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ON THE COVER VOL 24 NO. 09 Cover Photograph Nick Aldridge

15 Eat More, Weigh Less Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? This time it’s not

17 The Form Trick That Saves Energy Lean on this surprising tip to keep going for longer with the greatest of ease

27 Beat Blisters For Good A simple trick to banish the bane of many runners’ lives

40 Stronger. Further. Faster! 32 tips from Olympians to transform your running

54 9 Lessons From The World’s Greatest Runner Czechoslovakian Olympian Emil Zátopek was one of a kind and his training methods have changed our sport

60 Skin-Saving Superfoods Protect yourself from the sun and enjoy great food at the same time

76 Your Perfect Summer Plan Slim down, speed up and stress less, and stay in shape on holiday

84 Run Yourself Happy Tap into the power of meditation to run stronger and be at one with the universe

89 7 Moves To Power Up Your Glutes Don’t make an ass of yourself: strong glutes will help keep you free from injury

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64 25 UPWARDLY MOBILE A love of running can begin very, very early

PLAY DIRTY The rise and rise of obstacle racing

60 THE LIME OF DUTY How food can protect your skin


REGULARS 8 Rave Run Aterro do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro

114 I’m A Runner Actor Freddie Fox



MIND MATTERS Think deep, run fast

17 Fitness How to train as you age

19 Fuel Sauerkraut: let it ferment

21 Fat-burning The power of copper; and how one couple lost 19st!

25 Mind+Health A womb for improvement

27 Injury Have the right attitude to injury

HUMAN RACE 30 Real Runners How running saved Steve Oltay

32 What It Takes To... Make 26 friends; and hear the deaf

34 Inbox

Cover model Sahra @ Icons Hair and makeup Colleen Paioni Sports bra Lorna Jane Capri Puma Shoes Adidas

Your views aired and shared

35 Book It! Novel characters for a run

COMMENTARY 38 Murphy’s Lore Watch what the doctor orders

76 GLUTE FORCE Build up your backside

39 Tonk Talk Paul fasts himself faster

FEATURES 48 The Science of Success Out of the lab and onto the road

64 Slide And Joy Obstacle races: big and dirty


94 Roundup

78 Elite Advice Jo Pavey on fartleks

The Powerplate Personal Plate and six smart storage solutions

79 Unknown Quantity


Know less, run more

97 The Main Event The Reigate Half Marathon

81 Iron Awe Make the most of this mineral

100 Race Recce The Macclesfield Half Marathon

83 Liquid Measures Chilled soups to keep you cool


101 Race Pick Top-rated races in September

90 Prepare To Repair

102 Race Finder

All you need to recover

Your perfect event this month

BIG BOUNCE The many aspects of recovery

Aterro do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Buda Mendes Renilson Vitorino da Silva and Marcio Barreto Silva

Brazilian elite marathoners run along Rio’s Aterro do Flamengo park, with Sugarloaf Mountain in the distance, in a recent test event along the route of the Olympic marathon. Watch the men’s and women’s races take place against this beautiful backdrop on August 21.

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Editor Andy Dixon

Creative Director

Deputy Editor Commissioning Editor

Wayne Hannon

Joe Mackie

Kerry McCarthy

Chief Sub Editor

Section Editor

Art Editor

John Carroll

Sam Murphy

Dean Farrow

Digital Editor

Deputy Digital Editor

Ben Hobson

Georgia Scarr

I took part in a Japanese Ekiden-style relay event with my local club this month, traditional sashes and all. Racing as a team makes for great camaraderie and adds a frisson of excitement to the proceedings.

I became a dad recently, which meant running got sidelined for a few weeks by the demands of early parenthood. But running less has made me appreciate the freedom and headspace of each run even more.

CONTRIBUTORS Richard Askwith The author of seminal running book Feet in the Clouds has spent two years writing his superb biography of the late, great Emil Zátopek. He explains why we can still learn much from the ‘Czech locomotive’ on p54.

Contributing Editor Jo Pavey Contributors Richard Askwith, Mark Bailey, Kelly Bastone, Lauren Bedosky, Duncan Craig, Cathy Fieseler, Deborah Fraser, Alex Hutchinson, Matthew Kadey, Adrian Monti, Veronika Ruf Taylor, AC Shilton, Christine Yu, Paul Tonkinson Workflow Director Terry Barbrook Group Publishing Director Alun Williams Sales Director, Hearst Rodale Georgina Parrott Brand Director Katherine Kendall Brand Executive Ellie Burman Production Manager Roger Bilsland Head of Marketing and Events Jane Shackleton Marketing and Events Executive Meg Stephenson Group Creative Partnerships Director Andrea Sullivan Group Creative Solutions Senior Project Manager Victoria Stephen Group Creative Solutions Project Manager Kathryn Tait Group Creative Solutions Art Director Ben Briley Creative Partnerships Director Morgan Harrison-Doyle Creative Partnerships Designer Aoife Kavanagh

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Duncan Craig The Sunday Times Assistant Travel Editor and UTMB veteran is no stranger to a challenge, but still felt nervous before tackling the latest obstacle race to hit the UK. Read his fascinating insight into the OR world on p64.

HEARST MAGAZINES UK Chief Executive Oicer Anna Jones Managing Director, Brands Michael Rowley Chief Financial Oicer Claire Blunt Marketing and Circulation Director Reid Holland Group Commerical Director Ella Dolphin HR Director Surinder Simmons Head of Newstrade Marketing Jennifer Smith Circulation Manager Bianca Lloyd-Smith Vice President, Strategy & Product Management Lee Wilkinson Chief Digital Oicer Darren Goldsby Director of Communications Lisa Quinn PR Manager Ben Bolton HEARST RODALE JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS CFO, General Manager and Senior Vice President of HMI Simon Horne Senior Vice President, International Business Development and Partnerships, Rodale International Robert Novick

RODALE INTERNATIONAL Rodale Inc, 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 18098, USA EDITORIAL Editorial Director, Rodale International/Director of Content, Rights & Photo Operations John Ville Editorial Director, Runner’s World International Veronika Ruf Taylor Senior Content Manager Karl Rozemeyer Editorial Assistant Natanya Spies Administrative Assistant Shoi Greaves BUSINESS Executive Director, Business Development and Global Licensing Kevin LaBonge Director, Global Marketing Tara Swansen Director, Business Development and Global Licensing Angela Kim International Finance Manager Michele Mausser

It’s less than a month to the beginning of the 31st Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, but there is palpably less excitement surrounding these Games than there was four years ago. The most obvious reason for this is that they are not taking place here in the UK, while fears about the zika virus, along with the obligatory worries about getting the stadiums finished on time, haven’t helped, either. But hopefully, once the Games get underway in one of the world’s most beautiful cities (check out our Rave Run shot on page 8 for evidence), we’ll once again be captivated by the greatest show on earth. I’m certainly sad that the modest RW budget couldn’t stretch to putting me up in a Copacabana hotel for a couple of weeks to watch the drama unfold at close quarters. To whet your appetite for the big event, we’ve quizzed elite athletes for the insider tips and advice that can help you run further, faster and stronger (page 40). Elsewhere, RW’s Sam Murphy submits herself to the kind of physiological tests the elites use to maximise their performance. Turn to page 48 to find out if they work for an everyday runner like her. And on page 54, Richard Askwith explains why today’s runners owe a debt to Emil Zátopek, who won an unprecedented 5000m, 10,000m and marathon treble in the 1952 Olympics. As another runner with ugly form and a challenging hairline, he definitely gets my respect. Andy Dixon, Editor, @RW_ed_Andy RUNNER’S WORLD Published by Hearst Rodale Ltd 72 Broadwick Street London W1F 9EP

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Call our subscription enquiry line for annual rates for the UK, back issues, enquiries, change of address and orders. Lines open Mon to Fri, 8am to 9:30pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm. Subscription address: RUNNER’S WORLD subscriptions, Hearst Magazines UK Ltd, Tower House, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF Credit card hotline: 0844 848 1601 RUNNER’S WORLD is published in the United Kingdom by Hearst Rodale Limited – a joint venture by Hearst Magazines UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation, and Rodale International, a division of Rodale Incorporated. RUNNER’S

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Words Sam Murphy Photography Getty 1. British Journal of Nutrition

TOP TIP Scaling up healthy snacks can help you lose weight


BIGGER BITE You’d think that eating less and avoiding snacks would be the best strategy for a healthy body weight, but a new study1 suggests otherwise. After reviewing data from more than 7,000 people, researchers found that eating more meals and snacks was associated with lower body weight, despite the increased calories. This was thanks to a healthier nutrient intake and lower energy density (calories yielded by a food per gram). Eat up!

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Not so long Think time, not distance



















PACE - MIN/MILE QStop at the 20-mile point

Words Sam Murphy Photography Getty Illustration Lizzy Thomas 1. British Heart Foundation

Two-way tip

Train smart as you age LONGER WEEK Lengthen your training cycle. Meb Keflezighi credits his Boston Marathon win, aged 38, on changing his weekly cycle to a nine-day one. GO HARD Joe Friel, author of Fast after Fifty (VeloPress), believes in high-intensity training such as intervals and hills. Start with 5 x 30 secs hard, with one-min recoveries, every 7-9 days. Build from there.

STRING THEORY Stand a little taller, run a little faster



Reaching 20 miles is often seen as the holy grail in marathon training, but some coaches think runners should use time, not distance, as a guide. ‘We don’t all cover the same distance in the same time, so it makes sense to adjust a long run depending on how fast you are,’ says Luke Humphrey, a coach with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project and co-author of Hansons Marathon Method (VeloPress). If 20 miles will take you more than three hours, he advises stopping at the three-hour mark for optimal improvement.

LEAN OVER Good running form may not involve leaning forward. A recent study found elite runners adopt a more upright posture than recreational runners. ‘Their average lean was 3-3.5 degrees,’ says Dr Stephen Preece from the Running Clinic at the University of Salford. ‘The average lean of recreational runners was two degrees greater at slower speeds and four degrees more at faster speeds.’ Preece says that a small forward lean is fine, but believes ‘a more upright position may facilitate better storage of energy’.



One key move

Explosive step-up Get the hip extensors fired up before a run. Stand in front of a step, bench or kerb with one foot on it, knee and hip flexed. Drive up and of the step by straightening

your leg, bringing the other knee up towards your chest and using your arms in a running action. Land and immediately repeat. Do 12-20 before swapping sides.


Words Sam Murphy Photography Julie Bidwell


Eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, is back in fashion. For centuries, fermentation was used as a way of preserving food, but now the method is making a comeback, and this time it’s because of the health benefits it brings. ‘Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics and B vitamins,’ says Terry Walters, a keen runner and the author of Eat Clean, Live Well (see her sauerkraut recipe, right). ‘The bacteria they provide support everything from a robust gut and digestive system to immune strength and general health,’ she says. Here are some of the ways sauerkraut can help keep you hale and hearty: O Sauerkraut supports a

healthy digestive system O It maintains the ‘mucosal’ barrier of the gut, which is a key part of your immune system

O It boosts probiotic intake O Fermentation generates

vitamins B and K. O It also enhances nutrient

Spicy red kraut 1 small green cabbage 1 small red cabbage 25g of grated daikon (a long white radish that is also known as mooli and is widely available in Asian and Caribbean food stores) 50g thinly sliced red onion 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger 2 tbsp sea salt, plus more for brine as needed.



Tip: Use fresh, organic local veg when possible. 3 1/ Core the cabbages and slice into thin ribbons. 2/ Place in a glass or ceramic bowl and sprinkle evenly with 1 tbsp sea salt. 3/ Add the daikon, onion and ginger. Add the remaining sea salt and massage the cabbage deeply for about 10 minutes, or until it releases its juices and reduces in volume by around half.

absorption from the fermented food



4/ Fill three jars (Kilner jars are ideal) three-quarters full with cabbage, packing it down (overfilled jars may bubble over during fermentation). Scrape down any pieces stuck to the sides of the jar above the top of the kraut. Pour in remaining cabbage juice and place a weight in each jar to keep the cabbage from escaping. 5/ Cover with muslin and set aside in cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

6/ Check daily. If the brine level hasn’t risen above the cabbage within 12-18 hours, make more brine by dissolving a teaspoon of sea salt into 250ml water, and add enough to re-submerge it; repeat if the brine dips below the level of cabbage at any point. Skim of any mould. Fermentation can be from five days to several weeks. Shorter fermentation gives a crisp and fresh taste; longer gives a softer, sourer taste. When the taste is to your liking, put lids on the jars and refrigerate.

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Healthy bangers for the barbecue Heck chicken sausages £3 for 10, These tasty chipolatas are gluten- and dairy-free. Each has 0.8g of fat and 38kcals. Dee’s Traditional Vegan Sausages £3.49 for 6, Made from a blend of pea protein and beans spiced with coriander and ginger. Each contains 48kcals. Powters skinny pig £3.39 for 6, These free-range artisan sizzlers have a herby flavour; each contains 97kcals and less than three per cent fat.

BURNT OFFERING Mushrooms are a good source of copper

Pulse raising

Words Sam Murphy Photograph Getty 1. University of California 2. ENDO 2015 3. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Eat more, lose weight Good news! A new study3 has found adding to, not taking from, your diet, can help weight loss. Researchers found eating a portion of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils daily resulted in 0.75lb weight loss over six weeks. Not a lot, but participants were not on a caloriecontrolled diet and no foods were of limits. The researchers believe legumes increase satiety. Here are four of the best:

CALL A COPPER If you want to optimise weight loss, get enough copper in your diet, says new research.1 The study found copper plays a key role in fat metabolism and the researchers speculate whether a deficiency could be linked to obesity. In one US study, just 25 per cent of people met the daily requirement of 0.7mg per day (the UK’s recommended intake is 1.2mg). Good sources of copper include mushrooms, oysters and leafy greens.


GREEN LENTILS High in fibre and heart-healthy folate, low in fat and a good source of iron and protein. CHICKPEAS They help lower cholesterol and can reduce appetite. PEAS Packed with low-GI carbohydrate and a good source of saponins, which help fight heart disease. BLACK BEANS Rich in protein, antioxidants and phytonutrients, which protect blood vessels. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 021


How we ran it off

WE’RE NOW RUNNING ADDICTS’ Our old life Neale Emma and I met when we were in our 20s – and dieting and exercise were the last things on our minds. Emma We were both big: I was a size 18 and Neale was 16 stone, but we were in love! We went on to have three children – my pregnancy weight went on and stayed on. N With three kids, we were too busy to worry about our health. I used to get called ‘Big Man’, but I saw it as a compliment. E After the kids, I stopped being ‘Emma’ and was just a mum. We didn’t eat junk, but our portions got bigger and we did no exercise. At 24 stone, I was struggling to get up the stairs.

Words Sam Murphy Photography Agata Pec

The turnaround E In 2010 Neale told me how concerned he was about my weight. So we cut down our portions. We bought an exercise bike, which we went on for 40 minutes daily. I finally dared to go to the gym when I’d lost five stone – I was still the biggest one there, but I loved it. N The weight just dropped of. We were each losing 3-6lb a week. After six months, I weighed 15 stone and ran my first 3.5 miles. Within six weeks, I was running 13 miles. E I nearly called the police that day, Neale was gone so long! I decided to start running with him. That was Easter 2012 – by October I’d run my first half marathon.

Name Neale Else Hometown Bedford Age 47 Weight before 21 stone Weight now 15 stone Weight lost 6 stone Height 6ft 3in

The future N We’re now running addicts! We love getting up early and running for three hours – it’s the only time we get to talk without the teenagers around! We’ve joined Happy Feet Running Club in Bromham, and I’m on day 174 of a streak, so I run a minimum three miles a day. E I run four times a week and have just completed my second marathon. I’ve had a tummy tuck – there’s no other way of getting rid of the excess skin when you lose this much weight – and now I’m happy to wear Lycra! We never imagined losing so much weight, let alone running a marathon. Now we’re preparing for our first ultra.

Name Emma Else Hometown Bedford Age 46 Weight before 24 stone Weight now 11 stone Weight lost 13 stone Height 5ft 6in

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Pay no mind Overthinking slows you MOBILE HOME A love of running may start in the womb

Listening to your body is good advice, but recent research2 found that when runners taking part in 3km time trials relied on ‘internal sensory monitoring’ to get their pace right, they ended up with a 10 per cent slower finish time. When treadmill speed was in the hands of the researcher, runners focused on staying relaxed and optimising running action, and their heart rate was two per cent lower. The findings make a strong case for latching on to a pacer when you want to run your best. Don’t think, just run!

Talk it up Words Sam Murphy Photograph Getty 1. FASEB Journal 2. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 3 Journal of Physical Activity and Health *Based on an RW online poll of 752 runners

Fine words hit home Positive remarks about body shape and weight could help motivate someone to exercise more, suggests research involving female runners.3 Women who received positive comments exercised more over a seven-day period than women who received negative comments. We asked our readers what they thought:

WOMB SERVICE New research1 gives the phrase ‘born to run’ a whole new meaning. The study found babies born to mothers who exercised during pregnancy were more active than those born to sedentary mums. The research involved mice, but study author Dr Robert Waterland says observational human studies have shown the same thing. ‘If expectant mothers know exercise is good for them and may ofer lifelong benefits for their babies, I think they will be more motivated to get moving,’ he says.

Try this

Sweatproof slap If you avoid make-up when you’re training in case it runs more than you do, try Wunder2’s long-lasting sweatproof range. Our tester put its Coverproof Foundation (£24.95), Wunderbrow D-Fine Dual Brow Pencil (£19.95) and Wunderextensions Lash Stain (£19.95) to the test on a 13-miler and there was no smudging, flaking or sliding. Claiming a minimum of 24 hours’ staying power, it should even see you through an ultra. One small quibble: with just five shades it’s tricky to match skin tone exactly.

Do positive or negative comments spur you on the most?* 13%



O Positive comments O Negative comments 21%



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Injury primed The wrong attitude is a big risk If you are perpetually injured you may think you’re just unlucky. But when sports psychology consultant Dr Josie Perry looked at injury rates among more than 600 endurance athletes, she found some common traits among those with the most repeat injuries. ‘They had low emotional control [the extent to which an athlete can control their emotions]; more negative feelings about themselves; they coped poorly with adversity and took the least notice of advice,’ she says. Modelling the behaviour of infrequently injured runners should help keep you healthy. Here’s what Perry discovered about them:

BLISTER ACT A little tape means you won’t have to burst your bubble

Words Sam Murphy Photograph Getty Illustration Lizzy Thomas 1. Journal of Applied Biomechanics

POP QUIZ LESS-INJURED ATHLETES… 1/ Had a coach (selftrained athletes had more injuries than coached ones, but only if they were honest with their coaches and had regular contact) 2/ Listened to their bodies and dealt with niggles early on 3/ Used a training plan 4/ Put physio into the plan – not just using it when a problem arose 5/ Understood the demands of their sport 6/ Rested when necessary 7/ Followed advice regarding rest and rehab 8/ Coped well with stress and daily hassles



Are you prone to blisters? A recent study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found that applying surgical tape to vulnerable areas before a run reduced blisters by 40 per cent. The strategy worked for more than three-quarters of runners taking part in an ultra marathon. Study author Dr Grant Lipman shows how:

TOES: Place a single strip of tape up and over the length of the toe, then apply a second strip around this at the point where blisters occur.

BALL OF THE FOOT: Place 1 or 2 overlapping strips around the ball of the foot, to cover the big toe and knuckle below the little toe, and to anchor on top.

HEEL: Place 1-2 overlapping strips over the calcaneal bulge above the heel, parallel to the sole of the foot and beneath the two ankle bones. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 027


‘I don’t

030 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

know where I’d be without running

Three years ago Steve Oltay was homeless and addicted to drugs. Then he started to run and began to turn his life around



teve Oltay has 3:51 – his marathon time – tattooed on his arm. ‘When I crossed the finish line and they gave me that medal, it was like planting a flag saying, “I’ve made it – I can achieve anything I want to now”,’ he says. It’s a euphoric feeling many of us experience when we cross that finish line for the first time, but for Steve it had special resonance. Just three years ago, the young Londoner was homeless, emaciated and addicted to drugs. ‘I had no focus, no ambition, nothing to hold on to,’ he says. Now 22, Steve has a job, his health, a home and, above all, a future. He puts the turnaround down to running and the people at The Running Charity (TRC), who introduced him to its powers. Steve ended up homeless as a result of drug use and family breakdown. At first he lived in a tent in some woodland before finding space in a homeless shelter, where he slept on the floor in a room with 40 other people. Then he was introduced to TRC, a youth charity that uses running as a tool to help those afected by homelessness get their lives back on track. The charity started with a single day centre in King’s Cross, London, but it now has venues across the capital, as well as in Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale. Young people who join the six-month programme attend weekly training sessions run by coaches and volunteers, and build up to races. The charity also provides links to practical support, such as housing advice and drug counselling.

Words Sam Murphy Photography Tom Watkins


A CHANGED MAN (top to bottom) Steve on the move; during the worst times; standing tall today

‘I’ve learned the importance of variety, rest and balance’ Commitment is rewarded – participants ‘earn’ their running gear through good attendance and hard work. (Fittingly, TRC has just teamed up with global giant Asics: the Japanese company was set up in the wake of the Second World War to make sports shoes for schoolchildren to promote health through sports participation.) ‘I thought it would be something to do, but straight away people saw the change in me,’ says Steve. ‘Running reignited a fire in me.’ But it didn’t come easy. Weighing just seven stone, smoking 30 cigarettes a day and, though attempting to address it, still using drugs, he found running a physical struggle. ‘We used to do laps of a block – it was around a quarter of a kilometre; at first I could barely make it round once,’ he remembers. ‘But even though I found it hard, I was motivated. I’d watch the others progressing and think, “I want to be like that – I want to be at the front.” And when they started to talk about mud runs and races, I was excited. I’d had no idea I was so competitive because I’d never done sport at school. The strength of feeling took me by surprise.’ TRC coaches and volunteers were with him every step of the way – supporting, encouraging and pushing him to put in the efort and reap the rewards – not to mention going out of their way to feed him up. ‘They’re changing lives with what they do,’ says Steve. ‘Their constant can-do attitude is infectious.’ In his first mud run,

he came a superb 11th out of 3,000 participants, strengthening his motivation still further. The sessions he enjoyed most were the long runs. ‘I started going out after the group training sessions to do more running on my own. Sometimes I’d do two or three hours at a time. It builds inner strength, not just physical strength. It’s like meditation, a way to process things.’ It’s no surprise that Steve soon had a marathon in his sights. ‘I’d decided I wanted to do a marathon before I’d even done a 5K,’ he admits, laughing. But months of consistent training – covering up to 60 miles a week – meant he was now able to take on the distance; in April this year he completed the London Marathon. ‘It was incredible,’ he says. ‘All those thousands of people, all for a run!’ As soon as he finished he wanted to do another one (‘and get a better time’) but he’s now moved the goalposts and is preparing for the 55-mile London-to- Brighton race. Ultra runner Robbie Britton, who visited TRC last year, has been giving him some training advice.‘I used to do nothing but long- distance runs,’ says Steve. ‘But I’ve learned the importance of variety, rest and balance. Now I mix things up.’ Steve’s 23rd birthday on August 2 marks 18 months of being clean – no drugs, cigarettes or alcohol. ‘Drugs and homelessness are diicult habits to break and addiction runs in my family – but running has totally changed my focus. I don’t know where I’d be without it.’ OTo find out more information, donate or volunteer, visit 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 031



Make 26 new friends in a day including some of his 26 ‘strangers’ – have made contact on social media since the race to express their enthusiasm and gratitude. ‘I was running with a man at around the 20-mile point who was really struggling and he messaged me afterwards to say thanks for the support,’ says Craig. Despite reaching the heady heights of a sub-three marathon, Craig says helping and supporting other runners was ‘the most awesome experience ever. It was such a great way to retire from racing. I’m just going to enjoy my running now.’

Hear deaf runners For Reg Cobb (below), running isn’t just about fitness. The 47-year-old was born deaf, ‘so I use my eyes a lot to appreciate the gorgeous countryside’, he says. ‘As I can’t hear, the things I see on runs are like music to my eyes.’ Reg started running at school and now clocks up 20-40 miles a week. But Reg, from Gloucestershire, had reservations about joining a club. ‘Instructions are usually given verbally and banter is almost impossible, as I can’t lip-read when running alongside someone,’ he says. But last year he joined Cotswold Allrunners. ‘Everyone was so friendly, but I did encounter some communication issues, so I made a short video explaining how other members could help me. For example, on night runs when people talk to me with their head torches on, I can’t see 032 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

their mouths to lip-read because their light is shining in my face. I posted the video on Facebook and got such a positive response. I now run with several hearing friends from the club.’ Reg, a project developer at the Gloucestershire Deaf Association, has been inspired to help other deaf people get into running. He has set up a deaf-friendly running group and launched a Facebook page (Deaf Runners), through which he formed two teams of fellow deaf runners to compete in the Endure24 ultra this year. Reg believes many running events could do more to accommodate deaf runners. ‘It would be great if more events had visual instructions or even a British Sign Language interpreter, so that deaf people would feel more at ease,’ he says.


