Leave a comment

Vitality London 10k – Members’ highlights

Kerstin Johnson – Finished in 1:00:03

Having been lucky two years in a row in the club ballot for free entry into this event, I ended up entering it the normal way this year as Matt was the lucky winner of a free place. I have had plans to get back under 60 minutes for a 10k this year and as I knew the course is very flat I reckoned I was in with a chance. In the week leading up to the Bank Holiday I kept checking the weather forecast and kept hoping it would be wrong as it was promising temperatures in the mid 20s. Running in heat does not suit me at all, I overheat and my legs fill with lead.

Bank holiday morning came around and both Matt and myself slept badly because of the warm night. Bleary-eyed (or maybe that was only me) we met up with the other SJ’s travelling from Farnborough station and piled onto the train, A quick wander over to the Mall with the usual loo queues and bag drops. The organisation is very slick and before I knew it we were in the start pens ready to go. I had dithered if to try to use the virtual pacer on my Garmin to try to get under 60 minutes and only made the decision to use it as we shuffled closer to the start line. The count down started and I realised that I had forgotten to change the setting on my tri watch from cycling to running and this gives me completely different stats on the screen. Oops… well, no time to change it now, I pressed the start button as I crossed the line and tried to settle into my own pace to try to sustain a comfortable hard effort. The first few kms ticked by, the course is out and back so I kept an eye out for other club runners running in the other direction to see if I could spot any familiar faces. I did see glimpses and shout outs to Patrick, Claire and Lisa.
As I saw the 5k marker, I decided to see how I was doing and pressed the lap button for a 5k split. 29.15. Ok, so sub 60 was within reach, but I also knew the heat was getting to me. My legs felt heavier and heavier, heart rate was well above 170 at this point but in a way I still felt strong. I decided to do my best despite the heat and try not to slow down. A quick drink, pouring the rest of the water over my head, run through the showers, To keep my thoughts away from how much I didn’t want to do this anymore, I started  to focus on different things in running form to distract myself. Head up, look straight ahead, not down, relax arms and hands, push back elbows, Finally I spotted the 9km sign and focus became to just get to that sign. Ok, I’m there, now there is only 2.5 laps of the track to go, I can do that. Birdcage walk has never felt so long and I just focussed on putting one foot in front of the other and told myself just to hang in there. I turned the corner and there was the finish line. There was nothing left in the legs for a sprint, but I did manage to stride through the last 100m. Crossed the line and while trying to catch my breath I spotted Matt who had disappeared from sight a few km into the race. We caught up and I glanced at my watch – 59.47! I did it! And in that heat – I have no idea how I managed that. 
As we collected our bags, I got a text with my official chip time – 1.00.03. Where did those 15 seconds go? I quickly decided that my watch was right and there was a glitch in the chip timing – haha! I’m so pleased with my run and I ran my socks off in that heat, I gave it everything I got and could not have done any more.
Kerstin Vitality 10k time.jpg
Nigel Evans – Finished in 55:04

This is another event I really enjoy and it was nice seeing so many Sandhurst Joggers waiting for the train on Farnbourgh station.

As we crossed the start line I ran over to the start platform and high fived Jessica Ennis then headed down the Mall towards Trafalgar Square. The course passes many famous London sights including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey so if you want a tour of London in about an hour this is the race for you.

We passed the 2 km marker just in time to see Mo Farah leading the race running in the opposite direction. My legs were feeling tired but I was really enjoying the atmosphere with thousands of cheering spectators and a few live bands situated around the course.

Before we knew it we were passing Trafalgar Square again and heading towards Big Ben and the final km before crossing the finish line in 55 minutes together. We headed back to the bag collection point getting our medal, goody bag and very nice finishers technical t-shirt on the way having had a great run.

