Perth Marathon 2012

Athlete: Graham Rix

Thank you all for a fantastic day. I started my day thinking its simple run under 5 mins a km to achieve my goal of 3:30 but having never run over 33 km before i was a bit apprehensive about this unfamiliar territory. I felt good on the way out enjoying the atmosphere but on the way back things began to change conversation with ather runners stoped all my attention was on the run. I got a inspiring cheer at the raffles. I’m not shore ho they are but thanks that set me up for the long trip down the freeway. I got to the narrows bridge and I know the worst is yet to come. in the back of my mind is the wall that so many talk about. Willing my self on with about 4 km to go my legs and feet are feeling very sore and i am feeling emotional at times. My pace has dropped slightly and the casino is in site. these few kms are by far the hardest I have ever run. The sound of the loud speaker and the crowd couldn’t have come soon enough. I couldn’t have done it with out the support of the NSRG.

thank you all.
Graham.

Perth Marathon 2012

Athlete: Rob Fowler

Hi All,

Well another one bites the dust, as I clocked up number 13 for my Perth marathons I once again revelled in the solo and partnership efforts out on the course. The highlight of the day for myself was the elder statesman of the group Nigel. Not looking a day over 60 and keen as a 21 year old he cruised around the 42.2km in fine form. He had joined Coach or Bus Captain Rob Rob’s Sub 4 hour bus which included such legends as Chris Kowalski, Rob D(only finishing the 100 KEP 2 weeks ago), Ian McPhan, and others who used the bus for a tow start or sight seeing interlude.

Many P.B’s were achieved on the day a few real important ones Andy Lane has truly thrown away his JOGGER status and moved into the very good runners status with a near 3 minute PB and dragging himself ever closer to the magical 3 hour mark, well done. The girls may have out shone the boys this year the both Fiona and Caroline getting good PB’s and Eulalia cruising around and still strode into 5th girl overall. Keith managed a really nice PB and Mick’s effort after fighting off some serious health issues was inspirational to say the least. Simon who popped up out of nowhere and looked comfortable after only completing his second Comrades 2 weeks ago must have come close to a P.B. Julie and Bruce dragged each other across the line and enjoyed the experience, or at least looked like that way when they finished. Ian laid a formal compliant with the bus company accusing them of firstly dropping him at the wrong spot and then reversing over him, leaving him to struggle for the next 20+KLM’s. A great milestone by Kevin Johnson who is now a SPARTAN having completed 10 and cheered on by all when he received his number and plaque.

As I try to remember other members of the group that completed it I realise that the group has grown so big that I only know mainly Wednesday runners and a few others. This is as always down to the great work of Chris and Alli, who are always striving to get the group running, looking and feeling better all the time. As a long time member and original I watch these two amazing people glue a group of people together all with a common goal to run. I’m sure everyone would agree that they are enjoying there running more because of these two. I would just like to say that they are the same as us, they have families to attend to and all the issues that go with that, they have work commitments and all the headaches that go with that, they have partners and all the balance required to go with them and they have their own personal goals and running dreams like us all, but they have the heart felt responsibility of a group of runners who look to them for inspiration and leadership that they give 120% of all the time. So please try and remember as we all struggle on our running paths and balance our lives around this great sport the 2 people who help you balance this are running with you, thanks Chris and Ali.

As for the support out on the course I can’t thank Coop’s enough as much as he may have felt he was bugging me he was turning up at the right time with the right words of encouragement that while didn’t make me go much faster got me to zone back in on the job at hand and earn another respectable time, cheers mate. To Louise and Sheila who were shocked to see me the first time rallied themselves for a loud cheer on my return to help lift my spirits. Heather who seemed to be just cruising around only managed to stay upright thanks to Coops keeping her on the straight and narrow! But was very supportive until she needed a COFFEE? Thanks to Bob, Alli, Bridgett, Roy,Rob, Jane and Tori with many others for your support. Most of all thanks to my Beautiful Family who come to cheer me and many others that they know on during the day. They allow me to indulge in something that helps keep me sane in this busy world and their support means more than completing the race.

Finally I look forward to next year with joy to see my good buddy Chris achieve his SPARTAN number and another milestone with Phil Selfe going for his 20th Perth. Again I hope all enjoyed it as much as I did see you out there soon.

Regards
Rob F

Bunbury Three Waters Marathon – My First Marathon Mothers Day

Athlete: Carey Taylor

SUNDAY MAY 13TH 2012-05-18

Running for me is both enjoyable and therapeutic. My inspiration came from Northern Suburbs Running Group. I have to say my special thanks goes to Mick Hearn who told me about N.S.R.G and gently encouraged me over the last few years and believed I could do a marathon.

I always kept putting it off for another year. I really want to thank all N.S.R.G,and to mention a few Chris Kowalski, Ali and Julie, Bob and Shelia and Louise Moore and Louise Ryan who got me started by running with me on my initial training runs.(Incidentally about a month before the 3 waters marathon I got “marathon blues”and told Bob and Shelia I am doing the Bunbury half which relieved me for a while)-Then my husband Patrick inspired me again saying “you have done all this training get a grip you can do it”He also booked very nice accommodation in Bunbury so I had to give it a go!!

This Marathon was all about finishing with no times set. The weather was pleasant, no winds, and a bit of rain to cool the runners down. Before I got to the start line I was greeted by Mick and daughter Emma Hearn. It was so great to see them at the start. The course itself has only a few undulating parts to it and I had the pleasure of running next to three waters Big swamp wildlife park, the Indian ocean (lovely beaches) and the Leschenaultia inlet.

When I applied Bunbury Running Club thought my first name was “Taylor” not “Carey” and my race bib had Taylor on it. The marshals were fantastic and kept cheering me on. The most interesting runner was a French man who juggled balls for the entire marathon. A small group of children came from Japan to join us (who had survived the Tsunami).Charity money went to them but I gave my dollars to cancer research-close to my heart and David from our running group.

I made it to 35km and felt sluggish and who was there just at the right moment but Mick Hearn! He was such a terrific support, encouraging, praising and boosting my morale right to the end. I did a Marathon what a FANTASTIC FEELING.

Thanks to the entire group and especially thanks to my family for their strength and belief i could do it.

Finally my first marathon was on Mother’s day just another bonus for me to remember.

Carey Taylor.

Carey Taylor

Carey Taylor

“What happens in Rotto….goes in Rob’s race report!” (2011)

Athlete: Rob Donkersloot

For Rottnest last year I had joined Bruce and Nigel for the race weekend on the island, but because I was in the middle of my spate of running injuries, I was there on cheer squad and marshalling duties. 12 months later, after a stop / start year of comebacks, I was finally ready for my first race of marathon distance since the 40 Miler in April 2010. It’s been a long time between race reports, so I thought I would make up for lost time.

