ASICS Super Six 2011: The Result

It's time to reveal our ASICS Super Six 2011!

Posted: 17 December 2010

After a week of voting and speculation, please join us in congratulating our ASICS Super Six winners: peter thompson 14, UpsyDaisy, Kryptonite, Alexandra S, Ultra Sparkly Bridget and Mustkeeptrying. Having been selected from more than 1,100 contenders, the lucky six will now embark on their marathon journeys - their Paris Marathon training schedules will start on Monday!

Make sure you don't miss out on the expert training advice, injury-busting tips and community support they'll enjoy right up until April 11 - stay tuned for further updates and the Super Six's own threads coming soon.

Previous article
Races of the Year 2010
Next article
Pocket Race Guide - Festive Fun Runs


Discuss this article

Matt Lorentz (mustkeeptrying) Sub 5 hr category- Please vote for me I seem to have been challenged by self imposed obesity since the age of 10 (and yes at that point i announced my retirement from the Olympic team!) I am now ready to come out of retirement and see what can happen. I do want to continue to lose weight and attempt to shift away from the 24 pack stomach that is presently wobbling away in front of me and having a belly button that is like a cave- sorry that's gross but true- i do think it could be a cave thoguh and that's where Osama's been hiding all this time! This is a great chance to get help and support to be the healhiest/fittest I have ever been and to set my family up for a different way of living.
My family and I had a bad springtime this years with me admitted for a prolonged stay in hospital with enchephalitus (brian inflammation). After two months I was able to start my recovery at home and trying to get back to where i was before.
I slooowly survived the Paris marathon in 2009 (5hr 55mins) when i was well and so to have the chance to go back, with all the support from the professionals, to at least get back to where I was before (or hopefully way beyond) will be an emotional journey which I will share every plodding step of the way.
I have a young family and i am a teach so training time is precious and the coaches have already made me start to realise that i need to examine this sacred exercise time to utilise it better, instead of just plodding along like i have for years. My kids, Emma and Owen, already have enjoyed doing the physio exercises with me. This also goes really well with my work as the example can be seen at school that similar kids to me at a young age can see that things can change if you try.
Photos, videos and blogs to give you regular up-dates of every fact from the running prophets that are the ASICS coaches, all the titbits (physio found my glutes and stretched me in ways finding body parts i never knew existed!) and training advice to see how much it can really help the tortoise of the running world.
Its as cheesy as two slabs of edam with some chedder in the middle but i'm hoping for a life changing experience that i will make sure will benefit as many others as possible.
Join in with me and we can all do it together and see how much the expert advice and support can hlep us to achieve our goals in the springtime.
Many thanks- please vote for me
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 18:42

 Vote Thompson! Peter Thompson sub 3hr category -

Thought i'd get my plea in there early, below is a bit more about my background and why i so badly want to win the competition! Please msg me if you want to know more about me and my motivation for wanting to win etc.

For me running provides a positive focus in my life. I’ve always been a really competitive person and have found running the perfect event to bring that out. I’ve played both football and tennis at a reasonable level but with running what appeals to me is the fact that there are no excuses and no other people to blame.

It would be fair to say I love sport, whether it be watching, coaching or playing. I’ve always been really competitive and am highly driven when it comes to my personal fitness. I got into running 3 years ago with the ambition of completing a sub 3 hour marathon. Last month I achieved a PB of 3hr 6min and realised this ambition was in sight. Hopefully through your votes and this competition I'll achieve that 3 hour marathon i've been craving!

 Thanks Peter

(peter thompson 14)

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 19:28

Like everyone else, I'm thrilled to be shortlisted. I didn't quite expect to be here, but now I am of course I want to see this through to the end.

So let me tell you a little about the selection day in Birmingham. After some intro's my group headed straight out to the track to have a coaching session. The track, of course, was buried somewhere beneath an inch of snow so the gentle warm up was a good idea. (lessons learnt  1: remember to warm up). We were then told we'd do an exercise of alternating running at two different paces. This was music to my ears as I have a total two different paces: jogging pace and lung busting flat out pace. Unfortunately, we were asked to run at marathon pace for 100m and fast 10k pace for 400m - then repeat x10 to make 5k. This is a great  drill but it left me completely exhausted (lesson 2: don't start what you can't finsh. Get your pacing right). 