Nigel & Jess Vitality 10k

Patrick Wadsworth – Finished in 44:04
Vitality 10K is always a good event. It starts at Farnborough as you meet other SJs and runners from other local clubs on the train to London.  A walk across the river and into the hoards of runners in Green Park to drop off bags and then to the start.  Due to the train timetable it is usual for there not to be a lot of waiting around before the start.  The start pens are supposed to be for runners with similar time ambitions but there are always loads of people who are walking by the time we get to Admiralty Arch, all of about 200m from the start (Why do people put such very unrealistic times on their entries?) so quite a lot of weaving and baulking is to be expected even by the fast runners. 
Along the Strand and Aldwych then into the City  and the Bank of England.  The route is basically an out and back with some minor variations so it is good to see the front runners returning.  AFD were packing the front this year – always nice to see a local club doing well.  
There are two drinks stations and, probably learning from the heat of the Marathon, a shower on route.  The course is pretty flat with some long ups and downs but not much altitude change.  As its a 10k its flat out all the way, which makes it hard but a change from longer distances.  The final mile had changed this year to be similar to the end of the Marathon although we finished outside Buckingham Palace. 
Retrieving my bag and I met up with my daughter for a nice lunch. Highly recommended event, well organised, easy to get to.  It ought to be a PB course but a lot depends on the mix of runners in your pen.  A good first big event and good support along the course.  It must be good for spectators to as there are plenty of places to see runners twice during the event.
Stuart Overhill – Finished in 43:57
Excellent, well organised event, that has the big race London marathon feel without having to run another 20miles!!
Fiona Slevin-Brown – Finished in 40:24
It was my first time doing the Vitality 10km and I hadn’t realised it was such a big event and how well organised it was. The route is fab, finishing just outside Buckingham Palace and the support from the crowd was terrific!
We went up in a big group from Farnborough station – the platform was full of fellow SJs and it felt like a proper Club outing!
The run itself went well despite the heat… it was scorching… and it was great to see my fellow SJs also having great runs. I’d really recommend it for all abilities and look forward to an even bigger club contingent next year!
Angela Foker – Finished in 1:06:50
It was one of the best races we have run- (I ran it with my husband Mark) highlights were the start getting a high five from Jessica Ennis Hill, the support and entertainment around the course, the setting – starting and finishing on the mall opposite Buckingham Palace.
It was very hot yesterday and we were pleased to have two water stops plus a shower to cool us down. It was a very well organised race and the medals , t-shirt and goody bag were lovely.
I will definitely do this race again next year.
Kate Parker – Finished in 57:21
I was a little slower than last year (about 1:50) but considering the heat, and my lack of training (I had marathon fitness last year) I’m pretty pleased with my result! Very grateful for the place from the club, but I’m still not sure 10k’s are my thing, especially in the summer (bring back the snow!!) 
Kate Vitality 10k
Sophie Le Saux – Finished in 53:01
Loved being in the same race as Mo Farrah and seeing him whizz past on the other side on the road, beating me by about 24 minutes!!! The sights and numerous bands along the way were a very welcome distraction. Despite the heat being relentless, it’s a race I would do again! Oh, and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill looked so friendly and pretty, star-struck much?!!
Vitality 10k Claire and Sophie
Lisa Hale – Finished in 43:45
I hadn’t given much thought to doing the Vitality 10k until I didn’t get one of the club places, then surprised by how disappointed I was I decided to enter anyway, having recently re-discovered my enjoyment for shorter races! I’m glad I did as it’s a fantastic event, very well organised and supported on a great course, with the only down side being a rather congested first mile….note to self to make more forceful use of elbows to get to the front of the wave next year!
The weather on the day was perfect, and despite the early start it was fun chatting to fellow club runners on the train. There’s a quality medal and t-shirt at the end which you can spend the rest of the day showing off round the streets of London as you shop, sunbathe and re-fuel at your coffee shop or pub of choice!
Heidi Zymela – Finished in 1:03:42
For me, it was a unique race as I decided to run alongside my sister as this was her first ever race and second ever 10k distance. It was nice not to worry about my time, take in the sights and also motivate Rhi through her run. Great finishing spot next to Buckingham Palace, you don’t get to do that every day!
Heidi & Rhi

Rhi Zymela – Finished in 1:03:42

I thought it was a perfect route for a first-time race goer, with good organisation and a fantastic atmosphere. Thoroughly enjoyed myself and am looking forward to the next one!
Leave a comment

Green Park 10k – Members’ highlights

John Green – Finished in 57:18 in his first 10k

As I stood on the starting line in the intense heat I knew my first ever 10k race wouldn’t be as easy as had hoped. For the first 5k I felt good but after that I started struggling. Sure it didn’t help that I’m used to Parkruns and I still had another to go! I ended up walking to recover a kilometer before the finish, so I could finish strongly, when a lad behind me spurred me on to run the rest with him and even nearly sprint right at the end. My only aim was to get under an hour and I achieved that so was happy in myself.