For this year’s trip across we had a team of five…Nigel and Bruce again, plus Rob Rob and Mick Hearne. We met at the ferry at 2pm on Saturday, only to find out that Rob Rob had injured his leg in during his 24 hour Cape to Cape attempt a couple of weeks earlier. So for 2011 it was Rob Rob’s turn to don the mini skirt and pom poms at the Thompson’s Bay marathon turnaround point.

After a worrying couple of hours needlessly wondering where our luggage with running gear had got to, Saturday night was spent enjoying Nigel’s culinary spaghetti delight, and a game of cards. As well, Rob Rob had co-opted me to provide a half hour lecture on the benefits and features of the iPad, which Rob Rob appeared to enjoy, but assisted giving the other three an early night’s sleep.

Race day morning involved a 4am start, a few pikelets for brekky, and last minute race instructions from Rob Rob. He gave each of us a clue from his cryptic crossword, which we were to solve on the first lap, after which Rob Rob would provide a second clue etc. So with four runners, solving four clues each over the four laps, that would just about have the crossword solved by marathon’s end. Rob Rob is certainly a very resourceful fellow.

We walked the small distance to the start line to catchup with the rest of the Northern Suburbs starters including Chris, Coops, Simon, Annie and Julie, and after the piper had done his thing on the bag pipes we were off.

Now the goal for me was to run a sub four hour marathon, and if things went really well I thought I might be a chance to beat my Rotto PB of 3:51 set in 2008 running with Roy, Coops and Ali. So the goal average km pace was 5:25, which would get me a 3:50, but no slower than a 5:41 which was needed for four hours. Nigel, Chris and I had run most of the training run together, and Nigel and I had discussed running together, as he would also be happy with a sub four result. Like a lot of people, I have taken off too fast in previous marathons, so I had told myself this time I would definitely not go any faster than 5:15k’s.

Mick as you probably know has also had some big injury issues, with his last marathon being over 12 months ago, and having to have surgery back in May. He was also hopeful of a sub four, but “just happy to be running again”. Bruce has had a stellar year with some great times at other races and he was hoping to finish his last marathon of the year with another quick one.
Anyway, the gun went…and by the time we had run the 200 metres to the bakery, the running together strategy had evaporated with Nigel taking off in hot pursuit of Chris, Mick and Bruce. I was running by myself some distance back….trying to keep that pace to the 5:15’s.

The first part of the race is a 2km trek out to Kingston Barracks and by the time we got to the turnaround point I was a good 200 metres behind the NSRG group of Julie, Chris, Bruce and Nigel and as we came back to Thompson’s Bay and ran along the causeway between the lakes, I watched them slowly disappear into the distance.

I was still trying to keep the pace to around the 5:15 to 5:20 mark, and felt great. The half way point of the Rotto Marathon lap is always marshaled by Bob and Deb Edwards, and it was fantastic to see them at their usual location.
A few hundred metres further at the Armstrong Bay aid station I spotted Nigel, and he was running towards me rather than away from me. I was glad to hear everything was ok, and that he had decided to ditch the rest of the rabbits and join me instead.
As Nigel and I do on a regular basis during our runs, we discussed the state of world macroeconomics, molecular physics and the like, as well as solving the two cryptic crossword clues Rob Rob had set us.

As we finished the first lap I was eagerly looking out for Rob Rob to give him the answer so I could get the next cryptic clue to ponder on lap two. Unfortunately there were no pom poms to be seen…Rob Rob had gone missing. I reasoned that Bob Braid of the WAMC must have collared him and given him an important job to do at race HQ.

The second lap was uneventful, other than us catching Chris who was struggling a bit. A two week cold, plus overnight tummy problems had taken its toll unfortunately.

When we got back to Thompsons Bay the second time there was still no sight of Rob Rob, so we set off on lap three, still (cryptic) clueless.

Lap three is always the hard one, and it was turning out that way again, as I looked at the average pace on my Garmin starting to slip alarmingly. After a couple of 5:40 laps I said to Nigel that I was worried about the pace starting to slow, and that he should run his own race from here on. Nigel took my advice, and slowly started to move ahead.

Tory had been out on her bike shouting lots of support every time we saw her, but this time when I ran into her, she didn’t seem to be quite as convincing when she said I was looking good. Coming down the hill past Geordie Bay with 10k to go I looked at my watch and saw there was an hour and two minutes left to get my four hour goal, so I set my mind to running each of the last ten at 6 minute pace or better.

As I ran into Thompson’s Bay the last time I spotted Rob Rob, who was offering me one of Mick’s gels…but all I could think of was to tell him the answer to the crossword clue…”artichoke” I shouted. He looked at me puzzled and answered “artichoke???”
It was only in the pub afterwards that I found out that Rob Rob hadn’t been working hard at race HQ at all…rather he had figured that he would go back to the cabin for a nap for the first hour of the race, and then come back to cheer us on. Well one hour turned into three.

And when I shouted “Artichoke” at him, he had totally forgotten about the crossword. Instead he thought I was asking for assistance of some kind, but couldn’t figure out what I was after…had I said ”Flat Coke” or maybe I had some special artichoke gels somewhere? Anyway he decided it was important enough to race back the kilometer to the cabin and back to search for anything that may match my strange needs for the last lap.

The last lap was difficult going, but every km was below 6 minute pace, so I was starting to feel pretty comfortable about the four hour finish. Nearing Longreach for the last time I spotted Nigel who was slowing a bit, and soon caught him up. Luckily he had enough left to latch onto me for the last bit, and despite Nigel getting an attack of his usual case of cramps in the last kilometer; we crossed the line together in 3 hours and 57 minutes.

Bruce and Mick had meanwhile finished exactly 10 minutes earlier in a time of 3:47 after racing each other over the last few miles to the finish…with Bruce winning the uphills, and Mick catching him on the downhills. Bruce won their race to the finish by a short head, however that didn’t stop Mick being arguably the happiest person on the island; you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face all afternoon.

Soon after the finish I heard the race announcer talk about the race winners, and I was super surprised (and delighted) to hear our very own Eulalia had won the women’s race. I hadn’t spotted her at the start or during the race, so wasn’t even aware she was running…it was fantastic news though.

After the race we went back to the cabin for a shower, and watched Rob Rob do a great job at cleaning sweeping and mopping, before going back to listen to the presentations. Once they were over it was over to the pub, and we had a very pleasant afternoon drinking Coronas and swapping war stories with the usual WAMC suspects. One hot topic of discussion was the price of the beer which ran at $10 a stubby. Rob Rob worked out that with the money we spent on stubbies at the bar that afternoon, we could have each bought two cartons of Coronas at the bottle shop.

