Latest posts by parkrunfan

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The Middle Ground

Posted: 11/07/2016 at 19:16

Dr Dan - Not in bad shape at all as a starting point for a marathon campaign. Decent mileage and racing at a whole range of distances seem to be the main two ingredients required. I'm expecting a good'un at Abingdon

You're right about it being humid yesterday but the course was enjoyable enough, only a bit different to Abbey Dash but that difference was a big improvement. It felt pretty good considering that it was the 3rd race in 7 days since a 2:55 at Potteries Marathon last Sunday. But still got outgunned by HO who clocked 36:52 in her 4th event (and 3rd win) since a sub 3 at Potteries.

I don't know whether I mentioned that she got her first international call up, running for Team GB in the World 50K Championships in Qatar in November. She is currently ranked no.1 in the UK and no. 13 in the world but despite those stats is probably slowest of the team of four, one of the other members being Philpub's missus.


DT - Just keep racing and the results will take care of themselves. Good luck on Wednesday.

The Middle Ground

Posted: 21/06/2016 at 08:58

Dr Dan - What's all this talk of an 'aged body'? You're nowt but a bairn And yes, you're definitely a runner looking at those stats.....

Mr V - Nice Blaydon effort. As you say, worth sub 36 for 10K which would be very nice.

Welshpoppy/DT - Hope the ailments are sorting themselves out.

I've recently had a bit of an issue, which resulted in needing some pretty urgent surgery on my head. This took place on Friday and while I was recovering in the ward I knocked together a bit of a blog about what had happened. I was in two minds about whether to share it or not because it could be seen as scaremongering. However, it was read 2,000+ times in the first 24 hours and I have received a surprising number of messages from runners saying that they are going to learn from my mistake and be more careful in future. So, if it can be of positive benefit then please share away:




The Middle Ground

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 13:10

Iower - The combination of heat and that amount of climbing does indeed sound brutal, well toughed out. Still good fun though?


Dr Dan - 3 days! That's all you've got left to get the digs in


It was a trip over to Derry for this Sunday's marathon. Boy, was it hot and humid! It was also hilly, which didn't help as no course profile was available and one of the organisers had described it as 'pretty much flat' on Saturday.

To cut a long story short this resulted in getting the pacing wrong for the conditions, going through halfway at 2:52 pace. By 18 miles the heat had got me and I was forced to a standstill with stomach cramps When in 15th place. Race over.

HO struggled too, as did everyone, but her slightly more cautious start helped. She started to pull away from me at 13 miles but by 21 miles was ready to drop out. However, there was only Pauline Curley, the Olympian and course record holder in front, and a sizeable gap to 3rd. With £600 for 2nd place she decided to ease right back and walk if necessary in an attempt to get to the finish without keeling over. 1-2 minutes of walking at 24 miles was necessary to bring it home in 2:56. Being presented with the prize by Martin McGuinness on the very spot by the Guildhall where the troubles started was a little surreal.


The Middle Ground

Posted: 03/06/2016 at 09:54

Dan - It certainly was a tough one last night, not my cup of tea at all as there are too many points where you lose momentum, especially those narrow steep snickets!

Not a bad training day at all (for an old bloke anyway). It would seem that you can't wait to get into that new age category

You're right about the ladies race. We were running together and then at 7k HO took off! From being 10th female at 2k she was in 2nd at 7k. A spectator then shouted that she was 40secs behind. We knew the leader was a 16:30 5k/35:15 10K runner so there was no way of closing 40 secs over the last 3K. Or so you would think! Not only was it closed but there was a 15s margin by the end.

This after winning Kent Roadrunner Marathon on Saturday (3:00), 1st female in the Westminster Mile parkrun wave on Sunday (5:13), winning the Ilkley trail race on Monday and the fact that we are supposed to be tapering for Derry Marathon in a couple of day's time. I'm knackered just thinking about it

Was that Ratzer I saw peering through the doorway? And Simon? It can't be far off a full house now in the last couple of weeks. Except Curly that is.......but she's getting married tomorrow, so thats a reasonable excuse.



The Middle Ground

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 22:15

Alehouse - Sounds like a very good job on the nose if there was so little in the way of after effects. And the streak continues......


