Charlie's Running Section

Cambridge Half Marathon 2012, passing King's
Many thanks to © Darren Aherne 2012 for picture from Cambridge Half Marathon, passing King's (click for full version)

Click here to skip down to race results log...

London Marathon

The Virgin London Marathon is my annual big treat. One can do it every year by getting a qualifying time for a championship start (just behind the world elite!) or good for age place.

For London I used this spreadsheet to produce both a timetable of where I hoped to be at what time for the family (and where the elites would be too), and a custom dual-column (A and B target) pace band for myself. Do take a copy and put in your own target times. You can't rely on GPS distance in London so a pace band is vital! Now with a new sheet showing splits and average min/M allowing for downhill mile 3, which has always thrown me out a bit before now...

Click here for London Marathon photos and videos

Club

I run for the distance running section of Cambridge and Coleridge Athletic Club.

Bob Graham Round

In Aug 2013 I finally did this for real. Apart from a brief report and video of my experiences, I've got some useful GPS data and kit suggestions for anyone else who may want to attempt it. Read all about it here.

To make navigation possible for 24 hours, I created perhaps the world's first Garmin 305 with integral USB socket to allow charging on the go, which worked very nicely.

Unfortunately it then died in the rain just before my BGR! (Nothing to do with my mods :-)

VO2max and Lactate Tests

I scored 63 ml/kg/min in Mar 2016, hardly stratospheric, but not too bad for an old guy. See here for more.

If you also participated in the ARU marathon pacing study, click here for a utility to get heart rate data in CSV format from Garmin Connect data.

Blisters

If you're squeamish, don't look at the page describing my blister-patching experiment!

The Plods

Ever get into that state in heavy training where you just run slower and slower but breathe quite fast? Here's an idea for what's going on at a cellular level.

Race Results Log

I previously just referred to my powerof10 page, but recently (as RunBritain) they've stopped including many small races (if they can't find a licence number, true of those done through ARC instead of England Athletics). I do have an ARC page with some results (some only have gun not chip times though). But anyway, all my results are tabulated below. I also have a Parkrun results page.