WHAT RUNNINGRELATED WORK PERK WOULD YOU MOST LIKE? Google’s swanky new London oice has its own running track. Here’s your 9-5 wish list... Flexi-time! Rob Finch

Where do I sign up for a job at Google? Graham Lynn

Desk-side sports massages. Too much to ask? Geraldine Lucas

A chaise longue for post-run naps Rob Appleyard

A physio would be great Abi Williams

Access to training advice would be cool Kirsty Lemare North

Great showers and a changing area Kay Worboys

Somewhere to hang my wet towel and kit. And a shoe rack Damian Folley

The time to do it Kaytee Cee A timing clock John O’Regan

Monday mornings off after races! Ryan Ellis @runnersworlduk

Words Sam Murphy Photography Getty

Craig Horne used to say that if he ever ran a sub-three-hour marathon, he’d retire from racing. But when the 45-year-old clocked an impressive 2:59:12 in the Barcelona Marathon in March this year, he decided he’d have one last hurrah, by tackling the London Marathon. ‘I wanted to make my last ever marathon a unique experience, so I decided to run each mile of the race with a diferent person,’ says Craig, from County Durham. ‘I just chose random people – I wasn’t bothered about pace. I introduced myself, told them it was my last marathon and asked if I could run a mile with them, grabbing a selfie at the end [as you can see from the selection above]. At one point, I was running with a woman and I asked if I could get her a drink – it sounded like a bad chat-up line!’ Craig’s idea resonated and many people –









I REALLY DO Jodie and Matty (below), certainly love their sport

Don’t rule us out just yet I am in my 70s and am finding some events do not ofer a V70 category. At a recent trail half I was told, ‘We’ll put you in the V60 category.’ Why should runners who can still compete in 10K, half-marathon and marathon events be denied a V70 placing? We don’t fall of our perches after 69, and can even outperform younger runners. F B Birch, Lilliesleaf, Scottish Borders

FAST TRAIN Sue knows what she has to do

Going to plan Since I started running three years ago, RW’s training schedules have been all I’ve ever needed for motivation. I cut out the pages and pin them up. I can then relax into my running, knowing I don’t have to

With many races only accepting online entries, I find it hard to enter, as I do not have an email address. Am I an endangered species?


Chris Southwell, Norwich Should postal entry remain open? Tell us your views

think too much about what to do, when to do it or if I can be bothered. I just do it! Sue Watt, Fife


Greatest gift

A few years ago I’d have laughed at the idea of going for a run. But seeing my partner, Matty, falling in love with it made me want to share this part of his life. It wasn’t love at first run, but thanks to Matty’s support I got the bug and finished my first marathon in 4:06:22. So when we got married it seemed fitting to give our wedding a running theme. Our table names were races we had completed and our wedding cake had our marathon race numbers on. Baby Warr is now on the way: fingers crossed he’ll grow up to love running, too!

On a trip to Spain with my daughter, our hire car was broken into and our bags – with our running gear – stolen. I still had my hand luggage and sat down with my Runner’s World, feeling sorry for myself. Reading Steve Holder’s story (RW, July) I realised ‘stuf’ doesn’t matter. We went for a barefoot run on Saint Juan’s beach in the clothes we had on. Thanks for reminding us to appreciate what we have. Mark Street, Great Longstone, Derbyshire

Jodie Warr, Andover, Hampshire

Run to recovery

The month in mail

1 17% 2

email vouched for the benefits of running tech-free

of letters came from injured runners still finding inspiration and practical advice in their monthly RW

larger runners said that, like Amanda Phillips (RW, Aug.), they’ve had support, not jibes, on the run

‘I dropped three minutes of my 10K PB by letting my body, not an app, judge how fast to run,’ wrote Russell Burns from Great Barr, Birmingham

In February this year I sufered severe depression. The feeling of exhaustion was overwhelming and I didn’t believe I would ever be well again. As I began to slowly improve, I signed up for a local beginners’ running course. Initially I felt like I was wading through treacle and did not experience any post-run high. But I persevered and felt the rush of endorphins

after I completed my first Parkrun recently. Exercise really does play a part in mental health, and I am so thankful to the people who encouraged me to keep running in the early days, when the future seemed bleak. Anna Proctor, Petersfield, Hampshire

NEW MAN Andy is a proud runner

Life change I used to mock the middle-aged runner, but eight months ago I sufered a heart attack. I was rushed to hospital for angioplasty and was diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease. I knew I had to change, and diet and exercise came top of the list. At first I could just about walk to the end of the street but gradually my confidence grew enough to try running. Now 50, I’m proud to call myself a runner. To anyone thinking they can’t do it: you can. Andy Oliver, Amersham, Bucks

What’s inspired or annoyed you this month? The writer of the winning letter will receive a pair of Saucony ProGrid Hurricane 16 shoes, worth £110.* Write Letters, Runner’s World, 33 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DQ Email

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Twitter @runnersworlduk Facebook runnersworlduk


*Letters should be marked for publication and include your name, address and shoe size. We reserve the right to edit letters for space reasons



Book it

PROUD AND UNBOWED Kimberly is inspired by Katniss Everdeen’s warrior spirit

Author and runner Kimberly McCreight imagines some novel running partners

Words Christine Yu Photography Getty, Lionsgate

Running and writing go well together for bestselling youngadult author Kimberly McCreight (left). ‘Many of the lessons I’ve learned from running: how to develop endurance, the importance of having faith in the process and the necessity of learning patience with yourself, I apply in my writing,’ she says. The mother of two gets up early to run in her home city of New York, where she ran the marathon in 1998 and 2015. McCreight’s latest work, The Outliers, is the first in a new teen trilogy, and HBO is about to turn her debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia, into a film. Here, she picks some inspiring young-adult characters whose company she’d appreciate on the road in times of need.

Who’d be your ideal fictional running buddy? Tell us!






RUNNING BUDDY Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger ‘Whether I’ve planned an 18-mile training run or a quick three-mile loop, the beginning of any run is always the hardest. Knowing that this is just part of my process helps. So does complaining… a lot. For this, I’d pick Holden Caulfield, because I doubt he’d be bothered by my incessant complaining.’

RUNNING BUDDY Cath Avery from Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell ‘Runs have their ups and downs. “This too shall pass” is my motto, but humour can also go a long way. For these times, I’d want Cath Avery by my side. Cath wouldn’t be cracking annoying jokes, though. She’d help me view life through her sly, smart-funny lens: just the thing to get through the nastiest wall.’

RUNNING BUDDY Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins ‘Sometimes I need to be made to go beyond my comfort zone. I need a running partner who is tough and strong; for whom there are no obstacles. The choice here is clear: Katniss Everdeen saved her sister, her people and the fate of mankind. And she was a warrior from start to finish.’

RUNNING BUDDY Auden West from Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen ‘Things can turn bleak when I’m pounding the pavement. When self-doubt is creeping in, I’d want to have Auden West with me to help me banish it. Auden is an optimist. It’s precisely because her optimism is so genuinely hard won that I know she’d help me find a prick of light even in the longest, darkest runner’s tunnel.’

RUNNING BUDDY Wylie Lang from The Outliers, by Kimberly McCreight ‘On the days my pre-dawn alarm feels like a sick joke, I need a running partner to inspire me, like my own Wylie Lang. Wylie overcomes huge obstacles, courageously facing her fears to race of into the unknown and to try to save her best friend. If she can manage to do that, I can haul myself out of bed.’

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‘If you want to be an athlete, choose your GP carefully’ One of the best things I’ve read about the role of exercise in safeguarding health was an opinion piece in a medical journal a few years ago. It suggested the advice usually doled out to would-be exercisers – ‘visit your doctor if you’re thinking of starting an exercise programme’ – should be turned on its head: ‘visit your doctor if you’re not thinking of starting an exercise programme’. But in the light of recent research, I’m wondering whether another adage needs tweaking: the one about choosing your parents carefully if you want to be an athlete. My version? ‘If you want to be an athlete, choose your GP carefully.’ A study published in March suggests that exercise is frequently underprescribed in favour of pharmaceutical or surgical solutions, while research last year found that only 13 per cent of GPs could correctly outline the current national physical activity guidelines. ‘There’s little point having these guidelines if doctors do not even know them, or how, when or why to use them in clinical practice to prevent and treat chronic disease,’ says Dr Richard Weiler, a sport and exercise medicine consultant ( Personal experience adds to my concern about the profession’s failure to recognise the importance of exercise. At the end of last year I went to my doctor to request an ECG, as I’d experienced an erratic heartbeat during and after a few 038 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

recent runs. I was told that the NHS isn’t responsible for the ills that arose as a result of my taking part in ‘extreme sport’ (I haven’t raced further than a half marathon in more than two years) and the request was turned down. ‘But it is responsible for picking up the pieces for those who wind up ill due to years of poor diet, inactivity, smoking or excessive drinking?’ I asked incredulously. ‘Take it up with your MP,’ he shrugged. When I told a friend this, he said he’d once made an appointment to obtain a medical certificate for an overseas race he was taking part in. His doctor declined, telling him to book a double appointment for a fee of £140 if he wanted the form signed. He also remarked that running a half marathon was ‘a bloody silly thing to do’.

Speedy stat

10.7 Per cent reduction in time to exhaustion resulting from three nights’ of restricted sleep

Silly because running can reduce the risk of heart disease by 45 per cent and increase life expectancy by three years? Or because runners sufer less from musculoskeletal diseases (such as arthritis) and report fewer symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety? Unsurprisingly, a 2009 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that doctors’ own physical activity reflected how likely they were to advise exercise for patients. One problem, says Weiler, is the lack of education on physical activity in medical schools. In 2012 he published research revealing that, on average, 4.2 hours was spent educating medical students about the benefits of physical activity. Of course, many doctors are doing a fantastic job of encouraging their patients to get active. I know one woman, who has type 2 diabetes, whose GP is championing her eforts to become a runner. And when my husband went to get a medical certificate for an overseas race, the doc ended up comparing notes with him about various events they’d done as he signed the form and wished my husband good luck. I’m well aware of overstretched budgets within the health service that mean MRIs and ECGs can’t simply be handed out to anyone who asks. But according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), physical inactivity is costing £8.2 billion a year to the economy of England alone. It’s risible to think a few more sports injuries and heart checks could match such a cost. I’m pleased to report that I have a new GP, but I worry that runners – especially those taking their first steps – are being made to feel that they’re doing themselves more harm than good and draining NHS resources to boot. My prescription? Take one 30-minute run with a glass of water. Repeat as necessary. That way, you’ll end up at the doctor’s less often, anyway. O Sam Murphy tweets @SamMurphyRuns @runnersworlduk



Talk PA U L TO N K I N S O N

‘Mr Tonkinson doesn’t get any crackers’

Illustration Pietari Posti

In March I read an article about the Mayr Clinic in Austria, a detox facility that’s a haven for the rich and stressed. Modern life, the clinic’s theory goes, leaves our minds bedraggled and our bodies acidic, and turns us into bloated, screen-fixated balloons. The Mayr ofers a chance to realign mind and body in serene surroundings. I’m a sucker for extreme experiences, so I found the whole thing appealing but, being firmly ensconced in the relaxed and fairly poor strata, as opposed to the rich and stressed, I placed it firmly in the ‘never going to happen’ file and carried on with my screen-led, bloated, acidic life. But two weeks later a very rich mate asked me to go with him to the Mayr for a week – and ofered to pay. So of we went the clinic, beside a lake at the foot of forested mountains somewhere in the Alps. As we checked in we were given a thimble of gooey orange liquid. We swigged heartily as the cheery receptionist talked us through the next day’s meals. Breakfast at eight. Main meal from 1-2.30pm. The evening meal at five was not really a meal at all, she laughed, just soup with (maybe) a cracker. No tea, cofee or sugar of any kind. ‘Can we eat now?’ I asked. ‘Of course!’ she shrieked. ‘We’ll rustle something up.’ Ten minutes later some spelt bread and a cup of broth appeared. The bread came in the form of a small grey circle. It looked like someone had scooped a cookie


Words #48: Self-denial

cutter of moon dust, and it tasted about as good. A central tenet of the Mayr philosophy is that we eat too quickly. So we chewed slowly and tackled the broth with our tiny spoons, giggling at the absurdity of it all. After 20 minutes or so we’d finished and joked with the waiters about having loved the starter. They laughed politely, took our plates away and…that was it. The evening meal consisted of a cup of watery soup and some thin crackers. Some people didn’t even get the crackers, as they were distributed on ‘doctor’s orders’. I witnessed a starving tof pleading for a cracker, only to be denied by a smiling waiter pointing to a sheet with ‘doctor’s orders’ on it. This happened to me on day three. Tired and hungry, and having settled into the Mayr routine of wandering round the corridors all day in a dressing gown, I got to 5pm desperate for crackers. But no. Surely some mistake. I’m thin already. I deserve some crackers! The grinning waiter motioned to his sheet and uttered the saddest sentence I think I’ve ever heard in my life: ‘Mr Tonkinson doesn’t get any crackers.’ We had been warned by residents that day three would be the toughest. And it was. It was also, I realised, a tough gig for the waiters. They were constantly fielding demands for food from people who’d paid to be denied it. But they dealt with it all in a sublimely stoical manner. As I shuled back to my room I realised

‘People – and I include myself – get fat because they choose pleasure over self-denial.’ Julie Burchill, writer

‘There is more heroism in selfdenial than in deeds of arms.’ Seneca, Roman philosopher

Runnerpedia Wait session (n) A training session in the gym spent mostly standing near exercise machines while beefy men highfive each other’s tremendous eforts.

how much we rely on just having food about, for a constant level of potential comfort. To want food and to be denied felt like a primal stress. At this stage, you’re probably wondering where the running was. Well, I was still doing it. A very tiring 20 minutes on the first day, 40 minutes on the third and then, on the fourth, with the knowledge I would finally be fed a meal at lunch, I launched into the forest in the morning for a 10-mile mountain loop. I felt lean, hungry and fast. At lunch I was served a small meal of lamb and vegetables. After three days of stale bread and watery soup it was heavenly. As I chewed slowly I almost wept with relief. I lost 4kg that week. On my return I chopped 25 seconds from my Parkrun PB – I felt as if I was flying. A month later the weight is still of and I’ve clipped another two seconds from my time. The message seems clear: if you want to get faster, fast. Better times are only a week of broth, bread and hunger away. Now that’s not a line you’ll be seeing on the cover of RW any time soon. O Paul and fellow comedian Rob Deering’s running podcast, Running Commentary is available on iTunes and Acast. @RunComPod

‘Extremes are easy, strive for balance.’ Colin Wright, author

‘I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is 14 days.’ Totie Fields, 1930-1978, comedian

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Perri Shakes-Drayton

HIGH KNEE DRILLS Run in a straight line, pumping your knees as high as possible. Do 3 x 30m eforts, 1-min recovery in between. WHY? ‘High knee drills fire up your glutes and hip flexors, and they also develop balance to improve your form.’

LEG SWINGS Hold on to a wall with one arm and swing your inside leg forwards and backwards as high as you can. Do 3 x 60-second sets with each leg. WHY? ‘Hip mobility is vital for explosive power. This exercise works your hip flexors so you develop extra stability.’

TUCK JUMPS Line up five small boxes and jump over each one in sequence. Push of from, and land on, the balls of your feet, tucking your knees as close to your chest as you can on the way up. Do 3 x 5 sets. WHY? ‘Plyometric drills like this improve your speed of movement so your muscles can deliver more speed and power.’

ARM SWINGS Do 3 x 50m sprints with a brightly coloured stick in each hand. Swing your arms in a straight line. WHY? ‘Your arms help you deliver explosive power. If you can see the bright colour by your eye as you run, you know your arms are moving in a line.’

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Explosive training conditions your central nervous system to recruit more muscle fibres, for a more eicient technique. Team GB’s Perri Shakes-Drayton, who won 400m and 4 x 400m golds at the European Indoor Championships in 2013, shows you how.

















Speed drills feature in all elite distance runners’ training. Sprint eforts and powerbuilding gym sessions sharpen leg turnover and fire up that killer finish. Try these speed workouts from British sprinter and Olympic hopeful Zharnel Hughes, who finished fifth in the 200m at the 2015 World Champs, to develop your kick.

SPRINT COUNTDOWNS ‘My Tuesday is called “Drop Dead Tuesday” because it’s so tough,’ says Hughes. ‘I do 2 x 300m sprints, then 2 x 250m, 2 x 180m and 2 x 150m (with 30 seconds’ rest between each). The lactic acid creeps up on you, but this session conditions your body to run faster for longer – even when you’re tired.’

300M ENDURANCE EFFORTS ‘Even some top athletes duck out of 300m sprints because they are so hard, but they are brilliant for top-end speed and speed endurance. Aim for 3-4 x 300m in a set (with 1-min recoveries) and do 2 sets.’

PACE AND POWER WORKOUT ‘Strength is the foundation of speed so you need to hit the gym. The best exercises for speed are power cleans, snatches, leg extensions and leg presses. You want to get faster, not bulk up, so start with light weights, but lift explosively.’ Zharnel Hughes wears adidas Ultraboost Uncaged (£129.95,

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Words Mark Bailey Photography Getty Illiustrations Lizzy Thomas

60M SHARPENERS ‘Doing 5 x 60m sprints sharpens your foot strike and leg speed. Don’t worry about your times or rests; focus on good form: head up, knees high, relaxed shoulders and strong arm drives.’

LEG PRESS Do 3 x 8 reps, with 2-minute recoveries.


SNATCHES Do 3 x 8 reps, 3-min recoveries. Take a wide grip and in one move drive up, lifting the bar above your head, then drop to squat. Stand up.


Keeping a steady pace is desirable, but being able to surge – to unleash periodic bursts at a higher pace – can help you burn of rivals during a race. Good for dropping that heavy breather who insists on running on your heels for mile after mile. Jo Pavey, 2014 10,000m European Champion and four-time Olympian, reveals how to prep your body to surge like a pro.

‘Fartlek training is great for surging,’ says Pavey. ‘Your hard eforts need to be long enough to get you away from your rivals, but not so long that they wear you down. Try an hourlong run, with 10 x 1-min high-intensity eforts (and 1-min recoveries between each).’

BUILD ENDURANCE ‘For a surge to be efective you have to lift your pace but be able to maintain your race pace afterwards. Run three consecutive 400m laps, with the first at race pace, the second above race

pace and the third at race pace again. Repeat three times, with a fiveminute recoveries between each.’

FLUSH OUT THE LACTATE ‘Surges can cause an accumulation of lactate but “float” sessions help your body flush it out. A good session is 10 x 400m nonstop, but running fast for 200m, then running (“floating”) 200m at jogging pace. The idea is to learn not to take your foot of the gas too much during recoveries. Have a 10-min break, then do it again.’


LEG CURLS Do 3 x 8 reps, with 2-min recoveries.

POWER CLEANS Do 3 x 8 reps, 3-min recoveries. With arms shoulder-width apart, partially squat, grab the bar, drive up through your heels and stand up.

GO THROUGH THE PAIN BARRIER Elites develop the mental tools to fight pain, explains Dr Steve Bull, author of The Game Plan (Capstone) and Team GB Psychologist at three Olympic Games ‘Accept that a run is going to hurt. Pain is normal. It doesn’t mean you are weak. Once you acknowledge that, you can move on to the next phase: developing a strategy to handle it. ‘The science of pain management suggests you have two choices. One is dissociative thinking to distract your mind from it, like thinking about lying on a sunny beach. Paula Radclife used to count to 100 three times so she

could tell herself another mile was gone. The other is associative thinking, when you zone in on an aspect of your technique to actively focus on overcoming the pain. ‘To use these strategies you can employ words or pictures. Thinking in words is called “self-talk”. Thinking in images is called “visualisation”. Elite athletes use positive self-talk: “This pain proves I’m working hard.” Or they

use positive imagery, like visualising energy flowing through their muscles and calming their pain. Diferent people prefer diferent strategies, so practise what works best for you in training. But it is interesting that elite runners are predisposed to using associative strategies. They embrace the pain and deal with it. Elite athletes are not superhuman. The diference is that they develop strategies to cope.’

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BEAT NERVES Hannah England

Team GB middle distance runner Hannah England, who won silver in the 1500m at the 2011 World Championships, shares her blueprint for neutralising nerves:


rationalise that fear by saying, “I am afraid this race will hurt but I have trained for ‘X’ weeks for this.” If you rationalise a problem, it becomes less daunting.’


react to diferent scenarios in the race.’

PRACTISE YOUR ROUTINE ‘I take a lot of comfort in routines. I feel calmer if I know what time I will get up and in what order I will do things. Practise the same warm-up routine in training, so as soon as you start that routine on race day this automatic process kicks in and you start to calm down.’

when you write down a worry and read it back to yourself, it totally diminishes its hold on you.’

BE BOLD ‘It’s a very British thing to say, “Oh, I will just see how it goes.” It’s far better to say, “I’m aiming for this particular time.” A positive approach can help airm your confidence. Even telling friends at work what you are aiming for can make your goal feel more real and achievable.’

‘A psychologist told me that the brain fills in unknowns with the worst scenarios,’ says England. ‘It’s an evolutionary defence mechanism to keep us safe, but it’s no use before a race. Try to

‘Visualisation helps me get rid of anxiety because it makes everything seem familiar. In the build-up to a race, I picture in my head everything that’s going to happen, from collecting my race number to how I will





‘I often go for a fasted ride in the morning because it trains my body to burn fat for fuel,’ says Chris Froome, British cyclist and double Tour de France champion. Do a one-hour run before breakfast to condition your body to utilise its own fat for energy.

‘I do some run sessions on sand because it saps the legs and simulates what it feels like when you’re tired,’ says British boxer and IBF heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua. Perform 10 x 30m sprint drills in sand to build the leg strength that counters fatigue.

‘If I feel pressure in a match I use a “helicopter view”, thinking about a situation as a whole rather than a specific incident. I stare up at the sky while I think, to get clarity,’ says Stuart Broad, England cricketer and four-time Ashes winner. Launch into your helicopter view to ease race-day nerves.

‘The “hollow rock” exercise is great for the core. Lie on your back, stretch your arms behind you and your legs out in front, and gently rock forwards and backwards while bracing your core,’ says Max Whitlock, British gymnast and 2015 pommel horse world champion. Do 3 x 30 secs.

WRITE IT DOWN ‘I keep a diary because



It’s not just elite runners we can learn from; harnessing these five tips from elite athletes in other sports will boost your running performance

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Eliud Kipchoge

TEMPO RUNS ‘On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do tempo runs [a comfortably hard pace] for about one hour,’ says Kipchoge. ‘When you run at a high pace for a longer time it trains the body so you don’t feel tired so early in a race.’

EXTENDED INTERVALS ‘On Tuesday I do a track session with 15 x 1km eforts at a fast speed, with three-minute recoveries. If you can run faster over shorter distances you will soon be able to race longer distances at a higher speed, too.’


POWER YOUR GLUTES ‘We do crab walks with a resistance band to strengthen our glutes, so when we run the rest of the chain – core, knees, hamstrings – stays in line,’ says Wales rugby star and three-time Six Nations champ Jamie Roberts. Wrap a band around your knees and shuffle sideways for 4 x 10 steps in each direction.

‘On Thursday I do a steady run of about 30-40km. Long runs make your body more eicient and strong. In Kenya there are lots of hills so my heart and lungs have to work hard. If you can find a course with some hills, when you run on a flat course again it feels easier.’

INTERVAL DRILLS ‘On Saturday I do fartlek training, with 2 minutes of fast eforts and 1 minute of jogging recovery. I will do that maybe 20 times. It is good for your heart and lungs so you will feel fitter when you do longer runs.’ Eliud Kipchoge is fuelled by Etixx (

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Targeted endurance sessions develop the aerobic fitness and muscular endurance needed for optimal performance. To help you go further, faster, Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist and two-time London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge shares his own staminasculpting sessions:








BEAT THE HEAT British runners sufer on hot race days, but you can prep your body to handle the heat, says Professor John Brewer, Head of the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science at St Mary’s University, who has prepared many elite UK athletes to perform in hostile climates.


‘Hot and humid conditions place greater strain on the body and a lot of amateur British athletes are not prepared for it. Fortunately, the body has various natural defence mechanisms you can tap into. Sweating keeps you cool by causing the loss of latent heat through the evaporation of the sweat, while capillaries dilate to divert blood to the surface of the skin so it can lose heat into the environment. But this places a strain on the body, which is why you run more slowly in the heat. If someone who runs eight-min miles with a heart rate of 160bpm in the cold starts running in the heat with no acclimatisation, their heart rate will jump to about 180bpm. The good news is that if you acclimatise properly, it will stay at the same rate, which is why elite athletes prepare for the heat. First, make the most of hot days. Aim for an hour at a steady pace (not high-intensity intervals or long runs) for hot-weather acclimatisation runs. You can also simulate hot conditions in cooler weather by wearing an extra layer or a rain jacket sealed around the waist. Even a hat can help, as you lose a lot of heat through your head.

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These acclimatisation runs ensure all those natural cooling mechanisms work better. Over time, when your body senses heat you’ll achieve a lower heart rate, an increase in plasma volume and a redistribution of blood flow to aid heat loss, an earlier onset of sweating to control core temperature and an ability to maintain a lower overall core temperature as you run. There are also psychological benefits; you won’t be as shocked by the hot conditions as you would be if you were encountering them for the first time. All these factors contribute to a lower perception of efort, so running feels easier. How many of these acclimatisation runs you need will depend on you and the event you’re preparing for, but three or four is probably the minimum, and five or six is better. And bear in mind that studies have shown acclimatisation can take up to 14 days. Take fluid with you, especially if you are not accustomed to running in warm conditions, and weigh yourself before and after – each kilogram of weight lost is equivalent to a litre of fluid lost through sweat, which you will need to replace.

Good speed endurance will help you maintain form under fatigue and prevent you incrementally slowing down throughout a race. British 800m runner Lynsey Sharp, who won gold in the 800m at the 2012 European Championships, reveals her threestep programme to get you flying:

HILL REPS ‘Hill repetitions are ideal for developing speed endurance,’ says Sharp. ‘I find a tough 50-60m hill and do 2 sets of 3-6 sprints, with just a walk-down recovery. You want to hit all-out efort, so do a warm-up run first.’

