The 200th Post!

So here it is, quite a milestone. Not only is it pretty amazing that I’m still writing this waffle, but it’s mighty impressive that apparently people still read it occasionally. The very first blog post came on New Years Eve 2010 – at the start of my first foray into what I consider to be slightly ore serious running as I set about tackling the 2011 London Marathon. It was when I still went by the monicker “Diary of a Bananaphobe” – oh, those were the days.

Things have moved on a little since then, and I actually gave up on the shoes I mentioned in that post pretty quickly as it became apparent that my running ‘style’ didn’t like them.

However, I decided that in the celebratory edition of the blog that I would look at the medal collection and talk briefly through my accomplishments. So without any further ado – lets start with display number one.

L-R: The Hurt, End of ’09 10km, Three Molehills, Cranleigh Santa Dash, Surrey Spitfire, Hell up North, Tees Pride 10km, Cranleigh 15, Silverstone Half Marathon, Crawley 10km

The Hurt – 1:18:10
29/09/2012. 12km
Accurate description for a race not only in the Hurtwood Forest, but also because it just blooming hurt. There are a number of hills in the area and although it was a stunning day for a run in the woods, it was also pretty hard work on the legs. As I was training for something much longer I grabbed my medal, stuffed it in my arm pouch and then proceeded to run home – mostly downhill thankfully!

End of ’09 10km – 1:03:31
This was one of the earliest formal races I ever did – long before I became a ‘proper runner’ with focused training and all that malarky. It was based somewhere in Kent and I ran it with my Mum and Dad. It was a bit of a mission trying to find the results, but I managed it eventually. The things I seem to remember about this race are that a very annoying man kept running past me to overtake me and then walking. I would pass him and he would instantly do the same again. There were also lots of Jaffa Cakes on offer at the end.

The Three Molehills – 0:52:01
27/11/2011. 6.5 miles (ish)
This was another race that I did with my folks, but this time it was a team relay event. Dad set off on the first leg which included a lap up and down Boxhill. I took the next lap (the longest of the three I might add, gotta save the oldies legs’) which went over Norbury Hill. It was a beautiful day, but after three miles of climbing the downhill run back to the vineyard was very much welcomed. I handed over to Mum for her dash to the top of Ranmore common and back again. A great day was had by all. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and am considering entering it as a solo as some point in the future!

Cranleigh Santa Dash – 0:21:40
16/12/2012. 5km
Yet another ‘rental inspired run – Mum wanted to do a Santa Dash and found out about this one in my home village. So we entered and toed the very small startline on a bright but bitterly chilly December morning adorned in our finest polyester probably very flammable santa suits and beards (for me, not mum). Set off by him from the telly on such great shows as ‘A chopper is born’, ‘a sports car is born’, and many other great programmes I was out of the traps like a whippet. I was first santa to finish with beard still in tact as I vowed not to remove it. But sadly the breathing difficulties that ensued as a result meant that I finished fourth. Highest ever race placing!

Surrey Spitfire – 2:56:01
03/03/2013. 20 miles
This is a popular local race, and it is easy to see why as the location is pretty nice including a lap (or two) of the Dunsfold Top Gear test track. Aside from a few little inclines this has potential for a decent time, if perhaps not a PB setter. This was another long run on the ultra journey and I attempted to run home afterwards. It was slightly unsuccessful as I simply didn’t have the energy required to power me home. Oh well, I’ll be back sometime to set a better time I hope.

Hell up North – 2:30:23
3/11/2012. 11.5 miles (ish)
Don’t let my wife tell you that I never take her anywhere. When I won this race entry from Brooks Running I was pretty stoked and I packed up Lyndsey and we headed north straight from work to hand out in the Holiday Inn near Delamere. It was a bright but freezing cold day before we set off. The various bogs ensured that it got even colder, but boy was it fun. I have volunteered for a few years at hell down south too, and it is a brilliant race!

Tees Pride Middlesbrough 10km – 0:57:38
6/9/2009. 10km
I seem to recall that I might have done some sporadic training for this race; not very much though, mind! This is a good course for a fast time as it is pretty flat. I was happy to come in under and hour, but it still hurt. Lyndsey was not happy at being up and out of the house so early – if only she’d known how strongly this running bug was going to bite me.

Cranleigh 15 – 2:05:02
24/3/2013. 15 miles
Following on a few weeks after the Surrey Spitfire this is a fantastic local race which follows the roads that I often train on. The beauty of the race owes a lot to the scenery along most of the route, but also the ability to choose whether you are running 15 miles or 21.

