Page 1








On the cover VOL 23 NO.5

Cover photography Aaron Hewitt

23 Perfect DIY Energy Bar Natural, easy to make, and they taste ruddy awesome

31 How Running Helps Homeless Young People A brilliant new example of how running can be a force for good


HOW FARAH CAN HE GO? Mo prepares to take on the London Marathon

48 Mo Farah The double Olympic champion opens up to RW over lunch

62 Reach Your Peak! Elite-level training tests that are now available to YOU!

68 Boston Remembered Finding inspiration from the tragedy

76 Nine New Moves For Perfect Posture Give yourself a core of steel and watch the PBs rack up

91 Eight Steps To Your Best Marathon Some hard-won wisdom from RW to you. You’re welcome

97 Beginners: Small Changes, Big Rewards Easy ways to vary your training for almost-instant results

98 Lose Weight With Tea And Toast A tiny tweak to this classic combo is all that’s needed

101 The Cure For Pre-Race Nerves


ROLL WITH IT Improve your posture for better running

68 STAYING STRONG Boston in our hearts again

Simple tips to take the stress out of your taper

105 Beat Shin Splints In Three Easy Moves... equipment necessary

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 007

MAY 2014



Regulars 10 Rave Run Beachy head in East Sussex

146 I’m A Runner TV presenter and GP Dr Pixie McKenna

Warm-Ups 15 Crash Course Why cramming in last minute training is not a good idea

17 Fitness A simple session to make treadmill training more fun


TAILOR-MADE Personalise your training

19 Fat-Burning Nick Cookburn: from fat lad to ultramarathoner

21 Fuel How to get the most from your protein

25 Mind & Health Boost your brain by running

Features 56 Dropping Standards Why are our top 26.2 runners getting slower?


HOME RUN This charity that helps homeless runners

Coach 95 Training

27 Injury

Fine-tune your pre-race prep to hit your goal

This single exercise can banish neck pain

102 Body & Mind

Human Race

How slower strength training = faster running


35 What It Takes... …to break two records by accident


RUSH JOB Why last minute training is futile

107 Elite Advice

MASTERPLAN Plot your way to a PB

Jo Pavey answers your training questions

36 Inbox You share your views

108 Diary Doctor

39 Noticeboard

Steve Smythe reworks your schedules

RW Readers on injury


Race 123 The Main Event

45 Murphy’s Lore

Black Death Run, Devon

Sam rediscovers an old training metric: fun

127 Route Recce Chester Half Marathon

46 Tonk Talk Tonky gets his caveman on with the paleo diet


129 Bring Back... ...the London To Brighton Road Race

113 T-shirts

131 Take Your Pick

New kit for spring

The best race series

119 On Test

135 Race Finder

Garmin Forerunner 620

Events for your diary

008 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14


LESSONS LEARNED Run your perfect race


GET SHORTY It’s time to ditch the long sleeves


HARD LABOUR But this race is worth the effort







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010 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14


R AVE RUN Location Beachy Head, East Sussex Runner Louisa Riley Photographer Ben Knight

Britain’s highest chalk cliff at 162m above sea level, Beachy Head sits at the most south-easterly edge of the South Downs National Park. With steep inclines and strong headwinds, the coastal trail is perfect for hill and endurance training. Send us your city Rave Run photos: tweet @runnersworlduk (#pumaraverun) or visit

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 011




Your first marathon is a momentous occasion. Conquering what London Marathon founder Chris Brasher eloquently dubbed the ‘suburban Everest’ is one of life’s great achievements. But it doesn’t come easy. If you’re about to run in London, or elsewhere, you’ll already have given a huge amount of time and dedication in training. Debutant or veteran, just reaching this point is medal-worthy, and now we’ll guide you through the psychologically-testing taper period (page 101) and the minefield of race-day mistakes (page 91). Of course, one man is aiming not just to finish his first marathon, but to win it. We spoke to the world’s best distance runner, Mo Farah, on how he’s prepared body and mind for the step up to marathon distance. Our cover star also spoke candidly about fame, family and even fisticuffs in a revealing portrait on page 48. While our eyes will be on London this April, our hearts will be in Boston. One year on from the bombings, we remember the tragic events and look ahead to what will be a poignant, redemptive Boston Marathon on April 21. All through the eyes of inspirational runners with their own unique perspectives (page 68). Whatever marathon you’re targeting, I hope this issue provides all the inspiration and practical know-how you need. And the best of British, especially to the man who is just that.

Andy Dixon

Art Director

Deputy Editor

Chief Sub Editor

Nick Thackray

Joe Mackie

Lisa Morgan

Senior Designer

Section Editor

Senior Writer

Dean Farrow

Ruth Emmett

Kerry McCarthy

Web Editor

Web Assistant

Ben Hobson

Annie Rice

I’m so excited to be part of the RW pace team at the Virgin Money London Marathon this year. Find out how you can run with us at, and come and say hello at the expo. My stats on have shown a recent fallow period. Luckily, my hamstring is being re-habbed by our resident physio Paul Hobrough (see p105), and I should be ready for April 13.


Adrian Monti

The RW US Editor at Large is a multiple Boston Marathon veteran. He won in 1968, but couldn’t finish in 2013. In Boston Stronger, he gives his unique insight into why this year’s Boston will be stronger than ever. p68

The RW regular put his body on the line to see if the precision training techniques of the elites could land an ‘ordinary’ runner a marathon PB. Find out how he measured up in ‘Tailor-Made Training’. p62

Contributing Editor Jo Pavey Contributors Liz Applegate, David Bradford, John Brant, Amby Burfoot, Johnny Dee, Nicole Falcone, Paul Hobrough, Matthew Kadey, Mackenzie Lobby, Lisa Marshall, Tobias Mews, Adrian Monti, Sam Murphy, Lisa Shung, Steve Smythe, Paul Tonkinson Creative Development Director Morgan Rees Group Publishing Director Alun Williams Sales Director of HearstRodale Duncan Chater Print and Digital Advertising Director Andrea Sullivan Senior Sales Executive Katherine Kendall Display Sales Executives Oliver Brierley, Sarah Ryder Production Manager Roger Bilsland Acting Marketing Director Jane Shackleton Marketing & Events Executive Katinka Dufour

012 RUNNER’S WORLD 03/13

Group Creative Solutions Director Gemma Frostick Group Creative Solutions Art Director Chris Anderson Group Creative Solutions Manager Elaine Niven Acting Group Creative Solutions Project Manager Samantha Peliza Multimedia Designer Doris Kropf

RODALE INTERNATIONAL Rodale Inc, 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 18098, USA

HEARST-RODALE JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS CEO, Hearst Magazines UK Arnaud de Puyfontaine President and CEO, Hearst Magazines International Duncan Edwards Finance Director, Hearst Magazines UK Andy Humphries Senior Vice President, Rodale International Robert Novick

BUSINESS Senior Vice President, Rodale International Robert Novick Executive Director of Business Development and Global Licensing Kevin LaBonge Director of Business Development and Global Marketing Angela Kim Assistant Director, Global Marketing Maria Urso Finance Analyst Moira O’Neill Business Development Coordinator Burcu Acarlar Production Assistant Shalene Chavez

HEARST MAGAZINES UK Director of Consumer Sales & Marketing Sharon Douglas HR Director Rachel Stock Business Manager Sarah Hammond Head of Newstrade Marketing Jennifer Caughey

EDITORIAL Editorial Director John Ville Deputy Editorial Director Veronika Taylor International Content Manager Karl Rozemeyer Assistant Editor Samantha Quisgard

Andy Dixon, Editor, @RW_ed_Andy

RUNNER’S WORLD Published by Hearst-Rodale Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP Tel: 020 7339 4400 Fax: 020 7339 4420 For annual subscription rates for the UK, please call our enquiry line on 0844 848 5203. Back issues, customer enquiries, change of address and orders to: RUNNER’S WORLD, Hearst Magazines UK Ltd, Tower House, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9EF (0844 848 5203; Mon to Fri, 8am to 9:30pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm). 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 WORLD is a trademark of, and is used under licence from, Rodale International. ISSN 1350-7745 Copyright © All rights reserved. RUNNER’S WORLD is printed and bound by Polestar Chantry, Wakefield. Distribution by Comag Ltd, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 7UE. HEARST MAGAZINES UK ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT All paper used to make this magazine is from sustainable sources and we encourage our suppliers to join an accredited green scheme. Magazines are now fully recyclable. Remove plastic wrappings and samples. Go to www. to find your nearest sites.

RUNNER’S WORLD, ISSN 1350-7745, is published monthly, 12 times a year, by NatMag Rodale Ltd c/o USACAN Media Corp. at 123A Distribution Way Building H-1, Suite 104, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Periodicals Postage paid at Plattsburgh, NY. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RUNNER’S WORLD c/o Express Mag, P.O. Box 2769, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-0239.








Words Ruth Emmett Photography Tom Miles Source: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

STEADY AS SHE GOES Researchers have found that cramming in training is counterproductive

Crash course Last-minute cramming might have seen you through your school exams, but sadly, the same tactic won’t work for races. In a study,* runners did 24 tough workouts, either spread out over eight weeks or stuffed into three. The eight-weekers dramatically improved their fitness, including a 10 per cent bump in V02 max. Not only did the crammers fail to reap the same rewards, but they actually saw their fitness levels drop as overtraining took its toll. If you’ve got a big race coming up, and you’re not quite in fighting form, don’t be tempted to indulge in a spot of crash training – it only leaves you more likely to crash out in the race.

HARD AND FAST FACTS Both groups only experienced the full fitness benefits of their hard workouts after they’d stopped, and once their bodies had time to adapt. The eight-week group posted their best V02 max figures four days after stopping, notching up an improvement of 10.7 per cent. The three-week group, meanwhile, posted their best stats a whole 12 days after stopping: an improvement of 6.1 per cent.

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Quick-Fire Question

Weight a while

Q: How can I liven up a treadmill session? Set the incline to one per cent, and do a 10-minute warm-up. Then increase the speed for three minutes, decrease to your warm-up pace for two minutes, increase your top speed by 1mph for three minutes, and decrease to warm-up pace for two minutes. Do this two to three times, then finish with a five-minute cool down. This 35- to 45-minute workout is more mentally engaging than a single-speed plod. - Running coach Jen Schomaker

At some point before a big race, you’ll need to ditch the weights work – but you might run a better race if you stick with it until just two weeks out. Athletes recorded their highest levels of muscular power in the eight to 14 days after stopping a regular programme of resistance training, in a new review of 103 separate studies.* Your body adapts to resistance work by activating more fast-twitch muscle fibres, and that process is at its peak in the days after, rather than during, your training. So it’s worth weighting it out.

Poll position

Q: During a race, I walk... 7%


Regularly – I run/ walk all my races


Never. I’ll run through anything



If something hurts and backing off pace helps

Through water stations

RW says: Don’t run through sudden sharp or escalating pain – you could make an injury much worse. For minor aches mid-race, try shifting your pace down for a couple of minute, then reassess, listening to your body.

UPLIFTING STORY Having a weight work break prior to your race can pay dividends

Run maths

Instant wisdom

Run to the beat

beats/ mile

*Average heart rate in beats/ minute

= Average pace in min/mile

Words Ruth Emmett Photography Getty Source: *Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports,; Poll of 178 runners

If I’m racing a longer distance than I’m used to

This measure of your cardiovascular fitness will steadily decrease as you become a more efficient runner.

40-45 Age range of the best 24-hour runners. Endurance runners ‘peak’ later than those targeting short distances - University of Zurich

‘If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.’ - Rev. Jesse Jackson 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 017





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How I ran it off

‘I can’t imagine not running’ My old life I used to play footy once a week, but I was still pretty big for my size. Then one day I jumped for a header and landed badly – the impact broke my ankle and fractured my shin. I couldn’t put any weight on my leg for seven months. The weight piled on due to inactivity, and as the time passed my diet started to get worse. I would constantly snack on cakes and crisps because I had nothing to do. At the time, I didn’t realise how bad I felt. I decided I needed to lose weight, mainly because my mates were telling me I was overweight and having a laugh at my expense. A few family members had also made remarks.

out. I just thought, ‘It’s worth sticking with it to try to achieve this.’ I did find it tough at first, but I loved getting out to have time to think while I ran. Now I can’t imagine not running.

FACT FILE Name Nick Cockburn Age 31 Home town Dudley, West Mids Before 14st (May 2011) Now 10st 9lb (Nov 2013) Weight lost 3st 5lb

I did the half in 2:07 and got the running bug. I ran my first marathon in Barcelona in 3:45, and now, in the past year, I’ve run 17 marathons and four ultras, including a 100K race. Running changed my appetite a lot. I used to eat for the sake of it, now I eat when I need to.


The future

The turnaround

I aim to run 35 to 40 miles a week. I like to do three runs in the week, going from five to eight miles, then one long run at the weekend varying from 13 to 20 miles.

The idea to run came by chance, as me and my friend were chatting about getting fit in the pub. We decided to sign up for a half marathon – but the next day, my mate dropped

I tell others: start things slowly and even though it’s tough, just imagine what you can achieve. With hard work and dedication, trust me you will surprise yourself.

Nick’s Picks It’s OK to miss the odd run If I missed a run then I would be chasing the miles all week. Sometimes it’s good to miss one if the body really needs rest.


Practise fuelling On my first marathon, I tried my first gel and it gave me stomach cramps. Now I’ve found the right gel for me and use them regularly.


Pick the right race A beginnerfriendly race is the Black Country to Birmingham Half Marathon: the finish at Brindleyplace is welcoming and near the bars for a drink.

A day in the diet How Nick’s menu has changed THEN



Words Ruth Emmett Photography Tom Miles

‘Before I started running, I wish I’d known…’





Toast or sausage sandwich

Chips, pizza, chicken nuggets

Chicken and chips or pie and chips

Cheesecake/ ice cream





Porridge, fruit, toast

Chicken, potatoes and fruit

Chicken with vegetables and pasta

Yoghurt and fruit

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 019

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Incredible bulk

ON TARGET A protein-rich diet promotes muscle growth

Most of us eat a carb-rich brekkie and lunch, and get the bulk of our protein in our evening meal. Yet research1 shows that your body can only synthesise muscle from up to 30g of protein at a time – making that gigantic chicken dinner a muscle-making bust. Most Brits do get more than enough protein in a day – men need about 55g; women, 45g – but since you can’t carry over your protein allowance from one meal to the next, you’d do well to spread your intake out over the day. Muscle up. THE PROTEIN MENU One tablespoon of hummus mixed with one can of tuna, served in a salad. 27g protein

Words Ruth Emmett Photography Getty Sources: 1. McMaster University 2. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 3. The Journal of Physiology

Time to go natural with vitamins Multivitamins have been getting a bad rap recently – and it looks like they might have specific drawbacks for endurance athletes. Runners took 1,000mg of vitamin C and 235mg of vitamin E (amounts often found in shop-bought supps) during an 11-week study.2 The pills seemed to slow down mitochrondria production in volunteers’ muscle cells, as compared to a placebo-popping control group. That’s bad news: mitochrondria are a cell’s power supply. Eat citrus fruits, sunflower seeds and nuts to get your C and E the natural way.

Word on the tweet

What’s your fave energy booster?




Lucozade Sport drink, jelly babies, Mars bar. But only for races longer than 13 miles

I make my own with Meridian peanut butter @ScienceinSport Chocolate ReGo powder, flaxseed and crushed almonds

Personally would never use mid-race, but I like Bounce Balls products as a snack or post-workout treat

Instant wisdom


minutes – the time your brain takes to register that your stomach’s full after a meal.

‘Don’teatanything yourgreatgrandmother wouldn’trecognise asfood’ - Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

Run maths

Healthy racing

= A 14% drop in calorie intake

Multi story

2 times more chews per bite

Two-egg omelette made with 30g of feta cheese and chopped spinach. 19g protein

Your normal chew rate

40g porridge oats mixed with three quarters of a scoop of whey powder. 21g protein

Take your time over your food and chew thoroughly to help stop over-eating.3

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 021


The best fruit snack bar none

Makes 16 bars

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time 35 minutes

Photography Mowie Kay Recipe from Streamline Strawberry Jam, £1.69 for 400g

All-natural DIY energy bars packed with nutrients to help you ace that race Make sure your next race really bears fruit: these strawberry bars provide a perfect pre-event energy boost. ‘Making your own energy bars not only saves money but means you can use natural ingredients packed with nutrients – dried fruit, nuts and oats,’ says nutritionist Anita Bean. ‘Commercial bars contain processed carbs, like maltodextrin, glucose syrup and a host of other ingredients that you wouldn’t find in your kitchen. More importantly, homemade bars taste better!’ The berries – which have a unique blend of polyphenols, minerals and vitamin C – might also help fight harmful cholesterol, according to a recent review of multiple studies, published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. Stick them in an airtight tin and they will keep for a week.

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and manganese – both needed for strong bones – and zinc, which helps keep your immune system healthy.

While the bars are relatively high in fat – 9g per slice – each has only around 186kcal, and a very high 11g of energydelivering sugar

Ingredients • 100g unsalted butter • 50g light muscovado sugar, unrefined • 100g clear honey • 100g dried strawberries • 60g mixed seeds • 40g chopped nuts • 200g oats • 50g plain flour • 5tbsp reduced-sugar strawberry jam

A special type of fibre called beta-glucan gives oats their own cholesterolcontrolling powers.


Heat the oven to 170C.

Line a 20x20cm baking tray or brownie tin with greaseproof paper. Heat the butter, sugar and honey in a pan until all melted together.


In a mixing bowl, combine the dried strawberries, seeds, nuts, oats and flour. Stir in the butter mixture.


Pour half the mixture into the baking tray and spread out evenly. Press with the back of a spoon to compact. Spread the jam over the flapjack. Pour the rest of the mixture on top and spread to the corners, compacting with a spoon.


Bake for 35 minutes until golden on top and set aside to cool before cutting into squares or bars.


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WA R M • U P S / M I N D + H E A LT H

Piece of mind Stuck for inspiration at work? Slip out of the office and slip on your trainers – a new study suggests that runners might be better at creative thinking than the general population.* In tests of both ‘divergent thinking’ (being able to come up with many different solutions for any given problem) and ‘convergent thinking’ (the ability to hone in on one specific solution), volunteers who got four hours of aerobic exercise a week trumped their inactive counterparts. ‘Exercising on a regular basis may act as a cognitive enhancer, promoting creativity in inexpensive and healthy ways,’ says cognitive psychologist and study author Lorenza Colato. The art of running: research has found that exercise can increase creativity

Run maths

Fast facts

Words Ruth Emmett Photography Getty Sources: 1. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2. British Journal of Sports Medicine 3. Harvard University

People who do regular moderate intensity exercise are three times more likely to be healthy in old age… …yet vigorous exercisers are four times likelier to have a healthy old age. Add regular speed sessions into your training mix. *2

150 mins per week of aerobic exercise


More drive to run

On sweet

How running boosts libido

Eat to your heart’s content

We all know that exercise can help ease the symptoms of depression, but new University of Texas at Austin research suggests that it may help counter some of the side effects of anti-depressant drugs, too. Pills such as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can lower libido and make it harder to reach orgasm. However, researchers found that women who took up exercise reported improvements in both these areas. And those who exercised immediately before sex experienced even greater improvements in sexual functioning.

Some bittersweet news: too much sugar might be increasing your risk of heart trouble. Researchers used people who got less than 10 per cent of their daily calories from added sugar – as opposed to natural sugars in fruit, veg and grains – as their baseline. Compared with this virtuous lot, people who got 10-25 per cent of their energy from added sugar carried a 30 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular death. More bad news: an intake higher than 25 per cent of your daily kcals is linked to a shocking 175 per cent higher risk.

60 mins of resistance work per week


40 per cent drop in diabetes risk*3


per cent – the decrease in the risk of kidney stones for exercisers, compared with inactive people American Society of Nephrology

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 025


One key move

Cat Camel ‘Slowly flexing and extending your spine in small ranges of motion is a great way to prepare your core for any activity,’ says sports scientist Dr Jordan Metzl.


On your hands and knees, gently arch your back – don’t push – then lower your head and raise your upper back, rounding your spine. That’s one rep.

Got it in the neck? Does running often feel like a literal pain in the neck? Your posture might be less than ideal. Yet one simple exercise could help relieve that ache. Office workers did lateral shoulder raises for two minutes every day, in a study reported by BioMed Research International. Ten weeks on, the volunteers had a drastic 40 per cent drop in neck and shoulder pain. Their shoulder muscles were also six per cent stronger and there was less muscular tension in that area, as measured by electromyography. All of which might help you stop running with tight, hunched shoulders.


Move back and forth between the start and finish positions, without pushing at either end of the movement.

Poll position

Q: How many rest days do you squeeze in per week? 10%



None – I run every day

21% One



Words Ruth Emmett Photography Illustration Kagan McLeod Source: *1, British Journal of Sports Medicine, Poll of 152 runners



RW says: To ward off overuse injuries, try to schedule in at least two non-consecutive rest days per week.

Instant wisdom

‘Overuse injuries have a lot to do with not paying attention to your body… not being able to trust what your body is telling you’ Stan Beecham, sports psychologist

STICK ’EM UP To do a lateral shoulder raise, stand on the middle of a long resistance band, holding one end in each hand. Raise your arms out to the side, until they’re at right angles to your body. For more help with your posture, see ‘The New Core Curriculum, p76


per cent increase in pain tolerance after six weeks of aerobic exercise. So running really does make you tougher. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

THINKING LATERALLY Attack neck and shoulder pain with this exercise

Applied science How tailor-made taping can help Taping up really does work when it comes to relieving knee pain – but only if you get it applied by someone who knows what they are doing. In a review of 20 studies, researchers found that a ‘tailored’ application of sports tape – professionally customised to the individual patient – resulted in a large reduction of pain.*1 However, ‘untailored’ application (the stick-itand-see approach) resulted in only negligible pain relief. If you’re thinking of using Kinesio, book at least one physio appointment to get advice on tailored taping.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 027




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‘SPAT was the catalyst I needed to get back in gear’

Words Ruth Emmett Photography Tom Miles

How a charitable organisation is using running to transform lives

KEEP ON RUNNING Members of Londonbased charity SPAT, with founder James Gilley (third from right)


rom lifting your mood to reshaping your body, running is famous for helping to change things for the better – and now the sport is giving homeless young people in London the tools that they need to completely transform their lives. SPAT (Social Purpose and Time) is a new registered charity which uses

running to introduce structure into young people’s lives, and give them confidence in their own abilities. It’s the first programme of its kind in the UK – and it’s already getting great results. Steve Oltay, 20, had been living in a tent in the woods for three months before he was introduced to SPAT via the New Horizon Youth Centre in north

London. After a long struggle with heavy drug use, he weighed just eight stone. ‘I’d never trained before in my life,’ he says, ‘and when I first started, I was out of breath in a minute. But the trainers stayed behind me – and kept pushing me – and eventually, with their support, I improved.’ Just seven months on, and Steve is a much healthier 13 stone. He’s quit 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 031


SUCCESS STORIES Steve Oltay (left) and Claude Umuhire

GIANT STEPS Training is at the heart of SPAT’s work in the community

TEAM BONDING Tough sessions forge a close group

The intersection

have my own place now and I work in an office in Central London. SPAT was the catalyst I needed to get back in gear.’ From recruitment to graduation, each

‘SPAT taught us that if you want to change something, you’ve got to get out and go after it’ SPAT cycle is six months long. During that time, participants race regularly, take part in weekly sessions run by specialist trainers and volunteers from the local running community, and have the chance to earn themselves new running gear for clocking at least 75 per cent attendance.

The China syndrome

Karl Lagerfeld pairs couture dresses with trainers (cost: €3,000) for Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week show. The models race down a staircase to the catwalk/


To raise funds, donate or volunteer visit, or find out more about New Horizon at

Where running and culture collide

Model behaviour


close-knit team. There are people I never usually spoke to, who I speak to every day now, so it’s become almost like a little family.’

An underwear fun run gets a twist after Beijing issues an ‘orange alert’ for air pollution. Many runners use a gas mask for the two-mile race.




Heel to pay


Plus points

Aussie steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell is selling ad space on her ankle – for $30,000 she’ll get a tattoo of your logo before the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The first ever Nike Waffle shoe has sold for $1,500 to retro footwear site ShoeZeum. Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman made the prototype himself.

Plus-size women are finally in the running for some decent kit – British company Taking Shape launches a range of workout gear in sizes 14 to 26.

032 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14


Photography Getty, SS14 Taking Shape

smoking, has found housing and, with the encouragement of the SPAT team, has also recently completed his level two gym instructor qualification. It’s all because SPAT takes a very goal-oriented approach, as another graduate, 23-year-old Claude Umuhire, explains: ‘I was living in a shelter and I was always determined to get myself out of that situation, I just didn’t know how to go about it. SPAT taught us that if you want to change something, you’ve got to get out and go after it. ‘I took that idea of setting myself goals and used it for my life: I wanted to find work, I wanted to be able to privately rent my own place. It really worked: I do

Yet the programme doesn’t end there. ‘After our last big race, we had a graduation party and that’s when James told us he was expanding SPAT,’ Claude says. ‘He asked us to become mentors and encourage other young people to get involved.’ With an estimated 75,000 homeless young people in the UK, there’s always more to be done. So both Steve and Claude joined up, and are now part of a team of seven mentors – although as Claude points out, some of SPAT’s graduates haven’t been able to come back because the programme was so successful for them that they now work full-time. The mentors pitch in and assist at training sessions, helping to guide the next group of homeless youngsters who are finding their feet with SPAT’s help. After running helped improve his health and mindset, Claude says this next part of the process gave him a little extra benefit – a new sense of community. ‘Mentoring has given me some added feeling like I need to look after someone else – extra responsibility to help someone who’s in the same situation as you,’ he says. ‘It’s almost like a therapeutic process.’ ‘To go through that kind of physical exertion together, you end up as a pretty



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WHAT IT TAKES TO… Break two running records… by accident SUNNY SIDE UP Record-breaker Rik Vercoe in California

JUST DESERTS The Marathon Des Sables

The Big Story

Education secretary Michael Gove recently said teachers should reintroduce old-school punishments such as litter picking, writing out lines – and ‘extra physical activity, such as running around a playing field.’ RW readers’ response was unanimous.

ROUND THE CLOCK The Dusk To Dawn Marathon

Idiot. We had to run as punishment at my school, one of the reasons I didn’t realise it was fun till my late 20s. Jules Bristow

The man is dreadful. That is just appalling. He needs to talk to the health dept. re obesity and mental health! Susan Kennedy

There is no end to his ridiculousness! Vicky Maisey

I’m truly horrified and I don’t even have any children. Paul Cotterill

Agree – or disagree – that running should be used to discipline naughty children? Pipe up at

Words Ruth Emmett Illustration Son Of Alan

SHOULDERING ON The Viking Coastal Marathon

Avid runner Rik Vercoe didn’t intend to end up in the record books – but after completing 152 marathons/ultras in 2013, that’s exactly what he did. Rik now holds the British record for most marathons completed in 365 days, up from the previous record of 114. ‘My year was not without mishap,’ says 43-year-old Rik. ‘In July, I picked up an injury which turned out to be the early stages of a stress fracture. I couldn’t run a step for a full six weeks, missing out on more than 20 planned marathons.’ Injury aside, Rik managed to place 39th in the Marathon des Sables, and went on to win both the Brathay and Irish 10 marathons in 10 days events. Then in October, he ran more than 30 miles each day through every county in England, becoming one of the first two

people to complete Ultra Running Ltd’s Relentless race. He then added ‘the icing on the cake’ to his year of running by scooping the world record for fastest time to run 10 marathons in 10 days, and completed 16 marathons in Long Beach, California. That’s a scarily impressive amount of running for one year. So what’s in store for 2014? ‘I intend to run Comrades in South Africa,’ says Rik. ‘And generally have a rest.’ Who could blame him?

The rules of running

No 19: Non-runners don’t care that much about running

Running Rik’s numbers • Rik’s average marathon time: Sub-4:00 • Rik’s fastest city race: Dublin marathon, 2:56:23 • Rik’s fastest trail run: The third day of Enigma Running’s Three Lake Challenge, 2:58:48 • Rik’s fastest overall time: Long Beach, California, 2:54:22

It’s fine to chat about running with non-runners. If they ask about it, it’d be rude not to! But know your limits: no reciting marathon mile splits, describing the colour of your urine or showing off your missing toenails. Extract from The Runner’s Rule Book by Mark Remy (£11.99, Rodale) 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 035




It’s no joke Shame on you! You do some good work on depression, then let Rob Delaney write: ‘I enjoy those workouts where you feel like you want to throw up, because I’m mentally ill.’ [RW Mar] An offensive joke belittling mental illness – just another reason why society doesn’t take it seriously. Stuart Hatcher, via email

Michelle Kerr, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

The road to recovery

Thanks for a fantastic article on obstacle racing [RW Mar]. I enjoy basic HARD CORE grassroots Reader Pedro, as featured running, in RW, Feb yet I want to encourage all runners to give obstacle racing a go. You need to train your core and upper body, which gives you a more stable form, and because of all the hills and mud, your legs are stronger too. And mud is apparently very good for your skin. Pedro Upton, via email

In 2009, aged 11, I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called aplastic anaemia. I had a bone marrow transplant and went on to receive as many as nine blood transfusions per week. I could barely walk to the bathroom without getting out of breath. But when I went into remission last year, my friend and I ran the British 10K London Run to celebrate. I fell in love with running and I’m planning a half marathon this October. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Elliot Deady, Essex

The month in mail 3

1 letter took a government minister to task

Turn to p76 for The New Core Curriculum – a masterclass in working your middle

12 per cent of letters were from charity place holders

How could Sports Minister Helen Grant say women want more ‘feminine’ sports, like cheerleading? Kirsty Mundell, Argyll

Twelve months ago, I was pushing 40 and relaxing on the sofa was my main pursuit. On a whim – or a moment of madness – I ran a couple of miles. I felt a sense of achievement along with the pain, and eventually found that I could run further and faster. I am no longer run-down and hit by every bug going around. I have found a positivity of thought. I feel alive and I know I am fitter now than maybe at any point of my adult life. Will Thacker, Birmingham

London calling Before the London Marathon Meet the Experts session, I was pretty dejected. I wasn’t enjoying the pressure of trying to run faster and further week after week. By the end of the conference, my outlook couldn’t have been more different. Andy Dixon talking about the pace-setters reassured me that I won’t be alone; Liz Yelling provided confidence with her training advice; and Sophie Raworth helped me think pragmatically about my race. I now understand that the pressure I’m feeling is coming entirely from me – by having faith in my

training and running my own race, I will get across that finish line. Nicki Guyver, Leeds

We’re so Surrey

JOY OF SIX Surrey’s Greensand Marathon

I think I know where most of your readers live – Surrey! Of the 75 Races Of The Year [RW Feb] a whopping 12 are in Surrey. My son lives there, so I know all about the wild boars that scrounge food from the litter bins in Leatherhead, the frozen wastes of Godalming and the reintroduction of wolves into Box Hill. Yet, given the varied landscape of the UK, and the rural wonders of Scotland, Wales, the Lakes and the Peak District, I cannot believe that six of the top 10 trail runs are in Surrey. Barry Norris, Swansea RW says: An even geographical spread would be great – but the races were chosen using ratings. Get voting for a Welsh race next year, Barry!

