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Yateley 10k 3rd race and new PB

Last night was the last of the Yateley 10k series for 2013 and it was the perfect night for a race.  Sue and I arrived good and early and after our high protein picnic I wandered in to collect my race number and chip and to chat to a few Sandhurst joggers.  We then had a coffee and went for our pre-race walk and chat which as always helped to calm my race nerves although I must confess that I felt more nervous here than ever before at a race I think because the last one went so well that I had something pretty amazing to match or even hopefully beat.  After a walk and another coffee I headed out onto the fields and went for my usual 1.5 mile warm up run but this time after taking advice from my RunCamp coach Anthony I did it a little slower, in fact I ran it at an average 8.23 min miles and then did a few leg swing exercises to looses and warm up my hip flexors and pelvis before heading over to the starting coral.

As always I headed to the front few rows, I run a pretty fast race so its good to get towards the front, I have never to my knowledge slowed anyone down (famous last words) so its the right place for me, in fact very few people overtake me until a few minutes into the race so its all good :-).  After the pre race briefing the gun fired and we were away !  the pace was good and fast and I quietly doubted my ability to keep it up, I honestly much prefer running in the morning but he ho,  I soon got into the rhythm and as I passed the 1K and the 2K mark I noticed I was still running well under 7 min mile pace so all good,  this continued up and down the hills right through the race until at the 7K mark I noticed that I had slowed very slightly because of mental fatigue so I remembered everything that I had been taught by the amazing runners I know, Andy, Jim, my run leaders Kev and Stu and well as Anthony and so many more and I managed to pick up my pace but to be honest the thing that drove me on last night was the last thing that Sue said to me,  “jules if you want a PB power up those hills then when you reach the top power down again”  she does make me chuckle and she is the best coach anyone could ever ask for, I am so blessed to have her in my life and so thankful for her support when running.

Soon enough I reached the 9k mark and the dreaded “waitrose hill”  although after 3 races I have still not seen a waitrose haha!  Its funny but when I am racing I only think about running and my form and my min miles and I don’t take any notice of where I am running, this keeps my mind active and focused on the job in hand,  When I upload my miles to “FETCH” it asks me to write 3 things I saw when running, I honestly struggle to find 3 interesting things 🙂   anyway up the hill I went and then the easy 500M home, fast and furious downhill into the school and through the finish, as I ran the last straight I could see the clock was 42:20 so knew I was onto a winner but I was delighted to cross the line with another amazing PB of 42:26 a full 59 seconds faster than my previous best 10k which in fact was here 1 month ago.

Just like the last 3 races this was very well organised, the Sandhurst Joggers are a very friendly bunch and the marshals are probably the best and most encouraging  I have experienced apart from my home team of course 🙂  I loved every minute of last night and as I crossed the line I was given my lovely medal and a couple of chocolate bars and a bottle of water and I sat down and waited for the lovely Sue to come find me 🙂

I then went for a short cool down run and then some gentle stretching which did the job nicely because last night and this morning I feel great and could run again, in fact I am in a few hours with the hiller’s.

I will definitely be back for 2014 and who knows maybe I will be running sub 40 by then, I sincerely hope so.

Here are the results for the last 2 races in this series.

Race 1. I finished the race in 46:25 and 226 out of 900 ish runners.

Race 2. I finished the race in 43:25 and 148 out of 820 ish runners.

LAST NIGHT I finished the race in 42:26 and 125 out of about 1000 runners.

I am delighted with these results and especially this race, I ran an average of  6:45 min miles which is brilliant and I hope to get sub 42 within my next few races,  This Sunday I have a trail half marathon and then the week after a 10K at Clapham Common which I am looking forward to although its my birthday weekend so depending on alcohol drank it might not be a super fast race 🙂

I am pretty sure that my speed is down to my training both with the hiller’s and Runcamp and I cant recommend either strongly enough. And of course as my good pal Andy says, “train hard and race easy”  this has become my mantra and its paying off big style.

Check out RunCamp

Check out the hiller’s  without a doubt the best local running club

Check out the race stats from my Polar watch

Lastly I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped organise these races, those who cheered me on and those new friends I have made at Yateley but mostly to my best friend my soul mate my amazing wife Sue for your constant love and encouragement “stride”

A few photos from today thanks to the lovely Sue.