Soon it was time to get on the 4:30 ferry back to Hillarys and after a pleasant journey back, we were dismayed to find that our luggage had not made it back with us from Rottnest. Members of our travelling party were far from impressed, so much so that Nigel called radio 6PR’s breakfast show the next morning to give the whole of Rotto Ferries and administration a blast on air. 6PR rang him back an hour later to tell him he had won “whinge of the day” and a prize of a $200 restaurant voucher. Dinner for five coming up!

This was my third Rottnest, and it’s an event I really enjoy. It’s not just about the race, which is certainly a challenging and spectacular one, but it’s also about a great couple of days away with good mates. Thanks to all the support from the NSRG guys and girls, both the runners and the cheer squad. It’s all part of what makes the Rotto weekend magic.
We’ve already have cabin 715 booked for Rottnest 2013, but as Rob Rob is set on running next year, we have a vacancy for someone willing to put on the pom poms.

Rob

Note: I am hopeless at crosswords, cryptic ones especially…and wouldn’t have a hope in hell of solving Rob Rob’s question for him normally, let alone while running a marathon. “Artichoke” was just a wild guess.

Perth Marathon – Thanks and Well Done

Athlete: Keith Darwin

Hi Everyone,

I also just want to start by saying a great big thankyou to the whole gang at NSRG for their fabulous support in making such a great day so much more memorable and enjoyable.

The weather was great, fine, slightly cloudy, no wind, the odd little shower and the sun not too hot. There was a real buzz at the clubrooms leading up to the start, everyone a bit anxious and the cameras coming out for a few group shots.

It was real nice to see those not running, there to wish everyone well, including Lui, Howard, Dennis, Fiona, Heather, Tori, Terry, Lee and the girls, just to name a few (sorry if I don’t mention everyone).

The race started and I was off to a fairly quick pace (for me) and had to try and hold back. It didn’t seem long before I remember Dennis and one of his signs saying there was only 35 km’s to go – great, is that all! Along the way everyone was so friendly from the other runners to all the spectators and marshals and helpers. Thanks Lui and Bob G. I had a run/walk strategy where I would run for about 2.4km’s and then walk for 100m (repeat this 17 times – just a long interval session really). Most of the time is sort of coincided with the water stations so that was good. It felt a bit unnecessary at the start but I was sure I would be glad of it later. It does help break the race down into little parts and when the going gets tough it’s not that long before you get a ‘rest’ and then you feel revived again and off you go with a bit more pep. And it doesn’t do your head in thinking about all those km’s left just run for about 12- 15 mins at a time – anyone can do that.

By the time I got to 28 km’s I was starting to feel rather tired in the legs and was getting pains in my groin and feet, but 2 thirds of the way there so I kept pushing on. I would see the occasional runner from NSRG up just ahead or behind like Chris and that would spur me on. After a while the quicker runners started coming back from the turn around point like Bob W, Simon, Brucey, Kevin, Ed, Rob F, Vince and it was good seeing everyone again. When I started back I saw another bunch of NSRG runners that were behind me and everyone was encouraging and seemed in good spirits but also probably starting to feel the pain. I remember seeing Heather and Terry and Dennis, Ali and so many others numerous times as they would make their way around the circuit ahead of us and then cheer us on and take photos etc. It was fantastic and I thank you all. Even complete strangers were cheering us on as well as other runners that you would end up alongside for a few k’s.

They recon the race starts at 32 k and I guess in away it does. That’s when it started to get tough and it just gets harder all the way to the finish. But with all the wonderful support you get it makes you find that little bit extra and you don’t want to let everyone down. Terry even made me sprint the last 200m to the finish as she ran along side me for a while.

Thankyou all for helping me achieve my first Marathon, from all the support on the day, to all the encouragement over the last eight or nine months running with the group, Bob’s interval training and all the friendships made. If you have never done a Marathon before but were unsure you could do it, give it a go, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. I have been running for just under a year and I never imagined that it was possible for me. I wasn’t that long ago that a 5k race was a big deal. So if I can do it so can you.

Cheers
Keith

Perth Marathon 2011 – Special Thanks

Athlete: Neph Janssen

Dear All!
Last Sunday was the culmination of 5 months of training. It was a steep “training” curve for me but I learned a lot from you, my fellow runners. Four weeks ago I thought I have to pull out due to an injury. But I made it to the start line with “butterflies” that comes along with all the excitement. I was relieved when Gail, Lynette and Annie turn up alongside me just before gun start.

It was such a glorious day, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The weather was great; the crowd was exhilarating, great support from hubby and a lot of familiar faces from members from the club. As I ran the first few kms of the course there is that quiet confidence building up in me knowing that there a good number of people out there like me that will be plodding through their first marathon.

I would like to extend my special thanks to Rob Robartson that kept me company and chatted through the good half of the course that made the time goes faster. I would like to extend my special thanks to him. As I progress through the course, I keep seeing you guys on the sideline, it was fantastic! I couldn’t have done it without you cheering us on –Lee, Sylvia, Nicola, Helen, Sam and many others…of course not to forget Dennis!

They say the last 5kms would be the most difficult and I believe you now! Many full grown men and women were brought to tears at this point of the run, I did too! They also said that you will be a different person when you completed your first marathon… I think a have mutated from being a weekend warrior!

You all are an inspiration to me!

Thanks heaps!
Neph

Perth Marathon 2011

Perth Marathon: 07:30AM on 19th June 2011 – www.perthmarathon.com.au

For pictures from our athletes, please see our picture gallery.


19 June 2011 CHRIS KOVALSKI wrote :

Many, many thanks to all the NSRG groupies who were out there today supporting,encouraging,taking photo’s and marshalling today. You made our day special.

All the NSRG runners that started the Marathon Finished and there were some stand out performances today. Especially first timers. We breed them tough in our group so well done to every one of you.

If you would like to write a race report I would be happy to send it around the group and post it on the website.

Once again thanks much appreciated.

Chris


19 June 2011 EULALIA VAN BLOMESTEIN wrote :

Dear NSRG Runners

I have to second Chris and say a huge thanks to all of you out there today who encouraged and supported myself and so many others along the way. I found it a bit tough going MOST of the way ( begging Voltaren’s off of all of you I knew…… I was in pain and desperate, what can I say…) but with determination and your encouragement I made it.

Well done to all who finished – especially first timers and PB achievers. Have a good rest for a few days.