What’s inspired, annoyed or spurred you on this month? The writer of the winning letter will receive a pair of Saucony ProGrid Hurricane 15 shoes, worth £110. Don’t forget to include your name, address and shoe size.* Write Letters, Runner’s World, 33 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DQ Email

036 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

Photography Ben Knight

Life begins at 40

MILES BETTER Reader Elliot took to running after a serious illness

Mud for it

people wrote in asking about the best way to strengthen their core

Delighted to see chia seeds in Trend Watch [March]. I used to eat cereal before my morning run, but changed to granola with a sprinkle of chia. I have more energy, my hair and nails seem stronger and my skin is glowing.


Twitter @runnersworlduk Facebook runnersworlduk


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Beating injury Q What’s your best bit of injury-beating advice?

Roll your calves on a wrapped four-pack of tuna (if you don’t have a foam roller)

Q What’s the oddest injury you ever sustained?

I knocked myself out on a low canal bridge @SixtyFootDoll, via Twitter

I injured my calf while avoiding a squirrel… @pipinfort, via Twitter

I bruised a shin when I fell down a manhole. @MichaelJCav, via Twitter

Runner’s sore nose: due to snot rockets. Alex Williams, Facebook

I got stung on the tongue while singing. @Acttivo, via Twitter

Tripped and fell into a bunch of nettles. Julia Neufeind, Facebook

Adrian Turner, Facebook

By not running for a week or two, you can do a lot of recovering. I took two weeks off, and set a 10K PB. Paul Anthony, Facebook

I have an injury [but] I’m volunteering at a local Parkrun. Parkrun. Sally C Crusher, Facebook

For a non-impact form of exercise, try aqua jogging. A lifesaver for me post foot surgery.

Photography Getty

Darren Wood, Facebook

I’m using the visualisation of my last great run to keep me focused on the future. Isabelle Szczecinski, Facebook

‘Injury is something you adopt temporarily (hopefully!). Running is something you adopt permanently’ Tina Costanza, via Facebook

Case study Runner: Kelly Forrester, Devon After last Christmas, I fell eight feet off my horse and broke three ribs. Ouch. I couldn’t walk, let alone run. I bought RW to keep my spirits high, and the many training tips helped me pick up running just four weeks after my fall. I’m up to six

miles again after six weeks and enrolled in Pilates. In fact, I’m so happy to be running, I’ve entered two 10Ks and a half marathon. TOP TIP: Read RW: it’s vital for runners like me, who aren’t in a club but still want to enjoy all the healthy, highly addictive benefits from running.

Most Popular InjuryBeating Tips Get a gait analysis Strengthen your core Stretch morning and night See a physio Connect with other runners Take a strategic training break

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 039



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Illustration Pietari Posti

‘The measure of how well my training is going will be how much fun I’m having’ I hit the heady heights of PB success not once, but three times last year. I trained sensibly, consistently and progressively – remaining injury-free as my mileage grew and my speed increased. It felt so good to be able to get up, put my kit on and go, without having to worry about endless rehab exercises or what distance I should limit myself to. It felt even better to run my fastest 10 miles ever aged 43. Running equalled pleasure, just as it should. But as so often happens, success brought not satisfaction, but further expectation. We reach a longed-for goal and simply move the goalposts further away. That’s exactly what I did. Reining in the exuberance that had characterised my recent running, I focused my mind on what I needed to do to shave the next sliver off my shiny new PBs. Well, I could up my weekly mileage, throw in an additional running day or make my staple runs pacier. A fortnightly track session had done wonders, so why not upgrade it to weekly and get that 400m time down? While hitting pace targets is undeniably gratifying, training can become relentless when you’re performing every session under pressure. And the more times you do hit the target, the more you feel you have to lose if and when you don’t. I once discussed the relative merits of monitoring performance parameters versus running by feel with Matt Fitzgerald, author of RUN: The MindBody Method of Running by Feel (£15, VeloPress). ‘I don’t think any runner can realise his or her full potential

without paying attention to time in at least some workouts,’ he told me. ‘But it is certainly not necessary to monitor pace during every run. Every runner appreciates the simple joy of running, and sometimes running is most enjoyable when unmediated by technology.’ I totally agree with Fitzgerald, but my goal greed had left me feeling there was no room in my schedule for fun runs. While my ‘precision attack’ approach yielded improvements, it all became a little less fun, a little more stressful. One morning, out for a recovery run the day after a tough 12-miler, I caught sight of myself in a shop window. I looked how I felt: weary, tense and miserable. If I’d been someone else, I’d have advised her to go home and take a couple of days’ rest. That was the day I first felt the nagging ache in my hamstring.

Speedy stat

47 % of coaches reported that injuries influence athletes psychologically as well as physiologically Source: Sport Psychologist

It was just a ghost of a pain at first, but reluctant to let all that hardwon fitness go to waste, I continued to train as hard as I could, until eventually, I was visibly limping. Sport psychologists have likened how athletes respond to injury to the experience of grief according to the Kübler-Ross model, which outlines a grieving process consisting of five stages: denial (injury? What injury?), anger (it’s so unfair!), bargaining (I’ll start doing those rehab exercises as soon as my next race is out of the way), depression (what’s the point? All that hard work for nothing) – and, finally, acceptance. Elisabeth KüblerRoss, the psychiatrist who developed the model, noted that the five stages didn’t always follow the same order and sometimes, a stage was revisited. I got stuck at bargaining. Just let me do my track session and I’ll take it easy for the rest of the week… Of course, it doesn’t work like that. Pile stress on to an already-unhappy body part and it won’t play nicely. I ended up sidelined for two months. Depressing, yes. But it gave me time to refocus, and what I realised is that the most important thing for me about running is the running itself. When I was labouring through cross-training sessions or reluctantly striking through planned races in my diary, it wasn’t those measures of success that I craved; it was the simple pleasure of running across the fields with the sun – or rain – beating down on my back, the camaraderie of heading out on a Saturday morning with my club mates, the rhythm of my footsteps, as familiar as my own heartbeat. I’m finding my way back to fitness now, but this time I’m not pushing so hard. I don’t want to deny myself the joy of running just when I’m appreciating what I missed. The measure of how well my training is going will now be how much fun I’m having. After all, that’s what yielded those peak performances last year, and even if it doesn’t happen this time round, at least I’ll run happy. Sam Murphy is a running coach and author ( 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 045





‘I fantasised about spaghetti bolognese, at night I dreamed of toast and potatoes’

Illustration Pietari Posti

For years I scorned the idea of diets. As a northerner, my childhood was spent outside playing, fuelled by a continuous supply of butties, pork scratchings and chips. Any fruit was tinned and washed down with carnation milk. Sugar was added to anything and everything. It was a tsunami of cholesterol and bad choices. I remember eating dog biscuits ‘for a laugh’. As I grew up, I discovered pasta and even ventured, tentatively at first, into salads. Oily fish replaced battered. Beef went organic. My body shape remained fundamentally the same, naturally thin, the envy of my chunkier mates. Into my 40s the weight has become harder to shift. The body is more sensitive to food. Bread is gorgeous but bloating. There’s a band around my stomach… not a large one, but an undeniable heft that didn’t used to be there. It’s like a fleshy wine deposit, a seam of doughy flump. So this spring I went Paleo. Caveman. What has been loosely termed the ‘stone-age diet’. As well as appealing to my comedic instincts, the science seemed solid. It argues that our bodies have not yet adapted to 21st century food trends; the high-carb, low-fat diet with lots of grains and fruits has left us bloated and over-sugared. Paleo advocates a return to caveman rhythms via meat and oily fish, loads of veg, seasonal fruit. Nothing processed, no sugary drinks, no bread, no pasta, no potatoes. There are periods


Words #20 Diets and running

046 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

of fasting to replicate those long hours on the savannah spent walking and hungry before gorging on an antelope. Low carbs, high fat. I liked its simplicity and its countercultural feel, so I went for it. Instead of sugary, grainy cereals, I moved to eggs – omelette or scrambled – and maybe a slice of chorizo. Dinner became salmon and broccoli. During the day I snacked on nuts and blueberries. At tea-time, while 21st century heathens gorged on pasta, I ate meat, tearing off clumps of kale with bare hands and pointing at the silver bird in the sky that passeth like the breath of the gods in terrible sound and fury. Over the next couple of weeks I embraced caveman philosophies. I found myself washing less, communicating in grunts. My relationship with the family pets became fraught as I began to view them as a potential food source. At night I fashioned my own clothing from fur and bone. I sat with my family watching spirits dancing and shrieking from the strange box in the corner. In truth, the weight flew off. In two weeks I lost half a stone. I felt sharper, alive. My hair is lustrous, my senses heightened. But there were downsides. I found it hard to keep the diet varied. I’d often eat tuna from a tin. Healthy, proteinous, oily and lovely – but seen from a distance a rather pathetic image. In reality, I was also permanently a little bit hungry. I was thinking of food, continuously. During the

‘If the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything’ John L Parker, Once a Runner

‘You never see deer and dogs worrying about menus, yet they run faster than humans’ Emil Zátopek, multiple Olympic champion


Maranoia (n) The nervous state during a pre-marathon taper that amplifies every sniffle into PBdream ending pneumonia, and every twinge into a debilitating chronic injury.

day I fantasised about spaghetti bolognese, at night I dreamed of toast and potatoes. Of course, the big question is, did it help my running? The answer is, alas, no. Two days into the diet I did a hill session of six sprints up a 200m progressively steepening incline. It felt brilliant, I was already feeling lighter and I flew up. However, by two weeks in I had noticed a slight weakening on my runs. I never got that feeling that comes when you chip into the forest with a belly full of pasta and run it off in an hour and a half. I was running on empty. I returned to the hills and to my dismay I could only manage four reps. The tank was empty. That night at the dinner table I toyed with broccoli. Circling the kids’ plates I inhaled the juicy, sumptuous roast-potatoey smell. Then caveman pounced… oh, glorious forbidden earth fruit! I dipped it in the river of gravy and I ate it. Purest nectar. Then caveman dipped bread in the gravy, at which point the diet officially ended. I would go on to take elements of it forward, but I had learned with absolute certainty that potatoes are utterly central to a pleasurable life. Paul Tonkinson is a standup comedian who spends his time running and philosophising

‘All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt’

‘Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos’

Charles M Shulz, Peanuts creator

Don Kardong, Olympic marathoner and author





048 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14



05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 049 047

Road show Mo’s marathon training involves gruelling 135-mile weeks

050 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14



oving between the vast network of buildings at Nike Global Headquarters, Mo Farah walks contentedly amid the bustling throng, completely ignored by everyone around him. Maybe the ‘campus’, as its 8,000 employees affectionately call it, is just used to the glitterati of the sporting world wandering its corridors. Or maybe the double Olympic and double World champion just blends in as he ambles along, hands in the pockets of his plain grey tracksuit. Either way, as a proud and, I have to admit, everso-slightly star-struck Brit, I’m disappointed not to see any covert whispering or pointing. Mo Farah isn’t, though. The ignorance of others is bliss as far as he’s concerned. Over lunch (Thai chicken with brown rice, a humongous side salad and a strawberry milkshake), he makes it clear that the anonymity is being put to good use as he prepares to break new ground in London’s great showpiece on April 13. ‘My life has got busier in the past few years,’ he says with considerable understatement. ‘One of the reasons I moved out here was so I could have no distractions. That is even more important now I’m stepping up to the road. It’s hard enough without having to deal with anything else.’ ‘Stepping up to the road’ is how Farah refers to his impending debut over the marathon distance at London later this month. If you’ve run a marathon, you’ll know that simply training to complete the race is challenge enough – but Farah is not only making his first attempt at a big step up in distance, he has his sights set on a debut victory. If he succeeds he’ll become the first British male to win London since Eamonn Martin 21 years ago.


you’re the king – or you get beat,’ he says. But as soon as he steps off the track he is, in his own words, ‘just Mo again’; the guy who goes home and watches a Prison Break boxset. Not that he is complaining too loudly; Farah’s humble background is well documented. But for casual followers of the sport here’s a short summary of his early life: A Somalian boy from very poor family comes to Britain aged eight, and struggles with a new language and culture, school bullies and dyslexia. He performs poorly in lessons but harbours dreams of playing football for Arsenal. Luckily his PE teacher spots his running potential and eases the boy down the athletics route. Then boy proceeds to conquer all before him at every junior level throughout his teenage years and discovers his true purpose in life. It’s tempting to say the rest is history and fast-forward to Modern Mo: the huge, white toothy grin; the Mobot; the sponsorship deals; the gold medals, the world titles; the moniker of Britain’s Great Ever Distance Runner (™Brendan Foster). In between, though, are years of intensely hard graft. Soul-destroying, back-breaking training sessions, twice a day in the cold, wind and rain mixed with initially shabby digs, poor nutrition and little idea of how an athlete should live when not actually training. ‘I didn’t know what I was doing, man,’ he says. ‘I’d do my training, but I didn’t know anything about recovery, so afterwards I’d play football with my mates, maybe grab fish and chips. In the evenings I’d go out for a couple of beers and maybe on to a club.’ One story inextricably linked to ‘Early Farah’ is the tale of the time he ended a night out by responding to a dare to strip naked and jump off Kingston Bridge into the freezing Thames. As he swam ashore his friends shouted that the

‘In Portland, I could walk around butt-naked and no one would blink’

Star player

More of London later. Back at lunch, in between satisfied slurps of his milkshake, Mo is explaining how exactly his life has changed since he began slaying all before him on the track three years ago. ‘In the UK now, if I want a pint of milk I have to time it right and leg it to the shop as quickly as I can and get back before I get stopped by autograph hunters or photographers,’ he says. ‘Here in Portland, I could walk through the streets butt-naked every day and no one would blink. Nobody knows who I am – and, if they did, they wouldn’t care.’ Even he’s competing or training abroad, if the rest of the Farah clan are in London, there will be a couple of snappers camped outside the Farah home to get shots of the family as they go about their daily lives. The intense interest is something Farah accepts, but doesn’t really understand. On the job he’s a superstar, currently without equal in his field: ‘When you line up at a race you have to have ego, to believe

The Farah way

Mo’s typical training week, as prescribed by Alberto Salazar Monday


AM: 10-mile recovery run (6:00min/mile pace) PM: 6-mile recovery run

AM: 12-mile recovery run, followed by a massage PM: 5-mile recovery run

to recover; 4-mile cool-down run Noon: Strength and conditioning session (1 hour) PM: 4 miles easy




AM: 4-mile warm-up run; 8-12 mile tempo run anywhere from 4:40 to 5:00min/mile pace (depending on altitude and terrain); 3-mile cool-down run Noon: Strength and conditioning session (1 hour) [see Mo Pain, Mo Gain, page 52] PM: 6-mile recovery run

AM: 11-mile recovery run PM: 6-mile recovery run

AM: 11-mile recovery run, massage PM: 6-mile recovery run



AM: 4-mile warmup jog; 10x200m intervals (with 200m recovery jogs) on grass in 29 seconds each rep; 10x200m hill sprints at equal effort, walk back down

AM: 22-27 miles, no slower than marathon race pace + 1 minute (for Mo, this means 5:40min/mile)

Total: 126-135 miles per week.

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police were coming, so Farah ran away into nearby suburban streets – only to be found some time later shivering and naked in someone’s front garden by his giggling compadres who explained that the police thing had actually been a joke. It sounds like the stuff of urban legend, but Farah tells the story himself in his autobiography The tipping point into true professionalism was a change of accommodation. His agent, Ricky Simms – who also boasts Usain Bolt on his books – moved him into a Teddington house with a bunch of Kenyan runners. ‘For the first few weeks I would be playing on the computer while they watched race videos of themselves over and over again,’ says Farah. ‘At 8:30pm I’d be going out and they’d be going to bed.’ But Farah soon embraced ‘the Kenyan way’, and started travelling to training camps in Iten in Kenya’s Rift Valley, where the daily routine was: eat, train, sleep; eat, train, sleep. No TV, no books, no Playstation, and certainly no jumping off Bridges. The only fun was helping to catch the chickens that his training mates would then prep for dinner. These stints of the monastic Rift Valley regime, along with the more permanent uprooting of his life to Oregon to train under legendary coach Alberto Salazar, paid spectacular dividends and the rest really is history. Between 2010 and 2013, Farah went from serial fourth-placed nearly-man to Olympic leviathan, adding World Champs glory either side of the London Games to complete an incredible period of consistent dominance. Who hasn’t seen the images of him crossing the line first at London 2012 – not once, but twice – arms outstretched and bug-eyed with ecstasy: the first ever Britain to take Olympic gold in a distance running event? ‘You’d think I would have been nervous,’ says Farah, ‘but coming into the final stages of those races I was confident because I had done the training. I had finally discovered that what happens on the track is not about what happens on the day, but what has gone before.’ An old but valuable piece of wisdom. I quote Muhammad Ali at him: ‘The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.’ ‘Yes!’ he shouts. ‘Exactly. Before, I would probably have started to stress and then tie up near the end, but in the final kilometre I was thinking that I had spent the last year waking up each day and asking myself, “What more do I need to do? Do I have the speed? Do I have the endurance? Have I prepared mentally? Is there anything else?” I knew I had given it my all so I was confident.’

Capital investment

The whole running community is fascinated to see if this training methodology will be enough to secure the marathon victory Farah craves at London. So, after running half the course last year as a factfinding mission, and knocking out 120-mile weeks for the past three months in a high-altitude training camp, how does he rate his chances? ‘I don’t want to say: “I am definitely going to win,”’ he says, ‘but I feel really good. I have a good chance. The race is what we call “fully loaded” which means all the top athletes are going to be there, but you know what? I am one of the top athletes, so I would say that if I arrive at the start having done everything Alberto wants me to, and with no niggles, then I think I might win. ‘Marathons are won in the last two miles and I’m well matched to what is required. If you look at the finishes from London in the past 10 years, almost all of them have been won by someone surging with a mile or so to go and breaking the opposition. It’s all over by Birdcage Walk. But if it did come to a sprint, then I have my speed from years on a track so I have that covered too.’ There’s obviously no doubting Farah’s pedigree when it comes to a finishing kick, but there’s a big difference between producing it after 24 laps and 25 miles. With that in mind, how has he altered his training to prepare for the step up in distance? ‘Alberto’s made me change my gait for marathon, so that I’m less loping and more compact; I do much more core work so that I’m stronger and my form doesn’t fatigue as quickly,’ he says. ‘And, of

On track to win ‘If London comes to a sprint finish, I have speed covered’

London, starring... Farah faces a ‘fully loaded’ field at the VLM

Wilson Kipsang Kenya, 2:03:23 (PB), world record

Emmanuel Mutai

Geoffrey Mutai

Kenya, 2:03:52, London Marathon record-holder

Kenya, 2:04:15, 2013 New York Marathon champion

course, the distances I’m running are longer. By the time I start my taper I’ll have done a couple of 26.2-mile runs. We’ve even discussed how to use the advantage from a home crowd cheering me on – we’ve left nothing to chance.’ [For more details on Farah’s training schedule see The Farah way, page 49.] Such straight-talking, allied with the inevitable hype, could make him even more vulnerable to that very British institution, the media backlash. Witness Paula Radcliffe’s tabloid rebranding from heroine to quitter after one bad race. So, is he not feeling worried about the media reaction if it all goes pear-shaped on race day? ‘It doesn’t matter what I say or don’t say. If I don’t win I’ll get slammed by certain press anyway,’ says Farah with a shrug. ‘I got battered last year for only running half of the course. One minute I’m an Olympic hero and the next the Daily Mail is saying that I’m lazy for only doing half the race and am cashing in.’ Suddenly Farah sits upright, all eyes and waving hands, caught in the flow of airing a grievance. ‘I thought I was doing a good thing checking out the course. I needed to practise getting up and eating early as my races are usually in the evening. I needed to experience grabbing a drink from the drinks tables. It sounds like a tiny thing, but the first time I grabbed someone else’s drink and the second time I dropped it altogether – so it was good learning curve,’ he says, becoming animated. ‘I wasn’t physically ready to run more than 13.1 miles so I did what I could. It was a useful day. But no, they say I’m greedy for getting an

‘Marathons are won in the last two miles. It’s all over by Birdcage Walk’

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Ayele Abshero

Tsegaye Kebede

Feyisa Lilesa

Ethiopia, 2:04:23, 2012 Dubai Marathon champion

Ethiopia, 2:04:38, 2013 London Marathon champion

Ethiopia, 2:04:52, 2011 World bronze medallist

Stanley Biwott Kenya, 2:05:12, 2012 Paris Marathon champion

Marilson dos Santos

Martin Mathathi

Stephen Kiprotich

And the other Brits...

Brazil, 2:06:34, two-time New York Marathon champion

Kenya, 2:07:16, 2013 Fukuoka Marathon champion

Uganda, 2:07:20, Olympic/World marathon champion

GB, 2:10:55

appearance fee and that I’m cashing in on my success. In their minds, I was getting paid for that day only. I wasn’t. I was getting paid for all the years I spent in the rain or heat killing myself in training to reach the top. ‘And in any case, that’s my wallet. Why are you putting your hand in my wallet, Daily Mail? I don’t put my hand in yours and ask how much you earn, and if you deserve it. Maybe I should. ‘But then these are the same guys who went out to Somalia and tracked down some of my family. They were trying to persuade my brother, who doesn’t speak much English, to sign a contract to make him give them personal information about me. We put a stop to that.’

Scott Overall

Chris Thompson

Ben Livesey

GB, debut

GB, debut

London’s waiting Mo’s steely determination will serve him well on April 13

Tenacious Mo

This is the other side to Farah. For all his laid-back charm and shy grin there is, as is always the case with sporting gods, a steely core; do him wrong and you’ll know about it. ‘Poor kids in Africa learn how to look after themselves and they grow up with no fear,’ he says. ‘I’m like that. I had loads of fights with guys bigger than me at school. I’m not one to back down.’ Someone who apparently discovered that is the chap who interrupted a hill training session in Richmond Park on Christmas Day 2009. After dodging a few times round a couple pushing a buggy who were blocking the path, Farah politely asked them to move a bit to the side so he could run past. The man refused and things got heated. ‘He just got really aggressive and moved towards me like he wanted a fight. I don’t think he expected me to stand up to him but I did, and we ended up rolling around on the ground smacking each other. ‘I had to ring my wife Tania to come and get me afterwards. I was so angry I couldn’t continue with the session. She found me sitting on the kerb, swearing and covered in cuts, bruises and mud!’

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Show Us Your Medals Farah’s timeline of success* 2003 Silver: 5000m European U23 Champs 2005 Silver: 5000m European U23 Champs 2006 Gold: European XC Champs; Silver: 5000m European Champs 2008 Silver: European XC Champs 2009 Silver: European XC Champs 2010 Double Gold: 5000m, 10000m European Champs 2011 Gold: 5000m World Champs; Silver: 10000m World Champs 2012 Gold: 5000m European Champs; Double Gold: 5000m, 10000m Olympic Games 2013 Double Gold: 5000m, 10000m World Champs 2014 London marathon winner?? * outdoor races only

Mo pain, mo gain A selection of key moves from Farah’s strength and conditioning regime

054 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

Gym ball windscreen wipers

Gym ball crunch

Hold the ball using your ankles and rotate through your core to lower it to the floor, both sides.

Pin the ball between your ankles and crunch up as high as you can.

Mountain climbers Take a plank position, forearms on the ball. Keep your core strong and alternate bringing knees to the ball.


MO FARAH If scrapping in a public park seems a radical departure from the Mr Nice Guy we’ve become so used to seeing beaming back from our TV screens, it’s surely the accepted wisdom that no top sportsperson ever crested the mountain without harbouring a tough streak. And as we draw a portrait of Farah, we see that focus extends into his private life. It was with a good dollop of this single-mindedness and stamina that he chased Tania for years before they got together. Friends since early teens, she rebuffed his advances in late adolescence but they stayed in touch beyond school, and when her relationship with daughter Rhianna’s father ended (when Rhianna was two), she and Farah began to spend more time together. ‘I was never in any doubt,’ says Farah with a cocky grin. ‘We always got on really well. Tania has always completely understood me – who I am, what I’m about. Even when my English wasn’t that good when I was a kid. Then one day we were round my house watching TV after she’d finished work, and I put my arm around her and she didn’t move it. And that was that.’ Farah assumed responsibility as Rhianna’s dad, and as his career took off Tania sacrificed hers in order to support him, giving up a well-paid sales job to help manage his diary and his fan mail. Then in 2012 – Olympic year – to give birth to their twin daughters Aisha and Amani. Talking about his family sees Farah at his most animated. You feel he would chat about his kids all day if he could, as story after story pours out: how the twins were due during the Olympics and it was decided that if they were born then word would not be passed to him in the Olympic village so he could retain his focus. Not knowing if his children had been born nearly ‘drove him bats’, he says.

‘When I came back to the UK last year from training, Amani didn’t recognise me and started crying every time I held her. That was really upsetting.’ But the flipside of this is that when they are together Farah cherishes every single moment. When the family moved to Portland in 2010 they had to wait for visas for a couple of months in Canada while Farah was investigated by the FBI, his Somalian background red-flagged for potential terrorism in the system. ‘I couldn’t train properly, but I didn’t mind that much because I got to hang out with my wife and daughter,’ he says. ‘My perfect day has nothing flashy about it. It involves going for walks, watching TV, eating a meal round the table and just being with my family – and during this period I got to do that a lot more than I normally do.’ In the end Salazar called a contact at the Bureau, favours were called in, strings pulled, and the case was fast-tracked. After missing four months of education, Mum and Dad followed Rhianna to her new school on her first day, taking pictures and videos all the way. ‘She was behind when she started, but now she’s top of her class and has tons of friends,’ says Farah with a proud fatherly grin. Farah has a special affinity for kids. He likes them, and the feeling seems to be mutual with every one he meets. He says it’s because he’s still a big kid himself and they can sense that. And it’s why he wants to work with them when he retires from competing, rather than training elite athletes. ‘I know how easy it is to go down the wrong path as a kid and I want to use my story to help inspire them,’ he says. ‘I’m quite easily led: I’ve got a low attention span and too much energy, so I wasn’t great at school. When I discovered running, I knew that using my body was the only way to make something of myself because I’m not the brightest person in the world. If I hadn’t been an athlete I’d have joined the army or, failing that, ended up in trouble with the police, for sure. ‘There are loads of kids who just need that bit of interest shown in them at the right time. But they need to know that things don’t get handed to you. I can show them my medals, sure, but also explain how hard I worked and that the biggest skill you need in life is the ability to graft. ‘They say that today’s kids are too lazy to put their consoles down, but I can tell a story of what it feels like to cross the line in the biggest race of your life and be a champion. About the noise of thousands of people chanting your name, and being an Olympic champion. ‘Hopefully soon I’ll have something else to add to that story. I can tell them what it’s like to start again with a new event, to train your arse off for it and win that, too – what it’s like to win the London Marathon, the biggest marathon in the world. What kid wouldn’t want to put their console down for that?’

‘Kids need to know the biggest skill in life is the ability to graft’

Family values

The eldest, Rhianna, has no interest in running, he says with a rueful grin: ‘Ask her and she’ll say, “BORRRRING. That’s Dad’s thing.”’ Little Aisha is the more laid-back of the twins, whereas Amani wants constant attention; Aisha loves splashing about in the pool, Amani prefers being plonked in front of the TV. As a twin himself – Mo was separated from his brother Hassan for 12 years when he left Somalia – Farah delights in spotting the differences between the two as they develop, which makes the periodic parting of ways all the harder to bear. ‘It’s hard on all of us and that’s an understatement,’ he says. ‘I speak to Tania nearly every day on Skype, and she holds the kids up to the screen and we get by like that. But, you know, there’s only so much interacting you can do with a screen – I can’t play with them and it’s hard. But it’s a sacrifice that we agreed to as a family. Even Rhianna – she knows this is what her dad has to do, that this is how we get money. ‘After we got married a few years ago, we honeymooned in Zanzibar, but Tania had to fly back to the UK alone while I went straight to Iten to start training again. That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Leaving your new wife to go and live in a shack by yourself and do nothing but run and be lonely and tired all the time. It’s hard work, man.

Be inspired by Mo’s marathon commitment and run a mile further than ever before with Nike+ Running. Share your run on social media and tag it #onemomile.

Standing kickbacks with band

Russian twists

Clamshells with band

Keeping your feet off the ground, rotate to touch a medicine ball to the floor on either side of you.

With the band round your knees, pull your non-standing leg out to the side, working against the tension.