800M SPLIT EFFORTS ‘I do 600m eforts at race pace, followed by 1-minute recovery, and then a 200m sprint. Repeat this 4 times, with a 2-minute recovery between each. It will simulate that race feel of having to run faster when you’re already tired, which is good for speed endurance.’

DRILL TIME ‘You need good form to maintain pace; otherwise everything falls apart when you tire. I do these drills regularly to sharpen my form.’ Repeat each drill (right) 3 times, with a 1-minute rest between each





Run on the balls of your feet along a 30m line (keeping your heels of the ground) and raise your knee to hip level with each stride. Good for: Glute and hamstring strength.

B DRILLS Repeat the same motion as the A Drills, but when your knee is at its highest point, extend your leg forward and toward the ground. Good for: Glute and hamstring power.

STRAIGHT-LEG BOUNDS Run along a 30m line, taking long strides but keep your legs and knees straight throughout. Good for: Building hip stability and glute strength.

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Can accessing the same high-tech scientific techniques used by the elites take your running to the next level or just remind you how good they are? RW’s Sam Murphy put her body under the microscope to find out

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MICRO MANAGE Detailed analysis may give you an edge







lympic athletes can seem almost superhuman. But it’s not just natural talent that sets them apart; they also have access to a support network of experts and innumerable health and performance tests that allow them to precisely analyse the efects of their training, along with the accompanying guidance on how best to progress. It takes years of hard work and determination for a budding Olympian to fulfil their potential, but at least they can put in the time and efort knowing that they’re leaving nothing to chance. Well, the good news is that many of these tests are also available to us mere mortals. They might not get you on the plane to Rio, but can they give you the edge in your personal quest to be the very best runner you can be?

Movement screening

What it measures Musculoskeletal function

and injury risk Why have it? Most of us don’t see a physio until we encounter a problem. But in the top echelons of our sport, physiotherapy is seen not just as an aspect of a cure, but as prevention. ‘Movement screening is like an MOT – it’s part of an elite runner’s arsenal,’ says physiotherapist Mark Buckingham, who devised the first screening protocol for British Athletics back in 1999. Screening can ofer early warnings of issues arising from weakness or dysfunction before they become a problem, and also identify areas that can be targeted to improve performance. ‘I can’t emphasise enough how beneficial ongoing monthly check-ups have been in avoiding injuries and finding ways to get those essential marginal gains,’ says Sonia Samuels, who will be racing in the marathon for Team GB at the Rio Olympics. Movement screening typically entails a gait analysis and musculoskeletal examination. Buckingham also assesses nervous-system and breathing function. ‘By looking at functional movement patterns related to the athlete’s sport, we can see where the potential for improvement lies,’ he says. ‘And we know from experience which weaknesses, tightness and control patterns lead to issues among runners. Screening can help you to get to the bottom of those niggles that you can run through but that will be knocking points of your performance.’ But can recreational runners justify such comprehensive assessment? ‘Amateur runners tend to treat their bodies like their cars,’ says Buckingham. ‘They service them once a year and only send them to the garage when they’re broken. Elite athletes treat their bodies like a Formula One car. Ferrari doesn’t put 20 mechanics in the pit because the car is broken, but to spot issues before they arise and fine-tune for optimal performance.’ 050 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

TESTING, ONE, TWO, THREE Tiny improvements may be all you need

What’s it like? When I arrived for my assessment at physiotherapists Witty, Pask and Buckingham, I was directed to the local park for a run, so my gait would be analysed on less-than-fresh legs. Buckingham took a detailed history of my training and injury, and put me through both passive and active tests designed to assess my range of motion, stability, strength and control (such as balancing on one leg on my toes). The list of corrective exercises I went away with seemed daunting but I stuck at it and without doubt it has made the biggest impact on my return to fitness following serial injuries. As Buckingham says, ‘The assessment itself will not benefit you – it’s the work you do afterwards that counts.’ Details Full biomechanical assessment (90 minutes), £90,

Physiological profiling

What it measures Physiological response to training Why have it? ‘Physiological testing provides a here-

and-now picture of how an athlete’s body is responding to training, which is monitored over time,’ says Paul @runnersworlduk




Heart-rate variability

What it measures Readiness to train; signs

Illustrations Justin Metz

of overtraining Why have it? Heart-rate variability (HRV) – the variation in the time interval between heartbeats – is increasingly being monitored in elite runners. ‘While genetic factors explain about 30 per cent of HRV, high variability has been shown to be associated with good health, low stress and adequate recovery,’ says Nigel Stockill, an exercise physiologist and performance director at HRV-testing company Firstbeat. ‘HRV fluctuates naturally – increasing during sleep and relaxing activities, when parasympathetic nervous system activation increases, and dropping during periods of physical or mental stress, when the sympathetic nervous system predominates. If the natural interplay between these two branches of the nervous system is disrupted by excessive stress or training overload, it causes the body to remain in a sympathetically dominant state.’ Daniel Plews, lead performance physiologist at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ), was one of the earliest adopters of HRV monitoring at elite level. ‘It provides an objective marker that can be used to monitor an athlete’s training and how they are adapting,’ he says. ‘For certain


training phases we expect HRV to behave in a certain way. If it isn’t responding as we expect, it can help ascertain whether they should do more or less training and allow the coach to adjust sessions on a day-to-day basis.’ In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers compared the efects of a HRVguided running programme with a predefined training programme. In the first group, higher-intensity training was based solely on daily HRV readings. If a runner’s HRV fell outside their normal range, they skipped hard training and did easier workouts. After eight weeks, the HRV-guided training group had significantly improved performance over three kilometres despite performing fewer tough sessions than the predefined training group. What’s it like? Firstbeat’s BodyGuard is a device consisting of two small electrodes worn constantly on the chest for three days to build up a picture of your daily HRV response. It’s easy to forget you’re wearing it, but don’t neglect the activity diary – the more detail you include, the more useful the resulting analysis. For example, my assessment – a nerd’s delight of graphs and data – showed I was getting the right balance of overload and recovery most of the time, but that a higher stress load one day, from a high-intensity run coupled with work and commuting, had afected my sleep quality. Details: £300 for a 72-hour continuous assessment and follow-up coaching session, Apps that couple finger sensors or chest straps with smartphone capabilities are also available (

DNA analysis

What it measures Your genetic profile Why have it? They say if you want to be an athlete,

choose your parents carefully. While it’s a bit late for that, you can now see what genetic cards you’ve been dealt through fitness-specific DNA testing. ‘Genetics determine between 20 and 70 per cent of the overall picture when it comes to your response to training,’ says Andrew Steele, an Olympic 400m runner and one of the founders of gene-testing company DNAFit. ‘The test quantifies that slice of the pie for people so that they can tweak their training and nutrition to better reach their goals.’ Steele stresses that DNA testing is not about telling people to change their goals, ‘it can simply help you improve the route you take to get there.’ A new study published in the Journal of Biology, found athletes following DNA results-based training programmes improved almost three times as much as those on unmatched training programmes. Not all DNA tests cover the same quantity, or type, of gene variants and Steele says all 45 gene variants included in the DNAFit test pass strict criteria: multiple peer-reviewed studies need to have confirmed the efect of a particular gene variant on fitness and, crucially, there has to be something you can do about your result. Surprisingly, DNA testing has not yet been adopted by UK athletics’ governing bodies, but many other sports have embraced it, and individual athletes, including Tom Lancashire, Craig Pickering and Greg Rutherford are enthusiastic. Rutherford took the DNAFit test in May last year and has used the results to inform his training for Rio. ‘I’ve long known that the training that works for me does not necessarily work for others,’ he says. ‘Understanding my genetic make-up has helped me 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 051


Hough, lead sport and exercise scientist at Sports Performance Services, St Mary’s University. ‘Quicker race times only tell part of the story. Physiological testing shows the athlete and their coach why they have improved. Perhaps their running economy has got better, or their lactate turn point has increased.’ Testing may simply verify that training is having the desired efect. ‘At elite level, this is often the case, with the results only likely to lead to slight adjustments rather than wholesale changes,’ says Hough. ‘But with recreational runners, testing data can really help uncover what’s lacking and help them make their training more efective.’ Elite athletes typically undergo testing two to four times a year. What’s it like? It’s tough, so make sure you’re rested beforehand. You’ll start with the submaximal test – donning a mask to analyse expired gas and ventilation response while blood is taken at regular intervals from the earlobe or finger, all while the pace is increasing. Heart rate and perceived exertion are also monitored. There’s no blood involved in the maximal test, but I can assure you there’ll be sweat and possibly tears, as you need to keep going until you can’t run another step. ‘During testing we record the paces and heart rates that correspond to specific physiological points, such as lactate threshold and V02 max, which can then be used to plan specific training sessions,’ says Hough. ‘It eliminates the guesswork.’ The details The Level 2 Assessment at St Mary’s Sports Performance Service includes lactate profile, heart-rate training zones, running economy and V02max testing. £150,
















reinforce the lessons I’ve learnt through many years of trial and error about how best to train my body.’ What’s it like? It’s a simple matter of taking a swab from inside your mouth and sending it of for analysis, along with a detailed health questionnaire. I took DNAFit’s Fitness Premium test, and the results were intriguing. My version of a gene called COL5A1 means I’m susceptible to tendon injury (which fits my history) and that while my capacity for improving my V02 max is average, I have one of the most valuable gene variants associated with power. Going through my report in a phone-based coaching session enabled me to make useful changes, such as introducing high-load strength training to improve tendon strength, and upping my intake of inflammation-combating cruciferous vegetables to combat my slow recovery time. Details DNAFit Fitness Premium, £149,

Eucapnic Voluntary Hyperventilation

What it measures Respiratory function Why have it? With incidence of exercise-induced

asthma at around 20 per cent among track and field athletes (twice as high as the general population) respiratory testing is de rigueur at elite level. ‘Eucapnic Voluntary Hyperventilation (EVH) is the gold-standard test used to reveal any issues with the respiratory system,’ says Dr James Hull, a consultant respiratory physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital and Centre of Health and Human Performance ( Normally, exercise is beneficial for asthma, but in elite endurance athletes, including runners, repeated intensive breathing can, over time, damage the airways. But asthma isn’t the only cause of breathing problems. Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO), a narrowing of the larynx during exercise, can cause wheezing, coughing, breathlessness and throat irritation during or after a run. ‘This is often misdiagnosed as asthma,’ says Hull. EILO can be precipitated by reflux, nasal hay fever symptoms or excessive mouth breathing. ‘While you have to breathe through the mouth during high-intensity exercise, it’s preferable to breathe through the nose at rest and when exercising at very low intensities, to protect the airways,’ says Dr John Dickinson, exercise respiratory physiologist at the clinic. ‘Nasal breathing is better because the nose performs several important functions, including filtering and humidifying atmospheric air, and slowing air flow.’ EVH can also reveal how you breathe. ‘Many people breathe very high up in the chest or use ‘accessory’ muscles in the neck and shoulders to expand the lungs,’ explains Dickinson. ‘It’s more eicient to breathe from the diaphragm. We observe athletes throughout the test and can teach those with dysfunctional breathing patterns exercises to improve breathing technique.’ What’s it like? The EVH test is simple, but not easy. It entails donning a face mask and breathing cold, dry air enriched with five per cent carbon dioxide through a mouth tube for six minutes, aiming to match a precalculated target breathing rate. It seems strange to be undertaking a test of maximal breathing sitting on a stool, but within a minute or two, you feel as if you’re racing the last kilometre of a 5K. 052 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

Before the test and at timed intervals afterwards, your FEV1 – the amount of air you can exhale in one second – is measured, to assess the efect the hard breathing has had on lung function and how quickly it recovers. ‘Assuming a normal baseline FEV1, performance in the test would need to drop by 10-15 per cent to be a cause for concern,’ says Hull. My pre-test FEV1 was 13 per cent above average for my age and gender, and dropped by eight per cent afterwards, making a swift return to normal. And while my post-race wheezing showed up like a bad penny, I felt reassured enough that there were no signs of asthma to take no further action. Details EVH test and consultation, £400,


What it measures Blood profile Why have it? Blood testing is routinely used for

diagnostics, screening and monitoring in athletes. ‘Elite athletes would normally have blood tests two to four times per year,’ says Dr John Rogers, endurance medical oicer to British Athletics. ‘These look at specific biomarkers to help identify problems that can afect health and performance. For example, iron deficiency is associated with reduced aerobic capacity, while a lack of vitamin D can have an impact on bone health, immune function and performance. Blood biochemistry can also flag up signs of overtraining or under-recovery.’ Rogers believes that keen amateur runners can benefit from blood testing as much as elites do. ‘Sometimes more so, thanks to follow-up advice which they may not normally have access to,’ he says. ‘If a problem is identified, recommendations may include modified training, recovery strategies, sports nutrition input and supplementation.’ What’s it like? I took the LiveSmart Health Check, which assesses 34 diferent biomarkers, from specific vitamins and minerals to red and white blood cell status, CRP (a marker of inflammation), liver and kidney function, blood glucose and cholesterol. You can perform a finger-prick blood test yourself using the kit provided and post it back, or pay an additional £25 to have your blood taken at an ailiated clinic. You access your results online, displayed using clear graphics, depicting each reading in the context of what’s ‘normal’, with comments and recommendations from a doctor who has reviewed your results and medical questionnaire. ‘Once you know how your training is afecting performance and health, you can target problem areas before getting a repeat check to measure improvement,’ says LiveSmart manager Alex Heaton. Since learning my red blood cells aren’t in optimal shape, I’ve upped my dietary iron intake. It will be interesting to see how that impacts on performance and fatigue levels over time. Details LiveSmart Plus health check, £99.



DISH DASH The more you know, the faster you go

Sweat analysis

What it measures Sodium loss Why have it? You’ve probably heard of a ‘sweat test’,

which gauges how much fluid you lose during exercise. But in the quest for optimal performance elite athletes are now diving deeper into sweat. Earlier this year, after scraping through the US Olympic trials in the LA heat and ending up on an IV drip, marathoner Shalane Flanagan took to the lab at the US Olympic Training Center to have her sweat rate and composition assessed so she could be better prepared for the heat in Rio. It’s obvious sweat rates vary among individuals; what’s surprising is how much the composition of that sweat varies. ‘The amount of electrolytes lost in sweat can vary tenfold between people,’ says exercise physiologist Andy Blow, a founder of Precision Hydration. ‘One athlete could be losing 200mg of sodium per litre while another loses 2,000mg – and it’s independent of sweat volume. If they both use an of-the-shelf sports drink (typically containing around 300mg of sodium), then neither is hydrating optimally.’ While salty ‘tidemarks’ on your kit, or sweat that stings your eyes, provide hints that you’re a ‘salty sweater’, a sweat-composition test enables you to adjust the concentration of electrolytes in your sports drink (and your diet) more precisely. ‘Electrolytes, particularly sodium, are critical to fluid balance, muscular contraction and mental function during exercise,’ says

Blow. ‘A typical sports drink may provide an athlete with high losses with only a third of what they need, which is bound to have a negative impact on performance.’ What’s it like? While a sweat-rate test (to measure fluid loss during exercise) entails a run, the sweat composition test involves sitting quietly with your arm on a table. Electrodes placed on the arm then deliver a mild electrical current, which stimulates the sweat glands. The sweat is collected for analysis and you receive a report advising you on the appropriate sodium concentration for your sports hydration. For a free ‘best guess’, you can fill in an online questionnaire. The details £95 at seven centres across the UK. Putting it all together I learned a huge amount about myself undertaking these tests. Quite honestly, it would be extremely difficult to find the mental, physical and financial resources to address everything that was flagged up, but I’ve got all the data and that’s helped me choose my battles carefully. Some of the info I’ve received has been filed away as ‘nice to know’, but many of the findings have helped me make positive changes to how I live and train. I don’t have any huge performance breakthroughs to report – yet – but I am training consistently without the constant interruption of injury. And while I’ll never be an Olympic athlete, the last few months have certainly helped me feel like one. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 053










When the world’s greatest runners assemble in Rio, they will all owe a debt to one man, Emil Zátopek, the Czech legend who revolutionised our sport. Here, his biographer, Richard Askwith, explains how he did it and why he was forgotten for so long

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HIGH DRAMA A tortured-looking Emil Zátopek pulls away from France’s Alain Mimoun and Germany’s Herbert Schade to take gold in the 5000m at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

ook closely at the athletes of the Czech Republic as they take to the Olympic track in Rio and you may notice a little squiggle on their kit. It’s a cartoon self-portrait that used to form part of the autograph of Emil Zátopek, their nation’s greatest sporting hero. But Zátopek was more than that: much more. In his 1950s prime he was a global megastar. It wasn’t just the five Olympic medals and the 18 world records. It was the way he ran. Undefeated at 10,000m for six years, he dominated and revolutionised his sport. His three-gold clean sweep of Olympic distance-running events at Helsinki in 1952 (including a debut marathon) is unlikely ever to be matched. His self-developed system of high-volume interval training – first ridiculed, then widely imitated – transformed the way that elite distance runners train. Then there was his personality: witty, charming, kind. Fans liked his visibly agonised running style, which made him supremely dramatic to watch. Rivals loved him for his humour and sportsmanship. He transcended sport. He was the Muhammad Ali of his day. Then his fame drained away, messily. Only a decade after his retirement, he fell from the favour of the Communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia. A brave champion of ‘socialism with a human face’, he was driven out of public life after the Soviet-led invasion that crushed the Prague Spring in August 1968. He spent years working as an itinerant labourer, living in a caravan, far from his home and his adored wife. Eventually, he was rehabilitated, after a series of public capitulations to the regime; but his reputation never recovered. The man who had once been the world’s most famous sportsman became a shadowy figure, his story remembered in myths and rumours – and then, increasingly, forgotten. Today, nearly 16 years after his death, his homeland is once again acknowledging its debt to him: hence those squiggles. But what of his wider sporting significance? Does the man they called the Czech Locomotive have any relevance to the modern runner? I’ve spent the past two years researching and writing Zátopek’s biography, and I’m more convinced than ever that – even when you have stripped away the fiction from the facts – he was a figure of pivotal 056 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

CZECH POINT (clockwise from top) Emil Zátopek in training for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki; standing tall after winning the 10,000m at the London Olympics in 1948 (Frenchman Alain Mimoun was second and Swede Bertil Albertsson, third); being congratulated by Mimoun after winning the 5000m in Helsinki




THE Photography previous page Alamy Photography this page Getty

THE WORK ETHIC The man named by Runner’s World in 2013 as the greatest runner of all time was not the most naturally gifted athlete. His lifetime best for 800m was 1:58.7; for 1,500m, 3:52.8. Even compared with his longdistance rivals, he was noticeably lacking in raw speed: Belgian Gaston Reif and Britain’s Christopher Chataway were respectively seven and nine seconds faster over 1500m. Zátopek’s resting pulse-rate was in the mid-fifties; his blood pressure, when he started out on his career, was relatively high. In short, he was (relatively) normal. So it wasn’t his genes that made him exceptional. It was his dedication to training: his willingness to push and keep pushing. In circumstance as well as genetics, he was not born with a head start. In contrast to the privileged types who had hitherto dominated Olympic competition, Zátopek was born in poverty. He raised himself to greatness through sheer hard work. In the words of the great Australian coach Percy Cerutty, ‘He earned, and won for himself, every inch of a very hard road.’ Zátopek believed that ‘What a man wants, he can achieve.’ All it took was efort, persistence and a cheerful indiference to discomfort. ‘Pain is a merciful thing,’ he explained. ‘If it lasts without interruption, it dulls itself.’ If you want to amount to anything as a runner, it’s worth taking that thought on board – along with another piece of Zátopekian wisdom: ‘One’s willpower increases with each task fulfilled.’

G0, THEN GO AGAIN Zátopek didn’t, as is sometimes claimed, invent interval training. But he used it to transform his sport. Convinced that the secret of running was to learn to run fast (‘I already know how to run slow’), he developed a rigorous system of fast repetitions with short, ruthlessly limited recovery jogs. There was no waiting for the pulse-rate and breathing to return to normal. Recovery had to be achieved quickly, in motion.


Can Zátopek help us rediscover the Olympic ideal? With top-level sport increasingly dominated by a ruthless, win-at-allcosts mentality, it is worth remembering one of Zátopek’s more famous sayings: ‘A runner must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket.’ At his first Olympics, in London 1948, Zátopek was ordered to miss the opening ceremony. It was blisteringly hot and the Czechoslovak management were worried he might damage his chances of winning the next day’s 10,000m. Zátopek protested but was overruled. However, he managed to get in anyway, after briefly talking his way into the Danish team. Later, he evoked the romance of those Games with memorable eloquence: ‘It was a liberation of spirit to be there in London. After those dark days of

the war, the bombing, the killing and the starvation, the revival of the Olympics was as if the sun had come out. Suddenly, there were no frontiers, no more barriers, just people meeting together.’ That was what mattered most for Zátopek: the romance. ‘I wanted to win,’ he said, ‘but not at all costs.’ And there was something else that mattered more to Zátopek than medals. Towards the end of his life, one of Zátopek’s rivals, Christopher Chataway, said his biggest sporting regret was that ‘I wasn’t nicer to my fellow athletes. I was very competitive and before a big race would be withdrawn and morose.’ Zátopek, on the other hand, saw running as a medium for friendship. He chatted

Having refined his method, he applied it in increasingly mindboggling volumes. By the mid-1950s he was doing up to 100 fast 400m laps a day, with 150m jogs in between. When Zátopek first developed his regime of high-volume interval training, his fellow athletes were appalled. ‘Everyone said, “Emil, you are a fool!”’ he remembered. ‘But when I first won the European Championship, they said: “Emil, you are a genius!”’ ‘Before Zátopek,’ wrote Fred Wilt, the US 10,000m runner and training guru, ‘nobody had realised it was humanly possible to train this hard.’ Rivals such as Chataway, the Olympian who helped pace Roger Bannister to the first sub four-minute mile – insisted it wasn’t: ‘For me and many others, it was simply more than we could stand.’ Time has proved Zátopek right. His methods have been modified and refined, but you will struggle to find an elite distance runner whose training regime doesn’t show Zátopek’s influence.

away before, after and even during races (he spoke eight languages), and treated everyone, famous and unknown, with the same courtesy. In Helsinki, he give up his bed in the Olympic village to the Australian coach Percy Cerutty, who had nowhere to sleep. In Prague, 14 years later, he gave away one of his Olympic gold medals to another Aussie, Ron Clarke. ‘Great is the victory,’ Zátopek is reported to have said, ‘but greater still is the friendship’ – and there was barely a runner who raced against him who didn’t become a lifelong friend. Alain Mimoun called him ‘a brother’ and ‘a saint’; Gordon Pirie praised his ‘magnificent character’; Ron Clarke went one better: ‘There is not, and never was, a greater man than Emil Zátopek’.

INNOVATION Zátopek didn’t have a ‘secret’. He was too generous and talkative to keep one. But he did have a scientific mind. He studied chemistry as a young man, and from the moment he took up serious running he explored hitherto untried ways of improving his performance. Early experiments included holding his breath until he passed out; eating young birch leaves (in imitation of fast-running deer, he explained); eating vast quantities of dandelions and garlic; and drinking a mixture of lemon juice and lane-marking chalk to keep up his vitamin C and calcium levels. Later experiments included running with a load. His widow, Dana, disputes the legend that he regularly carried her on his back while training. He did so only once, she insists, after he accidently broke her leg by throwing her in a river. But he did do at least one training session with a child on his shoulders, and he does seem to have been suiciently keen on running with a load to have injured himself by 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 057


importance in the history of our sport. He embodied ideas that go to the heart of what it means to be a runner. Many of these are central to the ways we run today; others are less fashionable, but we forget them at our peril.
















doing so in early 1956. He was still recovering from the resulting hernia operation when he came sixth in the Olympic marathon in Melbourne. None of these specific experiments can be said to have had a lasting impact on modern practice among elite distance runners. But the mindset – the idea that the challenge of running faster should be tackled with ingenuity and empirical science as well as efort, and that no gain is too marginal to be helpful – is at the heart of contemporary sports science.

COMMITMENT Zátopek’s friends, family and colleagues always denied that his employment as an army oicer was just a gimmick to disguise the fact that he was a full-time athlete. Nevertheless, it was because of

Zátopek that others after him decided that the only way to reach the sport’s summit was by making training a full-time occupation. Military records suggest that his duties as a soldier were real – and that sometimes he struggled to reconcile them with his training. Sometimes he had to climb over a fence to get into Prague’s Strahov Stadium at night. One way or another, though, he was able to devote more hours to training than any previous runner, especially after he was put in charge of the army’s physical fitness programme. The Army Sports Club (later known as Dukla Prague) had a special retreat for athletes and Zátopek spent weeks preparing there with nothing to distract him from the challenge of putting every ounce of his energy into training. Most modern Olympians now take a similar approach – it’s rare to find an elite distance runner who isn’t a full-time athlete. And even keen recreational runners these days are increasingly prepared to carve out chunks of training-dedicated time when preparing for big challenges.


