The Marathons

11th October 2016 – The Isle of Wight Marathon – my first marathon, why oh why did I pick the Isle of Wight! It’s great running this one, as you get to see so many friends around your local course, but jeez, those 3 hills at the end. Retired from marathon running at the end of this one!
COMPLETED IN – 4:59:34 – scraped under the 5.

17th April 2016 – The Brighton Marathon – a bit more focus on training, and a bit more experienced this time, and joined a running club weekend in Brighton. Once again found the backend of the marathon soooo hard. Retired from marathon running for a second straight marathon. Was great to run this one and raise a few quid for a friends little girl who was unwell.
COMPLETED IN – 4:37:06 – a bright sunny day didn’t suit me

9th October 2016 – The 60th Isle of Wight Marathon – as it was the 60th, my club made an effort to get a lot of runners out for this one. This was the infamous ‘Gang of Five’ run with Sarah, Keith, Paul and Julie. Once again the bottom fell out of my world after 16 miles, and once again I declared that I wouldn’t put myself through this again. Retirement #3.
COMPLETED IN – 4:44:40 – not good, but 15 mins better than last year.

2nd April 2017 – The Manchester Marathon – so this time things were different. I decided I was going to train my arse off, made a list of improvements, got my friend Julie involved as a personal trainer, trained hard, lost weight. By now I was starting to become obsessed with the dreaded sub 4! Also, this was going to be a secret marathon, at least until my best running friend disclosed that she was also doing a secret marathon, and it was the same one! A really good run, and all the way felt I was going to break the 4 hour mark. Then at around mile 22 I started to get dizzy, and those last few slower miles tipped me over the 4 hours.
COMPLETED IN 4:03:23 – Just missed in, but got to be happy with a 34 minute PB right?!

14th May 2017 – Starfish Marathon – a hurried entry to try and take advantage of my Manchester training, ended in disaster as I woke up sweating with a cold. A warm and very windy day, saw me get to halfway, pack up and get the training home!

15th October 2017 – The Amsterdam Marathon – another crack at the 4 hours, but this time round I just did not commit to the training and paid the price. The weather curse was in full effect, bloody 23 degrees in October!? Ran a decent sub 4 pace, but in the second half it fell to pieces and my heart rate went off the scale. Bad news – Retirement #4, which even involved a gushing Dear John letter that I posted on Facebook. The good news, this would be the last time I retired from marathon running 🙂
COMPLETED IN 4:18:56 – don’t put in the training and pay the price!

22nd April 2018 – The London Marathon 2018 – This one was not planned, until I won the London place through my running club. Once I did, I knew it was time to raise my game again. My training went up another notch, and I gave up drinking from New Year through to the marathon. I was in good shape, but the weather curse doubled down, and I found myself running in the hottest London marathon on record. I ran well, but in the conditions just could not hold off the effects of sweating out about a million litres of fluid. Finished and my face went numb for half an hour, so I don’t think I could have pushed harder.
COMPLETED IN 4:03:00 – A PB yes, but not the PB I was looking for!

13th May 2018 – The Shakespeare Marathon – This was not such a cobbled together plan as the Starfish Marathon after Manchester. Had this one lined up as a back up should London not garner a sub 4. Had some help as well, in the form of a mate (Simon Grundy) who is an ultra running machine. He ran the first half with me, pacing me to perfection, halfway in 1:54, 6 minutes in the bank. Stayed in control, let the pace drop a little, but crossed the line in my first Sub 4 and felt soooo bloody happy. Went back to my mates and we celebrated with many hoppy rehydration drinks 😉
COMPLETED IN 3:57:45 – Yabadabbadoo!!

The following marathons make up my 12 in 12 challenge in 2019…

January 27th – Phoenix Excalibur Marathon, Essex – not ideal as there is little to choose from in January, but 8 laps of a course up and down a riverside course.  Didn’t train for a PB, but finished and used as training for faster marathons to come.
COMPLETED IN 4:55:23 – muddier than expected!

February 15th – Martelo Marathon, Folkestone.  A fast flat 3 lapper along coasts / paths on the Kent coast.
COMPLETED IN 3:58:56 – nice to have some IW Road Runners for company, and very nice to duck under 4 hours again, was not sure if that would be possible this year 🙂

March 9th – Excalibur Three, Track Wars, Surrey.  I did want some different types of events.  I’m not sure 105 laps of a running track is the best idea to add this variety, but hey, what an experience!
COMPLETED IN 3:56:07 – A PB!!  Was a track marathon hard – Yes, mentally very tough.

Apr 28th – London Marathon.  This is the centre piece of this years efforts.  I ran London last year and loved it.  Not as hot as last year 🙂
COMPLETED IN 3:59:20 – Mission accomplished, what an amazing day running for NSPCC.

May 5th – Southampton Marathon.  Had mixed reports on this 2 lap course.  Only 7 days after London, and got a bit of a calf twinge a few miles in.  Second half tough when the crowds thin out.
COMPLETED IN 4:11:44 – Tough a week after London, but job done!