With the band around your ankles, kick your nonstanding leg back against the tension.

Side plank runners Start in a side plank, shins on a Bosu ball. Keep your core strong and drive your knee to your chest. Alternate sides.

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Thirty years ago, Britain was a global force in marathon running, complete with a menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world record and an Olympic medal. Now, we pin all our hopes on one man who has yet to make his debut. What went wrong, and can we return to our winning ways? Words David Bradford

Illustration Peter Crowther

032 RUNNERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WORLD 03/13 056 05/14




hen Mo Farah toes the start line of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, the buzz of expectation will be electric. Thousands of flag-waving, Moboting home supporters will line the capital’s streets in frenetic anticipation. We have been waiting a very long time. Twenty-one years has passed since a British man last won the London Marathon: Eamonn Martin in 1993. A whole generation of Brits have grown up never witnessing a fellow countryman break the tape, not just in London, but in any worldclass marathon. Could the wait be over? London will be Farah’s debut marathon, just as it was for Martin in 1993, but the challenge facing Farah is vastly different. Martin, 34 at the time and a former Commonwealth 10,000m champion, outkicked Mexican Isidro Rico to clinch victory on Westminster Bridge in 2:10:50. But taking nothing away from Martin’s achievement, his winning time was the slowest since the inaugural race in 1981, and is six minutes and 10 seconds outside Emmanuel Mutai’s 2011 course record. In distance terms, that’s a gap of over two kilometres. The Kenyan averaged an astounding 4:45min/mile and covered the decisive 10K section from 30K to 40K in 28:45, at 4:38min/mile. With the exception of 2013, which was unusually poorly paced, the slowest winning

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Clockwise from above: LAST MAN Eamonn Martin takes the tape at the London Marathon back in 1993

DUEL FOR THE CROWN Steve Jones (left) battles with Charlie Spedding on his way to victory in London, 1985

time in London over the past six years was 2:05:19 in 2010. That’s nearly two minutes faster than Steve Jones’s 28-year-old British record. Can we really expect Farah to win on his first attempt? His Olympic and World Championship medals obviously prove he has the talent, the outright speed and the guts – plus, he holds the UK half marathon record of 60:10. But does he have the even deeper store of endurance needed to hang with the leaders over 26.2 miles, covering their inevitable brutal surges, before outkicking them to victory? He will probably have to sustain a sub-2:06 pace (4:48min/mile) – 10 seconds per mile faster than Martin in 1993 – just to be in the mix on The Mall.

Out on his own We’ve good reason to feel optimistic. After all, the formbook deems Mo the best distance runner in the world. But, as gratifying as it is to be able to say that about a fellow Brit, it raises an awkward question: does Farah’s ascent herald the UK’s return to the front of the pack in world-class marathon running? Sadly, the answer is a resounding no. Farah is an exception, a freakishly fast outlier, vastly more successful than his British contemporaries. The same was true of Paula Radcliffe, whose 2:15:25 world record (WR) from 2003 remains an astonishing 7:47 quicker than the next-fastest British female. The story of British marathon running over the past 30 years is one of bottom-up decline, with only the very top defying the trend. Paula’s achievements – and Mo’s potential – distract us from the reality that no other British marathoners, male or female, are getting anywhere near world-class standard.

NEW ERA Wilson Kipsang celebrates another Kenyan WR after the Berlin Marathon

Our fastest man in 2013, Nicholas Torry, ran 2:15:04 – nearly 12 minutes adrift of Wilson Kipsang’s new WR of 2:03:23. Our fastest woman, Susan Partridge, clocked 2:30:46 – 10 minutes outside last year’s world-leading mark, and some 15 minutes slower than Paula’s WR. Britain’s marathon prospects beyond Mo are limited to say the least. It was not always thus. Thirty years ago, Britain was arguably the best marathonrunning nation in the world, with both star performers and a huge depth of talent. In 1984, 75 men broke the 2:20 mark, and the hundredth-fastest man that year clocked a 2:21:32. These days we’re lucky if a dozen men break 2:20 each year, having hit a low point of just five in 2007, when the hundredthfastest man clocked a 2:37:14. The extent of the decline is disconcerting, especially when you consider how over the same period UK marathon running, in terms of sheer numbers, has grown spectacularly. So what’s going on?

‘Charlie is right,’ says Derek Stevens, whose 2:12:41 PB would have topped the GB rankings last year, but was only the year’s eighth fastest British time when he ran it in 1984. ‘When I was seven years old, I was running more than a lot of the athletes today run. We used to run and cycle everywhere. I think my generation was fundamentally just so much fitter by the time we got to secondary school.’ Jon Pepper, twice an Olympic marathon fourth-place finisher (2000, 2004) adds his voice to the argument, blaming our ‘modern, overprotective society’. He adds, ‘Kids are aerobic monsters and need to be let loose at every opportunity when young.’ Jon Pepper, who clocked 2:19:10 in October 2013, earning him 11th spot in the UK rankings, sees the problem first-hand: the 25-year-old squeezes his twice-daily training around his full-time job as a school science technician. ‘I’ve worked in schools since graduating, and I can’t imagine kids being any less fit,’ he says. ‘I’ll do a lap of the field as a warm-up and I’ll find only one out of 30 can do it without stopping.’ The notion of a decline in our children’s fitness is backed by growing research. A recent study undertaken by the American Heart Association involving millions of children of various nationalities found that, on average, those aged nine to 17 today run 90 seconds per mile slower than their counterparts did 30 years ago, representing a decline in cardiovascular fitness of around five per cent per decade since 1975. And the key is that this is not an issue shared by every nation. ‘Most of this data reflects high-income and upper-middle-income countries,’ says researcher Grant Tomkinson. ‘It’s certainly a phenomenon of the Western world. And we understand that aerobic fitness tracks pretty well from childhood into adulthood.’ Some experts argue that the problem is only exacerbated as kids get older. ‘School and university sports, now almost extinct in the UK compared with other countries, have done very little to reverse the general demise in physical fitness with dire consequences for health and sporting performance,’ says Yannis Pitsiladis, professor of sport and exercise science at the University of Brighton.

Decline in our children’s fitness is backed by growing research

The Big Picture ‘There’s not one simple answer, there are several factors,’ suggested Charlie Spedding, whose 2:08:33 from 1985 still stands as the English record, in a recent interview. ‘Children are not as active as they were… teenagers see people running in fancy dress or trying to lose weight [rather than] as a serious sport. It’s just not seen as a cool thing for teenagers to be involved in.’

Role Play There are other factors to consider of course. In Stevens’ heyday, he had an abundance of British role models: world-beating marathoners like Jones and Spedding, not to mention track icons like Seb Coe and Steve Ovett. We have Mo now, but back then there were also more runners competing at a higher standard at regional level, and most clubs had at least one or two admired high-achievers. Stevens’s first club, Bexhill AC, counted among its members one of Britain’s all-time 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 059

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PAST GLORIES greats, Dave Bedford. ‘It was a great moment for me, as a 12-year-old, to be running with the man who was then the best in the world over 10K,’ Stevens recalls. More than simply inspiration, the boost from training with and being pushed on by a talented peer group is also a powerful factor. Later, Stevens joined Hastings AC and often travelled to other Sussex clubs to train among the best in the county. ‘You need to seek groups out,’ he says. ‘I used to come over and run with Ovett and Mark Rowland, and knew I’d get hammered! But you need to do that.’ Unlike Stevens and his peers, Pepper’s generation has never witnessed first-hand fellow countrymen winning world-class marathons. Instead, Pepper has admired the stars of Stevens’s era by poring over historic results as a self-confessed ‘running anorak’. ‘But it seems quite distant,’ he admits. ‘Like something that’s not real because you’ve never seen a Briton run that fast.’ It was not a Brit but a Kenyan, Sammy Wanjiru – who won Olympic marathon gold in Beijing aged just 22 – who inspired Pepper to step up to the marathon while in his early 20s. Enchantment with East African runners is nothing new, of course. Stevens’s boyhood hero was Abebe Bikila, the Ethiopian winner of the Olympic Marathons in 1960 and 1964, but the competitive balance has dramatically shifted. Last year, East African runners racked up over 130 sub-2:10 performances, whereas not a single Briton has dipped under that barrier since 2005. Could it be that would-be British contenders are put off by what seems like unbeatable opposition? ‘No,’ says Pepper. ‘It should still be motivating to be the best in Britain.’ He rejects the notion that upcoming athletes are put off or held back through drawing international comparisons. ‘It’s something within the British running scene that’s the problem,’ he argues. Former world cross-country runner-up Tim Hutchings’ diagnosis is that Britain’s best runners no longer race against one another often enough. Stevens broadly supports this theory, though he emphasises that his marathon preparation always took precedence over interim races. ‘I’d race five or six times within a 16-week schedule, sometimes racing off 100 miles a week.’ That naturally leads on to the issue of training. Were our runners doing something radically different in the 1980s that was giving them that extra speed? Looking at the particulars, it seems that despite presumed advances in sports science, little has really changed. Stevens’s regime was based on legendary coach Arthur Lydiard’s timehonoured principles: a periodised plan with base-building, strength and anaerobic phases, and high overall volume. ‘I could always train really hard,’ says Derek. ‘Three intense

Clockwise from above: WORLD POWER Sammy Wanjiru takes the tape in the Beijing Olympic Marathon, 2008

sessions [each week], and good distance stuff, at a good pace. Over the 16-week build-up, I would average 95-100 miles a week.’ Pepper’s training log reveals more recovery days between intense sessions and slightly lower overall mileage, but their plans are basically similar, so it’s hard to see how training could be the key to our national decline.

The numbers game The fact is, Pepper and Stevens are of the same breed – dedicated, disciplined and fiercely competitive – but it’s a breed that has become vanishingly rare. And this is the crux of the problem. Marathoning success is a numbers game; each nation needs a critical mass of its population to start young and build a strong aerobic base before undertaking several years of hard, consistent training. Far fewer Brits are doing that now, and among the tiny number who are, ‘excellence’ is defined in relation to one another, so the decline is self-perpetuating. ‘I guess it’s easier now for someone like me to say I’ll try to run 2:18 or 2:16 because I’ll still be one of the best in the country,’ admits Pepper. You can’t blame him – reaching sub-2:20 requires enormous commitment, so why push even harder when you’re already the best in your region and one of the best in the country? The root of the problem lies not just within UK running, but around and beyond it. New technology and sedentary amusements have replaced outdoor play

Photography Getty

‘It’s something within the British running scene that’s the problem’

GOLDEN TIMES Derek Stevens in full flow in London, but time was ticking on our 26.2 prominence

ALMOST THERE GB marathoner Jon Brown en route to a fourth place finish in Athens

Then and now

Top 10 UK marathon times from 2013, and 30 years ago



1. 2:08:05 Steve Jones

1. 2:15:04 Nicholas Torry

2. 2:09:57 Charlie Spedding

2. 2:15:21 Dave Webb

3. 2:10:08 Geoff Smith

3. 2:15:52 Ben Moreau

4. 2:11:41 Kevin Forster

4. 2:16:50 Derek Hawkins

5. 2:11:49 Fraser Clyne

4. 2:16:50 Craig Hopkins

6. 2:11:54 Hugh Jones

6. 2:17:43 John Gilbert

7. 2:12:12 Dennis Fowles

7. 2:18:28 Ross Houston

8. 2:12:41 Derek Stevens

8. 2:18:50 Paul Martelletti

9. 2:13:24 Martin McCarthy

9. 2:19:01 James Kelly

10. 2:13:49 Jimmy Ashworth

10. 2:19:07 Phil Wicks

for British youngsters, who sit in front of screens while their aerobic potential withers. Meanwhile, Kenyan kids are outdoors and physically active for over 3.5 hours every day according to research recently published in the Annals of Human Biology. And all the while dreaming of emulating their champion compatriots. Can Britain return to aerobic health and fall back in love with competitive marathon running? There are glimmers of hope; at last year’s Leeds Abbey Dash 10K, for example, the top 82 runners finished inside 32 minutes – a greater depth of quality than had been seen in recent years. A reinvigorated domestic road running scene is a must if we are to revive a culture of competitiveness and draw in new talent. Standards have slipped back a long way, but Mo Farah’s Olympic success lifted the limit on our dreams by proving that Britons can still reach the top; who knows what competitive hunger he can reawaken if he makes his mark over 26.2. 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 061

Here’s what happened when RW’s Adrian Monti enlisted with the boffins at Brighton University’s dedicated Marathon Support Unit, to ensure the figures on his chip timer showed a new PB


fter a marathon is over it’s the inevitable question we all ask ourselves. Maybe in that split second after stopping the watch, or in the hours later relaxing in the bath. But at some point, you’re going to ponder, ‘Could I have run faster?’ To answer that very question, the University of Brighton’s recently opened Marathon Support Unit (MSU) promises to sweep away the training guesswork and race-day angst with the appliance of precision physiological science. Facilities like this used to be the preserve of elite athletes. In fact, a young Paula Radcliffe visited the University of Brighton’s sports science labs, and many international athletes now come here to be analysed. The good news is that the unit now welcomes more modest runners. The MSU’s sport science support package for endurance runners aims to help you understand your own performance, and how to improve it.

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The unit is headed by founder and lead physiologist Alex Bliss. He specialises in athlete profiling and works with many talented young runners. ‘This level of assessment is usually reserved for elite athletes because of the expense,’ says Bliss. ‘However, as the MSU gives experience to trainee sports scientists, who assist with assessments, this offsets some of those costs.’ Lured by the tantalising promise that science would unlock my true potential, I signed up to get in shape for a PB attempt at the 2013 Brighton Marathon. I’d already run two 26.2s before starting the programme, with a PB of 3:54 set at Brighton in 2010. I’d been running for 15 years, and ran at least four times a week – usually a track session, a midweek pacy run, a Saturday morning Parkrun, and a long Sunday offroader (12-20 miles). At 44, I was hoping my best running days weren’t over and that I could dip under 3:45 at Brighton.



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Starting in October 2012, three key elements of my fitness fitness would be scrutinised at the MSU, and each hopefully improved by tailor-made training to deliver me to the start line the following April in the shape of my life. ‘The ability to perform well in endurance events is correlated with three key components of physiological fitness,’ says Bliss. ‘These are the maximum oxygen uptake [VO2 max], the oxygen required to run at speeds below the VO2 max [running economy] and the oxygen uptake required to maintain a low level of blood lactate [lactate threshold].’ So, the programme began with physiological tests, which Alex analysed to create an initial 10-week bespoke training plan. Each of my runs would then correlate with a prescribed intensity. In January, I would be tested again and given a further seven-week programme. Then, two weeks before my big day, I would undergo a final set of lab tests to pinpoint exactly where I was as I began my taper. Also included in the programme are seminars on topics such as nutrition and injury prevention, but this is how the main testing/training part of the plan broke down:

MADE TO MEASURE UP The MSU tailor your fitness

Fitness Component 1 LACTATE THRESHOLD (LT) What is it? The most critical of the three physiological fitness markers for marathon runners and, luckily, the easiest to improve through training. ‘The lactate threshold is the point at which lactate starts to accumulate in the blood,’ explains Bliss. ‘Usually at about 70 per cent of maximum oxygen uptake [VO2 max] in a well-trained individual.’ Why it matters ‘Lactate doesn’t cause fatigue, but its rise in the blood shows our bodies becoming more reliant on anaerobic [without oxygen] energy production rather than aerobic [with oxygen],’ says Bliss. ‘Working anaerobically has side effects [changes in blood pH for example] which, for the marathon distance, are unsustainable. In theory, exercise below LT can occur indefinitely, assuming sufficient hydration and fuel supply, but once lactate begins to accumulate, your ability to sustain exercise at that intensity is limited. ‘We know marathon runners tend to run at speeds close to their LT. So, knowing where this lies can highlight areas for improvement, focus training and predict performance.’

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The lab test The LT tests lasted 15-25 minutes, and I worked up to around 80 per cent of maximum effort until a large spike in my blood lactate was detected, revealing my LT and allowing an accurate predictor of the marathon time I was capable of. Wearing a heartrate monitor and a mouthpiece to collect my expelled gases for analysis, I began to run at a steady pace on the treadmill. Every three minutes, a tiny pin-prick of blood was taken from my finger to test, then the speed was increased by 0.8kph. I’m no stranger to hills and speedwork, but it felt very tough. I could hear my gasping breaths rattling down the mouthpiece and the sweat dripped into my eyes. Stopping to give the blood sample was a pleasant relief. I tried to switch off from how heavy my legs felt by focusing on the clock, but willing it to move faster only seemed to make it go slower. I was delighted when it was over. My results After a few minutes’ recovery, Bliss showed me a graph of my performance. My LT occurred at about 9.8kph, when my heartrate was 158 beats

per minute (bpm). A quick calculation showed that at this level of fitness, I’d be running 6:00min/km to finish a marathon in 4:13. To achieve my goal of 3:45, I’d need to shift my threshold up to 11.25kph. So by my next test, Bliss was hoping to see my LT at 10.6kph – a firm indicator I was on course. How to improve it? According to Bliss, you need to train at around your LT. ‘You provide a training stimulus that your body will need to adapt to,’ he says. ‘One way of doing this is to have one or two runs per week at around 70-80 per cent of maximum effort. Try to hold this pace for 20-30 minutes, then increase duration as you improve.’ For me, this meant running miles at 8:20min/mile, and getting my heartrate up to 155-167bpm. The DIY test Though not nearly as accurate as a lab test, you can estimate your LT by doing a time trial while wearing a heartrate monitor. After warming up, run at the fastest pace you can sustain for 30 minutes. Your average heartrate in the last 10 minutes of the run will be an estimate of your LT.



MASTER CRAFTSMAN MSU physiologist Alex Bliss

IN THE BLOOD Lactate testing

Fitness Component 2 VO2 MAX

Photography Getty, Studio 33

What is it? Regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for assessing aerobic power, ‘VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, is the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can utilise in one minute,’ explains Bliss. ‘It can be expressed in litres per minute (l/min) for an “absolute” measure, or more commonly “relative” to the athlete’s body mass in millilitres per kilogram of body mass per minute (ml/kg/min).’ Why it matters ‘VO2 max is often the headline figure athletes want to discover in the lab, as it allows easy, direct comparison with others,’ says Bliss. ‘However, while elite endurance athletes do usually show high VO2 max values, it has a low predictive capacity for longer distance events such as the marathon. In other words, the athlete with the highest VO2 max doesn’t always run the fastest time. A high score is more important in shorter, faster races. Basically, you can’t run eyeballs-out for 26.2 miles. ‘Lactate threshold and running economy are more critical in marathon performance, but a high VO2 max is beneficial, and it’s

useful to identify at what percentage of VO2 max your LT lies. Top marathon runners push their LT up to around 90 per cent of VO2 max.’ The lab test It’s another tough treadmill session with the mouthpiece collecting my expelled breath. Starting at a brisk pace, the gradient was increased every minute, with the aim to hang on as long as possible. Alex encouraged me to dig deep as my muscles burned and although I was a tad concerned about ending up an exhausted heap on the crash mat, I was also strangely drawn to exploring the outer reaches of my running endurance. By the end I was spent. My results Clinging on at the end felt worse than any race I’d ever done, but it was worth it, with my 11.5-minute effort scoring me a VO2 max of 55.32ml/kg/min. Not a patch on the 80-90ml/kg/min typical in world-class male runners but, Bliss reassured me, well above average and towards what he would expect from a decent club runner. Still, Alex was looking for at least a five per cent improvement from January’s tests.

How to improve it Although genetics play a large part in our VO2 max capacity, we can make the best of what we’ve got with training. ‘As it’s measured relative to body weight, shifting a few kilos will help,’ says Bliss. ‘And regular hard intervals and hill reps – at 90 per cent effort – have been shown to improve VO2 max.’ For me, that meant short intervals on the track, getting my heartrate to over 167bpm, and back-to-back miles at 8:20min/mile. The DIY test The Cooper Test, used by the US Military, is a well-known way to establish your VO2 max in non-lab conditions. Warm up, then run as many laps of a 400m track as you can in 12 minutes, aiming for a fairly even pace. Once you’ve got your breath back, it’s time to give your brain a workout: calculate the distance you covered in metres, subtract 504.9, then divide this figure by 44.73 to get your VO2 max as an absolute value. Now check VO2 Max to see how your result relates to your age and relative fitness.

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Fitness Component 3 RUNNING ECONOMY What is it? Alex explains that this is a measure of how much oxygen an athlete is using, usually at a given speed. And the more efficient your running, the better your running economy. It’s like measuring fuel efficiency in a car, but in your case the fuel is oxygen. ‘For non-elite runners at the MSU we actually measure running economy in millilitres per kilogram of body mass per kilometre run, which is a widely used, speed-irrespective measure.’ Why it matters ‘Like LT, this is an important physiological characteristic for endurance athletes,’ says Bliss. ‘Your economy is dependent not only on physiological factors such as oxygen uptake and utilisation, but also on running mechanics and quality of movement.’ The test Again, I ran on the treadmill and my expired gases were analysed. Alex measured the amount of oxygen I had used, then factored in my weight and the speed I’d been running to calculate my running economy in millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of body mass per minute. My results At 227ml/kg/km, my RE was the weakest of my three performance

The Training After the tests, my 10-week training plan broke all my sessions into intensity ‘training zones’ based on heartrate. I’d never trained with a heartrate monitor before, but soon realised it was an invaluable tool. I stayed in the zones and downloaded the data post-run. With Bliss’s words that my RE was by far my weakest aspect repeating in my head, I clocked up the miles. I also thought about how I was running and if I could be a bit more biomechanically beautiful, too. My first week was 23 miles plus a track session, and after peaking at 34 miles in week seven, I dropped down to 20 miles a week just before being tested again. The training went really well – I didn’t miss a single session, and my weekly Parkrun and track times showed I was getting quicker. It was back to the labs in mid January for the next round of lab testing. Feeling stronger, lighter (I’d dropped two kilos since October) and having had a lot more structure in my training, I was hoping the cold data would show improvements. First up was my LT, which looked good. The threshold speed between the November test and the January test had shifted from 9.8kph to 11.4kph. My heartrate at threshold in the first test was 158bpm, but at 11.4kph in that first test, my

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TESTING TIMES A runner is put through his paces in the lab

indicators. ‘A score of 200ml/kg/km is considered “average”, with around 170ml/kg/km excellent,’ says Bliss. How can I improve it? ‘Improving your running economy is tough,’ says Bliss. ‘Improvements are generally seen as runners mature and perform in endurance sport for a number of years. Generally, your RE should improve as your weekly mileage increases. However, research has shown that low-repetition, high-intensity resistance training can also boost RE.’ My programme prescribed more miles to improve my RE: specifically, 10 weeks of longer Sunday runs at a steady 9:40min/mile pace, keeping my heartrate under 155bpm.

QUALITY FINISH Adrian with his tailor-made PB

The DIY test Of the three, this is the hardest to reproduce as a field test. Simply running more and trying to be more biomechanically effective when you do – pumping your arms harder, for example – should naturally improve your RE. As a simple way to gauge it, do a regular Parkrun (or set distance on your own), and plot your times. Look for a long-term trend, and try to allow for factors that may affect RE, such as a strong headwind.

heartrate was up at 167bpm. In the second test at same speed – my new LT – my heartrate was 164bpm. This boded well for marathon day: it showed that the amount of blood my heart can pump, otherwise called its ‘stroke volume’, had increased, showing my heart muscle had adapted and become more efficient. Second was the dreaded VO2 max. I sank my teeth into the mouthguard for the mini ride to hell, but my results revealed a stabilisation rather than a vast improvement, and as I was that bit lighter, my max was 53.96ml/kg/min. Bliss believed I could still eke out more gains. Finally, we measured running economy, which had let me down first time round. And to my delight, this is where I had made the biggest improvement, dropping from 227ml/kg/km to 190ml/kg/km. So at a running speed of 11.4kph, my oxygen usage had dramatically dropped from 3 to 2.31 litres per minute. It showed all my slow steady runs were working. In response to my improvements, Bliss tweaked my training zones. My steady Zone 1 was now 9:10min/mile and 157bpm; while Zone 2 was cranked up to 8:20min/mile and 157-164bpm; and Zone 3 8:00min/mile pace at over 170bpm. It was hard to get out in the cold and the snow, but I stuck to my schedule. My fast sessions continued to improve, and my

Parkrun time tumbled from 24:20 when I started the programme, to 21:51. I felt stronger and recovered well after each session. There was a dull twinge at the top of my right hamstring, an indicator that maybe I was upping my speedwork too much, too quickly. But I eased it with stretching. At the Brighton Half Marathon in mid February, my aim was to run perfect 8-minute mile splits, and I coasted in at 1:45 with a sense that there was still plenty in the tank. At the third and final testing, my LT was very positive again, with my threshold speed improving from 11.4kph to 12.2kph. At my second test, my HR at 12.2kph had been 170bpm, but in the third test at the same speed (my new LT), my HR was 161bpm, which was a sign of further encouraging cardio-adaptation. However, Alex was most pleased with my VO2 max, which moved from 54ml/kg/m to 58.5ml/kg/m. Although my running economy hadn’t improved, he believed the boost from the other two factors would make up for this on race day. So what did all this mean with race day looming? The stats indicated I could run a 3:28, but if I ran it conservatively, a 3:32. I couldn’t quite believe Bliss was saying this. The previous autumn I would have said these times were way out of my league. But who was I to argue with science? @runnersworlduk


The Marathon

Photography Getty

My body might have been in tip-top shape as I toed the start line, but my mind certainly wasn’t. I was in a huge quandary. Alex was convinced that I was capable of a 3:28, but I couldn’t share his fact-based optimism. My mind was stubbornly stuck in pre-MSU mode, fixated on 3:45 despite all the improvements I’d made. My confusion was summed up by the three pacing bands around my wrist with finishing times of 3:30, 3:45 and 4:00. For the first six miles I averaged slightly over eight-minute miles. It felt easy, exhilarating, but somehow unsustainable. So, I slowed as we looped back along the seafront. My watch read 1:46:17 at halfway and I felt strong. Nonetheless, I felt under a peculiar, self-imposed pressure. I knew that, according to the cold, hard laboratory data, I was capable of going faster without running out of power, but there was that ever-cautious voice in my head urging me to keep dabbing the brakes. Maybe it was that early pace that did for me. After the final turn for home along Brighton’s prom my calves and hamstrings began to tighten. But even with thoughts of consistent pacing long abandoned, my own original goal was still on with a mile to go. I ditched the caution and put the hammer down. I didn’t dare glace at my GPS until I was safely over the line and saw the digits of 3:41:12. Job done! I was delighted. I’d set out with a goal and cracked it with a few minutes to spare. OK, Bliss believed I could have gone even faster and the data would support that. So, if I’m brutally honest, maybe I did bottle it slightly. Still, it’s hard to be too harsh on yourself when you’ve chipped 13 minutes of your PB. With a little more perspective, I believe that undergoing this programme will have long-term benefits for my running. I have a tailor-made, road-tested schedule that can keep my marathon running consistent for years to come if I stick to its basic principles. The experience proved to me that more structured training is scientifically proven to deliver real results in terms of improving your performance. Bliss’s tables and graphs don’t lie. And to go back to my opening question, I now know my body is capable of running faster than the time I bagged last April. All I’ve got to do is convince my brain to show a bit more faith. Anyone know a good sports psychologist?

STITCH IN TIME A faster finish is sewn up

The Marathon Support Unit at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus offers three bespoke packages, from £280-£550. Contact Alex Bliss on 01273 642742 or visit marathonsupport 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 067


Photography Stuart Tyson

Former winner and multiple Boston veteran Amby Burfoot didn’t get to finish his 2013 race. But, like the marathon itself, he’ll be back stronger than ever this year he first time I ran the Boston Marathon, I thought I had discovered Camelot. That changed soon enough. Maybe I grew older and wiser, maybe more cynical. Probably both. But on marathon day, I’d rather be in Boston than anywhere else. And nothing that happened on April 15, 2013 has altered that feeling. It has only grown stronger. I was 18 in April 1965, when I experienced my first Boston. Overwhelmed by the colour, energy, spectacle and international flavour, I was in love. Boston was magical. From Hopkinton to downtown Boston, last year’s race felt much the same. The weather was glorious, and a happy throng of 23,336 piled into Hopkinton. On the 45th anniversary of my 1968 Boston victory, I was ready for the every-fifth-year pilgrimage that has become my custom. I had pacers beside me, and cheerleaders – my wife, daughter and brother – on the course. My sister and cousin would be waiting at the finish. Everything went as planned. My little team fell into a comfortable rhythm, hoping for a 4:30 finish, and we saw the family crew en route. The crowds seemed bigger, happier and more vocal than I had ever seen. Coupled with the wondrous weather, this seemed to be one of the best Bostons ever. We hit halfway in 2:12 and, after Heartbreak Hill, eased down through Cemetery Mile. We chugged up the bump at Fenway Park and spilled into Kenmore Square, passing the ‘25 miles’ and ‘1 mile to go’ signs. I joked with my pacers that we should primp for the finish-line photos. Ahead, a few drunk college students spilled into the road. We had seen plenty in the last five miles.

But wait a minute. Those weren’t college students, they were runners – at first a knot, then a collection, then a bewildered, amorphous mass. I looked at my watch: the running time was 4:19, the actual time 2:59pm. We hadn’t seen or heard anything. My phone rang. My wife. I figured she wanted to congratulate me. ‘There’s been an explosion at the finish line,’ she said tautly. ‘The race is over. Don’t try to keep running. Get back to the hotel.’ I don’t always do what she says, but this time I followed orders. I still didn’t know the extent of things.

My wife rang me: ‘The race is over, don’t try to keep running.’ I don’t always follow orders, but this time I did Didn’t know that two bombs had just exploded. Didn’t know that they had gone off just before 2:50pm, or 4:09:43 on the third-wave clock, a number now frozen in running history. Didn’t know that people were dead and injured. But I did understand instantly that the Boston Marathon would never be the same. So what would it be?

