Tag Archives: Miles

Kingston 10k

On Sunday the 27th of November I took part in the Energized Sports Kingston 10k. I signed up a couple of months back due to the fact Lorna, our flatmate Liv and her boyfriend Toby wanted to do a 10k race. Not including the Battersea Park 10k, which I took part in after big mileage during the day, the last 10k I took part in was the Fast Friday track race put on by Orion Harriers in June (back then I clocked 34:50). Leading up to the race in Kingston I made it to Track Tuesday consistently and I could feel the speed work paying off. Unfortunately, two weeks before race day I picked up the lurgy. It wiped me out completely and so I only took part in the work run club when needed and did the bare minimum for a couple of weeks. I found it really frustrating not being able to train properly especially because I knew track was making a big difference. Although I really wanted to go I had to give it a miss the week before the 10k. I couldn’t complain too much because I knew I’d be back on track (literally) pretty quickly.

Race day was getting closer and closer and I wasn’t feeling much better. I rested on the Friday and Saturday to give myself the best chance of being fit but to no real avail. Waking up on Sunday morning I still felt a bit light headed and my stomach wasn’t 100%. I had already made my mind up that I was going to race and just give it my best. It was an early start, Lorna, Liv, Toby and I caught the 7:22 train from Vauxhall to Kingston. Unfortunately Lorna’s injury didn’t improve in time for her to be able to run; therefore she was on dog-sitting duties looking after Hank whilst Michalis ran. Walking to the Hawker Centre it was really quiet along the river, I guess because it was freezing cold! We were all thinking “Why are we doing this!” Arriving at the centre with plenty of time before the start, it was nice to be able to walk up to the organiser sand be able to pick up my race number without having to queue in the cold. Lorna and I kept warm inside the centre and she helped pin on my race number.

As start time neared we met up with Michalis, Lorna looked after Hank and we went for a little jog down the road to warm up. Having not seen Michalis since the Athens Marathon he let me know how it went and we talked about training and future race plans etc. When we made it back to the start area everyone was taking part in the warm up and there were only a few minutes until gun time. With the standard “3,2,1…go!” we were off. 

My legs felt good after the warm up so I decided to set off at around 3:30min/km pace, I knew if I could maintain this pace I would finish in around 36 minutes and that would be ok taking into consideration not feeling 100%. On the start line I recognised a runner; he often comes into The Running Works and runs with the Ravens that we see training around Shadwell Basin when we are on our lunchtime run club. Having spoken to him before I knew he would be aiming for a similar time to me, I decided to catch up and use him as a bit of a pacer.

The first couple of kilometres went by really quickly a) because it’s not very often that I run at 3:30min/km pace and b) because I had a “pacer”. Around 4/5kms problems began to arise, the firm road was replaced with muddy towpath, I wasn’t feeling too great and the runner I was trying to use as a pacer was quicker than me and opening up a bit of a gap. Luckily he was still in sight and I could motivate myself by trying to keep the gap as small as possible. I held a pretty consistent pace but despite my legs feeling good I just couldn’t pick it up. Just after the 6k point I ran passed Lorna and Hank, it was great to see them and it gave me a little boost. 

I started thinking “there’s only 3.6k to go, that’s just 9 laps of a track”. The last couple of kilometres were hard work, I was tiring but managed to keep my pace sub 3:45min/km. I was completely unaware but another runner was creeping up behind me; he had obviously planned a sprint finish to pass me. Luckily I heard him with 200m or so to go and just had enough in the tank to outsprint him. I crossed the line in 36:16 in 9th position, all in all not a bad result. 

Here’s a map of the route and my splits from Strava:


Lorna & Hank met me at the finish, I had some cuddles with Hank and we cheered Michalis, Toby & Liv through the finish line. Michalis ran spot on 45 minutes, really impressive given how close this race was to Athens Marathon. Toby and Liv also ran really well, Liv finished 5th female! Well done guys.

Overall the Kingston 10k was a great race. It’s really well organised and the route is flat and fast. It’s probably not quite a PB course due to the muddy sections, a few sharp corners and the roads not being closed to the public but I’d definitely recommend it as a relatively cheap fun race to do.

I hope everyone that was racing and/or training over the weekend had a good one. I haven’t got any races lined up for the next few weeks but I’m looking forward to taking part in Advent Running. I’ll see a lot of you at the events in London.

