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 Beds RCC Spoco TT Cycle - 2*11.3M - Sunday 28 May

This was my first time attempting this undulating course and it was thoroughly enjoyable (even Hillfoot!), however I got caught at a set of traffic lights on my 2nd lap that popped up unexpectedly! Great to see a few other flyers taking part and some cracking times!

Deborah Beare 1:5:30

Liverpool Rock'n'Roll Marathon - Sunday 28 May

This was a large marathon race, we stood in pens and went off in waves. Each mile there seemed to be either a band or a DJ, the race was well structure and marshalled. I initially had a goal of 9mim, however I had to reconsider this at miles 6, when I really felt worse for wear, I slowed down my pace, made sure I took on water and salts. I found I had to concentrate on my footfall, my breathing and the negative thinking tell me to dnf. I settled in to a good rhythm which took me all the way to 17miles. Here I had to walk, my head was hot and I knew I had to cool down. I picked up the pace and lasted until 22mile before I had to walk again. Redway Runners where very supportive, three passed me and urged me to keep on. The 4.30 running bus passed me and told to get on the end, which I did until 24. I again picked up the pace found a rhythm did a lot of mental counting and got over the finish line. In what had been my most difficult marathon to date. I felt really ill afterwards, not post race sickness. This was extreme headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal cramps. I found I had contracted the norovirus, (I'm on day two of the norovirus challenge). I will be back next year and the music and bands were brilliant, also I want to try that race again, fit and healthy this time.

Ian Orr Campbell - 4hr 37m

Grafman Middle Distance Triathlon – Sunday 21 May

For those not familiar with Tri distances this was a 1.9k swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. The venue being Grafam Water. I had been swimming in our local lakes prior to this race (Brogborough and Stewartby) to try and acclimatize myself to the very cold water temperatures lately. I did this race because I won the entry from last year's race and it's very local and it's a good form of training for bigger races this season.

Unfortunately the race referee decided the water was too cold on the morning and reduced the swim to 1 lap for safety.  I found the water fine but got boxed in and couldn't find clear water for some time and made things very frustrating. Swim soon over onto the bike and the same thing in the early stages very busy and congested with athlete's which was dangerous at times.

Days before the race I had invested £200 on a bike fit so was interested in seeing how I got on with comfort and handling etc. With no dramas I was soon back for my half marathon this is my favourite bit because it where I make my way up the leader board, however to my horror I found my lower back had gone into spasm and this didn't sort itself until 10k but I refused to let this effect my goal of an age group win an suffered the pain and kept a decent pace. Long and short of it was a 1st some 14 minutes clear of 2nd.

Thanks to my as ever supportive wife and Ian Haplin for making the trip to support.

Martin Beare – 4.28.11

Wheathampstead 10K - Sunday 21 May

This is one of the those races I've been returning to year after year and it is again surprising that so few Flyers run this race - in fact, I didn't see any this year. Starting on the village green in Wheathampstead it really has a 'carnival atmosphere' to the whole day and incorporates a 2K fun run for children. The 10K race leaves the village green and heads out to join the now disused railway line that used to run from Hatfield to Dunstable. Just before 5K runners are taken off the old track and across surrounding fields taking in the only serious climb just before 6K. Back over the railway bridge at 7K runners are dropped down to follow the footpath alongside the River Lea back to the finish on the Village Green. This is a lovely off road run and despite the heavy rain on Saturday the course was reasonably OK underfoot. Terry had intended to run but pulled out on the day with a recurring hamstring problem. Last year I managed 50.10 but this year I have just struggled with my running since London. Through 5K in 26.40 I did the return 5K in a slightly slower time to finish in 53.46 and was out sprinted by the 2nd V60 finisher to add insult to my run! 3 minutes down - what can I say but a disappointing run on a lovely course

Dave Stanley 53:46 - 3rd V60

Apocalypse 50 - Saturday 20 May

My first ultra in almost a year and the pace, nutrition and hydration seemed to work as I came 3rd (about 70 starters). This is not a bad event to do – 50 miles and 3000m of climbing in the Shropshire hills. About a quarter of it is on roads and it is reasonably easy to navigate. With just one aid station from which four entirely different loops emanate and all the checkpoints being self marshalled (orienteering style clips) there is a certain simplicity about this event which works well.