June 9th – Yeovil Marathon.  After 2 big city marathons on the bounce, this was a nice change, on a more undulating rural course.
COMPLETED IN 4:11:40 – Only 4 seconds different to Southampton!  Not my favourite course.

July 21st – Space Race GOLD.  Back with Phoenix Running, to run 26.2 miles worth of Thames paths.
Only completed 20 miles, so it is a DNF!

Aug 18th – Two Tunnels Bath Marathon.  Another picturesque course, with the added interest of some running through tunnels to break things up.
Not taking part in this one now, need to get this knee fixed!

Sep 8th – New Forest Marathon.  A late addition to the list, as knee was feeling better and a place came up..
COMPLETED 7th marathon this year in 4:22:33, back in the game!

September 22nd – Running Grand Prix at Goodwood Motor Circuit.  Having got round New Forest post injury, can hopefully shave a few minutes off that time.
COMPLETED in 4:12:30, 8 down.  Knee held up, everything else was screaming!

October 6th – Isle of Wight Marathon.  My local marathon.  Not the easiest by any stretch of the imagination.  Will be nice to run this one again and should be able to take a chunk off my previous efforts.
COMPLETED in 4:11:50, how on earth did I do that quicker than Goodwood?!

October 27th – Running Grand Prix at Bedford.  Another motor circuit could provide one last opportunity for a quick one, so one last crack at a sub 4.
COMPLETED in 3:52:17 – a new PB.  Probably a lifetime PB, can’t see me getting back here before I’m too old!

November  10th – Remembrance Day Marathon.  Another Phoenix run, this one is billed as a run built around a 2 minutes silence, with a 1kg medal for good measure.
COMPLETED in 4:10:08.  A muddy one, but a great run with friends.

December 22nd – Portsmouth Coastal Marathon.  This race has always mystified me.  From what I know of the area, this should be an easy one, nice and flat.  Everybody that has run it says its anything but easy.  Another local one to finish the year.
COMPLETED IN 4:36:21.  Ran this with my step brother to round off the challenge.  It was hard, muddy and grueling!

2019 challenge over, it was back down to earth in the year of the virus (well the first year of the virus as it happens).

14th June 2020 – Phoenix X Virtual Marathon – Yay, it’s my birthday. Rather that sit around drinking beer, thought I’d run a marathon, then drink beer! Dragged the family and a few friends (Rowl, Sarah, Zoe and Steve) out for a socially distanced marathon. Well this is all very weird! Had a month off running and boy did I pay for it today.
COMPLETED IN 4:49:14 – The birthday burgers and beers after were fab though!

19th July 2020 – Virtual Southampton Marathon – Having liked the challenge of the last VM, did another one with a small group of friends, and got the 50 marathons in a year lunatic Neil McCall along and did his #41 with him. A pleasant bimble around the Medina valley, follow by beer and a meal in a pub for the first time in a long time!
COMPLETED IN 4:42:30 – That was actually enjoyable!

27th September 2020 – Goodwood Running Grandprix v2 – My first race after lockdown, and my first race since starting my online training with JM Coaching. Did wonder if I would be in PB shape already, wasn’t quite there, but comfortably back under the 4 hour barrier again on the loopy tarmac.
COMPLETED IN 3:55:19 – Good run, just found it hard to maintain form / pace late on.

4th October 2020 – Isle of Wight Marathon – Just a week later and back out for my home marathon. Not a PB, but probably my best judged, best paced marathon to date. The IOW is not an easy course, with a succession of hills queued up at the end, and conditions today were ‘challenging’. An emotional run as well, as this race last year my Nan gave me my medal, and she was no longer with us this year.
COMPLETED IN 3:58:28 – All that time I spent chasing a sub 4, never thought I’d do it on this course 🙂

5th December 2020 – Goodwood Running Grand Prix v3 – Year was supposed to end with Pompey Coastal, but that was lost to Covid, so a third go round Goodwood would have to suffice. A chilly day meant I wouldn’t have to worry about over heating, although I might lose some fingers to frostbite! Set a similar pace to my last PB (3:52), but this time with the better base mileage behind me, and the confidence from the last 2 marathons, this would be a different story. 6 minutes made up vs my PB in the second half, meant for a stonking PB to finish the year!
COMPLETED IN 3:46:56 – Hears looking forward to 2021.

8th April 2001 – IW Marathon Trilogy Part 1 – Day 1 of the 3 day challenge. This is a stunning run that I did with my friend Simon, taking in the River Medina, the sandy beaches of Ryde, quaint Seaview and Bembridge, the spectacular coastline as you go up over Culver Down, then a run along the beautiful beaches of Sandown and Shanklin to finish. This nearly derailed my 3 day challenge. The end of the run and post run I felt a lot worse than I expected, and then realised that I’d got sunburnt!
COMPLETED in 4:49:24 – Day 1 done, but not feeling great!

