Monday, 6 November 2017

In My Minds Eye - Funny How Time Flies

I'm not one for regular posts on my running or training, you only need to look at the last time i posted below yep, April 2016, whats happened since then, here is a fly by to take you quickly through 2016 and catch up with where i am in 2017.


  • Hoka Highland Fling, 53 Miles,  Position 32nd, 1st Vet 50 and a new course PB for me in 08:50:18
  • Strathearn Marathon, Position 5th, 1st Vet 50 and a Marathon PB in 2:53:43
  • John Lucas Memorial, 50 Miles,  Position 2nd, 1st Vet 50 in 6:38
  • River Ayr Way Challenge, 40 Miles, Position 5th, 1st vet 50 in 5:23
  • Zeiler Waldermarathon, Position 7th, 1st Vet 50 in 3:15:53
All in all i cannot complain 5 Ultras, 2 Marathons (1 in the forest), finishing 1st Vet 50 in all races i entered with 2 podium spots and 2 PBs.

i decided that 2017 would be different, i wanted to step back from ultras to see if i could improve on my marathon times after all i ain't getting any younger so i thought what better time at 52 to try and see what the year would bring.

Loch Katrine Marathon - 19th March 2017:

My training was going reasonably well for December taking me nicely into January, during a chance
meeting out running i bumped in to Andy Callan who i have known for many years during our time at Springburn Harriers, we shared some miles when unfortunately a trip over Andy's foot at a road crossing would cause me to break 2 ribs leading to just over six weeks being side lined. My first race was fast approaching,
Loch Katrine which was to be a stepping stone for the VLM (Virgin London Marathon) which was 6 weeks later, i wasn't sure if i was going to be ready in time, race day arrived and we started off at a steady pace which i settled in with Gerry Craig and the Neil Barton that he beat the year all was going reasonably well for me, Gerry dropped off slightly as i sat in 2nd place for most of the race,  similar to the year before i passed the leader Neil Barton  roughly at  the same spot Gerry did in 2016, the race would finish in that order with me crossing the line in 02:58:29, with Neil taking second in 03:00:34, Stephen Rowntree in third and Gerry in 4th.

Virgin London Marathon - 23rd April 2017:

six weeks later and it was on to my "A" race, the VLM, it was all down to Strathearn Marathon the year before that would get me the qualifying time for a GFA place (Good For Age), i arrived in London and stayed in Paddington over the weekend, on the morning of the race i met up with Mark Ashby and Alex Potter as we travelled out to the start at Blackheath, both are seasoned VLM runners, as we arrived i met some familiar faces, Sandra Beattie and Gavin Harvie. the conditions were perfect and the adrenaline was pumping, we were called to the start line and then we were off, as the coloured groups started to merge it was amazing for a first timer, conditions seemed to get warmer as the miles passed, the crowds were amazing and time was flying by, my planned 5km splits were on target and before i knew it i was approaching Big Ben, it would not belong before the finish line would arrive, i was absolutely delighted when i turned on to the Mall to see that i was on for another Marathon PB time, which i managed to cross the line in 2:49:23.

Strathearn Marathon -11th June 2017:

Left to Right - 2nd, 1st and 3rd
Again it was six weeks after VLM and i was back at Strathearn again for a second consecutive year on what is a very tough course, i bumped into Gavin Harvie again on the start line who was using it as part of his WHW training. Conditions were ideal compared to the previous year where it poured the whole race and was freezing cold at the end, Ian Beattie got the race started, off we went and it wasn't long before the race came down to 2 runners sharing the miles me and local runner Rich Myres who i met the year before when he finished in 3rd spot and me in 5th and a PB We were neck and neck up to the 25 mile marker but Rich managed to find another gear and open a gap on me finishing in 02:50:48, i held on for 2nd place crossing the line in a course PB of 2:51:2, around 30 seconds behind but nearly 2 minutes  and 20 seconds faster than my time from the year before.

Clyde Stride Ultra Marathon - 15th July 2017:

CS40 - CP1
I decided to enter the CS in December as my only ultra of the year, the plan was to use it to keep me ticking over prior to going on holiday a few days later, the race was again the six week recovery after Strathearn, seemed to be working well,  conditions again were also perfect,  it was the usual hello to the many people at registration whom i have gotten to know over the many years of ultra running, after the customary pre race speech, the race went off at the usual blistering pace with Grant Jeans leading the way followed by Craig Reid and myself, Grant was later to pull out with David McLure coming through to win in 04:52 with Craig in second in 04:54, Steven Porteous who would catch me with under a mile to go finishing in 3rd with a time of 05:01:03 and then myself in 4th in a time of 5:06 which would give me the 12th fastest time over the course and fastest                                                   non podium place finisher ever.

Loch Ness Marathon - 24th September 2017:

I decided at the closing point of entries to go for the Loch Ness Marathon, i was aware that my training partner Gerry Craig had also entered and was heading up with the family for the weekend so i knew that we would share some of the distance together, Gerry kindly invited me to join him, Linda and Andrew for a meal the night before with a couple of pre fuel beers. i met Gerry at his hotel early doors on race day and we travelled to get the bus to the start, whilst on the long journey around the Loch out to the start, the rain came down, we eventually arrived at the start,  for anyone who has never ran this event, you are out in the middle of nowhere on a hilly road with no shelter from the wind and rain. 

Brian Burnett who was starting the race soon got it underway, the race has a fast start due to the first mile being downhill followed with plenty of climbs and a killer hill thrown in at mile 19, me and Gerry worked away well with a small gap opening between us just before half way, i was through in 1:21:00 and  i think Gerry in around 1:22:44, the second half was certainly tough as i tried to concentrate on running down the miles, as i arrived back in to the town centre, Linda and Andrew gave me a shout as i crossed the river back on to the other side which was around 1km left to run, i could hear the tannoy system calling out the finishers names as i was getting closer to the finish line, i received a shout out from Gavin Harvie (he's stalking me this season), lol, he was working at the expo, this probably gave me the wee kick i needed right at the end to get me in with another Marathon PB, all be it 7 seconds as i could see the clock heading towards my London Time. 

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