After a short break we headed back to the track for a second session. Being a quick learner (or possibly just becuase I was exhausted) I got my pacing a little better this time around. The session was simply about finding your marathon pace (in my case 8min miles) and simply churning out lap after lap while holding the pace. Quite simple, but quite effective - I forced myself to adopt a steady pace. (Thanks to TempoTom for working with me!). The coaching was great - watching the clock and shouting good advice. Great!

My group was fortunate enough to complete the track work before lunch, so it was back inside for jaffa cakes and sarnies before an informative physio session in the afternoon. Apparently the exercises will be posted on the RW site - I think everyone will find them useful.

So, all in all, a great day. I'd love to work with the coaches and pass on their advice to others. Marathon? Me? ...maybe.

Paul (Sub 3:30 category)

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 20:00

After hearing the good news that I have been shortlisted I simply could not sit still and decided to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Maria, I am 28 and currently live in Glasgow with my husband Andrew and our little son Allan who has recently turned 6 months J  I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors and spent most summers hiking with my family and friends. I was born and grew up in Russia where, unfortunately, you can hardly see anyone run on the streets let alone be a member of a running club. You can imagine how surprised I was when I arrived to Glasgow and saw groups of people running everywhere regardless of the weather. A friend of mine invited me to run the annual Women’s 10k in Bellahouston Park and I decided to give it a go – and I loved it. The moment I crossed the finish line I knew I want to do it again, I was hooked. Through the years I ran quite a lot of 5k & 10k races and a couple of half marathons and although I showed reasonably good results I was never that interested in numbers – I simply ran for my own pleasure. I regret now not joining the running club then as although I enjoyed running on my own I had no idea of proper warm up or stretching exercises or how to train properly throughout the year. I joined a triathlon club last year and ashamed to say I have only been attending running and swimming sessions as I do not yet own a bike! I have however been enjoying the running sessions a lot and I think it has improved my running somewhat. When I became pregnant I tried to stay active until the end but this proved to be harder than I ever imagined as by about 6 months I felt too heavy to run so I swapped running for walking and occasional swimming. I started exercising again when Allan was about 4 months old. Almost 9 months without running – I felt fat and so unfit I could cry but I persisted with running when I could – mostly early mornings and late evenings and now I don’t feel so bad at all. Running is an important ‘me time’ now, this is my way of keeping sane. Super Six project came just in time as if I did not have a project to concentrate on I would simply go mad! I love my son and think it is important to stay at home with him for at least another 6 months until he is old enough to go to the nursery but it is also important to have some other things other than family life to look forward to. I spend most days taking Allan to a variety of baby classes and spend time with other mummies drinking teas and coffees occasionally eating chocolate cakes! talking about baby stuff etc. A lot of them talk about their lost pre-pregnancy figures but some seem to be reluctant or perhaps just lazy to do any exercise at all basing it on a simple tale that it is impossible to ever look as good as they used to. In my opinion it’s only a matter of time and hard/consistent work. I ran my first after pregnancy 10k in the first snow a few weeks ago – it was great fun and my time wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be! Just realised I’ve written quite a lot and those of you reading it are probable getting quite bored! Although I have never run a marathon yet I am really looking forward to the challenge and the chance to prove to myself that I can come back from having a baby and be fit enough to run a marathon. This project seems to be an amazing opportunity and I look forward to learning from professionals and sharing it all with you on the forum, should I be lucky enough to be selected to be one of the Super Six!!

Thanks for listening!

Please vote for me J  ( Maria – UpsyDaisy)

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 20:03

Thought i'd share with you my bit of a glden tip i picked up at the Birmingham weekend. This is my son demonstrating some of the physio. The physio on the day was soooo lovely and showed me some great stretches to do.

She could tell i was a plodder and recommended that i do what is shown above. Back flat at end of the bed and i pull 1 leg towards me (hes helping my leg off the ground) then push the other leg in the opposite direction and I got this feeling of what the hell is that part of my body but helped immensly with jogging later!

PS thats my wifes twilight poster she is obsessed- its always oooh edward soo dreamy! lol

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 20:24

Hi Matt, all the best of luck for the competition. You, Victoria and Simon are all fantastic and inspiring runners and I want to vote for all of you in the sub 5s. But I'm voting for you because you laughed at the 'differently fast' joke, which makes you a super-quality runner. 

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 20:53

Thank you mighty pudding! I think i'm a super quality runner trapped in a fat mans body!