Phil Wolstencroft 10:32

Nottingham Sprint Triathlon – Saturday 20 May

Entered this in preparation for an Olympic distance triathlon next month. Its a great event – no scenery (if you like that sort of thing) but well organised and a quick course. Swim went well - I feel confident in the water so was happy to go quite hard and not waste too much energy. Bike went well too – a bit quicker than planned, but got into it a bit with 2 other blokes and my competitive side came out ??

I was tired straight off the bike and it took a few minutes to unfold my back and legs into a running shape, but I found a rhythm!! In my last triathlon (last year) I pulled a calf muscle 1 mile into the run and had a very long hobble to the end – and I was still paranoid about that happening again. So, I ran cautiously (and was overtaken by almost everyone) but was happy to finish injury free and running comfortably. Hopefully this is a good sign to get under 3 hours in my Olympic triathlon next month.

Jody Buczynski : 1:18:04

Chicks Chase 10K - Thursday 11 May

Haven't done this one for a few years as it has a bit of a rep for being overpriced for a basic run round a lake but it popped up on my radar and was another race challenge point so couldn't say no..

They've introduced a chaps chase which sets off half an hour after the chicks. I got overtaken by all but one smelly boy. It was a pointless effort but avoiding being overtaken by the last male kept me going for the last couple of kilometres and I managed to keep him at bay. An ok course, nice simple event I could pop along to straight from work. OK medal which you just helped yourself to at the end along with a couple of haribos and a cup of water. There are few more races throughout the year so may do a couple more.

A good idea for the pot hunting couples in the club who could easily wipe the floor in both races and despite the efforts of the organisers the chaps chase didn't have that many runners so a good opportunity for our competitive males to bag a top ten finish if they fancy it!

Rebecca Fleckney 59:58

Kassios Dias Corfu - Sunday 7 May

Denise and I ran this iconic mountain marathon billed as 24k which was exactly 14 miles. The event takes place in and around Kassiopi in north west Corfu. Many top Greek mountain runners come from the mainland to run the event and there were a few Brits including 5 of the Durrell Family TV crew who came back! This is a tough run with 1150 ms of ascent much of which is in the first 10k. There are wooded slopes of 36% with small rope sections to help pull you up, or where they turn down hill keep you from crashing through the trees. Dry stream beds full of big rocks also test you on the way up. Coming down is tough on the knees and quads and the passage down is littered with stones and rock. Delightful bottles of Loux (the local fizzy orange) were a blessing at about half way! Down to the coast just below where we stay and then a rocky up and down path along the coast to a steeply wooded area with another climb tests tired limbs towards the end. A small road and beach section leads to the last but one hill, with a great fast run down and round the Castle peninsula with a steep uphill to run round the ruins of the castle and out into the High Street and harbour to finish. We both feel this is a brilliant race and Denise Who was the oldest lady in the race(!) finished in 3 hrs 56 and was fourth in her age group which was 40+ so a brilliant run. I finished in 2 hrs 47 and was 21 out of 175 and second male vet 55 (3rd oldest in race). Unfortunately the organisers had me in a different age group so I missed a presentation on the podium, but they have corrected the positioning now. Would be great to see some more Flyers out there next year.

Warwick Browning

Stevington 12K - Sunday 7 May

Not absolutely sure why I entered this race, the promise of a nice, scenic, local race with good cake at the end from Becs seems to be the only reasons.

During pre race pace planning with Jess Anstee she mooted a 7:30mm avg.  I didn’t think I’d manage that but decided to give it a go.  We set off around 6mm pace and I very quickly recognised this wasn’t sustainable, it barely was for 400m on the track on Tuesday!  The numerous ‘undulations’ took their toll but I still managed to average around 7:30 pace for the duration.  Happy with that given my more laid back attitude to everything (food, training, racing, alcohol) this year.  Bravo to Jess who maintained her strength throughout and took 1st place, with me trailing in over a minute down to take 2nd.  Few fellow flyers in attendance and was great to see the support from the village for their event, didn’t get to sample the cake though.

Theresa Jackson

Great rolling course through some lovely villages and the sun came out for us. This was the first time I'd run this event and after an exhausting MK on Monday, I thought I'd just enjoy it. That plan went out the window about 3 seconds before the start gun to be honest. I pushed till 6km and then steadied myself and tried to finish confidently. Overall, this result was really pleasing and I'm slowly finding some form after not really having much structured training since the new year.

Scott Huntley

Sandstone Trail Challenge – Saturday 6-May

This was the 3rd time I had run walked this race. From Whitchurch (Shropshire) to Frodsham (Cheshire). The challenge is to find 5 grid referenced checkpoints on and just off the sandstone trail. On the day the organisers give you a fact sheet advising what fields have frisky cattle or stroppy horses and any changes or deviation you must make on the trail.