Steve 

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The City of London Mile 2016

On Sunday the 19th of June I ran in my third City of London Mile. In 2014 I ran the race after completing the Hackney Half Marathon; it was a really good idea to put on a wave which allowed runners to travel across from East London to take part. It was the first mile race I took part in; I really enjoyed it and although I was fatigued from running the half marathon in the morning in the heat it gave me a benchmark to know how fast I could probably run a mile. I ran 5:42 which I was happy with considering I ran a 1:21 half a few hours before (not far from my PB at the time). In the first year I was still working at the London Marathon Store and had heard about Run-Fast/The Running Works/City of London Mile via social media. In April 2015 I started working in The Running Works, I couldn’t wait for the City of London Mile to come around as I knew it would be a fun day to work, and run in one of the waves.
Last year I ran in wave 2. Having ran the Westminster Mile in 5:03 a couple of weeks before the COLM I knew I would get close to that elusive sub 5. Being in training for Race to the Stones 100k scuppered my plans a bit. I needed to be doing more mileage so had ran 19 miles on the Saturday before the race. Despite the long run I felt pretty good on the day and managed to run 5:02. I was happy with the result but ultimately I wanted a time with a 4 at the start. With a shortage of mile races around I knew it would be a fair while until I could give it another crack. I really enjoyed the event last year, the atmosphere was great again and it was awesome to see so many friends racing and beating their PBs. I found it really good fun to cheer on other runners, from elite athletes to parents and children in the family waves. The mile distance really is great as it is so inclusive. There was a similar atmosphere to parkrun, there’s a great sense of community.
This year in the build up to the City of London Mile, James, David, Nikki and I headed across the city to show our support for the Ealing Mile. It was a good team outing and another opportunity for me to attempt that sub 5 again. You can read about what happened here: 

https://steveskinner3.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/ealing-mile-sdw-hackney-half-marathon/

After going sub 5 at the Ealing Mile I wanted to try and scrape some more time off. Having been to track regularly over the last year and a bit I was quietly confident, however due to lots of running in the Black Forest and Endure 24 etc my legs were feeling a bit knackered. On the Saturday Lorna and I did a long run to Greenwich and back in preparation for the Zagori Marathon in Greece, it was a really nice day for it, it’s always good to do a long run along the river. On Sunday I woke up bright and early to head towards St. Pauls and the race village site. I couldn’t believe our luck with the weather, it was so nice and sunny. The first couple hours of the day went really quickly, helping to set up The Running Works retail space and putting out signs etc. At about 9:30am I had to run down to Monument station to let one of the vans into the race area, this doubled up as a warm up/shakeout ha. I got back to The Running Works tent to put on my racing singlet and split shorts and then jogged down to the start line outside St. Pauls for 10 o’clock.

In the lead up to the race a number of friends had signed up and were aiming for a time similar to mine, sub 5 again. In the store we had a board put in place for people to write down their predicted times, initially I had set mine at 4:57. This kept creeping down as Ken (massage therapist at work) was coming in to the store and putting down one second quicker than me. This resulted in the hashtags: #KenVSteve, #SteveWho, #KenWho etc. Andy Cohen-Wray had also been making predictions and was dishing out the trash talk pre-race on Twitter. In wave 1 was a couple hundred people, including: Ken, Andy, Robbie Smith, Adam Lennox, Fabio Rizzo, Alex Van Oostrum, Billy Rayner, Ed Price, Paul Martelletti and Gemma Hockett. I positioned myself a couple of rows back from the start line and then before we knew it we were off. Knowing that if I ran around 3 min/km pace I would finish sub 5 I glanced at my watch a couple of times in the first few hundred metres to check I was on the target pace. I felt good after the first 800m so started to up it. I was overtaking quite a few runners and as I took the few corners around Bank I could see Ken. I tracked him down and then on the last corner before the straight up Cheapside I passed him. My legs were still feeling good and I managed a decent kick up the home straight despite it being a little in to wind.  


 I ran straight through the finish line not looking at the clock but I knew I had gone sub 5 again. I love the adrenaline rush you get from racing, especially over the shorter distances. I’ve started really enjoying pushing the pace on shorter reps at track. Having not stopped my watch on the finish line I was wondering what time I’d done. 

