Monday, 28 February 2011


Keir, my 17 year old son is now in the sixth form at school, and he doesn't have any lessons on Monday afternoons ... he's expected to do homework, research, revise, etc to make full use of his time though.  Because we only live a short distance from his school (about 10 minutes walking at most) he's allowed to spend Monday afternoons at home.

Today he arrived home at about 12.40pm and an hour or so later I went for a run, about 9 to 10 miles.  I told him immediately before I left and told him I long I would be out.  But when I returned, about a minute or so early, I couldn't get back into the house.

He'd gone out and locked the door behind him.  Very sensible but for one small thing.  I hadn't taken a key ... I didn't think I needed to as he hadn't mentioned any plans involving him leaving the house.  It should have been obvious to him that I hadn't my key as it was near the door in it's usual place - he must have seen it on his way out.  I wasn't too pleased.

After waiting five or more minutes I was starting to get a bit chilly so I decided I had to walk to all the nearby places he might be.  Supermarket, library, pub.  Every ten minutes or so I popped back home in the hope that he'd returned ... eventually, about 35 minutes after I finished my run, I managed to get in.

And there he was, reading a book in the kitchen as if nothing had happened.  By this time I was cold and angry.  I told him this before heading for a hot shower without stopping to listen to his feeble excuse - something about his watch needing a new battery.

What about all the other timepieces we have about the house.  Clocks, mobile phones, computers ...

He's never done anything like that before and I expect him never to do so again.  But with teenagers you never can tell.

I'll take my key next time.

Sunday, 27 February 2011


Apologies for not posting for a while ... there was lots going on behind the scenes here at the start of the week and most of the second part of last week was spent in the Lake District.  Fay took me there for my birthday.

Wonderful scenery, good pubs, great hotel with sauna and gym, lots of walking, relaxation ... and a fair few miles running too.  I love her.

Thanks too to all of you who posted birthday greetings an Facebook.

To finish here's something I found on the internet a short while ago.  It appears the architect/designer has done a number of running tracks in the past and wanted to do something a bit different this time.  See the photos here.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

a few things I've found

This post will just be a round up of a few things I've found recently on the web.

First of all has a link to a very interesting race (for me at least ...).  It's called Hell On The Humber and basically it's a 12hr race with a difference.  The difference is that each 4 mile road loop crosses the Humber Bridge twice ... and the race starts at 7.00pm.

Now, the Humber Bridge is a remarkable feat of engineering, with a centre span of 1,410 metres (4,626 ft) and a total length of 2,220 metres (7,283 ft), it was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world for 16 years from when it opened in 1981.  The towers, although both vertical, are not parallel, being 36 millimetres (1.4 in) farther apart at the top than the bottom as a result of the curvature of the earth.  It remains the longest bridge in the world that one can cross on foot or by bicycle.  The bridge opened to traffic on 24 June 1981.  It was opened officially by The Queen on 17 July 1981.

I remember, in the dim and distant past, a ten mile race which was held on 27 September 1981.  The race also crossed the bridge twice, starting and finishing in the car park at the northern end.  The race was won by Roger Hackney with 49:51 (he's now a doctor in Leeds, I believe).  Other top names running included Graham Ellis (50:22), Kim McDonald (51:05), Ray Smedley (51:19), David Topham (51:38 - I used to race against him in my school days, where is he now ?) ... and is E.M.Adams now known as Eleanor Robinson ?  She was third woman with 63:07.

There was another 10 mile race the following year but I was unlucky because on both occasions I had been in hospital for a while over the summer and couldn't compete - so I ran in the fun runs instead:  4.3 miles in 1981 and 5 miles in 1982.

Full details of the 12 hour race can be found here.  Unfortunately I won't be taking part as it's too close to the Commonwealth Championships.

Second find is a blog by Steve Magness which has some very good scientific stuff about running and training.  There's nothing that I've seen that's specific to ultra distances but plenty that can be interpolated for our use.  A very good site.

Finally - because I'm running out of time - the DUV website, in German, has started including age graded times/distances with their results.  Full details here.  They have also provided a link at the bottom of the page to the actual tables they've started to use.  I'll also be using that table for all age graded stuff appearing on this site as it is the 2010 edition whereas the one I have been using is the 2006 version.  Just don't ask me to change all my previous results tough.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I'm Back ...

