Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Sometimes just running isn’t enough

OK, we all like running

and we all like eating

and we all like drinking

and dressing up can also be fun.

So put them all together and what do you get? BEERATHON.

Why would you not want to do this ‘race’? What did it involve?

Start 1.00pm at the Hoop and Grapes, run 1 mile anticlockwise loop back to the pub.


Hop and Grapes

Beerathon route

Beerathon route

Eat and drink the first slobstacle, a chocolate cake and pint of stout.

Run mile number 2 around the same course, then down slobstacle number 2, a samosa and a pint of bitter. My gluten free requirements were catered for…with a 2nd piece of chocolate and orange cake.

After mile number 3 a Cornish pastie and pint of lager were waiting; something had actually happened to the gluten free items they were expecting, so a 3 piece of chocolate and orange cake was consumed.

Mile 4 and the final slobstacle, a pork pie and a pint of cider. And you have guessed by now, my 4th piece of chocolate and orange cake (by all accounts, preferable to the pork pie).

But there was still another mile to do to complete the whole event, although this wasn’t compulsory. I did plod round, chatting to Easter Island and Greenland;  (not quite a fast as my previous 5 miles in the Olympic Park, 2 weeks earlier, in  38.30; this was nearer to 2 hours).

The awards at the end were not totally serious, various random categories as well as the first home (someone dressed as a monk); ‘David Seaman’ (without pony tail)  was the unanimous winner of the fancy dress. I did get one, for being the only gluten free runner there. And my ‘prize’ was…another piece of chocolate and orange cake; I did have to pinch a half pint to swill it down. Other competitors were asked to guess what my fancy dress (a jesters outfit, a coat – worn all the way round – , a guitar – carried all the way round –  and crowns) represented which corrected led to the outbreak of a few lines of ‘American Pie’.beerathon3 Met some great people there,  Nicola and Tracy (who traveled down from Manchester for the run) Beerathon1 And even a medal! DSC_0009[1] The whole event is organised by David Hellard, who has set himself various challenges this year to raise money for Street Child, including leading the Virgin London Marathon at 400m


Moregust, a personal challenge

Having set out on a pre-breakfast run today, the first time  I have done this, I realised it was the first of the month so I decided to set myself a challenge for the month.

More running, more often, more distance, more routes and more pain in August.

I am not going to do a new blog every day, but I will keep this up-to-date.

Anyone else want to join in? The more the merrier; you could use #moregust on twitter.

Moregust Day 1

The first time I have run twice in a day, 14k starting at 7.30 am and 7k at 10.30pm.

In the footsteps of giants

Olympic Park Run


OK the technical T-shirts were at least a size too large, the course was too narrow in places and the Olympic Park was a building site, but these minor irritations could not prevent this from being a very special run.  I had been in the Olympic Park a few times last year, and in the Stadium for the final evening of the Paralympic Athletics, watching Oscar P while he was still someone to look up to.

I arrived much too early, more than an hour before the start, and while dropping off my bag I bumped into a former teaching colleague (much younger so should have been much faster than me).  After locating the start I took off in the opposite direction  for a  20 minutes warm up run; amazingly very others were not doing this, large numbers were already at the start.  I was still in the pen 15 minutes before the gun/horn.  Lots of people clutching bottles of water.  I did find all of the warnings about keeping hydrated a bit over the top, to be honest a water station at 2 miles wasn’t really necessary; I kept well out of the way of it . After all it was only 5 miles. But accepting that many (a majority?) of the runners were first timers, maybe it was a sensible health and safety requirement.

I was in the red starting zone, I assume because I had suggested a time of 40 minutes which did seem quite reasonable.  As soon as we started it was clear some to the red zone starters had massively over-estimated (or rather under-estimated) their time; it became more obvious after a mile or so that after having being caught up in the moment, it suddenly became considerably further than a number had  bargained on.  But that didn’t matter, all that was important was all 11,000+ were giving it a go whether first timers, or aging veterans.


The culmination was, of course, entering the Olympic Stadium (after what seemed like a age running round the ‘tunnel’ inside/under the stadium).  I’m sure I wasn’t individually being cheered, but the noise still provided a lift and getting on a track like nothing I had ever stepped on before was very special. I wasn’t one of those that stopped at the beginning of the 100m straight in order to do the sprint, I just made sure I had a bit of space to go over the line. So it was now a matter of collecting the medal, visiting the bag drop. The latter could/should have been better organised.  Being one of the first 10% to finish I still had to queue for 15 minutes.  I suspect later finishes would have been in the queue longer than they were running for.


If they do it again next year you should do it, but unfortunately the stadium if being is being downgraded, reducing the size considerably so it can be used for football.  Shame!