Victoria and Simon are awesome people who i really enjoyed meeting in Birmingham and I wish them all the best with the competition.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:08

(Running Rox Sub 4:15)  OMG I'm still getting over the shock of making bootcamp! It's gonna be a week next bank boxing friday before this sinks in!!!....... Please bear with me whilst i attempt to get a grip of myself, run a few celebratory laps of the cul-de-sac, squeal alot and do a little jig and i'll be straight back with my party political broadcast!!

Ps... Big huge congrats and best of luck to ALL the finalists  ..... and a genuine sorry to those that haven't - I met some lovely fab people on saturday at bootcamp and had my fingers and toes crossed for loads of you!

Back soon....


Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:12

Damn your runners world name- it has made me hungry and i can't thinking about mince pies (if that counts as a mighty pudding and actually what would make the best mighty pudding- that could be a massive forum in itself, tiramisu vs battenburg lol).

Gonna distract myself with the people shouting at each other on the apprentice!

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:13

Wow these guys really are fast! 

Here are a just a few sort reasons why I'd love you to vote for me (Anthony Hall / Baldspeed) in the sub 3.30 category-

- This would be simply the most incredible way to break my marathon duck!

- I already have a reasonable track record with a 1/2 marathon PB of 1.34.15 (in a mankini!!)

- I also ran a 1.38.49 earlier in the year for 'Help for Haiti' in a tutu with matching red pants!

- The opportunity to train with Steve, Bud and the ASICS pro team is just priceless and really wouldn't be waisted.

- I bring buckets of hard work, determination and humor to the challenge.

- I sit in freezing cold baths after long runs (weirdo).

- I've already completed 2 hell runners with my next one in freezing February!

- I also recently cycled 75 miles from North London to Brighton. 

- I'd love to share every aspect of the journey to Paris with you!

I've tried to keep this as short and sweet as possible so feel free to post me if you want to know anything else and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! Thanks for looking and please help me to realise the dream a lifetime!

Cheers... Baldspeed / Anthony Hall (Sub 3.30)

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:13

Welcome to RW.

I hope you all do well in Paris.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:14

Who wouldn't want to win?  The chance to run amongst some of the most beautiful landmarks Paris has to offer in one of my favorite cities! To be shortlisted for such a fabulous opportunity has been a really nice surprise. I’m keen to introduce myself and, of course, start canvassing for votes in the 4:15 category!

One of the main reasons I’ve entered this competition is the fact that although I have run a number of marathons/Ultras – majority of them have been hilly/mountainous trail races and hence have not been able to run a PB. I have a love-hate relationship with big hills  - they are my biggest weakness as I feel I lack the physical strength to really tackle them correctly and yet I continuously find myself entering the off-road marathons - full of mud and very steep inclines   (some may call this stupidity)  ….but, I love them. I really and truly love running outdoors in nature where you have the opportunity to explore your surroundings (and there are some awesome area’s in the UK I might add!) as well as getting muddy and of course – the camaraderie experienced during ‘hard times’ is something I look forward to during each race.  

Ive ‘enjoyed’ these races far too much and need to start thinking about doing some serious pre-race training in order to achieve a marathon PB and have come to the realization that with the correct training advice, achieving a sub 4:15 goal is indeed possible (what do you think about maybe achieving sub 4??).

Multi-staged races have become my favorite type of running after recently completing the Jungle marathon. Known in Ultra running circles as the toughest muli-stage race currently out there. Being self sufficient (carrying hammock, med supplies, emergency equipment and food) for 222km set over 7 days in the Amazon rainforest was certainly an eye opener for me. I learnt some real ‘character building’ attributes during this period!

Having a military background I’m certain I have the mental agility to withstand any rigorous training schedules heading my way….

Please feel free to send me a message for a bit of banter.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:14


I'm Angus and I live in Royston (a local town for local people...)

I'm one of the lucky three to be shortlisted in the sub 3 hour category and I'm delighted and amazed that I've even got this far. So it's me and the Petes. Now Peter Thompson might have let slip a little porkie that snow is a weakness. He blew everyone away on that last track session we had! Awesome display. Must've been the sausage rolls and haribo we were provided for lunch at Brum. Distinct shortage of cake - RW take note! There, I've offered feedback for next year already.