ONE OF A KIND (top to bottom) Never afraid to experiment, Zátopek trains with a hula hoop in his garden; on 26 October 1952, Zátopek set world records for 15 miles, 20km and 30km in Houstka Stadium, Prague

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Zátopek’s training philosophy wasn’t just about pushing himself hard physically. It was about teaching his mind to shrug of pain and discomfort. Contemporaries considered him remarkable for training whatever the weather – sometimes wearing three tracksuits in the ferocious cold of the Czech winter. Zátopek believed that the psychological benefits were as important as the extra miles. ‘There is a great advantage in training under unfavourable conditions,’ he said, ‘for the diference is then a tremendous relief in a race.’ The more he did so, he believed, the more inner toughness he developed. ‘When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly develops in ways more than physical. Is it raining? That doesn’t matter. Am I tired? That doesn’t matter either. Willpower becomes no longer a problem.’ Most serious runners of the modern age have at some point come up against similar idea. You take yourself of to boot camp, or the wilderness (as everyone from Paula Radclife to Mo Farah have done). You benefit from the altitude and @runnersworlduk


‘If Zátopek feels tired, he immediately tries to increase the pace’ the scientific back-up, but you also toughen yourself up mentally. When the moment of truth arrives in the stadium – or on the streets of your local half marathon – the resulting toughness stands you in good stead. At least it’s flat, and you’re not running through a blizzard.

Photography Getty, Alamy

RECOVERY If Zátopek did have a special physical gift, it was in his exceptional ability to recover from exertion. His pulse rate would return to normal very quickly after a hard race or training session. More importantly, his muscles recovered quickly, especially as the years of mileage accumulated. (He estimated his career total was over 50,000 miles, or twice round the world, in 18 years.) These powers of recovery meant he could shake of the exhaustion of a monster training session in time to do it all again the next day. Perhaps there was a genetic component, but it’s also clear that he developed these powers as he increased his workload over the years – and other athletes followed suit. In the modern age, improving athletes’ ability to recover from heavy training could be seen as the holy grail of sports science. It’s what drives some to become drug cheats. The drugs don’t make them faster: they just help them to load up the training. And greater workload, as Zátopek proved, brings better results. There is no evidence that Zátopek was a drug cheat and plenty that he was not. However, as a young man in the town of Zlín (where he began running and where there is now a statue of him), 25 years before drugs were banned in athletics and 15 years before the invention of anabolic steroids, he may briefly have experimented with the amphetamine benzedrine. (He concluded that it did not agree with him.) It may be because of Zátopek, however, that others began to seek pharmacological assistance to cope with workloads that, thanks to him, became the norm.

IMPROVISATION One of Zátopek’s endearing qualities was his refusal to allow life’s inconveniences get in the way of his training. As a soldier, he used to jog on the spot on sentry duty; years later, as a celebrity, he often jogged on the spot while being interviewed. Forced to remain indoors to do the laundry, he filled the bath with washing and jogged in it, barefoot, for two hours. Confined to hospital by food poisoning days before the 1950 European Championships, he sneaked into the kitchens to cook himself an illicit meal, then jogged in the hospital gardens. He discharged himself on the Tuesday, flew to Brussels and by Saturday had won emphatic gold in both the 5000m and 10,000m. Such behaviour is not advisable, but it does suggest that one mark of a champion might be not being put of too easily – and being prepared to take control of your own destiny. Six years later, a hernia operation prevented Zátopek from training properly for the Melbourne Olympics. To catch up, he tried to train on the flight to Australia. His fellow athletes, terrified that he would cause a crash, stopped him forcibly. You can hardly blame them. But you can sympathise with Zátopek’s attitude. Like any serious runner, he was a bit of a nutter.

TRUE GRIT Hungarian coach Klement Kerssenbrock first identified Zátopek’s ability to respond to fatigue by accelerating. ‘If Zátopek feels tired and has an idea that the speed is slowing down,’ he wrote in 1949, ‘he immediately tries to increase the pace.’ Zátopek even distilled this into one of his many motivational sayings: ‘If you can’t keep going, go faster.’ Strictly speaking, it’s nonsense – but it’s also one of the keys to Zátopek’s greatness. If you’re sceptical, watch footage of his 1952 Helsinki Olympics 5000m victory. For four years, following his half-stride defeat by Reif in London in 1948, he had been practising his

flat-out laps. His whole strategy was based on the assumption that he could burn of his rivals with one devastating final 400m sprint. He kicks, but within 100m has slipped from first to fourth. You can see his world falling apart. One journalist described him as ‘a tortured wreck’. Yet instead of succumbing to despair, he rallies. Soon he’s clawing back the metres that separate him from Chataway, German Herbert Schade and Frenchman Alain Mimoun. On the final bend, all four are level. Then Zátopek summons what another writer called ‘the strength of angels’. In a frenzy of self-belief and determination, he powers away to a dramatic win. The experts can argue as to whether it was genetics or training habits that gave Zátopek the edge. To anyone watching, the answer is obvious: it was grit.

SELF-AWARENESS ‘Sometimes I ran like a mad dog,’ Zátopek admitted towards the end of his life. ‘But it was very simple. It was out of myself.’ The modern athlete, by contrast, ‘is not an athlete. He’s the centre of a team – doctors, coaches, scientists, coaches and so on,’ he observed. That’s not something that’s likely to be reversed, at least at elite level. But modern athletes at all abilities could learn something from the subjectivity of Zátopek’s approach. His training was carefully worked out, and he was precise about calculating pace and schedules for races. But it was also internalised. He rarely used a stopwatch. Many of his training sessions were over imprecisely measured distances, and even in the stadium he often trained on the grass outside the track, so as not to get in his fellow athletes’ way. His sense of pace, and of how close he was to his limits, was thus based on how he felt. As he put it, ‘You must listen to your body. You must feel hard, and you must feel easy.’ Ruthless honesty was required to make this philosophy the basis of nearly a decade of world-beating performances, but it gave Zátopek an iron inner confidence, and flawless judgement of pace, in the heat of a close race. He knew what it felt like at the ‘borders of pain and sufering’, where, he said, ‘the men are separated from the boys’. Today We Die a Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zátopek, Olympic Legend (Yellow Jersey Press), by Richard Askwith is out now 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 059

THE SPF MENU Running outside leaves skin more vulnerable to the

risks of summer sun, but our menu provides the key nutrients

that will protect your outer layer from the inside

ou know the basics of sun protection: slather on a waterproof sunscreen well before you head out for your run; wear a hat and sunglasses; cover as much skin as you can stand; and, ideally, run before 10am or after 4pm (when the sun is less intense). But runners – who are particularly susceptible to skin damage caused by sun exposure – need to do more to look after their skin. Skin cancer is among the most common forms of the disease. And an Austrian study found marathon runners have an increased risk for melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – thanks to a double whammy of increased sun exposure and suppressed immune function caused by high-intensity training. But all types of runners who enjoy summer runs are more at risk of skin cancer because sweat causes your skin to absorb more harmful ultraviolet rays, according to the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund. However, research suggests runners can further protect their skin by focusing on diet. ‘Food alone will not protect your skin,’ says Rachel Weinstein, a holistic health coach who runs Wooden Spoon Wellness. ‘But studies have shown some foods can better support your largest organ than others.’ Load up on the foods on the pages that follow to boost your body’s sun defences. @runnersworlduk


BEARING FRUIT Limes can help protect your skin and keep it looking good

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Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant – it helps prevent DNA damage that can result from sun exposure. It’s found in red fruits and vegetables – watermelon, strawberries, red peppers and – in its highest concentrations – in cooked and tinned tomatoes. Adding 55g of tomato paste to your daily diet – pizza, anyone? – could cut your risk for sunburn and increase your skin’s natural sun protection by one third, according to research conducted at the Universities of Manchester and Newcastle, and published in the British Journal of Dermatology. And research by The National Cancer Institute in the US found that when it comes to lowering your melanoma risk, the more lycopene you eat, the better. So load up on watermelon and strawberries, be generous with the ketchup and go big on small fresh tomatoes. ‘Smaller tomatoes, like Roma, pack in more lycopene than larger, beefsteak tomatoes,’ says Weinstein.


cancer-fighting antioxidants. One Australian study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that people who had previously sufered from skin cancer who ate at least one serving of antioxidant-rich leafy greens per day cut their risk of developing new growths by more than 50 per cent. And a large-scale study from Italy found a correlation between the number of servings of dark leafy greens consumed per week and risk of developing melanoma. In short, the more you eat, the greater the protection.


‘We often hear about papaya in skin creams and scrubs but it also ofers a number of benefits to your skin when eaten,’ says Weinstein. ‘Papaya is rich in nutrients, such as beta carotene and Vitamin C, so it delivers similar anti-ageing benefits to those you get from tomatoes and citrus fruit. Papaya also contains enzymes that reduce inflammation in the body and aid with digestion, so it helps your body to absorb many nutrients.’ Research published in Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine earlier this year found that participants who took a supplement made from papaya (FPP, or fermented papaya preparation) twice a day for 90 days showed a ‘significant improvement in skin evenness, moisturisation and elasticity’.

Your morning pick-me-up of choice can also give your skin a boost. Various teas have been found to fight skin ageing through both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory efects, while research has also shown that drinking at least one cup of black tea per day can help cut your risk for squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. A study reviewed in the journal Clinics in Dermatology found that EGCG, one of the Highly palatable research has shown three major polyphenol compounds found in green squares of dark chocolate a day may keep your tea, reverses UV-induced sun damage. Getting skin healthier and looking younger. A study a little more exotic, lotus seed tea was recently published in Nutrition Journal found the found to ‘drastically’ protect skin from a loss of flavonoids in dark chocolate help fight ageing moisture caused by UV exposure, according to caused by UV damage. After eating three 10g a study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science. If you’re more of a cofee drinker, your chosen brew can also help protect your The hard truth for those with a sweet tooth skin from the elements – especially if you drink a lot of it. A Norwegian If you’re eating to save sugars attach to your skin becomes However, you don’t study published in the your skin, you need to proteins in your less supple and more need to avoid all International Journal pay close attention bloodstream, forming vulnerable to sun sugars. The natural of Cancer found women when it comes to harmful new damage. A study in sugars found in fruit who drink five or more the dessert menu. molecules called the British Journal are less damaging to cups of cofee per day Multiple studies have AGEs. These of Dermatology the skin, and fruits were less likely to directly linked sugar molecules damage found that the ageing often contain the develop melanoma. consumption to the proteins that efects of these AGEs beneficial antioxidants




Dark-green leafy veg, such as spinach and kale, contain powerful 062 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

premature ageing of the skin. A natural process called glycation is to blame. During glycation,

keep your skin firm, including collagen and elastin. As your collagen and elastin proteins are damaged,

increase rapidly after the age of 35. Several studies have also linked glucose to melanoma.

needed to fight sun damage. So, step away from the biscuit tin and head for the fruit bowl.

Words Veronika Ruff Taylor Photography Hearst Studios Previous page Matt Deal (sunglasses: Oakley EV Prizm Road)




pieces of dark chocolate per day for 12 weeks, the elasticity of participants’ skin was greatly improved. But before you embark on a guilt-free Dairy Milk binge, it’s important to note that the type of chocolate matters: the study found the higher concentrations of flavonoids found in darker chocolate led to greater skin elasticity. ‘Chocolate is most often mixed with sugar – sometimes a lot of sugar – as well as fillers and binders such as hydrogenated oils and soy lecithin, which can inflame your system,’ says Weinstein. ‘The more pure the chocolate – think 70 per cent cocoa and above – the lower the sugar, and the fewer the additives, the more benefits you will receive.’


The same Italian research that championed leafy greens found eating at least one serving of fatty fish or shellfish per week could double your melanoma protection. And shellfish – such as prawns and lobsters – contain both high amounts of antiinflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and a second skin-saving nutrient: a powerful carotenoid called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin gives these shellfish their distinctive reddishpink colour, and has been found to fight inflammation and cancer up to 10 times more powerfully than other antioxidant carotenoids, according to a review published in the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.


PASS THE KETCHUP But put it on your chips, not your skin

Many studies have shown that citrus fruits – including oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes – help prevent inflammation, premature ageing and several forms of cancer. This is in large part due to their high levels vitamin C, which boosts immunity and combats skin cancer. ‘Citrus fruits contain phytonutrients that have been shown to protect skin from sun damage and melanoma,’ says Weinstein. But while you’ll get some benefits from citrus juices, she stresses that it’s far better to eat the whole fruits. Don’t be overzealous on your peeling prep, either. ‘The secret spot for phytonutrients in oranges is in the skin, the pith (the fleshy white part between the skin and the segments) and the translucent membranes around each segment,’ says Weinstein. The spongy white layers that cling to the outside of each segment, which you probably often pull of, contain the bulk of the fruits’ fibre and biotin, a B vitamin critical to skin health. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 063



RW’s Duncan Craig tackles the newest and self-proclaimed ‘Toughest’ obstacle race to hit the UK, and examines what the everevolving OR scene has to offer runners today

TAKE OFF Throwing some obstacles into your way can bring a new kind of runner’s high

09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 065

UP AGAINST IT It’s at times like that these that a 20-mile run in hot weather seems a good idea

s I’m called forward to the start line I’m a little surprised to note that my excitement is outweighed by a feeling of apprehension. I’ve lined up in dozens of races over the years, from marathons and ultras to tower runs and triathlons. Never have I experienced such butterflies. But this event is diferent. This is Toughest – the strapping new kid on the obstacle-race (OR) block and an (until now) unknown quantity in the UK. These Swedish invaders have promised the the race will feature the spectacular, the challenging and the spectacularly challenging. Over the next eight kilometres, laced with 40 ingeniously exacting obstacles, myself and 4,000 other participants are going to find out just how tough the going can get. It’s not just the race’s hyperbole making me nervous, though; I confess that, in OR terms, I’m wet behind the ears. I’ve completed just one other event of this kind, Tough Guy, and that was 10 years ago. Since then there has been a period of breathless expansion and innovation in the world of obstacle racing. A decade ago I remember a gathering of charmingly unhinged ex-military types. It was all fatigues and beer bellies, high fives and hypothermia. It was fun and it felt very much like a one-of. This is altogether diferent. Looking around at my fellow competitors, the demographic is younger, and in considerably better shape. There are nearly as many women as men, and fewer exhibitionists. Team kits lurk beneath Dryrobes. There are timer chips, sponsors’ tents and television cameras. Most of the runners, I realise with mounting concern, look like they actually know what they’re doing – and probably do it every week. It seems it’s gone from a bit of fun to a serious (and big) business. @runnersworlduk


Photography (previous page) Jesper Gronnemark (This page) Ben Knight, Mateusz Szulakowski

HANG ABOUT Duncan Craig wishes he had done just a little more upper body work in training

The stats back up this impression. A 2014 feature in RW examining the OR scene, written by my late friend and running partner Charlie Norton, put the number of obstacle races in the UK at around 60. In just two years that’s increased four-fold to nearer 250, according to Carl Wibberly, co-founder and editor of Obstacle Race Magazine. If you’re so inclined – and judging by the forums, dedicated websites and blogs, many are – you could compete every week, with some events attracting huge numbers (30,000 is not unheard of ). ‘It amazes me how quickly the sport has evolved,’ says Wibberly. ‘At some points during the year there are up to nine races in a single weekend.’ And that’s just in the UK (the spiritual home of OR, thanks to Tough Guy, which spawned the sport in 1987). The sport is most popular here, the US and Australia, but there are over 40 other markets, with worldwide participation expected to hit 5.3m this year. These countries either ofer races staged by aggressively marketed global leviathans such as Tough Mudder, or smaller events with a national slant: South Africa’s Impi challenge; Wairua Warrior in New Zealand; L’infernal Run races in France; Mud Hero in Canada. Wherever you go in the world, you’ll find someone dishing up the dirt.

GET OVER IT If your dignity is very important to you, steer clear of obstacle races. It’s the first thing to go

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Action Run Örebro, Sweden This new urban race packs 30 obstacles (including monkey bars, flaming logs, and a cargo-net river crossing) into 7.5km August 27, 2016;

Changing times I wrestle my way to the front of my wave. It’s a chilly April morning in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, but it’s not unpleasant in the intermittent sunshine. No doubt to the organisers’ delight, there’s been heavy rain overnight. An OR without mud is as unthinkable as a road marathon without smooth asphalt. I’m in the first wave of the ‘Joe Shmoes’, as one of the bantering duo on the PA describes us. His co-announcer questions the fairness of the term. I don’t think any of us would. For one, we’re not the delicate types. And when it comes to comparison with the elites, now tearing through the forest floor ahead of us, that seems about right. Blending enviable agility and strength with serious running pedigree (some are sub-30:00 10K runners), these are some of the best-rounded athletes in sport. The emergence of elite and – in some cases – full-time professional racers is one of the key developments in OR. Toughest, conceived three years ago, has showpiece obstacles, fast lanes and a racing ethos that has proved popular at the top of the sport. With OR currently as saturated as a pair of trail shoes after a January run, diferentiation is key. And fast lanes – shorter but more 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 067

CALLED TO THE BAR This one is all about strength. And timing. And a willingness to fail again and again

HIGH PRICE No matter how much you train, you may never get the hang of some obstacles

technically demanding variations on obstacles – ofer this. So, alongside the monkey bars is Flying Monkey, requiring competitors to leap two-handed between bars spaced 1.75m apart (completion rate: 17 per cent). The Salmon Ladder, an alternative to the 30ft rope climb, has an even lower success rate. It’s a form of hyper-dynamic pull-up in which you move the bar up in increments. I’ve tried it and it’s fairly straightforward, assuming you can defy the laws of physics. Crack these and you’re shaving seconds of your time. Slip up, and you must face the same penalties that await those who fail to complete the standard version (eg, a run with a tyre). ‘The Toughest series is legitimising obstacle racing as a sport,’ says OCR world champ Jonathan Albon. ‘They have rules in place to make it a fair race, which means you can have a winner, but they don’t lose a sense that it is mass participation. They’ve added structures for sponsorship too, which attracts all the best athletes.’ At 27, Albon is the nearest thing OR has to a poster boy. The Briton started running at 20, and did his first OR in 2011. A year and a half ago he quit his job and moved to Norway to train and compete full-time. Such has been his success that he’s earning roughly the same now through sponsorship and prize money as he did in his 068 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

Want some more?

The World’s Toughest Mudder Las Vegas, Nevada Drag yourself round a five-mile course as many times as you can in 24 hours. Nov 12 & 13, 2016. tough events/world’stoughest-mudder

former job. ‘The growth in OR in the last couple of years is phenomenal,’ he says. ‘Athletes racing for prize money, live TV coverage, sponsorship. These are exciting times.’ There’s a loud countdown and we’re of. First up, a giant A-frame cargo net. I get of to an ignominious start, dithering over whether to do the roly-poly thing over the top, or straddle it. I opt for the latter, slip and land on my crotch. Presumably this doesn’t happen to Albon. As we tackle a series of wall climbs, net crawls and river crossings, the wave begins to thin out and I find a rhythm. I’m running with a mate, James, and prior to the start we’d spoken of sticking together. In practice, it proves unworkable: we’re too preoccupied with the obstacles. We’re also way too selfish. This is not the OR way. Non-elites are encouraged to help one another out, to work as teams (Tough Mudder estimates that 90 per cent of its competitors sign up as part of a team). It soon becomes apparent why, as we’re confronted with our first Irish Table – think large wooden wall with generous overhanging lip. It takes me three or four goes, plus an anonymous shove. Around the 2km mark I get word that the Super Slide (cargo-net climb, ski-jump slide, probable face-plant into lake) has been damaged and is therefore out of action. @runnersworlduk


Photography Ben Knight, Jacques Holst, Tough Mudder

POLE POSITION Duncan Craig is not sure if he’s on the up and up or down on his luck

It’s a measure of the pain I’m already feeling that I’m not in the least bit saddened. There’s to be no such reprieve from the Dragon’s Back, which follows shortly afterwards – it requires competitors to jump between a sequence of increasingly mud-daubed platforms with just a horizontal bar to catch onto. I manage it, tentatively, though hear later that several OR veterans dismounted and took the time penalty. It’s not clear whether the event’s two broken ankles and one dislocated shoulder are sustained here, though I wouldn’t be surprised. Ah yes, the thorny issue of safety. Like trash-talking boxers at a weigh-in, OR events love to brag about the sufering they’re going to inflict. Race names often have a martial flavour; obstacles are frequently named after instruments of pain. But neck braces don’t play so well on social media, and nor do the scrutiny

The Novice: Sara Forsström, 24 Toughest London was only the psychology student’s second OR, but she’s taken with the sport and has signed up for more events. ‘It was really good fun. The course was very muddy, with a lot of water, which shouldn’t have surprised me, knowing the UK weather. The 8km distance was about right for me. I do a lot of running, but don’t like to go further than

8-10km. But, being new to OR, I struggled with the technical side of some obstacles, particularly the rings. I could have done with some practice. I like that obstacle racing is a challenge, though. I like the feeling of getting in the mud and then feeling exhausted afterwards, like I’ve really pushed myself. It’s awesome. You can’t really get that feeling any other way.’

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and legal claims that have followed the strokes, seizures, paralysis and even isolated deaths that have occurred at events. So behind all the bluster there’s meticulous attention to safety, while the indemnification forms to be signed by competitors can be closer to booklets. There’s evidence that some of the shock and awe obstacles (read, electric shock and awe) on which OR was initially marketed are falling out of favour. Tough Viking, another Swedish series, dispensed with electrified obstacles earlier this year, while Tough Mudder is now far more reticent about its once-signature Electroshock Therapy and doesn’t feature it in its Tough Mudder Half. ‘Safety has tightened up and insurance firms have definitely become more aware,’ says Wibberly. ‘Races are having to provide safety paperwork and risk assessments for each individual obstacle, and even terrain is assessed before insurance is given.’ Specialised OR equipment has also helped reduce injuries. ‘You used to see road runners turning up in road shoes and slipping all over the place,’ says Wibberly. The mindset of competitors has changed, too, says Albon: ‘I think obstacle racing gets quite dangerous when people put on a Superman outfit and think they’re invincible. But if you keep your head, then it’s not. All the obstacles are properly built.’

LOGGER RHYTHM If a tree falls in a forest, pick it up and carry it

Tough love I push on through a stretch of gently sloping forest. The blare of the main arena is now a faint sound in the distance. It’s just me, dappled sunshine and the squelch of my trainers. It’s magical, but it doesn’t last. Waiting beyond the trees is an obstacle that wasn’t on the course map: gradient. The long run up the mossy valley side, feet sliding on the uneven surface, slows many to a walk. At the top are what look like gallows. Kettle bells, each weighing 40kg, are being hauled up and lowered. ‘Any idea how you can get rid of a stitch?’ asks the girl next to me, her face etched with pain. ‘Yeah, stop doing things like this,’ I almost say. My legs are rubber and by the time I finish here so are my arms. Still, I’m prepared. Sort of. Most OR athletes agree that training should hinge on three key elements: running, of course; circuit training, with an emphasis on bodyweight exercises; and climbing, for grip strength. I’ve worked hard on the first two, focusing on shorter, faster runs with plenty of hills, high-intensity interval training, and a fair amount of core work. It’s interesting to note that the varied training that ORs demand can aid your running, making you a more eicient and balanced athlete. My 5K and 10K PBs have both fallen in the months leading up to race day. I’ve no idea how I’m doing timewise (there’s no way I was going to subject my Garmin to this mudfest) but sense I’m doing OK. No-one has passed me for several kilometres and I’m picking of the odd straggler. The trail tightens into a series of obstacle-heavy switchbacks: traverse rings, over-and-unders, the peg wall. I dig in, close to my limit. Then, abruptly, I round a bend to be confronted by the 4.5m ramp – the marquee obstacle and grand finale. It’s dispiritingly/inspiringly public (delete as appropriate). Given that I’m 5ft 8ins, this has been the source of much prerace banter with my 6ft 4in running mate. I watch three or four people fail, then a woman 070 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

HEAD COUNT Come in, number 3822 – you look terrible

zips past, head down, like a pole vaulter trying to hit maximum speed before take-of. She clatters into the ramp, lunges, catches the lip and with her momentum she’s up and over. Inspired, I follow her exact path with the same result. Then it’s down the fireman’s pole and over the finish line for a medal, posed photo, wristband and (a first, this) warm embrace from one of the female marshals. I must look like I need it. I’m shattered and sore, my knees and elbows are skinned, and my trainers are going in the bin. But I feel elated – unnaturally so, in fact, for a race-seasoned, innately cynical 40-year-old. I find out my time a few days later: 1:18. Jon Albon finished in 44 minutes. ‘I had a few technical problems,’ he tells me. Indeed.

Where next? My season ends here. For Albon, this is just one mudcaked rung on a brutally demanding ladder. From here it’s on to the seven other Toughest races in Scandinavia, as well as the Skyrunner Extreme trio of mountain races. Then it’s the Spartan World Championships in the US, back for the Toughest final in Sweden, then back Stateside the following weekend for the Obstacle Racing Championships, to defend his title. @runnersworlduk


The Devotee: S h a ro n A l exa n d e r, 3 5 Having started running ORs a year ago, the retail area manager now represents OR team Muddy Kit, and has qualified for the UK, European and world championships. ‘What I like about obstacle racing is that it really is for everyone. You’ve got those going for good times, but also the fun runners there for a giggle. And while in road racing it’s more evident how you’re doing

in a race, in OR, with its waves and crowded courses, it’s less clear. Some obstacles definitely favour men, who tend to be taller with more upper body strength. But I’m only 5ft 4in, which helps me get through tunnels and under nets, so it evens out. I also love that you can go away and work on your technique for a particular obstacle, then really see an improvement.’

