Monday 27 June 2016

Suzuki Midsumer Sun Half Marathon 23/6/16

Preparation for this race was not good. A busy day prior driving over 300 miles to eventually get to Luton. Staying over night before a 4:30am alarm to fly to Iceland. A look round Reykjavik to while away the hours before the race start at 9:20pm (10:20pm UK). Completely shattered before I even started.


It wasn't a big race with only 3000 runners between 3 events; 5k, 10k and half marathon, there was however over 30 countries represented, including a lot of British runners. At the start I bumped into 5 lads from North East Front Runners who had done Blackhill parkrun the previous week.


The route was excellent, the first and last miles on closed roads, then the rest a giant loop through the countryside on Tarmac tracks. Although there were always houses in sight the path followed streams, went through parks and even crossed a golf course. The only issue was the hills, on one serious one, but there seemed to be a lot more ups than downs. As is becoming the norm, the first half of the race went well, then my lack of fitness and niggles from my calfs started to slow me down significantly. The last few hills were particularly tough, but I got to the end and ticked off half marathon number 43 and Iceland as a country.


Bad planning again, I eventually got back to my hotel after being awake for over 24 hours only to set my alarm for 3 ½ hours later to fly home, via Luton and Friday afternoon drive north.

Probably one of the cheapest entry fees I have come across recently, however Iceland as beautiful as it is, is very expensive. The one beer I had at the end of the races was £6 for bottle!
The Map is slowly turning Green

Next stop Monza in Italy in September

Monday 6 June 2016

Great Brewery Marathon 25km Run – Half Marathon(ish) number 42

There must only be a small number of people in the UK who google beer and half marathons together, well actually there were 34, 2 of which were myself and Victoria.

Ready for the start

The route through the Countryside

There were actually 3 events taking place on the day, a Marathon, a 25km run and a 25km walk. I opted for the run, Victoria the walk. The race centred around 3 breweries just outside Brussels; Duval, Palm and Karmeleit. The race began next to Duval and then meandered through the beautiful countryside of Belgium on a mixture of single track roads and cross country tracks. It also incorporated running through 2 breweries, literally the track went through the beer hall!

Running through the beer hall (and a bit of truck spotting)

For the Walkers there was the opportunity to try various beers on the route, the runners unfortunately were restricted to water and energy drinks. Probably a good thing as it was 25 degrees, probably too hot to run comfortably. Victoria managed to be first female walker home although it wasn't a race or timed.

First lady walker home
I thoroughly enjoyed the route, just hated the heat. To compound it a little further, the route had to be changed slightly due to flooding and the 25km/15 mile route was almost 16 miles by the time I shuffled over the line.
Great route, well organised, nowhere near a PB but free beer for all at the end. If I hadn’t been driving it could have been a messy day. Every entrant got up to 3 free beers to sample at the end, plus 3 bottles to take home. The finisher’s medal even incorporated a bottle opener – a nice touch.

42 runs now completed and less than 3 weeks until the next run in Iceland (hopefully a little cooler than the last 2)