Ahhhh, the Birmingham day with the Asics and RW Team. A fun, informative and chilly day. Bud and Steve were very encouraging on the track watching us drag ourselves through snow and then slush to complete their sessions. Sarah's physio session was really useful, and although I read articles and take advice from the old timers, she introduced some great exercises and stretches for runners' problem areas (hips, glutes and core). I mean, did you know that walking backwards activates your glutes? As Paul stated, these should appear on RW soon and are defo worth a read. I also learnt that I'd been doing the plank with my back muscles and not my glutes (bad boy ). Now it's a nightmare to do it the correct way!

 About me. I dabbled in marathons 8-9 years ago when I was really too young to enjoy them. Now I'm ready to have a go again. My aim has always been sub-3, and really an ultimate goal would be sub-6 min/mile pace for the distance. I've been well supported by Clubs (Steve Livingstone of GCR - you know who you are) since my first attempts, but wanted to leave the marathon for a few years. I have 4 wonderful children - our bright, energetic and challenging 7 year old, our blonde twins (nearly 2 now) and our littlest smiler/gurgler who is 7 months. I'm hoping to show you that it's possible to still train hard with the kind of lifestyle I have (little sleep, house repairs (will that shower ever stop leaking?), job miles away, little ones to ferry everywhere and entertain.) Probably not that different to some of you really, but maybe my shared experience of this process can help you achieve the same or similar goal. And the hair may have given away that I play guitar too - although not as often as I used to 

Craziest race I've entered? Wellingborough 30km. Fifteen 2km laps with the fist km running up and down old railway embankments and the second km recovery. My quads have only ever hurt more than that once, and that was after doing 300 consecutive squats (DO NOT DO THIS! - 2 weeks of going down stairs backwards and/or on your bottom will follow)

Feel free to ask me anything - I'll be checking the posts on here.

And if you like me and think I'm the one to follow, then please vote for me.

Angus. (Stickers - we have at least one Pixar 'Cars' fan in the house...)

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:19

What a difference running can make...

Twenty four months ago I was an overweight, beer-swilling, chain smoker. I'd been jogging on and off for a number of years, kidding myself that I was keeping the fags & booze in check. 

However, I can distinctly remember the time when I looked in the mirror and didn't much like the look of the man that stood there staring back at me. All those years of treating my body badly had taken it's toll... Even though I've been asthmatic since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I'd been smoking heavily since the age of 11, and drinking heavily since the age of 17. Add to that the poor diet that I'd become accustomed to and you can understand why I didn't much like looking at my reflection.

I'd used to be a runner of sorts, running the Bath Half & local 10K most years, & even completing the London Marathon (in just under 5 hours) in 2007. In the latter part of that year my times got progressively worse & I seemed to have almost constant headaches. After staggering around a 10K course in just over an hour I knew something was seriously wrong. I became a victim of debilitating migraines that kept me away from work for a long period and I became virtually photophobic. As a result my exercise regime went out the window, I piled on the pounds, and suffered from severe depression. I was given a myriad of prescription drugs, and sent for scan after scan, and yet, all through that time, the only question that I asked of everybody was “when can I run again?”

Over 8 months later an old school friend agreed to run with me in order to try & bring my fitness levels up. I had to go out and buy some large size running kit just so that I could run again! The headaches slowly started to improve, I swapped painkillers for multi-vitamins and although I was still smoking & drinking, my general health started to get better. My friend was a good running partner and eventually my fitness levels rose to a point where I decided that I would like to try & take part in races again. That year I only managed two races, the Bristol Half Marathon & the inaugural Evesham 10K, but I had rediscovered my love of running; only this time the bug had bitten me a bit deeper.

I found that whilst getting fit again I had really enjoyed running with somebody else and decided that I should join a club so that I could run with others more often. I had grown up in a small town and as I'd recently moved back into the area then I should join the local running club (Bitton Road Runners) as it was only a few miles down the road.

My first training run with the club was one that I'll always remember. I thought that I was fairly fit, but in runners terms I was slow. I elected to run with the 5 mile group. All was fine until we got to the first hill - I'm renowned for hating hills and to me this was a beast. By the time that I finally puffed my way to the top I'd lost sight of everyone else and I didn't know the route! I pushed myself as hard as possible, wheezing all the way, and was finally rewarded by the sight of two runners in the distance. On & on I pushed myself, frantically trying to catch up, “I'm glad I've caught you” I panted, “this is the toughest 5 miles I've ever run”. “5 miles?”, came the reply, “we're doing the 7.5 mile route”. Not knowing the area at all I had no choice but to grit my teeth, dig in, & try to follow them back to the club... That night taught me my first Club lesson – always look out for the person at the back of the pack!