Photography Ben Knight, Getty

MUDDY WATERS This is the sort of thing that would give anyone the blues

This fragmentation is a bit like the boxing world. New federations pop up all the time, and it feels like there’s a battle being waged for the true soul of OR: is it pastime or sport? Challenge or race? Tough Guy or Toughest? Most agree there needs to be consolidation of sorts, but as the weaker events fall away, are we going to see homogeneity or diferentiation? The talk of OR becoming an Olympic sport is predicated on the former, but support for that is far from universal. Albon could see OR lighting up an Olympics. He calls it the embodiment of the Olympian ideal. But that’s not to say he wants it to happen. ‘Every race being diferent is one of the beauties of obstacle racing,’ he says. ‘We don’t get bored because it’s always a new experience.’ At the finish, I meet Robin and Steven. The couple – she from near Edinburgh, he from Cumbria – met on the slopes of Everest (that’s Everest, the showpiece ramp in Tough Mudder Scotland). Steve helped Robin up and they’ve been enjoying dirty weekends together ever since. Robin admits to being a ‘complete addict’. If anything, Steven’s worse. The 29-year-old has appeared on ITV’s OR spin-of, Ninja Warrior, and once completed three laps of a Tough Mudder – a total of 36 miles – in one hit. But both agree that the OR phenomenon is about

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Tough Guy Perton, Stafordshire The granddaddy of the OR scene. The summer version includes three ‘tastes’ of a section called ‘the killing fields’. July 31, 2016;

more than mud and obstacles. ‘The social scene is very important,’ says Steven. ‘When I started it was a weekend away from the farm, a way to have a drink and meet a few people. I wouldn’t want OR to lose that.’ In Rat Race founder Jim Mee they have a kindred spirit. A fortnight after Toughest, his company’s Dirty Weekend at Burghley House, Lincolnshire – 200 obstacles over 20 miles – attracts 6,000 competitors. The obstacle enforcement is somewhat lax (‘Some people just ran straight past,’ Robin later tells me), but there are no complaints about the festival-like big-top after-party. ‘The trend of late has been towards more elite and serious propositions, but we’ve always seen OR as simply a fun thing to do,’ Mee tells me. ‘All this Olympics talk...I don’t buy into it. Obstacle racing has to be fun. If you can’t come away having had a few beers afterwards, with a smile on your face, something’s wrong.’ In that respect at least, perhaps obstacle racing hasn’t evolved all that much. And while running purists may still baulk, it remains a pretty appealing ethos for those of us looking to spice the standard diet of 10Ks and half marathons with a taste of mud, sweat and beers. For details on Toughest events see 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 071


THIS MONTH’S EXPERT PANEL PAMELA NISEVICH BEDE Sports nutrition expert and consultant. p76

JO PAVEY The former European 10,000m champ has competed at four Olympic Games. p78

ALEX HUTCHINSON Author of Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? (Harper Collins). p79

MATTHEW KADEY Nutrition expert and author of Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press). p83

TIMOTHY OLSON Holder of the Western States 100 course record of 14:46:44. p84


Happy holiday Find the balance between running and relaxing


Surprise! Trick yourself into running faster and stronger


It’s in the blood Get enough iron or your run could take an age


Bum note Neglect your smaller glute muscles at your peril

Photograph Mitch Mandel

ERIKA MUNDINGER Physio working in orthopaedics and sports medicine. p89

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Words AC Shilton Photography Getty Images/CoberSchneider

Keep shining in late summer with the right seasonal goal to keep you fit, fast and fired up ummer can be a tricky time for runners. Sure, you’ve got long days, but sunshine can be draining. And holidays, barbecues and other seasonal fun can tempt you to skip your runs, especially if you’re not training for something. ‘There are a lot of distractions for athletes during summer,’ says Ryan Bolton, who coaches 2015 Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich. ‘So you have to create time every day – in advance – for your workouts.’ Choosing a goal to carry you through what’s left of summer will keep you from getting stuck in a slothful rut. So put down that mojito (at least until later), grab your sunscreen and shades, and set your sights on one of these four targets.


NAIL A SHORTER RACE There’s a reason why 5Ks and 10Ks are so popular in summer – they're short! Runners who aim to race one of these distances should run three or four days per week, working up to a long run of at least three miles (for the 5K) or six miles (for the 10K) a week or two before the event. Runners with time goals should build their 5K or 10K training around speedwork. If you’re new to faster running, start by adding five to 10 strides of 30-60 seconds (where you accelerate to your 5K or 10 race pace), with a minute or two of jogging between each, in the middle of one run per week. For more experienced runners, Bolton suggests short, hard eforts once or twice a week to build power and turnover. ‘Focus on 200-600m repeats,’ he says. Do some workouts with short jogging recovery intervals (to build endurance and 076 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

mental toughness) and other workouts with walking or stationary rest (so you can do every rep close to all-out). For peak performance, race no more than once per month, says running coach Joan Scrivanich. In addition to speedwork, advanced runners who want to notch a 5K or 10K PB ought to add weekly tempo and long runs to build and maintain aerobic fitness. For tempo eforts, Bolton has his athletes work up to maintaining 85-90 per cent of 10K pace for three to four miles. Long runs can be fairly short – the average runner doesn’t need to run more than eight to 10 miles to ace a 5K or 10K.

LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD Summer is a good time to lose weight: it’s salad season, outdoor activities are abundant and heat can suppress appetite. Also, a study in

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found working out in warm temperatures burned more fat than exercising in cold weather. While eating nutrient-dense, whole foods is crucial for weight loss, strategic workouts can help, too. ‘High-intensity interval training [HIIT] is very efective for weight loss,’ says Pamela Nisevich Bede, a registered dietitian and co-author of Run Your Belly Of (HearstRodale). For maximum results, keep both the work and the rest intervals short – neither should be longer than a minute – and do each rep as hard as you can. (See HIIT it, right, for workout ideas.) Nisevich Bede also recommends running first thing in the morning when possible,

HIIT IT High-intensity interval training burns calories and builds speed. Jog for 15 mins to warm up before a session, and do the same to cool down at the end.


IN THE SUMMERTIME… Go shorter, go lighter or go easy

of your usual mileage is enough to allow you to pick up where you left of. The most expedient way to work training into your schedule is to get it done first thing. If you go later, you might feel more motivated (or less guilty) if you can involve your companions in some way – say, by challenging your kids to ride bikes alongside you as you run. When you travel, shift your focus to fitting in whatever you can. If you’ve only got a few minutes to work out, don’t get sucked in to the ‘it’s not worth it’ trap, says Bolton. Do a plank, some burpees or squats – anything to activate your muscles and/or get your heart pumping. However, if the stress of squeezing in these workouts outweighs the satisfaction you would derive from completing them, just set a goal of coming back refreshed and ready to recommit. You’ll lose some fitness if you do nothing for a week or two, but your priority should be to enjoy your time away, says Scrivanich.





On a track, run 200m at the fastest pace you can hold without feeling out of control – roughly your one-mile race pace or slightly faster. Jog 100m to recover. Do eight to 12 reps.

Do a 20-sec hard efort, followed by 10 secs’ rest (very slow jogging) and repeat eight times. Run at a level that allows you to perform the remainder of the workout at the same pace without sacrificing form towards the end, as fatigue builds.

Run 30 seconds hard, then jog for 30 seconds. Follow this with 45 seconds and 60 seconds hard (30-second jog recoveries), then work back down to 30 seconds. That’s one set; do two to five.

because your metabolism works at an accelerated pace for several hours post-exercise. To further harness this efect, you could split up a moderate-to-long easy run into two shorter runs – one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening – so you can spend more time in that increased metabolic state.

STAY COMMITTED It can be especially tough to work out when you’re on holiday with friends or family. However, you can stay in shape with a minimal amount of miles. Bolton says two weeks of running only 40 per cent

Toughing out warm conditions pays of in autumn: as you acclimatise to the heat, your body produces more blood to help cool you while you exercise, and that surplus helps fuel muscles even after temperatures drop. However, there’s a point at which it’s better to take workouts indoors. ‘If I know my athlete will sacrifice the quality of the run because of the heat, I’ll have them do the run on the treadmill,’ Bolton says – his threshold is whenever the heat index (a measure that factors in temperature and humidity) hits 35C. Thankfully, we only encounter extreme temperatures like this in the UK once in a blue moon. Even conditions that aren’t quite that stifling will have an efect on your performance, so lower your expectations for warm outdoor workouts. How much you’ll slow down depends on many factors, including the humidity, your fitness level, your body type, how acclimatised you are to the heat and how hydrated you are. Cut yourself some slack if your watch and your perceived efort don’t match up. For best results on any run, ‘Try to run early in the morning or in the evening if you can,’ says Scrivanich. If you’re running long, ensure you stay hydrated by stashing frozen bottles along your route or by wearing a hydration pack or belt. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 077


In a fartlek run, is  there a minimum duration of faster intervals? A fartlek is a continuous run that includes harder eforts, with easy running between them. The number of intervals depends on what you are trying to get out of the session and also the event you are training for. A more endurance-based fartlek may involve fewer but longer intervals – you might only do four or five intervals, with each one lasting four or five minutes. In contrast,

a speedier fartlek might involve up to 10 intervals, each lasting around a minute. You could also mix and match, whereby you start with longer, slower eforts and progress to shorter, faster eforts (see below for an example). Finally, for a completely free-form fartlek, you can just put in surges as you feel, perhaps using specific landmarks on your running route.

WORKOUT STRUCTURED FARTLEK Why do it: This workout builds endurance and speed. The intervals get shorter, so try to increase your perceived exertion and run slightly faster with each one. This session also encourages you to find speed when you’re tired. How to do it:

What’s your top tip for good running form?

Ensure you have good biomechanics in your hips and pelvis. In some runners, when their foot strikes the ground, their opposite hip drops too much, as muscle weakness prevents them from maintaining their pelvis in a neutral position. Good moves to strengthen this area are sidelying leg lifts and slow one-legged squats. Restricted hip extension – common in those who sit in an oice for most of the day – creates poor form and may also cause problems in the hips and lower back. Tight muscles at the front of the hips cause the pelvis to get pulled forwards, arching the back. The kneeling lunge stretch is a good move to stretch your hip flexors. Glute strength is vital, too. Maintain strong glutes with the bridge: lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Raise your hips of the floor so your body is straight from shoulders to knees, holding your pelvis level. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.


How do you get over the disappointment of a bad run?

It’s important to put every bad run into perspective. Even with the best preparation, there will be times when you have bad workouts and races. With running, sometimes you also need that little bit of good fortune so everything feels great on the day. It’s part of the sport, so don’t get too down. The most positive way forward is to use the bad run as a learning experience. Record the race or workout in your training diary and see if you can identify any possible cause of your performance. It may be obvious if you had disruption to training because of illness or injury. But if you’re not sure, it’s useful to work out what aspects of your training you had not given as much attention to as you should have. Once you’ve analysed the situation, set yourself a new goal to boost your motivation. This might be a long way of, but it will keep you looking forward, rather than dwelling on disappointment.

5-minute efort (90 secs steady) 4-minute efort (90 secs steady) 3-minute efort (5:30 mins steady for longer mid-workout recovery) 2-minute efort (90 secs steady) 90-second efort (90 secs steady) 60-second efort (90 secs steady) 30-second efort (60 secs steady) 30-second efort 10-minute easy warm-down

Total workout time: 51:30

Email your training, racing and running queries to with the subject ‘Elite Advice’.*

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Photograph Getty *Please note: Jo Pavey is unable to respond directly to emails


10-minute steady warm-up

The surprise of an extra rep or a short recovery develops your ability to push through fatigue.

REST ROULETTE Run 10 x 400m, with the rest intervals determined by the 100th-of-a-second digit on your watch after timing each previous rep, multiplied by 20. For example, if the first 400 takes 1:18.36, take 6 x 20 = 120 seconds of rest. Run each repeat as if you had 90 seconds of rest (but slow down as needed if you hit a streak of short rests). And be ready for a time that ends in zero, because that means you have to do another 400m straight away. Don’t get hung up on pace – the goal is to push when you think you have nothing left in the tank.

FOLLOW THE LEADER With training partners of similar fitness, run an unstructured fartlek in which you take turns leading, but don’t tell the others how far or fast the rep will be. For example, four runners could do 12 repetitions so that each person leads three times. The repetitions might last from 30 seconds to five minutes, at mile to half-marathon pace, with a minute or two of recovery. This simulates the challenge of matching a competitor’s surge during a race.

UNKNOWN QUANTITY Uncertainty workouts can trick your brain into making you run further and faster

mby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon champion, RW contributor and all-around running sage, once revealed the ‘absolute, no-doubt-in-the-world, best running workout you can do’: run five one-mile repeats as hard as you can with 400-metre recovery jogs – and then, when you’ve finished, have your coach tell you to do another fast mile. From such workouts, he wrote, ‘you’ll learn forever that you’re capable of much more than you think. It’s the most powerful lesson you can possibly learn in running.’ Burfoot’s workout uses deception as a way of tapping into your hidden reserves. You may think you’ve nothing left when you finish a hard workout, but scientists have repeatedly shown that people can actually maintain a similar pace for another few reps after completing a prescribed workout. And the benefits can be substantial. In one study, cyclists who were fooled into riding farther than expected were subsequently able to race 13 per cent faster when they knew the correct distance. If you don’t have a coach, here are some other ways of doing workouts to introduce uncertainty and surprise that will trick you into running further or faster than you thought possible.

Words Alex Hutchinson Photograph Joshua Simson


LANDMARK FARTLEK If you’re running solo, replicate the challenge of Follow the Leader by starting and stopping surges depending on unpredictable external cues that occur every few minutes. Depending on where you run, that could be passing cars, cyclists, traic lights, dogs and so on. If there are lots of pedestrians on your route, surge until you’ve passed 10 of them, then jog until you pass five more, and repeat.

SPEED SHUFFLE Put an upbeat playlist on shule and let the song order dictate your workout. For example, run at 10K pace during songs with a female singer, then jog during tracks with a male singer, and keep going until you’ve accumulated at least 20 minutes of fast running. You can achieve the same thing by varying genre or artists. Designate one or two tracks that mean you have to surge at mile race pace for a minute, then jog for the rest of the song. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 079


IRONING OUT THE PROBLEM It’s vital for energy and good health, but many of us are low in iron. Here’s what you need to know



Anaemia is a deficiency of red blood cells (RBC) in the body. There are many causes, with iron deficiency being the most common. As a rule, exercise does not predispose a person to anaemia, but the symptoms associated with anaemia – usually excessive fatigue – may become apparent earlier in an athletic person. Iron-deficiency anaemia is more common in women of childbearing age, due to loss during menstruation, and vegetarians are at increased risk if they are not careful about their intake because less iron is absorbed from non-meat food sources.

Foot-strike haemolysis causes red blood cells to be destroyed during exercise. This was initially thought to be caused by compression of capillaries in the feet while running, but the damage has also been noted in swimmers, weightlifters and rowers. This blood-cell loss is typically not significant enough to be detected in a blood test. We all lose iron every day through the gastrointestinal tract, and trace amounts are lost in sweat.


Words Cathy Fieseler Illustration Joshua Simson

A trace element in the body, iron is involved in the function of the immune system, but its most critical role is in getting oxygen to your muscles. So iron is needed for the body’s metabolism and oxygen transport system to function properly – and this is especially important in physical activity. However, iron deficiency is common – according to the World Health Organisation, it’s the most widespread nutritional disorder in the world, afecting people in the industrial world as well as developing countries.

HOW MUCH DO I NEED? Men need 8.7mg per day; women need 14.8mg daily (NHS figures).


WHAT ARE THE BEST FOOD SOURCES OF IRON? Liver (although pregnant women should avoid it), red meat, dark poultry (eg chicken thighs), beans, nuts, dried fruit, wholegrains, fortified breakfast cereals and most dark-green leafy vegetables (such as kale). Heme iron, found in red meat and dark poultry, is a more readily available source of iron (18 per cent absorbed from these foods). Our bodies absorb about 10 per cent of non-heme iron from vegetables and grains. Vitamin C, taken in conjunction with a meal, improves the absorption of non-heme iron, as does meat protein. Tannins (found in tea) and calcium can decrease absorption.

SHOULD I GET CHECKED OUT? If you’re healthy and training is going well, you’re probably fine. But if you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue and/or a decline in your performance that has persisted for weeks, it’s worth getting checked out. Vegetarians and women with heavy periods are at greater risk of low iron and anaemia, and so screening may be justified.

WHAT ABOUT A SUPPLEMENT? Discuss this with your doctor. A supplement [such as Blueiron, £14.99 for 330ml,] can top up dietary intake and is safe in the absence of a condition such as haemochromatosis, a disorder in which iron is absorbed too eiciently and excess amounts are deposited in the organs – about one person in 250 of Northern European descent carries the gene for this. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 081


THAI CARROT Carrots are packed with vitamin A, which supports a healthy immune system. TOSS 450g peeled and chopped carrots, 1 deseeded and quartered orange pepper, 2 peeled shallots and 4 peeled cloves of garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil. ROAST at 200C/400F/gas mark 6 for 30 minutes. Let cool, then blend with 250ml vegetable stock, 1 tin light coconut milk, 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, 1 tbsp honey, the juice of 1 lime, 2 tsp curry powder and a couple of pinches of salt until smooth. CHILL for at least 2 hours; serve with 1 tsp chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts and some torn coriander. Makes 4 servings


Recover after a summer run with a chilled bowl of soup packed with fruit or veg



Words Matthew Kadey Photography Mitch Mandel Food styling Paul Grimes

The carotenes and polyphenols in traditional gazpacho can decrease blood pressure, and the raspberry twist adds sweetness and fibre. PLACE 120ml water, 4 chopped medium tomatoes, 190g raspberries, 175g Peppadew piquanté peppers (£2.99 for 165g,, ½ peeled and chopped cucumber, 1½ tsp fresh thyme, 2 chopped spring onions, 1 chopped clove garlic, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper in a blender. BLEND until slightly chunky. With the machine running on low speed, slowly drizzle in 2 tbsp olive oil. CHILL for at least 2 hours and serve with 2 tsp of crumbled feta. Makes 6 servings .



AVOCADO AND BASIL Help your heart with avocado's healthy fats and your gut with kefir, which is rich in probiotics. BLEND together 360ml water, 360ml plain kefir, 2 small avocados, ½ chopped cucumber,

a handful of basil, 2 chopped spring onions, 1 chopped clove garlic, 1 seeded and chopped jalapeño, the juice of ½ a lime and ½ tsp salt until smooth. With a blender on low speed, slowly drizzle in 2 tbsp olive oil. CHILL for at least 2 hours, then serve topped with 1.5 tsp roasted pumpkin seeds and ½ tsp chopped chives. Makes 6 servings


LEMON-BLUEBERRY Blueberries supply key antioxidants for body and brain health. SIMMER 400g fresh or frozen blueberries, 240ml water, 2 tbsp honey, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt until the berries burst (about 5 mins). PURÉE soup in a blender with zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon, then strain through a sieve back into pan. WHISK together 240ml almond milk with 1½ tbsp cornflour; stir into the blueberry mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring often. CHILL for at least 2 hours. Serve topped with 1 tbsp toasted coconut flakes. Makes 4 servings



The carotenoid lutein, found in corn, can protect and improve eye health. SLICE of the kernels from 3 corn cobs (or use 450g frozen sweetcorn). BLEND with 1 chopped medium butternut squash, 1 chopped seeded yellow pepper, 280g plain Greek yoghurt, 175ml veg stock, juice of ½ lemon, 1 chopped shallot, 2 chopped cloves garlic, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp chilli powder and ¼ tsp salt until smooth. CHILL for at least 2 hours and serve with 1½ tsp pesto. Makes 6 servings 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 083


Meditation can help you fulfill your running potential. RW’s Kelly Bastone finds her focus rofessional ultra runner Timothy Olson was nearing mile 70 of the 2012 Western States 100 when he lost his mojo. ‘The burning in my lungs and legs was at a 10, and each downhill stomp sent stabbing pain into my quads,’ says Olson, who watched as another competitor overtook his lead. Olson might have reacted with panic and alarm. But he had recently taken up meditation, and the practice helped him focus on his breath, acknowledge his worries and feel a powerful sense of calm. By lowering the volume of the emotional racket, he was able to hear what his body needed: a little fuel and a few minutes of slow, recuperative running. Tuning into his body and tuning out negative thinking enabled him to react in a smart, strategic way. A few miles later, rested and refuelled, Olson surged ahead, winning the race and setting the course record. ‘That’s when my meditation practice really clicked for me,’ says Olson, 32. ‘That proved it wasn’t just some fad, but that there were actual results.’ If you think meditation is only for those who like to spend hours chanting ‘Om’ on retreats, think again – there are clear parallels between running and meditation. And you don’t have to be an ultra


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runner slugging it out for a win to benefit from the practice, says Olson. He believes a daily dose can calm your mind, improve your health and help you find more joy in the sport – and in your life. How many times have you finished a run with a feeling of mental clarity, or found that it has helped to put wider worries into perspective? That’s similar to the mind state produced by meditation. Both running and meditation require discipline: just as you need a good base to run a marathon, you need regular meditation practice to begin to feel its benefits. Runners are also used to working with inner experiences – to run long distances, for example, we have to work through boredom and fatigue, and we’re used to dealing with adversity. DEEP THOUGHT Although meditation is an ancient practice, in 2012 Sakyong Mipham, a nine-time marathoner and director of Shambhala, a global network of meditation and retreat centres, popularised meditation and running with his book Running with the Mind of Meditation. He found that synchronising his mind and body improved his enjoyment of the sport. Olson became so convinced of meditation’s positive @runnersworlduk

NEW HORIZONS Meditation can help you silence your inner critic

powers, he started ofering threeand four-day Run Mindful Retreats in Colorado and California last year. These involve guided meditation sessions and group runs that focus on helping athletes discover running as a peaceful and enjoyable activity, not something that generates angst or discomfort. That sounded like my kind of nirvana. Running has rarely felt efortless to me; I struggle with incessant internal commentary – which tends to be hypervigilant about underperforming legs and unseemly jiggles. I hoped that meditation would help me muzzle those critical voices.


Sitting quietly and taking deep breaths reduces stress and boosts feelings of wellbeing.

So one Saturday morning last August, I found myself in Boulder, Colorado, sitting cross-legged with 20 other runners of varying ages and abilities, each of whom was hoping that Olson’s coaching would help them get greater enjoyment from their running. Over the course of the retreat, we would go on several group trail runs, each one preceded by a 10-minute meditation session. Olson recommends practising meditation when you aren’t running, to build a base of mental fitness that you can tap into during workouts when you may be too tired or distracted to try to quiet your mind. As I sat, I took stock of my mental state and worked on suspending judgment (see Try it, p87). Meditation, I learned, is the practice of observing without reacting, and of training the mind to focus on the present, rather than dwelling on the past or an imagined future. Often using breathing exercises, awareness practices and visualisation techniques, it allows the mind and body to more directly communicate for improved exercise performance and body awareness. Applying that mindset to running brings a host of benefits (see Zenefits, p86). When my calf tightened up during one run, I refused to worry and made a calmer assessment; and I was able to adapt my pace until it recovered. Staying positive felt like a huge victory. Instead of feeling defeated, I felt acceptance – and happiness. It can work for you, too. Turn the page to learn about the meditation techniques that can help you to transform your running. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 085

How quieting your mind can transform your emotional and physical wellbeing

RUN HAPPIER People who meditate report improvements in mood and wellbeing, which may help running feel like a reward, not a chore. When you focus on the present moment rather than worrying about past or future disappointments, you start to notice plenty of fleeting details that are worth savouring, such as the sights and sounds of nature.

STAY RELAXED Meditation may help you relax for optimal performance. Runners sometimes tense up over key races or workouts – and tension sucks up valuable physical and mental energy. ‘Having my mind calm and focused before a big race is the key to a solid finish,’ says Olson.

AVOID INJURY ‘Taking stock of your mental and physical state during meditation allows you to make better choices about your workout,’ says Olson. ‘Registering a tight hamstring or grouchy Achilles helps you to adapt your training before injury strikes.’

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TOLERATE PAIN BETTER Of course, you don’t want to dismiss pain: it can indicate injury, but more minor discomforts, such as a blister or a stitch, can feel less disastrous when you apply meditation’s central tenet of observation without alarm. ‘We intensify pain when we fixate on it,’ says Olson. ‘But when we relax and accept it, it fades in strength and often becomes pretty tolerable.’

RUN FURTHER… By confining your attention to the now (rather than thinking about how awful you might feel at mile 18), you can focus on simply moving forward – which results in better long-haul endurance.

…WITH MORE FREEDOM ‘Meditation has helped me tune into myself more clearly, without distractions like wanting to know how far it is to the next aid station, or how fast my last mile was,’ says Olson. ‘Focusing on my breath and my next step has allowed me to tap into an innate ability to know what my body craves at that moment, and allows me to enjoy the run.’


Photography Getty, Tim Kemple/courtesy of the North Face (Olson running)


A CALMING EFFECT Mindful solutions to four of the most common runners’ anxieties







‘Closing your eyes, connecting with your breath, and following it up and down your chest can ease the butterflies,’ says Olson. ‘Before a race I also resolve to have fun; to accept each moment however it plays out; and to be grateful for my body, mind and loved ones cheering me on.’

‘I take a breath and allow my body to be at ease, relaxing my muscles and mind,’ says Olson. ‘I scan my body. I check my posture, ask myself how much I’ve eaten and drunk, and I problem-solve. If I need to stop and stretch, I accept whatever emotions arise and try to just witness what I’m feeling, rather than reacting negatively.’

‘Problems are inevitable, so your reactions are the key,’ Olson says. ‘Look at the situation with a curious mind. Often, you can find something positive. Still, it’s okay to be frustrated and to let those emotions ebb and flow. Try to be grateful that you are capable of running, living, laughing and suffering.’

