Auviour Paris: So long and thanks for the cobbles

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11/11/2012 at 14:37

Afternoon Reiki - looks like you will have to suffer me in a few weeks time; just entered the Perivale 5 on Dec 2nd - see you there 

11/11/2012 at 15:10

Yey!  Looking forward to it.  Not the race obviously, a terrible distance for me!  

11/11/2012 at 15:46

Thanks Reiki - it fits in well with my plan for the winter to do lots of speed and strength work - xc events and 5 milers/10k plus some work in the gym - mind you, haven't started the gym work yet as all this running gets in the way  - maybe start after Cyprus at the end of November.

11/11/2012 at 17:31

Ran 10.5 miles around the Highclere estate in glorious sunshine today. Just perfect out there today. Most of the run was off-road which makes it easy on the legs and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The highlight was the 2 mile run down the old railway track bed and then the next 2 miles climbing from 528 feet to 865, first up muddy tracks which then opened up to close-cropped sheep pasture - perfect for running.

Over the top, and an exhilaring blast downhill on grass/mud tracks  scrubbing off the altitude and into the village...Magic

11/11/2012 at 19:42

Mike -sounds idyllic

11/11/2012 at 19:51

Your description is so pictorial it's poetic Mike, and I'm jealous. 

You have captured the magic!

11/11/2012 at 20:13

Thanks Oscarr, thanks ReikiR.

I'll definitely be running that one again that's for sure.


11/11/2012 at 20:42

Mike - was it a race or just a training run?

11/11/2012 at 21:37
Well done SB, Ben and Oscarr, great running, especially for Ben winning, again !!

MCS, love your site, really good ! Can you add me on for Reading Half, London Marathon and Wokingham. Might add a couple of races this year as I missed New York. Cheers FH

Did my 1st run Saturday, had not run for 10 days but got into it really quickly. Looking forward to getting back into regular training as my next marathon is 23rd December.

Will update with my NY report on my next post.

Regard to all.

11/11/2012 at 21:41

yippeeee - we're just home!  Had a fab run today - didn't race - I don't have an excuse.  I just couldn't be bothered so enjoyed a fabby training run in what was apparently the largest ever turn out for that race.  In my defence - it's been a long year and I haven't done any speed work for ages so there wasn't much point making myself puke by trying to keep up with the fasties over that distance.

I did however jump in every puddle and enjoy some banter.  Pretty happy - was only 2 minutes slower than last year and it was way muddier! Didn't even see oscarr's heels - he was doing his best roadrunner impression - beep beep

Ben enjoyed it too - he didn't run that one last year! He especially enjoyed the chap who at least tried to put up a challenge from the off even if he couldn't keep it up for too long.  Can't fault him for having a go!

Was fab seeing you too oscarr - always a pleasure to have a good chat.  Rascal's paw is fine (she cut it on a bramble) and she had a great time running about with her favourite dogsitters.  At least she didn't drink anyone's tea this time though she did steal a piece of cake someone put down - ooops!

11/11/2012 at 22:47

NY Report

Wednesday 31st October day one of our adventure a will they wont they kind of day! Myself my wife Jeannie and daughter Hannah were due to travel to JFK airport the next day. We had looked forward to our trip for a year now but were really worried by the news coverage of the hurricane and were unsure if we could even fly.

I called our travel insurers as we had heard through friends in NY that things their were very grim and we really were not confident about flying into a disaster zone. We were beginning our trip away with friends in Greenwich village but they emailed to say their apartment had no power or water! We were in such a dilemma should we fly to somewhere else or risk the situation! We wanted to enjoy our time away not endure it. Unfortunately our travel insurance did not cover us as NY had not been declared by the Foreign Office as a destination that was unsafe to travel to, but we knew for sure that we couldn't stay with our friends in downtown manhattan.

We tried and failed to email the hotel that we were staying in later on in the week ( later we discovered that their phone lines were down) and were begging to lose hope when a friend from church who knew we were coming for the marathon put his USA phone number on Facebook for us to call him. Finally we had news that we could rely on. Our friend Ben explained that the city was partially in darkness and was very cold and a bit desolate but offered to walk to the hotel to check what kind of situation we were flying into. It was great to hear that they had power and spare beds for the nights we wanted.

During a brief conversation on a borrowed mobile credit card details were exchanged and the extra nights stay were booked! As the NY road runners had declared the marathon was going ahead we decided to travel, there seemed no question that it would all go ahead!

We arrived at JFK tired but relived it was there but it was here that things all started feeling a little strange! We took 3 hours to clear customs due to the lack of staff and waited what seemed ages for a cab. When the yellow taxi came we had to share with stranger as the governor had declared that all vehicles crossing Brooklyn bridge had to contain at least three people in order to conserve gas or fuel ! As we travelled into the city we passed endless lines of cars just waiting for fuel , police were everywhere monitoring the situation and abandoned taxis were on every street corner having run out of gas. The only taxis to be had were hybrid electric cars that could continue to run! Our hotel however was brilliant warm dry and welcoming although not full of the usual numbers of attentive staff! 

Day two Friday 2nd we got up early because of the time difference and prepared to go and pick up my number at the expo building a short walk away. The conference centre was full of the usual excited runners all collecting numbers and moving around the advertising stands. The buzz was great , people from all of the world looking forward to the marathon.