Week after week I ran with the club, as well as putting in training runs in and around Bristol, and as well as reducing my Half Marathon & 10K PB's (1:38:36 & 44:06 respectively) but I also changed my diet and slo
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:21


...slowly began to reduce my waist measurement too. After a while it all started to tone up and I started to look thinner. I knew that the diet & exercise regime was working when I was finally able to buy small sized clothing.

Other club members helped me immeasurably with my running, especially when I was suddenly struck with ITB syndrome and all the associated pain that goes along with it. With help from a brilliant Physio & Sports Masseuse  and a couple of club members who were prepared to put in a few slow runs with me I was able to train slowly but surely and build my leg back up to full strength again. It was at about this time, when I was at my lowest and racked with pain whenever I tried to run, decided it was time to bury my London Marathon ghost by entering the Brighton Marathon.

One of the club members agreed to coach me on my quest and together we drew up a training schedule for me. I knew that if I was going to run a marathon then I'd have to be serious about my training. So on Sunday 27th of December 2009 I smoked my last cigarette and drank my last drink. I found the 16 weeks of training hard, especially on Tuesday evenings when I had to train in the evenings after a long day of work & college. The snow and ice at the beginning of January did nothing to aid training, indeed one evening saw me doing 'shuttle runs' underneath a railway bridge as it was probably the only snow free, and therefore safest, stretch of road in Bristol!

I came to love my early morning runs on Saturdays & my long runs on Sundays (Bath - Bristol being my favourite), with the odd race thrown in for good measure; and whenever I put in a long run my fiance, now wife, cycled alongside me for comapny. It was obvious that the training schedule was paying dividends as I broke my PB for both the Half Marathon & 10K as well as posting respectable times at the Bourton 10K, Lliswerry 8, Pontypridd Reverse 10, and the Forest of Dean Trails Half – I also got to see quite a bit of the Welsh side of the bridge too!

The weekend of the Brighton Marathon turned out to be a scorcher. An early morning chill at Preston Park, where I met up with my fellow Bitton runners, soon gave way to warmer weather as we ran along Marine Drive, first towards Rottingdean, then after doubling back past the Pier, along to the power station at Fishergate, before doubling back once again, and finally finishing just past the Pier in a time of 03:27:15 – knocking a mere 91 minutes off of my previous Marathon PB!!! The crowds were amazing, as was the scenery (if you discount the power station) and I can't recommend this race highly enough – I don't think I stopped smiling all the way around...

Currently I'm still putting in the miles, enjoying my first ever cross country season, slowly improving my times and thoroughly enjoying my running. If I'm not out running then I feel as if I'm missing out - I even took my running kit on Honeymoon with me!!

Seriously though, I really do wish that I'd taken up running properly when I was younger, instead of waiting for a mid-life crisis to spur me on. I've found a new lease of life, the physique I'd always wanted, a new group of friends, a new social circle, and a wealth of advice & anecdotes that I could never find anywhere else.

Please, take the time to vote for me & help this bald, middle-aged, man achieve his dreams.

Love, light, & peace,

Pete (williambloke)

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:32

How many miles a week do you all run at the moment?

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:07

Hi Moraghan, If Im honest - ive not run for a few weeks due to allowing full recovery from running a very long race in Brazil recently. Have just started back up again and will slowly progress up to around 20 - 30 miles. 
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:19

Hi Moraghan

I run around 30 miles a week on average but have peaked at 50 this year.  Have to fit it around work and family so high mileage weeks tend to link with time off work.

9 marathons and 1 ultra this year by the way.  Maddest thing to date - a track marathon!

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:25

Hi Moraghan,

At the moment I'm doing around 25 miles over 3 sessions of running. I also do between 20 and 40 miles cycling  per week (commuting to work)- snow permitting!


Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:26

Hi Guys

Good to meet some of you last Saturday although as we were split into groups we couldn't meet everyone. You had a good 5k time trail Pete - what time did you get for that, forgot to ask?

I hope you can visit my thread to have a brief read of who I am - it's not too long and hope you will vote for me in the sub 3.15 thread. I like to think I have got a relaistic chance of achieving my goal.

Moraghan wrote (see)

How many miles a week do you all run at the moment?