Phil Guy – Finished in 40:30

I only booked the Green Park 10K at the beginning of race week after a successful run at the Bracknell half marathon.  This was the second time I had raced, after last year’s car parking issues (45 mins to park); I decided to leave my car away from the public car parks.  Needless to say there were no queues.  It was becoming pretty hot; Bracknell had ended by 10:30 which was the start time. After getting to the race village, which is very picturesque with the river and grass banks I dropped my bag off and headed to the start line.  There had been a great change to the course for 2018; the sharp left corner after 50 yards had been removed.  Fellow SJ’s Jim Laidlaw and Andrew Brooks were at the start.  We agreed on the heat wasn’t going to help us and I made my excuses of running slowly as I felt pretty rough for no real reason.

For the first time ever a Reading event started on time!  Off we went through the Business Park, a loop then off into the countryside and motorway bridges. The course is pretty flat but lonely as you only go pass a handful of people after Green Park.  The first 2K was good, by the third Andy had blasted past me I had started to feel the heat, I needed water which I got at the first water station, before I had time to drink from the cup it had collided with another runner and my cup was down to a few drops (it was going to be one of these runs).  I clocked 20:10 at 5K, with runners constantly going by me; the race was feeling like Frimley (2 weeks before which was my worst ever 10k in soaring heat at least no hills this time!) I was thinking 41 mins would be ok.

After 7k I seemed to gain some energy (maybe gels and a second and better attempt of getting and drinking water at 6.4K) and I started feeling really strong, I saw AB gradually getting nearer.  There is some friendly rivalry between us, which usually see’s Andy pass me towards the end of the race.  This time roles could becoming reversed, with 1km left as we re- entered Green park I made my move and went pass him, jokingly adding I expected him to zoom pass me in the finishing straight!

The last 1K was pretty fast and I overtook a few runners blasting down the straight to the finishing line clocking in at 40:30 which was 4th best time ever (a very good recovery). I’m still trying to break the 40 minutes next stop Dorney Lake in a couple of weeks.


Andrew Brooks – Finished in 40:44

Too hot for a fast 10k on the day. Flat course but little support apart from the start/finish area. Not one of my favourites.


Andrea Vincent – Finished in 53:17

It was hot and my lesson learned was when going off with a pacer be prepared for them to go off too fast. At 3k in I gave up chasing them and discovered when I analysed my watch later the first 3k was at 49 minute pace rather than 50!


Jim Laidlaw – Finished in 46:55

Green park 10k. Great little event. Very well organised with two great kids events before hand. Not as flat as they make out! Will be back next year.

Green Park 10k


Leave a comment

2nd/3rd June – SJ Weekend Run Down

Warm conditions greeted runners this week but no shortage of enthusiasm!

Lookout Run.jpg

Parkrun Frimley Lodge was back on this week and sixteen members joined 519 other runners to celebrate Elin Loftesnes’ 50th Parkrun and Kevin Forster’s 100th. Hopefully we’ll have more from them later in the week. Anna Wakeling ran her fastest time at Frimley and fastest anywhere since August 2017 with 33:31. Jon Payne was first member to finish followed by Stuart Mayes in his best time this year. Also special shout out to Paul Alexander – great to see him back with running shoes on!

Parkrun FL SJ results June 2nd

Rushmoor attracted nine members this week. Red suits Martin Gould and he was first member to finish in 24:26. He was followed six seconds later by a PB grabbing Lina Johnson. There were more PBs less than a minute later as Graham Bolton continued his strong form.

Parkrun Rushmoor SJ results June 2nd

Over at Bracknell eight members were in action with Dave Breslin having a storming run to break 21 minutes for the first time since 2016, grabbing 10th position overall in the process. Lauren Askew came within five seconds of her best time!

Parkrun Bracknell SJ results June 2nd

Plenty of Parkrun Tourism this weekend, starting with the regulars; Robert Jerrett ran at Woodley, John Tovell at Crane Park, John Paul Featherstone at Newbury, Nicola Coe at Netley Abbey, Sharon Fields at Wycombe Rye and Andy Summerskill at Houghton Hall. On the local scene Kate Parker sampled the hilly Henley course while regular tourist Stuart Overhill made another visit to Bushy Park and Lisa Hale ran her fastest time at Bedfont Lakes.