Jeannie and I picked up the brochure detailing the route and began to plan a strategy for her and hannah to cheer me on at various points. We then walked to the hotel where I would pick up the coach to the start of the race at Staten Island.

We decided to call into our hotel to drop of my number for safe keeping and happened to turn on the television and there it was the announcement that changed everything the 2012 New York marathon had been cancelled. What? I looked for a while and couldn't quite believe it, cancelled ? Are you sure? GUTTED was the only word I really had!

Looking at the footage of the devastation hurricane sandy had caused I really understood why the mayor had reversed his decision, but it seemed unreal as only a few hours ago I had picked up my number! I under

11/11/2012 at 22:52



I understood that all the resources were needed to help those in distress but it seemed almost as if the race might still go ahead , somehow? We later discovered that the mayor decision had been highly influenced by the power of social media it was sad he said that something that in the past had made the city so proud was now becoming divisive. It was clear to me that from that moment on the race could not possibly go ahead if nothing more that out of a sense of respect for the people of New York.

Some runners did organise an unofficial race on the Sunday in Central Park but I felt strongly that I didn't want to be a part of this. 
Some marathon runners decided to run from Central Park to staten island with supplies in bags on their backs but I decided that having run sixteen races this year and raised 11 k for charity I wanted to spend time enjoying what was left of my holiday with my family! 

The city was just beginning to get back to normal by Monday, there were more taxis on the street and the subway was almost back to full service. It's been an experience and I don't think I will ever visit a quieter New York City but we had a fabulous time enjoying the shopping and were welcomed so warmly by the American people!

So running in NYC never quite happened but at least I can run my final marathon on 23rd December and know that my one year of running changing lives forever is complete!


12/11/2012 at 07:51

FH - you get bonus points in my world for even having made it over there under the circumstances.  Your dignity does you proud - there was nothing you could have done but accept the decision with the good grace that you did and make the best of the situation.

You'll deffo never forget that one and will always have a story to tell the grandkids!


12/11/2012 at 08:46

Pantalons - the beginnings of a plan have already been thwarted!  I was tempted into the GNR melee for next year to run with my friend but I'm on my flippin course that weekend BOOOOO

Anyone know of any other flat / fast halves in September / October ????

12/11/2012 at 09:24

FH - agree with SB, you handled the situation marvellously.  Welcome back.

12/11/2012 at 09:38

Great report FH and you have done yourself proud this year and a very dignified respect for the people of NYC who I am sure are appreciative of the resources that could be directed in their direction instead of on the marathon. Well done I reckong I would have been very upset to spend all that money flying over and not get to run, hey ho NY is a great city for a visit, went there in 1984 when the Twin Towers were on the tourist route.  Put your races on the thread list and updated Oscars and SBs.
Great racing Ben, SB and roadrunner Oscarr too. I had a little 7.5 mile trot yesterday morning watching the sun come up over the hill at Monsal Head.  Bit run down over the weekend too much working last week and nearly 40 miles running took its toll.  Who is going to the Asics competition anyone heard yet? Happy new week to all.

12/11/2012 at 10:24

FH - very measured insights from you re New York! I would have been spitting feathers, but overall I hope I would have had the same reaction as you, oh and, congrats on the charity fundraising efforts this year. That must give you a rel glow.....

Oscarr - that was a training run. I have been studying the Boston Mara topography and now know I have to prepare for net descent of 310 feet in the first 4 miles and then a net rise of 210 feet from mile 16 to 18. To date I have run flat marathons, so I have to develop some quads that will last!

Back to the training run, I worked out that if I did say 6/7 miles hard on Saturday and the Highclere route on Sunday, I will hit the climb at a simulated 16 miles or so on tired legs. From the crest to home, is about 3 miles sharply downhill and that simulates 4 of the last 6 Boston miles which are again downhill by 220 feet.

I won't do this every week of course, and if I reverse the route then I can mash my legs downhill on soft pasture. Too soon to put this into practice yet, but at least I think I have a found a beautiful playground and I won't be seen so much on the flat Avon & Kennet canal.....

12/11/2012 at 16:32

FH - thanks for the report, sounds like a very odd NYC something that will eb long remembered, shame about the marathon though.

Mike - I live in Kingsclere and used that very stretch of disused railway line for the fast section of my long runs!  Have you ever run the Combe Gibbet to Overton 16.1 XC that takes in the same hills? normally March/April time?

MCS - Good luck with the comp (I will be voting for you), I might have to switch from Salisbury to Grindleford hmmmm choices, choices

12/11/2012 at 16:52

Think you would enjoy GG more! Good thing about a Saturday race is you can chill Sunday. My OH looks after some holiday homes if you need a couple of nights for the family!!!
Head torch on time to plod home up the trail. 16 weeks on Saturday to that hilly race so better get moving abit........
Mike Boston sounds like a tough race, especially if its as hot as it was this year, reading about that race, sounded horrendous, bit like Edinburgh was for me but without the hilly bits!.

12/11/2012 at 16:55

SB ref your question for Halfs next year........Royal Parks Half is a flat half but fills up very quick did that three years ago.....central London though, thats in October as is Birmingham Half , hill on the last hill from memory did that in 2010.  Bound to be some flat halves over your way.

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