In the finish area Ken, Andy and I congratulated each other on a great run, Ken beat his estimated time finishing in 4:48 and Andy ran 5:07. He’d raced the day before and has been racing a huge amount recently, or at least that’s his excuse ;).

 

After completing my mile I spent the majority of the day in The Running Works tent selling our COLM tees and taking photos of people with the selfie frames. I feel that the event was even more enjoyable this year than last. One of the massive contributing factors to this was a lot of the lead volunteers were Advent Runners. James and Claudia did a great job in helping organise the start and baggage drop areas. The whole group of volunteers were so enthusiastic and energetic in helping make the day great fun for everyone. Another reason this year was better than last year was the Amba Hotels, Mizuno Running City of London Mile t-shirts. It was great to see so many people wearing and running in their bright yellow tees. The selfie frames were also great fun, since the event so many great pics have been posted on Instagram and Twitter using #RunCityMile and/or #CityMileSelfie. A fair few runners from The Running Works Run Club ran in the mile which was good. A lot of them were doing their first mile race, for some it was their first race full stop. Well done to Spencer Herbert, Kay Ma, Effy Bailey, Jo Osmond, Adam Turnbull, Yann Lancien, Rohan Chaffey and Martin White for running great times.
 A special mention has to go to Tony Lee. Tony started running with us in the couch to 5k group a couple of months ago, since then he has been doing parkrun regularly, he smashed one in 25 minutes a few weeks back. On the Monday before the mile we ran the distance on a route near Shadwell basin, he wanted to see how it would feel and what time he could run. We managed to clock a time of 7:31, this gave him a good gauge as to what he could do on race day. Straight after we’d finished the mile he wasn’t out of breath and he could easily ask me what time we’d done, at that point we knew he could run a mile much quicker than that. On race day Tony flew round the City of London Mile course finishing in 6:59! It’s been amazing to see how much he has improved over a short period of time and to go sub 7 is awesome, well done Tony! 

 I hope everyone that attended the event had a great time. I’m looking forward to next year already! Fingers crossed it doesn’t clash with many other races and more people can make it.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

Trailscape Marathon – Ashurst, South

On Saturday 23rd January I took part in the trailscape South marathon in Ashurst. Having done the previous two marathons in the series I was looking forward to getting back out on the trails. However, I was a little apprehensive because the first 3 weeks of the year I’ve been doing pretty big mileage (for me) as well as going to track and pushing the pace. I definitely approached the marathon as a training run and it was quite good to go into it relaxed not worrying about finishing time or positon.
With the race starting at 8:45 I woke up at 6am to head to James and Claudia’s. I was lucky enough to be asked to run as part of the AR (Advent Running/ar collective) trail team for the trailscape series and they’ve been kind enough to give me lifts to the races. After putting up the marquee and AR banner we had time to catch up with other members of the AR team and familiar trailscape faces from previous races.   

 The AR Trail Team (photo courtesy of Emma Sherwood @emmash32)

Jonny, Freya & me (Photo courtesy of Freya @fhotson)

Jonny & Freya, who run with a couple Nike run clubs and do long runs with me and a group of friends, were signed up to the marathon too which was good. We didn’t talk about goal times or anything but due to the fact we were all treating the race as a training run we ran together. Having done the last two trailscape races I learnt that the event is much more fun if you’ve got people to share the miles with. In the first event I ran a lot of the course with James and in the second race I made friends with an experienced marathoner. We settled into a good pace in the first few kilometres, the only problem was we ended up heading off course. I’m not 100% sure what happened but a small group of us missed a sign somewhere. All I know is James and Andy two fellow ARers were near the front! Haha After the slight detour we found ourselves back on course but behind a lot of other runners that went the right way. When doing tiring muddy trail marathons (that are generally longer than a marathon anyway) the last thing you need is to add distance.

The good thing about going the wrong way is that when moving through the field (pun intended) you get to see lots of other runners and have a quick chat. The miles went by really quickly, I’m not sure what me, Jonny & Freya were talking about half the time but we had lots of laughs.   

 Photo taken by Lucy @ljhoare

One thing we discussed was motivational/inspiring quotes. There was a hill to climb, only was it a hill!? We came up with the motivational saying “The hill is only as big as it is in your mind”. The marathon was a two lap route. This was good because we got to see other runners and high five; I have really enjoyed the trailscape races because all of the participants and organisers are so friendly. One of my favourite parts of the race were the aid stations, I described the event to Jonny and Freya as a long distance picnic. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Soreen, Hula Hoops, Jaffa Cakes and coke. 