Cheers

Eulalia


19 June 2011 DAVID JOHNSON wrote :

Hi Chris

Got to agree with you. Support from nsrg cheer squad was amazing. It’s a long run that’s made so much easier with friends supporting you all over the course.

Congratulations to all who finished. Especially first timers and pb ers.

Davie


19 June 2011 LEE J HALEY wrote :

Many Many Thanks to you Chris, we had a ball supporting you all, congratulations and well done! you are an amazing an inspiring lot to say the least and I am so lucky to be part of the wonderful NSRG

see you out there xx Lee


19 June 2011 SHARON BAIRD wrote :

I definitely second, third & fourth  that thanks – to all NSRG members on and off the course today.

Your inspiration, advice, motivation and support were so appreciated before, during and after the marathon.

Thank you for putting up with this novice who arrived at WAMC this morning and immediately wanted to sit in a corner and cry!

I was fine once the legs got moving – but wouldn’t have made it to the start line, let alone the finish line without NSRG.

Before joining NSRG about 15 months ago, I had never run over 12km and thought marathons were for nutjobs! Today I became a fully inducted nutbjob and completed my first marathon. J

You are a beautiful bunch of people.

(Thank you also to being so lovely to my family along the way.)

Shar (white hat)


19 June 2011 ROBERT FAWLER wrote :

WELL DONE

 

I thought I would get in first before all the normal quotes and pats on the backs are handed out. While number 12 was nothing special in the time department from a personal perspective it easily became one of my most enjoyable. While out on the coarse the support from the gang was suburb from Terry, Lee and the their little girls, Ali and her sister, Brian and his own personal support vehicle and drink station, Fiona and her bike, Andy and his willing and almost ready to run with me, Louie and his camera, Dennis and his skirt and ghetto blaster and signage, Heather and her contagious smile and Phil O and many others who willed us all on well done.

The feeling at the finish was even better, SUPER DOOPER SEAN COOPER who less than 14 days ago completed the gruelling KEP 103K in a unreal time only to blitz his Marathon P.B in 3.12 and I did kiss him this time. Eulalia who fought some tough pain to still be in the top 5 of the state and smile to play another day.  Bob who also lost his Australian marathon virginity in a comfortable 3.13 closely followed by Steve a first time marathoner 3.14. Peter who seems a natural runner and went out to test himself first time at the distance 3.18. Bruce finally proved to himself he is a quality runner at the 42.2k and may of just run a P.B at 3.28 he and was stoked with his effort. Kevin J who likes to get the job done around 3.30 always enthusiastic and happy with his efforts.  Ed in his first crack at the marathon blazed away for a 3.36 and worked hard for it. Caroline who with a very bad burst blister and a grit and determination impressed her husband, little boy and many around her with her first time effort. Phil Selfe who managed his 18th Perth said they weren’t getting easier but he will continue to turn up and get that 20th done before he moves on to the next 5 to 25. Keith who was just there to do one could not get the smile off his face at under 4 hours for his first attempt. Chris our patron SAINT and the man who would help anyone out there to achieve their goals again a respectable sub 4hours. The elder statesman of our group Dave at 70 years of age a fantastic sub 5 hours. Gail who looked as happy as with having taken herself to the mountain and conquered it with her all girl crew. Rob Rob who lost some 12 kilos on his journey was slowly enjoying the moment but not the thought of putting his nipples in eth shower woo hoo and a well done finish. Ian my training buddy who would have taken anytime was wrapped in his 4.20 which he may not have even contemplated some 6 months earlier. Simon who only 3 weeks ago conquered Comrades managed a P.B not a bad backup for a guy who joined NSRG just last year. Sheila who managed her first Ozzie marathon and amazingly her 49th and looked to comfortable and good at the finish was more happy with her cup of Tea that Bob got her straight away, than the fact that she has 1 more to do. To Nigel the man for all seasons and still remaining one of my heroes only 3 days after his 59th birthday and having had a 5 week taper (he ran one 21k, 5 weeks ago due to injury) soldier on to the finish to but himself one step closer to the SPARTAN badge a super effort.

 

If I missed you out I apologies, but all of you need to write your story, it helps others and makes us all enjoy the memory for as long as we can. I will remember this one for the people who smiled, cried, grimaced, laughed, swore, joked and generally enjoyed themselves. It is a great group of people and many people were asking “What are those NSRG tops for” They are for people who love life and love to run with a group or by themselves well done to all.

 

Rob F

FIRST TIMERS


20 June 2011 DENNIS TAN wrote :

Hi all,

Well done to all runners and Marathon finishers, especially the first timers. It was so much fun being there cheering you all on.

Here are the photos taken from Perth Marathon: http://picasaweb.google.com/dennistan7/PerthMarathon2011

Rest well and City to Surf is calling 

Regards,

Dennis Tan


20 June 2011 VINCE PERE wrote :

Hi Chris, First of all, congrats to all who participated in the marathon or  the relay  yesterday, great work and excellent effort by all.To all the organizers and wardens, fantastic job.A  Big thanks goes out to all the supporters out there (to many  to name and you know who you are) for the great entertainment and the encouragement you gave me especially around the last 2km mark.It was great to see so many  face’s  from the club cheering you on.

To Chris, Ali and Tory and others behind the scenes, you guy’s run a fantastic club and should be proud with the caliber and experience this club has got.I know I’m always learning from the guy’s and girls.

In a nutshell i had a fantastic day.

Thanks guys,

Vince.

PS-could you pass this on for me Chris.Thanks.


20 June 2011 ANNE HARMSWORTH wrote :

Hallo

 

Its Monday night and I have stopped feeling  freaked out about my worst marathon in 20 years! After all, I can still move my legs and there are so many people who cant so when one puts it into perspective , I am blessed.

 

What can I say about the awesome support en route! Everywhere I  looked, swerved, stumbled (Almost thought of doing a Swan Lake dying swan act in the Swan River), there were N.S.R.G. supporters waving slogans.giving coke,  hugs,peptalks,taking photos and delightful young man in a pretty tutu!What more could a girl ask for.

 

To all of you who participated , a HUGE well done especially the first timers and P.B’ers.

 

And Nigel , you are as tough as they come!!!!

 

Love Annie


20 June 2011 BOB and SHEILA WALMSLEY wrote :

Hi Folks,

Bob & I would like to say a big thanks to all who supported us at the marathon yesterday, what a great day.