Thames multi terrain 10K and a new trail PB

Last night Sue and I travelled to Beale Park in Pangbourne near Reading so that I could run the Thames 10k which is a flat multi terrain race which took place in the most amazing park.

My week started badly after I hurt my calf again at training and had to stop early but thankfully after lots of massages from Sue and foam rolling it felt much stronger today so I thought I would give the race a go so off we headed nice and early so that we could have a nice riverside picnic in the grounds of Beale Park.

Once done I went for my usual 1.25 mile warm up run to prepare me for the race plus to test out my calf which was just fine, soon I then went along to say hi to a few people and was given a free technical t-shirt and a couple of handy sport’s water bottles from the organisers, result !  We wandered around a little and soon after we were ushered to the start and I chose a position about 50 or 60 runners from the start which turned out to be the ideal place for me because I finished in 46th place. A few seconds later the hooter sounded and off we went running the first section out onto the tarmac path and up into the zoo coming out the other side and back past the start and the 1K mark, we then ran along a path and into the fields along the towpath following the canal which was nice although it did feel extremely muggy,  out the other side and back through the zoo then our into the woods and past the 6K mark and onto the fields and back along the towpath, through a scout camp which was a highlight for me, lots of support from the scouts and leaders which gave me a buzz for the last 2K’s which were pretty rough going underfoot but all good. The last couple of k’s were hard going because of the heat, despite it being overcast it was still 23 degrees and very humid but I managed to keep my pace through to the finish and also kept my place despite the odd ankle biter trying to pass me 🙂

I passed through the finishing tunnel and the timer said 44:30 which is more than 5 minutes faster than my previous trail 10k so all in all I was delighted. I collected a beautiful medal to go along with my nice technical t-shirt and a couple of water bottles which is amazing 🙂  TOP RACE !

Overall this was a very well organised race in a lovely location, the course was very pretty and as I said pancake flat albeit quite ruff underfoot but I loved every part of it. The race village was great, a nice selection of tents including a very helpful info tent and some lovely burgers, although I declined 😉  how good am I lol. there was a massage station and a couple of charity tents which pushed this race into the next level, very nice indeed for a smaller race.

I enjoyed my milkshake afterwards which helps my bloods get back to normal and we had a lovely trip home,  this is definitely one for the diary next year.

I crossed the line in 44:18 in position 46  out of 700 runners which is well within the top 6.5%  🙂

Check my polar stats here

Yateley 10k Race 2 new PB

Last night Sue and I travelled up to yateley near Camberley for the second of the race series of 3 after a lovely first race last month which you can read about here and once again we had a wonderful time. Quite a few people have asked me recently why we travel so far for races and when first asked I was surprised because I thought everyone would 🙂  but once I looked into it I started to realise that not too many people travel to races but I have met a few like us that do.  Sue and I travel all over the UK for work so meet lots of people and once we get talking running often comes up and I am often recommended “nice” races so I look into them and provided it works with our diary then I book it.  We both make a day of it or like this an afternoon evening of it and often take a picnic with us which is lovely, we please ourselves with our working hours so why not.  Last week I ran the Lordshill 1ok great race you can read that here and pre race when I was wandering chatting I met a couple who had travelled up from Cornwall and stayed overnight just to run the Lordshill 10k so now when people ask why I travel to races I say, “why not”  I love running and travelling….

The last Yateley race was a tough race for me, I was just back from my ITB injury and had gained a few pounds because of a couple of weeks without exercise, a really busy month at work and very little training and it was my first hot evening race so I was happy with my time of 46:25  and finishing in the top 20% of runners and I was excited to see if I could better it today.  The course is “gently undulating”  hahaha they all say that when they really mean “hilly” but to be fair its not a bad course and the hills are perfectly acceptable plus with all my recent training that should not be an issue. I was not expecting a PB here but was hoping to beat last months time so here goes.