Date/Strava link Race/Garmin link Time Placing Finishers Notes
24-Jun-2017 Cambridge Parkrun (5K) 18:00 8 537 First time I've done this one in 5+ years, here as a test to see how unfit I'd got after a bit of easy time following probably too many big races in succession. Much better than I feared really; a minute slower than my best for this course, but that was so long ago that I should expect that anyway age-wise.
04-Jun-2017 Flaming June (Histon) Half Marathon 1:19:44 3 503 A group of 5 or so at the front; I tried to go with leader who broke away at about 7M but couldn't hang on, and that effort left me struggling, to be reeled in by another guy in last mile. HR rather high for pace (though this was multiterrain). Prize for 3rd but I think my legs are due a break from racing! 2 mins and 2 places down on last year.
21-May-2017 Meridian Ultra UK 100km championship 8:11:34 12 37 An officially certified, flat 100km course in pretty kind conditions -- my first experiment at the distance. I was feeling quite confident after Wings for Life, so I tried to hit the same WAVA% in this. Held a steady 7:30/M for the first 42M or so and it felt great -- but then the wheels fell off badly, and I reverted to survival mode for a rather painful last 20M. 2nd V40, and while I was about 25 mins slower than hoped, I guess it wasn't a bad first crack at it.
07-May-2017 Wings for Life (60.58km) 4:07:44 4 2842 A highly enjoyable race -- I love this one, it's a surprisingly good formula (get chased by a car that sets off 30 mins after the runners, you're out when you're caught, last one still running wins and the results are ranked by distance). Really pleased to pace it well this time, holding a steady 6:35/M and legs were OK at the end.
23-Apr-2017 Virgin Money London Marathon 2:38:54 275 39349 Always my favourite day of the year. Just 2 sec quicker than last year, a bit too quick in the first half (1min22 positive split but including downhill mile 3); paid for it with a rough patch with quads threatening to cramp from 16M, but then improved from about 22M with official splits showing last 2.2km in 5:56/M with a decent final sprint. 11th MV45. Highest WAVA score ever in anything (84.15%). Very happy with all this, and made 3 celebration venues afterwards...
05-Mar-2017 Cambridge Half Marathon 1:16:26 31 6887 A strong SSE wind meant this wouldn't be the good absolute test of fitness I wanted. I sheltered OK behind others going south, but working harder than I felt I should, left quad a bit dicky initially; felt good for a few miles out of the wind, gaining on those ahead; then had a bit of a wobble late on, struggling alone into the wind again. Actually a decent performance in the wind (83.1% WAVA), but I hoped for better after about 8 weeks' marathon training. Made the schoolboy error of underdressing for the conditions and actually got cold, which won't have helped.
28-Jan-2017 Southern XC Championships, Parliament Hill (~9.1M) 60:07 333 1068 Forgot my HRM but pretty happy with how I spent the effort: a big initial push to avoid getting too boxed in after the first climb, then working hard for 2 laps, and taking a lot of places on the final lap. Some boggy bits but much better than last year (though longer from GPS). Lost places on uphills but gained a lot on downhills as usual. Only 7th C&C so didn't score; 31% back in the field, better than last 2 years.
15-Jan-2017 Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York 1:15:57 35 1537 My hopes were low after 3 weeks' lurgy-affected training, carrying a bit of Xmas ballast and a late night on the beers... but actually while my HR was high, my breathing was easy and legs were up for it, the course was flat and the weather was kind -- this was a couple of mins faster than I had dared expect. Pleasing.
08-Jan-2017 Cambs XC Champs, Priory Park St Neots (~6.6M) 40:23 31 120 Still a bit lurgy-afflicted, with a very high HR for the pace. In my better years I've come about 20th here, so not so good this time -- but did get a gold medal for being part of the 1st V40 team. Nice conditions and always a fun meet-up.
31-Dec-2016 Margate Parkrun 18:13 2 64 Been ill with a chesty cough, but thought I might be able to win this as the same guy normally takes it every week in a soft time. Played it well tactically in the wind, but being half my age, unsurprisingly, he outsprinted me easily at the end! From pre-plotting, course looked a touch long, and official clock stopped a couple of sec late too...
04-Dec-2016 Bedford [Wootton] Half Marathon 1:17:17 7 978 Great conditions so I had hopes of 1:15:xx, but I was kidding myself a bit and it was hillier than I realised (550' climb). Got the effort about right though, pushed on in last couple of miles to take a couple of places. Nice bowl for 1st MV45 prize.
20-Nov-2016 St Neots Half Marathon 1:17:50 7 1127 A bit jaded after a late night, started too conservatively with a tailwind, but upped the effort coming back into the wind in the second half to take some places. Too windy to be very quick. V40 prize.
06-Nov-2016 Bonfire Burn 10K 35:41 3 920 Better placed than expected, with a weaker field than last year. Stiff back before and after but was OK during the race. Tailwind on way out, but headwind on the way back, which I had to endure alone. 3rd overall and MV40 prizes.
09-Oct-2016 Yorkshire Marathon 2:38:30 11 3831 A PB, at my age! Nice conditions; I was huddled in a group of 3 into the slight breeze for the first half, letting myself go a little faster than target pace as my heart rate was low, so a bit of a gamble. I did suffer for it somewhat in the last few miles (approx +44 sec positive split despite more favourable wind in the second half), but not too badly. Cackling inanely pegging it down the (downhill) finish straight when the big clock told me I was definitely on for that PB. 1st MV45 prize.
18-Sep-2016 Chariots of Fire Relay (~1.7M) ~9:03 11 370 Last-minute sub for Team Guilio, he of the Cambridge fashion store -- very stylish vest and entry fee all paid for! But with the York marathon in 3 weeks, I *had* to get a long run done, and needing to get back for family stuff most of it had to be before this race. Hence a 14M warm-up... after which ~5:45/M wasn't too bad really. I finished in 11th but the rest of the team pulled us up to 3rd overall and 1st vet team -- two trophies.
04-Sep-2016 Ouse Valley Way Marathon 3:03:13 1 110 Only intended as a brisk steady training run for York, but I couldn't resist staying in touch with the lead guy, who was also training for something else and eventually drifted back. Probably ran too hard for training but nice to win of course. Lots of kissing gates, knobbly ground, headwind etc, so this was a reasonably hard effort, though I tried to consciously slacken off in the last 3M or so. Not an officially measured course; GPS made it a touch short at 26.0M.