Everything is progressing really well here in Wharfedale.  On Tuesday I ran with the club for the first time this year.  As there wasn't an appropriate group planning to run at my pace and distance (about 7 miles at about 8:30 per mile) I decided to run with the medium - fast group and managed 8 miles in about an hour ... easily ... no problems at all.  I'm obviously a bit fitter than I thought.  All that cross training no doubt.

Yesterday morning I began the walking training as mentioned in a previous post.  This is not strolling but keeping up the pace and maintaining form for a whole hour.  On a hilly route I managed over 3.6 miles which is OK for the first one.

Then it was over an hour with weights in the afternoon and stretching in the evening.  Not to mention knee rehab exercises which I'm still doing three times every day ... and I'll continue with them for quite a while yet.

This morning I ran just over 10k at a slowish pace and at the moment I'm feeling really good.

Especially as there may be one or two things to announce next week if all goes to plan.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

knee officially repaired

Today was the first day out of rehab.  The run was over 13 miles as mentioned in the last blog and the route I finally chose was ...

... well, for some reason the actual route isn't shown on the map but it was:  south through Baildon to the A6038 where I turned NE towards Guiseley.  I diverted via Esholt before running up Hollins Hill and turning right at the top towards the centre of Guiseley.  Ran along the A65 to Burley (but took in a loop around Menston on my way past) and then ran along the main road back to Otley.

About 13.2 miles - my longest run since bore Christmas (over 7 weeks ago) - and over 80% further than any other run in that time period.  The knee is holding up well.  Very pleased.

Last night was my club's Annual Presentation Evening.  I didn't win any of the awards this year although in the past I have won stuff for the handicap competition as well as the prestigious President's Trophy.  Beginning last year it has become custom for the President to also present small awards to all those who broke club records during the year.  Again mine was rather larger than the others but I'm not sure that's fair really ... it's just that the nature of my races mean that I'm more likely to break a few records in the same race.  For example 10k runners wouldn't beat the club 5 mile record in their race simply because the 5 mile split isn't recorded.

Congratulations to all the winners this year.

Photos and videos from the event can be found on the club's website.

Received an email this afternoon which reminded me that I forgot to mention in a previous post that the latest edition of the e-magazine Ultrarunning World is now available -  a very good read it is too.  Sorry Abichal.

Anyway, that email was a big surprise and I'm sure he won't mind me reproducing it here:  "Ey up Chris! I have just taken a look at the current issue of the online magazine can be read on It was quite new for me, I hadn't heard about it before. Anyway, I didn't really have too much time to investigate it, however i have seen an article written by you, and when i looked at the snaps, i said: "Oh, i know him from Brive, from the 24h world cup" (I was one of the supporters of the Hungarian National Team) Adam."

Brilliant !!!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

still here ...

Not much to write about.  I'm just letting you all know that I'm still here and have almost finalised my racing plans for this year (and maybe next ...).

Feeling very good at the moment, rehab has gone very well.  Ran for 55 minutes this morning and my knee has been fine.  Lots of cycling and weights almost daily to help with strength and aerobic fitness.

It looks highly likely that I'll move onto a proper training program in a few days time.  Beginning on Saturday actually.

Last night Keir sprung a surprise ... on Saturday he's going with his mates to Sconce scout camp (on the moors near Baildon - see map below) and he wants me to go with him - he's not sure how to find it !!! - he said:

"I know you won't mind dad, you can run home after you've left me ..."

Thanks, son.

Can anyone suggest a suitable 13 mile route from Sconce to Otley ?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

plans firming up for this year ... slightly

The latest news regarding the World 24 hr Championships this year is that hopefully they'll take place in Taiwan towards the end of the year.  That suits me fine.  Back to a normal training schedule in less than two weeks then one or two ultras leading up to the Commonwealth Championships ... and then the World Champs.

I hope UK Athletics decide to send a team - we've got some good runners at the moment.

But what about the European Championships ?

I guess the date suits Pat Robbins too as he can now defend his GUCR title without it clashing with a major championships.  Next year's championships also seem to not clash with the GUCR ... so that's a possibility for me.

The reason I didn't enter this year is that entries have to be submitted before 1st November and at that time the World 24 hr Championships were scheduled for early June.  The Grand Union Canal Race is late May.

I have one or two races in mind for this summer but I'm trying not to think too much about them until I'm sure of my recovery from knee injury.