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Marathon update: more photos online!

Virgin London Marathon 2010

I updated my marathon photos on flickr with the official ones

Virgin London Marathon 2010

Colm has uploaded his marathon photos

Virgin London Marathon 2010

Rosie has uploaded her marathon photos


Just waiting for James’ now! They all got such great pictures, I am thrilled! I think you can now appreciate looking at the pictures that I was having the time of my life on that run :)

I did it!

medal photo

At the finish, tired but so happy

London Marathon? Done :) My official time was 4:31:35, and I couldn’t be happier. Everything went smoothly, and I am feeling very pleased with myself. There’s no damage done, my knees were a bit sore last night but today everything feels good.

The Marathon is an amazing high. I had my name on my vest and it really felt on the day like the whole of London was chanting my name. The spectators are incredible and the vibe from the crowds just lifts you so much. The other runners are all in great spirits and there’s tonnes of banter en route. It really was a tremendously emotional day.

Once I get them, I will upload the official pics. My friends came out to watch me run and they took some incredible photos, which I look forward to sharing with you too.

I will do this again. Next time, the target will be under 4 hours. I may even do a fall marathon this year.

You can see my race stats here on garmin connect. As you can see from the split times apart from pee stops and chatting with my supporters I pretty much nailed my pace (10 min/mile).

In terms of the blow by blow I will say this: the first 15 miles went in a flash, the crowd and the runners were all in high spirits and the miles just whizzed by. I literally ran the first 15 miles with a gigantic, idiotic grin on my face.

Mile 6 was the Cutty Sark, the first thing I looked forward to. Next milestone was around mile 10 when we crossed Tower Bridge. That was truly amazing because the ROAR of the crowd was just deafening and the crowd chanted my name all the way across :)

The next milestone was mile 14 where my awesome friends were waiting with cheers of encouragement, supplies, cameras to take pictures and (omg awesome) a cold, wet towel to wipe my face with. Mile 14 was Narrow street and my absolute favourite part of the marathon. Another area where the crowd just roared, and there were so many people watching, dancing, chanting, waving, or offering goodies (brownies, bananas, oranges, sweets,  you name it!)

Next milestone was Canary Wharf, at 19/20 miles which was packed and really great too. Awesome crowds, and the drums! Amazing drums which really lifted spirits in a tricky bit of the race (everything starts to hurt from mile 18).

Then, mile 21 is back through Limehouse on Commercial road and I saw my friends again for a quick chat and another cold towel-down. At this point I was told about our dinner reservation at Gaucho Grill that night which basically carried me the rest of the way to the finish :) I was so happy to see my friends at this point that I probably looked like I’d already won the race :) Limehouse was so great – even down by the station the crowds were thick and chanting and yelling. Everybody was shouting my name and I was getting really emotional.

From mile 21, things got really tough. Everything hurt and the last 5 miles felt very, very far. Thames street was miserable for me. A real head down, gritted teeth mile… Luckily the crowds along Embankment and the Mall really lift you and suddenly you are nearly finished and picking up speed again. I managed not to stop running all race but around mile 20 a lot of runners start walking – this actually gave me a boost as I started to pass a lot of people, happy to have paced myself well.

At the finish, the feeling is indescribable. So tired, but so happy, relieved, proud, emotional… You get your medal and a goodie bag. I devoured every source of food in that goodie bag in about 3 minutes flat. Then my friends came and met me with champagne and more goodies and we hung out in whitehall drinking from the bottle :)

Back home, Colm showed off his brilliant pictures of the day to music while we drank Bolly 2000 – which was just awesome :) Then off to dinner at Gaucho where I devoured a 400g Fillet and whatever sides were in sight ! What an amazing, amazing day :)

I was thinking earlier today, that if someone told me a year ago I would run the marathon in 4 and a half hours this year (or at all), I would have laughed right in their face. Just goes to show you…

You can do anything, if you set your mind to it.

Isn’t that just awesome to know?

You’ve come a long way, baby

garmin data

Garmin data since Feb 2010

One more week to go.

Getting excited, and apprehensive. As you can see, my training has been a bit patchy, I have not managed as many runs as I would have liked, but work has kept me busy and injury meant I wasn’t running at all in January and not much in February.

However a recent burst has caught me up a bit and I am feeling as ready as I’ll ever be. Certainly the fittest I have ever been in my life. It feels good. In the last year my body fat has gone from 25% to 15%, I lost a stone in weight and my resting heart rate has dropped from 75 or so to 55. 55! I hurt my foot racing barefoot (I know, I know) in October last year but have since bounced back and fingers crossed, am ready for the big 26.

