Jamie @ London Marathon

Could you run 8 consecutive parkruns and do each one in a time of under 19 minutes and 30 seconds? Well that is exactly what Redway Runner Jamie Farmer did last week at the London Marathon and in that heat.

Added to that Jamie had run Brighton Marathon just the Sunday before!

This gave Jamie a finish time of 2 hours 39 Minutes and 57 seconds beating some of the elite athletes taking part, in what looks like the fastest time of anyone from Milton Keynes an astounding performance. He came in 148th from a field of well over 42,000 runners.

Jamie said ‘Super happy with 2 sub-3hr marathons in 2 weeks. Brighton in 2:45:35 was quicker than planned and expected but paced it well and finished strong. Easy recovery week followed ahead of the London marathon with a target of sub-2:45 for a Championship time. Paced the race well and finished 5mins ahead of target in 2:39:57, very happy considering the heat on the day and 7 days after Brighton! Big thanks to all the RR out supporting on Sunday, always gives you a HUGE lift when you need it and nice to see so many faces along the way.’

More stats to make your eyes pop a half marathon time for the first half of 1 hour 19 minutes and 11 seconds and the second half at 1 hour 20 minutes and 46 seconds.

Not sure what words to use but wow and what an honour to run in the same race last week (in truth I was just behind Jamie – broad use of the word ‘just’)

So massive well done Jamie

Z2H – The End of an Era

We asked Kerry Huntley who completed the London Marathon for her account as one of our Zero to Heros for her journey, this is it:

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Time is not measured by clocks, but by moments” … said a wise meme on Pinterest, and never have truer words been printed on the world-wide interweb as those.

The first moment in my long line of moments happened when I hauled my large, sorry-for-itself, wobbly butt out of my Freelander on a cold, icy January morning back in deepest darkest 2017, when, in my haste to escape the kids, I thought it would be a great idea to take up a new sport that would be kind to someone in her advancing years. Something challenging … but not TOO challenging, something social … but not TOO social, something energetic … but not TOO energetic.

Marathon blingFast forward 16 months and not only have I changed my car and shed a bit of poundage but I’ve also gone from Zero2Hero and have just run a “not too challenging, not too social and not too energetic” marathon … the London Marathon no less. Go me!! But London was never the end goal of the Zero2Hero course. The end goal has always been to graduate at the MK Marathon …. we’re the Redway Runners, we run Milton Keynes – it’s fitting, it’s apt and it’s where the last part of this journey is taking me. And oh my goodness what a journey it’s been.

Z2H is officially completed in 2 phases, the first phase is gaining a good understanding of the basics such as bra’s, hydration, running stance, strength – both leg strength and core strength, gadgets – and how you really only need a decent pair of running trainers (and a decent running watch, base layers, bone conductor headphones, running belts, hydration packs, calf sleeves, hi-viz running gear, a running torch …. and the list goes on … but don’t worry .. it’s a cheap sport really 🙂 ) and finally, the most important part of phase 1 – how to stay injury free in preparation for phase 2.

z2h AMPhase 2 is where the mileage starts ramping up and there are certain running milestones that we use as our running goals starting with a 5k, then a 10k and moving up to the MK Winter Half Marathon, the Oakley or Bedford 20 until we finally reach the lofty heights of the MK Marathon. Phase 2 is also where we get to find out who our mentors are. For anyone following my SavageMumRuns blog (shameless plug!) you will know that my mentor, Steve Boothby, has taken me through the entire journey from a true Zero to a wanna-be hero and I genuinely don’t think I could have had a better mentor / counsellor / first-aider / Sargent-Major / chief nagger / friend as Steve…. and as an added bonus for me, Steve comes as a package with the beautiful Mrs B – I definitely should have placed a couple of quid on the Lottery, because I was one helluva lucky lady with my mentor (NB: all of the mentors were amazing by the way .. I’m just a lot bias when it comes to Team Boothby!).

It’s a this point that I would like to add in an unofficial 3rd Phase and 4th Phase to the training. Phase 3 is actually the lead up to applying for Z2H – the best way to describe this phase is the “Hazy Phase” .. this is the moment in time when you’ve had a fair few bottles of wine and you think that plodding a mere 26.2 miles will be like a walk in the park. This phase also has a habit of re-appearing throughout the other phases when you least expect it too!.

z2h PM

Phase 4, is what I am calling the “reality phase” – it’s at this moment in your journey when you realise that actually .. no one is going to run this for you. You’ve been given the fundamental’s on running, you’ve been given a mentor, you’ve been given your milestones but no one’s going to be giving you their leg’s in order to run it for you. The coat tails have been severely severed and it’s down to you to put in the hard work. Your social life is no more, forget about a clean and tidy house, everyone will be nice enough not to comment on the fact your ironing pile is the size of Mount Vesuvius and your kids look like they’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, you’ll only have 8, (maybe 9 if you’re lucky) toenails to paint when summer comes round, no one will enquire about your weekend plans because you won’t have any, people may once in a while, ask you how the training is going but in reality, as their eyes glaze over and they slowly yet noisily drink their coffee to drown out your commentary on split times, hill training, intervals and tempo runs, they don’t really care – they’re just being nice and potentially feeling a little sorry for your family at this stage, and talking of family …. get those divorce papers in order before you sign up because this is intense stuff and you haven’t got time to do this mid-training. Eyes on the prize folks.

