I feel obliged to write this but I know so is everyone else so will try and keep this as brief as possible and try (!) to add some humour!
Firstly the serious bit, I’ve run more this year than I ever have in the past and by and large loved it. I started the year with a target of a marathon PB and to do an ultra (alone) and to finish it smiling! The training plan was basically to enter loads of races and try to go out of a run as much as possible! Yep, that scientific!!!
Mission accomplished! Ran London 30 odd minutes quicker than ever before and soooo nearly under 5 hours! And did the Race to the Kings alone and loved nearly every minute of it and indeed finished with a smile!
– raised £5k for charity for KIDS. I know this shouldn’t be an “in addition” but at the start of the year it wasn’t even on the cards so was an amazing thing that snowballed from a drunk conversation (the best things are)
– was there to see Hannah finish her first marathon and prove to herself she could do it and not just struggle round but do it exactly as she wanted.
– At the Eastleigh 10k for the first time ever felt strong and ran it on my own terms, didn’t have to Stefan shuffle round, ran through some people, had some nice chats and got a 10k pb.
– Became part of the amazing running club that is Hedge End Running Club. I can’t explain how much support they give you whenever you need it.
My training was very sporadic. I ran 899 km across the year but had some months where I ran as little as 38k and 3 months over 100 and as high as 171. This was due to the normal work/illness/life getting in the way but needs to be sorted.
I did no other training (Pilates, core etc) and I’ve paid for this with back pain and general pain issues.
It has taken over my life and whilst I think that’s OK I’m not sure how feasible that is long term.
I ran 27 races. That’s a lot of pounds… Some could easily have been done as runs around west end
Finally….the bling is losing it’s lustre… I’m turning into one of those people that isn’t too fussed about the medal.
Most enjoyable race – London marathon. Just amazing. Arrived in shape, fit and knowing I would enjoy it. The support was amazing
Worst race – Richmond half – poor poor organisation, rubbish race for me personally, put me off half marathons for life
Best race weekend – Cognac marathon – read my blog, never ate, drunk and run so much! A swag bag that includes a bottle of cognac is always a winner. Endure 24 was a close second
Best medal – the cakeathon – some medal!!!
Best item in a goody bag – Coganc is covered above, but the St PAtricks Day race where we got a great medal a can of Guinness and a bag of potatoes!!!
Best Trail race – Close run between the Coastal Trail Series, Maverick Race and Winter Cross 50k
Favourite moments –
A) Finishing the MK marathon with Gem and Hannah, what a moment
B) Seeing my long suffering wife and Sophie at the side of the road in the middle of the South Downs Way in the middle of the night and they gave me a cold cheeseburger! The best food ever at that point!
C) Seeing seals basking on the Tri Race in Pompey and the trails within 30 minutes of home. I forget what’s on my doorstep
D) Gemma having a discussion with me about which checkpoint I was at and being convinced she was right and I was wrong. Read the blog, it still makes me laugh!!!!
E) So many more but I won’t bore you with them
Saddest moment – going to the London expo with Simon who was more excited than a fat kid in a sweet shop with an all you can eat card!!! He was carrying an injury but thought it would be OK. To get a text the night before the marathon saying he couldn’t do it and had been pulled was heartbreaking. To see him on the morning of the marathon, by accident, in Greenwich park was a great moment for me. If less him and he really needed the loo…. That took guts to come and watch a race he’d trained for all year and hard to pull out of. Absolute legend!!!
Appreciation award – goes to race directors like Rob Piggot and Phil Hoy. They make these events and truly want the runners to enjoy themselves and leave with a sense of pride and satisfaction! When you get a less good one, you soon realise!!!
Best running club – Hedge End Running Club – great club with a good mixture of proper runners, nutters, slightly odd people, great great support and Martyn who runs the best night of the week with the Monday Maidens!
Finally, the award for best wife goes to Gemma! She has supported me throughout all my adventures, dragged my butt round some, encouraged/kicked and generally motivated me to keep going!
And to anyone who has ready one of my blogs, thank you!
2017 – no idea what my plans are yet but when I work them out I’ll post them up here!