01-Sep-2016 Kevin Henry 5K, Cambridge 17:31 26 ??? In two minds whether to train through this (for York in 5.5 weeks), but skipped running commutes during the day so I could run it without being too awful. Not bad on marathon training weary legs, and great to meet up with what seemd like the entire club on a nice evening.
07-Aug-2016 Bridge of the Gods Half Marathon 1:18:38 2 934 Near Portland, Oregon, with our friends Ken & Andy. Legs a touch creaky still from mountain walking, and this race had ~1050' climb/descent. In the lead group of 3, there was a marshalling cock-up (we slightly paused to ask the way) and 3rd dropped off, but 1st pulled away when we got to the flight of 30 or so stairs on the route. 4 mins inside previous year's finishing time but 2 mins slower than this year's! Nice ceramic plaque prize. A lot of walkers.
17-Jul-2016 St Ives 10K 36:09 5 432 Bit disappointed with the time here, but then everyone found it slow in strong heat (but I've been training for that) and with a slow windward mile. My plan was to seek shelter going west into the wind, then run clear -- but I could barely hang on into the wind and lost ground to my fellows once we turned around. But team and MV45 prizes, and 2nd overall and MV40 county championship medals, so a great haul. Another 8M cool-down, too.
03-Jul-2016 Bassingbourn Half Marathon 1:15:51 1 307 Woo-hoo, another win! A faster course this time, still a mile of dried mud/grass but then all road. Quite warm so recent heat acclimatisation training probably helped. Broke up the pack with my downhill 'flying' party trick. Also got men's team prize.
12-Jun-2016 Histon Flaming June Half Marathon 1:17:48 1 391 Woo-hoo, a win! Quite a lot of knobbly (but dry) grass tracks so quite pleased with this time. Another 8M cool-down waiting for prizes, so about 22M for the day with a warm-up too.
05-Jun-2016 Bedford 10K 34:31 9 751 An approximate 17:26/17:05 split, so even allowing for first-half headwind I was probably too conservative initially -- on paper this should have been faster than HBO the previous week, but I didn't dare believe it! Great club turn-out, 1st MV40 prize.
30-May-2016 Hatfield Broad Oak 10K 34:55 6 1216 Identical pace to the KH 5K and Birmingham relays -- but over twice the distance, with moderate hills and a stiff wind... go figure. 1st MV40 prize (nice trophy and £20 cash). Very happy with this, feared I'd never get sub-35 again.
19-May-2016 Kevin Henry 5K, Ely 17:30 26 329 Identical pace to the weekend relay -- hoped to be a bit quicker with fresher legs. Not too bad though and very sociable. Farm tracks, bit bumpy in places but not bad. Bit of trouble left quad near end.
14-May-2016 British Masters road relays (MV45-54) (3 miles) 16:53 41 206 13th team/48 counters. Gained 9 places. 5th/51 in stage 3, but only 41st/206 overall. Never flat but good downhills, uphills didn't seem too bad. Pleased as legs were still cranky the day before after Wings for Life.
08-May-2016 Wings for Life World Race 55.96 km 3 2002 (UK) The whacky format here has a race start but no finish; a gradually-accelerating 'catcher car' pursues the field, and you're out when it gets you. Results are ranked by distance reached not time, last survivor wins, and everything is collated globally across 34 simultaneous races. I was happy with my 34.77M in 3:53:53 though pacing wasn't steady: put on a surge between 27 and 29M to seize 3rd place, but paid for it by blowing up rather from about 31M. 26degC unbroken sunshine but continual bottled water over the head made it bearable. No prize for 3rd, but delighted! 81st overall (of 100K+) and 7th MV45 (of 6K+) globally.
24-Apr-2016 Virgin Money London Marathon 2:38:56 256 (+45 elites) 39057 + 45 Delighted with this. Belatedly joined the high-mileage training craze with 4 weeks avg 112 mpw, then 95, taper. I knew my heart rate was very low at MP but didn't know if the low-quality training would leave my muscles unequal to the sustained race speed. Felt ridiculously easy for the first half, but after deliberately exploiting downhill mile 3 (in 5:36) I had a twinge in my R quad so was scared to push on in case it turned into a cramp. Finally did push on from about 24M with the last 2.2km at 5:56/M according to my official splits and the last 7.2km overall at 6m/M. 14th MV45 out of about 3300. Cool weather, bit of a headwind in places but not as bad as I feared. I was never really suffering, and the DOMS wasn't too bad afterwards. Tantalisingly close to PB from 2013 though! My highest age-graded score over any distance ever to date.
28-Feb-2016 Cambridge Boundary Run Marathon 3:08:36 9 232 Low-key, just tootled round as a training session. Remembering I took 3 hr in 2011 I set off at that pace, but the calves felt a bit leaden after a bit (after VO2max on Fri eve), so I backed off to avoid wrecking my legs for my big planned training week. And anyway the 2nd half was a lot harder going with some good cross-country stretches, bit cross with myself for not pacing more evenly though.
28-Feb-2016 Cambridge Half Marathon 1:18:21 48 5308 Not terrible, but not great either; a disappointment, given that this has consistently been one of my best races, and I put in a full taper etc. A quad niggle I thought I'd vanquished troubled me for the first 3-4M, then got better for a while, only to come back again at 9-10M. So I was maybe 2 mins slower than I think I could have managed right now. A great event though, very sociable afterwards!
30-Jan-2016 Southern Counties XC Champs (~8.7M) 65:20 423 1026 I messed up this week by trying to cram marathon miles in before I'd recovered from Folksworth, getting terrible plods. Rested a day or two but still not quite right for this, so made a long run day of it with 6M en route to get there, 5M home to make 20M for the day. I was 41% of the way back in the placings compared to 36% last year so definitely not great -- but an epic event as ever, loved the medieval battle charge start. Very deep mud for quite a lot of it.
24-Jan-2016 Folksworth 15 Mile 1:32:21 12 421 Not on the top of my game, but not too bad either -- reassuring that I've not really sunk into the pits then. 1st MV45 prize (by 10 sec). Quite windy and a few sharp hills, so this pace (6:09/M) might be in the ballpark of MP.
03-Jan-2016 Cambs Cross-Country Championships, St Neots (~6.6M) 43:53 49 134 Full effort but disappointing pace here, even allowing for the boggy conditions and some stiff wind in places. Did earn a county medal for 2nd vet team though. 8.3M afterwards to make 15 for the day.
26-Dec-2015 C&C Boxing Day Race (~4M) 23:49 5 46 Very low key club event giving everyone the opportunity to groan about racing with a bellyful of Christmas turkey. Strong wind on the way out, tailwind of course on the way back; significantly slower than last year though. Good social catch-up.