‘I use mantras a lot, which can be a single phrase such as “Just breathe”, “I am resilient” or “I am a mountain,” Olson says. “Sometimes I say my sons’ names. At our retreat, I heard someone whispering ‘Just one more mindful step’ as he climbed up a steep ascent on tired legs.”


1/ Sit with your eyes closed. A spot with minimal distractions is ideal, but you don’t need a monastery: the point is to practise tuning out intrusions. 2/ Focus on your breath – breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth.

ONE STEP AT A TIME Meditation helped Timothy Olson (left) win the Western States 100

3/ Quiet your brain. ‘Imagine your mind as a clear, calm blue sky,’ says Olson. Sometimes a storm of clouds obscures that blue sky, but it’s always there in the background. Ride your breath into that less turbulent space. 4/ Do a body scan. Take stock: how are you feeling?

Where do you feel tense? Where do you feel light? Don’t try to change anything, just observe. 5/ Suspend judgement. ‘It’s OK if you’re having a stressful day,’ Olson says. Try to notice how you’re feeling without becoming discouraged. When your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath – again and again and again. 6/ Build endurance. Start with five minutes; work up to 20 or 30. ‘Meditation is exercise for your brain,’ Olson says. ‘The more you do it, the easier it becomes.’ run-mindful-retreats

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Work the smaller glutes to stay injury-free he exercises you may rely on to work your glutes – squats, dead lifts, lunges – target the big part of your buttocks known as gluteus maximus. But that regime neglects the gluteus medius, the smaller muscle that runs along the side of your rear and keeps your pelvis steady when you run. A weak or inactive medius can cause instability down your leg. To prevent that, do this activation and strength routine from physiotherapist Erika Mundinger once or twice a week before an easy run.




Standing on your right leg, sit back into your hips as far as possible while maintaining balance. Keep your right knee in line with your toes. Drive back up to standing. Perform three sets of 10 reps on each leg.

Lie on your back with a resistance band around your legs (just above your knees). Push your knees out and raise your hips. Lower back down, maintaining outward tension on the band. Perform three sets of 10-20 reps.



Activation moves ‘turn on’ muscles, so do them first

Stand with your right leg on a step. Lower your left foot so that your right hip drops and pushes out to the side. Drive up by pushing through your right hip until your left foot is above the step. Perform three sets of 10 reps on each leg.

Lie on your side, back against a wall. Flex your top foot and lift your leg as high as you can, keeping your heel against the wall. Do it with a towel under your foot, so it glides. Do three sets of 10 reps on each side.


Words Lauren Bedosky Photography Mitch Mandel

Stand on a smooth surface with a small towel under your left foot. Keeping your weight on your right leg, slide your left foot behind and around your right leg until you end in a lunge. Push through your right hip to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 reps on each side.



Place your left foot on a step behind you and sit back into your hips so the left foot is flat and your right heel touches the floor. Press into your left foot to stand up and of the step. Perform 10-20 times on each foot. Do three sets.

With a band around your ankles, stand with legs hipwidth apart. Bend your knees a little and step one foot to the side. Follow with the other foot so your legs are again hip-width apart. Perform 10-20 reps on each side. Do three sets. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 089

Prepare to repair Recovery from training isn’t just about that protein-packed post-run snack. Here’s what you need to get back on track and stay there 090 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

P5 WIRELESS HEADPHONES £329.99, Perhaps not what you expected to see among the foam rollers and balms, but according to research in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, music can enhance recovery after intense runs. These deliver post-run luxury and an immersive experience (the sound quality is superb), while Bluetooth connectivity means you’re wire-free to stretch/foam roll/demolish ice cream at your leisure.


CURRANZ £29 for 30, Pop two of these tablets half an hour before a tough training run. Made from New Zealand blackcurrants, they contain plant-based compounds called anthocyanins, which are high in antioxidant properties, helping to fight cell damage caused by hard training. COLLAGEN MSM PLUS £49.99 for 20 days, the Collagen is the main protein in our connective tissue; it’s what’s holding your body together right now. This daily supplement, to be taken each morning, helps support collagen strength and growth, and reduce the efects of heavy training – meaning better joint mobility, healthy cartilage and stronger bones.

Words Kerry Mccarthy, Joe Mackie Photography Kat Pisiolek


MAXIMUS PRO REBOUNDER £159.99, Here’s a fun way to cool down after a run. According to James Winfield, fitness director of Rebound UK, 10 minutes of lowintensity bouncing after training opens up your lymph valves promoting lymphatic drainage and flushing out the exerciseinduced waste products that can cause muscles soreness.



MORPHY RICHARDS 461005 SLOW COOKER £59.99, It’s important to refuel as quickly as possible after training, to support optimum muscle recovery. Make life easy for yourself by preparing your food before you head out. Stick a casserole in the slow cooker and when you return from your run all you have to do is serve and eat.

After a long, hard run, simply squirt a slug of this luxurious liquid in your bath, sink in and let the blend of essential oils – orange, patchouli and rosemary – soothe your tired and aching muscles. The formula also contains the electrolytes magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium, to help repair the mineral imbalance caused by sweating.

SMARTFISH LIPID+ £2.20, Part of a mini range of three drinks (Lipid+, Protein and Recharge) from Norwegian brand Smartfish, this is a recovery drink specifically targeted at endurance athletes. It contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are high in antiinflammatory antioxidants to help you recover quicker post-run. The mix of pear, pomegranate and apple juice tastes pretty good, too.

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MUC-OFF RECOVERY BALM £24 for 150ml, As well as releasing a blessedly soothing, cooling sensation on your aching muscles, this balm contains the amino acid glutamine, which is a building block of protein, helps with muscle-cell growth and guards against muscle degradation. Slather on generously.



US massage-tool brand Tiger Tail recently launched in the UK. This ball on a rope is perfect for getting into tight spots on your back. Simply position it between your back and a convenient wall, readjust using the rope and rub away like a bear at a tree.

This tool will help you get the most out of your post-training stretching routine. It’s a non-stretchy nylon band with six grips on each side. They allow you to adjust your grip for the right tension, and so you can note your progress: you’ll change which ones you grab as your flexibility improves.



HALF ROUND ROLLER (90cm) £22, This can be used as a wobble board for stability training, as well as a massage tool. It’s good for lower legs but we found it best for loosening up the upper and middle back before and after a run. Simply lie on the floor with the roller placed horizontally underneath you and lean back until your head touches the floor.

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TRIGGER POINT COLD ROLLER £99.99, physicalcompany. Combine cold therapy and post-run massage with this handy tool. Put it in the freezer for two hours before use. The massage will break up knotty muscles and the cold helps reduce exercise-induced inflammation.




The clue to the reason behind the hefty price tag is in the word ‘custom’. Rather than trying to squeeze yourself into the closest of-the-peg size, CEP ofers a bespoke service, making custom tights using 41 measurements supplied by you. You can even have your name stitched onto them.

This compression top comes with finely spun copper woven into the top. Copper helps reduce inflammation and boosts circulation – both attributes you want after a tough training session. The top is also antibacterial, fast-wicking and has a UPF of 30.

RECOVERY FLIP FLOPS OOFOS OORIGINAL (Fuschia) £40, The ergonomically designed footbed feels like a dream on your tired feet. The makers claim that the foam absorbs 37 per cent more shock than other foams. Whatever the figure, there’s no doubt they feel springy and deeply luxurious.


MAGNESIUM OIL £12.20 for 100ml,


Magnesium helps with bone strength, energy production, muscle contractions and muscle recovery, as well as many other functions. Rub some of this on before bed to relax the afected muscles.

We’re big fans of this sleep aid. Spray the combination of lavender, patchouli, wild camomile and wild vetivert (among other ingredients) onto your pillow, lie back and…zzz.




Get one of these babies in your kitchen and you can look forward to efortless post-run smoothies, soups and juices that will take no more than a couple of minutes to make. For a midafternoon snack: throw a banana, two scoops of chocolate protein powder (Sun Warrior, £24.95 for 500ml,, 350ml of almond milk, six ice cubes and two tablespoons of almond butter in the blender, whizz it up and guzzle away.

OK, so these won’t win any fashion awards, but slip them on your feet and let out an ‘ahhhhhhh’. The footbed is deep, especially the heel cup, and comes with support under the arches and metatarsals, as well ofering as a bouncy feel. These flip-flops are also antibacterial and machine-washable.

YOGA BOLSTER £38.99, ‘A bolster is the perfect yoga aid for runners,’ says instructor Annie Rice (anniemayrice. com). ‘It allows you to hold poses for up to five minutes to enable the deep-muscle and tissue release, and calming of your nervous system, that your tired body needs to recover.’

FRUITEATOX £34.99 for 28 days, Take Daytox (ginseng, yerbe mate, liquorice root, fennel seeds, lemon peel and lemon oil) daily, and Sleeptox (chamomile, senna, valerian root, hawthorn leaves, lavender and orange oil) every other evening to help you sleep like a baby.

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Stand and deliver This home device offers fitness on a plate Powerplate Personal Plate £1,194, Powerplate is a vibrating exercise machine often seen in gyms and this is the first true home-use version. You perform moves while standing on the plate, which vibrates in three directions 30-50 times per second. The theory is that this highfrequency vibration can give benefits such as increased muscle definition and strength, and better flexibility. The Personal Plate weighs less than 20 per cent of a commercial model, comes without the vertical handles and can be slotted under a sofa when not in use. There are high- and low-vibration settings, and a 30- and 60-second timer, all of which you control with a remote.

RW verdict The hefty price means this is definitely a luxury purchase, and if you’re wondering, ‘Do I, as a runner, really need it?’, the answer is no. The moves you can do on the Personal Plate can also be performed on the ground. However, over a two-month testing period our tester found it was handy for a prerun 10-minute warm-up, great for post-training massage on the legs and it added fun to a body-weight workout. Our tester also noted some improvement in flexibility. Some design tweaks need to be made, though – at 17kg this is still a heavy item for home use, so it could do with being lighter, and having only two vibration frequencies and two time options is insuicient.

Hip flexor stretch

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Waist of space Smart, adaptable storage options for when you’re going long

OMM Phantom Waist 3L Single-leg balance

£50, This is a good option for different types of run: it can store up to three litres but the bungee cords can pack it down if need be. Large mesh panels across the inside will help with ventilation.

Inov-8 Race Elite 3 £24.99, This is an exceptionally lightweight and flexible pack from trail specialists Inov-8. There’s no padding, but there are two roomy, water-resistant pockets and two bungee cords to hang extras from.

Ultimate Direction Groove Mono £25,

Ultimate Performance Wookey Runner’s Pack £24.99,

A good option if you pack light. It comes in a choice of sizes and has a Velcro belt. There’s a zip pocket for keys, and a compartment that will take a jacket or the 500ml soft bottle that comes with it. If you’re just after somewhere to store the essentials this is the one for you. It has an easy open-and-shut magnetic clasp and also comes with a built-in ID card holder.

Single-leg bridge

Words Kerry McCarthy Photography Kat Pisiolek, Hearst Studios

Lateral step lunge

Osprey Rev Talon 6 Lumbar Pack £50, This is the belt-and-braces option. Great quality, superb lumbar padding, two large rear zipped pockets, two more on the hips, two 600ml bottles, and straps to secure the load and prevent excess bouncing.

Salomon Energy Belt £24.50, This is a superbly breathable belt, with plenty of mesh panels or ventilation holes to ensure you don’t get too sweaty. There are two compartments – one zipped, one Velcro – and two 200ml flasks. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 095




Deborah Fraser enjoys the Reigate Half Marathon, except for the bit near the end they call Bosh Hill

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TOP BANANA Perfect postrun pick-me-up

ROAD TEST Hot day for a hard run


VERGE OF SUCCESS On the road to a good result

’d better start by coming clean: when I got the call from RW to cover this race I didn’t have a clue where Reigate was. From a quick Google search I learned it was a mere 50-minute hop on the train from central London. This information was enough to convince me that my usual training on flat inner-city streets was all the preparation I needed for race day. If only I’d gone a little further in my investigations and spotted that the Surrey commuter town was the stomping ground of survival expert Ray Mears when he was a boy, I might have concluded there’d be a bit of a test at some point. Which there was. The Reigate Half Marathon was first staged in 2014, attracting 4,000 entrants – a very respectable number for year one. 098 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16


Photography Ben Knight

Reigate Half Marathon My own straw poll of this Surrey (2015 stats) year’s runners was not particularly, or even slightly, First man Ollie Garrod scientific – most of my chats 1:11:58 Finishing stats were conducted in the queue First woman Lucy Deardon O 1:00-1:29 5% for the portable loos – but 1:15:29 O 1:30-1:59 50% there seemed to be an even Last finisher 3:32:30 O 2:00-2:30 32% split of local first-timers No. of finishers TK/2,179 O 2:30+ 13% raising cash for charity and seasoned runners who’d heard about the PB potential of this relatively flat course. A nice touch before the gun was the race The race village by the starting line in commentary from past Olympics that was Priory Park – a stone’s throw from the played over the PA system, so when we all Reigate Caves, a network of leftover set of I was pumped up and ready to do medieval tunnels snaking their way my bit for Queen and country. beneath the town centre – felt more like a Within the first couple of miles I was community fête than simply somewhere pacing at a pleasant rate down wide, flat to dump your bags. In the starting pens country roads heading south towards there was the usual handful of long, lean, Gatwick. I passed a number of horses sub-90-minute runners jiggling their poking their heads curiously over limbs and waiting to streak of into the hedgerows along Lonesome Lane, and distance, but the majority of those present then sped past some pretty swanky seemed to be aiming for around two houses. At mile five I hit the village of hours and happily bounced along to the Hookwood, home to the Black Horse local prerace musical entertainment. Pub, a hostelry that dates back to 1760.


SUN’S UP, THUMBS UP This is how it should feel

September 25 A most regal setting for a run – the route starts and finishes on the Long Walk, with Windsor Castle as the dramatic backdrop. With the route’s long inclines you’re unlikely to get a PB, but it’s a lovely run.

BOURNEMOUTH HALF MARATHON October 2 Part of a weekend-long festival that’s growing in popularity. This relatively flat coastal run takes in both Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, as well as a few cliftop roads.


WORD ON THE STREET The rules don’t apply

CROWD, PLEASING The support was well deserved

From there it was a three-mile stretch along the closed A217 (I always experience a frisson when running on roads that are normally the preserve of cars whizzing along at high speed) and this was when those chasing a quicker time started pulling away with ease. Miles nine to 12 of a half are the ones where fatigue starts to make its presence felt and you hope that the course will be kind to you. No such luck here: whoever had designed the route had sadistically decided to throw in three miles of rolling inclines that would rank somewhere between undulating and hilly, depending on your level of fitness, so it came as a relief when we turned of the road at mile 11 into Littleton Manor Equestrian Centre, for a half-mile canter along ‘the gallops’, a flat, grassy stretch where racehorses are put through their paces. The unseasonably hot September weather meant I and most of those around me looked less like thoroughbreds and more like escapees from the knacker’s yard, with many red-faced runners taking time

out to sit on the grass and chuck bottles of water over their heads. On the other hand, this was the perfect place to test your speed endurance and surging skills if you had it in you. I chose the middle ground, neither stopping to sit down – I wouldn’t have got back up – nor picking up my heels because I knew what was coming. Sure enough, as we approached mile 12 the grumbling started as a giant sign saying ‘Welcome to Bosh Hill’ came into view. This is the sting in the tail that the organisers hope Reigate will become

‘Many red-faced runners took time out to sit on the grass and chuck bottles of water over their heads’

October 16 Take in the city’s most famous sights, including the Bullring, Cadbury World and Edgbaston Cricket Ground, in the biggest half marathon in the Midlands – it draws around 20,000 runners each year.

known for. Fell runners might fall about laughing at the idea that a 300m, 12 per cent incline presents a challenge, but at the end of a long race, Littleton Lane (Bosh Hill’s real name) is the last thing you want to see. Still, the crowds knew that this was where their presence would be the most help, so they’d flocked here in their droves, encouraging us to greater eforts, jokingly ofering piggy backs and handing out jelly babies. But, as they almost say, what slowly crawls up must eventually freewheel down. Reaching the top, it was time to ignore anything I’d ever been told about controlling pace when descending; I just let my momentum do its work as I shot downhill into Priory Park and over the finish line. When I finally came to a halt I discovered I was standing right next to a bacon-butty stall. Now that’s what I call slick race organisation. O Run it The 2016 Reigate Half Marathon is on September 18. Visit 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 099


Race publicity oicer Carl Hanaghan guides you on this looped course along the country lanes that surround this Cheshire market town START Runners gather at Macclesfield Harriers and Athletic Club’s home track. After completing two laps, the route heads into the town.




MILE 2 You pass the Victorian-era West Park, clock tower and the local cemetery. It’s a place of pilgrimage for Joy Division fans, thanks to its memorial to singer Ian Curtis, who died in 1980.

B 6

4 8


MILE 4 An easy downhill stretch takes you into Prestbury (A), which once housed weavers for the local silk industry. Today, it’s been called ‘Britain’s poshest village’, thanks to the celebs who live there, including the England captain, Wayne Rooney.


13 12





MILE 5 After leaving Prestbury, you tackle the first of the course’s two long, steep climbs. MILE 6 You are now surrounded by rolling farmland as you trot along quiet country roads. But you’ll spot the National Trust-owned Hare Hill – its garden is renowned for its rhododendrons.



MILE 7 On a clear day, you can see Jodrell Bank (B), which has been at the forefront of space research for more than 60 years. It also has a discovery centre to visit post-race.

Macclesfield Half Marathon

Cheshire (2015 stats)

Finishing stats O 1:00-1:30: 5% O 1:30-1:45: 22% O 1:45-2:00: 33% O 2:00-2:30: 35% O 2:30-3:00: 5%

First man James Scott-Buccleuch 1:14:32 First woman Victoria Perry 1:31:49 No. of starters/finishers 657/655 (99%)


200 150 100 50 0









100 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16







MILE 9 On a gentle descent, runners skirt Henbury village, another extremely desirable location in Cheshire’s affluent ‘golden triangle’. Look out, too, for St Catherine’s church, with its unusual octagonal tower.

MILE 10 Ready yourself for the toughest part of the route as you climb 80m across two miles of hill. At its crest is the very visible water tower landmark. MILE 12 Once back into Macclesfield, enjoy a slow downhill final mile back. You pass close to Henbury Park, where in 1876 it’s said the first American grey squirrel was introduced to our shores. FINISH In front of the grassy banks of spectators, you finish on the 100m straight, before heading over to that thing beloved of runners the country over: the cake stall. INSIDE STORY Carl Hanaghan says: ‘We’re now in year 15, but we made some changes this year after listening to runners’ feedback. Finishers now get a medal, rather than a T-shirt, with their goodie bag. We’re also getting businesses, school staf and the community generally to set up teams and make running the half or the accompanying 5K a ‘challenge’ to complete. My main worry before race day is hoping we get the numbers out on time and that our pacers don’t get injured. There are two big hills to tackle, but the course isn’t stupidly hard and most of it is on quiet roads. It’s worth looking out for some celebs, as we pass many of their houses in the villages the race goes through. There’s always a brilliant atmosphere at the start and finish at the running track, with its banks packed with spectators – it provides a great setting.’ O Run it The 2016 race is on September 25. For more details, visit @runnersworlduk

Words Adrian Monti Illustration Hans Van Der Maarel Photographs Getty


T H I S M O N T H ’ S T O P - R AT E D E V E N T S B Y R E G I O N *




LOCH NESS MARATHON ROAD – RURAL – HILLY When September 25 Where Inverness Let’s focus not on what you won’t see (Nessie) and instead concentrate on what you will – around 2,500 other runners, highland scenery in its autumnal pomp, distant mountains and the drama of the Loch itself. The course profile has an overall descent, but there are a few testing climbs to keep you honest.


Words Kerry McCarthy *As taken from ratings on

ROAD – TOWN – FLAT When September 18 Where East Yorkshire Hull has not been named the 2017 European City of Culture for nothing. The race organisers have done a superb job of laying out a course that will take you by surprise with its variety: lovely East Park, the Humber Bridge, the historic old town and Island Wharf are among other sights you take in on this race along the streets of the city and into East Riding.





ROAD – TOWN – FLAT When September 18 Where Antrim RW contributor Adrian Monti reviewed this race last year (Sept 2015) and he could barely get all the landmarks he passed into his report. Just some of the sights you can expect to see are the Titanic Quarter, the Botanic Gardens and the King’s Hall, scene of many of boxer Barry McGuigan’s triumphs in the 1980s.

MAN VS MOUNTAIN OFFROAD – RURAL – HILLY When September 5 Where Snowdon This is, to all intents and purposes, a fell race with a twist, and a challenging one at that. The event involves running (as best you can) to the top of Snowdon and back down (22 miles or so), and you’ll also tackle various challenges thrown in by obstaclerace specialists Rat Race. Abseiling and a vertical kilometre climb are among the ‘delights’ to expect.


KENILWORTH HALF MARATHON ROAD – RURAL – HILLY When September 4 Where Warwickshire A brilliant race for finding out just how thorough your training really is. The route is unremarkable enough, apart from the fact that it is almost never flat. There are no climbs worthy of the name, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find your lungs and legs being truly tested. This one attracts about 1,000 runners year after year.




ROAD – TOWN & RURAL – FLAT When September 4 Where Wiltshire There’s no razzmatazz at this 13.1-miler but that’s precisely what attracts the 1,500 or so runners who turn up each year. Club colours are out in abundance and the vibe is very much one of a traditional running event in which participants come to test themselves on a fast, flat and well-organised route.

OFFROAD – RURAL – HILLY When September 11 Where Surrey The runner’s high can feel quite like that point where you’ve drunk just enough booze to think you’re invincible; imagine experiencing both sensations at once. This run round Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking ofers you wine at the fuel stations and some Surrey hills as an excuse for any unsteadiness you might experience.

ROAD – RURAL – FLAT When September 3 Where Norfolk ‘A tarmac treat up and down country roads’ is how one runner summed up this event last year. Expect a small field (around 250) and a buzzy atmosphere. The race starts and finishes in the village of Oxborough, so make a point afterwards of visiting nearby Oxburgh Hall, a stunning National Trust property. 09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 101


Margate, 9:30am CONTACT Terry Brightwell; 07974 355 811; marathonrace@; www. COST £23/£25 E/D YES, £30 •TRAIL •RURAL

WEALD ST GEORGE’S 10K (+) VENUE The Village Green, Long Barn Road, Weald, 10:30am CONTACT Ian Walker;; COST £13/£15 C/D 1/9 E/D YES, £17


VENUE Garstang Sports and Social Club, Community Centre Carpark, High Street, Garstang, 11am CONTACT Garstang Half Marathon; 07764 968 760; www.garstangrc. COST £12/£14 C/D 28/8 E/D YES, +£2

It’s pretty easy – just follow the key below. Calendars at the ready!


THE GRAND TOUR OF SKIDDAW VENUE Lime House School, Holm Hill, Dalston, 8am CONTACT Gaynor Prior; 07968 836 549; info@pureoutdoorsevents.; COST £45 E/D NO



Key to race entries



5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and marathons are clearly shown. Numbers only (eg 5, 20) represent the distance in miles.

The kind of terrain and surroundings: road, trail, hilly, flat, urban and rural.


LEICESTER MARATHON (+) VENUE Victoria Park, Leicester, 9:15am CONTACT Christian WeikertPicker; 0116 231 8484;; www. COST £26/£29 C/D 30/9 E/D YES, £50




The first figure is for entrants belonging to a UKA-affiliated running club. The second is for nonaffiliated runners.

Closing date for entries, if applicable.

Is it possible to turn up, pay and run? If yes, and it costs more to do this, it’s usually stated.

London, 9:30am CONTACT Craig Thornton; 07740 554 190; 07740 554 190; info@; COST £15/£17 C/D 2/9 E/D YES •TRAIL •RURAL

THE SHOREHAM WOODS 10K TRAIL RUN VENUE Shoreham Woods, Kent, Sevenoaks, 9:30am CONTACT Andrea Magold; 07426 946 927;; www. COST £18/£20 E/D NO

SATURDAY NIGHT MARATHON THAMES TRAIL MARATHON (+) VENUE Wokingham Waterside Centre, Thames Valley Park, Reading, 5pm CONTACT Paul Ali; saturdaynight; www.saturdaynight COST £25/£27 E/D NO



VENUE Loch Ness, Aldourie Castle Grounds, Inverness, 9am CONTACT Firetrail Events; 0330 321 1145; beastrace@firetrailevents.; COST £51 E/D NO


VENUE Queen’s Park, Cricket Pavilion, Chesterfield, 9:30am CONTACT Colin Sinnott; 01246 864 361; 07749 860 685;; northderbyshirerc. COST £3/£5 E/D ONLY GLOUCESTERSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL •FLAT


RUN RICHMOND PARK 10K RACE 7 2016 (+) VENUE Richmond Park, Sheen Lane, London, 10:10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534; info@; COST £17 E/D YES, +£5

METEOR MILE RACE VENUE Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, Cheltenham, 7:45pm CONTACT Graham Fletcher; 07917 246 811; gftivoli22@gmail. com; COST £7/£8 C/D 31/8 E/D YES


VENUE RAF London Museum, Grahame Park Way, London, 9am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@; php?id=198 COST £20.50/£22.50 E/D YES, £25 •ROAD

VENUE Llanberis, 8am CONTACT Danielle Brodie;; www.ratrace COST - E/D NO WILTSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

MALMESBURY 10K VENUE PD Fitness, Stainsbridge Mill, Gloucester Road, Malmesbury, 11am CONTACT James Higgs; 07929 059 796;; event-list/running/item/malmesburycarnival-10k.html COST £13.50/£15.50 E/D NO




VENUE Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,


102 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

ORGANISER’S CONTACT DETAILS Who you should speak to if you have any queries about the event.