 Why would you place a photographer just after an aid station!

We kept a pretty steady pace all the way round, we didn’t stop at the aid stations for long and only really walked the seriously muddy climb near the end of the route. We finished in around 4 hours and 10 minutes, Freya was 2nd female and me and Jonny finished in the top 15 or so.  

 

The medals are definitely worth the effort!

Once I finished I caught up with James, he finished 3rd. He was disappointed but he still achieved a great time especially considering the big mileage he has been doing and the tough conditions. Andy finished first in 3 hours and 20 minutes which is amazing on a course so muddy and undulating. I peeled off my muddy compression socks and got into clean warm clothes and then we cheered in a few runners and watched the presentations. It was great to see a lot of the AR trail team crossing the finish line, some of them were doing their first marathons and Hannah finished her first of twelve this year. After Freya collected her Buff for finishing second we headed back to London, we carried on the picnic in the car with pork pies (recommended by ultra-runner Holly Rush ha) crisps, and brownies/rocky roads. Overall a productive Saturday. My weekly mileage totalled 130k+ and therefore I rested on Sunday. My recovery rate is improving and I’m aiming to do a few more weeks of around 120k including track and do more speed work in February and March. I hope everyone had a great weekend and that your training is going well.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

Follow me on Twitter &/or Instagram: @StephenSkinner6

Also follow: @adventrunning @ar_collective @trailscape

Energized Sports Wimbledon Half Marathon 2015

Having not raced for three weeks I was keen to get back on it. In the middle of the week a couple friends (Freya & Alan) let me know that they were doing the Wimbledon half marathon. After a few days of contemplation I decided to commit to the race and signed up on Saturday. I love living in London and being able to sign up to races at the last minute. Due to not running much over the last three weeks I was starting to feel back to normal after the Bristol + Bath and Trailscape North Marathons six days apart.
Due to the race being in Wimbledon I woke up around 6am to begin my journey across London. Stepping out my front door and into the freezing cold I was starting to regret my decision to race. I got the bus, tube and train and walked to the race start.  

  

 I was there in plenty of time to collect my race number and drop off my bag. Freya was unfortunately feeling under the weather so couldn’t make it but I met up with Alan near the number pick up. We dropped off our bags and did a short run to warm up; it was ridiculously cold especially in the wind. It’s not very often I resort to wearing a bobble hat and gloves but I’m glad I had them on me. I just wish I’d have worn one of my buffs too. Having warmed up slightly we waited around for our start time of 9:15. At 8:45 the 10k race started and just after two guys were chatting and casually walked passed me and Alan:

Runner no.1: “How’re you feeling, ready to race?”

Runner no.2 “Yeh I’m feeling… (looks over to see hundreds of runners sprinting off the start line) Oh Shit!” (Both peg it to the start!)

Lesson: Know what time your race starts. (Alan and I were in hysterics!)

After this slapstick comedy we headed to the start line, we chatted about goal times for the race and both decided we would run together and aim for 1:30 then adjust our pace depending on how we felt. We ticked off the first couple miles around 6:52 pace so on target for 1:30; we then gradually pushed the pace and made the most of a nice downhill section. As we all know when you run down on a looped course you’re going to have to run back up. Luckily the hill wasn’t that long or steep so we could maintain sub 7 min/mile pace. It was a bit bizarre to be in a race running along chatting with a mate but it was good as the miles flew by. Once we’d run up the hill around mile 5 the route was pretty flat. It was good to get the first half of the race done and know where to push and hold back for the second lap. We went through half way in around 43 minutes so knew we would be closer to 1:25 than 1:30 if we kept pushing on.