I joke about this of course, but only partially. You can’t train for a marathon and not have it change your life in some way. My training went well until The Great Calf Explosion of October 2017 (clearly I missed the session on “injury prevention”) and as I watched from the sidelines, my fellow Zero’s all became Hero’s in their own right. Yet despite being relegated to the subs bench for 8 weeks, not being able to attend the Z2H Tuesday night sessions and then having to play catch up, with the power of social media, I was at least still able to keep in touch with people …. regardless of whether they wanted to or not #GradeAStalker. But more importantly for me, the wider club members rallied around to support you. The club already does a lot for its members and certainly in the run up to marathon season, there are club runs tailored to support those of us crazy enough to be running a marathon and it was the wider club sessions that helped me keep my sh.. stuff together and focus on the end goal. Everyone of the club members I know, have offered me something over the last year, whether that be their precious time, their support and encouragement through to a shoulder to cry on, a chinwag and even the odd bottle of wine and that makes me so proud to be a Redway.

Running London was an amazingly awesome experience, how cool is it to come in in 32,219th place out of over 40,000 runners in one of the worlds best-loved and most incredible marathons 😉 but at the same time, there is something to be said about running a marathon on your home turf with the people you’ve spent the last 11 months training with (albeit on a ‘virtual’ basis) and with the full support and encouragement of the Green Army. The Z2H course has been tough, it’s been emotional, it’s had really high, high’s and sub-zero low’s but on the 7th May 2018, I will proudly stand on the starting line with the remaining Z2H’s and finally bring my marathon journey home.

 

 

 

Kerry Huntley

April 2018

My journey in 362 days

This is Nicola Murrs story with Redway Runners to the London Marathon, well done Nicola

At the end of April last year I started Martin’s Beginners group along with 30-50 other people, when I was asked my reasons for joining it was to get fit and maybe run a 10K! I really enjoyed the beginners 10 weeks and was inspired by Martin and Sophie and pushed by Becca and Karen within the beginners group. By the end of the 10 weeks I found i was running up to 5 miles and really enjoying it, on my own I had only ever ran up to 4K and found it very difficult. Becca and I signed up to Women’s Running 10K the day after the graduation 5K and Sophie got us both round the course in 1.08. I remember desperately wanting sub 1hr 10 and would stop at nothing until i got there!

 

From there i found myself running regularly through the summer and entering more 10K races until Karen suggested Rockingham 10 miles in November. Again Sophie was there to guide us and i remember the joy of completing it. As Leigh says i am the most hyper person post-race and no one can wipe the smile off my face!

 

Following that I was lucky to put my name in for a sponsorship place for the London Marathon 2018 and to be honest I was going to take it one week at a time. I had a plan and I followed the plan (Sian I listened!) week by week. Training for a marathon isn’t easy, but if it was many more would have a medal! The training through the wet, snow, -1 weather is really tough but if you want something enough and put in the hours you can get it. I was determined to make it and planned in lots of races in my training as check in points as I always perform better in races.

 

I ran on Sunday in the hottest weather the London Marathon has seen. I didn’t get my target time I was 17 minutes off but I followed the instructions and ran through the showers and took water when it was on offer. I was lucky to finish and very much looking forward to the next one If someone said to me when I joined the beginners group I would run a marathon I would tell them they were joking, but it was a privilege to run through London with 40,000 others. My PB for a marathon is now 5hrs 17 mins and a time on the board!

 

However, it wouldn’t have happened without joining Redway runners and the support and messages I received pre and post race were so encouraging I was totally overwhelmed. To hear people tracked me on the app and vividly watched as I came across the line is amazing. Thank you to Martin P and Sophie who have encouraged me in beginners from the start and Becca and Karen who kept me pushing through the weeks of beginners. From help and encouragement from Siân Marie stick to my training plan.

Thank you to Simon, Daria Janet Kathryn, Stephen, Sadie Angela, Steve, Sue, Leigh and to Alistair running the whole 9 miles of my long run with me on a Sunday as I was having a bad day. To everyone at Redway Runners club (anyone I’ve forgotten) who have looked after me since I started less than a year ago.

 

I also kept a blog of the honest ups and downs of my training and raised money for Mind – for mental health. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicolaMurr

 

Now onto planning my next Marathon (there was never any doubt this was always the start!) and to get stronger and quicker!

Redway Runners conquer the London Marathon

The Redway Runners were out in force for the London Marathon. 59 Redway Runners took part in what turned out to be one of the hottest London Marathon race days on record, completing the 26.2 mile course in temperatures of up to 24 degrees Celsius. Despite the heat personal records were set by many runners on the flat course. Notable achievements included a 03:21:00 finish by Jen Sangster, 03:32:47 PB by Katie Tucker and a 03:49:55 finish by Marice O’Connell in the 65-69 age group.