RW online entry Signing up for events marked with this ‘mouse’ flash couldn’t be simpler. First, go to events and search for the race you want to enter by name. Click ‘Enter Online’. Select the category of race you wish to enter (whether you are ailiated to a running club or non-ailiated). Enter your details and pay online. Then you’ll be sent a confirmation email. It’s as simple as that.



VENUE Creasey Park Community Football Centre, Creasey Park Drive, Dunstable, 9am CONTACT Christina Lawrence;; page_26579/Dunstable-Challenge-Event. aspx COST £18/£20 E/D NO



VENUE Mark Hall Sports Centre, London Road, Harlow, 10am CONTACT Alan Wellbelove;; COST £15/£17 C/D 28/8 E/D YES, +£2 GLOUCESTERSHIRE






VENUE Woodchester Park, nr Selsley, Stroud, 10am CONTACT Stroud and District Athletic Club; woodchester@; www.stroudac. COST £8/£10 E/D YES, £10

VENUE St Ives Road, Maidenhead, 9:30am CONTACT Claire Donald; 01494 630 759; 07860 650 579; info@purplepatchrunning. com; COST £24/£26 C/D 27/8 E/D YES, +£3





VENUE Boveney Church, Windsor, 9am CONTACT Peter Wedderburn; 020 8288 8575;; www. river-relay COST £60/£70 C/D 15/8 E/D NO

VENUE MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Salford, 10:15am CONTACT Graham Jackson; 0161 703 5806; graham@; www. city-of-salford-10k COST £13/£15 E/D YES, £25/£23





VENUE One Leisure St Neots, Barford Road, Eynesbury, 9:30am CONTACT Annette Newton;; COST £25/£27 E/D NO





The event offers more races than the one stated, such as shorter fun runs or a children’s race.










How to use Race Finder Race Finder lists UK races that take place during the month stated on the magazine cover, and very often the following month, as well. This issue features races from Friday September 2 to Sunday October 23. Simply look up the day on which you want to race and the events listed by region for that day. The information relating to each event has been provided by the race organisers and may be edited because of space. Find more extensive listings and an interactive search tool at runnersworld. Just log on and sign up!



VENUE Smannel school, Smannel, Andover, 9:30am CONTACT Mark O’Meara; 07783 475 379; mom090; www. COST £30 C/D 1/6 E/D NO




VENUE Stockport County AFC, Edgeley Park, Hardcastle Road, Stockport, 9:30am CONTACT John Giles; johngiles20@hotmail. com; COST £17/£19 E/D YES, +£2



RIVERSIDE RUN 10K VENUE The Trent Washlands, Burton On Trent, 9:30am CONTACT Jenni Dawson; 01543 434 542; jenni.dawson@; www.stgileshospice. com COST £12 C/D 2/9 E/D YES


VENUE RAF Cosford Museum, Shifnal, 9am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £20.50/£22.50 C/D 1/9 E/D YES, £25

VENUE Town Centre, Market Street, Wigan, 10am CONTACT Matthew Johnson; 01942 498 120;; www. COST £17.50/£19.50 E/D NO LEICESTERSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL

JOHN FRASER 10 VENUE Countesthorpe Community College, Winchester Road, Leicester, 10:30am CONTACT Michael Stiff; 0116 200 2040; 0116 319 8539;; COST £12/£14 C/D 1/9 E/D YES LINCOLNSHIRE •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL •FLAT

KEW CHARITY RICHMOND 10K RIVER RUN 2016 VENUE Kew Green, Richmond, London, 9:30am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; nd-10k-river-run-2016 COST £20 E/D NO •ROAD •FLAT

MIDDLESEX 10K VENUE Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC Clubhouse, Cadogan Terrace, Victoria Park, Hackney, 10:30am CONTACT Malcolm French; 020 8422 3900;; www. COST £5/£8 C/D 19/8 E/D NO NORFOLK •ROAD •RURAL

WISSEY HALF MARATHON VENUE Oxborough Village Hall, Oxborough, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Ive; 07920 453 869; 01366 328 456; martin@ive23.; COST £12/£14 E/D YES, +£2 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

NORTHAMPTON HALF MARATHON VENUE The Old Bank, 4-5 St. Giles Square, Northampton, 9:30am CONTACT Postal Entries; 07747 803 090; 07711 945 963; admin@gobeyondchallenge.; Race-Information COST £25/£28 E/D YES, £30/£32 SOMERSET •TRAIL •RURAL

ASH EXCELLENT EIGHT (+) VENUE Ash Primary School, Main Street, Ash, Martock, 11am CONTACT Adam Hawkins; 01935 475 697; 07887 944 823;; www. COST £8/£10 E/D YES, +£2 SURREY •TRAIL •RURAL

GREATHED GALLOP 5 (LINGFIELD) VENUE The Clocktower, St Piers Lane, Lingfield, 10:30am CONTACT Dave Wilkes; 01342 312 163; Lingfield Running Club COST £6/£8 C/D 2/9 E/D YES, £10 •TRAIL •RURAL

LINGFIELD DRY HILL 10M (+) VENUE Young Epilepsy, St Piers Lane, Lingfield, 10:30am CONTACT Dave Wilkes; 07900 650 492; 01342 312 163;; 2495485 COST £11/£13 E/D YES, £15




VENUE Palm Bay School, Cliftonville,

THE BBB10K (+)






VENUE The Abbey Green, High Street, Battle, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; 01797 230 009; martin@nice-work.; COST £12/£14 C/D 28/8 E/D YES, £15 WALES


HEROES CHALLENGE 2016 (+) VENUE Weymouth, 8:45am CONTACT Stephen Knell; challenge-run/ COST £26.20 E/D NO




VENUE Golden Lion Inn, Llangynhafal, Denbigh, 9am CONTACT Joe Cooper; 07875 404 922;; COST £32.50 C/D 4/9 E/D NO



KENILWORTH HALF MARATHON VENUE Castle Farm Recreation Centre, Fishponds Road, Kenilworth, 10am CONTACT Peter Bryan; 07714 154 679;; www. COST £20/£22 C/D 1/9 E/D NO WEST MIDLANDS •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

CARVER WOLVERHAMPTON MARATHON EVENTS (+) VENUE West Park, Park Road, Wolverhampton, 9:15am CONTACT Mary Harding; 07809 645 790;; www. carverwolverhamptonmarathonevents. COST £28/£30 C/D 27/8 E/D NO


VENUE Groombridge Place, Groombridge Hil, Tunbridge Wells, 10am CONTACT Ben Macwilliam;; www. COST £25 C/D 22/10 E/D YES, +£10 •TRAIL •FLAT

WIMBLEDON COMMON 10K VENUE Wimbledon Common, Richardson Evans Sports Ground, Roehampton Vale London SW15, Putney, 11am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519; mark.caswell1@; COST £14 E/D YES SCOTLAND •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

RAT RACE COAST TO COAST VENUE Nairn to Ballachulish, Nairn, 11am CONTACT Danielle Brodie; events@ratrace. com; COST - E/D NO

01487 841 559; 01487 849 924; matthew.; www.livingsport. COST £17.50/£19.50 E/D NO

VENUE Swanley Park, New Barn Road, Swanley, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; uk; COST £14/£16 E/D YES, +£2



GAWSWORTH 10K 2016 (+)


VENUE Nine Acre Field, Gawsworth, Macclesfield, 10:30am CONTACT Jenny Birtwistle; 01625 422 743; No;; www. COST £8/£10 C/D 31/8 E/D YES, +£2






VENUE Delamere Forest (Old Pale), Station Roa, Nantwich, 9:40am CONTACT marc laithwaite;; www.trail26. com COST £30 E/D NO •TRAIL •RURAL

SANDBACH 10K SPONSORED BY BUTCHER & BARLOW LLP VENUE ELWORTH Cricket Club, London Road, Sandbach, 11am CONTACT Martin Coleman; treasurer@sandbachstriders.; sandbach-10k-21st-september-2014.html COST £12/£14 C/D 4/9 E/D YES, +£2 ESSEX •ROAD •RURAL •FLAT

VENUE Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking, 10am CONTACT Nicky Donbavand;; www.eventstolive. COST £46/£48 E/D NO

VENUE The Sands Recreation Ground, (opp. Barley Mow Pub), The Sands Village, Farnham, 9:30am CONTACT Lynda Pattie; 01252 242 771;; COST £30/£32 C/D 1/9 E/D YES, £37





VENUE Sutton Park, Town Gate, Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, 11am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@nice-work.; COST £12/£14 E/D YES, £15

VENUE The National Memorial Arboretum, DE13 7AR, Burton, 9:30am CONTACT wayne busby; 07738 865 461; wayne@; www.goultraevents. COST TBC

VENUE Langham Community Centre, School Road, Langham, 10am CONTACT Eve Oxley; uk; COST £11/£13 C/D 31/8 E/D NO GLOUCESTERSHIRE


THE JOHN FAULDS HELLINGLY 10K RACE 2016 VENUE Hellingly Village Hall, North Street, Hellingly, 10:30am CONTACT Ian Pusey; 07713 652 071; www.hellingly10k. COST £10/£12 C/D 2/9 E/D YES, £15







VENUE Chippenham Sports Club, Bristol Road, Chippenham, 9:30am CONTACT Race Director; contact@; www. COST £20/£22 C/D 1/9 E/D NO

VENUE Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Rye, 8:30am CONTACT Richard Davis; 07873 356 953;; www. COST £33/£35 E/D NO WALES





KIRKWOOD HOSPIC 10K TRAIL RUN (+) VENUE Leeds Road Playing Fields, Huddersfield, 10:30am CONTACT Emily Keneddy; 014 8457911; events@; www. COST £15 C/D 1/8 E/D YES, +£5 •TRAIL •RURAL

PARA’S 10 VENUE Helles Barracks, Catterick Garrison, 11am CONTACT PARAS’ 10; enquiries@; COST £40 E/D NO

VENUE Talybont-on-Usk, 5am CONTACT Paul Smith;; COST £65 E/D NO •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL •FLAT

BIRMINGHAM CANAL CANTER MARATHON VENUE The Ackers Adventure Centre, Golden Hillock Road, Birmingham, 9:30am CONTACT Ian Clarke; 07734 548 434;; www.ldwa. COST £15 C/D 3/9 E/D YES, +£5






VENUE Playing Field, Gosforth, 6:30pm CONTACT Mel Gould; 019 467 27486; 07534 486 231; COST £7/£9 C/D 2/9 E/D YES, +£1



WE RUN THEY RUN I RUN, RYE RUN 2 VENUE Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Rye, 8:30am CONTACT Richard Davis; 07873 356 953;; www. COST £33/£35 E/D NO

VENUE Dyrham Park, Dyrham, Bath, 11am CONTACT Donna King; donna@; www. COST £12/£14 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Village Hall, High Street, Swineshead, Bedford, 11:30am CONTACT Terry Salter;; COST £11/£13 C/D 10/9 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Marlborough Rugby Club, The Common, Frees Avenue, Marlborough, 10:30am CONTACT Race Director; info@; COST £21/£23 E/D NO


THE ABSOLUTE RUNNING GOSPORT 5K SUMMER SERIES RACE FIVE (+) VENUE Stokes Bay Road, Gosport, 7pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £10/£12 C/D 2/9 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Hambleden Estate, Culden Faw, Fawley, Henley on Thames, 7:30am CONTACT Martyn Edwards; 07909 915 444;; www.f3events. COST £145/£150 E/D NO. Prices TBC CUMBRIA •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL •HILLY

THE CUMBRIA WAY ULTRA VENUE Ford Park, Ulverston, 6am CONTACT Gaynor Prior; 07968 836 549;; www. COST £75 E/D NO DORSET •TRAIL •RURAL


ASTHMA UK – GREAT NORTH RUN VENUE Newcastle, 9am CONTACT Asthma UK; 0300 222 5800;; events/running/great-north-run/ COST £25 E/D NO

VENUE Gryphon Sports centre, Bristol Road, Sherborne, 9am CONTACT julia bradburn; 01935 817 860; 01935 814 823; 07884 115 987; camelrace@hotmail.; CamelotChallenge COST £20/£22 E/D YES, +£2 LEICESTERSHIRE







FINDER VENUE Wythenshawe Park, Wythenshawe, Manchester, 10am CONTACT Ashleigh jp; 020 8996 5135;; bit. ly/1QUNZpP COST £23 E/D YES, +£7


VENUE Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Noon CONTACT Katie Synge; 07447 915 139;; www.equinox24. COST £15 E/D YES


VENUE Caerau Uchaf, Sarnau, Bala, 10:30am CONTACT Belinda Bateson; 07715 027 756;; COST £29 C/D 4/9 E/D NO










LANGHAM 10KM 2016 (+) •ROAD




VENUE New Park Farm Showground, Brockenhurst, 9am CONTACT Chris Farr;; www. COST £43/£45 E/D NO



VENUE Earlswood Village Hall, Chepstow, 11am CONTACT Vaness Lawson; uk; chepstowharriersrunningclub/wentwood COST £10 C/D 1/9 E/D YES, +£2


BECKENHAM HALF MARATHON VENUE Beckenham RugbyClub, Balmoral Avenue, Beckenham, 10:15am CONTACT Cheryl Gorga; beckenhamhalfmarathon@; www.beckenhamhalfmarathon. COST TBC •TRAIL



INNOVATION SPORTS RACE 10K SERIES – BATTERSEA PARK VENUE Battersea Park, Bandstand, Battersea, 9:30am CONTACT Running Team; 0845 257 1160; running@innovationsports.; batterseapark2016.html COST £16/£18 C/D 14/9 E/D YES, +£2 •ROAD


STRATFORD’S BIG 10K 2016 VENUE Stratford Recreation Ground, Swans Nest Lane, Stratford-upon-avon, 9:30am CONTACT Sarah Bland; 01789 267 337; 07540 287 781;; COST £15.50/£17.50 E/D NO

RUNTHROUGH OLYMPIC PARK VELO 5K 10K & 10 MILE (+) VENUE Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Abercrombie Rd, London, 10am CONTACT Run Through;; COST - E/D NO NORFOLK •TRAIL •RURAL •FLAT





VENUE Westley Heights Country Park, High Road, Langdon Hills, Basildon, 7pm CONTACT Peter Bates; 01268 916 289; COST £2 E/D ONLY



VENUE Pangbourne Primary School, Kennedy Drive, Pangbourne, 10:30am CONTACT Matthew Archibald; 07832 121 461;; www. COST £15/£18 C/D 31/7 E/D YES, £20


HATFIELD MIDWEEK 5K SERIES INCORPORATING THE HERTFORDSHIRE OPEN CHAMPS VENUE Affinity Water, Tamblin Way, Hatfield, 7:45pm CONTACT Richard Sidlin; 07970 289 773; uk; COST £8/£10 C/D 4/9 E/D NO



TWO ARMS ON TWO LEGS HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE Oakfield Road Park, Oakfield Road, Aylesbury, 10am CONTACT Joe Sammon; joe.sammon@canalrivertrust.; COST £13/£15 C/D 2/9 E/D YES

Where’s the action? September’s 293 events broken down by region

Scotland /8 North / 48 Midlands / 44 East / 10 South / 143 Southwest / 27 Wales / 13


RYE SUMMER CLASSIC 5K (+) VENUE Rye Nature Reserve, Rye Harbour, Rye, 7pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www. COST £8/£10 E/D YES, +£2


GREATER CAMBRIDGE 10K VENUE University of Cambridge Sports Centre, Philippa Fawcett Drive Cambridge, Cambridge, 10:30am CONTACT living sport;

(No RW listings in NI at time of going to press)








09 /16 RUNNER’S WORLD 103

ROUND NORFOLK RELAY VENUE Lynnsport, Green Park Avenue, King’s Lynn, 5:30am CONTACT Neville Knights; 01760 725 236; admin@; www. COST £225 E/D NO

VENUE The Wickham Centre, Mill Lane, Wickham, 9:45am CONTACT Jeffrey Clark; 07472 220 433;; bit. ly/1PV6D1S COST

Going the distance September’s 293 events broken down by distance Marathon




HARDMOORS 60 VENUE Guisborough Sea Cadets, Belmangate, Guisborough, 8am CONTACT Jonathan Steele; 01937 830 677; 07909 797 872;; www. COST £55 E/D NO


BATH TWO TUNNELS 100KM ULTRA (+) VENUE Brickfield Park, Bath, 10am CONTACT Tom Room; tom@; www. COST £60 C/D 11/9 E/D YES, +£5 BEDFORDSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL

LEIGHTON 10M VENUE Vandyke School, Vandyke Road, Leighton Buzzard, 9am CONTACT Pete Mackrell;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 14/9 E/D YES, +£2 BERKSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL

SWALLOWFIELD 10+3 (+) VENUE Swallowfield Parish Council, Swallowfield Parish Hall, Swallowfield Street, Reading, 10:30am CONTACT 1st Swallowfield Scouts; 07799 477 937;; www. COST £12/£14 C/D 12/9 E/D NO CHESHIRE •TRAIL •FLAT

VENUE Hurst Leisure Centre, Brimpton Road, Baughurst, 10am CONTACT Barrie Tribe; 01189 816 735; 07771 609 509;; www.tadleyrunners. COST £14/£16 C/D 14/9 E/D YES, +£5




HERCULES FESTIVAL OF SPORT - ST. ALBANS - RUN (+) VENUE Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, Holywell Hill, St. Albans, 10am CONTACT Gifty Enright; 01923 883 177; admin@; COST £20 E/D YES


Half marathon

VENUE Manuden Primary School, The Street, Bishop’s Stortford, 11am CONTACT Pauline Burnard; 01279 816 200; funrun@; funrun.asp COST £12 C/D 10/9 E/D YES •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

VENUE Royal Parade, Chislehurst, 10am CONTACT john setford; 07956 308 712;; www. COST £12/£14 C/D 13/9 E/D YES, +£2 LANCASHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

796;;; www.dbmax. COST £110 E/D NO STAFFORDSHIRE

VENUE Flaming Grill, Bolton Road, Chorley, 10am CONTACT stewart jones; 07581 733 604;; www. COST £12 C/D 14/9 E/D YES, +£3








VENUE Rutland Water Park, Sykes Lane, Empingham, 10am CONTACT Paul Cowling; 07793 505 446; rutlandmarathon@gmail. com; COST £38/£40 C/D 1/9 E/D YES

VENUE Ashtead Common, Woodfield Road, Ashtead, 11am CONTACT Robert McCaffrey; COST £23/£25 C/D 1/11 E/D NO


VENUE Hanley Park, Cleveland Road, Stoke On Trent, 9am CONTACT Jodie Downes;; COST £14/£16 C/D 11/9 E/D NO


LITTLEDOWN 5 VENUE Littledown Leisure Centre, Castle Lane, Bournemouth, 10:30am CONTACT Mike Collins; 01202 572 180; canarymike@; COST £10/£12 C/D 11/9 E/D NO •TRAIL •RURAL •HILLY

THE PURBECK MARATHON (+) VENUE The Downs, Prince Albert Gardens, Swanage, 9:30am CONTACT The info@; www. COST TBC E/D NO ESSEX •ROAD •RURAL

THE DEDHAM RUN (+) VENUE Duchy Playing Fields, The Drift, Dedham, 11am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £15/£17 C/D 10/9 E/D YES, £20 HAMPSHIRE •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

ANDOVER FOODBANK 10K LAKE RUN (+) VENUE Charlton Sports and Leisure Centre, Weyhill Road, Andover, 10:30am CONTACT Bel Pertwee; 07963 432 985; COST TBC

THE PONTON PLOD 27 MILE (+) VENUE The Village Centre, Archers Way, Great Ponton, Grantham, 8:30am CONTACT Stuart Ashley; 01400 281 580; 07771 813 514;; COST £13 C/D 15/9 E/D YES, +£3 •TRAIL •URBAN •FLAT

RICHMOND RUNFEST (+) VENUE Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Kew Richmond, Surrey, Kew, Richmond, 8:30am CONTACT The Events Team Richmond Runfest; info@richmondrunningfestival. com; COST - E/D NO •TRAIL •RURAL

RUN10 - RICHMOND, LONDON 10K (+) VENUE Roehampton Gate, London, 10am CONTACT Ania Szewczyk; 0845 680 8838; info@londonduathlon. com; run10/?utm_medium=listings&utm_ source=Digital&utm_campaign=Event%20 Listing COST £24 C/D 1/5 E/D NO •TRAIL

ZSL LONDON ZOO STAMPEDE 10KM VENUE Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London, 9:30am CONTACT The Zoological Society of London Challenge Events; 020 7449 6537; fundraisingevents@; COST £32/£34 C/D 10/9 E/D NO SCOTLAND •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT


BUTSER HILL CHALLENGE 5M VENUE Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Gravel Hill, Horndean, 12:30pm CONTACT Alan Shons; 07976 426 247;; COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£4

VENUE Edinburgh, 9am CONTACT Annette Drummond;; www. COST £29/£31 E/D NO •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT




VENUE Marine Parade, Weston Super Mare, 7:30am CONTACT James Higgs; 07929 059

104 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/ 16

THE INTERSPORT RUN REIGATE HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE Priory Park, Reigate, 9:15am CONTACT laura taylor; info@runreigate. com ; COST £31/£33 E/D YES, £35


VENUE Westgate, Tadcaster, 10:30am CONTACT Glenn Armstrong; 07947 649 946;; COST £16/£18 C/D 31/8 E/D YES, +£4


THE RB HULL MARATHON VENUE Hull City Centre, Hull, 9am CONTACT Philip Haskins; 01482 841 007;; www.thehull COST £35/£37 C/D 31/8 E/D NO

VENUE The Weir Hotel, Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames, 3:30pm CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732; rikvercoe@gmail. com; COST £32/£34 E/D NO



HATFIELD MIDWEEK 5K SERIES INCORPORATING THE HERTFORDSHIRE VETS CHAMPS VENUE Affinity Water, Tamblin Way, Hatfield, 7:45pm CONTACT Richard Sidlin; 07970 289 773; uk; COST £8/£10 E/D NO


TOP GRUN II - 6 HOUR TIMED EVENT – FROM 3 MILES TO MARATHON TO ULTRA VENUE The Weir Hotel, Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames, 9:30am CONTACT Rik Vercoe;; COST £36/£38 C/D 11/6 E/D NO WALES •TRAIL •RURAL





VENUE Hove Lagoon, Kingsway, Hove, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £13/£15 E/D YES, £17

9:30am CONTACT Rob Knee; 07840 807 715;; https:// COST £19 E/D YES



VENUE Victoria Park, London, 6pm CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; www. COST £17 E/D NO

CHAPARRAL ABERSOCH HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE The Beach, Abersoch, 10am CONTACT Mark Durston; 01758 710 011;; www. COST £28/£30 E/D YES


PETE HAYES HANDSWORTH 10K FUN RUN VENUE Handsworth Park, Holly Road Handsworth, Birmingham, 10am CONTACT Donna Stokes; 0121 353 2087; 07714 069 132;; worth10k COST £10 C/D 11/9 E/D YES, +£5









VENUE Windsor Great Park, Windsor Great Park, Windsor, 10am CONTACT Joanne Tranter; 01384 379 028;; www. COST £22.50/£24.50 E/D YES

VENUE The Long Walk, Windsor Great Park, Windsor, 10am CONTACT Joanne Tranter; 01384 379 028; joanne@running4women. com; COST £30.50/£28.50 E/D NO







VENUE Start / Finish - Jamboree Stone, Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, 10:30am CONTACT Greg Stevens; 07539 829 141;; COST £10 C/D 7/9 E/D YES, +£1




VENUE The Scout Centre, Chipping Campden, 8am CONTACT Neil Thubron; 07801 244 628;; www. COST £140 E/D YES

VENUE The Webber Independent School, Soskin Drive, Stantonbury MK14 6DP, Milton Keynes, 10am CONTACT NSPCC mk half Committee; 07717 203 769; info@; COST £18/£20 E/D YES, £30






VENUE Stowe House and Gardens, Stowe, 9am CONTACT John Tanton; 07963 428 727;; www. COST £27 C/D 20/9 E/D NO

WR10K-BIRMINGHAM (+) VENUE Cannon Hill Park, 2 Russell Road, Moseley, Birmingham, 10am CONTACT Ashleigh JP; 020 8996 5135; race@wr10k.; COST £23 E/D YES, +£7 WILTSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT












CALKE ABBEY 10K (+) VENUE Calke Abbey, Ticknall, 10am CONTACT Andy Buck; andy@; www. COST £15/£17 E/D YES, £20




COMBERBACH CANTER 10K (+) VENUE Marbury Country Park, Marbury Road, Comberbach, Northwich, 11am CONTACT Julia Julia; 01606 891 789; COST £7 C/D 11/9 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Adventure Centre, King George V Playing Field, Melksham, 10am CONTACT Race Organiser; stampedesports@yahoo.; COST £14/£16 E/D YES, +£1

VENUE Knockburn Loch, Strachan, Banchory, 9am CONTACT Firetrail Events; 0330 321 1145; beastrace@firetrailevents.; COST £51 E/D NO





VENUE Bourn, 10:30am CONTACT Karen Anthony;; www. COST £15 E/D NO

BYFLEET RUNNING FESTIVAL (+) VENUE St. Mary’s Church Hall, Byfleet,












VENUE Rock Park, Barnstaple, 10am CONTACT simon haywood;; www. php?option=com_zoo&view=item&layout=it em&Itemid=424 COST £28/£30 E/D NO