13-Dec-2015 Huntingdon Frostbite XC (~5M) 31:51 24 381 Cross-country but with one road stretch and some surfaced paths. Not very quick judging by my pace on the road bit and by who finished around me, but first C&C scorer as the club isn't bothering too much with this series now, and it was the morning after the Xmas party.
29-Nov-2015 Belle 10 Miler (Bassingbourn) 1:00:24 5 348 Another very windy one, so I ran unsustainably fast for the first 1.5M to stay sheltered, and put on another surge at about 4M to catch someone up. But other times were underpowered, not wanting to go it alone in the wind. Once more Makka came along so a backwards finish was inevitable -- by both of us this time! Prize for 2nd V40. Legs a bit cranky of late, probably give it a bit of a break before VLM campaign starts.
15-Nov-2015 St Neots Half Marathon 1:21:14 14 1321 I didn't quite give this full beans as my legs have been a bit cranky in training still post-Snowdonia, and could probably do with a break. Hilariously strong wind (gusting to 40 mph) but managed to shelter behind others mostly, and gave it full welly in the last couple of miles. Feeling less than sharp though. Won a team prize shield.
24-Oct-2015 Snowdonia Marathon 2:54:29 12 1846 An epic race with 2500' of climb and descent, but 95% on road. I'd trained well for the descents especially with a loping, "flying" gait, and that worked well. Had a bit of a niggle from my L hip adductor which slowed me a touch from around 12M and on the final climb. I also doubled back to pick up a cup I dropped, wasting some seconds. Big thing though was that the brief off-road descent off the last hill was fiendishly slippery and I was totally out of control in my road shoes, crashing onto my back twice and losing two places (regained one). Maybe cost me the V45 prize (guy 8 sec ahead of me). Arm needed stitching, but despite all that it was a real adventure and a very friendly race with great support.
19-Sep-2015 Round Norfolk Relay stage 9 (~18M) 1:51:26 4 54 Once more the surreal experience of running down A-roads with a starry sky above, mist to the sides... and a van with a flashing orange light supporting me behind (thanks Fergie!). Third race weekend in a row, and trying to squeeze marathon training in mid-week, I feared I'd be embarrassingly slow here; but with Fri and most of Saturday off, my legs had freshened up enough for a respectable if not scintillating performance.
13-Sep-2015 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 1:17:53 12 455 Was hoping for a bit faster than last week (very light winds, flatter course) but maybe expecting a bit much doing 2 weekends in a row, also staying up and eating late at a party the night before. Beaten to V45 prize, but did pick up V40 Cambs County Champs medal at least. 1M before and 9.3M afterwards so 23.4M for the day.
06-Sep-2015 Wissey Half Marathon 1:17:52 12 258 I wasn't sure what to expect being a good 1 kg heavier than ideal after holidays, and my Snowdonia hill training has meant little quality flat speed work. And indeed the time here was a bit meh -- 2 mins slower than Cambridge in March -- there was a slight hill, and a bit of a breeze, but overall it was a quick course. But hey, it was also the British Masters and Eastern Veterans 2015 half marathon championships, so I secured silver and gold medals for the V45 category in those respecively. 1M before and 6M after to make 20M for the day, too.
15-Aug-2015 Keswick Parkrun (5K) 18:48 4 140 Inexplicably over a minute slower than at the end of last year's holiday (when I'd been enjoying very much the same excesses), but great to meet up with a couple of Sub-3 contacts beforehand who I'd normally see only at VLM.
01-Aug-2015 Borrowdale Fell Race (17M approx, 2000m climb/descent) 4:03:15 95 266 About 20 mins better than last year. This time I paced it more conservatively, took more fuel and some liquid, and the weather was kind so the rocks were less slippery. I knew I wouldn't be competitive here, so I made a YouTube video of it for posterity...
19-Jul-2015 St Ives 10K 36:07 6 510 I tapered properly for this to see -- at my age -- what I could really do over 10K now, but actually the wind was too strong (as often here) to be a fair test. A bit disappointed with the time having been caught alone into the headwind for the last 3K, but actually happy with how I raced it. 1st MV45 prize (and just held off the V40s).
09-Jul-2015 Girton 5K 17:46 10 198 A multiterrain village 5K that happened to be on my way back from work. Dry and pretty flat but knobbly, grassy and quite a lot of bends and wiggles, so while this isn't a great time, it was 'worth' more than the 17:32 on the track a few weeks ago. 1st MV45.
21-Jun-2015 Colworth Half Marathon 1:22:48 4 221 Another low-key multiterrain affair. I'd hoped to do better really; this wasn't a great time even allowing for the knobbly terrain (many field margins). For the first time in a race I found myself in some digestive distress for the whole second half, and was in no danger of gaining or losing any places anyway. Prize for first vet ("upgraded" to V35 as there were no faster V45s who hadn't also won a podium prize). Ran an extra 10M waiting for prizes, but still took it before the presentation started!
07-Jun-2015 (Histon) Flaming June Half Marathon 1:19:45 3 454 Low-key multiterrain affair, much of it on tracks (dry and flat but quite bumpy; not a certified distance I think). Led the race for the first mile or two, but two guys were with me and proved stronger. As the race wore on, my heart rate was higher than I'd seen for years, breathing hard too, yet my pace was terrible; could it be that all my blood was under my skin instead, trying to cool me in the strong sunshine, so it was all CV-limited? My legs weren't DOMSd afterwards so they clearly weren't being fully tested. Still, 20M for the day having added 6M waiting for prizes: 3rd overall and 1st V40.
23-May-2015 Cambs County Champs 5000m, Cambridge track 17:32 9 12 (Technically 1st out of 4 in the MV35 race.) Disappointingly slow, though I was reasonably disciplined about pace so I didn't blow up horrifically. County gold medal for 1st vet, though there wasn't much of a turn-out! And a couple of miles each way between home and the track too.
17-May-2015 Stockley Park 10K 36:27 4 325 I thought my legs were over the marathon by this point, but this performance was still rather disappointing. Set out optimistically quick in hindsight on the road bit; most of it was on decent tracks, with a few modest climbs and some loose surfaces. Nice prize medal (and bandana) for 1st V40 (though 1..3 were also V40) and I did get to stand on a podium!