Silverstone Half Marathon – 1:53:26
11/3/2012. 13.1 miles
This race falls pretty well for spring marathon build up, and so this was my focus in the Milton Keynes build-up. To date it remains my only half marathon race, and despite the lack of crowd support, slightly dull laps format it actually turned out to be a pretty good race – and certainly very well organised. It was a little disheartening being aware of the Scott Overall winning whilst I was still a number of miles from the finish! :-(

Crawley 10km – 45:48
16/09/2012. 10km
After the spring marathon my focus turned to speed and I set about trying to demolish my 10km PB. Locally, this seemed to fit my diary and timescale etc so I signed up. I didn’t know the topography of Crawley and the surrounding Tilgate park, so despite starting on a running track, before long we were on single track path and running up a big sandy hill. I gave it all that I had to hit my sub 45 target, but it just crept away from me in the end. 18 months later it remains my B and hopefully one that will be addressed soon.

Hardmoors 30 certificate
Hardmoors 30 certificate

Hardmoors 30 – 6:41
01/01/2013. 31 miles
My first foray into the world of ultra running, and what an exhilarating foray it was. On a cold, crisp New Years day I had an absolute blast running this race despite the mud and hills and ensuing darkness. The race was superbly organised and a joy to partake in. What a way to start the year. I hope too be back at this race sometime in the near future.

Punchbowl Marathon
Punchbowl Marathon

Punchbowl Marathon – 4:13
9/2/2013. 20 miles
In this attempt to emulate my former 30 mile glory I was carrying a slightly duff knee. The long and the short of it was, that after a day in the drizzle I had to choose the 20 mile route and although I had a great time running and chatting with Henry Morris it was a mildly debilitating one, and probably the start of the end for my knee.

(l-r) Milton Keynes Marathon, Fishermans Friend Strongman Run, NDW50, Thunder Run, London Marathon

Milton Keynes Marathon – 4:21:14
29/4/2012. 26.2 miles
The spring of 2012 had been delightful. That stopped on the weekend of the Milton Keynes marathon. The weather was wet and horrible and owing to some first-event um.. hiccups, a number of runners were getting cold before the race even started. Billed as a flat and fast race the organisers obviously forgot the footbridges and underpasses. It’s not as fast as one might think. Sadly my mum had had to pull out on course, but I finished wet, tired, cold, but overall pretty happy. It has swapped to Bank Holiday Monday now, which I don’t get off work, so I won’t be back anytime soon.

Fishermans Friend Strongman Run – 4:03:05
05/05/2012. 14 miles (ish)
Having been approached by the wonderful folks at fishermans friends to join this small British contingent at the iconic German racing circuit of Nurburgring. The weather put a delay on the start, and ensured that the numerous obstacles were extra tough. Coming just 7 days after the marathon this was a tough slog, but a totally different challenge from anything I’d done before and incredibly enjoyable. The main lesson from this experience – don’t be afraid of new things.

North Downs Way 50 – 10:20:11
18/5/2013. 51 miles
Arguably the greatest race I have ever run. No it wasn’t fast, no I didn’t win, yes it did hurt. But the pain never really kicked in until afterwards (saving of course for the chafing issues), and for 51 miles I almost felt as if I was floating along the North Downs Way. Centurion put on excellent races which are superbly organised and supported by tremendous volunteers. Enough superlatives in there? I think that describes how much I love this race. I will be back – and one day I’ll actually turn up for it’s longer cousin the 100!

Adidas Thunder Run – 51mins – 1 hour
28-29/06/2012. 10km x 3
As part of a wonderful team of runners this was an excellent opportunity for making friends and having fun whilst running and camping. It was amazing to be running as the sun came up over the race course and although I set a new PB in my first loop, my remaining laps were brilliant fun. Highly recommended to all.

London Marathon – 5:41:15
17/4/2011. 26.2 miles
This was it. The race that I trained for. The wet and horrible spring of 2011 had put me off some of my runs. Injury and lethargy had put me off some others, but I went into the race believing 4:30 was on the cards. The day’s heat soon got to me as did my lack of training and the mental demons I had to fight along the way. I got slower and slower, walking much of the second half. I am appalled at my time and one day hope to go back to London and ensure that it becomes a race to savour for me. I am an ever-present in the ballot, so fingers crossed my name comes out of the pile this year!

Well, there you go. My medal collection unveiled for you all. Here’s to 200 more posts – hopefully I’ll have some more stories to tell by then.

Are there any particular medals in your collection that you are particularly proud of?


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