More than a race You have to run Boston, a supreme privilege, to understand why it is unlike other great world marathons. Yes, it is the oldest

consecutively run marathon, dating back to 1897, and it is the only event of its kind that you have to qualify for. But more than that, it’s the spectators, generations of them. Fifty years ago, when the Boston Globe printed all our names in the paper, spectators would call every runner’s name as we passed. When you ran Boston, you felt a respect and admiration that runners garnered nowhere else. Boston welcomed us, honoured us. The power of Boston’s almost mythological status reaches far. Runners feel it and react to it everywhere. And after the events of last year, the Boston Marathon broke through the wall limiting all prior marathons, which make them just endurance contests, and became an event with worldwide social significance. Six days after the bombings, the London Marathon began with a minute’s silence. Many runners wore black ribbons and put their hands on their hearts as they finished. Thirteen days later and 3,000 miles away, at the The Big Sur International Marathon, 70 runners who had been prevented from reaching the Boston finish line started. Many wore Boston’s blue and yellow colours all weekend. At the minute’s silence before the start I’ve never witnessed a marathon crowd so still, so quiet Three days after the bombs, President Barack Obama flew to Boston for a memorial service. Obama attended law school at Harvard and may have witnessed a Boston Marathon during those days. If not, he spoke with impressive authenticity: ‘Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn’t even know we had, and we carry on; we finish the race. We finish the race, and we do that because of who we are, and we do that because we know that 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 069

THE AFTERMATH Rescue services come to the aid of the victims on Boylston Street

somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody’s there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall.’ Truth be told, we always knew that Boston and other marathons represent ‘soft targets’. You can’t secure the entire length and width of a marathon route, and history will have its way with us. Bombs, shootings and violence have violated the Olympic Games: dozens dead just before Mexico City in 1968; 11 murdered Israeli athletes at Munich in 1972; and the explosion at Atlanta in 1996. Near the end of the 2004 Athens Marathon, a defrocked priest bulldozed race leader Vanderlei de Lima off the side of the road. De Lima recovered, but fell from first to third. We runners are lucky to have an in-place, fear-fighting exemplar: Frank Shorter. In 1972, Shorter won the Olympic Marathon in Munich just five days after Palestinian radicals massacred 11 Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village. Shorter didn’t just win, he ran the last 17 miles alone at the front. If there were any more terrorists at large in Munich, Shorter was the easiest target to be found. How did he keep his cool? He was a runner. He had trained to endure. Frank Shorter’s attitude was embraced by runners after the bombings. Every fun run, club run, local 5K and marathon in the US found a way to honour Boston. Many sold wristbands or T-shirts with proceeds going to The One Fund Boston. Local Boston-area races saw a surge in entries, and Google searches for phrases such as ‘qualify for the Boston Marathon’ rocketed. People who had never broken 15 minutes for a mile declared their intent to run next year’s Boston. The 070 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

site, which analyses Boston Marathon statistics, received visitors from 3,500 cities in more than 100 countries when it ran an article called Qualifying for Boston 2014. Editor Raymond Britt estimated that 250,000 runners wanted to enter. All this despite the Boston bombs coming hard on the heels of the NYC Marathon cancellation in November 2012. The two disruptions have almost nothing in common, other than sobering and random coincidence. In New York, thousands of runners arrived from around the world, largely unaware of city’s physical and emotional damage from Hurricane Sandy. The runners believed the marathon would help heal New York, as it had after the 9/11 attacks. Instead, an ugly ‘us-versus-them’ scenario developed, with runners being called selfish.

Just imagine… There was no ‘us and them’ in Boston. It was a shared experience among runners, spectators and the larger community. All parties rallied together with amazing resolve. What are we marathoners then? Smallminded, self-promoting egotists, or paragons of virtue? There are no universal truths. On average, we are neither better nor worse than our neighbours. I’ll hazard only this: we don’t like to sit on the sidelines. We like to take part. We prefer action to inaction. We prefer to run. In recent years, it has become fashionable to say we are ‘born to run’, a conceit I largely support. However, it has been applied too narrowly. Ultra marathon great and biologist Bernd Heinrich, got it right in his book Why We Run (£7.85, Harper Press). Heinrich agrees we were born to run. But the secret, he argues, is not that we can trot along under a hot sun. No, the genius lies in our ability @runnersworlduk

REMEMBERING BOSTON MAKE SOME NOISE The ‘Scream Tunnel’ at Wellesley College will be louder than ever this year

NOT FORGOTTEN The memorial to Martin Richard (Support his foundation at

THE SHOCK SINKS IN Marathon spectators start to receive news of the tragedy, April 15, 2013

to visualise – to imagine – that such activity might lead to an important goal. We don’t run because we can, or because it feels good, though both might be true. Rather we were born to run with imagination and purpose. Paleolithic runners pursued antelope with visions of steak dinners. Today we run to score a goal: to lose weight, to earn a finisher’s medal, to raise funds for good causes. We run long and persistent, hoping to one day complete 26.2 miles. Or, why not dream big? Imagine that you could qualify for the Boston Marathon. You won’t, not if you can’t imagine it. Our imagination is our greatest human talent. Our imagination and our optimism. John Lennon knew this, and wrote the song. Somehow eight-year-old Martin Richard, who died yards from the Boston Marathon finish line, had a similar burst of imagination. Before the tragic event he’d drawn a crude crayon picture with the words: ‘No more hurting people. Peace.’ Thanks to Frank Shorter’s resilience and Martin Richard’s imagination, we know that we will recover, we will return to Boston. When we do, it will be a day such as the sports world has never seen. The Boston Marathon will be more than a race, more than a celebration. It will be a lovefest. The Boston spectator crowd will be larger, more welcoming and more wildly enthusiastic than ever. Forget the ‘Scream Tunnel’ at Wellesley College; this year the tunnel will last 26 miles.

Though dwarfed in numbers, we runners will outshine even the spectators. It will be our day to thank Boston for 117 years of support. We’ll leave flowers and thank-you notes on the picket fences of Hopkinton. On Heartbreak Hill, we’ll run backwards to show the gathered generations how their cheers lift us. We might even hoist a beer with the college students. And we will save our best for last. That is our credo, after all: run negative splits. Start slow, finish Boston Strong. On Beacon Street, on Commonwealth Avenue, on Hereford Street and especially on Boylston Street, we will swoop from side to side, high-fiving everyone in reach, applauding wildly, saluting with cries of ‘Thank you’. Thank you for being here today. Thank you especially for being here last April, and opening your hearts. Marathoners love to streak across the finish line in a burst of glory. Why not? It’s a long road, and a short final yard. But this year will be different. This year on Boylston Street, yards from the finish, we will pause. Some of us will raise our eyes, hearts and hands skyward. Others will sink to their knee. Some may choose silence. Many of us will cry. But we will all stop. And only then, after we have paused to reflect and remember, will we move forward across the finish line. The line that shut down at 4:09:43 on April 15, 2013. Last year’s Boston Marathon was the most tragic day in the history of running. This year’s will be the most glorious.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS The community spirit of the Boston Marathon helped it through the tragedy

Photography Getty, Justin Metz

We always knew that marathons represent ‘soft targets’. You can’t secure the entire length and width of the route

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Last year, Boston Police Superintendent William Evans ran the marathon, then led the police response to the tragedy. He offers his unique insight

I like to say, ‘I’m more of a runner than I am a policeman.’ All my medals are framed in my office. It’s a big part of my life. I’m out the door by 5am every day, doing seven to eight miles. On weekends, I do a two-hour long run. Our job can be stressful, but as long as I can get my daily run in I feel I can handle anything. For last year’s marathon, my 18th Boston, my goal was sub-3:40. For my age, 54, that was what I needed to qualify for the following year. Coming down Boylston, my wife Terry and son Will were waving to me from the grandstand. And my cops were cheering me on. Finishing in 3:34, I was thrilled. I took Terry and Will home. Then I went to the Boston Athletic Club and hopped in the jacuzzi. It’s a tradition. Ten minutes later one of my guys came running in with news of explosions at the finish line. I showered, shot home, double-parked my car, and threw on my uniform. Then it was lights and sirens. I got to the scene, and couldn’t believe it. I’m looking up Boylston, the street I just ran down with people celebrating, and now I’m seeing blown-out windows, the scaffolding with the ‘BAA’ torn apart, bodies on the street. It was surreal. Stuff like this only happens in a movie. But we had to buckle down and get to work. I met up with police commissioner Ed Davis and my chief, Daniel Linskey, and started to secure the crime scene, ensuring our officers were securing all 072 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

that evidence. We had bodies. Pieces of bombs. We had to look at videos. You can only imagine the number of witnesses we had to interview. We were looking for any lead. About midnight on Monday, I came back to the office to work on logistics. Making sure we had boots on the ground not only during the night, but when we relieved people at 6am. I went back to the scene at about 5:30am, doing roll calls and making sure the crime scene remained secure. I got up at 5am on race morning and didn’t go home until 10pm Tuesday night. If I weren’t in such good shape from running, I don’t think I could’ve gone that 40 hours straight. As long as I kept my legs moving, I was fine. We had to get our officers out there, visible. We put them on 12-hour shifts. We cancelled holidays. And, at the same time, we had to cover our regular job in the rest of the city. Wednesday, same stuff. Maintain our operation with the marathon bombing, but also make sure we have plenty of presence elsewhere. We never want to put the public at risk in other areas. Plus, we were also preparing for President and Mrs Obama’s visit, planning with the Secret Service. The president was coming to town at 11am, so I was up at 3:30am to squeeze in @runnersworlduk


a half-hour run and at work by 4:30am, making sure the Cathedral of the Holy Cross was set up for the media and security. A presidential visit in itself can be overwhelming, but the urgency and implications of this event were nothing anyone had experienced before. The world was watching. I stood outside that church until Obama’s departure at 3pm. He also went to the cathedral’s high school and three separate hospitals. We made sure he came safely and departed safely. After that, we went up to see that officers were properly relieved at 6pm and the crime scene and the search was continuing. It was a long day. I think I went home about 9pm. Around 1am, I got the call about what was going down in Watertown. The suspects were throwing pipe bombs and there was a massive shoot-out. I raced there. There was mass confusion because the suspects had bombs, they had guns, we had officers shot. As with the bombings, you’re like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on here?’ I was in charge of the scene on the street, and I was out there from then until 8:45pm. We started a really extensive search of Watertown at daylight. We went house to house, getting calls about people hearing people in their houses. One woman said she was being held against her will. We rushed her house. Someone might have seen someone running in somewhere, so we’d rush down there, we’d set up a perimeter, then search the house. We probably did that a dozen times. We were going all day.

watch on the boat in the driveway. We didn’t need any more police officers down there, we needed the heavy tactical unit so we could: number one, start to negotiate to bring him out; number two, let the situation calm down so we could go in safely – for our officers’ and for his sake – and take him out without any further injury. The FBI hostage response team marched with their riot shields to the rear of the boat. Everybody stood back and let them do their job. They tried to negotiate. They threw flashbang-type bombs, and eventually they were able to negotiate the second suspect’s surrender. It came over the air that he was in custody, and the FBI commander told me he was our guy. The emotion was indescribable. I started hugging fellow officers and it was like everything drained out of me. Then, when we were leaving, everybody out in the street was clapping for the police. I was so proud of our department. I remember that night we were doing a news conference. The whole world was watching, and all I wanted to do was go somewhere and have a beer. I was beat-up mentally and emotionally. In the middle of the press conference, I just left. I grabbed my guys and said, ‘Come on, let’s go have a beer.’ We went to The Squealing Pig, and when we walked in, they were all toasting the Boston Police Department.

TO PROTECT AND SERVE Williams Evans holds his 2013 Boston Marathon number

Photography Guido Vitti

As told to Nick Weldon, Photography Name in here

We weren’t ready to give up searching. This was personal. They hit our marathon. They hit our city

We were really motivated. Everybody was getting tired but long after others had wrapped up, the Boston Police were still out there searching. We weren’t ready to give up. This was personal. They hit our marathon. They hit our city. At about 6:45pm, I heard a suspect had been spotted in a boat outside a house. We were the first ones to get there. We could see someone at the top of the boat. Whoever was in there was moving around. I’m thinking about what this guy might have. He’s already used pipe bombs. He’s used pressure-cooker bombs. We’re thinking suicide vest. We’re thinking multiple handguns. We’re thinking, this very much could be our guy. We surrounded the boat and secured the perimeter. I became the incident commander outside the house, keeping

From running the marathon right up to the capture, it was an emotional rollercoaster, and I think by that time I had sort of had it. I had a family event to attend that night and I remember saying to my wife, I just need to get a run in before I go to this function. My heart goes out to the victims. Seeing them was the motivation for us all to keep going. Not only did they bomb our city and our marathon, but they killed these poor people. And that could’ve been me – I’ve run 44 marathons. That could’ve been my wife and family. It really hit home. There’s always going to be a raw wound. Any event we do now, it’s never going to be the same. We’re going to have to always be concerned about security. I’m just hoping someday it will return to normality. I hope the city will keep its pride in this marathon and no one will worry about the what-ifs. We’ve got to get back to life as normal here. My hope is that I will be running. 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 073

Bill Iffrig’s prostrate image became the iconic shot of the Boston tragedy, and the way he finished the race symbolised an indomitable spirit in the face of it

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feel any pain and I didn’t see any blood. I saw these three cops running at me, and one of them asked if I was OK. I nodded my head. I was thinking, “Maybe I’m all right. I’m not going to die today.”’ Since he never considered not finishing, you could say his decision to take the hand of a race official, stand up, and finish the race was really no decision at all, but merely a reflex, another impulse in a day ruled by one deliberate act and thousands of instances of chance. Or you might recognise that Iffrig had been training for nearly 80 years for this moment, accruing courage and endurance. It never occurred to him not to finish what he’d started.

DOWN BUT NOT OUT The iconic shot of Bill Iffrig moments after the blast

to the pavement. As I fell I thought, “This might be the end of me.”’ Listening to Iffrig, you can’t help mentally replaying the video of the moment, which introduced the Boston Marathon bombings to the world. You see him moving in a loping, elastic stride, only his silver hair betraying his age. Suddenly, a white percussive cloud spurts from the crowd and the blast envelops him. He wobbles as he absorbs the first shock wave, as if his body and psyche were so locked into the act of running that he can’t let go. Then he begins to topple. His left leg gives way and he slowly pitches forward, crumpling in a motion at once yielding and defiant. ‘I hit the pavement and sat there for a while,’ says Iffrig. ‘The noise and impact of the explosion had stunned me. I didn’t

Anyone even remotely connected to the marathon or Boston has been obsessed with questions of “what if?” ‘What if Bill had crossed the starting line just a moment sooner, or a moment later?’ says Doug Beyerlein, one of Iffrig’s regular 60-something training partners. ‘He might not be with us today. Or he might be safe, but his picture wouldn’t be on Sports Illustrated.’ You’d think that Iffrig, of all people, would be haunted by a hundred such questions. But that’s not the case. He sustained a scraped knee and some hearing loss; mostly, though, he’s pained by the suffering of the victims. ‘I haven’t questioned why I was there,’ he says. ‘What good would that do me, or any of the poor people who got hurt?’ However, one “what if?” does tug at him. Before the race, he and his wife Donna discussed the possibility of her watching him finish on Boylston Street, but ultimately decided it would be better to meet back in their hotel room. That’s where Iffrig found her after he crossed the finish line. The TV was starting to report the news, and to air the video of the falling @runnersworlduk

Words John Brant Photography Sports Illustrated, Getty, Thomas Macdonald

hen the first of the Boston Marathon bombs detonated on April 15 last year, the then 78-year-old Bill Iffrig was knocked off his feet. His wobbling yet oddly graceful collapse would be played on screens around the world. A moment after the blast, a photographer snapped a picture of three police officers rearing over Iffrig, who, although obviously stunned, was about to stand and finish his marathon. The photograph became an instant, eloquent classic. And Iffrig a somewhat reluctant celebrity. He was interviewed by the likes of Piers Morgan, and lauded in President Obama’s memorial speech: ‘Like Bill Iffrig, 78 years old – the runner in the orange tank top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast – we may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up.’ Back in Lake Stevens, Washington, Iffrig sits in the house he built 49 years ago with his own hands. Straight-backed, barrel-chested and craggy-faced, he recalls that momentous day. ‘It started well, a perfect day to run,’ he says. ‘I had trained good for the race, four solid months hitting 40 to 50 miles a week.’ Iffrig started conservatively, picking up his pace in the second half. ‘I was shooting for 3:40, but coming in at around four hours, which was still OK,’ he recalls. ‘Then I made that last turn onto Boylston.’ He entered that corridor of noise and colour, where thousands of cheering spectators jam the pavements. ‘I’d been out on the course for four hours, and I was ready to finish this thing,’ he says. ‘There were other runners around me, but none too close. I was close to the line, maybe 20 yards away, when I got hit by this wall of noise. The loudest thing I’d ever heard. I immediately thought of a bomb. My legs just went like spaghetti. I felt myself falling


STANDING TALL Bill Iffrig with his 2013 Boston finisher’s medal

runner in the orange singlet. They thanked God for their good fortune. What if she had watched the finish on Boylston Street? Iffrig began running regularly at 42, and in a sterling career since has clocked up over 46,000 miles, completing 45 marathons with a PB of 2:43:50, and earning medals in 5K, 10K and 8K crosscountry events at the World Masters Athletics Championships, along with winning dozens of track and road races. For the first decade of his running career, Iffrig ran three or four marathons a year, consistently in the 2:50-to-3:10 range. In the early 1990s, nursing a sore back, he embarked on a 19-year sabbatical from the distance. Though he still raced frequently at distances up to the halfmarathon, placing increasingly higher in his age group, he mostly trained alone. Then, a few years ago, he joined a training group with Beyerlein and some other 60-ish athletes. And one Monday in 2011, Iffrig moved a tad stiffly during a group tempo workout. Without telling anyone, he had run the Skagit Flats Marathon over the weekend. After nearly 20 years away from the distance, at age

I haven’t questioned why I was there. What good would that do me, or any of the poor people who got hurt? 77, he’d notched his 3:42 Boston qualifier. Now closing in on 80, Iffrig shows no signs of slowing. A new low-fat diet means he’s lost nearly 10 pounds, and he’s started strength and flexibility training. ‘I suppose I could cut back on my training and racing,’ he says. ‘But I feel good. I like to clear my mind with a run every day, and I still like to compete. I don’t know any other way. I guess I think about running the same way I thought back when I was building my house. The cold and the hurt didn’t bother me because I enjoyed what I was doing so much.’ And Boston? ‘It’s the why of it that bothers me,’ he says. ‘Where did those boys’ hate come from? How could they take it out on those innocent people? I’ll run more marathons, but after all that happened I don’t plan now to do another Boston.’ Rather than discouragement, Iffrig’s reluctance to return signals a sense of completion. Out of 23,000 runners at the 2013 Boston Marathon, the bombs knocked one to the earth in front of our eyes. Amid the carnage on Boylston Street, somehow a job was assigned to Bill Iffrig. He had stood and delivered.

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Photography Getty


s your neck bent towards the page? Are your shoulders hunched? If your primary school teacher could see you now, would they tell you to sit up straight? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re certainly not alone. Most of us tend to slump our heads forward and round our shoulders. When we stand – and run – we have even more problems: runners often have strong quads and weaker hamstrings and glutes, and this imbalance can pull the pelvis forward. Faulty posture means your running suffers. Healthy posture, whether

you’re standing in the queue for a cappuccino or kicking through the final miles towards a marathon PB, maximises power in your big muscles, such as the glutes and obliques. It also allows your organs to function better – including the lungs. Being more upright opens the diaphragm and makes breathing easier. One cause of bad posture is a lack of core strength. ‘But I do my planks!’ you cry, feeling righteous indignation down to your well-worked core. Well, targeting just your abs, or even just your abs, hips and glutes, isn’t enough. ‘I consider all the muscles in the trunk the core,’ says

physiotherapist Charlie Merrill. The creator of the Foundation Training programme, Dr Eric Goodman, defines the core as ‘anything that connects to the pelvis – above or below it.’ By addressing lower-body muscles, such as weak hamstrings and tight hip flexors, and upper-body muscles, like a tight chest and weak mid-back, we can train ourselves to have better posture. These nine key exercises target the ‘new core’ to get you sitting, standing and running in a healthier, more efficient way. A posture that’ll prep you to stay injury-free and send PBs tumbling. And that your primary school teacher would be proud to see.

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THORACIC SPINE MOBILISATION Lie on a foam roller positioned at your mid back, perpendicular to your body, with your hands behind your head to support your head and neck, and engaging your abs so your lower back doesn’t arch. Use your feet to move your body slowly up and down the roller, without going past the base of your neck or the bottom of your ribcage. Keep your head supported and encourage your mid back to bend against its normal, forward curve. Roll for one to three minutes.




WHAT IT DOES Mobilises the thoracic spine (upper to mid back) and ribs to counter their tendency to round forward. This helps your breathing and your spine’s ability to rotate by loosening tight muscles and allowing a more neutral position. ‘The move helps your arms swing during your stride to counter lower-body torque, allowing spinal rotation,’ says Merrill. ‘If your upper body can’t rotate well, the energy created by your lower body gets stuck and can create overuse injuries in your lower back, hips, knees, and/or lower leg.’ Ouch.


STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFT Anchor a medium-tension cord around something stable at about ankle height. Hold the handles of the cord, facing the anchor. With a slight bend in your knees, engage your glutes to stick your bum back as you lean forward, reaching your arms out in front of you. Come back to the starting position, keeping your weight on your heels, maintaining a flat back and concentrating on using your glutes and hamstrings to bring you to standing. Don’t bend your arms to bring yourself back up to standing; rather, focus on firing the muscles in your backside. Repeat until fatigue compromises form. WHAT IT DOES Opens the front of your hips (psoas, hip flexors, abdominals, iliacus) while firing the back of the hip area (glutes, hamstrings, lower back). ‘This is a powerful length and strength exercise, for hamstrings in particular,’ says personal trainer Sam Iannetta.





MOBILE FOAM Get on a roll for better spine rotation

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RISE FROM THE DEADLIFT This move will power your glutes, hamstrings and lower back

CHEST OPENER Lie on a long foam roller, so it lines up with your spine and your head rests on one end. Keep your knees bent and in line with your hips, with your feet flat on the floor, and engage your abs so your lower back doesn’t arch and rise off the roller. Reach your arms out to the sides and relax them so they fall as close to the floor as possible, keeping your elbows bent. Move your arms up and down the sides of your body (like a snow angel), breathing deeply and holding tight spots for a few extra breaths. Spend three to five minutes doing this and notice gravity encouraging your forearms closer to the floor. ‘The goal is to get your forearms flat on the ground through the whole range of movement,’ says Merrill. WHAT IT DOES Stretches your lats, anterior ribs, pectorals, anterior deltoids and the nerves that travel into your arms. This helps minimise forward rounding of your shoulders, creating a better arm swing, improved bloodflow into the arms and less upperbody fatigue, pain and stiffness. It also has a big benefit for your breathing.







SCAPULAR WALL SLIDE Stand against a wall with your legs straight, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms flat against the wall. Keep your neck muscles relaxed to allow your lower trapezius to do most of the work. Slide your arms up the wall while straightening them as high as you can without tensing your neck. Slide your arms back down. Do as many as you can without losing good form (aim for roughly 10-20). WHAT IT DOES This move helps to strengthen the lower trapezius while opening your chest to minimise rounding forward and hunching your shoulders. This also helps to improve your breathing and encourages a more efficient, powerful arm swing.





Try these two self-tests to see if your body needs some work Stand with the back of your head and your bum against a wall, with heels hip-width apart, six inches from the wall. Have a friend measure the distance between the wall and your lower back, and the wall and the back of your neck. If the distance is more than an inch at your lower back,


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or two inches at the neck, that’s a weak-core red flag. While standing up straight, pull one knee to your chest using your hands. Now let go, and try holding it there for 10 seconds. If you can’t, or if it feels difficult, that’s another weak-core warning light.








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FOUNDER CURE Overcome weaknesses by building a stable base for your torso

PELVIC THRUST HIP STRETCH Anchor a closed-looped, mediumtension cord around something stable at waist height. Step through the cord and rest the loop on your hip bones. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, facing away from the cord’s anchor. Lower to a squat by sticking your bum out and keeping your lower back flat. Then stand up straight, doing a slight pelvic thrust at the end of the motion to feel a stretch in the front of your hips. Repeat until fatigue compromises form. WHAT IT DOES Strengthens the glutes, hamstrings and hips, while opening and stretching the hip flexors, the front of the psoas, and the iliacus. ‘This is a good counter to extended periods of sitting, which can shorten and tighten hip flexors,’ says Iannetta.







Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Push your hips back, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Lean forward so your trunk and quads are at 45 degrees. Keeping your lower back flat and still, neck neutral, raise your chest using your upper back and ribs. Keep your abs and glutes tight to prevent your lower back from arching. Put your weight fully on your heels while you lift your chest, open up your shoulders, and raise your arms. Hold for a breath or two. Release your arms to slightly behind your hips. Take a deep breath and hold for 10 seconds; repeat five to 10 times. WHAT IT DOES ‘This move decompresses the spine and anchors the pelvis to create a stable base,’ says Goodman. ‘When your torso can rest on that stable base, you start to run very softly, quickly and efficiently.’







HEAD UP Lie on your back with your head resting on the floor, arms relaxed by your sides. Tuck your chin towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your neck, but make sure the muscles in the front of your neck are relaxed. ‘The goal is to find a neutral position, which is different for everyone,’ says Merrill. Now lift your head less than an inch off the floor, keeping your chin in the same tucked position. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax back to the floor. Do 10-15 reps. WHAT IT DOES Activates the front of the neck, while lengthening and relaxing the back, and so neutralises improper neck curve and restores normal balance. ‘Learning to keep your head neutral makes breathing easier, and decreases upper-body fatigue by improving upper-body movement and control for a more efficient arm swing,’ says Merrill.





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UPPER W Slide your arms through the handles of a low-tension cord anchored high enough to allow the handles to rest in the creases of your elbows. Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Start with your palms facing each other, and arms bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Focus on keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears, and your hands and elbows in a perpendicular line to the ground. Breathe in and pull your arms back so your arms and head form a ‘W’, elbows at shoulder height, forearms at 90 degrees. Hold for two seconds, breathe out, and release with control. Repeat until form deteriorates. WHAT IT DOES ‘Opening the muscles in your chest and engaging the postural muscles in your back helps you stand more upright and gives space to the diaphragm and abdominals,’ says Iannetta.





OVERHEAD SQUAT Stand with your heels shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly out. Your arms should be overhead, behind your ears, in a ‘Y’ position, with thumbs pointed back. Stick your bum out so your trunk slightly leans forward. Squat as low as you can by bending your knees, sticking out your bum and keeping your lower back flat. Drive out your knees so they line up over your feet, keeping your feet planted. From side-on, your hands should be directly above your feet at the bottom of the squat. Stand up, driving your hips forward and keeping your weight on your heels to engage your glutes. Do as many reps as you can before losing form. WHAT IT DOES ‘This movement uses muscles from your feet to your neck, and demands that all those muscles work through a large range of movement,’ says Merrill. ‘If you can’t do an overhead squat with good form, you have mobility, stability and strength limitations that will make you more prone to breakdown.’



Photography Name in here



For videos of the New Core exercises, see

DOWN TO IT You don’t get off squat-free... this strength-building move will boost resilience


Three bad on-the-run habits – and how to fix them


New Balance Good Form Running ambassador Grant Robison says many people run with an anterior pelvic tilt – the pelvic bowl tilts forward and they sit into their stride. WHY IT’S BAD ‘This can shorten hip flexors and overstretch hamstrings, putting runners in a vulnerable position for fatigue and injury.’ THE FIX Do a ‘pelvic reset’: While running, interlock your fingers and reach your arms overhead to straighten them. WHAT THAT DOES ‘Everything top and bottom reacts to what’s going on in and around your hips, and this aligns your

hips and pelvis for more efficient running’ says Grant.


Most people carry tension in their shoulders, rounding them forward. This will compromise arm swing. WHY IT’S BAD ‘Your lower body reacts to your core and upper body,’ says Robison. ‘Run with bad patterns in your arms, and your footstrike suffers.’ THE FIX Before each run, swing your arms by your sides, totally straight. This relaxes your shoulders and forces your arms to swing forward and backward.

WHAT THAT DOES Keeping your shoulders relaxed alleviates neck and upper-back tension. Swinging your arms back and forth instead of across your body eliminates unnecessary rotation.


Yes, you need to look where you’re going, but… WHY IT’S BAD Tilting your head down encourages slumping in your upper body. THE FIX Use your eyes to look down, while your head and upper body face ahead. WHAT THAT DOES ‘Keeping a level head prolongs the good alignment you get from the pelvic reset,’ says Robison.

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When it comes to muscle strength, nice and slowly does it every time







102 Stretching a point




91 Vital lessons

95 The big day

Race day pitfalls are many and various – let us show you how to avoid them

Lay the ground work for a great race

This month’s expert panel

Jo Pavey

Steve Smythe

Jeff Galloway

2012 GB 5000m champion Jo has competed at four Olympic Games and five World Champs during her 15-year pro career. p107

With a marathon personal best of 2:29, renowned coach Steve has run a sub-3:00 26.2-miler in five different decades. p108

The former Olympian has coached over 200,000 runners and invented the run/walk training method. p97


Dr Cindra Kamphoff Director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology at Minnesota State University, US. p101

Lisa Marshall Lisa Marshall is a writer who covers health, science and running. She spends her spare time trail running in Colorado. p91 & p95

Paul Hobrough A former GB athlete, Paul is a chartered physiotherapist (physioand p105

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Lessons learned Sidestep these eight common training and racing mistakes to have a great marathon day, says Lisa Marshall




Illustrations Kirsten Ulve


ou don’t have to be new to racing to mess up. I’ve run seven marathons and 12 halves, and I’ve heard many more experienced runners say even they have stepped into the same common pitfalls that have ruined races for me. For instance, just hours after completing a recent marathon, I raised a bittersweet toast to a race I was already eager to put behind me. Instead of basking in the PB that I’d promised my running buddies, I flashed back to various futile toilet stops along the way and a scary midrace meeting with the wall. With all my experience and race know-how, how did I go so wrong? Here’s how to avoid following in my footsteps.