10-May-2015 Dereham 10 Mile Race 60:06 7 284 Only 2 weeks after VLM but I thought my legs were pretty much OK. It felt OK to start with, and some kind wind and slopes helped, but reality then set in pretty badly! Nice trophy for 1st V45 though, and a few extra miles tacked on afterwards.
26-Apr-2015 Virgin Money London Marathon 2:40:05 294 + 40 elites 37559 + 40 Best marathon age-graded score (83.4%) ever, but my long-stated target was for this to be my last sub-2:40 -- which I missed by a tantalising smidgen! Felt so stupidly easy for the first half, as usual, that I allowed myself to creep up to ~2:39 pace, but then the suffering ramped in from about 18M so a +49 sec positive split overall. 19th V45 (but incorrectly listed as V40). Cool conditions so relative placing poor (bigger guys not troubled by heat this time). A big (high mileage) training regime, no injury or illness, good conditions, so I couldn't really have hoped for more.
29-Mar-2015 SEAA 12-stage Relays (long leg, 7664m) 27:38 163 271 Hilariously strong wind, and a cloudburst just as I began my leg turning my super-light shoes into what felt like wet clogs. Great team event though, and with a 4M jog from the Travelodge before and 15M total afterwards, a 24M marathon training day overall.
08-Mar-2015 Cambridge Half Marathon 1:15:52 10 3597 Windy today and with some sharp turns and U-bends -- the price you pay for being able to run through an iconic city centre -- yet for the second time this will be my highest WAVA score to date. Paced it much better than last year, aiming to start at 76 min pace and see how it went; and that proved bang on. Put on a bit of a surge in the last 2M to take a couple of scalps who've bettered me in the past, and felt good at the end. 3rd V40 prize. 2M before and 8M after to make 23M for the day, as marathon training.
01-Feb-2015 Watford Half Marathon 1:19:37 35 1821 A lot of sharp hills and a stiff headwind going out, though I sheltered reasonably behind others. Overcooked the first half a bit so I didn't get the expected negative split on the way back with the tailwind and net altitude drop. No prize; was 5th V40. So-so. Bit of right knee jip of late, noticed again after this.
24-Jan-2015 Southern Counties XC Championsips, Brighton (approx 15 km) 62:50 305 857 Never done one of these big regional champs before. The standard at the front was very high... but then I wasn't too close to the front! A continually hilly course; I was slow on the climbs but good on the descents, so kept trading places. Overall not a brilliant performance I think, but not too bad either.
10-Jan-2015 Essex League XC, Chingford (approx 4.7M) 34:35 64 151 The muddiest bog-fest I've ever run in! Legs pretty wooden from big commutes so I knew I'd be slow, but fancied a pre-birthday adventure.
31-Dec-2014 Ely New Year's Eve 10K 37:15 20 590 Not sure if it was the month's lack of speedwork or giving blood 48hrs beforehand, but this was a pretty rubbish performance for me! Very sociable though, and did extra miles afterwards to make 17M for the day.
26-Dec-2014 C&C Boxing Day 4M race 22:20 4 75 Low-key club jolly, nice to catch up with people. First fast running for 4 weeks since I twanged my thigh vaulting a cattle grid, great relief that it felt completely fine here. Heavy Christmas dinner the night before!
16-Nov-2014 St Neots Half Marathon 1:16:02 5 912 I wasn't intending to take this one too seriously after taking a last-minute number, the morning after a massive college feast -- the worst possible preparation. But actually it went surprisingly well as I gradually reeled in many who'd set off a bit quick early on. £20 for 2nd V40 and two flavours of team trophy won.
2-Nov-2014 Lode Half Marathon (curtailed to ~10.9M) 1:02:50 2 198 Police everywhere when I arrived: an illegal rave was blocking the course, which they hoped to clear in a few hours... but the organisers valiantly re-routed us. With no precise distance or pace to worry about, it was a proper ding-dong race at the front between four and then three of us; at about 9M, I failed to cover a move by KD, yelling "Do or Die" to my companion as I pegged after him. Second prize, anyway, and another 6M while waiting for prizes.
26-Oct-2014 Fenland 10M 58:08 5 277 I thought this was going to be a tactical one, with a strong headwind between 5.3 and 9.3M followed by a mad dash to the finish. So I went a bit faster than I wanted to early, to avoid being alone in the wind later, but we all split up anyway. Pretty happy with the time given the headwind miles. A faster V40 got a podium prize so I picked up £15 as "first" V40 and 3rd senior Cambs County Champs medal.
12-Oct-2014 Perkins Great Eastern Run (half marathon) 1:15:31 36 3787 Great conditions and a fast course but my ambition to bag one last sub-75 min half was just out of reach. I was really suffering for the last 3M, though it was only a +11 sec positive split. Actually my second best age-graded performance ever so it can't have been bad really! And good to catch up with lots of people. 5th V40 (no prize). PS very smart 1st men's team prize trophy recieved 1 month later!
05-Oct-2014 Abington 10K 35:10 7 379 Perfect conditions and a pretty flat course, so I was a bit disappointed not to crack 35 mins (getting too old?!). Trophy for 1st V40 and another 6.5M before presentations in prepartion for GER next week. Actual time more like 35:07, two laptops recording times and my result recorded from 'slower' one!
14-Sep-2014 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 1:16:29 6 529 Pretty pleased with this as I feel I still have a way to go in speed training. However, a distinct positive split, with the last 3M pretty slow. 1st V40 prize and team prize for a total of 65 GBP rare cash winnings; also 3rd senior CCC medal (and the V40 one was mentioned, but they'd run out!).
4-Sep-2014 Kevin Henry 5K, Cambridge 17:02 17 333 A bit miffed not to quite get sub-17 in good conditions. I greedily chose lighter shoes, and regretted it -- developed a nasty large blood-blister which was still with me for Grunty Fen -- and which hobbled me a bit towards the end of this one.
16-Aug-2014 Keswick Parkrun (5 km) 17:41 3 119 Just rounding off the family holiday...
02-Aug-2014 Borrowdale Fell Race (approx 17M and 6500' climb/descent) 4:24:47 116 272 An epic... I trained for this on the Grafton multistorey stairs and Castle Hill. Conditions were testing: driving icy rain on Scafell Pike, and a lot of wet rock. I lost a lot of time gingerly picking my way across the slippery boulders as the local experts streamed past, and was no match for their descent skills either. Took my own route on Glaramara when I should have stayed with the pack. On the ascents, I wasn't so bad, but was bonking by the last climb (Dale Head) as I just hadn't packed enough gels (should have broken into my emergency food). Skidded over a few times but only sustained bloody elbows. Disappointed not to be nearer the front, but a hell of a way to start the family holiday!