Depends what race I am training for. I normally do 30 + mile weeks, but if I'm training for a hafl marathon I'll get up to the mid 40's. I try and get a minimum 10 mile LSR in on a Sunday regardless of what I'm traiing for and this usually builds up to a 15 mile run in prepartion for a Half marathon. This year for VLM I got a good few weeks in at 50 + miles maxing at 56 miles. I also managed to get in the 5 x 20 mile runs as well.
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:40


I currently run 45 - 55 miles a week over 5 days - mainly commuting to/from work except for a 12-15 mile Sunday run. We went down to one car and my partner needs that for the children while I'm at work. The ice has driven me indoors a bit these last few weeks, but I don't mind a bit of treadmill.

I've been running for the past 3 and a half months after 12 months away. Built up to 45 miles or so 6 weeks ago.

Hopefully that's given me a base I can build on.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:43


I currently run 45 - 55 miles a week over 5 days - mainly commuting to/from work except for a 12-15 mile Sunday run. We went down to one car and my partner needs that for the children while I'm at work. The ice has driven me indoors a bit these last few weeks, but I don't mind a bit of treadmill.

I've been running for the past 3 and a half months after 12 months away. Built up to 45 miles or so 6 weeks ago.

Hopefully that's given me a base I can build on.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:46

...err... I failed to notice that my partner was still logged in - hence Shaunaid's post...
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:50

Hi Colin, glad to see you made it through. I reckon it was around 19mins but think i was more focused on catching my breath back then stopping the stopwatch by the end! Good to meet everyone on sat and good luck to all, it would be fair to say we would all love to win so fingers crossed!
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:50

Hi Moraghan,

Currently I'm running 30-40 miles a week, including racing. Currently it's spread across hill & interval sessions, easy & long runs, races & recovery runs.

I've also recently gotten into cross-country races & off-road runs - working on the mantra of  'a winter of cross-country & hills will strengthen the body & pay dividends in the spring'.


Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:51

These are much better selling points than cuddly anecdotes about misunderstandings with Aunt Vera and her knitting!

I wouldn't vote for anyone who isn't regularly doing at the very, very least 35m+ and running 5 times a week.  It's a shame this wasn't a minimum requirement in the first place. 

It's much more rewarding and enlightening watching a committed and fully prepared runner go through the training, otherwise it'll be like watching an ice statue melt.

Good luck to everyone selected.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:55

(Running Rox - Sub 4:15)  

This.Is.Amazing. I am ludicrously chuffed and excited to have made the final and be in with even the most microscopic of chances of making the Super Six. To put into perspective what a shocker this is for me I should explain that I am no natural or seasoned runner. I have all the natural athletic ability and grace of a sack of Swedes. Ten months ago I started dieting and decided to attempt my first galumphing waddle to the end of the road and back. Now I’m sat here in the final of this amazing competition with marathon training ahead of me (win or loose that’s the goal), 5 stone lighter and 5 dress sizes smaller having sweated, cursed and persevered to complete a 10k, 2 half marathons (2hrs 16 in september then 1hr 59 in october), a trail half and a 15 mile fell race since then.  Its not about dieting now, and hasn’t been for months, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the running bug!!

 Five reasons why I run: 5) I get to go places only normally seen on horse back 4) It keeps me sane – running (and my lovely husband) has got me through some really really tough personal times and has been a much needed distraction. 3) I love setting myself a challenge and working towards a big goal. The buzz I get from realising I’m getting stronger and faster is unbelieveable. 2) Every time I complete a goal race I impress myself, I never dreamt I could do this stuff. 1) I can’t seem to stop. ‘Nuff said!  So why did I enter this and why do I desperately want you to vote for me?! I’d been looking for the right spring marathon to sign up to, but hadn’t quite got as far as hitting “enter now” on any one because If I’m honest I know deep down that this is a massive challenge, to do a marathon 14 months after being so heavy and unfit that I gagged everytime I finished a jog, and to want to do it in a sub 4:15 time is stretching the imagination somewhat. Then I got the weekly email from RW and saw this competition and thought “ooooooooo what if ?!?!??!?!?”.  I really believe I can benefit from the pro training and lifestyle advice, absorb it all like a sponge and develop as a runner. Until July my running was a la Forest Gump, I’d head out with my friend and we’d just run more and more miles every other day, always the same pace. Then my neighbour showed up at the door with a back-catalogue of Runners World mags for me and from the mag I discovered that by cutting out the junk miles and varying pace and terrain I could really progress, I’m itching to find out what real-life pro-advice can help me to achieve. I had the most amazing day at bootcamp, I loved every second of the training and advice sessions and can’t believe how much of a difference just one day of coaching could make to my mentality and ability; I hit the icy pavements on Monday and with the words of coach Bud ringing in my ears “ Keep your hips up Rox!!” I pulled a 7min 40 sec pace per minute out the bag over 3 miles – unbelieveable!! (I still haven’t ruled out the possibility that my antique-ebay garmin hadn’t defunct in the -8 temperatures!!) If one days training can stop me running like a duck – what will 16 weeks of training do?!?!?  If you’re still awake….. Some key facts about me should you be interested: I’m 30 years old, live in Burnham on Sea in Zummmmmmerset, am married with two hilarious step-springoffs, two funny looking dogs, a giant rabbit and a wonky guinea pig. I work full time as a manager for a Disabled Peoples Organisation in Bristol  and in my spare time (!ha!) my husband and I run a part-time balloon décor business. I would love to be the Super Sixer in the 4:15 category and shar
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 23:05

