Tag Archives: night of the 10

Night of the 10,000m PBs 2017

On Saturday the 20th of May I headed up to Parliament Hill Athletics track to take part in Night of the 10,000m PBs. In 2015 and 2016 The Running Works retailed at the event so over the last couple of years I have seen how the event has developed and grown. The atmosphere was electric, I wanted to take part and experience the race from lane 1. Last year I ran 34:50 in the Orion Harriers Fast Friday 10,000m at Walthamstow Track allowing me to register for the Highgate 10k. I was initially put on the waitlist as the standard had risen but in the week or so leading up to the races I found out there was space for me. On seeing the start lists I realized I was the slowest, by quite a margin, in the E race. I knew this meant I would be left behind and lapped but I was still really excited to take part, spend the rest of the day cheering on friends in other races and watch the World Championship qualifiers.

I arrived at the track in plenty of time to register, pick up a race day programme from Left Spike Fanzine and sort my race kit. 


Having tested the Science in Sport Go Caffeine shots on Thursday morning before a track session with Hannah Walker I opted to take one at 2:45pm (30 minutes before the start of the race as recommended). It definitely perked me up; I was feeling ready to race and hoped that my legs would loosen up after a few laps. On the start line I had a quick catch up with my friend Dom, chatted to some of the other racers about goal times and then we were led to the start line. Knowing the majority of the guys in the race were aiming for 31-32 minutes I positioned myself at the back as I didn’t want to get caught up, go out too fast and blow up as there is nowhere to hide on track. I stuck to my plan of starting at around PB pace (3:30min/km). The first few laps passed and I was on pace, however it was feeling tough as my legs were heavy and I was already a good few hundred metres behind the rest of the group. I was immediately thinking “Ah man, I probably shouldn’t have pushed it at track on Tuesday or done so many kilometre reps on Thursday morning.” On the other hand I was thinking “Ease up a little and get it done, it’s good training to try and push the pace on tired legs and it’s been a good week mileage wise in training for OCC.”

Photo courtesy of @jamesbrewster 

My race “Afternoon of the 10,000m sufferfest” had begun, luckily though I was ticking off the laps quickly (mentally) thanks to friends and supporters shouting “Go on Skinner!!” every hundred metres or so. It was frustrating not to have any speed in the legs as I was breathing so easily, if someone was running alongside (unfortunately not the case) I could’ve had a nice good chat with them. I was lapped a few times which was demoralising but at the end of the day I couldn’t be too disheartened as I had put myself in that position, the pain was self-inflicted. Every kilometre was becoming slower and slower, I had gone from 3:28min/km to 3:49min/km throughout the race, there were so many times when I thought “I could walk off the side of the track and not many people would notice” but on the other hand I was thinking I would be letting Ben Pochee and the people supporting me down. I finally crossed the line in 36:21, a minute and a half slower than my PB. It was a humbling experience and I learnt if I want to race or do a decent time I definitely need to taper.

Photo courtesy of Steve O’Sullivan Sports Photography 

After finishing the race I walked past two guys lying on the floor exhausted. I felt guilty that maybe I hadn’t put in as much effort as them but once a PB was out of my reach self-preservation was my main priority. I did a quick cool down with Dom, he too struggled on the day but we both know why and what we need to do. I then met up with the Advent Running crew trackside; the first thing I said to them was “don’t ever do 10,000m on track”. The second thing I said was “there’s a 5,000m/10,000m event at Walthamstow Track in a couple of weeks” ha. I grabbed some pizza and we got a good position to watch the rest of the races unfold. In the men’s C race Ben Johnson (Run-Fast) had a great run beating his PB by 15 seconds or so. He’s in great form at the moment having finished the London Marathon in 2:21 earning an England vest in the Toronto Marathon later this year. It’s great to run at track on Tuesdays with the likes of him and Pete Huck (sub 30 minute 10k runner) and see what it takes to get to that level.

I felt relieved to have finished my race; I could relax and enjoy watching the rest of the races with Lorna and friends.

 I was looking forward to seeing who would win out of Dewie Griffiths, Andy Vernon and Ben Connor and the women’s start list was stellar. Andy Vernon opened up a large gap with 10 or so laps to go, the pace wasn’t quick enough to go sub 27:45 (World Champs qualifying time) as it was a little windy, but Andy finished first in 28:16.

 In the women’s race the favourites were Steph Twell, Jo Pavey, Beth Potter, Katrina Wootton and last year’s winner Jessica Martin.