20-Jul-2014 St Ives 10k 35:50.5 6 520 Hoped to get sub-35 on this flat course in reasonable conditions (warm and muggy but only a light wind), despite my recent focus on hill/stair training for Borrowdale, so this was a bit disappointing -- even allowing for losing maybe 20 sec embarrassingly falling over off a kerb in the last mile!
03-Jul-2014 Kevin Henry 5k, nr Saffron Walden 17:57 7 259 Quite hilly and rather rough (but dry) paths with some right-angle bends and vegetation, so reasonably respectable if not electrifying performance.
21-Jun-2014 Southern Athletics League 5000m, Cambridge 17:14.4 5 10 I expected to be slow after a week that started with bad DOMS from the Linton hill, and 450m of stair training two days out. And this was about a minute behind PB. But I also got horrible deep blood-blisters in my rarely-worn (but very light) Pirhana SP3 shoes. Hobbled painfully home.
15-Jun-2014 Chilford 10k 37:06 1 143 Nice to get a win after 2 months of mending that post-VLM hamstring. A low-key 10k here with a decent hill -- good training for Borrowdale in 7 weeks, so I did some extra reps of that waiting for prizes. Total 15M for the day including a 3.5M warm-up and 5.5M cool-down. My Garmin made it 6.4M without showing any funnies in the satellite track, so the course may be a little long.
13-Apr-2014 Virgin London Marathon 2:39:43 180 + 32 elites 35819 + 32 A touch slower than last year, but given my advancing years and a slight headwind I wasn't worried about that, and had huge fun (see photo page). Initially thought I could stick with last year's 6:03/M pace but that wasn't quite maintainable, despite a couple of good surges from 13 and then 23M after seeing the family. A sudden twang from my hamstring at 24.6M scared me into easing off the pace a bit, fearing otherwise I'd have a complete disaster, a pity as I was running very strongly just then.
09-Mar-2014 Cambridge Half Marathon 1:16:15 12 3316 A bit slow compared to last year, but I started greedily fast, so I had to endure the pain of a bit of a blow-up in the last few miles; not ideal. Surprised to be placed so high though. 3rd MV40 prize. 1.4M before and 13.3M afterwards to make a big marathon training day.
23-Feb-2014 Action Heart 5M, Dudley 28:56 6 440 Intended to be an absolute fitness check, but crazy winds and significant hills mean the pace was all over the place. Started in 9th, got as high as 4th overall and 1st vet, but lost one, then exchanged places several times and ultimately lost out to the other vet to get 2nd V40 prize. (Two return tickets on the Severn Valley Railway, worth £36, and something we might actually use!) 3M before and 12M after to make 20M for the day.
05-Jan-2014 Cambs Cross-Country Championships, St Neots (~6.7M) 39:27 20 117 A minute faster than last year (when I was maybe a bit ill), but while I was happy with my running form, the actual speed wasn't particularly good (slowed down a bit with time). Two gold medals again for being in the winning senior (just!) and V40 teams. Good to catch up with clubmates.
29-Dec-2013 Buntingford Year End 10 Miler 58:22 4 497 Good to be back racing after a niggle-strewn period. First couple of miles involved tortuous sharp icy corners in housing estates, but it got better out of town (still some ice problems though, and mild hills). Nice 1st V40 trophy (as the faster V40s got 2nd and 3rd). Slow compared to PB, but OK given the course and my current fitness.
15-Nov-2013 Cambridge Fun Run (Science Park Relay), ~1.1M 5:48 3 596 A fun outing with work colleagues. I had the "glory" spot of winning the first leg -- after it all dissolves into a happy mishmash of slow fancy-dress runners on one leg and fast runners on later legs. First leg is also a bit quicker (no handover melee to escape), so I probably don't deserve the 3rd fastest listing in the official results. Calf sore before and after this though, so I binned the St Neots half marathon 2 days afterwards.
06-Oct-2013 Cambridge Town & Gown 10k 36:01 1 560 Nice to win! A £115 shoe voucher and trophy, too. But actually a bit of a disaster. After a fast start I backed off to protect my thigh from a slight niggle, then in the last mile I twanged my calf. Too vain not to continue and take the win, I finished cautiously, but was hobbling afterwards, leaving me almost certainly out of my big target GER race the next week. Looks like a small muscle tear.
22-Sep-2013 Leighton 10 miler 58:03 2 203 A couple of minutes off PB pace, but the course had some sharp hills, and my calves coped much better than Grunty Fen a couple of weeks ago. So I think I'm getting back to business on the speed front, with 3 weeks to sharpen a little more I hope for the GER. £30 voucher for 2nd overall.
08-Sep-2013 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 1:18:35 12 575 Ran conservatively as I'm still rebuilding speed after the summer, with an eye to the GER in 5 weeks, so 4 mins slower than PB. The last few miles were reasonably quick and comfortable though; 5 sec negative split overall. Won a £25 team prize and a county championship V40 medal.
05-Sep-2013 Kevin Henry 5km, Cambridge 18:41 50 238 Just taking it easy, with legs still a bit stiff from training, Grunty Fen in 3 days, and still rebuilding speed after the BGR. Good to see people though.
13-Aug-2013 Bob Graham Round (65.4M) 23:06:28 - - Not a race as such, but my own solo, unsupported crack at this famous challenge. Read all about it here. I was plagued with a shin problem before this, hence no other races over the summer, though that meant my BGR training wasn't in conflict with short races.
05-May-2013 Suffolk Heritage Coast Marathon 3:04:52 1 35 A charming race with a tiny field. Nice to win of course, but I actually blew up spectacularly, losing nearly 2 mins/mile in the last couple of miles. Not sure why, either!
21-Apr-2013 Virgin London Marathon 2:38:46 147+32 34170 (Listed as 147th in main results but also beaten by all 32 elites of course.) Very happy indeed with this; almost even splits. First 10M felt dreamily easy; bit of a wobble around 16M before kicking myself back into gear. A bit lumpy after that, but better than my best hopes. I can now die happy :-) Photos and video
10-Mar-2013 Cambridge Half Marathon 1:14:51 10 3391 Very pleased with this, logging a slight negative split and taking about 5 places on lap 2. 2nd MV40 prize. Another 4M at moderate pace afterwards felt fine, though nasty blister afterwards. Gives me a backup VLM champs qualifying time for 2014 & 2015 too.
03-Mar-2013 Huntingdon (Hinchingbrooke) Frostbite (cross-country, ~5M) 29:11 7 344 Wasn't expecting much after my highest mileage week ever (80M), though with a rest day before. Quite pleased with this, and a decent sprint finish. 4M before and 6M after to total 15M. The start of my taper/sharpening week for the Cambridge half.