It has taken me this long to be able to reach the computer as the legs today must belong to Douglas Barder (world ward 2 fighter pilot who had wooden legs)

My marathon was very special to me personally as it was my first marathon in Perth, i completed in 4hrs 36mins. Bob had a great run completing in 3.13mins

We thought our running club in the UK would never be beaten for friendships, fun and generally just being nice people but yesterday i have to say NSRG came top of the list, from Fiona who had her pomp pomes out, Dennis with his too’ too’ & ghetto blaster, Ali & Jackie giving me stick at raffles hotel but the most inspirational of all was Brian “what a man I take my hat off too him”. All the supporters on the course (too many to say)

It was lovely to see everyone running and i think i did see everyone being at the back of the field.

Thanks guys for a great day,

Sheila n Bob


20 June 2011 STEPHEN HELM wrote :

Hi Everyone

I just want to start with saying a great thank you to my wife Jill. Jill would have loved nothing better than to be at the start of the marathon, however injuries prevented Jill to start her first marathon. Jill supported me throughout the last few weeks when there is a lot of doubt within yourself to be fully prepared. I really appreciated the support from Jill.

Well done to everyone who did the marathon and marathon relay yesterday it was a great effort/achievement.

Finally you will never know how much i needed the support from the NSRG support crew and cheer leaders turning up at every turn on the courseThere is a personal thank you to Brian who provided me with the vaseline required ( please refer to Heather’s photograph)to continue running at a crucial stage. Also to Phil and Andy who provided me with the strength to carry on over the last 5 km’s.

We look forward to catching up with all of you soon!!!!

Love Steve and Jill


21 June 2011 EDMUND WALL wrote :

Hi Every One,

 

I would just like to endorse all of the sentiments being expressed about the marathon. It was absolutely fantastic to have all the NSRC supporters along the course, whether they be cheering, offering a drink (Dave) or taking photos. Everyone has a different way of showing their support. Luis‘s stern look of disapproval when I started walking at 40 kilometers was sufficient to get me running again!

 

To those runners and supporters I may not have acknowledged- I apologize as I often get lost in my self focus. I was particularly impressed how everyone from NSRG after the marathon went around asking how each other how they went. There seemed to be a very genuine interest in each others achievements. .

 

I joined NSRC two years ago. I have enjoyed every moment and treasure the friendships I have formed. We have a very special group.

 

Finally, having just finished my first marathon, and as a relatively novice runner, I would like to thank Bob, Chips, Andy, Luis , Roy , Greg and  all the other experienced runners( they know who they are) for all their advise, tips and words of support over the last two years.

 

Warm regards to all

 

Ed Wall


21 june 2011 KEITH DARWIN wrote :

Hi Everyone,

 

I also just want to start by saying a great big thankyou to the whole gang at NSRG for their fabulous support in making such a great day so much more memorable and enjoyable.

 

The weather was great, fine, slightly cloudy, no wind, the odd little shower and the sun not too hot. There was a real buzz at the clubrooms leading up to the start, everyone a bit anxious and the cameras coming out for a few group shots.

 

It was real nice to see those not running, there to wish everyone well, including Lui, Howard, Dennis, Fiona, Heather, Tori, Terry, Lee and the girls, just to name a few (sorry if I don’t mention everyone).

 

The race started and I was off to a fairly quick pace (for me) and had to try and hold back. It didn’t seem long before I remember Dennis and one of his signs saying there was only 35 km’s to go – great, is that all! Along the way everyone was so friendly from the other runners to all the spectators and marshals and helpers. Thanks Lui and Bob G. I had a run/walk strategy where I would run for about 2.4km’s and then walk for 100m (repeat this 17 times – just a long interval session really). Most of the time is sort of coincided with the water stations so that was good.  It felt a bit unnecessary at the start but I was sure I would be glad of it later. It does help break the race down into little parts and when the going gets tough it’s not that long before you get a ‘rest’ and then you feel revived again and off you go with a bit more pep. And it doesn’t do your head in thinking about all those km’s left just run for about 12- 15 mins at a time – anyone can do that.

 

By the time I got to 28 km’s I was starting to feel rather tired in the legs and was getting pains in my groin and feet, but 2 thirds of the way there so I kept pushing on. I would see the occasional runner from NSRG up just ahead or behind like Chris and that would spur me on. After a while the quicker runners started coming back from the turn around point like Bob W, Simon, Brucey, Kevin, Ed, Rob F, Vince and it was good seeing everyone again. When I started back I saw another bunch of NSRG runners that were behind me and everyone was encouraging and seemed in good spirits but also probably starting to feel the pain. I remember seeing Heather and Terry and Dennis, Ali and so many others numerous times as they would make their way around the circuit ahead of us and then cheer us on and take photos etc. It was fantastic and I thank you all. Even complete strangers were cheering us on as well as other runners that you would end up alongside for a few k’s.

 

They recon the race starts at 32 k and I guess in away it does. That’s when it started to get tough and it just gets harder all the way to the finish. But with all the wonderful support you get it makes you find that little bit extra and you don’t want to let everyone down. Terry even made me sprint the last 200m to the finish as she ran along side me for a while.

 

Thankyou all for helping me achieve my first Marathon, from all the support on the day, to all the encouragement over the last eight or nine months running with the group, Bob’s interval training and all the friendships made. If you have never done a Marathon before but were unsure you could do it, give it a go, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. I have been running for just under a year and I never imagined that it was possible for me. I wasn’t that long ago that a 5k race was a big deal. So if I can do it so can you.

 

Cheers

Keith


21 June 2011 NEPH JANSSEN wrote :

Dear All!

Last Sunday was the culmination of 5 months of training.  It was a steep “training” curve for me but I learned a lot from you, my fellow runners.  Four weeks ago I thought I have to pull out due to an injury. But I made it to the start line with “butterflies” that comes along with all the excitement. I was relieved when Gail, Lynette and Annie turn up alongside me just before gun start.

 

It was such a glorious day, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The weather was great; the crowd was exhilarating, great support from hubby and a lot of familiar faces from members from the club.  As I ran the first few kms of the course there is that quiet confidence building up in me knowing that there a good number of people out there like me that will be plodding through their first marathon.

 

I would like to extend my special thanks to Rob Robartson that kept me company and chatted through the good half of the course that made the time goes faster. I would like to extend my special thanks to him. As I progress through the course, I keep seeing you guys on the sideline, it was fantastic! I couldn’t have done it without you cheering us on –Lee, Sylvia, Nicola, Helen, Sam and many others…of course not to forget Dennis!

 

 

They say the last 5kms would be the most difficult and I believe you now!  Many full grown men and women were brought to tears at this point of the run, I did too! They also said that you will be a different person when you completed your first marathon… I think a have mutated from being a weekend warrior!

 

You all are an inspiration to me!

 

Thanks heaps!