So I am totally going to do this (see me doing the positive thinking thing already?). Look out for me on Marathon day, next Sunday the 25th April. I am runner number 40310 and I’ll be in a Hope for Children vest. I should be doing about a 9:45 minutes per mile pace, on average. If you see me – YELL :) Oh, also, take pictures and send them my way!

Yes, you can still sponsor me!


The Virgin London Marathon

Me, in Lycra and NipGuards!

In Lycra and NipGuards after running 21 miles in training.

So this year I will be running the Virgin London Marathon. This is quite a challenge for me as I only started running regularly 10 months ago. It’s getting close to race day (25th April) and so I wanted to share with you my race number, so you can follow my progress online on the day: it’s 40310.

I also wanted to share with you my sponsorship form! I’m running for Hope for Children. It’s never too late to sponsor me and any donation would be gratefully received :)   Click here to sponsor me.

If you will be there spectating and fancy keeping your eye out for me, I am aiming to run about a 4:30, so that’s about a 10 minute mile pace, and I start at 9:45am, so you should be able to figure out where I’ll be when, assuming my run goes to plan :) I will be wearing skin tight black lycra (because it looks hot) and NipGuards (because bleeding nipples are no fun) and a white/red Hope for Children Vest over the top. I will also be wearing a grimace of pain and suffering for most of the distance!

If you’ve been following the automated Garmin Connect posts on this site you’ll see my training regimen, which is a bit behind what I’d like, but the best I could manage in the little spare time I have. My longest training run so far has been 21 miles, and I’m very very proud of myself for managing that! 21 miles of constant running is a lot of progress for a guy who collapsed in a heap after run/walking 3 miles just 10 months ago :)

I am about to start my taper towards race day now, but might manage one more long run this week if time permits. As always you can track my progress here by looking out for the Garmin Connect links which pop up from time to time…

The 2009 Maggies London Night Hike

Last weekend myself and six friends/colleagues took part in the Maggies London Night Hike, a 20 miles sponsored night hike around the streets of London, to raise money for Maggies cancer centres.

We started out at 9pm from City Hall, near Tower Bridge, and walked until about 7am, with various stops en route to drink coffee and visit London Open House weekend buildings, such as the Royal Geographical Society, the Channel 4 building and Horse Guards.

We made it pretty much intact, although we picked up a few blisters between us (I was unscathed, thankfully). It was fairly tough with the distance and the fatigue (we’d all done a days work already that day so walking all night was tiring stuff). A couple of team members were certainly a little grouchy towards the end – but then we all have our ways of coping with sleep deprivation :-)

We raised in total just under £5000 for the charity, which is the most important thing, and something I’m very proud of. We also got to accomplish something, and see some cool sights, some of which I documented through the monumental struggle of lugging my SLR along the course of the route (!)

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Our motley crew ready to get going.

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Our little jaunt on the London Eye.

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Some of the sights we saw on our journey.

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Some of the rest stops we took on the way (love the last pic of Fash looking bleak – that was at mile 18 or so) :)

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Arriving at the finish line!

You can see the full flickr gallery of the hike, or even view the annotated route on everytrail below:

Maggies night hike 2009 at EveryTrail

London to Brighton bike ride

Yesterday I decided to do set myself a bit of a fitness challenge – ride from my flat in Limehouse (east London) to Brighton seafront, along the route of the British Heart Foundation’s annual event. Why this route? It avoids major roads and is very scenic. And I’d like to do this charity event next year, and wanted to see if I was up for it :)

So I set off at 10:40am with the route programmed into my Garmin Edge 705 (you can see the route I used here: Limehouse to Brighton route), my camelback on my back with a couple of energy bars, and my camera, not really sure if I was going to make it at all.

Well I did! I must say when the pain really set in around mile 35, I had my doubts. My legs were burning, I was very low on energy and clearly hadn’t brought enough food with me. However once I found a newsagent, bought some snickers bars and took a lunch break I felt much better and found my second wind. The last 10 miles were torture as they involved crossing Burgess Hill, a tortuous ascent, especially after riding 50 miles! I remember the feeling of dread when I saw it:

IMG_1170 “holy crap I have to climb that?!”

But somehow I got up and over and was rewarded with the views!:

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Shortly after that I got my first glimpse of the sea and I knew I was home and dry :)

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It was at this point that I recorded the rather cheesy video you see before you:

Finally, after riding 63 miles in just over 7 hours, I arrived, elated, at Brighton beach :)

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I hung around to see the sunset, then hopped on the train back to London. Job done!

Sunset on Brighton beach

If you are interested in the actual route I took and the detailed stats (speed, heart rate, etc) you can find it here: garmin activity log – London to Brighton ride. You can also see the flickr set of the images I took here: flickr set – London to Brighton ride.

London to Brighton bike ride at EveryTrail