 

Martin Lawrence, club chairman, completed the marathon in celebration of his 60th birthday and was fortunate enough to run part of the course with his daughter Sarah Lawrence. Martin said “support around the course was fantastic, especially seeing so many fellow Redway Runners taking the time to travel down to London. The general feeling between the runners was that it was brutal running conditions and fantastic that all Redway Runners finished on such a challenging day”.

 

Many runners described the day as one of the hardest races they had run. Katie Tucker commented “I saw many runners suffer and even collapse. It was the hardest race I’ve ever experienced… A race to remember though!”

 

Redway Runners is an inclusive running club based in Milton Keynes, with over 1000 members and sessions every day of the week. The club runs the Zero to Hero programme yearly and encourages both new runners and potential mentors alike to get involved. For more information about the club, visit www.redwayrunners.com.

Pedro in Prague

Below is Pedros race report from Prague half on Saturday 7 April 2018

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“Redway Runners!!!”, I hear myself shouting as I get to the start area of the Prague Half Marathon on a very sunny Saturday morning.  There, in front of me are Christina and Dom.  2 other club runners whom I had not met before.  Small world, big smiles.

 

Let me rewind to a couple of days earlier.  I got to Prague on Wednesday with my family, taking the opportunity to visit friends we made during our 2 years living in this beautiful city.

 

Wednesday and Thursday were spent catching up with friends and with the city.  Prague is one of those cities you never get bored to visit given its beauty.  It is also fairly cheap to get to (WizzAir flies from Luton), to move around (the tram, bus and metro system is amazing and you get a 60 minute ticket for 24 CZK for an adult – half for a child over 6 – which is valid across different types) and to eat and drink (you can get a meal for under 150 CZK and a pint of beet for under 40 CZK).

 

Friday morning I went to the expo, which rivals most major marathons.  Lots of brands represented, workshops, lectures, giveaways, etc… My hint, get there at 10am and you have the place for yourself.  Easy to walk around, have a look around and get your number comfortably.  English is not spoken by everyone but most people will have a try.

 

Saturday morning, I got the tram and the metro to get to the start area.  It is free for runners on race day and from most points of Prague it will not take you more than 20 minutes.  The day was sunny, beautiful and not too hot. Although I got to the start area before 9am, for a 10am start, the area was already fairly busy.  it is well laid out, signaled and furnished with portaloos.  The queues for these are not very long given the number of available loos.

 

In the so called Technical Area, you can find plenty of changing tents, a great bag deposit area which is setup by the last 2 digits of the runners number – meaning there is a large area but it is easy to get your bag back – massages, showers, taping and medal engraving at the end.

 

Once you go to your start area, the wait begins.  A nice area with enough space fora gentle warm up.  The only negative side was most of my area being in the shade which made it quite cold.  Shortly before 10am we started having all the announcements about the elite runners, advice, etc… All of this in multiple languages as there were 80+ nationalities represented.

 

10am and the race starts.  It is a fast downhill start, albeit with cobble stones and tram lines requiring you to look where you are stepping.  The first few miles have a good attendance on the side of the road although the noise level is quite low.  The course is mainly along the Vltava river, taking in the famous Charles Bridge, the Dancing House, the National Theatre, crossing over a few bridges and even passing a famous brewery around mile 3.  Along the way, there are plenty of refreshment stations (at least 6) with water, Gatorade, fruit and sponges.  There are also portaloos at every refreshment station (I did need a quick stop at one so I can tell you they were there – clean and quick).

 

Around half way and with the sun getting hotter, we pass the starting area (the course is a sort of figure of eight) and a lot of public clapping and cheering in this area.  I also see my family who give me big smiles and high-fives to keep going.

 

The second half of the race takes you to areas with much less public, when you most needed it.  The course is still flat though and you can surely aim for a PB here.

 

My race revolved more around pacing myself properly and keeping my energy up than getting a PB and it went to plan.  The gels before the start and at miles 4.5 and 9 as well as the water at most stations helped me keep going, with the use of wet sponges nearer the end as the sun was making it quite warm.

 

You finish on a red carpet and are treated very well afterwards.  A beautiful medal, water, fruit, the works.  You have to walk a fairly long way though to get back to the baggage area and then to exit the Technical area.  On a sunny day like Saturday it is ok.  Not so much if the weather is miserable (as the first time I ran this Half, 5 years ago).

 

I did not manage to see Christina and Dom along the course but checked that they finished and also found out that Abi also ran it.  Well done to everyone!

 

I finished the race in 1:36:36, which was almost a minute faster than what I was aiming for and felt that I had enough energy on my legs to keep going.  So much so that, having flown back on Saturday evening, I even managed to join the club’s Sunday Social Run.

In my opinion, Prague is a must-do Half.  The entry is not too expensive (50 EUR early bird) and getting to Prague and staying in Prague is not dear.  The city is beautiful and the course is flat and definitely has PB potential.  Maybe a club trip in 2019?

 

Cheers,

 

Pedro