Neph


21 June 2011 GABRIELLE BURONG wrote :

Chris would you mind passing my message on please

 

Hi everyone

 

On the flip side of all the emails going rnd I just wanted to say a big thx to all the runners, for without you participating in the marathon on Sunday I wouldn’t have been able to experience the most amazing day out in a long time.

 

My intentions of running the marathon this year were thrown out the window due to an Achilles injury 3 mths ago but rather than feeling sad about missing out on the day I decided to get out there and cheer all the runners on.

 

Never in my wildest dream did I expect to have such a fun, inspiring and emotional day.

 

On my way to burswood I had a think about my marathon last year and where I struggled and thought if I could help just one person complete there goal then it would be a good day. Soooo after much thought I found myself a nice little possie about 1.5 k from the finish line.

 

I hid behind a bush just past the causeway bridge  and as the runners approached I jumped out and yelled dah daaah and jumped about like a chook with it’s head cut off. Let me tell you the facial expressions I saw each time I jumped out will remain with me forever and I’m sure there will be a few runners who will be having nightmares from the crazy blonde haired women scaring the gibbies out of them hahahaha!!!!

 

So to all of you that completed this most amazing race on Sunday congratulations, all your hard training and effort payed off and THANK YOU for helping me deal with not being able to run.

 

Hope to see you all again soon with the punisher Bob at tues intervals!!

 

Cheers

Gabi Burong


21 June 2011 LEE HOLLAND wrote :

Hey Chris

 

I know you have all had plenty of emails so I will try not to waffle but inevitably will – if you could pass on that would be great

 

Afternoon all

 

No we didn’t run the marathon, I have only ever run one and haven’t been brave enough to have another go…. yet. I guess I wanted to second Gabi’s comments and give the perspective of someone on the sidelines.

 

Me and the girls (Tess included) had a really enjoyable day cheering you all along at various stages of the course, we have such admiration for each and every one of you who lined up at the start, I believe all NSRG members that started also crossed the finish line which is just awesome.

 

Standouts on the day for me, and there were a few – Nigel, 5 weeks off and still managed to finish – that is one tuff individual, Eulalia we saw you struggling with your hammy at 30k you looked very uncomfortable (I am sorry we didn’t have any voltaren!!) we were sure you would be forced to pull up and nearly fell over when we  spotted you come in over that last k well done that was a super human effort. Dave 70 years young and runs a marathon need I say more. Coops 100+ ks two weeks prior and then runs a 3.12 what the!!

 

To all the first timers well done I am sure you are all still buzzing with the sense of achievement, Sharon I believed cracked the 3.30 which is just awesome for a first attempt, Carolyn I don’t think was too far behind, another amazing effort for your first 42.2,  Ed, well  you looked so composed coming in I wouldn’t  have believed you ran the whole 42 but  we checked your name off at all points during the day so well done. Keith, well mate you were clearly wired at the start line and I knew there was no way you were not going to achieve your goal of a sub 4hr, I don’t think I have ever seen anyone sprint finish a marathon I will remember that for a while.

 

Well done to all, like I say we had a ball, it’s all we talked about during the drive home and that evening .

 

Lee Tess Hayley and Bella


21 June 2011 CAROLYN BANFIELD wrote :

Dear Everyone

 

 

Congratulations and well done to ALL the runners and supporters in the NSRG! You’re ALL champions!!! What a rare and precious find you are! Words can’t express how much I appreciate you sharing your wisdom, experiences, enthusiasm, friendship and passion for running with me.

 

Before joining the group in February 2011, I was a lone runner. Now that I have found “the group”, running with you on Tuesdays at Interval training and the odd Saturday morning, is one of the highlights of my week! Thank you, Bob and Chris, in particular, for your time, energy and leadership and for being such an inspiration!

 

Sunday 19 June was my first ever Marathon (and perhaps my last??????!!) and what an extremely emotional day it was. To be honest, most of the run was a blur, but I do know it was filled with drama…….. Blood (when my blisters exploded at the 30km mark!); sweat (virtually the whole way) and tears (when I eventually crossed the finish line). But what does stand out and was as clear as that rainbow in the sky, was the cheering, clapping, waving, words of encouragement and your big bright smiles!! Thanks Teresa and family, Heather, Louise, Lee, Howard, Ali and sis, Louis and Bob (on official duties) and to everyone else along the way for your support. My sincerest thanks to you all. (I’m sorry I don’t know all your names) Also, let’s not forget those of you sending positive thoughts and wishes from afar! We got them!!!!

 

What you, the group have given me over the past few months and leading up to the day itself, is priceless. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all of you. Each person brings to the group, “their story”. Your acts of kindness and camaraderie are now etched in memory forever. So, when I’m eventually in my rocking chair (sooner rather than later I’m thinking) reminiscing about my first ever Marathon, you’ll all be there!! Finally, one that I can tick off my “bucket list”.

 

Lessons I’ve learnt from this experience…”trust your training, only think positive thoughts and believe in yourself”.

 

Enjoy your recovery, walk tall (if you can!) and celebrate your success!! You should all be so very proud of your achievement, whether it be your first (of many Marathons yet to come!) a PB or the important part you played on the day. You are ALL respected for being YOU, and are an important part of a very special team of winners! Go NSRG!! Remember…. there’ll never be another first Marathon for you!

 

Looking forward to seeing and running with you all again soon. Take care.

 

 

Warmest regards

 

Carolyn Banfield

Kep Ultra 2011

Athlete: Sean Cooper

I ran with the Monday night group last night and Rob Rob pushed me to send this to you. So here it is.

As you know four years ago I went along to a NSRG meet and started running. Never did I believe I would run over 100kms in a race. Attached are my recollections of 103 kms up and down hills along trails from Northam to Mundaring Weir in the Kep Ultra 2011.

The Kep Ultra is in total a 103km or 75km race from Northam to Mundaring Weir. Over three years ago it was the dream of Rob Donkersloot from NSRG and Perth Trail Runners to run this event. He invented it, manages it, and as a result of his skills and abilities it is becoming one of the races on the Ultra Marathon running calendar in Australia. He is the premium race organiser in WA and should look at doing this for a career.

Preparation for this event was good, for a change. It times well with the marathon season in Perth so there are many from NSRG that I can tag along with, and if not Rob Fowler is always there to help out for extra runs and motivation. Apart from training (with NSRG members) it took me a day to prepare for the race with packs and gear tucked away for every aid station which were all about 20k apart. I even practiced aid station stops. I’m sure I’m going nuts but it was worth practising.