David Manthey. ‘Specificity is key.’ For instance, runners targeting a road race should do at least 65 per cent of training (most long runs and some speed sessions) on asphalt. This gets your body used to the pounding and repetitive motion of running on the roads. Hitting trails and park paths for easy and recovery runs and some hill workouts helps you avoid overuse injuries, says Manthey. MISTAKE #2


As someone who lives in Colorado, US, I assumed that my mountain-girl lungs would have me feeling bionic at sea level. But it turns out running trails at altitude in freezing conditions is not the best way to train for a warm, flat road race. LESSON LEARNED: Tailor your training to your event

Study the surface, average weather and elevation of your event, and plan your training accordingly, says coach

You might assume I have a home advantage in my local marathon. But I felt like I knew too much. Miles before a dreaded climb around mile 17, my body and psyche were already revolting in anticipation. By the time I faced that hill, my momentum was sapped by nerves. It ended up being one of my slowest finish times ever. LESSON LEARNED: Be sure to prepare your body and mind

Study the course’s profile, and plan workouts to match the terrain you’ll encounter. If you’re training for a hilly race, spend one day a week training on them. ‘You need to learn how to run smoothly and efficiently going downhill so you can absorb shock with your quads better,’ says Sean Coster, a coach and exercise physiologist, ‘and

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also learn how to transition into running uphill when you’re eccentrically fatigued from running downhill.’ Do a few hill repeats at the end of a run when you’re already tired. To counter dread, establish a mantra like ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’. Plan to draw on those images and words. Once the gun goes off, take your race one mile at a time. ‘People get ahead of themselves and freak out,’ says sports psychologist Kay Porter, PhD, author of The Mental Athlete (Human Kinetics, £13.99). ‘Try to stay in the moment.’ MISTAKE #3

I DIDN’T FUEL UP Distracted by either glorious views or spectators bearing cowbells, I have been known to let 13 miles go by before taking my first gel. At one race, by the time that need reared its head – in the form of a presumably low-blood-sugar-induced tingling in my face – it was too late. ‘Once you dig yourself into a hole, it’s hard for your body to catch up,’ says Kim Mueller, a nutritionist and 2:52 marathoner.

LESSON LEARNED: Get there early

Travelling to a race? It can take more than 24 hours for your body to recover from the swelling and dehydration that a pressurised plane cabin can cause, says Guzman. To keep it to a minimum, avoid alcohol and caffeine, bring your own water and wear compression socks on the plane. Try to arrive at least 48 hours before the start, so you have time to do a 30-minute shakeout run, get a good night’s sleep, spend a few hours at the expo and lounge the night before the race. Racing closer to home? Arrive an hour before the start so you can check your gear, go to the toilet and be in your start pen 20-30 minutes before the gun goes off. MISTAKE #5

I ATE TOO MUCH There’s nothing like an all-you-can-eat buffet to inspire a sense of entitlement in a marathon runner. ‘I’m carbloading,’ I rationalised the night before one 26.2-miler. The next day, the buffet stayed with me, making my stomach slosh all the way to the finish line.


I WENT OUT TOO FAST This is has always been my tragic downfall. At one recent marathon, I burst out of the gate with a joyful surge and didn’t realise until around mile three that I was two minutes ahead of where I should have been. I should have been alarmed. But for a proud instant, I thought, cool! By mile six, I was longing for a nap. LESSON LEARNED: Hold back, settle in, finish strong

Many runners have a tendency to want to ‘bank time’ at the beginning. Tactically, this is not a good idea. ‘That’s the worst way to run a race,’ says Manthey, ‘because you burn through your glycogen stores early on.’ It’s best instead to think of the first few miles as an extended warm-up, and run them at or a few seconds slower than goal pace. MISTAKE #8



LESSON LEARNED: Train your eating




I GOT COLD AND WET After rain or even a crisp morning dew, the soft grasses that surround many an athletes’ village can be transformed into a wet blanket. At races that have required me to arrive at the start hours before the gun went off, I have looked longingly at runners sprawled out stretching and meditating on sleeping bags they had brought. En route to an East Coast race, I caught a flight that got me to my hotel just before sunrise the day before the race. I slept zero hours that night – the night that coaches say matters most, since nerves keep most of us awake on race eve.

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LESSON LEARNED: Bring a survival kit

Bring a plastic bin bag to sit on, something to read and a throwaway top and tracksuit bottoms to keep warm in – many big races now collect clothes for homeless shelters.


In order to sustain energy for three, four or more hours, your glycogen stores must be topped up – which means carb-loading starting 72 hours ahead of the race, not the night before. Try to consume four grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day. For a nine stone woman, that would be 504g. Your diet should consist of 80-90 per cent carbohydrates during this time. Steer clear of high-fibre foods. Instead, choose bananas or melons, pulp-free juice and white foods like rice, bread and pasta. The day before the race, make your lunch your biggest meal so you have plenty of time to digest.


LESSON LEARNED: Load up properly


During training, experiment with pre- and on-the-run fuelling, and stick with what works. Mueller recommends eating 75-125g of carbs for breakfast. Take your first sports fuel (drink or gel) at the five-mile mark and then at each five-mile increment up to 20, and then another at mile 22 or 23. If you can also stomach sips of the sports drink provided at your race, take on a mouthful or two.

Typically, I spend too much time obsessing over sock choice and gel flavour, panicking at the starting line, and neurotically checking my watch mile by mile. Fortunately, there always comes a time when I remember just why I do these things. Suddenly, the cheers seem louder and the other runners become more like comrades than competitors. At my last race, the gruelling but spectacular Rim Rock Marathon in Colorado, it took until mile 25, when my 13-year-old daughter briefly ran beside me. Noticing my stony face, she delivered a piece of advice no runner should forget. ‘Look around at how awesome this is,’ she said. ‘Remember, Mum, this is supposed to be fun.’


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Master the plan Plot a solid race-day strategy to dodge mishaps and meet your goals


ou’ve ticked off every workout to prep for your upcoming marathon or half. But do you know exactly what you’ll do on race day? ‘If you took 10 or 16 weeks to train, you want to protect that investment with a race-day plan,’ says coach Ric Rojas. By pinpointing a realistic finish time and using a tested fuelling and hydration strategy, you boost your odds of meeting your goal, whether it’s setting a PB or just finishing. Here’s how to craft your best plan.

Having an idea of how long it will take to finish your event will help you plan your race pace and your strategy. If you have run a shorter race in the past four months, you can plug that time into a race-predictor tool (such as the one at racepredictor). The closer the distance is to your goal race, the more accurate a predictor it will be, says Rojas. If you haven’t raced recently, look back on the average pace of your long runs.










Set a realistic goal time

Make a race morning schedule ‘Particularly if I am a first-time marathoner, I want to know exactly where I’ll be on the morning of the race,’ says Rojas. Make a schedule of what you’ll do from the time you wake up until start time, including eating, getting to the race, standing in the toilet queue and finding your start area. Add at least an extra half-hour to your commute time to allow for traffic jams or missed connections.

Have a tried-and-tested fuel and hydration strategy Never try anything new on race day, says coach David Allison. Instead, rehearse on a few long runs late in your training: wake up at the time you’ll rise on race day (keeping time changes in mind if you’ll be travelling), put on the clothes and shoes you’ll wear, and eat the breakfast you’ll eat. Note what works and have it on hand for

race morning. If you plan to use raceprovided gels and sports drinks on the course, find out what they’ll have and try them in training. Write down how much fuel, water and sports drink you take in and when, and incorporate it all into your plan. Make a mental note of where the aid stations will be and at which you’ll want to take a gel.

Avoid taper week traps


Last-minute cramming Don’t try to make up for missed mileage or unsatisfactory workouts. It’s too late, and you could end up feeling less-than-fresh on the starting line. Instead, adjust your time goal to match the training you did get in.


Overtapering Reduce mileage, but not intensity. To keep your muscle memory sharp, do an interval workout at your 10K pace in weeks one and two of a threeweek taper. Just keep it short.

3 Words Lisa Marshall Photography Studio 33

Carb binging Emphasise carbs on your plate during the two or three days before your race rather than simply carb binging. So, if you’d typically have a chicken stir-fry for dinner, eat more veg and rice while scaling back the chicken.

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Change is good FIRST STEPS

with Jeff Galloway

Mixing up your usual routine with just a few tweaks can make you faster, stronger and more motivated


lenty of runners lock into a running routine and rarely change it. And that’s fine – just getting out the door can bestow a sense of accomplishment and boost your mood. But deviating from your standard practice

can make you faster and stronger, and stoke your motivation. When you start changing things up, it’s best to try one tweak at a time so you can see what works and what doesn’t before moving on.

Say What? Running rut

A state in which you’re no longer improving as a runner, or you’re feeling unmotivated to run. Ruts often occur after you’ve done the same route, the same workout, and/or running at the same speed over time.

WORK IT OUT Variety is key


‘I don’t race, so I don’t need to mix up my workouts’


Fact or fiction?










FICTION While you can maintain fitness with your usual routine, at a certain point you’ll reach a plateau. Even if you don’t care about going faster in a race, varying the terrain, speed and scenery of workouts will promote better health, make you a stronger, more well-rounded runner and keep you interested and motivated to remain a runner for life.

Illustration Peter Liddiard Photography Getty

When you run easy… Do four to eight 30-second cadence drills over the course of your run. Count the number of times your right foot hits the ground; aim to increase that number. Take low, quick steps. These drills will increase your turnover, so you run more efficiently.

When you run hills… Try to sing a song (quietly). Climbing should never get so hard that you’re huffing and puffing and can’t talk (or sing).

When you run fast… Bring a friend. A buddy will boost your motivation and morale, and help you push when it would be more comfortable

to quit. Don’t compete with each other, but don’t let your pal off the hook, either – encourage each other to complete the day’s goals.

When you run long… Take more frequent walk breaks. If you currently do a ratio of one minute running to one minute walking, reduce it to 45 seconds running to one minute walking. It will help you run farther, minimise soreness, and hasten your recovery.

When you race… Make your first mile the slowest mile. Gradually increase the pace, but every five minutes or so, slow your speed for one minute so you stay strong to the finish.

Q+A Q How many different types of runs should I do in a week?

A Rather than stress over fitting a certain number of workouts into one week, try to do one of each of the following over two weeks: a long run for endurance; a hilly run for strength; a faster run to improve speed; a social run to keep your mind engaged; and a run where you focus on form and drills.

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Perfect pairs

Eat these foods together to boost health and energy


atman and Robin, Thelma and Louise: some foods are like these storied duos – great individually, but a powerhouse as a team. ‘When we eat certain foods together, their nutrients combine to produce a performance or health benefit that outweighs what you’d get if you ate them on their own,’ says nutritionist Marni Sumbal. Tap into food synergy all day long with these six good-chemistry combinations that may improve your runs and set the stage for better recovery.







Starchy breakfast favourites like toast and cereal are a great way for runners to load up on carbs. But when eaten alone they may produce a blood-sugar spike and crash that can lead to midmorning cravings for sweet or fatty foods. Green tea may blunt the spike, easing the urge to overeat. A Pennsylvania State University study in the US found that starch combined with an antioxidant in green tea, called EGCG, lowers blood-sugar rise by up to 50 per cent. The dose of EGCG in the study was equal to that found in 340ml of green tea.

Lentils are rich in iron – which helps transport oxygen to working muscles – making the legume an ideal lunch option for runners. But because iron in plant-based foods is ‘non-haem’ (not from haemoglobin), the body doesn’t absorb it as easily as it does haem iron found in animal products, says sports nutritionist Ilana Katz. Enter vitamin C-rich red peppers. ‘Vitamin C is a powerful enhancer of non-haem iron absorption by making it more soluble in the intestines,’ says Katz. Dark leafy greens also have significant doses of iron, while tomatoes and broccoli provide vitamin C to boost iron absorption.

The carbohydrates in a bowl of porridge and berries provide a quick and convenient energygiving snack before lacing up your shoes for a run. And now for the science bit – apparently the tag team of antioxidants (oats) and vitamin C (berries) may give your heart a boost. Researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts, in the US, found that the vitamin C interacts with oat antioxidants to possibly improve how well the antioxidants disrupt the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (oxidation makes this so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol even worse).

BONUS Add a squirt of lemon to your green tea. A study in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that adding citrus juice to green tea increases your ability to absorb its antioxidants.

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BONUS Higher vitamin C intake can help marathoners slash their risk of catching a cold by up to 50 per cent.

BONUS Splurge on organic strawberries. The Environmental Working Group in the US found that non-organic berries can contain high amounts of pesticide residue.









More proof that cereal and milk are made for each other. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, US, found that subjects who ate whole-grain cereal with fat-free milk after exercising at a moderate pace for two hours saw noticeable increases in muscle glycogen repletion and protein synthesis, two markers for exercise recovery. ‘The natural sugars, protein, amino acids and electrolytes in milk team up with the carbs in cereal to give muscles what they need after a workout,’ says Sumbal. The faster you recover, the faster you can put in hard miles again.

A salad of brightly coloured veg like carrots, spinach and tomatoes is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, including betacarotene and lycopene. But skip the fat-free dressing: these antioxidants require dietary fat for absorption. A 2012 Purdue University, US, study found the monounsaturated fat in canola oil (also think olive oil and avocado) was best at bolstering antioxidant uptake, while saturated fat (think bacon bits and creamy dressings) was least effective. Using just three grams (just under a teaspoon) of a monounsaturated fat-rich dressing is all you need to get the full benefit.

Shuttering the kitchen after dinner is common diet advice, but if you want to build muscle, consider a high-protein bedtime snack. Findings published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in 2012 suggest that eating up to 40g of milk protein half an hour before bed promotes new muscle growth if exercise occurred earlier that evening. ‘Leaner body mass can improve aerobic capacity, increase muscle efficiency, and reduce injury risk,’ says Katz. Greek yoghurt has about double the protein of traditional versions, while hemp seeds contain more protein (10g in three tablespoons) than other seeds, making this a real power couple.

BONUS A British Journal of Nutrition study found that milk protein improves fluid retention post-exercise, allowing for better rehydration and recovery.

Words Matthew Kadey Photography Mitch Mandel


BONUS ‘Monounsaturated fats are god for heart health,’ Sumbal says. ‘They lower LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.’

BONUS Greek yoghurt packs in probiotics, which may reduce stomach issues like cramps in athletes.

Double trouble Skip these potentially harmful pairings

Energy bars & sugar alcohols Bars containing sugar alcohols, such as maltitol or sorbitol, can cause gas, bloating and diarrhoea.

Milk & tea Casein protein in milk can bind up antioxidants in tea, rendering them less useful for boosting heart health.

Diet mixers & booze Diet mixers doesn’t delay stomach emptying the way drinks with sugar do, so alcohol hits you faster.

Pastries & coffee Eating saturated fat (like in commercial baked goods) with coffee raises blood sugar twice as much as eating the fatty meal alone.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 099


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Relax with a taper Some of the best ways to keep calm and carry on in the final build-up to a big race


To better understand this, Dr Cindra Kamphoff, director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology in Minnesota, US, interviewed 21 marathoners in 2012 and identified two distinct types. ‘Positive taperers’ felt energised and confident, and were able to interpret pre-race jitters as a sign that they were eager to race. The others – the ‘negative taperers’ – felt wracked with anxiety. ‘A positive taper led to a positive race,’ Kamphoff says. The following advice will help you avoid taper traps and have an enjoyable race.










ever mind the long runs and hill repeats – ask runners what the most challenging part of race training is, and many will say the taper. Often, anxiety and crankiness go hand-in-hand with decreased mileage in the days or weeks leading up to a race. Of course, you know the value of scaling back – muscles heal, extra glycogen (or fuel) is stored, your immune system rebounds. But when you’ve grown used to the endorphin buzz that follows a workout, tapering can make you feel like an addict going through withdrawal.

TAKE IT EASY Scaling back training can make many runners jittery

Don’t: Fixate

Words Mackenzie Lobby Photography Getty

on one stressinducing goal

Do: Set multiple goals. Jeff Gaudette, founder of coaching service RunnersConnect, has his runners set a ‘good’, ‘great,’ and ‘awesome’ goal. The good goal is something they can definitely achieve, like consistent form on hills. ‘The great goal may be an achievable finish time,’ says Jeff. ‘And an awesome goal is something that, if the stars align, they can accomplish.’

Don’t: Eat, breathe and sleep running

Don’t: Unleash the crazy on others

Don’t: Lack a plan for the future

Do: Rest your body and mind. Sure, it’s helpful to review a course map to know where hills are. But non-stop agonising over your race can intensify feelings of anxiety. ‘The taper is a time to rest your body and your mind,’ Kamphoff says. Recognise the difference between being prepared and being obsessed. Plan taper projects (read a book – or two!) to fill downtime and keep your mind occupied.

Do: Warn your family and friends that you might be a little on edge leading up to the race. Those around you are likely to be more sympathetic when they understand how important the race is to you and be willing to cut you some slack. And knowing that they are prepared – and ready to forgive and forget – can reduce your stress level, Dr Cindra Kamphoff says.

Do: Think of what you’d like to do next. Having something to look forward to ‘can help runners realise that their upcoming race is not the end of the world, allowing them to relax about the outcome,’ Gaudette says. Whether you’d like to train for a longer race, take up yoga or learn to cook, you can hit the ground running as soon as you cross that finish line.

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Not so fast

One-legged squat WHY Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core. HOW Place a stability ball between a wall and the small of your back. Lift your left leg and slowly squat down until your right leg is at a 45-degree angle. Stand back up at normal speed. Do 3-6 reps per leg.

Take your time with the ‘release’ of these moves to get stronger


WHY Strengthens the core. HOW Start in a plank position with elbows and forearms resting on the ground and shuffle your feet inwards. Lift your bum as high as possible toward the ceiling at normal speed (shown above). Then slowly release back into a plank position. Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps.

Leg balance

Hip abduction

WHY Works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core while boosting balance. HOW Place your right foot on the flat side of a Bosu Trainer with the toes of your left foot touching the ground. Lift your left knee slowly up (shown below). Balance for a second, then lower back down at normal speed. Do 3-4 sets of 6 reps on each leg.

WHY Targets the abductors. HOW Attach one end of a resistance band to a sturdy object and the other end to your right leg. Walk sideways away from the band’s anchor until you feel resistance. Bring your right leg toward your left leg at normal speed. Then slowly let your leg move back out (shown below). Do 4 sets of 25 reps on each leg.

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WHY Works the hamstrings. HOW Lie on the ground with your knees bent 90 degrees and a light medicine ball between your feet or ankles. While keeping your torso on the ground, squeeze the ball and slowly lower your legs (shown above). Return to the start position at normal speed. Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps.

Words Nicole Falcone Photography Thomas Macdonald

Hamstring curl









unners are often focused on moving faster. But when it comes to strength training, slowing down can be beneficial. There are three ways to work a muscle: isometric (no movement), concentric (contracting the muscle), and eccentric (releasing the muscle). Eccentric strength training involves slowing down the release of a muscle, which puts the muscle under a different kind of stress. By challenging the muscles in this way, they get stronger and become more resistant to damage, says Juan Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the Department of Health & Kinesiology at the University of Texas, US. As you do the following exercises, pay attention to pacing: one part of the movement should be done slowly. You can watch a video demo of all these exercises at





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with Paul Hobrough

QWhat are the best ways to deal with shin splints? I’m training for a 10K and I find it frustrating to not run. Helen Tiller, via webchat




The problem Shin splints are extremely prevalent at this time of year, as spring marathon training miles increase each week. This particular problem is a soft tissue injury, where the key muscles that control the slow lowering of your foot at each step – and also control and maintain the longitudinal foot arch – are being put royally through their paces. The main muscle groups in question are the tibialis anterior and the tibialis posterior. Most soft tissue injuries are caused because the muscles are too weak and too short to do the job they’re designed to do, so

when you increase the mileage, they start to break down. Each muscle has an outer layer called the periosteum, and while you know the injury as shin splints, the clinical term is periostitis – meaning inflammation of the periosteum of the muscles. Many see this as a precursor to higher levels of damage, such as stress response or a stress fracture to the tibia. Think of a stress response as like the white lines you would see in a plastic ruler if you repeatedly bent it back and forth, and think of a stress fracture as when this turns into a definitive crack.

Pain down the inside of the leg: Posterior Tibialis Shin Splints Pain down the front of the leg: Anterior Tibialis Shin Splints




Illustration Sudden Impact Media Photography Getty





Can you still run with shin splints?

The Fix Assuming your pain is shin splints and hasn’t developed into an issue with the bone itself, you’ll get great results by strengthening the tibialis posterior and tibialis anterior, along with stretching both the anterior and posterior muscles of the shin. I’m also a fan of looking at foot control. Overpronators tend to have a higher risk of shin splint symptoms, so it’s worth looking at footwear, or even an insert for the shoe that corrects overpronation.

1. HEEL RAISES FROM A STEP A. Stand with both feet on a step, heels hanging off it. B. Lower your heels as low as possible, then raise up onto your toes. Repeat for a total of three sets of 20 reps, morning and evening.

2. CALF STRETCHES WITH STRAIGHT AND BENT KNEE These are two separate stretches which work the gastrocnemius and soleus respectively. Hold each for 30 to 60 seconds, repeating four times per day.

3. TOE RAISES Stand with your back flat against a wall, and your feet roughly a foot away from it. Raise your feet up and down for three sets of 20 reps, then sit on your knees to stretch the anterior shin. Do these in the afternoon only.

If you have to keep running, please do so on a treadmill with the incline set to five. This is much better for the shins as the forefoot has less distance to travel to the floor and therefore the muscles have less work to do. Don’t run downhill as this will aggravate the pain. Run for five minutes, then do the calf stretches, see left (not the strength work). Repeat this up to five times as long as you have little or no pain. As pain reduces, increase the duration of the runs and then start to remove some of the stretch stops. If your pain continues and you feel like it’s getting worse and/or more specific, seek specialist help as you may have a stress response or even a stress fracture.

Paul Hobrough is founder of Physio&Therapy UK ( Got a problem? Email

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Elite advice


The workout: Taper Sharpener 6 x 1min at 80 per cent with 90 secs recovery

with Jo Pavey

5 mins recovery 10 mins at tempo pace 3 mins recovery

Q The long runs in my marathon training only hit 20 miles. Wouldn’t it be better to run the full distance?










Michelle Turner, via email

Long runs are crucial in any marathon schedule. They give many physiological benefits, such as conditioning muscles to cope with impact fatigue and training your body to store more glycogen. They also rehearse mental toughness and offer the chance to practise taking drinks and gels while you run. However, running the full 26 miles in training is likely to have a negative effect on both your training and confidence. Physically, any potential gains would be outweighed by the long recovery time and you’d struggle to complete the remaining aspects of your training. Confidence could actually be lost too, as running the full distance would be tougher without the proper race day preparation. Take confidence knowing that when you do run your marathon you’ll have tapered and fuelled properly. The recommended maximum length of a long run is 18 to 22 miles, so your 20 miles is in that territory. And while precise optimal length depends on a runner’s ability, the maximum time on your feet shouldn’t be longer than 3:15. Your longest run should be no closer than three to four weeks before race day, with a shorter long run two weeks out.

2 x 30-second easy strides When? Do this session one week before your marathon, but no closer. Why? It will serve to keep your legs ticking over with a bit of pace in them and deliver a little endurance top-up into the bargain. The strides at the end bring something more dynamic to turn the legs over, but don’t go all the way up through the gears. You should only hit 80 per cent effort to avoid undue fatigue. Remember that all the hard work has been done already by now. Your final taper is about resting and charging the batteries for race day, but this session will combat the sluggishness that bothers some tapering runners. Where? Preferably on a softer surface such as a good trail or a sports pitch.

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

Q What would be your recommended post-marathon recovery routine? Chris Short, via email Running a marathon is a shock to the system, so take your recovery seriously. Right after the race, sip an electrolyte sports drink to rehydrate. A bit of gentle walking is OK, but don’t jog to warm down as you could further damage your muscles. During that first hour post-race, have a drink containing protein to kick-start the recovery process before you get a

proper meal. Then, when you get back to your accommodation, take an ice bath to calm your body’s reaction. The next day you’ll be very sore, but try to go for a short walk. Book a light, flush-out massage and have another ice bath. Don’t run for at least four to seven days, but in that first week use gentle walks and very easy stretching to help increase blood flow to

muscles and restore range of motion. After a couple of days, warm baths followed by light stretching will further reduce stiffness. By week two, you can do some short, easy jogging, but listen to your body. Throughout, eat a diet of carbs, proteins, fruits and veg, and get plenty of sleep. It’ll be at least three weeks before you’re ready to build training back up, so don’t rush things.

Post-marathon Sip sports drink

Gentle walking

Protein drink

Ice bath

Nutritious diet

Day 2 Massage

Short walk

Ice bath

Nutritious diet

Day 3-7 Gentle walks

Easy stretching

Warm baths

Nutritious diet

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

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 107


Steve says... You are going in the right direction, so I am sure that sub-3:30 is achievable. But I would make the following points regarding your schedule. Treadmill running is better than not running at all but it’s not the same as running outdoors – it’s important to do things that are specific for racing. It is easier doing speedwork as you set the treadmill to a specific pace but it is far better to be able to do the

pm High-intensity


(on treadmill: 5x1-min @ 18kph with 1-min recoveries ries @ 10kph; 5-min recovery on a rowing machine; repeat twice) B

Lunchtime: Tempo run




(9 miles @ between 7:00min/mile and 8:00min/mile) A (6.7 miles, about 50 mins; sometimes swap this with a 90-min tempo bike session)

(on treadmill, slight incline, incline averaging 13.5km for 60 mins); then 1-hour Body Combat gym class.

Running twice a day can get you fitter, but it is best to do one good session a day rather than two medium ones. Running twice on Monday, doing over 13 miles the day after a long run just tires you out. Also, swap your Wednesday and Thursday sessions for more recovery.


am 2x1-hour gym classes classe

am Long run (16 miles, building


Slow down intervals

You are doing short efforts of a minute at 18kph – this is a good speed but it’s a pace you’d probably only run at if you were racing less than a mile. Even 15kph is quicker than your treadmill 10K pace, and it’s better to focus on that sort of speed than it is your faster-than-a-mile pace.

(9 miles at between 8:00min/mile and 9:00min/mile)

(Body Pump and Body Combat)

race; undulating route; current average pace of 9:00min/mile over 23 miles) C

H C Mon


pm Interval session grass or road; eg: 8x1km in sub-4:30 per rep with 1:30 recovery, rowing/gym after, if required) B


pm Steady run to 90mins)



Lunchtime: Tempo run

(9 miles @ between 7:00min/mile

pm Bike then 1-hour




8:00min/mile and 9:00min/mile) C


(6.7 miles, under 60mins)


Don’t go too long

While it may arguably be good psychologically to go up to 26 miles in your long runs, it does put a strain on the body and until you have more races under your belt and proof that you need to do the extra distance, then I would say 22 or 23 is better for a maximum.

Rest day or occasional before if you are doing one)

(16 miles, building up to 22 miles a few months before a race)



Want help getting a PB? Email a typical week’s schedule, your goal and target race to

108 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14


A Build in more recovery




am Recovery run (6.7 miles, under 60 mins) pm Steady run (6.7 miles, about 50 mins; mins sometimes times swap this with a 90-min tempo A bike session)

Steve’s prescription


Lee’s typical training week (fitted around work)

pace without a machine as that’s what happens in a race. Doing something on a rowing machine or bike is fine, and may be better than doing a second run on that day, but I don’t think it is a good idea to mix running and rowing reps. Additionally, you need to race more and participate in 5K, 10K and half marathons. They will improve your speed and get you used to competing and racing with others.


Lee Richardson 46, Leighton Buzzard Info ‘I’ve been running for 10 years and would dearly like to run a sub-3:30 marathon before age overtakes me. My current PB is 3:39, set in the Bournemouth Marathon last October. I have built up to the schedule below and really enjoy it. Any advice on how to get faster would be greatly appreciated.’


with Steve Smythe



Q ‘Am I on course for a sub-3:30 marathon?’


Photography Tom Miles





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A call to arms Spring is here, ditch the jacket and cut a dash in one of these new technical T-shirts

Words Kerry McCarthy Photography Studio 33

Gore Magnitude 2.0 Zip Shirt

OFF TO A TEE A well designed top makes all the difference, £59.99 Women’s shown, men’s also available Apparel from Gore is always a sound investment. It’s not cheap, but it’s high spec and long-lasting. This top continues the trend, providing a great mix of comfort, wicking and breathability. The zip allows a degree of temperature control if you overheat, but testers of the female version noted that larger busted women found the chest panelling a little tight and the zip had to be left undone to relieve this.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 113










Editor’s Choice The North Face Reaxion Tee

Iffley Road Half-Zip Tee, £70 Men’s shown, women’s also available A beautifully styled top that also fulfils modern running needs, with breathable fabric and an in-seam zip pocket for keys and cash. The only negative was stitching coming loose on the seam above the pocket after a few runs – but Iffley Road say that since its May 2013 launch not one garment has been returned for quality reasons.

Ashmei SS Merino Jersey, £75 Men’s shown, women’s also available There is an argument that no T-shirt should cost this much, but it’s another premium-priced top whose soft feel screams luxury. It’s a snug fit but the fabric moves with your body so it doesn’t feel at all restrictive. Extras include zipped MP3 pocket positions at the side with rear earphone cable router.