Louise Heginbotham completed the Race For Life event near Windsor Race Course on Saturday morning.

The Summer Welly was held on a glorious Saturday evening at Wellington College on a scenic 5km circuit around the grounds. Claire Rowse, Kieron Cooper and Lesley Buckland took part.

Saturday night also saw Monica Burbidge and Sam Goodall run the Twilight Runway Challenge at Farnborough Airport. Sam ran 10k and Monica 5k. It wasn’t a timed event as such (although there was a clock at the finish) and participants could choose to run, walk, cycle, skateboard or scoot – a fun event for all ages and abilities, raising money for the Community Matters Partnership Project. Monica was interviewed by ITV Meridian
News and mentioned Sandhurst Joggers.

monical twilight runway challenge.jpg

Lisa Hale was in action in the Dorking 10 miler on an undulating course near Brockham. She finished in a great time of 1:11:02.

Dorking 10 mile.JPG

Jacq Hudson continued to blaze a trail around a Half Marathon each month, this time at the Royal Windsor Trail Half Marathon. It was a hot and challenging one but Jacq finished strongly as she builds for next year’s London Marathon having won a place in the Marshals’ Draw.

Jacq Windsor Trail Half Marathon

Ninety-one members logged runs on Strava this week with Andy Yates taking the top spot for the first time. To take part in this just create a free Strava account and link it to the club in your profile. Here’s the top 10 from last week:-

Strava Leaderboard Jun3 3rd 2018.JPG

Please let me know if I’ve missed anything and share your results and achievements in the future so the rest of the club know what you are up to. It’s also great to find out about new events or get an honest opinion on the multitude of events out there so we love to receive run reports. Any member, any event, any distance, any surface! Just email publicity@sandhurstjoggers.org.uk

As always keep a look out on Facebook for details of the weekday evening runs.

Monday: Patrick will be leading the Monday night chatfest from Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The route will cover approx. 6 miles and is very likely to be off road as its the height of bluebell season. This is one of the most sociable runs of the week and a great opportunity to catch up with friends or discuss the preceding weekend. And don’t forget the Monday Mantra ‘Mondays defo make me faster’.

Tuesday Club Run: The biggest club run of the week will as always offer multiple groups to cater for all abilities from beginners through to faster and more experienced runners. It’s perfect for novices and those coming back from injury or a long lay-off because you can start with an easy group and work your way upwards. The start time is 6:30pm as always, this week from Morgan Rec in Crowthorne.

Tuesday Intervals: Later the interval sessions will meet at The TYTHINGS in Yateley at 8pm. The session will be run at Blackbushe and will be 2 x 5 minutes, 2 x 4 minutes, 2 x 3 minutes with 45 seconds recovery between each effort. You can read more about the Tuesday night intervals here

Wednesday: It’s the first Yateley 10k and Fun Run tonight and many members will be toeing the line in this brilliant and hugely popular (i.e. Sold Out) event. Many more members will be helping on the night and if you are free but haven’t already done so please contact Roger or Alurie and see how you can get involved.

Thursday: This week the threshold/improvers run will be off-road. This run is suitable for all abilities and as this run grows in popularity there are even more groups of varying speed to fit with your ability. There is also a shorter route and a sweeper to make sure nobody gets left behind. Meet at Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm.

Friday: Track is still free and the coaches have some great sessions planned for all abilities to improve fitness and technique. This is a great way to improve your running form and fitness, get faster and help prevent injury. If you’ve never ran on a track before give it a try, it’s a lot of fun and you are never more than 200m away from the start.

Saturday: Lots of members will be action Endure 24 at Wasing Park near Aldermaston. Many more will be enjoying their weekly Parkrun fix at 9am on Saturday morning. Please note that Frimley Lodge Parkrun will not be running on Saturday 9th June due to the NSPCC Messathon taking place at Frimley Lodge park. Wherever you are parkrunning – Don’t forget your barcode!