10-Feb-2013 Folksworth 15 (miles) 1:29:30 6 380 Started a bit conservatively perhaps, knowing my endurance was OK but speed a bit poor still, and to stay in the shelter of a group in the bitter wind; but gave it more welly in the second half with some fun tactical surges to catch and drop a couple of others, so it felt like a proper race. MV40 prize (as the 2 faster V40s took podium prizes).
06-Jan-2013 Cambs Cross-Country Championships, St Neots (~6.7M) 40:30 19 121 Started OK, but faded badly, and felt peculiar running the cool-down. Later realised I'm a bit ill (iffy ankle could do with a rest anyway). Still, two county medals for being part of winning senior and vet men's teams.
16-Dec-2012 Huntingdon Frostbite (cross-country, ~4.6M) 27:30 5 373 Club-only event; a proper traditional mudbath in places, but also some dry tracks. Pretty happy with this, though seem to be developing a tibial leg niggle after a good injury-free period.
01-Dec-2012 Jingle Mile (Cambridge track) 4:56 2 8? Very low-key club event; I'd never raced over a mile before, which is obviously a bit on the short side for me, but was quite happy to get under 5 mins at least. Maybe ~40 runners in all, in 4 batches.
18-Nov-2012 St Neots Half Marathon 1:16:16 7 921 Happy to put in a respectable if not electric performance as I had a calf scare, and wasn't sure I should start at all. Seem to have got away with it, though it is a bit sore now. Men's and "Frostbite" team prizes.
04-Nov-2012 Lode Half Marathon 1:17:54 1 152 Another win! (Albeit in a low-key village race.) Horrible weather; slipstreamed a guy to half-way turnaround, then chased the leader downwind, catching him only at 11M. Local newspaper story here.
28-Oct-2012 Fenland 10 mile, West Walton 57:42 6 213 Started well but the pace became poor as found myself alone with a bit of a headwind. 3rd Cambs County medal though.
14-Oct-2012 Perkins Great Eastern Run (half marathon) 1:14:33 34 3431 Phew! At last a sub-75 min half after all those ~76s. Nice weather and a good group to run with on a flat course. 3rd MV40 prize. Best result so far in WAGA terms (84.04%). Also this turned out to be the UK championship race, and we got hefty bronze medals for being 3rd men's team.
07-Oct-2012 St Neots Frostbite (cross-country, ~5M) 28:41 15 389 Respectable but not scintillating. We (C&C) won as a team, though I was only 4th scorer.
09-Sep-2012 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 1:20:47.5 12 572 First race since resuming training after my calf trouble, so I didn't expect much. Hot weather, and rather stiff legs afterwards despite the slow time, but I did pick up the 2012 V40 Cambs county champs half marathon medal as a bonus.
15-Jul-2012 Fairlands Valley Challenge 50k DNF - ??? Oh dear. Right calf had been stiff all week after Felsted 10k and BGR stair training. Started race comfortably but calf soon became a serious problem, so I returned to base early covering only 23 miles.
08-Jul-2012 Felsted 10k 34:23 2 312 First half a bit quick (17:02) though slightly downhill. Pleased to find a bit of extra oomph to reclaim 2nd in last half mile (though AM in 3rd would normally beat me easily!). 2nd overall prize.
10-Jun-2012 Bassingbourne Heroes Half Marathon 1:16:08 1 412 Woo-hoo, a win! MV40 trophy and £100 Sweatshop voucher. Nice weather. Started in 5th but gradually reeled in everyone who'd started ambitiously fast, taking the lead only at 8 miles.
06-Jun-2012 Hatfield Broad Oak 10K 34:43 6 1106 Same position and MV40 prize as last year; a little slower, and 30 sec down on PB, but feeling on much better form than 3 weeks ago. Started a little conservatively and then upped the pace.
13-May-2012 Dereham 10 mile 58:39 5 180 Started OK with the wind, but faded rather into the increasing breeze on the return leg; disappointed with the time. Caught by two in the last mile but out-sprinted one for the line. 2nd MV40 prize.
10-May-2012 Kevin Henry 5k (Impington) 17:34 9 ~167 Inter-club event. Bit muddy and windy. Went off far too fast and wilted horribly.
06-May-2012 Lode 10k approx (~6 miles) 34:23 2 47 A low-key but very friendly village race. 1st MV31-50 prize.
22-Apr-2012 Virgin London Marathon 2:42:38 260 36672 My annual big treat. Thought I might have an outside chance of 2:40 but that 2:42 was more realistic, so I hit half way on a 2:41 schedule and then tried to hang on. Slowed a bit from 18, and had a shock slow mile 25, but overall kept my focus and it hurt a lot less than last year. Unbelievably though, I just equalled my PB of last year to the second, gah! Also beaten by 26/27 in the earlier elite women's race. Photos
11-Mar-2012 Cambridge Half Marathon 1:15:45 13 ~2500 Good even-paced run, new PB; great atmosphere; flat but twisty course. Timing chip problems meant I was missing from the results list initially and many others probably are still. 4th MV40 prize.
26-Feb-2012 Tarpley 10 mile 57:02 2 223 Quite pleased with this as I generally felt reasonably strong, though I was about a minute off my PB from last year. Beautiful weather. 2nd overall and team prizes.
18-Feb-2012 Cambridge Parkrun 5k 17:24 3 300 Not raced for a while due to more injury woes (an arm problem, then back problems), so this was a quick test of how slow I'd become... not as bad as I feared. With 2.5M to get there and 8.5M afterwards, 14M total run.
27-Nov-2011 City of Norwich Half Marathon 1:20:02 22 2243 First race after a couple of months on the injury bench, and a pretty strong wind too, so reasonably happy with this (didn't really earn the race number 7 I was honoured with though!).
31-Jul-2011 Southern Men's League 5000m 16:24.8 4 18?? (Technically 1st out of 3 in the 'B' race.) Pretty warm but only a light breeze; 8s down on PB, but reassuring after lousy 5000m 2 months ago. Paced much better this time.
17-Jul-2011 St Ives 10k 34:33 2 460 2nd overall and MV40 prizes; would still like to go sub-34, but maybe it's just beyond me. About 20 sec slower than the same race last year, though the wind was probably stronger this time.
03-Jul-2011 Newmarket 10k 35:02 5 181 MV40 prize; felt like a strong run, but slower than I'd like. Reasonable but not super-quick course with signficant hill and an off-road stretch.
26-Jun-2011 Stortford 10M 62:07 4 196 MV40 prize but a disastrous run from 6M, possibly a touch of heatstroke. Some off-road.
19-Jun-2011 Huntingdon 10k 35:37 2 386 2nd prize; mixture of good surfaces and some knobbly/muddy.
05-Jun-2011 Tilty Hilly 5M 28:15 3 129 3rd prize; the clue is in the name -- not flat! But technically a PB.
30-May-2011 Hatfield Broad Oak 10k 34:24 6 1248 MV40 prize; undulating, hot weather.
14-May-2011 Cambs Athletic Champs 5000m 16:51 7 7 Last! Felt oddly underpowered and it just got worse. Windy, too.
7-May-2011 Cambridge Parkrun 5k 17:01 1 217 Nice to win, but I was hoping for sub-17... pretty dry course.