The race kicks off at 7am in Northam. I was lucky to score a lift with a few mates who are all well accomplished ultra runners (Dave Kennedy and Nathan Fawkes, 24 hour and 12 hour running freaks) and they were talking about running 4.45 pace for the whole 100k and the other was talking about doing the 75k in 6 hours. I had two goals, the first was to finish as I have never run over 66kms before and the second was to do it under 12 hours. I didn’t want to talk it up more than that but at the start line felling good, anything can happen.

Rob kicks the race off, (he is very strict) and it’s perfect conditions. Freezing cold but clearing to a beautiful Perth day with a slight breeze. I started off a bit quick and got stung by the first hill/mountain. I eased up a bit, was happy to see a couple of runners go past and paced myself up the hills from Northam to Clackline. It’s a lot hillier here than I imagined or wanted and I was in about position 7 for the 100k runners into Clackline which is about 19k from Northam. I must point out I made a mistake of borrowing a mates Garmin GPS watch as mine has poor battery life. I didn’t check it and it wasn’t displaying what I wanted. Where it helped me was I just kept it on day time and I was able to calculate how I was travelling which worked well. It was that hilly here that a guy on a push bike who was supporting someone else would try and get away from me. I would pass him on the hills and he would pass me on the descents. Running is much more fun and the hills were too big for bikes.

Clackline to Woorooloo (Station 1 to Station 2) was a better place for humans to run as it flattened out a bit. It’s quite scenic taking in Bakers Hill and running through old railway sidings and machinery as well as farms and fields. The trails were soft, damp but easy to run on and enjoyable. I passed David Deany for the second time, then worked out I was doing 4.20′s so eased up again. Just prior to Woorooloo I ran past Nathan who was talking about a 6 hour 75k finish earlier but was not in any condition to go on. I knew that the Kowalski’s would be up ahead so I focused on trying to look OK as I entered their aid station at Woorooloo. Its a great feeling when you see faces you know well and they are super supportive. At this point I had probably run just over the marathon distance and was feeling good. A quick stop and I was off again.

Damn hills. It’s hillier than I thought out of Woorooloo and again David Deany went past me, that’s the 4th time I’d seen him so far and I had another runner up with me pushing me along. I ran past Dave who was intending on running the 100k in 4.45 splits, he took off again but had pulled out of going the whole 100k and opted for the 75k. I went past a horse show and had a couple of riders riding large horses in front of me for a while which was great until they left their lunch in there wake for me to stumble over.

The hills flatten out near Chidlow and I found a comfortable rhythm to enter the Mt Helena 61k point just behind a couple of runners. At Mt Helena I entered the aid station at least 30 minutes earlier than I had hoped for, and about an hour ahead of where I thought I would be. It was a good feeling and a sign of encouragement especially to see the familiar NSRG faces there and I had to use all my strength to stop Rob Fowler from trying to kiss me. His support was fantastic for the rest of the race and he would just pop out of the bush occasionally and encourage me to keep going. I don’t normally run away from pubs, it’s more the other way round so it was sad to see the back of the pub as I pushed along.

I gained and kept up with another runner (John) and close to Bellevue (Aid Station 4) had the occasional view of David Deany at about the 82 km mark. I liked this section as we have done it a lot with NSRG. Going past the old railway tunnel I thought of Nigel hitting the wall (literally) and had a laugh. I had the confidence to get through this and without thinking about it had run further than ever before. I was looking forward to catching up with the NSRG girls at Bellevue but was too early for them, but again got great support from Rob Fowler who saw me off. I had a swig of beer at this stop, only I know how good it tasted! I needed the carbs, trust me.

The last 20 k’s are mainly uphill and I started to really struggle. John and I worked together and we made a pact that if we got to near the finish together that we would in fact finish together. So running with him we pushed each other towards Darlington. Amazingly we caught and passed David and I’m told we went past another runner but I don’t remember that. Half way up the mountain to Mundaring we caught site of the guys coming second and third. I never thought I would be in a position to race for a podium and whilst we tried to catch them, they were too far ahead so we eased up a bit to ensure a safe finish.

As equal 4th was becoming a reality I was starting to really struggle. I had eaten and drank well (except for the swig of beer) but I found that I had pushed myself so hard I was struggling to balance and see. Oddly I could run straight but if I slowed to a walk I would almost fall of the track and go side wards so I just kept pushing ahead as quick as we could. This feeling lasted for about the last 15k’s and I managed to stay upright, although I was kicking the insides of my ankles heaps which were bleeding badly. I didn’t want to stop and lose a position so we just kept going until the last steep hill 400m from the finish where we decided that we would walk and try to gain our composure.

At the top near the finish we jogged up to the line to achieve equal 4th. We also went through the 100km mark just under 10 hours. I wasn’t crook at the finish, but was out of it and felt like I was disorientated from pushing myself so hard. I remember some NSRG people were there, but I’m sorry if I didnt talk much, I couldn’t. I struggled to eat or drink and I had trouble balancing and Rob and others helped me to the car where I went and had a shower and freshen up. After that I was fine and went back to the finish to watch the majority come through and enjoy their race. I must have been unwell as I tried to drink a beer and couldn’t.

The next couple of days were rough on the legs but they are ok now apart from the insides of my ankles which look messy. I would like to thank everyone I have run with over the last few months, you all know who you are. Running in a group like hours makes us push each other, set goals, learn from each other and assist each other in achieving our goals. This was my goal for the year and everyone helped me achieve it.

I’m going to go to the Perth Marathon to cheer on our group runners, I may even jog along with some of us to help them achieve their goals.

See you out there.

Coops.

40 Miler

Athlete: Kevin Matthews

Right ..40 Miler 2011..highlights…course record smashed by Chris O’Neil…Unbelievable running given the hot conditions ! Geoffa runs a sub 5, again unreal..! I was with him to about half way @ 2:30 but there was no way I could repeat that for the next 32k…I reckon that run rates up there with Chris’s record breaking. Geoffa was second, not sure who the guy was who was third but he can run !! Colin Francis (a 40 miler legend and previos winner) ran 4th, Dave Kennedy 5th and BK bringing up 6th with a massive (?) 3 minute pb..made it all worth while

So what went wrong with the BK express…I ran with Geoffa and Wonderboy Watson to half way (Geoffa was a tad infront at the half way point)…went through half way dead on 5hour pace (@ 2hrs 30min) which set alarm bells ringing as I was aiming for 5:10. Virtually after the half way on the 6k down leg me and Chris started to slow and the earlier easy 4:30min/k pace disappeared as we both struggled to break 4:45min/k.. This was then compounded by the turn around and the 16k up to the last turn around point. My favourite part of the course….K’s 44 to 55…It’s in this part of the race you get to ask yourself all sort of questions (like why am I doing this..? surely a marathon distance is enough ? that hill wasn’t there last time ? etc etc ..you get the picture!)