Salomon Exo Motion Zip Tee

Oiselle Big O Burnout Raglan, £60 Women’s shown, men’s also available In its packet this tiny tee looks like it’s made for a Borrower. For those new to compression, the tight fit in key zones is designed to increase blood flow round your torso to help with speed of recovery after a run. It’s soft and fluffy – and the knitted construction of the weave wicks sweat away from the body extremely quickly., £22 plus shipping Women only This T-shirt was ‘a joy to wear’, said our female testers. It’s a loose fit but glides nicely against skin – and the generous cut is what makes it better suited to training runs when time and aerodynamics are not of the essence. It’s very light, but the downside is that it’s unsuitable for longer runs where variable weather may require more protection. Keep for carefree summer trots., £24.99 Women’s shown, men’s also available This feels light in your hand but is surprisingly warm despite the skimpy cut on both men’s and women’s versions. The cut was impressive around the waist, where it moved with the hips and didn’t ride up like many tees. It’s frills-free in terms of extras but the fast wicking of TNF’s weave technology makes this a great choice for both warm and cooler spring weather.

Nike Dri-Fit Tailwind Tee, £35 Men only If it weren’t for a tendency to get slightly heavy when saturated with sweat, this would be the perfect training/race hybrid. That aside, it’s a dream to wear. It has a generous fit around the midriff for those who are body-conscious, but is fitted around the shoulders and armpits so there is no annoying flapping. The material is soft against the skin and there’s a generous seam pocket on the right hip.

Strider’s Edge EC-Map Breathe Tee, £39 Women only The first thing you notice about this women-only top is the soft feel and flexibility. It’s tight-fitting but moves with your body. There are mesh panels for breathability in the usual places but also down the middle of the back. A lack of extras such as pockets or MP3 cable holes may put off some, but the luxury feel makes this more than decent value for money.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 115


Editor’s Choice

Arc’Teryx Sarix Top, £45 Men’s shown, women’s also available The raglan cut of this tee (separate panels on the shoulders) makes it a good choice for those with a broader upper body as it aids easy movement. The slight scoop on the collar is perfect if you like your tees a little roomier in the neck. It’s light and perfect for a shorter, fast race, although £45 for such a stripped-down shirt may be a bit rich for some.

Brooks EZ Tee III Love To Run

Helly Hansen Pace SS 2

Mountain Hardwear Cool Runner Tee, £23 Women’s shown, men’s also available A robust shirt, which coped superbly with intensive washing and still came up looking new. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: a lightweight, medium-quality speedster. Simple but effective. Best for short runs on warm days and races up to 10K. Be aware: these come up a little small, so go one size up., £40 Men’s shown, women’s also available in half-zip This tee’s simple design makes you hesitate over the price, but you’re mainly paying for one thing: the superb moisture and temperature management. Helly Hansen challenged us to test this in a heated altitude chamber – so we did. Despite the tester dripping with sweat, the tee moved all of it away from the body, so there was no clinging or chafing. Genius.

Ronhill SS Trail Zip Tee

Adidas Adizero Tee

Inov-8 Baselite 160

dhb Letho SS Run Top, £37 Men’s shown, women’s also available The price here is closer to what you’d pay for one of Ronhill’s jackets – but when you wear this it’s obvious why it costs more. It has a dense weave for trail runs where you need a tough top to withstand mud, rocks, twigs and the like. There are reinforced gel side pockets and the shoulders have rubber grips in case you’re running with a hydration pack., £38 Men’s shown, women’s also available Women will probably find nothing remarkable about this tee’s weight but guys will love the gossamer feel of the men’s version. It’s a strange fit: standard in the upper body but sculpted at the waist, so unless you’re triangular, go up a size. The incredile wicking material coped with everything thrown at it. Best for heavy sweaters looking for a marathon day option., £40 Men only A polyester and Lycra weave helps to make this top form fitting but also fast wicking. For a road running T-shirt it would be a little thick, but for a trail top it’s light, making it perfect for serious trail runners looking to drop a few grams. The top’s overall quality and performance of features such as the ventilation panels is good but at this price you’d expect a few extra bells and whistles., £14.99 Men’s shown, women’s also available Cyclists have long taken advantage of Wiggle’s cut-price own label kit, but thanks to a new diversification runners now can too. This lightweight tee comes with decent wicking and ventilation panels. The only downside is that after a dozen or so runs, the top retained a faint whiff – but then antibacterial treatment would be too much to expect for the price.

116 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14, £45 Women’s shown, men’s also available This tee is super-small and light, but loaded with technology. The polyester and elastane weave has an antibacterial treatment for odour eradication, the front and back panels are designed to let off a cooling sensation once it comes into contact with sweat, and there are flatlock seams on the minimal stitching to reduce irritation.







Watch out! The new Forerunner 620 updates the 610’s top-of-the-range spec GARMIN FORERUNNER 620 £329.99 (£359.99 with HRM)

Standard features 1 Easy set-up If you’ve used a Garmin before you won’t even need to refer to the manual. If you do, it’s quick and simple. 2 GPS connection Locks on in under 10 seconds every time. This is because the FR620 automatically caches the satellite locations for the next week when GPS is switched on. 3 Data fields There are 44 fields to choose from – which come under the headings of basics such as time, distance, pace, speed and heart rate – and you can customise your view on up to four scrolling screens, each with the capacity to hold one to four fields. 4 Battery life Better than previous Garmins with 10hrs in GPS mode and up to six weeks in watch mode. 5 Functionality There are four buttons on the side of the watch, two ‘touch’ buttons on the face and the rest is a matter of swiping up, down, left and right – simple enough if you’re used to a smartphone. 6 Water resistance Because this is not a multi-sport watch, it will not provide any metrics – but you can wear it when swimming without any worries. 7 Data upload wireless simplicity Automatically uploads your data to the Garmin Connect website by Wi-Fi when you walk back into your house, but you can use Bluetooth as a back-up for when Wi-Fi signal is weak. 118 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

Snazzy features Heart rate monitor Not only does this new HRM give data on the next two features below, but it gives the most accurate data our tester has seen: over several runs there were no time lags, drop outs or jumps between readings. Vertical oscillation This measures how much your chest moves up and down when running. The lower the reading the better, as it shows that you’re running more efficiently and using less energy to move forward. Ground contact time Measures how long your foot spends in contact with the floor on each step, measured in milliseconds. The less time on the ground the faster your cadence. There is also a cadence function for runners who want more specific data. Manual workout creation Devise your own programme on Garmin Connect and upload the whole thing to store on the FR620. It’s easy to do, and it was good to have the peace of mind not to have to remember to check an online schedule before each session. VO2 Max This is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can process and use during exercise. The higher the better. On a run of 10 minutes or more the FR620 uses algorithms to approximate your reading, and uses that to give you predicted race times for various distances. Garmin claim it’s 95 per cent accurate. Recovery Adviser A post-run message that tells you how long you should wait (in hours) before attempting another hard run.

RW VERDICT Outstanding. With just a couple of quibbles. First, the scroll function is slightly cumbersome. Also, a top-end device like this should have multi-sport functionality. Aside from that we loved it. Garmin has created a watch that’s accessible for those who just want basic information, but it’s also packed full of features for stats geeks. Summary: Mass appeal – for those who can afford it.



Sports detergents Make stinky kit a thing of the past with these sports-specific washes 2Toms Stink Free Sports Detergent £13 for 850ml, Huge in the States, this brand flies under the radar in the UK but its products are very effective. This cleaner deodorises the kit as well as washing it, so you won’t have any more of those, ‘Is this clean or not?’ moments. It even works well on old kit with deep-rooted pongs.

Halo Proactive Sports Wash £5.75 for 1l, This works by winkling out the bacteria that gets trapped in the weave of your kit and causes the odours. Traditional cleaning products don’t get it out but this does. The maker claims that one litre does 30 washes but we recommend using a double dose in each wash for decent results.

Q I’ve seen people out running with short sleeve tops and arm sleeves on. What’s that about? Tim Williams, MD at Compressport UK answers: ‘There are two types of arm sleeves: ones for protection when the wearer wants added warmth without layering up the rest of their torso, and compressive ones. These latter sleeves have little benefit for out-and-out runners, but they’re useful for triathletes who use them to cut down on muscle vibration which could fatigue their arms for swim or bike sessions later on.’


Assos Active Wear Cleanser

Words Kerry McCarthy Photography Studio 33, Pandora’s Thoughts Photography

£11.99 for 300ml, This is pricey but if you have expensive and/or delicate kit that needs special treatment, it’s worth it. Not only does this rid the kit of pongy bacteria, but it also protects the colours and maintains the elasticity and shape, where other cleaners are harsher. It’s also pH-neutral and your kit will feel great against your skin.

SLEEVE IT OUT For more warmth and fewer wobbles


Crewroom: A born and bred British success story Crewroom’s VX Refresher Long Sleeve, £25.20

Crewroom was founded in 2000 and initially operated exclusively in the rowing market. The founder, Kate Giles (pictured above), had been a GB squad rower. ‘The kit I was using at the time was pretty poor quality and always seemed to be damp, either from sweat or washing, as I was using it so much,’ she says. ‘I had a busy life on a treadmill of training, eating, working, training, sleeping – over and over again and eventually I contracted pneumonia.

I’m convinced the kit contributed to that illness.’ After winning contracts to supply the GB and Oxbridge rowing squads, Giles then diversified into road and trail running and the brand has developed a reputation as a company that produces fairly priced, high quality technical kit, with designs that appeal to the masses. Based on the banks of the Thames in Putney, south-west London, the team at Crewroom use talent from the London College of Fashion to design the kit, and test prototype samples on former

elite athletes from different sports. Giles also invested heavily in research and development to come up with their own fabric, Vapour-X, which is a combination of recycled polyester and bamboo charcoal, resulting – we can confirm – in apparel which is soft, quick drying, antimicrobial, thermal regulating and environmentally friendly. If growth goes according to plan, Giles hopes to open specialist Crewroom outlets on the high street, ‘but that’s a few years down the line yet,’ she says. 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 119








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The main event Route of all evil

It’s called one of England’s toughest offroaders, but does Somerset’s Black Death Run live up to its devilish claim?

Photography Nick Webster


05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 123


ometimes a little subterfuge is what’s needed to get what you want in life. When I asked my other half if she’d like go to a country estate in Somerset for the weekend, I got an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ But I failed to mention we’d be doing a 10-mile race named after one of the worst plagues in history, and which claimed to be ‘the toughest offroad run in the country’. But she’s not my fiancée for nothing, and once she knew the truth she stoically readjusted her expectations from mudpack to mudbath and said, ‘All these hyped-up races that claim to be the toughest, or coldest or hardest – they can’t all be right. Let’s go see what this one’s made of!’ And so it was that two weeks later we approached Combe Sydenham Country Park, a private estate nestled in a valley on the edge of Exmoor. As we approached the gate my attention was drawn to the imposing range of hills encircling us – I hoped that the race route didn’t take us up any of those – but my partner’s gaze was focused ahead of us, where a cloaked figure emerged from the shadows, waving a huge scythe at our car as we pulled up. The Grim Reaper himself had come to beckon us in. Adorning the archway over his head was a sign that said ‘Welcome to Hell’. The Reaper was in fact race director Steve Johnson, and over a drink later he explained that fun is very much at the heart of this race, and that ‘tough’ need not always go hand in hand with ‘boring’. The light-hearted tone is present throughout: from various other ghoulish fancy dress characters wandering the race HQ and the installation of a bar (a ninesquare-metre army tent) where supporters can drink away the time while they wait for their friends to stagger over the line, to the quick-witted marshals supplied by local club Taunton Hash House Harriers, who delighted in telling you just how awful you looked as you lurched past. And so what of the course itself? The online route map looked like the work of a drunken spider who’d stepped in an inkwell before lurching across the page. Left, right, up, down, switchbacks, U-turns – dizzying just to look at. We were advised on the startline by Steve to set off easy as we would be met almost immediately by ‘a looooooooong old hill’. Inevitably not everyone heeded this warning (including me), and a number of us sprinted off as if pursued by the actual Reaper. Our gung ho attitude was shortlived. The long hill in fact measured two miles and rose almost half a kilometre. The website said, ‘Only three per cent actually run the entire course’. I lasted

HELL ON EARTH The offroad terrain is relentlessly testing

about 10 minutes before giving up on any notion of trying to become a statistical improbability, switching instead to what I like to call a ‘power trudge’: head down, hands on knees, taking long, awkward strides uphill while making noises that sounded like a bullock being castrated. The entirety of the course is offroad and if we weren’t crossing muddy parkland we were cutting along branch-strewn forest trails, hopscotching across furrowed farmers’ tracks or wading through thighhigh stream crossings. It was relentless – but also thrilling and invigorating. The zigzagging course was extremely confusing, with the mile signs the only waymarkers – and I was glad to see I was far from the only one who had twisted blood trying to tackle the tight corners and work out where I was in relation to the finish. It wasn’t until I reached the summit of the final climb that I was able to breathe a sigh of relief with what little O2 I had left in my lungs. I stopped for a few seconds and delightedly contemplated the sign that said, ‘Only one mile to go and it’s all downhill!’ This final mile was pure heaven. A long,

The route map looked like a drunken spider had stepped in an inkwell

124 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

BROTHERS GRIM The race organisers want your soles...

winding trail that descended almost 250m, making it steep enough for you to gambol down like a frisky pony without having to, er, rein yourself in. As I approached the end I spotted a runner in front of me and let the handbrake off, skidding round the final corner like a race car on two wheels and shooting across the line to an explosion of hollers from the merry crowd, many of them clutching pints. In the background a live band was playing and I could smell meat sizzling on a grill somewhere. This was where the party started for sure! The main attraction of this event is undoubtedly its mix of tough, serious, terrain and laid-back conviviality. Oldschool fell runners may not be making a beeline for it any time soon – though they should – but it’s a brilliant introduction to hard trail running for those who want more @runnersworlduk

MEMENTO MORI These were head and shoulders above typical keepsakes

BACON HOT When you’re sweating like a pig, rehydration is key

LIGHT AT THE END RW’s Tobias Mews enjoys the heavenly final downhill stretch

BARE BONES One brave soul risked catching his death of cold

RACE YOUR DEMONS Killer climbs make this ‘one of the country’s toughest offroaders’

Go West

than the stripped-down no-frills approach often associated with such races. The only thing I would demur at is the decision to only stock water at the hydration points. With 800m of ascent throughout the race, the odd jelly bean or slurp of an energy drink wouldn’t have gone amiss – but other than that it was a delight, even down to the memento for each finisher: a skull-shaped tealight holder. And whereas other races of similar scale and type would cost upwards of £30 to enter, the fact that this beaut will set you back just £18 surely means the Grim Reaper’s favourite race is not going to remain underground for long. Run it The next Black Death Run is on May 11 (

The rundown

Black Death Run 10 Somerset (2013 stats)

First man Jack Blackburn 1:12:14 First woman Sarah Trim 1:23:31 No of starters and finishers 450 and 450 (100% finished) Last finisher 2:57:36 Finishing stats 1:00-1:29 13% 1:30-1:59 62% Pudae nem 2:00-2:29 23% que simus nullias aliquatur 2:30-2:59 2% repraer natur,

Three more Somerset races

TRUNK SHOW Percussionists created something of a samba mood

Try these upcoming offroaders... Cheddar Gorge Challenge, May 18 This is an unbelievably beautiful race. The scenery is almost Jurassic in appearance, as you run out along one edge of the famous gorge and back along the other, before crossing a footbridge to the end. Part of a summer-long series including a 5K, a half and a full 26.2.

Ash Excellent Eight, Aug 31 Whoever named this race was clearly feeling bullish, but they were right. The low-key event is only really known to the 200odd locals who run it, but the entertaining mix of soggy fields, sandy tracks, and a lung-searing climb in the last mile make this deserving of a bigger audience.

Mendip Muddle, Oct 12 An offroad 20K run whose toughness is offset by the gorgeous surrounding Mendip Hills, a range of limestone peaks south of Bristol and Bath. Trail shoes are a must: entrants to this one find themselves ankledeep in sludge. runnersworld.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 125

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Route recce

Chester Half Marathon Race organiser Andy White leads you on a looped tarmac course around this historic city and the Cheshire countryside.

Mile 6

START You’re under starter’s orders at Chester racecourse, England’s oldest track, which dates back to the 16th century. You pass under Watergate arch, a part of the city’s wall which once encircled this former Roman stronghold.

Mile 4

Mile 9

MILE 1 Leave the city behind on closed roads and enjoy the pleasant downhill section as you pass the University of Chester campus.

Mile 3

MILE 2 The course

Mile 2

rises slightly as you approach the bridge over the Shropshire Union Canal, the great civil engineering feat undertaken by Thomas Telford, the ‘Colossus of roads’.

Mile 12

Mile 1


Elevation (m)

Words Adrian Monti Illustrations Hans van der Maarel Photography Getty

100 50















Distance (miles)

The rundown

Chester Half Marathon Chester, Cheshire (2013 stats)

First man: Mohammad Aburezeq 1:08:07 First woman: Amanda Crook 1:14:31 No. of starters and finishers: 4,834 and 4,815 (99% finished)

Finishing stats 1:05-1:30: 5% 1:30-1:45: 16% 1:45-2:00: 29% 2:00-2:30: 40% 2:30-3:00: 10%

MILE 3 You skirt the village of Mollington, whose claim to fame is that it was the first place in Britain to introduce the Neighbourhood Watch scheme in 1982. The Wheatsheaf Inn here is a popular spectating spot. MILE 4 This largely flat course becomes more rural and you’re soon surrounded by fields. Look out for the sails of Gibbet Mill, linked with a grisly tale of murder in 1750. MILE 6 The race turns back on itself in the tiny hamlet of Two Mills. As you pass the Yacht Inn, there’s a chance to eyeball your rivals on the opposite side of the road.

MILE 9 Your ears will let you know you’re reaching Saughall village, where locals get behind the runners with non-stop yelling.

MILE 12 There’s a sting in the tail for weary legs as you climb the hill that leads you through Northgate, the third and last time you pass the city walls.

FINISH You complete the race in the heart of the city, beside the town hall and cathedral close to the Eastgate clock in the medieval quarter. Enjoy a well-earned rest in its bars and cafés.

INSIDE STORY ‘My colleague Chris Hulse and I have organised this race since 2011,’ says Andy, ‘but it’s been a local classic since 1982. It appeals to both the club runner and the more casual competitor among the 5,000 entrants. ‘There’s a great vibe in the city throughout race day. It starts with a kids’ fun run around the mile-long racecourse circuit. And during the main race, villages like Saughall really create their own amazing atmosphere. ‘We’re always tweaking the race and responding to feedback to further improve it. In 2012, we moved the finish into the old city centre to really showcase the beautiful backdrop of Chester, which is a huge draw in itself.’ Run it: The 2014 race is on May 18. Visit chesterhalf.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 127

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Bring back...

The London To Brighton Road Race Among its winners were GB’s former European and Commonwealth marathon champion Ian Thompson. His wife wrote in asking if he could run it after he’d dropped out of the 1980 Moscow Olympics marathon. He duly won the ‘L2B’ in 5:15:15, which was his ultra debut. In 1986, the South African winner Danny de Chaumont was disqualified disqualified because world sport was boycotting the country due to its apartheid politics. He’d pretended to be French but was found out. Women first entered in 1979. In 1987, Hilary Johnson, the late mum of ex-England rugby skipper Martin, came home first. first. What happened to it? Although it continued to attract quality runners (who had to finish finish in under 10 hours) from across the world, increased traffic traffic led to its demise in 2005. Offroad Offroad versions have sprung up in its place but none appears to have the allure of the original.

HOME STRAIGHT The finishing line of the 1982 London To Brighton Road Race; (right) a poster for the first race in 1951

Brighton rocks This hefty 52-miler from the capital to the south coast wasn’t a route for the faint of heart and drew only the toughest runners In the beginning… The 52-mile route from capital to coast has always been rich in sporting feats, whether on foot, bike or motor vehicle. And for 55 years from 1951, it was also where the hardiest of long-distance runners tested their mettle. Arthur Newton, an endurance running pioneer in the 1920s and five-time champion of South Africa’s Comrades Marathon, was among the race’s originators. He’d also set solo running records along the Brighton

A racer’s tale

Words Adrian Monti Photography courtesy of Ian Champion

1 Nick Thackray Occupation RW Art Director Biog ‘Having never run before I joined RW two years ago, I now run-commute the five miles to work, so I’m ready to test myself in a race.’

Road. But the official race only became a reality after the Road Runners Club was formed. The race always began at Westminster’s Big Ben and, until its final few years, finished on the Brighton seafront. Who raced? A strict pre-qualification was to have run a marathon at or below 3:15 (later raised to four hours). Because roads weren’t closed to traffic, entries were usually kept to around 100, although 191 started the race in 1991.

Why was it so good? ‘Everyone who finished was justifiably proud of their achievement,’ says Ian Champion, the former race secretary who’s now writing a book about it. ‘It wasn’t an easy race as the road isn’t flat, with the hills mostly in the second half. There’s often a headwind too. ‘Even if some runners were over the time limit and so officially disqualified, they were keen to finish, as the race had such kudos among endurance runners around the world.’ Have you got a favourite race that has dropped off the racing calendar? If so, drop us a line at

My first five

What? Red Bull Wings For Life World Run When? May 4 Why? ‘Team RW will be turning out in force for what sounds like a really unusual event: a race with no set finish line. Based at Silverstone, everyone starts running at 11am and 30 minutes later a sweeper car sets off. Once the car catches you you’re out. I’m hoping to last an hour.’


What? Great City Race When? July 10 Why? ‘RW normally send two teams of four to compete in this race. It’s a 5K around the financial district of London with plenty of harum-scarum twists and turns along the way. I’m looking to test my raw speed (if I have any, that is!) and also help us see how high we can finish in the Media rankings.’


What? Great North Run When? September 7 Why? ‘The daddy of half marathons seems like a good place to start to clock up your first 13.1. You don’t have to work at RW – or even be a runner – to have heard of this race and I want to see what the fuss is about. I’ll stick some power ballads on my MP3 player and high five as many foam hands as I can.’


What? Brooks HellRunner: Hell Down South When? January 17, 2015 Why? ‘To listen to some of my running friends, you’d think that there’s nothing finer than getting covered in mud and running up so many hills you don’t know whether to throw up or pass out. This 10-mile trail run in Bordon, Hampshire delivers plenty of scope for both, apparently.’


What? Endurancelife CTS, Devon When? February 2015 (date TBC) Why? ‘This is going to be the ultimate test of how far I’ve come as a runner. It’s a brutal fell race along the coastline of south Devon. There are four different distance options. I’m hoping to finish the half marathon in under three hours.’

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 129





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Take your pick

A spring in your step

Missed your marathon PB this spring? Well, put your training to good use, ring the changes and get a guaranteed PB in a distance that you’ve not run before May 4

BIG COUNTRY Get deep into the Shropshire greenery

Sheriffhales Shuffle Shropshire Chances are you haven’t taken part in many seven-milers, but this rural charmer could change that. The Shuffle takes you across farmers’ fields and dirt tracks past Lilleshall National Sports Centre and deep into the Shropshire countryside.

Hook Fun Run and Road Race GO WITH THE FLOW Head to Yorkshire for a gorgeous town and trail excursion

Words Johnny Dee Photography Bryan Dale (, Geoff Matthews, Vic Froehlke, Robin Guy

Pednor 5M

May 10

Hastings Runners 5M Road Race

May 18

May 5 Buckinghamshire This leafy, suburban bank holiday tear-’em-up has a lie-in friendly 7pm start. Run through undulating country roads at the end of London’s Metropolitan tube line, it’s a joy of a race and, should you fancy an extra challenge, you can combine your entry with a five-mile walking race held the same evening.

May 11

East Sussex Hastings isn’t usually associated with the word fast – its famous half marathon is a killer for the hill-phobic. This race, however, is run along the nice, flat bit of the seafront. Celebrate with a plate of winkles after you’ve blitzed it.

Bluebell Trail 10 West Yorkshire A slight misnomer as the course for this gorgeous town-and-trail run is actually 10.3 miles. The multi-terrain course starts at the majestic Clay House, a Jacobean stately home, and takes the 500-or-so strong field through woodland, canal towpaths and cobbled streets. And there’s even a river crossing to cool you down.

COASTING IT Make it easy on yourself with a flat run down by the Hastings seaside

Hampshire Why have one race when you can have four? Here a 10-miler, six-miler, two-and-a-half-miler and a fun run are staggered across the morning – a logistical triumph for the organisers and perfect for PB chasers in need of some fast but not too furious road race action.

May 25 Great Eccleston Scouts Fast 4 Miler

SCALING NEW HEIGHTS The hard-as-nails Wincle Trout Run

Lancashire In a part of the world with a busy race calendar this cheap, friendly and, most importantly, pancake-flat race has gone under the radar. Perfect if you want something a bit low-key, just don’t expect a mass Mobot session as you cross the line.

The Bratton Happy Valley Hilly Run

May 31

Wiltshire Put your marathon fitness to the test with this challenging multiterrain gallop across Salisbury Plain. Measuring 11.4K, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with stunning scenery, including the famous Westbury White Horse carved into the hills, and the tempting aromas of beer and a hog roast at the finish line pub.

Wincle Trout Run

Cheshire If you’re bored of the old flyerand-chocolate bar goody bag combo, then perhaps you’ll be tempted by the reward for finishing this hard-as-nails seven-mile moorland and fell race. Forget your medals – all finishers here get a fresh trout. It won’t look too great around your neck but will taste great for tea.

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 131






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VENUE Lord Nelson, On A370, Cleeve, 7pm CONTACT 07791 688 409; COST £5/£7 E/D NO


DALTON 10K VENUE Dalton Cricket Club, 7:15pm CONTACT Roly Carruthers; 07886 786 246;; COST £6/£8 C/D 29/4 E/D YES, +£2



ACTIVE NETWORK TEST VENUE London, 11am CONTACT Nicolas Stevens COST £10 C/D 19/1 E/D YES


Your top rated


May’s best races as voted for by you*




Brathay Windermere Marathon When? May 18 Where? Cumbria You’ve got to applaud the organisers for their consistency. This makes the top five May races almost every year: runners find the Lakes scenery, glutepinging climbs and faultless organistion hard to resist. p141

Chester Half Marathon When? May 18 Where? Cheshire A fast course with a couple of tricky undulations, starting at Chester Racecourse and finishing in the city centre by the 13th century cathedral. Each year the race sells out, despite opening up more entries – 2013 topped out at 6,500. Don’t delay! p141





Marlborough Downs Challenge 33M/20M When? May 10 Where? Wiltshire Small but perfectly formed: 370 of you ran this last year and loved every second of the multiterrain course, which took in the best of the Wiltshire countryside while giving your trail shoes a damn good bashing. p137



NO WALK IN THE PARK 5K (+) VENUE Queen’s Park, Cricket Pavilion, Chesterfield, 9:30am CONTACT John Cannon; 01246 566 458; j.cannon846@btinternet. com; COST £3/£5 E/D ONLY ESSEX •TRAIL •HILLY

DANBURY WOODS 10K VENUE Woodhill Road, Danbury, 9:45am CONTACT Craig Thornton; 07740 554 190;; www. COST £12/£14 C/D 1/5 E/D YES HAMPSHIRE •TRAIL

FORTITUDE 24 VENUE Down Grange, Basingstoke, Noon CONTACT Rachel Hessom;; www.fortitudeultra. com COST TBC •TRAIL •RURAL





Richmond Park Marathon When? May 18 Where? London Anybody who has run, cycled or picnicked in this deerstudded Royal Park will know it’s one of the few locations that can pull off a multi-lap 26.2. The race is run on the trails that criss-cross through the park, so leave the road shoe speedsters at home. p141




North Dorset Village Marathon When? May 4 Where? Dorset Run on Star Wars Day (google it – it’s a thing), this is another perennial over-achiever that punches above its 400-runner weight by scoring heavily for getting the basics right and leaving the bucolic surroundings to do the rest. p137


THE PONY EXPRESS NEW FOREST MULTISTAGE ULTRA VENUE Brockenhurst College, Lyndhurst, 9am CONTACT Neil Thubron; +44 (0)7801 244 628; ; www.xnrg. COST £125 E/D YES KENT •ROAD

NATIONAL 100K/50K VENUE Cyclopark, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, 8am (100K), 11am (50K) CONTACT Ian J Berry;; www. COST £50/£52 (100K), £40/£42 (50K) C/D 23/4 E/D NO LONDON •ROAD •FLAT

PECKHAM 10K VENUE Peckham Rye Park, Strakers Road, Peckham, 11am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 07977 831 519 [day]; mark.caswell1@; COST £12 E/D YES •ROAD •FLAT



VENUE South Carriage Drive, Battersea Park, London, 8am CONTACT Shankara Smith; 07734 298 024; races@; COST £8/£10 C/D 30/4 E/D YES, +£1




WOMEN’S RUNNING 10K - LEE VALLEY VENUE Lee Valley, The Showground Site, River Lee Country Park, London, Waltham Abbey, 10am CONTACT Perfect Motion; 03332 400 109 [day];; london-race/ COST £26 E/D YES, +£9 OXFORDSHIRE

*taken from RW online 2013 ratings, 25 ratings and above


A+ HOME RUN VENUE Witney, 11am CONTACT Rachel Hodson; 01993 703 308 [day];; homerun COST £25 E/D NO

How to use Race Finder It’s pretty easy – just follow the key below. Calendars at the ready!

Words Kerry McCarthy


Race Finder lists UK races that take place during the month stated on the cover at the least. This issue runs from Thursday May 1 through to Saturday May 31. Simply look up when you want to race and find that day’s events listed by region. Info is provided by race organisers and may be edited because of limited space. Find more extensive listings and an interactive search tool at runnersworld. Just log on and sign up!


Key to race entries



5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons (1/2M) 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.

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


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

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

CLOSING DATE Closing date for entries, if applicable.


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



Who you should speak to if you have any queries about the event.