It was well marshalled by Helsby running club. On arrival at each checkpoint you gave your number and had your ticket punched, there was Cake and drinks and support from the volunteers. The challenge was not a race, however everybody had a time in mind, mine was to beat 9.10hrs my result from the previous year.

I tried to keep an even pace of 11.30 min, and for 14 miles it worked, however tiredness, the climbing (all fours at one point), my running buddy becoming injured, slowed me right down. I shuffled the last two miles, then got lost. This really was a challenge of mind over physical pain.

I sprinted to the finish line, slightly delirious, most definitely cattle trucked, with a pb of 8 hrs 7mins. Everyone claps you when you get in, then they give you pie, all this for £20 quid, such a brilliant event.

Ian Orr Campbell - 8hrs 7mins

MK Rocket 5K (Club Championships) - Sunday 30 April

Men Women
  Mark Waine 17:10   Nicola Bowerman 19:28
V-40 John Decesare 17:17 V-35 Jo Aatkar 21:55
V-50 Nick Jones 17:32 V-45 Caroline Gilby 21:59

What a great race with great support and atmosphere on closed roads, this race left me feeling happy yet somewhat frustrated as at this time of the year I am in my peak phase of triathlon training with some big races only weeks away and I cannot afford to taper for running races and the previous day had been a morning on the bike followed by a gym session in the afternoon therefore happy with a PB. I take my hat off to many AFF for some excellent runs across the board with many PBs too, well done all.

Martin Beare

Blackpool Marathon - Sunday 23 April

My 4th Marathon at age 55. The plan, a sub 3:30 on three runs a week. During training my body was telling me 9 minute miles would be the most sensible option. A faster run than expected at Oakley made me decide to go back to plan A.

So the big day arrived, it was sunny, but a cold and strong wind. Off we went, first mile bang on 8 minutes. Got to about 16 miles on schedule and then legs gradually started to tighten. Back began to hurt and started to become a real issue after about 20. Managed to get to 22 miles on time and then bang my left calf cramped so much I was in real pain every time I lifted the leg. It took me an hour to complete the last 4 miles.

A fellow runner gave me some advice at mile 25. Drop your hands by your sides and shuffle at speed without lifting you legs. If I had known that a mile 22 I think I would have got a sub 4 hour time.

Great medal and the people in Blackpool were really friendly.

Dave Coker 4:00:31

A good sunny day - no crowd support like London but a calming, relaxed sea run with 2 loops of the course finishing with a steep slope at 26!!! Nasty!! But all in all, a very enjoyable experience. I did cheer on a flyer as he passed me running considerably faster than my steady pace but I finished happy and pleased with myself

Justine Goode – 5:28:21


London Marathon - Sunday 23 April

When I turned 60 I wanted to run one more full marathon. Since then, it has taken me 4 attempts via the ballot process and even then I needed the Club place to finally have the joy of running the London Marathon again. Now 64 this will be my 9th London but as my very last full marathon (number 26) I wanted to enjoy the whole London experience. I was fortunate to have my son run with me, which turned out to be a god send over those final struggling miles. The training had gone well and the 3 x 20 mile races showed that I needed to run at 9 minute pace to achieve my goal of dipping under 4 hours. A time I felt was on the cards as long as I ran those first miles sensibly. I even told so many colleagues of the need to keep that early pace in check as too fast a start can often come back to haunt you in the latter stages!

Guess what, I got carried away with the whole London experience. Starting in Pen 1 was great in that it took about a minute to get over the start line but maybe I just couldn't hold myself back enough from the faster runners. I didn't run a 9 minute mile until mile 13 with most of the earlier miles run between 8.35 and 8.50 pace. I was through half way in 1.56.25 some 3 1/2 minutes ahead of schedule but by mile 17 I was starting to tire. The weather was now noticeably warmer and I knew by mile 20 the 'wheels were coming off'. Through 20 in 2.58.12 I could still have been on target for sub 4 but the legs were going. A 10.17 and 11.25 miles were followed by excruciating cramp in both legs forcing me to continually stop and stretch over those final 3 miles. Only the encouragement and perseverance of Terry to 'keep going its not far now Dad' forced me through that so important mental side of running. The crowds were fantastic at this stage giving me huge cheers every time I got going again.

