, was completed this afternoon

24 flights, over 15000 miles travelled and for all of the doubters out there, I did it (even though I often doubted myself).

 

The last race was in Prague, a city I hadn’t visited before, but will definitely come back, contrary to rumours, it isn’t all stag doo’s and pick pockets, it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities I have ever been to. If you haven’t been, it is certainly worth a look. The conditions were again very warm at around 20 degrees, not the ideal running conditions for an over-weight northerner. Lovely route through the Prague streets and across numerous bridges, few issues with cobbled streets, but today was all about getting to the finish. I saw more casualties today, than in any other race, the unseasonal heat caught many out, and a lot of collapsed runners on the route. Got round in a slow 2hr 16 minutes, but the main thing was I got round.

 

So far the challenge has raised over £14,500 for Willow Burn, which is absolutely fantastic, hopefully those who promised to sponsor me at the end will push that figure up. (I know you all thought it was a safe bet and I wouldn’t make it, but sorry it’s time to get your hands in your pockets, 10 half marathons have been done, and I am still alive at the end of it).

 

No more time for writing there is a large glass of Staropramen with my name on it waiting in the bar, which will hopefully be followed by many more

 

Thanks for all the support

 

Nigel

 

Prague Half Marathon at the Start

After 8 months, numerous flights and 9 half marathons, in Prague on a lovely sunny day, ready for the final 13.1miles.

Thanks to everyone for the support so far. Update in a few hours.....

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lisbon - No. 9 complete and the toughest race yet, hot crowded, badly organised and ill.

Just finished the 21st Lisbon Half Marathon and found it the hardest yet, but it is done and only one left now in the challenge.

First problem was health, I have been ill for a week or so, and only to go ahead to fly on Tuesday (didn't mention to the doctor that I was running!). A diet of antibiotics, ibruphrofen and paracetamol isn't the best running preparation, but hopefully all will be sorted for Prague.

The Portuguese organisation left a lot to be desired. The Half Marathon coincided with a 7k walk, which was to start 15 minutes after the race, most entrants decided to join the run start. This resulted in 2 miles of runners, push chairs and ramblers all mixed, which isn't good. The result was first mile in around 12 minutes, instead of the usual sub 9 minutes. The problem repeated itself at 7 miles when the 2 events converged again. Even though the 2 groups were supposed to be segregated, the walkers all like the runners side of the road.

The final and biggest issue was the weather, as I passed the 19km marker there was a sign showing the temperature as 85 degrees or around 29c. On top of this no shade and no wind. The heat completely saps your energy

Finally hobbled over the line after 2 hours and 23 minutes, more tired than I have been from any other run.

Good luck to John and Neil who are off to the Sahara desert in 2 weeks, I hope it isn't too hot!!

Less than 2 weeks now to last race, hopefully Prague will be a little cooler.

Thanks for the support, we have now raised over £14,000 which is amazing

Time for a well earned beer

Nigel

Made it to the start, 5 minutes to spare. Its bloody hot and forgot both hat and suntan cream!

Lisbon half marathon chaos. Queue to get to the start.

Looking like a long day in Lisbon. Start in 30 minutes, hotel 2 miles from start, have been travelling to get here for 1 hour 45 minutes already and still can't see start. To make it worse it is 24 degrees and blazing sunshine (sorry England)

30000 Portugal residents all trying to get to the start, plus at least one mad Englishman. Makes the Great North Run look quiet.

Next report when I get to the finish (assuming I get to the start!)

Nigel

Sunday, 30 January 2011

22nd Marrakech Half Marathon Complete 8 down only 2 to go.

Just finished the Marrakech Half. I would highly recommend a visit to Marrakech, if you haven't already been, the old part of the city is amazing, you half expect Indiana Jones to drive through in a German army truck.

The race wasn't unfortunately very inspiring. The route was a string of one or two mile straight roads, with no discernible views followed by the odd corner then another 2 mile bland road. Only at around 10 miles did we see some sort of civilisation, by which time it was too late, I had lost the will to live.

In addition it rained early this morning, so the humidity meant I was soaked through after only a mile. Add to this the locals who insist on walking/running 6 a breast on the narrow parts of the course and the total chaos at the end of the race, with people fighting to get medals and you will get the general idea that it was not the best race.

Finished in an uninspired 2hrs 10 minutes.

Lesson of the day is definitely visit Marrakech, but don't run the Half Marathon.

Rest through February then penultimate race in Lisbon in March.

22nd Marrakech International Half Marathon

Cold and Wet, surely this can't be Africa. Race number 8 in 30 minutes

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Most Northern Half Marathon on the Plant completed in the middle of winter - 7 down only 3 to go

Just finished the Polar Nights Half Marathon in the city of Tromso, which is at Latitude 70 degrees North, making this the most Northern Half Marathon in the world. That is the same latitude as Siberia and Alaska.

 

It was certainly challenging with a temperature of -7 degrees, darkness and a track that was a mixture of ice, compacted snow and the odd snow drift for good measure. The race was ran on footpaths, which were only partly lit by street light, the remaining sections were lit by candles (what looked like IKEA Citronella candles actually). Saw my first ever multi runner pile up on an icy bend near the start, but all seemed to be uninjured. The route was also quite hilly, especially the first 3 miles and last 3 miles.

 

The route took you from Tromso City centre out to the airport, were a large cone in the middle of the path had the sign “halfway point turn around here”. Managed to stay on my feet, avoid frost bite and finished with a respectable 2:07:30.

 

Still haven’t seen the Northern Lights yet which is disappointing, but hopefully tonight.

 

Next race will be a little warmer in Morocco.

 

Thanks again for all the support and keep the sponsorship coming in,

 

Nigel

 

Cold and Dark, but all set to go....