RW online entry Signing up for events marked with this flash couldn’t be simpler. ➔ Go to runnersworld. 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 affiliated to a running club or non-affiliated). ➔ Enter your details and pay online. ➔ Then you’ll be sent a confirmation email. It’s as simple as that.

VENUE East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; uk; COST £34/£40 (mara), £16/£18 (10M) C/D 29/4 E/D YES TYNE & WEAR •TRAIL •FLAT

ENDURUN24 VENUE High Gosforth Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Noon CONTACT Emily McGowan; emcgowan@newcastle-racecourse.; COST £60 E/D NO WALES •TRAIL •RURAL

ENDURANCELIFE CTS PEMROKESHIRE (+) VENUE Little Haven, Haverfordwest, 7am CONTACT James Barker; 01548 853 524 [day];; www. COST £30 E/D NO •TRAIL •RURAL •HILLY

RED KITE CHALLENGE 1/2 MARATHON + 10K (+) VENUE Woodlands Caravan Site, Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, 1pm CONTACT 07773 435 073;; COST £10/£12 (half marathon), £8/£10 (10K) E/D YES, +£2 WILTSHIRE •TRAIL •FLAT


05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 135




07802 447 873;; www.eventslogicuk. com COST £15/£16 C/D 30/4 E/D YES. £20/£25



VENUE New Green Centre, Thurston, 11am CONTACT Dennis Whiting;; COST £11.50 C/D 28/4 E/D YES, +50p

VENUE Waterfront Club, Beach Walk, Whitstable, 11am CONTACT 07974 202 395;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 24/4 E/D NO




VENUE Holt Castle, Worcester, 7am CONTACT Steven Worrallo; 07860 418 040;; www. COST £55 C/D 22/4 E/D YES




RUN FRIMLEY - 10K ROAD RACE (+) VENUE Frimley Park Hospital, 10:30am CONTACT Sally Mclaren; 01276 604 626 [day]; COST TBC







VENUE Thorpe Road, Chertsey, 7am CONTACT Martin Allen; 07968 070 528 [day];; COST £50 E/D NO. Prices TBC


KESWICK RUGBY CLUB 1/2M VENUE Davison Park, Keswick, 11:30am CONTACT Stephen Ashcroft; 07886 786 246;; www. COST £13/£15 C/D 27/4 E/D YES, +£2





VENUE Victoria Park, Haywards Heath, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www. COST £16/£18 C/D 1/5 E/D YES. £20



KILLERTON 10KM + 1/2M (+)

VENUE Culworth Road, Towcester, 10am CONTACT Vanessa Chapman; 07966 464 707;; www. COST £8/£10 E/D YES. £15




VENUE Rotary Field, Worthing, 10am CONTACT Peter Firth; 01903 813 142 [day];; www. COST £20 C/D 14/4 E/D YES, +£5


CHALGROVE FESTIVAL 10K VENUE Recreation Ground, Chalgrove, Noon CONTACT Chris Leftley;; www. COST £12/£14 C/D 1/5 E/D YES, +£3





VENUE Stadium of Light, 10am 10K, 10:25am 1/2M CONTACT 0191 520 5518;; www.sunderlandcity10k. com COST £21/£23 (10K), £30/£32 (1/2M) E/D NO

NORTH DORSET VILLAGE MARATHON (+) VENUE Sturminster Newton School, 8:30am CONTACT 01935 816 396 [day];; www.ndvm. COST £21/£23 C/D 26/4 E/D NO GREATER MANCHESTER



MID SUSSEX BURGESS HILL 10K (+) VENUE Market Place, Burgess Hill, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £13/£15 C/D 1/5 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL •RURAL

VENUE Salisbury, 10:30am CONTACT 01380 725 670; AndrewG@; COST £25 C/D 22/4 E/D NO



VENUE Horwich Leisure Centre, Horwich, Bolton, 7am CONTACT Marc Laithwaite;; COST £40 E/D NO

OLDBURY WHITE HORSE TRIATHLON VENUE Calne Leisure Centre, 10:15am CONTACT Luke Shipway; 07802 447 873;; www.eventslogicuk. com COST £30/£33 C/D 30/4 E/D YES. £35/£40



BEWL WATER MARATHON (+) VENUE Bewlbridge Lane, Lamberhurst, 9am CONTACT David Ross; 0798 454 0177;; www. COST £33/£35 C/D 8/5 E/D YES, +£4 •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT

VENUE Lake 1, Action Watersports, Lydd, 8am CONTACT Mike Hawkins; 07980 705 961;; www. COST £35/£40 C/D 7/5 E/D YES, +£5 LINCOLNSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

VENUE Burgley House, Stamford, 8am CONTACT Rat Race; 01904 409 401 [day];; www. COST £95 E/D NO LONDON •ROAD •FLAT








VENUE Last Drop Village, Hospital Road, Bolton, 1pm CONTACT Andrew Doyle;; www. COST £6 C/D 3/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Killerton, Broadclyst, 11am CONTACT Tom Room;; killerton-running-races.php COST £10/£12 (10K), £20/£22 (1/2M) C/D 28/4 E/D YES. £15 •ROAD •RURAL



VENUE Riverside Cafe, Preston, 11am CONTACT Stephen Ashcroft; 07886 786 246;; COST £7/£9 C/D 1/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Wirksworth Fire Station, Harrisons Drive, Wirksworth, 10am CONTACT Mick Wyldbore-Wood;; COST £6 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Lulworth Camp Site, West Lulworth, 10am CONTACT Lloyd Fallesen;;!llb/ckqm COST £30/£32 C/D 1/5 E/D YES •TRAIL •RURAL •HILLY





VENUE Norman Park Athletics Track, Bromley, 10am CONTACT Andy Tucker;; www. COST £12/£13 C/D 28/4 E/D YES. £14


VENUE Sports Pavillion Village Centre, Rusper, 2pm CONTACT Cliff Comber; 07774 286 456; COST £8 C/D 29/4 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE The Hub, Regents Park, London, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009 [day];; COST £20/£22 C/D 7/5 E/D YES. £25 •TRAIL •FLAT








VENUE Cwrtnewydd School, Cwrtnewydd, Llanybydder, 1:30pm CONTACT Lyn Rees; 01570 434 244;; COST £5/£7 C/D 28/4 E/D YES

VENUE Langtoft, Peterborough, 11:15am CONTACT Sue Archer; COST TBC

VENUE Avebury, 10:25am CONTACT AndrewG@wiltshirewildlife. org; Wiltshire Wildlife Trust COST £25/£30 C/D 21/4 E/D NO



VENUE Victoria Park, London, 7pm CONTACT Daniel de Freitas; COST £28 E/D NO OXFORDSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN

OXFORD ROTARY FUN RUN VENUE University Parks, Parks Road, Oxford, 11am CONTACT Stuart Packford; 01865 391 010 [day]; oxfordrotaryfunrun@; COST £25 E/D YES





VENUE Scunthorpe United FC, Doncaster Raod, Scunthorpe, 9am CONTACT Neil Pattison; 07919 603 800; info@tape2tape.; COST £24.50/£26.50 E/D NO

VENUE Trowbridge Park, 11:30am CONTACT stampedesports@; COST £8/£10 E/D YES, +£2











VENUE The Hub, Regent’s Park, London, 9:30am CONTACT Maurice Raynor; 07713 327 690;; COST £70/£80 E/D YES. £14/£16

VENUE Worcester Warriors Rugby Club, 9:30am CONTACT Sarah Bland; 07540 287 781;; www. COST £23.50/£25.50 C/D 24/4 E/D NO

VENUE Gravesend Cyclopark, 7:30pm CONTACT John Setford; 07956 308 712;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 5/5 E/D YES, +£2












VENUE Sefton Park, Liverpool, 10:30am CONTACT Matthew Davies; 07507 630 946;; www. COST £18/£20 C/D 25/4 E/D NO

VENUE Heath Rugby Club, Stainland Road, Halifax, 10am CONTACT Tracy Mott; 07827 016 181 [day];; COST £10/£12 C/D 1/5 E/D NO

VENUE Village Hall, Llanfrynach, Brecon, 7:15pm CONTACT Kath Crane; 01874 658 588 [eve];; COST £6/£8 E/D ONLY




VENUE Alexander Memorial Field, Sutton Veny, 10:30am CONTACT Justin Wagstaff; 01985 840 782 [eve]; 10krun@hsvcc.; COST £10 C/D 30/4 E/D YES, +£2



TITCHMARSH 10K (+) VENUE Titchmarsh Clubroom, 11am CONTACT Debbie Stevenson; 01832 732 712;; COST £6.50/£8.50 E/D YES. £10




VENUE Kirkbymoorside Town Centre, 2pm CONTACT Catherine Eve;; COST £10/£12 C/D 1/5 E/D YES






VENUE School Green, Shinfield, Reading, 9:30am CONTACT Colin Cottell;; www.facebook. com/shinfield10k COST £10/£12 C/D 15/4 E/D YES, +£3

WIMBLEDON ADVENTURE TRAIL SERIES RACE 1 VENUE Windmill Road, Wimbledon Common, 7pm CONTACT Andrew Bickerstaff; 07772 111 491; andy.bickerstaff@; asp?RaceID=6073 COST £8/£10 C/D 24/4 E/D NO. Prices TBC






VENUE Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, 10am CONTACT run@; COST £38/£40 (mara), £26/£28 (1/2M) E/D NO





VENUE Pednor Rd, Chesham, 7pm CONTACT Tony Molesworth; 07785 501 499;; www.chiltern-harriers. COST £9/£11 C/D 29/4 E/D YES, +£2.50

GLASTONBURY ROAD RUN ROUND THE TOR 10K (+) VENUE Town Hall, Glastonbury, Noon CONTACT Ian Humphreys; 0798 516 0526;; www. COST £12/£15 C/D 18/4 E/D YES STAFFORDSHIRE

ASHDON 10K (+)


VENUE Ashdon Primary Sch, Saffron Walden, 10:30am CONTACT Tracy Balcombe; 07804 030 518;; COST £8/£9 C/D 30/4 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE King Edwards Leisure Centre, Lichfield, 10:30am CONTACT Paul Griffin; 07947 698 147;; kpevents. net COST £22/£24 E/D NO

VENUE Sutton Park, Town Gate, Birmingham, 10am CONTACT Perfect Motion; 03332 400 109 [day]; WR10k@perfectmotion. org; 7202&locale=en_gb COST £24 E/D YES, +£11 •TRAIL •RURAL

VENUE Bratton Jubille Hall, Bratton, Westbury, 11am CONTACT Dorothy Reeves; 01380 830 987 [eve]; dolly.reeves@homecall.; COST £9 C/D 3/5 E/D YES, +£1 •TRAIL •RURAL

MARLBOROUGH DOWNS CHALLENGE (+) VENUE Marlborough Leisure Centre, Marlborough, 9am CONTACT Phil Griffiths; MarlboroughDownsChallenge@; downchallenge.shtm COST TBC E/D NO



VENUE Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, Silverstone, 7:30pm CONTACT John Fowler;; www. COST £9/£11 C/D 6/5 E/D YES, +£3



VENUE The Caldecotte Arms, Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes, 7pm CONTACT David Quinn;; fqevents. COST £8/£10 E/D YES, +£4







VENUE Uttoxeter Racecourse, 10:30am CONTACT Alan Parker;; COST £15/£17 E/D YES, +£3

VENUE Cassiobury Park, Watford, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 1/5 E/D YES. £20







VENUE Cathedral House, Huddersfield, 10am CONTACT Myk Simmons; 01484 514 088 [day];; www. COST £10 C/D 7/5 E/D YES



VENUE Church Leigh Recreation Ground, Leigh, Stoke-on-Trent, 12:30pm CONTACT Louisa Craven; strawberry5run@yahoo. COST £8 C/D 3/5 E/D YES


VENUE Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, 11am CONTACT Amy Falkenberg;; www. COST £40 E/D NO





VENUE Sheriffhales Village Hall, 11am CONTACT scott.Kind@; COST £9/£11 C/D 20/4 E/D YES, +£1

VENUE Bowyer Arms, Radley, 8pm CONTACT Shane Benzie; 07831 755 007;; www. COST £40 C/D 1/5 E/D NO

VENUE Kendal Leisure Centre, Burton Road, Kendal, 7:30pm CONTACT Carolyn Kevan; 07886 786 246; carolyn.kevan@; COST £8/£10 E/D YES, +£2








VENUE Dorney Lake, Eton, Windsor, 9:20am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797 [day]; 07919 141 534;; COST £20 C/D 1/5 E/D NO •ROAD •RURAL •FLAT

THE ALL NATIONS TRIATHLON 2014 VENUE Dorney Lake, Eton, Windsor, 10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797 [day]; 07919 141 534;;


2014 BRISTOL 10K VENUE Bristol Harbourside, 9:30am CONTACT 01782 396 113;; COST TBC E/D NO BERKSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL

PARKINSON’S UK RUN HIGHCLERE (+) VENUE Highclere Castle, Newbury, 11am CONTACT Maria Waugh; 020 7932 1356;; www. COST £16/£18 C/D 25/4 E/D YES. £25 •ROAD •URBAN

WOODLEY 10K & 3K (+) 05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 137




VENUE Headley Road, Woodley, Reading, 11am CONTACT Carol Wingrove;; COST £14/£16 C/D 27/4 E/D NO COST £11/£13 C/D 7/5 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL •RURAL

VENUE Oxford University Parks, 10am CONTACT Toya Champ; 0207 803 4820 [day];; www. COST £18/£20 C/D 30/4 E/D YES. £25

CONTACT 020 8738 3658 [day]; 01483 855 138 [eve]; alastair.; COST £4/£6 C/D 9/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Wherwell Playing Fields, 10am CONTACT Susan Simmonds; 07821 767 403;; COST £8 C/D 8/5 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Higginson Park, Marlow, 9:30am CONTACT www. COST £10/£12 C/D 6/5 E/D YES. £15




EYE 10K (+)

VENUE Woodside Park, Ridgeway Lane, Lymington, 10am CONTACT 01782 398 114;; www. COST £12 E/D NO

VENUE Eye Junior School, 11am CONTACT Simon Lovell; 01733 222 614;; COST £8/£10 C/D 6/5 E/D YES, +£1



VENUE Portsmouth Lifeboat Station, Ferry Road, Portsmouth, 8:15am CONTACT Rob Piggott; 07780 675 747; fitprorob@; COST £25 C/D 7/5 E/D YES, +£5

ST NEOTS OLYMPIC SERIES EVENT 1 VENUE Riverside Park, St Neots, Huntingdon, 8am CONTACT Keith Ritchie; 07539 213 097;; www.nicetri. COST £57/£62 E/D NO


ST NEOTS SPRINT SERIES EVENT 1 (+) VENUE Regatta Meadow, Riverside Park, St Neots, 8am CONTACT As above COST £45/£50 E/D NO






VENUE Monikie Country Park, Monikie, Dundee, 11am CONTACT Nicholas Kydd; 0845 20 20 143 [day];; COST £11 E/D NO

VENUE Colwick Country Park, per River Road, Nottingham, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@; COST £8/£10 C/D 10/5 E/D YES, +£2





VENUE Grove School, Market Drayton, 11am CONTACT 07808 144 348;; www. COST £13/£15 C/D 30/4 E/D NO

THE CARDIFF 5K CORPORATE RUN CHALLENGE 2014 VENUE Coopers Field, Bute Park, Cardiff, 6:30pm CONTACT David Krangel; 07919 141 534;; COST £17 C/D 1/5 E/D YES, +£3







VENUE Combe Sydenham Country Park, Monksilver, Taunton, 11am CONTACT Yvonne Summerhayes; yvonne-racesecretary@; COST £17/£19 C/D 8/5 E/D NO




VENUE Hereford Leisure Centre, 10am CONTACT Matt Ashcroft; 01432 851 000;; COST £18/£20 C/D 25/4 E/D YES. £25

VENUE Hagley, 7:30pm CONTACT Alex Morgan; 07919 005 281; ; www.halesowen-athleticclub. COST TBC











VENUE Wilmslow Leisure Centre, 7am CONTACT 0161 928 6795 [day];; events/wilmslow-triathlon-2014/ COST £42 E/D YES

VENUE Prae Wood Primary School, King Harry Lane, St Albans, 10am CONTACT John Jones; 07880 794 568; 10k@; COST £11/£13 C/D 5/5 E/D YES. £15

VENUE Hampton Estate, Seale, Farnham, 10am CONTACT Dave Porter;; COST £12/£14 C/D 1/5 E/D YES, +£3












VENUE Trevornick Holiday Park, Newquay, 10:30am CONTACT Jan Sargent; 01637 830 382; peteandjansargent@hotmail.; COST £11/£13 C/D 7/5 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Egerton Cof E Primary School, 10:30am CONTACT; COST £8 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Town Hall, Hastings, 10:30am CONTACT Victor Froehlke; 07981 001 164; COST £9.50/£11.50 C/D 2/5 E/D YES. £15


VENUE Dinton Pastures Country Park, Hurst, 7:30pm CONTACT 0118 988 2444;; www.barnesfitness. COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£2






VENUE East Malling Research, Mill Street, East Malling, 11am CONTACT Ravi Cautick; 07749 933 042; rcautick@btinternet. com; COST £13/£15 C/D 5/5 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE The Olive Tree, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, 11am CONTACT Peter Langley; 01495 751 757 [day]; griffithstownharriers@; COST £10 C/D 2/5 E/D YES





VENUE Lake 1, Action Watersports, Lydd, 7am CONTACT Mike Hawkins; 07980 705 961;; www. COST £85/£90 E/D YES, +£5


VENUE Ashbourne Leisure Centre, 9am CONTACT Pete Jackson; 07753 142 233;; www. COST £35/£40 C/D 1/5 E/D NO •TRAIL •FLAT

COLOUR BLAST DASH VENUE Darley Park, Derby, 9am CONTACT Michaela Langsdale; 01332 408 016 [day];; COST £18 E/D YES

VENUE Stratford Leisure and Visitor Centre, 8am CONTACT Michelle Robbins;; www.uktriathlon. COST £45/£50 C/D 1/5 E/D NO






HOLYMOORSIDE 10K (+) VENUE The Village Hall, Holymoorside, Chesterfield, 10:30am CONTACT; www. COST £11/£13 C/D 26/4 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Solaris Centre, South Promenade, Blackpool, 3pm CONTACT Lewis McAndrew;; COST £8/£10 C/D 3/5 E/D YES, +£2.50

VENUE Market Bosworth Water Trust, Coton Lane, 10:30am CONTACT Linda Whitelegg; 07950 455 085; lindawhitelegg@; COST £18/£20 C/D 7/5 E/D YES. £30








VENUE Whitechaple Village Hall, Nr Inglewhite, 10am CONTACT 07886 786 246 [day];; COST TBC


VENUE Shroton Village Hall, Blandford Forum, 2:30pm CONTACT James Shepard; 07921 398 969; jamesshepard@ COST £5 C/D 4/5 E/D YES, +£5

VENUE Five Rivers Leisure Centre, Salisbury, 7am CONTACT Spencer Wakeling; 07971 299 349 [eve];; COST £35/£40 C/D 10/5 E/D NO





VENUE Station Pub, Morecambe, Lancaster, 11am CONTACT Bill Gardner; 01524 60537 [day];; COST £19/£21 C/D 8/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Bradwell Marina, Waterside, Bradwell-on-sea, 9:45am CONTACT Jamie Cooper;; www. COST TBC E/D NO





VENUE Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lanes, Ealing, 10:30am CONTACT; COST £12/£14 E/D NO

VENUE Deanes Sports Centre, Thundersley, 10:30am CONTACT Chris Cammidge;; users.aber. COST £8 C/D 6/5 E/D YES




VENUE Athletics Stadium, Endymion Road, Haringay, 11am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 07977 831 519 [day]; mark.caswell1@ COST £12 C/D 7/5 E/D YES

VENUE Abbey Field, Colchester, 10:30am CONTACT John Bennett; 07768 705 888;; COST £15/£17 E/D YES, +£2




VENUE Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon, 10am CONTACT Ben Green; 07764 756 890;; www. COST £20/£18 E/D NO

VENUE Halstead Leisure Centre, Colne Road, Halstead, 10am CONTACT 07510 711 925; 2014@halsteadandessexmarathon.; COST - E/D NO



GWR TOWPATH SERIES 10K - RACE 1 VENUE Greville Smyth Park, Ashton, Bristol, 7:30pm CONTACT Nigel Barker;; www. COST £30/£32 C/D 15/5 E/D YES


MAD MONK 10K OBSTACLE RACE VENUE DRCF, Darley Abbey, Derby, 9am CONTACT Sami Black;; COST £49 C/D 30/4 E/D YES, +£15 KENT •TRAIL •RURAL

LACTIC MADNESS@BEWL WATER VENUE Bewl Water, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, 10:30am CONTACT Tracey Alexandrou; 07792 011 817; traceytrainer@; COST TBC E/D NO.



VENUE Victoria Park, London Rd, Leicester, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 572 [eve];; COST £8/£10 C/D 11/5 E/D YES, +£2






MARAFUN (+) VENUE Green Street Green Primary School, Orpington, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Print; 01689 828 166; martin.print@amazia.; COST £16/£18 C/D 16/5 E/D YES



VENUE Finstall Park, Finstall road, Bromsgrove, 11am CONTACT Nicole Harris; 0152 787 8493;; www. COST £9/£9.50 C/D 7/5 E/D YES. £10




VENUE Greenwich Park, London, 9:30am CONTACT David Krangel; 07919 141 534;; www.thefixevents. com/content/battle-of-the-boroughs-5k-and-10k-run-2014/ COST £20 (10K), £16 (5K) C/D 5/5 E/D YES, +£2

CROWLE GUNPOWDER PLOT 10K AND FUN RUNS VENUE Crowle Parish Hall, Church Road, Crowle, 11:30am CONTACT Ali McIndoe;; COST £11/£13 E/D YES, +£2 YORKSHIRE


MILES FOR MISSING PEOPLE (+) VENUE Clapham Common, London, 10am CONTACT Josie Allan; 020 8392 4517;; www. COST £20 C/D 22/5 E/D YES




VENUE Beverley Leisure Complex, Flemingate, Beverley, 11:15am CONTACT; www.beverleyac. com COST £13/£15 E/D NO



MONSTER RACE (+) VENUE Cornbury Park, Charlbury, 10am CONTACT Simon Groves;; COST TBC E/D NO

LEEDS 1/2M VENUE Leeds, 9:30am CONTACT Run For All -; info@runforall. com; campaign=Runners+World+-+Leeds+half COST £24/£26 E/D NO







VENUE Secret Nuclear Bunker, Kelvedon Hatch, Brentwood, 10am CONTACT Lucy Goodson;; www. COST £49 E/D NO. Prices TBC

VENUE Port Sunlight, Wirral, 11am (10K), 10am (5K) CONTACT Thomas Rothwell; 0151 236 8432 [day];; COST TBC E/D NO










VENUE Hamfield Leisure, Berkeley, Gloucester, 7:30pm CONTACT Zoe Fowler; 07730 580 106;; COST £8/£10 C/D 5/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE The Common, Saffron Walden, 11am CONTACT David Brewer; 01799 500 034;; www. COST £9/£10 C/D 9/5 E/D YES, +£1

VENUE Neatherd High School, Dereham, 11am CONTACT Neville Knights; 01953 681 830 [day];; COST £9/£11 C/D 3/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Hampton Court Palace, 8:30am CONTACT Peter Kennedy; 07966 542 315;; www. COST £253 C/D 31/3 E/D NO



VENUE The Beeches, Shaw, Melksham, 2pm CONTACT; COST £8/£10 E/D YES, +£2











VENUE Stroud, 9:30am CONTACT Simon Barnes; 01453 353 102 [day]; 07939 102 102;; www. COST £24.75/£26.75 C/D 2/5 E/D NO


VENUE Beckenham Cricket Club, Foxgrove Road, Beckenham, 7:30pm CONTACT Nicola Howard; 07757 711 615;; COST £9 C/D 10/5 E/D YES

VENUE Hawksworth C of E School, Main Street, Hawksworth, 10am CONTACT emma stoney; COST £8/£10 C/D 10/5 E/D NO



VENUE Walesby Sports Club, Forest Lane, Walesby, 8am CONTACT Roger Lawton-Spence; 07878 402 031; info@; COST £30/£32 C/D 4/5 E/D NO







VENUE Eggar’s School, Alton, 10:30am CONTACT Dave Crocker; 01420 542 683;;




VENUE Accommodation Lane, Harmondsworth, Uxbridge, 7pm

VENUE St Peter’s Centre, Sowerby Bridge, 11am CONTACT Lesley Ennis; 01422 836 338 [eve];; COST £10/£11 E/D YES, +£2


05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 139




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VENUE Sports Training Village, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, 7:30am CONTACT James Higgs; 07929 059 796;; COST £43.50 E/D NO

VENUE Blackwater Sailing Club, Heybridge Basin, 8am CONTACT Graham Lee;; COST £35/£38 C/D 14/5 E/D NO



HORTON SPRING BULL RUN VENUE Horton Village Hall, 10:30am CONTACT Barbera Denton; 01454 319 889;; www.hortonbullrun. COST £6.50 C/D 15/5 E/D YES, +£1 BEDFORDSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

DUNSTABLE DOWNS 10K TRAIL RUN (+) VENUE Dunstable Downs, 10am CONTACT Mark Cornell; 07504 981 640;; www.dunstableroadrunners. org COST £10/£12 C/D 11/5 E/D YES. £12/£15 BERKSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL •FLAT

ROYAL BERKSHIRE 10K (+) VENUE 100 Longwater, Green Park, Reading, 11am CONTACT Claire Bond & Chris Sumner; 07733 112 276; enquiries@; COST £18/£20 C/D 10/5 E/D NO BUCKINGHAMSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

PRESTWOOD 10K VENUE Sprinters Leisure Centre, Honor End Lane, Prestwood, 11am CONTACT Paul McDowell; 01494 890 104; 07885 273 291;; COST TBC CAMBRIDGESHIRE •ROAD •RURAL •FLAT

ANGLIAN WATER STANDARD DUATHLON VENUE Grafham Waters, Buckden, Huntingdon, 9am CONTACT Keith Ritchie; 07539 213 097;; www.nicetri. COST £30/£35 E/D NO •TRAIL


ADIDAS TRAIL RUN 10K VENUE Mallards Pike, Coleford Forest Of Dean, 10am CONTACT Andy Maxted; 07779 405 574;; www. COST £15 C/D 17/5 E/D YES, +£5 HAMPSHIRE •ROAD •RURAL

HOOK 10 MILES + 6 MILES VENUE Hook Schools Site, Hook, 11am CONTACT Jonathan Ruddle;; COST £14/£16 (10M), £13/£15 (6M) E/D NO •ROAD •FLAT

SOUTHAMPTON ATHLETIC CLUB 10K VENUE Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley Abbey, 10:30am CONTACT Richie Pearson; 07713 149 122; richiepearson@; COST £12/£14 C/D 9/5 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL •RURAL

THE GENERAL VENUE Alresford Road, Matterley Bowl, Winchester, 10am CONTACT Tom Sharpe;; www. COST £28 C/D 14/5 E/D YES, +£8 HERTFORDSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

THE WIMPOLE 10K HOOHAAH (+) VENUE Wimpole Estate, Arrington, Royston, 10am CONTACT Hannah Hodgson;; COST £18 E/D YES •TRAIL •RURAL


VENUE Marlow Car Park, Grafham Waters, Huntingdon, Noon CONTACT Keith Ritchie; 01480 [day]; 07539 213 097; keith@; COST £25/£30 C/D 1/1 E/D NO •TRAIL



WILLINGHAM SCHOOL ASSOCIATION FUN RUN (+) VENUE Willingham Primary School, Thodays Close, Willingham, 10am CONTACT Tim Mead; 01954 283 030; eventswsa@gmail. com; COST TBC E/D NO CHESHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

CHESTER 1/2M VENUE Chester Racecourse, 9am CONTACT lindaw@chester; COST £28/£30 E/D NO CORNWALL •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

BODMIN TRIATHLON VENUE Dragon Leisure Centre, Bodmin, 7:30am CONTACT; uk/triathlon COST £30/£33 E/D NO CUMBRIA •ROAD •RURAL



BEXLEY ‘MYRA GARRETT’ 10K (+) VENUE Danson Park, Bexleyheath, 11am CONTACT Jon Hunter;; COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£3 •TRAIL •RURAL

BH5K VENUE Naturist Foundation, Orpington, 11:30am CONTACT Dave Walton; 01689 871 200 [day]; BH5K@naturistfoundation. org; COST £10 C/D 13/5 E/D NO •ROAD •RURAL

SITTINGBOURNE INVICTA 10K (+) VENUE Westlands School, Sittingbourne, 11am CONTACT David Brown; 07758 737 981; COST £12/£14 C/D 9/5 E/D YES, +£2 •ROAD •RURAL

STELLING MINNIS 10K VENUE Stelling Minnis Village Hall, 11am CONTACT Ali Cottrell; 07889 720 865 [day]; 01227 709 582 [eve]; ali.cottrell@tiscali. COST £10/£12 C/D 16/5 E/D YES, +£2 LANCASHIRE •ROAD •URBAN




VENUE Manchester, 10am CONTACT Nova International; info@; COST £38 E/D NO


VENUE Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, 2pm CONTACT Adele Roche; 01768 371 039;; howgillharriers. COST TBC

VENUE St Annes Pool, Inner Promenade, Lytham St. Annes, 8am CONTACT Tim Armit; 07748 283 662; 07748 283 662;; COST £30/£33 E/D NO




EYAM 1/2M (+) VENUE ‘Le Roc’, The Lydgate, Eyam, 10:30am CONTACT Tony Oddy;; www. COST £18/£20 E/D NO •TRAIL




HILL WEST RUN 10K (+) VENUE Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, 10:30am CONTACT Tim Hart; 07967 731 255 [day]; COST TBC C/D 9/5 E/D YES. £11 unaffiliated