Finishing together, arms aloft was a memorable experience and although it was 'a bad day at the office' over those final miles I didn't mind - you can never take away the joy and pleasure I got from running London one more time. Yes it can be difficult as a runner at times negotiating other runners but the iconic nature of London and the incredible encouragement of the crowds made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end at times. To me it is the number 1 Marathon to run. I first did it in 1983 in 3.04.34 and came back to run it again in 1990 when I did my second of 5 Sub-3 marathons in 2.57.32. The course has been kind to me and this year was the first I struggled but I shall remember it for first running it together with Terry and secondly for the incredible supportive crowds. 

Well done to all the other Flyers running and especially to Nicola who narrowly missed out on her sub-3 - it will come Nicola, and to an incredible run by Craig Palmer 2.30.46 has to be the Club run of the year so far.

Dave & Terry Stanley 4:16:46

An amazing experience. Knew it was going to be tough from about 15 and at 20 miles the Halpin train truly went of the rails and the wheels spun off emphatically into the Thames. Hardest hour of my entire life followed, couldn't lift my legs, one of the cat eyes in the road looked like a mountain and I couldn't navigate it and tripped it was that bad haha.

A walk and jog strategy was immediately put into place to get me to an emotional finish line.

Thanks to everyone that donated to LOOK UK I know everyone one of you. Thanks to my support crew on the day Charlene Richard Gale Debbie and Bill and everyone else that I saw on route!

Thanks to two amazing people Deborah and Martin Beare for convincing me that running was the right idea, my knee went way after the wheels were already off so thanks for your encouragement, I have absolutely no regrets and I'd run the same race / pace again - my legs just stopped working!

And thanks to the many many people that gave me advice along the way to my first go at the distance - especially Mark Waine, George Arbuckle and Jerry Day for expert advice, Barry Stratford Rich and Ashley Larman, Hattie, Alex Anstee, Mark Danger (cheers for letting me steal your hydration belt for training) and every single person that wished me luck.

Well done to all flyers and other friends I know that ran today you all did amazing - now for some �� and a big thanks to Craig Palmer the guy that ran a casual 2:30 for his taper plan (which unfortunately I couldn't carry out). Thanks all.

Ian Halpin


Brighton Marathon - Sunday 9 April

My training for this marathon was far from text book due to a nasty acute Achilles tendonitis injury. I only had 6 weeks of training from 2 months of no running. I battled with thoughts of pulling out but eventually thought it would at least be good Ironman training. Any thoughts of getting anywhere near 3hrs seemed a distant dream.

As race weekend arrived it seemed the weather was against me to with the hottest day of the year forecast. However as I have always claimed a race is a race and I had to at least try. I had a funny old start after being put in the wrong start pen (3.30 pace) which started after the (3.00 pace) I ran hard to catch the faster group to then run with them and that pace which was a little ambitious given my lack of fitness. Long and short of it was a surprising sub 3 (2.58.16) chip time.

4th in age group 85th overall so delighted with that and now feel confident with a faster marathon later in the year. I now turn my focus on the new Triathlon season. It was good to witnesses Barry Stratford get his first sub 3 and Roger finish strong.

Martin Beare

Oakley 20 - Sunday 2 April

This was my final 20 mile race leading up to London (thank goodness!) and the plan had been to have a positive run and hopefully finish feeling reasonably strong. I'm pleased to say that as I crossed the finish line some 2 minutes up on my predicted time I was more than pleased as to how the race had paned out. Oakley is an undulating course but in my opinion has only one really tough climb at around 3 miles. Nevertheless, I was trying to keep to around 9 minutes a mile and at 5 miles I was slightly up in 44.36. Through 10 in 88.39 I was still running to schedule but for anyone who has ever run a marathon there will always be those tough miles when you think 'is it all going wrong'. Today that came at 14 miles and its where you need to have the mental toughness to run through it and keep your mind positive that things will improve. The final climb back into Stevington at 17 and I was still struggling but my mile splits were only just over the 9 minute pace. Re-fueling at 17 had helped and as I approached Oakley I felt I was through the worst and back into my pace and starting to feel strong again. The early miles had been run with Ian Orr-Campbell before he had pushed on followed by Katie Ruditis. But at 18 I had first Katie back in my sights and then Ian at 19, passing them both as I pushed on to the finish with my quickest mile splits of the day in 8.25 and 8.17. I was well pleased with my run knowing a similar time at London would give me just over an hour to do that final 10K for my sub-4 - bring it on!!

Dave Stanley 2:58:06

Last Updated: Tuesday, 06 June 2017 12:04