Duck/Thirsk - It is certainly a sign of how things have changed when we have expressions of mild disappointment at 16:30 5Ks


Mr V - Standing next to you, HO and your other half at Kirkby made me feel like a midget When did everyone get so tall?


Had a cracking evening at the Night of the 10,000m PBs last night at Parliament Hill, what a great innovation. It has to be said that this event, Kent Roadrunner and the Red Bull Global race are exactly what us needed to make running entertaining and drag it into the midern age. Last night we got to stand in lane 3 drinking beer while the best runners in the UK and further afield were battling it out for Olympic places literally 1 metre in front of your nose, you can't get much closer to a top class event than that.

HO got a little bit of a taste of the atmosphere by running in the curtain raiser at 5pm. She had realistic expectations of being last by up to about a minute but it actually turned out pretty well with consistent 87.5s laps to finish 11th of 21 and 3rd lady in 36:33. As of today that gives a UK rank of 30 but there is such a lack of runners in that 4 minutes between 32-36 minutes.

The Middle Ground

Posted: 19/05/2016 at 11:00

It is like the good old times in here, isn't it?

So close last night Dr Dan but then again it was raining so you were carrying extra weight by the end, that must be worth at least a second.


Alehouse - Hope the nose issues go well today and maybe you'll still be able to squeeze a mile in somewhere, you know Ron would


So John Carr 5K last night was a bit surprising. 30 miles have been run in the 3 days immediately following Sunday's marathon and yet at the end of it out pops the fastest official 5k of the year at 17:44. As the last 5k as a V45 that'll do nicely.

This was despite a little coming together at the the halfway turnaround point with none other than HO. We both nearly ended up on the floor and certainly lost momentum as a result. Mind you she still managed 17:30 to go with her 17:45 and 17:43 from the last two weeks. When you consider that on the two weekends in between she has won the Leeds HM and then run a 2:55 marathon that's not a bad couple of weeks!


The Middle Ground

Posted: 15/05/2016 at 22:20

Alehouse - Is that 647 consecutive days? If so, that would appear to be one of the best things to focus on for building strength and consistency. It never did Ron any harm with his 17000+ run day and even HO is on a current streak of 1100+.

Dr Dan - Interesting that you had the same thoughts about Leeds last week. It was a day for sensible pacing and you got it right. Somehow we got a pic featured in Athletics Weekly of me and HO passing in front of the town hall just before the finish. Standards have clearly fallen at AW these days

Had a relaxed even paced run around the Latvian capital this morning. As last week we decided to run together with no real interest in times as such. Riga marathon was being used to try to bag Olympic qualifying times for a few of the elites so it was a pretty tasty field. However, with 10k to go we were told we were 42nd male and 10th female so we decided to crack on a bit and by the end had clawed up to 33rd and 8th in a time of 2:55:06. A very enjoyable morning in the former 3rd biggest city in Russia.

The Middle Ground

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 22:28

DT19 - You played it well relative to those around you, that's basically all is a race is in a nutshell. You ran it intelligently and gained places as a result

Alehouse - I will indeed. After about 4 miles we decided to run the race together in memory of a certain pet that we lost this week. Although it was a big field the feedback from the course suggested that she had a comfortable lead in the second half so there was no need to push too hard in the heat. Having said that, she still managed a few seconds quicker than last year in 1:23. Running in together caused a few problems for the Plusnet banner unfurlers trying to set up the shot of the 1st lady crossing the line unaccompanied

Six years old ran 3:19 for 900m park run

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 12:19

To be honest, a lot of people will read this and be pained by the simple fact that the question is being asked. As Cougie says just let him run when he wants to run, if he enjoys it then he'll carry on, if he finds something that interests him more then he may well not be bothered with running at all. Does it matter either way?

The Middle Ground

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 07:11

Dr Dan - amazing that we didnt bump into each other yesterday, after all there were only 7000 runners and a few more thousand spectators! 

Anyway, looking forward to your thoughts on the conditions, I can't recall a race where so many 'experienced' runners struggled badly. To be honest it was hot but if you took that into account from the outset the effect on times was minimal, maybe a minute at most. On the other hand, run the first half hard and it would be an inevitable crash and burn situation.


Both male and female winners were the same runners as last year and both ran slightly faster times, so that gives some limitation to how much conditions were worth.


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