In that case perhaps I should have put that I run at least  4 times and usually five times a  week!   The 30 is an average, obviously when I do things like running trail marathons as training runs for an ultra it is higher but there are also the weeks like last week where I had a nasty cough and couldn't even talk.

This last year i have very much done my own thing but will do whatever a plan demands of me (that is my OCD kicking in).   Last year I had taken a day off work for a long run as I was unable to do it at the weekend.  That morning I began to snow, I still ran.  By the next morning we were snowed in.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 23:06

x-post.  hi roxy, I'd never have imagined you 5 stone heavier, you're tiny
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 23:09

Apologies Moragan,

 I was trying to be short and totally honest when I said I 'currently' run about 25 miles a week. At the moment a typical week would look something like-

9/10 miles on a monday evening

cycle tuesday 20 miles (2 x 10)

speedwork/hill work on a wednesday= approx 5/6 miles dependant on the session

cycle thursday 20 miles (2 x 10)

longish run friday 13miles

In total I put in about 8 hrs per week, this will obviously increase when training starts as depicted by the schedule (voting permitting).

 I really wouldn't like to be though of as uncommitted!

 Cheers... Baldspeed. 

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 23:28

Hi Moraghan

I recognise that it is completely logical that from your perspective as a Serious Competitive Athlete your interest and vote would lie with those who are training with the frequency and mileage that you mention and identify with. However the competition is designed to represent and be of interest to runners of all abilities and experience, this range of demographics could not have been  represented if it had been a minimum requirement for all applicants to be running  5 times+ / 35 miles+  per week. Having met all the bootcampers I can safely say that all were "entirely committed" and prepared to build on their current training levels with pro-coaching to become "fully prepared". I can empathise that it must be really frustrating for a runner of your calibre to have to read fluff and guff from the likes of me who are only just learning about the science of training but please remember that everyone starts somewhere and that there are thousands of us recreational runners out here who are inspired by both the tales of their recreational running peers and the awe inspiring accomplishments of serious competitive athletes.  

Running Rox (Sub 4:15)

FYI i run four times per week 20 - 25 miles average through november, 25-35 average in sept - oct.

Posted: 08/12/2010 at 23:45

Hi Ultra Sparkly Bridget and Yey! We made it! Good luck to you and Helen - It goes without saying that we would all love to get in the six. Wow, Your ultra feats are seriously impressive, its my (now not so) secret ultimate goal to do an ultra cause it must be such an incredible feeling to complete one?? I couldn't believe it when i saw your forum name in our category cause i've read your posts so many times on the forums, especially over the last couple of weeks since the competition, i had no idea it was USB at the bootcamp!! This forum posting is new to me (and a bit initimidating in these circumstances!), i read loads on here but had never posted because of that deep rooted fear that i might get completely ignored and then have to run away and hide in shame, Does everyone feel like that?!?


Posted: 08/12/2010 at 23:58

RR - by fully prepared I simply meant operating at a mileage already that would minimise the risk of injury using one of those schedules. So it's not a case of being fully prepared to run a marathon - it's a case of being fully prepared to START TRAINING for a marathon.

If anyone were to go into this 18 or so weeks from the marathon having only been running 25 miles per week the odds on injury are ridiculously high if you're to get to a reasonable marathon mileage.

So, it's not a case of not empathising.  You're right everyone starts somewhere - it just shouldn't be a marathon in most cases.   