 In the end Beth Potter ran away from Steph Well to win in 32:04. Steph finished just one second outside of the 32:15 qualifying time for the World Champs in August and Katrina Wootton took third after a good battle with Jo Pavey.

 The atmosphere was awesome for the A races, it makes me want to get quicker so I can one day take part in one of the later races.

For a more in depth recap of the day read this great article by sixth counter: http://www.sixthcounter.com/from-highgate-to-stratford

Overall it was an awesome day of running to take part in and observe, I can’t wait for next year already. Thanks to everyone that cheered me on in my race.

I am racing in the Westminster Mile on Sunday so if you’re going to be there give me a shout.

See a lot of you soon



Richmond Park Marathon 2015

A few weeks back I learnt about the Richmond Park Marathon through Martin who runs with us at The Running Works run club. He’s run it on numerous occasions and said he enjoyed it despite the pretty hilly course. I looked in my race calendar and there was a gap, that soon dissappeared. 

Being only my third marathon I should have been nervous but due to how busy I have been recently with races and running events I didn’t have time to think about it. Another reason I wasn’t nervous was because I was thinking of it as a long training run for Race to the Stones. I wasn’t aiming for a specific time I just wanted time on feet and a run around Richmond Park. Leading up to the run I planned to run at 8min/mile pace and go sub 3:30. That soon changed just after the start line.

In recent weeks, in my opinion, I have paced myself reasonably well over various distances. I was happy with doing 23 miles for Wings for Life, 1:20:30 for Hackney Half Marathon and getting decent times for the assembly league victoria park run and Mile End parkrun. I believe running on track has helped me think more carefully about pacing, understanding what I’m capable of and what pace is pushing it. Richmond Park Marathon went a bit differently. Instead of running at 8min/mile pace I set off closer to 7min/mile pace, which felt comfortable enough through the first half, but I knew it would come back to haunt me in the last few miles. I probably should’ve researched the course more and accounted for the hills.   Another reason I kept running at this pace was because within the first few miles Stuart began running alongside and we had a good chat about marathons etc. He was doing his 35th marathon and was thinking that he’d started the race a little too quickly, join the club. The course was great and some small out and backs gave us the opportunity to cheer on fellow runners. Me and Stuart got a friendly shout and smile from the winner of the women’s race, Run Dem Crew runner, Sorrell. She smashed it. I also saw Martin out on the course, he completed his aim of going sub 4, well done mate.

I really enjoyed the marathon as the route was really scenic and when you’re in Richmond Park you have to become a professional deer spotter. Around mile 17 our pace slowed but this was always going to be the case in hot (sunburning) conditions. The last couple of miles in particular were really hardwork but I think I needed a run like that to test me mentally. I just kept thinking to myself “it’s going to be a whole lot harder after 60 miles of Race to the Stones so get used to this.” 

 As you can see the hills and heat took their toll. I’d also like to add to that excuse, fatigue off the back of a half marathon and no proper taper or carb-loading. I’m not sure why I’m making excuses for going sub 3:30 in a tough marathon but there we go. I finished in 3:25:48 finishing 27th. Stuart had a rest around the 23 mile point and then came tearing past me in the last few miles, he nailed it and I’m sure he’ll get his GFA time for London soon enough.

As some of you have probably seen on Twitter and Instagram I’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing people recently. On Sunday before the start I just had time for a cheeky selfie with David Weir CBE. He’s won 6 gold medals and the same number of London Marathons, amazing! 

 Overall the Richmond Park Marathon was a great race, loads of water stations including bananas etc, awesome scenic route and good crowds. I will definitely be back in Richmond Park soon for a long run and/or some hill training. 

I almost forgot it’s all about the bling

It was hardwork but as the t-shirt says I do love the Richmond Park Marathon.

It was great to see some of you at The Night of the 10,000 PBs on Saturday. I hope you all had a good weekend whether you were racing, running or not. Hopefully see some of you at the Westminster Mile and/or Bupa London 10,000.



Night of the 10,000 PBs

  Serpentine striding around Parliament Hill Fields Athletics Track

 Jessica Coulson flying, just ahead of Aly Dixon and Rhona Auckland, at the front of the Women’s A Race  The Running Works (run-fast retail) pop up shop  The crowd roaring on the athletes every step of the way 

Team Run-Fast pacing the Men’s A Race Team Run-Fast look on as Tom Payn paces in the Men’s B race

These photos were taken by @evilphoto79 (on Instagram). I think they capture the Night of the 10,000 PBs really well. It was a great event and I left truly inspired from watching the efforts of the athletes and the amazing support from the crowds. 