17-Apr-2011 Virgin London Marathon 2:42:38 212 34804 A PB, but my target was sub-2:40; ankle problem affected last month of prep. Became hot.
27-Feb-2011 Cambridge Boundary Run Marathon 2:59:26 2 144 Team prize. Not really racing, just VLM training exercise; whole field did a little extra near Addenbrookes! Quite a lot off-road.
6-Feb-2011 Bourne Frostbite (cross-country, ~5M) 28:31 4 383 Team event in nice woods, not too muddy.
30-Jan-2011 Reedham 10M 55:57 3 401 3rd prize (fun shoe-shaped trophy) and a PB by 1 sec! Proper race amongst the lead group.
16-Jan-2011 Ramsey Frostbite (cross-country, ~5M) 29:44 2 389 Team event, did better than expected.
8-Jan-2011 Cambridge Parkrun 5k 17:36 1 154 An excuse to try out my 'birthday' X-Talon 190 shoes. Nobody challenging so didn't push too hard.
21-Nov-2010 St Neots Half Marathon 1:15:55 4 855 MV40 prize. Not the fastest course, so quite pleased; PB by 10 sec. Would still like to go sub-75 of course.
19-Nov-2010 Cambridge Fun Run (Science Park Relay, ~1.12M) 5:49 5 441 Probably not wise 2 days before St Neots! My watch said 5:45 (5:08/M).
17-Oct-2010 Abingdon Marathon 2:43:09 11 707 Perfect conditions and the most even-paced, controlled marathon I've yet run.
18-Sep-2010 Round Norfolk Relay (Gt Yarmouth to Bungay, 20.06M) 2:03:17 4 54 Surreal 11pm to 1am stage alone along main roads, with long-suffering clubmates tailing me in a car with flashing orange lights. Actually quite pleased with this.
12-Sep-2010 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 1:16:05 5 434 MV40 prize (GBP40? cash) and 3rd Cambs medal (counted higher than V40). Windy (as usual).
31-Jul-2010 Souther Men's League 5000m 16:16.5 4 22? Not brilliant tactically (led a group instead of sheltering) but time pleasing. PB.
18-Jul-2010 St Ives 10k 34:12 2 430-ish 2nd, MV40 and team prizes. Quite windy so pleasantly suprised by time. PB.
10-Jul-2010 Norwich Lord Mayor's 5k 16:26 13 81 Amazing race: huge city-centre crowd waiting for Lord Mayor's parade hoodwinked into supporting a very small number of runners... including a big name or two at the front. PB.
4-Jul-2010 Shifnal Steeplechase Half Marathon 1:19:47 4 161 Done for fun as it was handy for Clare's folks. Slowed right down once I had the MV40 prize safely in the bag to leave my legs fresh for Lord Mayor's 5k the following weekend.
13-Jun-2010 Wymondham Midsummer 10M 55:58 1 110 A proper win! Had a huge ruptured blister in the last mile but couldn't very well stop when I was leading the race. Sped up nicely in 2nd half and only took the lead with a mile or two to go.
16-May-2010 Deepings 10k 34:47 4 146 2nd MV40 prize. Faded rather in second half.
8-May-2010 Cambridge Parkrun 5k 17:07 1 121 Fairly dry course. On my own.
25-Apr-2010 Virgin London Marathon 2:44:47 306 36500-ish Wheels came off slightly in last few miles, but just squeaked inside 2:45 qualification for Championship start next year -- phew! Photos
21-Feb-2010 Bungay Great East Run 20k 1:14:13 5 500-ish Got somewhat hypothermic in driving sleet. Nice glass trophy for 1st MV40 prize.
16-Jan-2010 Country to Capital (ultramarathon ~43M) 6:03:15 3 90 Epic event to celebrate 40th birthday; rain, ice, floods, fields, Wendover to London. 3rd prize. Planned and recorded Garmin course files.
27-Dec-2009 Shrewsbury Severn Loop 5k 17:02 8 151 Two 180 degree turns but also net downhill.
20-Nov-2009 Cambridge Fun Run (Science Park Relay, ~1.12M) 5:41 4 543 2nd team prize (medals).
18-Oct-2009 Abingdon Marathon 2:48:54 30 406 Problem with L shin and R calf but first marathon since I altered my running style to reduce cadence, which worked nicely.
13-Sep-2009 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 1:16:34 9 500ish Started way too fast to keep with group providing shelter. Windy (as usual). New running style.
19-Jul-2009 RAF Marham 10M 57:34 5 131 Wind, rain, and a moderate hill up to airfield.
12-Jul-2009 Bushy 10k (Peterborough) 35:04 4 405 Pleased with placing.
10-May-2009 Halstead Marathon 2:57:35 9 463 Undulating; pretty hot weather.
22-Feb-2009 Draycote Water Marathon 2:59:55 1 100 Unexpected win in debut marathon as adult; very windy, and poorly paced, with agonising last lap of the lake. GBP65 cash winnings.
21-Dec-2008 Wolverhampton Turkey Trot 5M 28:41 12 250 Beaten by a guy in a Santa hat, but did get a seasoned turkey breast...
28-Sep-2008 Brompton World Championships, Blenheim Palace 23:45 12 364 OK this was a bike event -- suit jacket mandatory, start included unfolding the bike, then two scarily quick laps. A world ranking at last! :-)
21-Sep-2008 Chariots of Fire relay (Cambridge, ~1.73M) 8:49 ? ??? A sporting debacle; I ran for Churchill College but the committee decided I wasn't eligible, so our team cup was passed on to Catz!
14-Sep-2008 Grunty Fen Half Marathon 81:58 27 500 Very stiff legs after this and faded badly last 3M.
02-Mar-2008 Lode Muddy Marvel (~5M) 31:07 5 159 Cross-country behind Anglesey Abbey.
24-Feb-2008 Bury Nearly 10 (~9.4M) 57:04 7 232 First race of my modern career.
??-??-???? Hinchingbrooke 10k 35:35 10 171 Can't remember much about this but must be old because the results are hand-written!
21-Sep-2003 Chariots of Fire relay (Cambridge) 9:03 ? ??? Favourite bit is always sprinting through courts and archways of Clare College
22-Jul-2001 London to Cambridge Bike Ride ? bit under 3hr ? ???
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Autumn 1994? Oxford/Cambridge meeting Iffley Road, 3000m 9:17.3 1 ? The only race I remember doing over a known distance at the tail end of university (everything else was cross country). After this I got horribly overtrained and so scuppered any chance for a Blue :-(
12-Jan-1993 Cambridge University league XC 33:48 20 46 Can't remember anything else about this
05-Feb-1991 CU Hare & Hounds relay ??:?? ?? ??? Organised when I was Churchill running captain
15-Jan-1991 CU Inter-college XC league Div 2, Grange Rd 29:14 7 40 ?
17-Nov-1990 CU Cuppers XC 37:36 44 125 ?
24-Jun-1990 Netherne 7 39:35 13 382 My Mum worked there
17-Jan-1990 CU Inter-college XC league Div 2, Grange Rd 29:02 5 31 ?
18-Nov-1989 CU Cuppers XC 36:39 21 105 Can't remember anything else about this
05-Nov-1989 Ampthill XC (senior men) 31:57 54 141 Can't remember anything else about this
25-Nov-1989 2nd-5th teams Oxford/Cambridge XC ??:?? ?? ?? ?
25-Oct-1989 CU Inter-college XC league Div 2, Grange Rd 28:45 6 31 ?
16-Mar-1989 Cambridge boundary run (half marathon option) 1:32:54 4 19 Wow this race has grown a lot since then!
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1983? Masters and Maidens Marathon, Guildford 4:12:?? ??? ??? Ran aged 13 with my dear departed middle-aged, marathon-mad mum Bunty Wartnaby, along with Stephen Simmons and Mr Mansen the geography teacher...


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