As we went into the second lap we caught up with a large pack of runners (they were taking a little detour as didn’t know which road one of the marshals was pointing down) it was good to be moving forward throughout the race chasing down runner after runner. When we got to the downhill section the pack closed the gap and applied some pressure but we stepped it up a bit and moved away. As the run went on the weather was picking up and because there wasn’t much wind it was almost ideal running conditions. We broke the race into chunks mentally and were saying “the quicker we’re up the hill the stronger we’ll feel and it’ll be 5k or so to the finish”. We were going through the gears and using our competitiveness to aim to overtake the person in front. Something Nick Anderson said at the Brighton Marathon Expo was that “the marathon doesn’t start until 20 miles, and then you shouldn’t stare at your watch but focus on the runner in front and try to overtake as many people as possible.” This turns the race into a bit of a game and mentally it’s much better to pace it and feel good passing runners rather than being overtaken. Having done a fair few races now I much prefer to race this way, when I did my first few events I would go out fast and then try and hold onto the pace and suffer in the last few miles. Every now and then I still take this approach for instance over 5k and 10k particularly you have to suffer to get those personal bests. Had I been aiming for a time and personal best for this half marathon I would’ve pushed it more and wouldn’t have been at conversational pace for the majority of the race. Yesterday the Wimbledon Half was more about enjoying it and getting in a long run at pace so I can still do big mileage this week and get ready for the Trailscape Marathon on the 5th of December.

As the race continued Alan and I upped the pace we managed to do the last four miles in: 6:49 (up the hill), 6:25, 6:16 & 6:16.  

 We crossed the line in 1:25:26 (on the chip) in 33rd and 34th. Considering we were talking about doing 1:30 we smashed it. Had the route of been a little less hilly I’m sure Alan would’ve got a new PB, I think it stands at around 1:25. I’m sure he will get his half time more in line with his 2:58 marathon soon with the track work he’s doing and the long runs we’re planning. Next year it’ll be good to see what he can do, we’re doing a lot of the same races like Essex 20, Cardiff Half, Paris Marathon, London Marathon, Edinburgh Marathon and maybe Race to the King.

The race was well organised, I arrived early so picked up my number and dropped off my bag with now waiting or issues. The bag drop was well managed so collection was smooth. The goodie bag was decent, ironically we p.. p.. p.. p.. picked up a couple Penguin bars in the cold. We also got water, bananas and a Capri-sun so can’t complain with that. The medal wasn’t really anything to shout about unfortunately but for a relatively cheap half you can’t expect the biggest and best bling.

Well done to everyone that raced or trained in the cold over the weekend. Well done to Lorna and Sasha in particular doing the Norwich Half Marathon. They finished in 2:14 in what was Sasha’s first half marathon. Apparently listening to terrible music like Taylor Swift and Bieber makes you run faster ha I suppose the quicker you run the sooner the music stops.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

X

Spitfire Scrambled Legs

I wasn’t planning on doing the Spitfire Scramble this year but a friend of mine, Helena, signed up forgetting she was busy. Luckily I’m always keen to race and therefore jumped at the chance to join the UKRunChat Team Blue! I ran in the Advent Running team for the Adidas Thunder Run 24 hour team relay so kind of knew what to expect to a certain degree. However this time I was in a team of 8, most of them being strangers apart from knowing some of their Twitter handles.


I packed up basically the same kit I took to TR24 (including tent, Thanks Dave!) and headed for Hornchurch Country Park on Friday evening. I didn’t time it well; I turned up at the campsite/race village around 7ish just as it started to tip it down. The first people I saw were Natasha, Helen, Emma, Laurence (Team Red boo!) and Paul. We had a good chat about our running and how we thought the weekend would go. Once the rain had eased we headed to the UKRunChat area to set up our tents, at this point pretty much everyone had arrived. We all helped each other to get the gazebo (luckily it actually was a gazebo, those of you that read my TR24 post will understand) and tents up, complete with UKRunChat #TeamBlue sign and bunting which me and Ben (@RunnARGHHH) put up with precision. Just a tip for any of you camping and doing a 24 hour team relay in the future, don’t trip up your own team mate with your tents guide ropes! Sarah (@SezSaysStuff) had a stylish fall that Ben (cause of the trip) rated 8.8, it was impressive. We decided to head to Tesco (other supermarkets are available) to get some energy boosting treats before ordering and collecting Domino’s (other pizza manufacturers are available) pizza. We enjoyed the food and had a good chat about running and various other things, some things you don’t want to know about (mainly runners/Jeffs @UKRunCat crusty & moist feet). I would attach a picture but I don’t want to lose readers!