I was ontime for a good pb at the last turn around and only had to struggle home for the last 9k to get a sub 5:20 finish. Not this time…..entered a world of pain starting at 58k and the last 5-6k was not pretty. Even 3 small walks to ease the pain….and that last hill was a monster.! Couldn’t even muster running down the last k into the finish..I was spent.. Did manage a 3 minute pb but it was a case of what could have beeen…too many short races recently and not enough runs over 30k this year (one in January and one more last month…not enough and you get found out big time in this race !)

Was a lot of DNF’s this year so I reckon the conditions played a part. Wonderboy bailed at 46k as did Nate (not before trying to catch me knowing he was going to finish at the start line! Luckily he didn’t as that would have resulted in a race , which I would have lost !)

Calum maintained his 6 foot form with a massive 40min+ pb. I noticed he was within striking distace at the last turn around and was checking over my shoulder for his Kenyan like finish.

There were a lot of people out there doing it hard this year, the conditions made the back of the field suffer big time..Respect to all finishers as everybody earned it today.

right….no “keep running” tonight….just enjoy finishing and I hope everybody got the times they were after…

As you were, BK

Berlin Marathon Race Report

Athlete: Mark O’Gara

Hi NSRG,

I miss being out with my olde running mates and the catch ups for a coffee afterwards in some beautiful locations, but life moves on and I find myself back here in little ole England in a whole new world of running. As I only started running just before moving to Australia, the London marathon was probably my sole knowledge of marathons. My only running experience was the Brighton 10k and half marathon just before the move to Perth. I think I can comfortably say I have moved on some way since then and with big thanks to the group and the ones who kept me honest on those long training runs and for all the good advice.

I couple of race reports to give you an idea of running in Europe.

Berlin Marathon – 26.09.2010
I do not know where to start on describing the experience of running my first big City marathon in a City I have always wanted to visit. It was like a running tour of the sights of Berlin. The expo at the old Templehof airport on the Saturday was huge and provided an insight and injection of excitement into the upcoming marathon. It was like the United Nations with people from so many Countries I could not begin to keep track. There were around 41,000 marathon runners gathered close to the Brandenburg gate on a very very wet Sunday morning for the start. The organisation was German efficiency and I was through the start within a few minutes and the pack was moving. From the start the support was absolutely fantastic and this continued throughout with people lining the streets and cheering you on and loads of live bands along the way and high fives (except 37k – 40k – see later). I’d like to say I have a clear memory of the race but to be honest It is all just a blur but I know I really enjoyed the experience and tried to soak up the atmosphere as much as possible. I remember all the main landmarks and running through some of the suburbs of East Berlin and this was just how I imagined it was like.

The run itself! I was on my target pace of 4.30 within 2k due to the wide flat road at the start. It was when we turned into smaller streets that I was caught in traffic, I was still running 4.40 pace but could not get through the crowd any quicker and decided to go with the flow until it naturally opened up which it did at around 8k. Even when it did open up you were always running in a mass of people but you could run at your own pace. I seemed to find myself with a lots of guys from Denmark (in fact, there seemed to be more Danish runners than German and it felt at times that half the crowd were Danish). My mate who I went with has told me I need to now slow down as it was a much more enjoyable experience running with the mass of Danish women a bit further back. After a toilet stop I managed to get into a rhythm for much of the remainder of the race. The atmosphere, all the people and the sights helped take the mind off the distance. There were plenty of drink stations with water, energy drink; fruit and hot tea (yes tea!!).
I made a point of drinking at each one and as a result felt good throughout. I held a little in the locker as I still had the memory of hitting the wall at 35k in the Perth marathon the previous year. But instead of a long desolate stretch of cycle path along the freeway, this time I had a line of pom pom girls for a while at 35k. I decided I was not going to hit the wall and pushed on. My last 10k was my quickest. It wasn’t easy, I was very tired but felt I could step up a gear. When I approached and passed through the Brandenburg gate at km 42 and then the last 400m past the Grandstand it was pure emotional heaven with the cheers and sense of achievement. I finished in 3.10.48. A PB of 9 minutes. The aim was 3.15 so very happy. Medal, photos, goody bag and free beer (alcohol free – boo) in the warm down area.

Overall, absolutely loved the Berlin marathon and strongly recommend, I am thinking of going again next year. My mate’s opinion was great marathon and fantastic course but a little short of crowd support in km 37-40. This could be due to this 3k being close to Brandenburg gate and everyone heads for this area and the finish line. Also, the weather was truly awful so hats off to the crowds for coming out in the first place. Good thing about this marathon is no ballots, get your entry in early and you are in. 2011 entries open in October.

Chippenham – Wiltshire 12.09.2010
Running through the lovely country lanes and villages of Chippenham area with lots of local support and music playing and then great little fete/party organised afterwards and loads of free food goodies to help you recover and a t-shirt. Even though only 1300 completed the race, you can see it means a lot to the local community and running club who organise the race. I clocked 1.29.29 a pb of 3 minutes which under the circumstances that on the Friday night I was at a school reunion in Manchester drinking and partying from 6pm – 2am. I then travelled back to London on the train the next day still feeling half p****d before driving down for the half marathon the next morning in Wiltshire. The last 3.5k was also a gradual hill, nothing major but went on an on and on. Very good news is that as I achieved under 1.30 and I have guaranteed good for age entry for New York marathon next year.

There seem to be lots of races here every week and every City in Europe seems to have a marathon in Spring or Autumn (Florence, Rome, Budapest, Prague to name a few). For the really big ones you have to get in quick. For example I had my place for Brighton 2011 in May this year and it sold out in June. I think we only have 3 really big marathons in the UK which are London, Edinburgh, Brighton and Robin Hood marathons. There are a couple of huge half marathons that are famous and on live tv (great North run and great South run), probably missed some but I’m still finding out as well. I was going to do Amsterdam marathon in October as well but have to go to India for 2 weeks with work this Sunday. I then have 2 weekends with family and then go back to India for a week. So, I may put events on hold until the New Year.

Joined a running club over here and the track speedwork sessions are definitely improving my overall speed so I would recommend Bob’s equivalent sessions if you want to improve times. Does not beat NSRG for friendliness and camaraderie – cheers for the experience.

If anyone is planning on visiting Europe and wants to run and needs any advice let me know if I can help.

Cheers

Mark

PS I had my 5 seconds of fame. Berlin marathon was live on Eurosport and I was in shot for a while