NORTHAMPTON PITSFORD 10K VENUE Pitsford Reservoir, Holcot, 10am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519 [day];;; COST £16 C/D 13/5 E/D YES OXFORDSHIRE


KNOWLE FUN RUN 5 (+) VENUE Arden School, Knowle, Noon CONTACT Noel Kinahan; 08458 335 894;; www. COST £6.50 C/D 14/5 E/D NO




VENUE Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxford, 11am CONTACT Sarah Airey;; COST £13 C/D 8/5 E/D YES, +£7



COMMONWEAL 5 VENUE Commonweal School, The Mall, Swindon, 10:30am CONTACT Sue Kennedy;; www. COST TBC




VENUE Chatelherault Country Park, Ferniegair, Hamilton, 11am CONTACT Iain Boal; 07919 103 037; 07919 103 037; iain@; COST TBC

RAMSBURY 5 MILE RUN (+) VENUE Ramsbury Rec Ground, Ramsbury, Marlborough, 11am CONTACT Jacqy Mcque; 07775 648 307; jacqymcque@hotmail. COST £8/£10 C/D 17/5 E/D YES, +£2





VENUE Much Wenlock, 9am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £18/£20 (1/2M), £28/£30 (MARA) C/D 14/5 E/D YES. £25/£35

VENUE Stourhead Estate, Stourton, 7am CONTACT Steve Elliott; 07815 121 548;; www. COST £90/£95 E/D NO


CHEDDAR GORGE 10KM SERIES (+) VENUE Strawberry Fields, Cheddar, 11am CONTACT Tom Room;; www.relishrunningraces. com/cheddar-gorge-challenge.php COST £10/£12 C/D 11/5 E/D YES. £15 STAFFORDSHIRE

VENUE Dauntsey’s School, West Lavington, 12:30pm CONTACT Andy Collins; 07905 558 666; andyc@tri4fitness.; COST TBC WORCESTERSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL •HILLY

BULMERS BASH VENUE Hockhams Lane, Wickenford, 11am CONTACT David Hibbitt; 07876 015 846;; Worcester Athletic Club COST £8/£10 C/D 13/5 E/D YES, +£1

BURTON 10 MILE VENUE Meadowside Leisure Centre, Burton On Trent, 11am CONTACT Matt Benfield;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 10/5 E/D YES, +£2 SUFFOLK •TRAIL


RIPON 10 VENUE Ripon Cricket Club, 10:30am CONTACT Tim Joynson; 07909 906 069;; www. COST £12/£14 C/D 6/5 E/D NO

GO INSANE AT WOODBRIDGE VENUE Poplar Park, Hollesley, 10am CONTACT Ashley Edwards;; www. COST £32.50 C/D 14/5 E/D YES, +£12.50




VENUE Yate Town FC, Lodge Road, Yate, 7pm CONTACT Rachel Bennett; 07973 305 308;; COST £9/£11 C/D 16/5 E/D YES, +£1

VENUE West Park, Bognor Regis, 10:30am CONTACT Gavin Oclee-Brown; 01243 829 065 [day]; COST £14/£16 E/D NO




VENUE Brathay Hall, Ambleside, 10:30am CONTACT Ali Young;; www.brathaywindermeremarathon. COST £33/£35 E/D NO




VENUE The Memorial Hall, Marford Playing Fields, Wheathampstead, 11am CONTACT Emmy Williams; contact@; COST £16 C/D 9/5 E/D NO


WORDEN PARK 10K VENUE Worden park, Leyland, 11am CONTACT Stephen Ashcroft; 07886 786 246;; COST £8/£10 C/D 11/5 E/D YES, +£2 LEICESTERSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT





VENUE Walton Hall Park, Walton, 7:30pm CONTACT Joanne Davis; 07595 043 350; COST £8/£10 C/D 10/5 E/D NO

VENUE Hove Seafront, Brighton, 10am CONTACT James Macdonald; 07967 189 482;; www. COST £17/£18 C/D 10/5 E/D YES, +£2





VENUE Horsham Rugby Club, 11am CONTACT info@; COST £12/£14 C/D 11/5 E/D YES. £17

VENUE Village Hall, Llanfrynach, Brecon, 7:15pm CONTACT Kath Crane; 01874 658 588 [day];; COST £7/£9 E/D YES






VENUE Near Co-Op, Hay-on-Wye, 9:30am CONTACT Nathan Poolton;; www. COST £10 C/D 1/5 E/D NO



VENUE Broadmoor Car Park, Crowthorne, 7:30pm CONTACT Andy Yarrow; 07973 838 857; uk; COST £7.50/£9.50 C/D 10/5 E/D YES, +£1

RACE FOR WILDLIFE 10K (+) VENUE Undy Athletic FC, 10:30am CONTACT Liesel Townley; 01600 740 600;; www.gwentwildlife. org COST £14/£12 C/D 9/5 E/D YES •TRAIL •RURAL

SARN HELEN HILL RACE 16.5 (+) VENUE Lampeter Rugby Club, 11am CONTACT Lyn Rees; 01570 434 244;; COST £12 C/D 11/5 E/D YES


THE FORCES MARCH 2014 VENUE Seafront, Ilfracombe, 10am CONTACT Danny Greeno; 08447 365 265 [day];; www. COST £129/£149 C/D 31/12 E/D NO SUSSEX •TRAIL



VENUE Petworth House, 7:15pm CONTACT 08442 491 895 [day];; COST £14 C/D 17/1 E/D YES

VENUE DRCF, Darley Abbey, Derby, 10am CONTACT Sami Black;; COST £49 C/D 30/4 E/D YES, +£15

VENUE Abbey Park, Leicester, 9:30am CONTACT Sarah Bland; 07540 287 781;; www.tempoevents. COST £15/£17 E/D NO








VENUE Dolgellau, 7am CONTACT; www. COST £135 E/D YES, +£5

VENUE Pavilion Bar, 2 Upper Church Road, Weston-superMare, 7:30pm CONTACT Malcolm Gammon; promrun@; COST


WESSEX RIDGEWAY RELAY 100K VENUE By the Pond, Tollard Royal, 7:30am CONTACT Chris Cussen; 01963 33797;; www. COST £10/£12 E/D NO DURHAM •TRAIL •RURAL


RICHMOND PARK MARATHON 2014 VENUE Richmond Park, Sheen Gate, 9:30am CONTACT Gareth Davies; 020 8651 5177; 079 677 29922; richmondparkmarathon@; COST £28/£30 C/D 31/3 E/D YES. £30/£35 •TRAIL


VENUE Raby Castle Grounds, Staindrop, Barnard Castle, 10:45am CONTACT A Knox;; www. COST £10/£12 C/D 9/5 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Stockley Park, Uxbridge, 10:30am CONTACT Claire Donald; 07860 650 579;; www. COST £14/£16 C/D 11/5 E/D YES, +£3




EDMUND CARR GT BADDOW 10M ROAD RACE (+) VENUE The Recreation Ground, Great Baddow, 11am CONTACT Robert Cappin; 07966 376 170;; www.


RUN WEMBLEY FORMERLY SUDBURY COURT 10K (+) VENUE Wembley & Sudbury Squash & Tennis Club, 11am CONTACT Marlon Burton;; www.

VENUE Ynysddu Hotel Ynysddu, X-Keys, Newport, 10am CONTACT Mike Heare; 01495 245 430; nikeair@farmrd.fsnet.; COST £8/£10 E/D YES. £10






VENUE Bosworth Water Park, Market Bosworth, 9am CONTACT Pam Batchelor;; www. COST £40/£45 C/D 11/5 E/D NO

IPSWICH SUMMER 5K SERIES VENUE Christchurch Park, Ipswich, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £8/£10 C/D 18/5 E/D YES, +£2





VENUE Old Halesonians Rugby FC, 10:30am CONTACT Alan Davies; 07834 128 116; ar.davies@blueyonder.; COST £8.50/£10.50 C/D 17/5 E/D YES, +50p

ABC 2014 10K VENUE Woodhouse Grove School, Apperley Bridge, 7:30pm CONTACT Phil McGeever;; www. COST £8/£10 C/D 19/5 E/D YES, +£1

05/14 RUNNER’S WORLD 141


DERBYSHIRE; COST £36/£38 C/D 18/5 E/D NO





CLACTON SUMMER 5K SERIES (+) VENUE Greensward Cafe, Clacton-on-Sea, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www. COST £8/£10 C/D 19/5 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, 10am CONTACT Beverley Golden; 07860 365 660;; www. COST £10/£12 C/D 23/5 E/D YES, +£2








VENUE Littlestone Lifeboat Station, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £12/£14 C/D 20/5 E/D YES. £15

VENUE TBC, Tewkesbury, 10am CONTACT FQ Events; 01908 990 261 [day]; 44771 720 3769 [eve]; 44771 720 3769; info@; ViewEvent.aspx?Id=1679 COST £23/£25 E/D YES. £30





WEALD CHALLENGE TRAIL 1/2M VENUE Chiddingly Primary School, Muddles Green, Chiddingly, Lewes, 10:30am CONTACT Stuart Mills; 01825 840 653;; COST £20/£22 C/D 18/5 E/D NO


VENUE As above, 9am CONTACT As above COST £30/£32 C/D 18/5 E/D NO

THE WHALE ALE RELAY VENUE Stratford Recreation Ground, Swans Nest Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, 7:15pm CONTACT Sarah Bland; 01789 267 337 [day];; COST £32 C/D 28/5 E/D YES







ROPLEY 10K (+)


VENUE The Bandstand, Hyde Park, 12:30pm CONTACT Malcolm French; 020 8422 3900;; serpentine. COST £2/£4 C/D 16/5 E/D NO


VENUE Rushmore Estate, Tollard Royal, 11am CONTACT Race Director; 0 [day]; 07930 335 746;; COST £20/£22 C/D 17/5 E/D NO


VENUE Ropley Recreation Ground, Ropley, Alresford, 11am CONTACT Rob Houghton;; www. COST £14/£16 E/D YES









VENUE Talley Abbey, Talley, Llandeilo, 7:30pm CONTACT David Thomas; 07950 178 333;; www. COST £6 C/D 20/5 E/D YES


VENUE Rushmore Estate, Tollard Royal, 9am CONTACT Race Director; 0 [day]; 07930 335 746;; COST £30/£32 C/D 17/5 E/D NO

VENUE Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City, 10:30am CONTACT 0795 8310161;; www. COST TBC E/D NO






VENUE Forest of Dean, Speech House Hotel, Coleford, 11am (10k), 9am (1/2M) CONTACT Rat Race Events Ltd; 01904 409 401 [day];; COST £30/£20 E/D YES, +£10


VENUE Rushmore Estate, Tollard Royal, 8am CONTACT Race Director; 0 [day]; 07930 335 746;; COST £40/£42 C/D 17/5 E/D NO


VENUE Folkestone Harbour, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009 [day];; www. COST £13/£15 C/D 18/5 E/D YES. £20







VENUE Old Deer Park, Richmond, London, 8am CONTACT 020 7609 6695;; : http://www. COST - E/D NO

VENUE Gt Eccleston Scout hut, Hall lane Gt Eccleston, Preston, 10:30am CONTACT Alan Taylor; 07850 684 162; alan.taylor7@ COST £6/£8 E/D YES, +£2







VENUE Dunvegan Primary School, Isle Of Skye, 2pm CONTACT Angus Munro; COST £7.50 C/D 17/5 E/D YES

VENUE Green Park, 199a Victoria Street, London, 10am CONTACT Hayley Banyard; 020 7199 3316 [day]; hayley@; COST £20 C/D 20/4 E/D NO




VENUE Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, 9am CONTACT Organiser Administrator; COST £24.95/£22.95 E/D NO



EDINBURGH 5K 2014 VENUE Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, 11am CONTACT Entries Administrator GSI Events; COST £14.50/£12.50 E/D NO

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL LIVERPOOL 1/2M + MARATHON VENUE Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, 8am (1/2M), 9am (mara) CONTACT Adrienne Hall; 01925 571 764 [day]; info@; COST £30 (1/2M), £45 (mara) E/D NO NORFOLK •TRAIL •RURAL


STORNOWAY 1/2M (+) VENUE Lews Castle college, Stornoway, 10am CONTACT Jason Laing; 01851 621 351 [eve]; 07990 553 309; jason.laing@; COST £16/£18 C/D 17/5 E/D NO

VENUE Chalk Hall, London Road, Elveden, 9am CONTACT Ruth Lawrence; 07788 562 815;; www. COST £40/£45 E/D NO


WOMEN’S RUNNING 10K - CARDIFF VENUE Bute Park, North Road, Cardiff, 10am CONTACT Perfect Motion; 03332 400 109 [day];; wr10k. COST £26 E/D YES, +£9 WARWICKSHIRE




LINDFIELD VILLAGE RUN (+) VENUE Hickmans Lane recreation ground, Hickmans Lane, Lindfield, 11am CONTACT Nicola Smith; run@kingedwardhall.; COST £7 C/D 12/5 E/D YES


EDINBURGH MARATHON FESTIVAL 2014 (+) VENUE Regent Road, Edinburgh, 9:50am CONTACT GSi Events; ventlisting&utm_medium=runnersworldeventlisting&utm_ca mpaign=runnersworldeventlisting COST £52.95/£50.95 C/D 1/10 E/D NO




ILKLEY TRAIL RACE 6.9 VENUE Ilkley Swimming Pool, Denton Road, Ilkley, 11:30am CONTACT Lawrence Basham; 07891 001 592 [day]; 07891 001 592;; www.ilkleyharriers. COST £8 C/D 24/5 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE START - Bridge End, Allendale, REGISTRATION - Village Hall, Allendale, Hexham, 11am CONTACT Brendon Jackson;; COST £9/£10 C/D 24/5 E/D YES, +£1

VENUE Pomphrey Sports Pavilion, Near Mangotsfield, Bristol, 7:30pm CONTACT Christopher Elson; 0117 9733 391 [day];; COST £5/£7 E/D ONLY




VENUE Firth of Forth Bridge, South Queensferry, 6am CONTACT Rat Race; 01904 409 401 [day];; COST - E/D NO

GATORADE EVENING ETON DORNEY TRIATHLON VENUE Eton Rowing Lake, Dorney, Nr Windsor, 6pm CONTACT Peter Mason; 078 555 00149 [day]; 07855 500 149;; COST £45 E/D YES, +£3 CUMBRIA •URBAN •RURAL

LEVENS 10K WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERIES VENUE Levens Village Hall, Kendal, 7:30pm CONTACT Carolyn Kevan; 07886 786 246;; ukroadraces. info COST £8/£10 C/D 23/5 E/D YES, +£2 •ROAD •RURAL

WELLS FUN RUN 10K (+) VENUE Wells Town Hall, Market Place, Wells, 11am CONTACT Andrew Deamer;; www. COST £10/£12 C/D 18/5 E/D NO







VENUE Waterside Youth & Community Centre, Northbrook Street, Newbury, 10:15am CONTACT Rebecca Coxhead;; COST £12/£14 E/D NO

VENUE Knighton Social Club, Flashbrook Rd, Knighton, 9:30am CONTACT Chris Barlow;; www. COST £30/£32 C/D 11/5 E/D YES, +£5



VENUE As above, 10am CONTACT As above COST £104 E/D NO •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL









VENUE Gas Street Basin, Birmingham, 6am CONTACT Dick Kearn; 01635 521 521 [day]; 01635 578 536 [eve]; 07765 092 566;; COST £45/£47 C/D 1/12 E/D NO

VENUE Hilton Hotel, North Promenade, Blackpool, 10:30am CONTACT Lewis McAndrew;; COST £15/£17 C/D 24/5 E/D YES, +£5




VENUE Cyclopark, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, 9am CONTACT Ian J Berry; COST £28/£30 C/D 17/5 E/D NO








VENUE Bute Park, North Road, Cardiff, 10am CONTACT Perfect Motion; 03332 400 109 [day];; 7603&locale=en_gb COST £26 E/D YES, +£9

VENUE The Pavilion, Broadstairs, 9:30am CONTACT Sharon Foster; 07773 620 045; uk; COST £9/£11 C/D 23/5 E/D YES. £13


VENUE London Road, Edinburgh, 8am CONTACT www. COST £30.65/£28.65 E/D NO






VENUE Westonbirt School Sports Centre, Westonbirt, Nr Tetbury, 7:45am CONTACT James Higgs; 07929 059 796;; COST £43.50 E/D NO



VENUE The Overstand, Undercliff Drive, Boscombe, 7:20am CONTACT Peter Mason; 078 555 00149 [day]; events@votwo.; COST £30 C/D 22/5 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL •RURAL •FLAT


VENUE The Welcome Inn, Hennel Lane, Preston, 7pm CONTACT Stephen Ashcroft; 07886 786 246 [day]; 07886 786 246;; COST £6/£8 C/D 23/5 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Howbery Park, Wallingford, 10am CONTACT 07917 519 143;; COST £14/£16 E/D YES. £18

VENUE Parsonage Farm, Udimore Near Rye, 6pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www. COST £11/£13 C/D 29/5 E/D YES, +£2











VENUE Fen Drayton Lakes, Fen Drayton, Cambridge, 8pm CONTACT nick pettitt; 07900 373 532; 07900 373 532;; COST £38/£40 C/D 20/5 E/D NO •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT





THE SAMPHIRE HOE 5K SUMMER SERIES (+) VENUE Samphire Hoe, A20, Dover, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £8/£10 C/D 24/5 E/D YES, +£2


WINCLE TROUT RUN 9K (+) VENUE Burnt House Farm, Wincle, Macclesfield, 2:45pm CONTACT Julian Brown; 01538 306 837 [eve]; julianbrown10@; COST £8.50 C/D 23/5 E/D YES, +£2 SURREY •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

RUN RICHMOND PARK 10K RACE 5 2014 VENUE Richmond Park, Richmond, 10:10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797 [day]; 07919 141 534;; COST £17 C/D 10/5 E/D NO •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

RUN RICHMOND PARK 5K RACE 5 2014 VENUE Richmond Park, Richmond, 10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797 [day]; 07919 141 534;; COST £14 C/D 20/5 E/D NO WALES •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL


THE CULBIN FOREST 5 (+) VENUE Wellhill Car Park, Kintessack, Forres, 7:15pm CONTACT Mike Rodgers; 07599 131 537;; www. COST £5 E/D ONLY








VENUE Alexandra Gardens, Barry Avenue, Windsor, 9:15am CONTACT Martyn Edwards; 07909 915 444; enquiries@f3events.; COST £24 E/D NO. Prices TBC

VENUE The Cock Inn, Main Street, Peasmarsh, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www. COST £16/£18 C/D 25/5 E/D YES. £20

VENUE Burrington Inn, Burrington Coombe, Burrington, 7pm CONTACT TACH summer series -; 07791 688 409; uk COST £5/£7 E/D NO





VENUE As above, 9am CONTACT As above COST £24 E/D NO. Prices TBC

VENUE Chiddingly Primary School, Muddles Green, Chiddingly, Lewes, 8am CONTACT Stuart Mills; 01825 840 653;

VENUE The Orchard, Abersoch, Pwllheli, 10:30am CONTACT Mark Durston; 01758 710 011 [day]; 07880 717 272; mark@; about-10k COST YORKSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

TRAILTREKKER 100KM YORKSHIRE DALES CHALLENGE VENUE Skipton, 11am CONTACT Oxfam Events Team; 0300 200 1244 [day];; trailtrekker COST £140 E/D NO


142 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

LEE RIGBY PEOPLE’S RUN (5KM) VENUE Battersea Park, London, 7pm CONTACT Jim Cowan; 0115 888 2599 [day]; hello@leerigbypeople’; www. COST £15 C/D 23/5 E/D NO

For all the best races around the UK up until spring 2015, visit



5th July 2014

Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon

Enter the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon and run from Wolverhampton and finish in the superbly entertaining Brindley Place then relax in the atmosphere with fellow runners in the UKs second City. The run is largely downhill with a few lumps bumps and of course the famous Coseley Tunnel which is an experience you won’t forget. Route is well signed, frequent water stations, goody bag and medal to boot. Enter early to get a seeded time or run with your friends.



Pharmalink Maidenhead Half Marathon

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9.30am Sunday 7th September 2014 Enter online at

CASH BONUS FOR RACE RECORD. DOWNLOAD FORM OR ENTER ONLINE Calling all London Marathon ballot place runners! Help fund our pioneering research into the causes and prevention of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. Please join our team and help save babies’ lives

Run for Tommy’s and help save babies’ lives We have places in The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon The Great North Run The British 10k To find out more and sign up, visit

Kimbolton Castle 1/2 Marathon Sunday 17th August 2014 10am start Undulating but fast. Potenetial PB’s available here! Raising money for “British Heart Foundation” Information and entries or call 079539 213097

Apparel • Event Supplies • Training • Online • Retail • Travel

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USE CODE RW200 Prices using voucher code: Single: £199 Double: £299 King: £349 SuperKing: £399

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Dedicated, affordable accommodation & holidays for runners in Chamonix Mont Blanc. Direct access to the trails and spectacular surroundings. • Bed & high energy breakfast • Friendly, knowledgeable staff • Hot tub, sauna & private garden • Local trail information

If taste, endurance and performance are important to you? Go to


Purple Patch Running


Running Holidays Training Camps in Spain


01354 658215


Shops Directory Buckinghamshire Runners’ Retreat Visit: 33 West Street, Marlow, SL7 2LS Call: 01628 471322 Email: Click: Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm Sun 11am-4pm We offer expert advice for runners of all abilities and stock a huge range of running apparel, shoes and accessories including all the major brands as well as more specialist names that you may be less familiar with. Free video gait analysis is available in-store.

ALTON SPORTS of Eastleigh The running and footwear specialists Visit: Unit 2, 6A Wells Place, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 5PP Call: 02380 613419 Email: Click: The runners only choice in the South - a shop operated by runners for runners. We cater for all levels and abilities and give a professional and specialised gait analysis service. Plus clothing, nutrition, watches, running eyewear and all other running requirements.

RUNNING FORM A More Specialist Running Store Visit: 116 Station Street, Burton-Upon-Trent, DE14 1BX Call: 01283 563331 Email: Click: Video Gait Analysis. Footwear, Clothing & Accessories. Physiotherapy & Sports injury clinic. Expert advice and a warm welcome to all!

Surrey Lincolnshire

Cheshire Staffordshire RUNNING BEAR Visit: 5 London Rd, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9 7JT Call: 01625 582130 Fax: 01625 583878 Email: Click: Mail Order available. HRM’s. We offer expert advice on choosing the right shoe for your individual needs. All leading brands of shoes in stock. Video gait analysis available.

Derbyshire THE DERBY RUNNER Visit: Unit A, B & C, Sandringham Drive, Spondon, Derby Call: 01332 280048 Click: Specialists in Running & Jogging. Opening times: Mon & Fri: 10am-8pm. Tues, Wed, Thur: 10am-5.30pm. Sat: 9am-5.30pm.


•Digital Video Gait & Posture Analysis •Computerised Footscan •Biomechanical Evaluations •Musculo-Skeletal Assessment •Orthotics •Running Shoe Assessment & Prescription

Karen Knightly, BSc.(POD), M.Ch.S., HPC. 20 Old Woking Road, West Byfleet, Surrey KT14 6HP

Devon IRONBRIDGE RUNNER Visit: 15 Bartholomew Street East, Exeter EX4 3BG Call: 01392 436383 Click: Now available! Running Gait Analysis. Road, cross-country, track and field, clothing and footwear. Run by athletes. Why not pop in for a coffee and a chat.


01932 353568

Yorkshire & Northwest

REBOUND Lower Limb Injuries Clinic THE NORTH’S PREMIER

ALTON SPORTS of Alton The running and footwear specialists Visit: 110 High St, Alton, Hants. GU34 1EN Call: 01420 84101 Email: Click: The runners only choice in the South - a shop operated by runners for runners. We cater for all levels and abilities and give a professional and specialised gait analysis service. Plus clothing, nutrition, watches, running eyewear and all other running requirements.


Specialist in Running injuries, Biomechanics & Dynamic Gait Analysis Tel - 01729 825900

ABSOLUTE RUNNING Visit: Inside NOBES Sports, 55-57 Stoke Road, Gosport PO12 1LS Call: 02392 581578 Click: Email: The only specialist running shop in Gosport and Fareham. Free and friendly service for runners, by runners. Footwear, apparel, eyewear, watches and nutrition - all at low prices. Because we love running too.

THE LINCOLNSHIRE RUNNER Visit: 115c High Street, Lincoln LN5 7PR Call: 01522 523326 Email: Click: 100% running video gait analysis. Open Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9am-5.30pm. Wed 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm.

ALTON SPORTS of Farnham The running and footwear specialists Visit: 15 East Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7TX Call: 01252 734999 Email: Click: The runners only choice in the South - a shop operated by runners for runners. We cater for all levels and abilities and give a professional and specialised gait analysis service. Plus clothing, nutrition, watches, running eyewear and all other running requirements.

Norfolk SPORTLINK Visit: Unit 14, Taverham Country Shopping Centre, Fir Covert Rd, Taverham, Norwich NR8 6HT Call: 01603 868606 Click: Professional and Expert Advice for all your Running and Fitness requirements. Video Gait Analysis – On site Sports Injury & Health & Fitness Clinic. Highly Qualified Staff. Leading brands stocked at competitive prices. Great running trails situated close by.

PILCH SPORTS Visit: Pilch The Sports Specialist, London Street, Norwich Call: 01603 697162 Click: We’ll get you up and running! Expert advice and all the leading brands, plus free video running gait analysis to help you find the perfect shoe.

Scotland ACHILLES HEEL Visit: 593 Great Western Rd, Glasgow In-store sports injuries clinic. Call: 0141 342 5722 Click: Running made better

Staffordshire Bourne Sports 36/42 Church Street Stoke on Trent ST4 1DJ 01782 410411 Whether your a new runner or experienced runner we look forward to welcoming you at our store. Large running specialist store with excellent selection of running shoes,clothing and equipment. Running shoes for Road, Trail, Fell and track and field spikes. We offer Video Gait Analysis of your running style. Saturday Breakfast Run.

FITSTUFF Visit: 23 Chapel Street, Guildford, GU1 3UL Call: 01483 533133 Click: Central Guildford’s Specialist Running Shop. Video gait analysis always available.

RUN TO LIVE Visit: 200 Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 2DB Call: 0845 2638801 Click: Video Gait Analysis Available


WARWICK SPORTS Visit: 9 Swan Street, Town Centre, Warwick CV34 4BJ Call: 01926 497676 Email: Click: Warwick Sports Shop is a family business established in 1979 by Ray and John Hammond. Over the last 33 years, the business has built its success and reputation by providing a professional service and advice based on a thorough knowledge and understanding of the needs of sports men, women and children.

COVENTRY RUNNER Visit: 223 Burnaby Road, Radford, Coventry, CV6 4AX Call: 02476 668498 Click: 5 mins from jct 3 M6. See web for details & park outside.

West Midlands SUTTON RUNNER Visit: 268 Jockey Road, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5XL Call: 0121 3552901 Click: Video gait analysis instore


Dr Pixie McKenna The Embarrassing Bodies presenter and GP, 43, on why running with her husband isn’t always the best idea


hen I was about seven I loved to run. But later on I got more into playing hockey and tennis. I was from a family where you weren’t allowed to sit around and so I always had to be active. I live in bike-friendly Cambridge and also hate driving, so my way of keeping fit has been cycling. I’ve done lots of charity ride challenges over the years as well as using my bike as my main means of getting about.

Two years ago I had our daughter – Darcy Trixie Belle – and discovered running again. When she was three months old, my husband Mitch bought me a running buggy. It meant that I could get out with her, walk the dog and get some exercise all at the same time. That really works for me because time’s often very tight. I love going for a run with our daughter in the buggy. I get fitter while she chats and waves at other runners or throws biscuits at them. Mitch and I have done our local Parkrun a few times with her in it, which is great fun. I did my first organised race last October. It was the Town and Gown 10K in Cambridge and there are others in Oxford and Durham too. It’s a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign which is a great cause, and the race takes place on the common right outside my back door.

I haven’t suffered any real injuries, but my feet wouldn’t look out of place on Embarrassing Bodies’ I really enjoyed running it, but it was tough alongside Mitch. He’s ex-Army, and so is a beast to run with, as he’s always urging me on to catch some runner who’s about half a mile ahead. I finished totally exhausted but Mitch wasn’t even out of breath. I’m also doing my first triathlon this year. I’m currently trying to improve my swimming with lessons, but find it much more frustrating than running. With running




I do a four-mile loop from my house in Cambridge, along the River Cam. I always feel good until I see some college sports team whizzing down the riverbank at speeds I’ll never get close to.

I’ve now got a Garmin. I like knowing how far I’ve run and what my pace was. But I love the ‘girly’ data it provides most, like how many calories I’ve burnt!

I don’t overindulge straight after my morning run, but I save any treats for later that evening. I know if I’ve done a run I can have another glass of wine or a pudding without feeling guilty.

146 RUNNER’S WORLD 05/14

I felt I improved much quicker but swimming is much slower – well, at least it is for me! Luckily, I haven’t suffered any real running injuries yet, but I’ve got feet that wouldn’t look out of place on Embarrassing Bodies. They look very athletic as they’re bent and misshapen with the odd black toenail. But it’s probably down to me wearing bad high heels rather than too much running. I’ve got a really irritating reply to patients I see in practice who say they don’t have time to exercise. I say that Barack Obama can squeeze in a run with his CIA men alongside him! So unless you’re busier than the US president, you should make time for some exercise on a regular basis. The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Cambridge Town and Gown 10K* is on Sunday, October 12. Visit for further details.


Interview Adrian Monti Photography Ben Knight *Funds raised by the event will back the charity’s work funding vital research into treatments and related neuromuscular conditions as well as supporting the 70,000 families in the UK who are affected.

I’d half-heartedly tried what I’d call ‘jogging’ lots of times over the years. But I always gave up after only a couple of days, totally disheartened.




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