We decided to hit the hay relatively early given the fact we would only sleep for a couple of hours between 12pm Saturday and 12pm Sunday. On Saturday morning we all chilled out and got food and before you knew it, it was 12pm and Natasha (@NElsdon) was off on the first #TeamBlue lap alongside Laurence for #TeamRed. Having discussed the running order (literally) the previous night Jeff our leader decided on: Natasha, Steve (that’s me), Helen, Paul, Ben, Emma, Sarah, Jeff 

Running order (literally) 

Natasha sped round the first lap; it was 12:49 and time for my first lap. I was glad to get going, its weird waiting around for half a day before a race. It was good to get round a lap and learn the ups and downs of the course. Feeling pretty fresh I managed a time of 34:53 even though it was pretty hot. I was happy with the time considering my 10k PB is 35:31 albeit the Spitfire Scramble route was 5.8 miles. A massive motivation to run faster was the fact the sooner you get your lap done the quicker you get to eat and rest up. Also knowing I would only have to do 4 or 5 laps as opposed to the 6 at TR24 I knew I could push the pace and the route had already been described to me as relatively flat.  

 Setting off on my first lap

The route was a nice cross country route. The first mile was flat so I could get up to speed; the second mile there was a hill to zig-zag up so my pace dropped between miles 2 and 4. The last 1.8 miles were pretty flat and there was a nice section through the trees with a mile to go. The last few hundred metres you got to run around the outside of the campsite which is cool as you get lots of support from various runners and then I was onto the home straight to spot my teammate (Helen @Helen_Ridgway) to hand over the snap band for her to speed off into the distance. I learnt from TR24 that it’s good to keep moving after each lap to loosen up. Between laps one and two Emma’s (@emmah1506) family were on site with a football so we had a kickabout. This was a good way to keep moving and it was fun to mess about with a football for a change. I also prioritised getting in food as soon as possible after each lap, making sure to choose a “meal” high in protein. The catering was good, I opted for a bacon, sausage & egg sarnie for breakfast, pasta and chicken for dinner, tuna jacket potato after my second lap. I felt really well fuelled throughout the whole 24 hours.

I completed my second lap by 8 o’clock. Having warmed up I managed to get round the course in 34:46 knocking a whole 7 seconds off my first lap. I knew I would feel good on the second lap as the same thing happened at TR24, and recently I have done some double and triple run days and always felt better on the last run. I got food, loosened up by walking around a bit and then relaxed in my tent and got an hour or so sleep. This sleep was broken up a bit due to other runners out on the course shouting for their teammates to get ready to be tagged in. It was a bit over the top in some cases as I could hear a runner that had just entered the camp site and shouted at the top of his lungs “Graham!!!!!” I think all the Grahams in Hornchurch would have pricked their ears up. The time between laps went really quickly because by the time you’ve eaten, caught up with team mates and other teams you’re back out tackling the course. My third lap was at 01:40 and for me the laps in darkness are what the 24 hour events are all about. It makes you feel somewhat hardcore to be shuffling out of your sleeping bag in the early hours of Sunday with your head torch on to get your miles in. My legs were starting to feel heavier but I wanted to get as close to my two previous times. I clocked 36:36, which I thought was pretty good pacing but there were certain sections of the route I had to take steady, for example over small stiles. It also took me a mile or so to loosen up, that much so that when Natasha was handing over to me I took a little longer putting the snap band on as if to say “Do I really have to do this, can’t someone else do this lap!”

After my third lap I wrapped up warm including hat, gloves and compression socks. By this point I was also wearing 2xu calf sleeves on my laps which I find good to aid recovery and stop my muscles from oscillating when on the uneven trails. I got another hour or so of sleep and before I knew it it was 7:15am and time for what I thought was my fourth and final lap. My legs were still feeling really heavy but I managed to beat my lap 3 time. This lap was really nice as it was still cool and the sun was beaming. I pushed the pace and gave it everything presuming I didn’t have another lap to do. 

 

4 laps done, thought that was it!