Run Hackney Half Marathon 2015

Since the Wings for Life UK run on Sunday the 3rd of May I’ve been pretty busy running and racing. I went to #TrackTuesday, ran the Assembly League Victoria Park 3.5 miler, did Mile End parkrun and enjoyed the Run Hackney Half Marathon.

Surprisingly after doing 23 miles for the Wings for Life run I felt pretty fresh and therefore in the last week I managed to do over 50 miles including the three “races” I mentioned before. #TrackTuesday was great as always, I’m looking forward to tonight’s session. It would be good to see more new faces soon. We run at Mile End track from 7.30pm (it costs £3.25 for track access) message me if you’re interested and want anymore details or head over to the Run Fast blog. 

My first race of the week was on Thursday. It was the Assembly League Victoria Park 3.5 mile run. It just so happened to fall on the day we have run club from The Running Works store. I was day off but decided to run in to do the 4 mile route around Shadwell Basin with the group. I decided to do this because I have found that I often run stronger after I’ve ran earlier in the day. The race was at 7.30pm so I had a good couple hours to rest/chill. I didn’t really know what to expect for the Assembly League run. Over 300 people ran coming from all the different London run clubs. I ran for Victoria Park Harriers as I have ran with them a few times in the last couple weeks and am joining them aswell as team Run-Fast.   One of my colleagues, James, was running the race aswell. Off the start line he managed to weave his way through the group and set off at a good pace. I decided it would be good if I could keep him in my sights and try and close up the gap as the race progressed. Having people to follow and keep pushing myself is a great motivation for me and I enjoy this aspect of running on track. The plan is to close the gap, not necessarily throughout the session but week after week, to the front runners. My race strategy, if you can call it that, worked well and I finished two seconds behind James. I finished in 19:20 in 34th place and considering the amount of running I’d done prior to the race I was more than happy with that. You can see the finish here (James in yellow and me in Green from 1:40 in). http://youtu.be/v8uy4Jy8YAY

I decided Friday should be a rest day. Then on Saturday after much deliberation I decided to run Mile End parkrun as a loosener ahead of Run Hackney Half. The run soon changed from a loosener to a race (again I know it’s parkrun not parkRACE!) I guess I’m just too competitive with myself to not push it at parkruns. I enjoy the Mile End course as it has a few little ups and downs and I try to keep a constant speed going up them. I managed to equal my Mile End PB with a time of 17:49 finishing 2nd. 

Now to the main event, the Hackney Half Marathon. I didn’t really know what to do pace wise considering the amount of running and racing I had done the week leading up to it but I just thought I’d go with the flow. I ran with Alan (a friend and pacer from Niketown) for the first half of the race. We set off at a steady pace in the first couple of miles then started picking it up. In the first few miles we saw Georgia (another Nike friend) and as strange as it is to chat during a race we had a quick catch up (pun intended!) talking about the London Marathon which she smashed in 3:17 after getting the place two days before, mental! 

Me and Alan went through 10k in 39:07. Just after this Alan got a bit of a stitch and had to ease up but as I was feeling comfortable I went on maintaining a decent pace. I knew I was pushing it a bit because my calf had twinged half a mile into the run. Luckily my legs cooperated with me for the rest of the run. After mile 6, when I was on my own, I just kept thinking about people around the course and the cheers I would get especially at mile 10 where Run/Cheer Dem Crew were situated. It was great to see so many friends on the run and I really appreciate the support.   Also big thanks for the photo and shouts from the Advent Running guys.

I managed to hold on to a decent pace despite the heat and finished in 54th place in a time of 1:20:30. That finish time is quite rewarding, I obviously would have liked to go sub 80 mins again but a better taper would be required for that I think.  I feel incredibly lucky that I can do what I’m doing and I have been enjoying every race. I am so relieved that I got through the half unscathed and I can now look forward to Richmond Park Marathon on Sunday. I’m going to take it steady between now and then as doing a half the week before is probably pushing it enough. I’m going to the Christopher McDougall “Natural Born Heroes” book launch on Thursday which should be good. I will then be working at the Night of 10,000 PBs as we (The Running Works) will be retailing at the event. It should be a great day, I’m looking forward to cheering everyone on and picking up issue #5 of Like the Wind magazine.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you at #TrackTuesday, The Running Works Thursday Run club and at the events mentioned above. I hope you all had a great weekend.