9th April 2021 – IW Marathon Trilogy Part 2 – This was a bitter sweet affair. An absolutely amazing run, across the hills at the back of the Isle of Wight, from Shanklin, across to the Needles / Alum Bay at the west of the island, however, that beauty comes with the price tag of over 3000ft of elevation. This was always going to be challenging, and not helped by the fact that I’d got sunburnt and extra dehydrated the night before. To get through this difficult run required a lot of determination and a sense of humour. Don’t think I could have done this one alone, my running buddy Keith helped lift spirits and helped drag me through this one.
COMPLETED in 5:46:32 – My slowest marathon, but to be expected and bloody pleased to finish it.

10th April 2021 – IW Marathon Trilogy Part 3 – So the last day of a challenge, that I have to say took me by surprise. I’m usually a solo runner, but running these 3 marathons with some good friends has been brilliant, and the scenery for these 3 runs has been mind blowing. Some times you really do need to just get off your arse and look at the beauty around you! Today my official running partner was my friend Zoe, but Keith was in for a second day for the full marathon, and we were also joined by Carolyn, Petya, Neil and Gareth for half marathons, keeping us within Covid guidelines.
COMPLETED in 5:14:04 – Job done, 3 marathons in 3 days. The running was great, but my god its hard to eat enough calories to sustain that.

25th April 2021 – Goodwood Running Grand Prix IV – Back to tarmac for a PB attempt. Set off aiming for 8:20s, which I managed to mile 18. Then held it together to clock a 2 and a half minute PB – whoop whoop!
COMPLETED in 3:44:21 – Went pretty much as planned, all those months of training paid off.

26th June 2021 – Challenge the Wight – This will always be known as the Disco Marathon! Ran this with some friends, it was always going to be a jolly. So I decided to spice things up a bit and bring the disco. So with an LED disco light strapped to the front of my backpack and a speaker on board, we discoed across the Isle of Wight during the night.
COMPLETED in 6:29:41 – my slowest marathon by a long way, but what a great evening!

10th October 2021 – Isle of Wight Marathon. Marathon #30 – I’ve grown to love this marathon. It’s not easy, the last few miles are a bitch, but I love that I know most of the marshals and there are loads of supporters out and about.
COMPLETED in 4:21:22 – got a bit warm and sunny by the end.

5th December 2021 – Goodwood Marathon – A trip back to my favourite hunting ground, originally intended as a crack at sub 4 for a good friend of mine. Not our day though and he was struggling with stomach cramps for most of the run.
COMPLETED in 5:00:24 – a tough day at the office.

2022 brought with it another charity challenge, this time the Week at the Knees event, 7 marathons in 7 days for NSPCC.

7th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 1 (Willen Lake) – First day, met some great people.
COMPLETED in 4:52:47 – Day 1 done.

8th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 2 (Willen Lake) – Second day, clocked up a similar time, a lot sunnier than forecasted.
COMPLETED in 4:53:57 – Caught the sun today, felt pretty rough after and overnight.

9th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 3 (Willen Lake) – Last day at Willen, ready for a change of scenery. Dialled down the pace today as feeling crap at the start and need to focus on finishing all 7.
COMPLETED in 5:08:16 – Call me Jeff!

10th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 4 (Caldecotte Lake) – A new lake. Took it easy, finished a bit stronger today.
COMPLETED in 5:01:14 – A happier Glen today.

11th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 5 (Caldecotte Lake) – My mate Keith turned up to run with me today, what a superstar!
COMPLETED in 5:06:38 – Struggling with a sore achilles, but got it done, with some post run celebration with Keith 🙂

12th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 6 (Caldecotte Lake) – Penultimate day, nursing an achilles injury and a thigh strain in the same leg.
COMPLETED in 5:10:10 – slowest of the week, but we made it to the last day!

13th March 2022 – Week at the Knees Day 7 (Caldecotte Lake) – The last day of this challenge. The day before I sped up at the end and that felt better on the achilles, so today I decided I was going to push the pace.
COMPLETED in 4:14:14 – Finished with a flourish, 40 minutes faster than any other marathon this week.

3rd April 2022 – Goodwood Chapter 6 – back to Goodwood to see if those 7 marathons have given me some cardio fitness. Not ideal prep as the achilles is still recovering. I decided to give it a shot at a PB today, running the first 16 miles averaging 8:17 a mile, well under PB time. That pace turned out to be too ambitious though, and after then it was a real struggle. Some 10 minute miles got me home in a respectable time, back under the magical 4 hours.
COMPLETED in 3:56:16 – enough fitness from the 7 in 7 to get back under 4 hours.

8th May 2022 – Walk the Wight – Marathon #40. What a great day and a great event. Quite a few years since I’ve done this walk, and have always meant to do it as a run. This was very much a run / walk. Some running, but ran it with some friends and we wanted to enjoy it, so it was fairly chilled with plenty of walking, especially up the hills. Strapped the speaker on today, so we enjoyed tunes all the way across the Island and took plenty of requests!
COMPLETED in 6:21:51 – that’s elapsed time, so includes some pretty long breaks at the aid stations while people had coffee etc. Running time probably about 5:40.