Sunday: Check Facebook to find out who is running at The Lookout at 9am. It’s a flexible run to suit everybody’s needs and is either adapted to fit with distance targets or multiple groups are formed. The three ‘Cs’ of Coffee, cake and chat are enjoyed in the cafe post-run.

Leave a comment

Meet The Member – Mark Neve completes 100 Parkruns

Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself?

A) I’m from a small town in North Yorkshire called Northallerton. We moved to Sandhurst about 12 years ago before that living in Doncaster then Newbury. I’ve been married to my wife for 15 years next month and we have 2 beautiful daughters aged 17 and 16. I’ve spent most of my working life writing software and more recently in cyber security. It’s really interesting work and is constantly changing, there are always new things to learn. I’ve always been active, from teaching Muay Thai to playing Sunday league football. Before I took up running (which I didn’t think I could do due to my knees) I played Badminton with some work colleagues once or twice a week, and anything else that got the adrenaline going!

Mark Manc Mara.jpg

Q) How and when did you get into running?

A) I changed jobs about 4 years ago and I now primarily work from home, so my commute is now up a few steps! I decided I needed to do something to get me out of the house and running seemed like a good option, all I really needed was a pair of decent trainers and glucosamine supplements for my knees! Whilst playing 5 a side football in 2003/4 I ruptured the patella tendon in my right knee. I gradually gained weight which put more pressure on my knees making it more and more difficult to get moving. At my heaviest I was 21st!! I decided I needed to lose weight so I downloaded an app which allows you to create a food diary. I could see the calories I was eating and change my eating habits. The online support was fantastic! The app also allowed me to link my activities so I could see the calories I was burning too! During this period I decided to do the NHS couch to 5k. The sense of achievement was phenomenal and this spurred me on to complete a 10k. Each milestone I reach urges me on to the next. I really do love running, it’s so addictive!!


Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers?

A) There are so many great things about this club. I guess the most important part is the people, so welcoming and friendly. There’s such a great selection of events and weekly night runs and the advice I’ve received on races and dealing with injuries has really helped me.


Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you?

A) I mostly run on a Tuesday, but I make it to track on a Friday sometimes and I’m pretty much at Bracknell Parkrun every Saturday. You may see me along the A30 on a Sunday morning as that’s my usual long run route.


Q) I see you’ve mostly run at Bracknell, of the five other venues you’ve run at which is your favourite and why?

A) Goole in South Yorkshire has to be my favourite; it’s really flat and fast. I do it about once every 6 months and it’s fantastic to see how it has grown from about 40 runners to 150+ It’s also where I’ve achieved 3 PBs in 4 runs.


Q) What other events are on your programme for 2018?

A) I’m in for the Yately 10k series which I’m really looking forward to as it was fully booked when I looked at it last year. I’m doing the Phoenix Running Thames Path Potter this month and I’m hoping to complete my second marathon there. Later this year I am taking part in the Great north Run, which I’ve heard lot’s of great things about. I’m hoping to get a couple more marathons in at least this year too!


Mark 100 parkruns badges

Mark ran his first Parkrun on 7th May 2016 at Bracknell, here’s some more achievements for the statos taken from the new ‘Parkrun Challenges’ Chrome Extension:-

100 x Parkruns in Total

93 x of those at Bracknell

33 x volunteering (mostly pacing at Bracknell)

11 x Personal Bests (fastest ever is 26:01 set at Goole recently)

6 x Different venues

2 x Bronze Level Obsessive in 2016 and 2017 (30+ parkruns in a single year)

1 x Silver Level Obsessive in 2017 (40+ parkruns in a single year)

49/60 scored in Stopwatch Bingo

Leave a comment

Edinburgh Marathon – Andrea Hadfield shares her experience

After entering the event back in October, and thinking I would have plenty of time to train, the months rolled by, I went on holiday for 3 weeks, before I knew it, I was only a month away from the event having done very minimal training. A 20 mile obstacle course and a couple of minor back injuries added to the ‘less than perfect’ race prep.

Having left it far too late to book reasonably priced flights I found myself on a train to Edinburgh with an essay to write and not much time to think about the actual event, thankfully Alison had booked me a bus ticket, as I had only briefly glanced at the race info about 3 days previously.

I was staying with a friend who lived about 40 mins away from the city by train, so on the cool misty Sunday morning, I found myself arriving at Edinburgh Waverley without a clear idea where I was going, where I needed to drop my bag… you get the picture.