VENUE RAF Coltishall Airfield, Coltishall, 10am CONTACT Alan Groves; 01797 230 009;; COST £12/£14 E/D NO




VENUE The Bandstand, Hyde Park, London, 12:30pm CONTACT Malcolm French; 020 8422 3900;; COST £2/£5 C/D 19/9 E/D NO




VENUE Prudhoe, 10am CONTACT Richard Hunter; 07545 140 810; 07545 140 810;; www. COST £13/£15 E/D NO

VENUE Dornafield Farm Touring Caravan Park, Newton Abbot, 11am CONTACT Roger Hayes; COST £9/£11 E/D YES, +£2





VENUE Bught Park, Inverness, 10am CONTACT Malcolm Sutherland; 0844 875 1411;; www. COST £46/£48 C/D 1/7 E/D NO

THE FARLEIGH WALLOP TRAIL RACE VENUE ‘Home Farm Barn’, The Avenue, Farleigh Wallop, Basingstoke, 10:30am CONTACT Sharon Bryan;; www. COST £13/£15 C/D 15/9 E/D NO HERTFORDSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

MANCHES MOOR PARK 10K (+) VENUE Merchant Taylors’ School, Sandy Lodge Lane, Moor Park, Northwood, 3pm CONTACT John Hambleton; 07779 458 285; 07812 636 408;; COST £17 C/D 17/9 E/D YES, £20/£17 KENT •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

FOLKESTONE ROTARY HALF MARATHON VENUE The Grand, The Leas, Folkestone, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £18/£20 C/D 21/9 E/D YES, £25 •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL •FLAT

6TH DARTFORD BRIDGE 10K AND 2K FUN RUN VENUE Marsh Street, Dartford, 10am CONTACT john setford; 07956 308 712;; www. COST £13/£15 E/D YES, +£2


BREWOOD 10KM (THE WOGGLE) (+) VENUE St Dominics High School, Bargate Street, Brewood, 10am CONTACT Ruth Wake; 07999 913 910; ruthwake1968@gmail. com; COST £13/£15 C/D 17/9 E/D YES SURREY •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL •FLAT

THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KINGSTON HALF MARATHON VENUE The Market Place, Kingston Upon Thames, 8am CONTACT Peter Wedderburn; 0208 8288 8575;; COST £28/£30 E/D NO SUSSEX •ROAD •RURAL

BARNS GREEN HALF MARATHON VENUE Barns Green Village Hall, Barns Green Village Green, Horsham, 10am CONTACT Sue Parillon; racesecbghm@; uk COST £23/£25 C/D 10/9 E/D YES, £35 •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

EAST GRINSTEAD 10K VENUE Imberhorne School, Imberhorne Lane, East Grinstead, 10am CONTACT Tim Best; COST £14/£16 E/D NO


HIGH WEALD CHALLENGE 50KM ULTRA TRAIL (+) VENUE Groombridge Village Hall, Station Road, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, 8am CONTACT Stuart Mills; 01825 840 653;; www. COST £41/£43 C/D 18/9 E/D NO LANCASHIRE


NUTBOURNE VINEYARDS CROSS COUNTRY, INC WINE! (+) VENUE Gay Street, Pulborough, 10:45am CONTACT Robert Dale; 07793 036 189; rob@; www.getfitbootcamp. COST £18 C/D 19/9 E/D NO WALES





VENUE Rochdale Town Hall, The Esplanade, Rochdale, 9am CONTACT Mark Roberts; 0161 956 8007; 07583 997 329;; www. COST £24/£26 C/D 15/9 E/D NO. Prices TBC

VENUE Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff, 9am CONTACT Danielle Brodie; events@ratrace. com; COST - E/D NO WARWICKSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL


EALING HALF MARATHON VENUE Lammas Park, Ealing, 9am CONTACT Ealing Half Team; info@; www. COST £36/£38 E/D NO •TRAIL

WR10K 2016-LONDON (+) VENUE Finsbury Park, Haringey, 10am CONTACT Ashleigh JP;; COST TBC E/D NO

VENUE Draycote Resevoir, Nr Dunchurch, Rugby, 10am CONTACT Iain Wilson; 0800 228 9104;; rfr.1060. COST £14/£16 E/D YES, £18






VENUE Chester Racecourse, Chester, 9am CONTACT Chris Hulse; lindaw@; www. COST TBC •ROAD •RURAL

VENUE Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder, 1pm CONTACT Event Secretary; 01434 689 040;; www. COST £36/£38 E/D NO


MAVERICK ORIGINAL HEREFORDSHIRE 25KM (+) VENUE Flanesford priory, Goodrich, Ross On Wye, 10am CONTACT Ben Macwilliam;; www. COST £25 C/D 23/10 E/D YES, +£10 •ROAD •FLAT

GLOW IN THE PARK LONDON VENUE Kempton Park Race course, Staines Rd East, Sunbury On Thames, 7pm CONTACT Ben Mason; 07540 902 612; ;; glowinthepark. COST £17 C/D 28/9 E/D YES, +£8 NORTHUMBERLAND •TRAIL •RURAL

ACTIVE NORTHUMBERLAND KIELDER 10K (+) VENUE Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder, 10am CONTACT Event Secretary; 01434 689 040;; COST £23/£25 E/D NO SURREY •TRAIL •RURAL •FLAT

PHOENIX PYJAMA-THON - 6 HOUR TIMED EVENT, FROM 3.3 MILES TO MARATHON TO ULTRA VENUE Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre (back entrance), Waterside Drive, Waltonon-Thames, 8:30am CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732;; COST £33/£35 E/D NO

VENUE Congleton High School, Box Lane, Congleton, CW12 4NS, 9.30am CONTACT COST £18.80/£20.80 DEVON •TRAIL •RURAL

DYNAMIC DARTINGTON WEEKEND VENUE The Adventure Centre, Park Road, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Noon CONTACT Tommy Burnett; 01803 862 725; 07595 664 739;; COST £13/£15 C/D 30/9 E/D YES DORSET •ROAD •URBAN

BOURNEMOUTH MARATHON FESTIVAL 2016 - FULL MARATHON (+) VENUE Bournemouth, 10am CONTACT Bournemouth Marathon Festival Marathon Festival; COST £50.50/£52.50 E/D NO GLOUCESTERSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

BADMINTON HORSELESS TEAM EVENT 2016 - HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE Badminton Park, Badminton, Chipping Sodbury, 11am CONTACT Tony Hadfield;; https://www. COST £20 C/D 25/9 E/D YES HAMPSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL



VENUE War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, 11am CONTACT Nina Muir; 01256 461 167;; COST £26/£28 E/D YES, £40





BHF BLENHEIM PALACE HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, 10:30am CONTACT Events Team; 0845 130 8663;; blenheim COST £28 C/D 18/9 E/D NO SURREY •ROAD •URBAN

CAMBERLEY 10K JULIAN FARRELL MEMORIAL (+) VENUE Kings International College, Watchetts Drive, Camberley, 10:30am CONTACT Race Organiser; 07885 764 889;; www. COST £10.50/£12.50 C/D 23/9 E/D YES, +£2 SUSSEX •TRAIL •RURAL

ALF SHRUBB MEMORIAL 5 CROSS COUNTRY RACE (+) VENUE Slinfold Cricket Club, Slinfold, Horsham, 11am CONTACT Cliff Comber; 01403 250 376; 07774 286 456; harriers24@; www.Sussex COST £10 C/D 23/9 E/D YES, +£5 WILTSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

CLARENDON MARATHON: SALISBURY TO WINCHESTER (+) VENUE Wyvern College, Laverstock, Salisbury, 10:30am CONTACT JJ HeathCaldwell; 01962 761 565; 07831 391 532;; www. COST £30 E/D YES, +£10 •ROAD •RURAL

CRICKLADE HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE Cricklade Leisure Centre, Stones Lane, Cricklade, Swindon, 10:30am CONTACT Louise Norden Cricklade Leisure Centre; 01793 750 011; 01793 750 511;; www. COST £11/£13 C/D 27/9 E/D NO

VENUE Richmond Park, Sheen Lane, London, 10:10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; https://www. COST £17 C/D 23/9 E/D YES, +£5

VENUE Portsmouth lifeboat station, Ferry Road, Portsmouth, 10am CONTACT Rob Piggott; 07780 675 747; fitprorob@hotmail. com; COST £18 C/D 26/9 E/D YES, +£2









VENUE Rother Valley Country Park, Mansfield Road, Sheffield, 10am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519; mark.caswell1@;; COST £16 E/D YES


VENUE Henley in Arden School, Stratford Road, Henley- In-Arden, 9:30am CONTACT David Powell; 07734 548 434; davedirect@; www.hofe-forestmarathon. COST £19 E/D YES, +£6 YORKSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL



VENUE Village Green, Studley Roger, Ripon, 9am CONTACT Postal Entries; 07747 803 090; 07711 945 963; admin@; gobeyondultra. COST £39 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, +£6







VENUE Walsall Arboretum Extension, Broadway, Walsall, 11am CONTACT Walsall Run; 01922 649 733; 07903 725 956;; COST TBC

VENUE Thames Valley Park, Reading, 9am CONTACT Claire Donald; 01494 630 759;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 25/9 E/D YES, +£3

VENUE Standalone Farm, Wilbury Road, Letchworth, 9:30am CONTACT NHRR;; COST £15/£17 E/D NO




VENUE Temple Newsam Park, Templenewsam Road, Leeds, 10am CONTACT Ashleigh jp; 020 8996 5135;; COST £23 E/D YES, +£7

VENUE Manor House Grounds, Gallows Hill Lane, Abbots Langley, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@; COST £17.50 E/D YES, +£2.50






THE SITTINGBOURNE STRIDERS CHAS RYMAN MEMORIAL 10 MILE ROAD RACE VENUE Highsted School, Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, 10:15am CONTACT Martin Burke; 07879 815 441; martin@nice-work.; Club_Race.html COST £14/£16 E/D YES, £18

VENUE Affinity Water, Tamblin Way, Hatfield, 7:45pm CONTACT Richard Sidlin; 07970 289 773; uk; COST £6/£8 C/D 30/9 E/D NO













ABINGTON 10K (+) VENUE Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge, 10:30am CONTACT Nicola Herberholz;; www. COST - E/D NO

VENUE West Kent College, Brook Street, Tonbridge, 10am CONTACT Mick Barlow;; COST £20/£22 E/D NO

VENUE Cyclopark, The Tollgate, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; 01797 230 572; info@; COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£2




VENUE Hoylake Community Centre, Hoyle Road, Hoylake, 11am CONTACT Carla Williams; 01516 259 505; 01516 259 505;; COST £10 C/D 16/9 E/D YES

VENUE Bishop Burton College, Bishop Burton, Beverley, 11am CONTACT Jayne Dale;; www. COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£2







VENUE Princes Park, Southport, 11am CONTACT 01704 534 040;; www. COST £18/£20 C/D 21/9 E/D NO

VENUE Recreation Ground, Stainland, Halifax, 10:30am CONTACT Tracy Mott; 07827 016 181;; www. COST £10/£12 C/D 23/9 E/D YES

VENUE The Weighbridge, St Helier, Jersey, 9am CONTACT Andrew Thomas; 01534 505 926;; www. COST £36/£38 E/D YES, +£20

VENUE Regents Park, start location is near The Hub, London, 9:10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@nice-work.; COST £15/£17 E/D YES, £20


VOTWO ATLANTIC COAST CHALLENGE 78.6M VENUE Race HQ: St Ives Bay Holiday Park, Hayle, 8am CONTACT Ben Mason; 07855 500 149;; www.votwo. COST £150 C/D 1/10 E/D NO

09/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 105











VENUE Princess Street, Plymouth, 8:30am CONTACT COST £22/£24 C/D 2/10 E/D NO

VENUE The Shugborough Estate, Stafford, 11am CONTACT Fundraising Dept; 01785 270 808;; www. COST £10/£12 E/D YES, £18










VENUE Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre (Back Entrance), Waterside Drive, Waltonon-Thames, 9am CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732;; COST £32/£34 E/D NO

VENUE Milford Common Cannock Chase, Brocton Road, Stafford, 11am CONTACT Mash Running The Cannock Chase Series;; www. COST £15 C/D 10/10 E/D NO

VENUE Broad Chalke Sports Centre, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, 10:15am CONTACT Jonny Hartley; 07795 280 753; jonnyhartley@; www.chalkevalleychallenge. COST TBC E/D NO

VENUE Queen’s Park, Cricket Pavilion, Chesterfield, 9:30am CONTACT Colin Sinnott; 01246 864 361; 07749 860 685;; northderbyshirerc. COST £3/£5 E/D ONLY •TRAIL •RURAL

TISSINGTON TRAIL HALF MARATHON - SATURDAY VENUE The Tissington Trail, Parsley Hay, Ashbourne, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £25/£27 C/D 28/9 E/D YES, £30

VENUE National Trust Visitors Centre, Knoll Beach car park, Studland Bay, Off Ferry Road (B3351), Studland (near Poole), 11am CONTACT Victoria Turner; victoria.turner@; www.stud COST £18 C/D 2/10 E/D YES, +£12


VENUE Worthing Rowing Club, Splash Point, Marine Parade, Worthing, 11am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519; mark.caswell1@; COST £14 E/D YES


FOUR PASSES VENUE Rosthwaite Village Hall, Keswick, 8:30am CONTACT Jeff Mitchell; info@; www.ascendevents. COST £27 C/D 30/9 E/D NO











VENUE The Osprey Leisure Centre, Portland, 8am CONTACT Mark Steen; 07752 902 080;; www. COST £30/£35 E/D NO

VENUE Lloyd Park Avenue, Croydon, 10:15am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; uk; COST £13/£15 E/D YES, £20


AVON VALLEY RAILWAY 10K (+) VENUE Avon Valley Railway (Bitton Station), Bath Road, Bitton, Bristol, 9am CONTACT Donna King; donna@aspirerunningevents.; project/avon-valley-railway-410k-saturday8th-october-9am/ COST £11/£13 E/D YES, +£2 SOMERSET •TRAIL •RURAL

RIVER PARRETT TRAIL RELAY RACE VENUE Steart Point Cannington Somerset to, Cheddington Dorset, Crewkerne, 9:30am CONTACT Derek Boles; 014 607 4150; derek.; www.parrettrace. COST £50/£64 C/D 2/10 E/D NO SURREY






VENUE Aldershot Military Stadium, Aldershot, 10am CONTACT Steve Radcliffe;; COST £10/£12 C/D 1/9 E/D YES, £15

VENUE The Priory School, West Bank, Dorking, 10am CONTACT Robert McCaffrey; COST £48/£50 E/D NO


GRITTLETON 10KM VENUE Grittleton Village Hall, Grittleton, Chippenham, 10:30am CONTACT Race Director;; www. COST £14/£16 E/D NO

AMPTHILL TROPHY 10K (+) VENUE Ampthill Park, Woburn St, Ampthill, 11am CONTACT David Stanley; 07740 737 445;; COST £10/£12 C/D 16/10 E/D YES, £13






CHARTERHOUSE 5K, 10K & 15K TRAIL & FUN RUN (+) VENUE Charterhouse Club, Dukes Drive, Charterhouse, Godalming, 10:30am CONTACT Josie Tidbury; 01483 239 600;; www. COST £15.50 E/D YES, +£4.50





VENUE Farndon Sports & Social Club, Farndon, Chester, 9:30am CONTACT Michael Harrington; 07443 500 475; harring; www.cutefruitevents. com COST £13/£15 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Gang Warily Recreation Centre, Newlands Road, Blackfield Hampshire, 10am CONTACT Carole Bailey; www. COST £18/£20 E/D NO



VENUE Heron Way Primary School, Heron Way, Horsham, 11am CONTACT Andy Brown;; www. COST TBC E/D YES, £18 unaffiliated




VENUE Victory Cross, Lord Mayors Drive, Farnham Common, 10:30am CONTACT Michael Mills; 07850 484 872; 01753 642 330; michael.mills@burnhambeechesrun.; COST £14 C/D 17/10 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Wix Village Hall, Harwich Road, Wix, 10:30am CONTACT Gary Donoghue;; www. COST TBC





VENUE Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre (Back Entrance), Waterside Drive, Waltonon-Thames, 9am CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732;; COST £32/£34 E/D NO




VENUE Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, 10am CONTACT Rennie Grove; 01442 820 740; herts10k@; COST £22 E/D NO



VENUE Broardaxe Rd, Presteigne, 11am CONTACT Steve Mesham; 07810 823 653;; www. COST £8/£10 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, +£2



VENUE Emirates Old Trafford, Talbot Road, Manchester, 9am CONTACT Xtra Mile Events; 01619 286 795; info@xtramileevents. com; COST £27/£29 E/D NO









VENUE Wimpole, Arrington, Royston, 10am CONTACT hannah hodgson; Info@; COST £23 E/D NO

VENUE Bangor High Street, Bangor, Bangor, Gwynedd, 10am CONTACT Chris Yorke; 07590 690 041;; www. COST £28/£30 C/D 24/9 E/D YES


MUD MONSTERS RUN VENUE Mud Monsters, Stuart Way, East Grinstead, 9am CONTACT Rebecca Large;; www. COST TBC E/D YES, £60 unaffiliated






1ST BIRCHFIELD HARRIERS 10KM POPPY RUN VENUE Aldridge Airport, Bosty Lane, Aldridge, 2pm CONTACT Richard Baker; 07883 958 237; mikey.morley1@virginmedia. com; COST £10/£12 C/D 5/10 E/D YES, £14

VENUE Willett Recreation Ground, Crossway, Petts Wood, 10:30am CONTACT Stephen Robson; racedirector@; www. COST £16/£18 C/D 25/9 E/D NO




RUCK UP RUN (+) VENUE Box End Park, Box End, Kempston, Bedford, 9am CONTACT S Mason; s.mason.; bedford-bedfordshire/running/distancerunning-races/ruck-up-run-2016 COST TBC E/D NO






VENUE Tamworth Castle ground, Tamworth, 10:30am CONTACT paul griffin; 07947 698 147;; COST £18/£20 E/D YES, £20

VENUE Clapham Common, Bandstand, Clapham, 9am CONTACT Running Team; 0845 257 1160; running@innovationsports.; claphamcommon2016.html COST £21/£23 C/D 5/10 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL •FLAT


BRADENHAM BOLT 10K TRAIL RUN VENUE National Trust Bradenham Estate, High Wycombe, 10am CONTACT Matt Shrimpton; 01494 755 573; matthew.; www. COST £15 E/D NO.

ROYAL PARKS FOUNDATION HALF MARATHON FOR BUTTLE UK VENUE London, 9am CONTACT Isabelle Sykes; 020 7798 6231; isabelles@buttleuk. org; fundraise-for-us/challenge-events/royalparks-run-2016 COST £30 C/D 5/8 E/D NO NORTHUMBERLAND






VENUE Matfen, Hexham, 10am CONTACT Richard Hunter; 07545 140 810; 07468 416 900;; run-nation. org/matfen-10k COST £13/£15 E/D YES, £15/£17.50

VENUE Cantelupe Farm Road, Grantchester, Cambridge, 10:30am CONTACT Steve Wilson; 0845 0200 350; 01223 844 349; 07825 815 891;; www. COST £18 C/D 2/10 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE High Street, Alcester, 10am CONTACT Tracy Morgan; 07711 349 592;; COST £22/£24 C/D 4/10 E/D NO



MARSHFIELD MUDLARK 11K (+) VENUE Marshfield Cricket Club, Marshfield, Chippenham, 10:30am CONTACT David Bethune; mudlark@corshamrunningclub.; COST £8/£10 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL •RURAL •FLAT

WESTBURY LIONS 10K VENUE White Horse Country Park, Westbury, 11am CONTACT Jarvis MacDonald; uk; COST £8 E/D YES, +£2


TISSINGTON TRAIL HALF MARATHON - SUNDAY VENUE The Tissington Trail, Parsley Hay, Ashbourne, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £25/£27 C/D 28/9 E/D YES, £30

106 RUNNER’S WORLD 09 / 16

VENUE Henley Rugby Club, Dry Leas, Marlow Road, Henley On Thames, 9:30am CONTACT Peter Wilkinson; 01491 572 818; 07730 766 941;; www. COST £25 C/D 27/9 E/D YES, +£5 STAFFORDSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

VENUE Warmley Forest Park, London Road, Bristol, 10am CONTACT Donna King;; warmley-forest-park-510k-saturday-22ndoctober-2016/ COST £12/£14 E/D YES, +£2



VENUE Sleaford, Lincoln, 9:30am CONTACT Donna Sutton; 01522 694 353;; spiresandsteepleschallenge COST £18 C/D 10/10 E/D YES, +£3




VENUE Hyde Park, Westminster, London, 9:30am CONTACT Andrea Magold; 07426 946 927;; www. COST £18/£20 C/D 21/10 E/D NO




VENUE Bushy Park, Hampton, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £16/£18 C/D 10/10 E/D YES, £20




VENUE Berwick-upon-tweed, 8am CONTACT Garry Scott; 07984 307 900;; www.trailoutlaws. com COST £120 C/D 15/10 E/D NO SUFFOLK





VENUE Frieth CEC School, Frieth, Henleyon-thames, 10am CONTACT Diane Hill; 07715 303 563; applications@friethhilly10k.; COST £12/£14 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, £16

VENUE Dunwich, 7am CONTACT James Barker; 01548 312 314; support@; www.endurancelife. com/event-new.asp?series=82 COST £30 E/D NO







VENUE Kinloch Rannoch, Kinloch, 9:30am CONTACT Richard Hunter; 07545 140 810;; COST £29/£31 C/D 20/9 E/D YES, +£11

VENUE Ham Street, London, 9:30am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; side-10k-2016 COST £20 C/D 14/10 E/D NO







VENUE Caryford Fitness and Leisure, Maggs Lane, Ansford, Castle Cary, 10am CONTACT Emma Warr; 01823 410 124; ewarr; COST £12/£14 E/D YES, +£2






VENUE Langsett Barn, Langsett, Stocksbridge, 9am CONTACT David Riley; 07795 254 349; COST TBC C/D 8/10 E/D NO








VENUE Hove Lawns, Hove, 9am CONTACT Bright10 Brighton & Hove 10 mile; bright10@; COST £27/£29 E/D NO


SATURDAY OCTOBER 15 GLOW IN THE PARK CORNWALL VENUE Boconnoc House, Boconnoc, Nr Lostwithiel, 7pm CONTACT Ben Mason; 07855 500 149; 07540 902 612; bookings@; COST £17 C/D 15/10 E/D YES, +£8



VENUE Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Bisham, Marlow, 10am CONTACT Claire Donald; 01494 630 759; 07917 612 127; 07860 650 579; info@purplepatchrunning. com; COST £22/£24 C/D 16/10 E/D YES, +£3


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Freddie Fox The actor, 27, on learning his lines on the run – and steering clear of races

My love of running developed when I got older. At school it filled me with dread

and the idea of running around the sports pitches struck me with a nameless fear. At drama school we were encouraged to keep fit and healthy, but not to bulk out. We were told to stay lithe to allow our

FLEET FOX Staying lithe and lean helps to keep Freddie in the hunt for acting jobs

bodies to morph when we’re playing various parts. Running is ideal for this, especially when I needed a lean look for the Channel 4 drama Cucumber. It’s part of my job as an actor to look after myself. Your appearance is crucial.

That’s why I think running and swimming will always be a big part of what I do. The Dorset coast, where I spent my childhood, is a gorgeous place to run.

I love to explore and revisit places like the clifs at Kimmeridge Bay and the abandoned village of Tyneham.

‘I never know how far I run or how fast I go’

I often go running in London with a gang of mates I call my ‘Kentish posse’. We each have diferent degrees

of keenness, with me near the top. Running as a way of learning my lines seems to be hugely effective.

The rhythm of running seems to hammer them into my head. I also test out movements or gestures for a part while running – I must look very odd.

I love running when there’s a bit of a chill in the air. But I don’t like going

involved with the Hope and Homes for Children charity. Two years ago, my sister

out in hot weather all that much.

Emilia and I went out to Rwanda to see the work they are doing. It was so inspiring.

can be a special time to head out for a run.

I prefer running with friends, or in nature.

Having top running gear is not my thing at all. I never know how far I run or how fast

My parents (actors Edward Fox and Joanna David) have always been

I go – I don’t have a GPS. I enjoy running in the countryside, and if I see a tree that appeals I stop to climb it. I might do some pull-ups

MY FAVOURITE… Hero Eddie Izzard. On the surface, he might not look like an endurance runner, but what he does is quite life-airming and, running all those marathons, his stamina is superhuman. 114 RUNNER’S WORLD 09/16

Running Music I actually prefer classical to pop music. I find it more relaxing to run to something like Chopin’s Nocturnes, which are soft, dreamlike and otherworldly.

Place To Run I was on the Dalaman coast in Turkey not long ago and found a dirt track close to my hotel that took me on a beautiful run over the hills – that was wonderful.

on its branches too. I’ve been filming Fanny Lye Deliver’d, in Shropshire and had loads of chances to do just that. OFreddie supports the St James’s Place Foundation Triathlon and Duathlon, taking place on October 16. It has raised £1.3m for Hope and Homes for Children, a charity that helps to move children out of orphanages and into loving families. Visit: @runnersworlduk

Interview Adrian Monti Photograph Tom Watkins

I have no desire to run in a race. It’s often a very early start when filming, so a run in the evening works best for me. With the sun going down, it