We once again arrived early and had a lovely picnic in the sunshine and a couple strong coffee’s for that much needed caffeine kick, I do struggle running at night and the coffee definitely helps 🙂   After our picnic I checked in and got my race number 638 and then headed over to the race area, I went for my usual 1.2 mile run to warm up, this has helped me so much on my last few races mainly to warm up my legs and hopefully avoid injuries.  Soon after it was time to line up in the starting coral and I chose somewhere between 40 and 45 minutes and soon got chatting to a couple of the Sandhurst Joggers and then the gun sounded and we were off,  Out of the school grounds at quite a pace and my head was full of “Stuart Smith”  RELAX those arms Jules 🙂  so I did and pressed on up to the first hill which is where I spotted Susie waiting to snap me,  I continued at a great pace up the first hills which go on for about 3K before levelling out and I decided to check my watch and noticed I was running at 6:40 minute miles so I was very happy, I continued running well and as I reached the 5K marker my split time was 20:58 so I knew I was going well but could I keep it up, it was hot and hilly so doubtful,  I ran on at pace and continued through the first 2 water stations checking my watch to keep me focused and as we got to 7k I was struggling with the hills but still a very impressive 7:20 min miles so I pushed on up and up and up 🙂 by the time I reached 9K I knew I was onto a winner and although the last K was real tough I managed it well, as I turned into the School I saw Sue again and sprinted for the finish after a little showboating of course, I crossed the line and picked up my lovely medal, a curly wurly and a crunchie bar as well as a bottle of water and forgot to turn my polar off AGAIN !!!!  but it was only a matter of seconds before I got the txt saying I crossed the line in 43:25 so yet another PB for me and I was delighted. Thats over a minute faster than last Sundays PB and a full 3 minutes faster than my first Yateley race a month ago so I am certainly starting to get more confident of one day reaching that sub 4o 10K.

After meeting up with Sue and drinking my milkshake I went for a 1k gentle jog to warm down and then did my stretches and then after chatting to one of the chaps I met last time we headed back to the car feeling amazing and headed off home.

Another fabulous race which was very well organised by lovely people and I cant wait for August’s now. The venue is perfect with great facilities and plenty of toilets and parking, refreshments are available as is a bouncy castle for the kiddies and a 2k fun run which I missed because it starts after the 10k,  This race was also covered my the local radio station who played on site from a van which was fun, all in all a very difficult race to beat.  Also another amazing medal 🙂

Check out the report from my Polar HRM here.

I finished todays race in position 148 out of 820 runners in 43:25 which is a new PB

The distance is 6.21 miles and I ran it in 6:59 Minute Miles or 8.59 MPH

Check out my Minute miles on the photo graph below 🙂

RR10 Manor Farm Country Park

This evening I ran the Manor Farm RR10 in Southampton with my Club, Lordshill Road Runners,  The RR10 league is a series of races organised by running clubs in south-west Hampshire for their members. The races are held on Wednesday evenings during the spring and summer and are great fun and this one was off road and and quite dry compared to the last 2 RR10’s that I have done.  This was my third RR10 and I really enjoyed it for a couple of reasons, firstly its my clubs home 10K this weekend and the one and only time I am allowed to run it so I was not going to race this week but I did 🙂  I decided to take it easy tonight and treat it as a training session rather than a race, secondly because I ran with my mate Paul who was just back from injury and I have not seen him for a few weeks, it made perfect sense for me to run with Paul who normally runs at my race pace but this evening was running a very cautious 8.5 min mile.

We were called to the starting line and I must confess it felt very odd starting nearer the back rather than towards the front for me but I kept telling myself that this weekends race was the most important so far so all worth it !  Once we set off I mostly let Paul lead the pace and we had a lovely run through the woods and over a few tiny obstacles, managing to chat to people as we overtook was nice as well as a few hello’s to my friend Paul the photographer. It only seemed like a short while before the marshals were shouting “one last hill” and sure enough the last hill was upon us and up to the open park I was quite happy that I had ran a very sensible race, Paul then got race fever and sprinted to the finish 🙂 cheeky bugger but I loved every minute of running with him again and was very happy to see him back.

Overall a lovely course and a great atmosphere and I am sure everyone enjoyed it, a great turn out for LRR although I am pretty sure my offerings tonight never helped the league table much nor has the fact that I have missed a few this year but next year I will be fully prepared for them.

If you are thinking of getting into running or already do run bit are not part of a club I would urge you to look into joining one for days like this amongst other benefits, I have made some great friends already and the support is amazing, LRR are known to be a very friendly club so why not check them out, a great bunch of likeminded people, some running 5 minute miles and some 10 minute miles but all runners with a single goal to enjoy running !