I handed over to Helen again and she went out and smashed her 4th lap, some seriously good pacing was carried out by Team Blue. Consistency is key in the game of 24 hour relays and because we were all clocking consistent laps we were around 7th/8th in the table out of 42 teams. This featured some really strong teams, lots of them consisting of serious club runners. Natasha, Helen, Paul, Ben, Emma and Jeff all clocked great times on their fourth laps. Emma did her lap in a speedy 48 minutes leaving Jeff with a window of an hour to get round to get me out on the course again. He smashed it getting in around 11:55ish so I headed out again. It was great to know this was definitely the last lap so I pushed the pace again to try and finish in style. I managed my 3rd fastest lap time, 36:15. It was a great lap to do because the organisers had sorted for a spitfire to fly over at 12, I only caught a glimpse of it over the hedges but still got goose-bumps, it was cool. I enjoyed the lap for the last time; I sped down through the trees at around 5 miles appreciating how much fun the whole weekend had been. We all ran into the finish line together mimicking a spitfire. That was the only way to finish the event. 

  

  

Jeff, Natasha, Helen, Sarah, Emma, Paul, Ben and me aka the awesome Team Blue!


To the teams surprise we finished in 6th place completing 31 laps. It was a great performance by the whole team. It was such an awesome weekend with part of the UKRunChat family and hopefully there will be many more in the not too distant future. Well done to Team red also who finished in a great 17th place. Also happy birthday Jenni (@_jen_mo) what a way to spend your birthday.


I hope those of you that were at the Spitfire Scramble enjoyed it and those of you training or racing elsewhere had a great weekend.


Steve


P.s. The photos are courtesy of Jenni and Jeff mostly! However here’s one of mine: 

 

500 FOLLOWERS, 50 MILES!

I recently passed the 500 follower mark on Twitter and therefore asked myself the question “Why are all these people following me?” I almost feel guilty that I haven’t done anything special to deserve this many followers and so thought “What can I do to mark this occasion and show why I should be followed?” The first thing that came to mind was obviously running, the second thing was for every follower I could run a 10th of a mile and therefore do 50 miles in a few days. I would like to thank @UKrunchat for helping me reach this many followers and all of you that have followed, retweeted and interacted with me recently about our running.

Last week I didn’t run a huge amount due to other commitments and therefore wanted to get a fair few miles in on Saturday morning before work. This turned out to be at 3 o’clock because I just so happened to wake up then and felt ready to run (probably due to the two rest days prior). So because I decided to do 50 miles within the space of three days I set off on a bit of an adventure, I started on my normal route, so in to Tower Bridge and then thought why not head along the Thames Path for a while. This was amazing at 3 in the morning because I was there running along one of if not the biggest tourist spots in the UK all on my own in the “running zone”. I ran along the Thames Path for a fair while and ended up at Chelsea Bridge, I then ran back to London & Tower Bridge on the other side of the River past Westminster which was awesome. I felt good on this run and did the 23 miles in what I think is a reasonably good time, see pic below.

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Obviously not quite sub 3 pace but I was happy with this considering I only got about 5 hours sleep and this was one of only 3 or 4 runs i’ve been over 20 miles. I think this is a good base to work from in the next few weeks and after Reading Half on Sunday I will look to up the speed for the marathon distance.

To do the 50 mile challenge I set myself I split the miles up into three runs, I also decided that Sunday should be a rest day for injury prevention and recovery/rest reasons! ha The next part of the challenge I completed this morning. I did a similar route to Saturday but instead this time I did a couple laps of Battersea Park. This then also meant when I finished my run at 20 miles I was amongst some great places for food near the London Eye. I really enjoyed this mornings run, it was perfect weather, not too hot or too cold. The route is also a wicked route and to take in Tower Bridge, London Bridge, The London Eye, Westminster, Battersea Power station, Battersea Park all in one run is awesome. Running is definitely one of if not the best way to explore London and i’m aiming to get to Richmond Park, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath etc in the very near future.

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The third and final part of this mini challenge was to do the remaining 7 miles. I did this by running 3 or so miles in to Boxpark and then running with a group for the remaining 4 and a bit miles. This was a good run and has done the job in keeping my legs moving so that I wont seize up and my legs hopefully wont feel horrendous tomorrow. It’s always a great laugh running with these guys even if it did start raining, but then again as some of you that read my latest Ukrunchat blog http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/whats-your-excuse-2/ will know, that’s part of the challenge!

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I am pleased that I achieved this 50 mile challenge and would like to thank all my Twitter followers for inspiring me to do it!

I am now tapering for Reading Half and look forward to seeing some of you there hopefully. Good luck to all of you that are doing Halfs or various races in the next few weeks!

Happy running

Steve

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