Edinburgh Team SJ

Thankfully meeting up with the other lovely SJs took my mind off these minor details, and then after wandering round finding the bag drop and a loo, it was only 10 mins until the start! I found myself in the Orange start zone with Karen and we spent a good 15 mins chatting and walking towards the actual start line, accompanied by some very annoying ‘motivating’ music which seemed to be on a 15 second loop, then we were off!

I knew my lack of training would be a major factor, so I’d made a deal with myself that I would run the first half and then switch to run/walk to save my legs for other events happening within the next few weeks.

The first half of the race was an absolute delight, chatting with Karen, ticking the miles off at a nice steady pace but I knew it couldn’t last and by mile 13 I was struggling to keep up so I wished Karen luck and went to my run/walk strategy. 15/5 for an hour and then 10/5 and back to 15/5 for the last 40 mins or so. I had a vague goal in my head to hit sub-5hrs, a fairly long way off my 4:20 PB at London last year, and as the mile markers came and went, it became clear this was definitely achievable.

I was getting some frantic texts from Sharon at around mile 25 so I replied that I would be finished shortly and chugged through the finish line in 4hrs 49 – that would do nicely!

Looking at my phone as I found my way out of the finish area, I couldn’t understand why it only had 20% battery left, it turned out my phone had been calling my husband throughout the whole race and had attempted no less than 66 phone calls! Thankfully he realised early on what was happening and switched off his phone!

Edinburgh Andrea with medal.jpg

I found the other SJs (except Alison, but Sharon has covered that!) and we sat in the sun for a bit before making the journey back into town for some well deserved R&R.

Overall, Edinburgh is a great event – big enough to have some atmosphere but small enough that it’s not a massive hassle for logistics. Top tip though, do some training and it’ll be a lot more enjoyable!







Leave a comment

Edinburgh Marathon – Phil Turner shares the details of his Marathon build and how it went on the day

I was fortunate to gain a free place via the club for the Edinburgh Marathon, a Marathon that I had thought about doing for a couple of years. Training had gone reasonably well with no major issues other than my eldest sons stag weekend , and wedding in April, which meant that alcohol was involved in my training, and the fact that 2 of my 20 mile runs were done in the hottest weather of the year.
Phil Marathon history.png
Compared to my previous marathon London as can be seen from my training Log my weekly mileage had been far more consistent however  perhaps because of suffering during my hot long runs, and the forecast being for a warm weekend I was prepared to aim for  a time around 4 hours.
Below is listed April’s training showing a total time spent training of 45 hours
Phil training spreadsheet.png
I travelled up to Edinburgh on the Friday with my wife, probably mistake number one was staying in an Hotel on the Royal Mile complete with Gym Pool and Sauna, this meant that rather than resting on the Friday and Saturday I spent it doing touristy stuff, along with swimming and time in the Sauna.
Sunday, I had breakfast at 7.30 in the hotel, sausage bacon mushrooms followed by porridge. Edinburgh was cool and misty, so mush so that the normal view of Arthur’s Seat was obscured, a good omen that the heat forecast was not going to materialise. The plan was too have a little SJ meetup before the start, I met up with Wayne, Sharon, Alison and Andrea at 9.15am (Karen and Erol had other plans) we headed down to the start together. There were two bag drops depending on your start wave, I was on the green start and was bag drop one. At this point we had a quick group photo and headed to our respective bag drops, this was accomplished in less than 30 seconds which gave me over 30 minutes of standing around in a vest and shorts in a cool misty Edinburgh. There were long queues for the toilets but the pens were not full, so I found somewhere out of the light breeze to wait for the start.
Phil Edinburgh Marathon
The pens were not crowded and as the race started we walked forward on mass, taking 5 minutes to cross the start line, then we were off up from the University, across Cowgate and down the hill towards the Scott Monument. We then headed back over Waverly Bridge along Market street and down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood House. It was then up Queens drive towards Arthur’s Seat, followed by a U turn, and back down again. The Course was pretty much down hill all the way to Portobello nearly five miles of descent, the next twelve miles then pretty much followed the coastline with minor undulations. Through Portobello along the promenade this meant meeting a brisk cooling breeze head on, the fog though had cleared along the coast and the sun was beginning to shine through
My first 10k was covered in 52.30, and first half in 1.51.40, the plan had been to go out at 8.20-30 pace to 20 miles, and then see what was left, so all looking good at this point.
Unfortunately just before 15 mile I could feel my left calf starting to tighten, I have had this a few times, on longer runs, and have found that it is normally a sign of cramp so if I flex my toes and fingers it tends to ease off, all OK, though a little slower than planned until the turn around at 17 miles. Here you head off up a gravel track through Gosford Park, the calf then felt like it had seized up, I continued to run but my pace was slowing further.
Back out onto the road back towards Musselburgh It was good to get a shout out from Wayne, followed by Karen, and then Andrea, then at 20 miles my calf made itself known. From now on it became a battle of wills. Fortunately it was at this point that the crowds that had been great all of the way round, now in the final 6 miles they really made themselves known and the final mile was more like the crowds in London with some great support
Despite not having the best of runs I found Edinburgh very enjoyable, and would like the opportunity to run it again, what I can’t quite work out is why I had issues, as my training whilst slightly different to both Abingdon and London, I had hoped would produce a better time.
I have been suffering from DOMS for the last 2 days particularly in the quads, which I put down to the amount of down hill, and whether that is also why I had calf issues I will have to be discovered on another training cycle.
The next marathon training cycle will be for London next year what changes will I make? I have been swimming, and cycling each week, so only 4 days running. I will add in a gym session and aim for 5 days a week. Hopefully I can build back in an interval session and will aim for a few more 50 mile weeks plus perhaps a 60 mile week.
Leave a comment