Posted: 09/12/2010 at 01:11

Morning Rox!

You just made me

It does take time to feel you can dip your toe in the water and post but if you pick the right threads (which can be the longstanding ones that seem to have a regular core) then you will get a welcome.  I think I dived into one where they were talking about having a soak in the bath by offering to share a bath bomb or two

Posted: 09/12/2010 at 06:39

Hello! I am Rebecca and am in the sub 4 hour category, and similarly to Rox cannot believe I am here writing this. A few weeks ago I tried my luck and entered the competition, never thinking for one moment I would actually make it to the final shortlist. But here I am, absolutely delighted! I am a bit of a cart horse when it comes to running, but they do say slow and steady wins the race (well, maybe not wins...) so hopefully with the help of Bud or Steve I will make 4 hours.

Last year I entered London Marathon with my sister, which was an incredible experience and something we had always wanted to do. We trained our socks off, traveling up and down the country to run with each other, and giving each other motivational speeches when the snowy months were trying to get the better of us.  On the day we didn't quite make 4 hours. Exhausted at the end, we couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed, so here I am for round two. The 4 hour bee is still in my bonnet, buzzing around and pestering me to train again.  This is why this experience means so much to me. The chance to pull out all the stops to make my time would be fantastic as would the chance to keep all the other four hourers going too!

Alex and Tom were absolutely lovely, and I wish them all the best, as I know it means a lot to them too.

That is it from me, please vote, and I will try my absolute best not to let you down!


Posted: 09/12/2010 at 07:13

Moraghan has  good point that you need a base of miles to contemplate running a marathon, if you haven't got the base then you shouldn't be running a marathon yet and it doesn't matter how good you are its the same base for all, about 30 -35 miles per week over 5 or so runs. Too many people believe that only a marathon is worth running ignoring the shorter distances which a) can be run on less training b) give you valuable experiece. Haile Gebriselassie didn't start off by running marathons.

All of this is not to say of course that you can't run a marathon of fairly minimal training and very limited running experience, I am indeed living proof of that having run my first marathon 6 months after I started running with a longest run of 21K, I finished in 3-43 and it hurt. So yes it can be done but it might not be very pretty!

Anyway I have cast my votes and good luck to you all.

Posted: 09/12/2010 at 07:27

oh. This is interesting. 30-35 miles per week and 5 runs as a base before even starting. I'd have to say that rules me out. But, at the risk of losing votes, I'm going to stick my neck out and say I don't do anywhere near that mileage and reading what others have said above, it feels like I'm starting from the lowest base of all.

However, for me, this is about understanding what a schedule and coaching can do. I've been running for about 10 years, but always sociably and never at the levels you guys are suggesting. I've done one 1/2 marathon (1:33) and know that doing a full marathon is much more than simply doubling the effort of a half. I'm doing this to find out if a reasonably fit person (I run, swim and cycle every week and have a few triathlons under by belt) can, in 18 weeks of coaching, improve to the level of marathon distance. To me, this is the point of the competition - if you don't believe it can be done, I guess there's no point in voting for me. But, if you're not so sure ...or want to see me suffer trying, you know what to do  

Posted: 09/12/2010 at 07:56

It will be interesting to see how many and who will toe the start line next year! Good luck to you all and please respect the mara distance.
Posted: 09/12/2010 at 08:30

( Running Rox Sub 4:15)

Hi Paul - congratulations, its lovely to see you here  good luck with the votes - i'm sure there's many out here in the same position as you who would like to see whether it can be done and hear about the journey. Rox

Posted: 09/12/2010 at 08:31

Hello Guys and Girls - just like you - I  cannot quite fully believe yet I've made it that far in the competition! Just like Roxy, I've been a frequent visitor and reader on the forum but never really posted anything - well that's about to change as I like writing and sharing information with the like minded people. As for the current mileage - at the moment its between 21-30 miles per week (does the treadmill count in adverse weather??). Having said that, last week was not very productive as have been snowed in so frankly and shamefully not done much in terms of running but have been practcing the exercises we were shown at the bootcamp - one legged squats at the wall and the plank, I am also taking pilates class a couple of times a week as have been advised by the physio to work on my core muscles as they need serious strengthening after having a baby. I am however fully prepared to put in as much time and effort as required and more!!
Posted: 09/12/2010 at 08:31

See more comments...
We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.