Thursday, 30 October 2008


Hello again.

At long last the race report has been written. See it here.

There are also updates to this page, and this one.

Since the race I've just been for two 7 mile runs, both this week (Tuesday and today). On both runs it's obvious I haven't fully recovered yet as my thighs and knees still ache a bit. I'm also still recovering from a bad cold I picked up two days after the race.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Press Release

Yesterday I sent out a press release to the local newspaper. I also sent a copy to the local TV stations without any expectations whatsoever.

This morning I received a phone call from Yorkshire TV who are keen to do a piece but this will depend on the availability of cameramen, etc. Apparently they are short staffed nowadays.

Monday, 27 October 2008


Full results have now been received and it appears I've got a new pb for every distance from 50k upwards. All the relevant pages on this site will be updated shortly - after I get up to date with secretarial stuff for Otley AC.

Just beginning to make tentative plans for next year's racing. This will include the Commonwealth Championships in September and hopefully a European race in spring. May also go for a shorter ultra in summer and possibly one towards the end of the year.

Obviously though my focus has to be on doing well in Keswick in September.

One other piece of good news is that Alan Young has agreed to help as "mentor, helper, or just someone you can ask". He also offered to crew occasionally too but he's very busy crewing for other top ultra runners around the world.

This man is the best I've come across at what he does and I feel privileged to have his help and advice. An ex ultra runner himself (winning the Tooting 24 hr race in 1993 with 225 km) he now specialises in helping others. An OBE for services to ultra runners is long overdue.

Friday, 24 October 2008

More London Thoughts

Haven't written much on this site recently because I've developed a bad cold. I'm sure a race report will be forthcoming when I recover.


Carry home my broken bones and lay me down to rest
Twenty four hours of cries and moans I guess I've passed the test
I've returned back home with lots to say but I've just caught a cold
This ultra distance runner has made the team to prove he's not too old

England Athletics appear to have removed the Ultra Distance Running Commonwealth Championships selection criteria from their website. I've no idea why but I've emailed them to find out why. Surely they've not decided against sending a team.

Still awaiting official results and split times from London. I guess they'll be available next week but I do understand that post race there is a lot of work to do as every lap has been timed for every runner and all these times need checking for errors.

Just starting looking for my next ultra - probably next spring, possibly in Europe.

Monday, 20 October 2008


Back home and happy ... but aching all over.

Ran 228.011 km (141 miles 1196 yards) in London finishing in third place. Well pleased with that as it is over the 225 km qualifying distance set by England Athletics for the Commonwealth Championships next year.

Full details can be found on the race website.

However ... the one thing that let me down was the too frequent visits to the gents. I feel I lost at least 3k by simply not being on the track. At this early stage I tend to feel this problem was caused by my sodium potassium ratio being wrong. The overall ratio in my food and drink was just under 7:1 but my guess is that it should be higher.

Anybody out there have any thoughts on this matter ?

One thing I was very pleased with is that whilst running the second half of the race (especially in the second half of each hour long segment) I was moving much quicker that the two guys in front of me. I passed them far more often than they passed me. I think they were walking quicker or for less time than me and didn't pee as much.

Two people ended up in hospital - including the winner (Chris Finill) - I hope they're both OK.

Thanks to everyone involved with the race: organisers, helpers, lap counters, runners, crew members, etc. It really was a good one.

Oh yes ... I didn't collapse !!! Kept moving for 10 to 20 minutes after the race then sat on the floor with my feet on a chair for a while. Didn't shower or take off my compression tights either. All this seemed to work brilliantly until I got on the tube at about 2.30pm - keeled over after about 10 minutes. Got a taxi to King's Cross instead.

Mustn't go underground after an ultra race in future :)

Thanks also to my crew, Fay and Keir and also to Julian for keeping the Otley AC website updated with my progress.

I'll update the other pages on this site in the next few days.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Very last minute stuff

Last night Bridget Barr and Sarah Tomlinson, of Otley AC gave a very interesting, but brief, talk/demonstration about the principles of ChiRunning. I certainly came away with one or two ideas that may help my racing.

And talking of racing ... hopefully there will be updates on my progress in London. These updates will appear on the Otley AC website thanks to Julian Mawson.

Just finished packing, I leave home in 40 minutes ... full of nervous energy - just managing to keep a lid on it though.

Thanks for the comment Pat, much appreciated.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Last minute preparations

This morning I went for my last run before the weekend's race - 7 miles fartlek. Only a cycling session tomorrow to go now [except stretching, wobble board work, ankle massage and eccentric achilles stretches].

Last minute preparations are underway - mainly regarding nutrition and making sure I have everything I need and also that Fay & Keir are familiar with the plans.

Last night I tried a palatability test: 450ml skimmed milk with 1 teaspoon table salt. Not too bad, not too nice either but definitely drinkable.

William Sichel writes on his website: "A strong field have entered and the race is likely to be the strongest 24hr race in the UK for a long time."

No pressure then ...

Oh yes, I noticed today that the nervous twitch has disappeared - a good omen perhaps.

One more thing ... I found this on the Runner's World website. I've also added it to this page.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Nothing new today

This morning I completed my last strength/conditioning training session before the weekend's big race.

I've just updated this page but it may need updating again next week.

Friday, 10 October 2008


Tapering going well - plan to do 40 miles this week and 20 next. No long runs and almost all the training is fast stuff.

Getting nervous now - but looking forward to the race. Hope the weather holds out.

John Pares - London 24 hr winner in 2006 and 2007 - isn't on the start list for this year's race. He pulled out of the Hull 24 hr race too. I hope he's OK. If you're reading this John, leave a message please.

Thanks for the comment on my previous post Simon. I don't plan to answer here [I don't want to give away my game plan !!!] ... I'll email you later. Interestingly, 6:53 per mile over the course of a marathon would bring you home in 3h 00:28. Three hours exactly divided by 26 miles 385 yards equals 6:51.92 per mile.

Sorry to spoil your fun in Amsterdam !!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Not a lot to report really ... fine tuning all the other preparations apart from running: food & drink, pacing, etc.

I'm not sure what other runners think but, for me, pacing is the key to running a good race. Studying results from my previous races it seems that during a 24hr race everyone slows down - even paced races are exceptionally rare.

With this in mind my aim last year and this has been to slow down less than the other runners. I may not be at the top of the leaderboard for the first few hours but hopefully I'll get there in the end. I've just got to stick to my pre determined plan [adjusting things as necessary as the race progresses].

Sunday, 5 October 2008


One week after the crash training week and I've almost recovered!

The niggles have all but gone and today's run - 6 miles tempo - was only marginally harder than expected.

With only two weeks to go before the next race I know it's pointless trying to make additional gains in fitness, etc.

I've got to be careful though not to lose fitness, etc.

The phrase which sums up this period is: 'tapering hard'.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Hello again. Nothing much to report at the moment. Taking it easy this week ... ran 8 miles on Wednesday and 7 miles fartlek yesterday. Cycled on Tuesday and did the strength exercises on Wednesday.

Rest day today. Saturday - cycling and 7 or 8 miles fartlek. Sunday - strength stuff and 6 miles tempo.

Slightly more miles planned for next week but basically it's all tapering from now on.

Fay seems to be almost recovered from her bout of labyrinthitis. Could have been quite bad for her crewing in London: the whole world appears to be spinning, she knows it's not, yet she's watching 40 odd runners run round and round in circles all day.