Edinburgh Marathon Adventure Part 2 – Alison Jones ran her fastest marathon since 2014 but post-race proved to be the real challenge

The Edinburgh Marathon was my first foray into marathon running, so has a lot to answer for, this was in 2012 and I managed to get round in 4.18, so that was my target time to beat.

The route has changed, but not by much most of this marathon is along the coast, so running away from Edinburgh, but at least I did see a piper this year.

I arrived in Glasgow on the Friday to spend time with family and then headed to Edinburgh on Saturday. I had booked an apartment for Sharon Burfield and me not too far from the start and had arranged to meet Wayne for dinner that evening.

Sharon arrived later on Saturday night and we were all set for the race the next day, having arranged to meet Wayne at his hotel, Andrea at the station then Phil at his hotel, which all took place, then who did we meet at the start only Erol so apart from Karen we were all accounted for and in place.

Edinburgh Alison

The weather had been lovely the previous two days but the morning of the race we were frozen in our shorts and SJ vests fortunately we did not have too long to hang around until we were off.

I had not done a lot since Brighton and London so did not know how I would feel and I had been having a few issues with my toenails so had put some anaesthetic cream on them which I hoped would last for the whole race, alas this wore off about 8 miles from the finish, so I had to slow down a bit, maybe without that I might have sneaked in under 4 hours, however I will have to do with my quickest marathon since 2014.

That was the easy bit! I know from previous experience that the finish at Edinburgh can be a bit chaotic and busy so I suggested Sharon meets me at the fence between the two main exits where you can see the finishers coming through.  When I finished I headed over to the baggage collection (we decided to share a bag) to see if it had been collected and it had so I knew Sharon had finished so I went back to my pitch and waited then walked back through the finish pens then thought I would go back to where I was and see if I could catch Phil, Wayne or Andrea finishing since I did not have my phone (it was in the bag, along with the bus tickets and spare clothing) luckily the sun was out and it was quite warm, needless to say I did not find anyone so decided to walk the mile up to the bus in case Sharon had gone ahead, but she had not so I walked the mile back to the finish again but this was being cleared away so I was running out of options, however I managed to blag my way onto the City Centre bus, even though I did not have my ticket, and was dropped back at the start, so then another walk back to the apartment where I found Sharon and she called off the Police search she had instigated.  Thankfully I had told Sharon all the codes for the apartment so that she could get in and Wayne and Erol availed themselves of our shower facilities prior to going to the airport, at least they did not drink the bottle of Champagne I had in the fridge that would have just finished me off.

A very memorable trip, which we can dine out on for a long time, a great weekend with lovely people and a flat and fast marathon, what are you all waiting for, just be better organised than me at the finish.