I finished overall in position 164 which was pretty good considering and in about 42 minutes

Check out the report from my Polar HRM here

Here are a few photos courtesy of Paul A Hammond


A quick pre-race photo of me looking very chilled.

Dinton Pastures 5km/10km Series

Last night Sue and I travelled to Hurst in Berkshire so that I could join the Dinton Pastures 5km/10km Series which I was invited to at my recent Yateley race,  Well its a bit of a trek but Sue and I love to travel around to new places so I decided to book it in.  I was going to do the 10k but I have another 10k race on Sunday and my Physio advised me to avoid to many close races until my legs get stronger and as it works out he was right 🙂 after a week of nursing my sore calf muscle I decided the 5k was the right choice which made this my first chipped 5k race outside of the occasional parkrun’s that I do.

I hurt my left Calf Muscle on Monday whilst training with the Lordshill road Runners on what should have been a perfect session, it turns out I stupidly took a corner to sharp/fast and subsequently twisted my calf and OMG it was painful for a day or 2, thankfully Chris my PT gave me a sports massage which helped and I am now 100% intent on leg strengthening exercises over the next few months and I am confident it will help with my running both in terms of speed and injuries.

but no harm done and as my friend Tony pointed out last night “every day’s a classroom day”  so I live and learn and move on a wiser man.

Well I don’t need to tell you that its been a shocking few days again weather wise but to be honest I am not so worried about running in damp conditions but I don’t really like the idea of poor Sue waiting around in the rain. But waking up Thursday morning we were blessed with a little sunshine and moreover a much brighter forecast for Hurst this evening which was encouraging and as long as my calf plays ball we should be in for a good race.

Well the time had come and I decided to wear my newest Saucony running shoes for their first race but to be fair are the same as my old ones but very very bright 🙂  I have worn them training but tonights was my first race.  So after a great day at work we set off with a picnic (ambitious I know) and headed towards Dinton Pastures for a fun evening.

Well sure enough when we arrived it was chilly and overcast but dry so we had our picnic and then I registered and got my race number, 1200.  I then went for a warm up run and Sue gave my calf a massage before the race,  I  walked over to the start and by pure chance ended up at the front next to a young lad about 10 years old who actually beat me my about 2 minutes 🙂  anyway once the gun went off I ran like the wind completely forgetting my “run to enjoy it” because of my calf 🙂  so as I entered the second bend I remembered my calf and settled in to what was a nice steady race, the terrain was fair to rough a bit like the RR10 at netley and my fellow racers were a nice bunch,  It was not long before I caught up with the 10k back runners who had gone off 5 minutes earlier but that was all good. I kept pace with a couple of Bracknell runners for the first 3k then got caught up behind some more back runners so I hit the verge and picked up my pace for a while and overtook my 2 pace buddies and lost them but managed to keep my pace up until the finish, I spoke to one afterwards who said he could not keep pace with me for the last K which made me feel good and looking at my watch I did the last mile in 06:56 so very happy under the circumstances.

I finished 17th in 22:31 which although is not a 5K PB it is a 5k trail PB so I am very happy especially considering I was trying to take it easy because of my calf injury and definitely ran a cautious race.

As I finished I was given a very smart medal as well as my choice of t-shirts and a banana, nice tough I thought.  The medal is one of my favourites too a very smart one with  personalised ribbon so I was very proud to hang it in my Gym later when I got home.

Overall the race was very well organised ad enjoyed by all, Ellie Barnes from  is an amazing person and worked tirelessly to make this the huge success it was. I might pop up for the next one on July 11th but again it will be the 5k because I have a 10k the following Sunday but  I will definitely book the 10k’s next time around, the location is beautiful and the marshals all very friendly so everything a race could possibly want.

All in all a top race and a lovely way to spend an evening, we had a lovely drive home and I am also please to say that I woke up this morning pain free which is a relief after the past week, gotta love that foam roller !!!!

Check out the report from my Polar HRM here

I ran this 5k trail race in 22:31 and came in 17th overall

Strong start, although the little lad behind me beat me 🙂  bloody kids!!!!!  hahaha

Great finish again, very happy.