St Peter’s Way Ultra

Over Christmas I had given myself a couple of weeks off running. In part as a much needed rest for myself but also to give my long suffering wife and children some personal time over the festive period. I had signed up to the Flitch Way 100k  on 29th January 2017 and had to get back into the training post Christmas..and it wasn’t going well. Up until Christmas I had been following a high carb, low fat diet and had been in keto and running well. Christmas and all the lovely food that it brings had put an end to that and post Christmas I was struggling to get back into a routine and finding training very difficult. My longest run pre race ended up being 13 miles and this showed on race day. I managed to haul myself to 44 miles before my knees protested from the lack of training. Not too bad considering but still noted as a DNF. But it was a good kick to the training and helped get me going again.

Next up was the St Peter’s Way ultra, again one of Challenge Running’s races on February 26th 2017. The runs in the weeks leading up to it had been stronger and I was feeling much better and more confident. On race day I drove down to Ongar giving a lift to local runner Robin Challacombe and parked near the start which I know fairly well as it is also the same area that incorporates the Essex Way Relay which I have taken part in the past 2 years. The weather was a little on the cool side and damp. The race is listed as one of the muddiest race in the UK! so was expecting it to be quite bad on the field crossings involved. I had my kit check done and registered then sought out some friends and had a chat and catch up. Lindley then gave a briefing and soon after set us all on our way. I’m not great on races that rely on notes and navigation and was expecting to get lost at some point! As well as the maps and notes I had the route on my Garmin and in the early stages planned on following the masses hoping that, surely, the majority couldn’t all go wrong.

st-peters

The early miles were pretty good and straight forward with people moving in large groups with only a slight bit of weaving over fields and finding the way. As usual I was sweating fairly heavily but wasn’t too concerned, I was moving at a good pace early on around 8.45 per mile. I had set myself a time of 9 hours after the 100k effort and subsequent training, not knowing the route and also aware there were field crossings and hills involved. CP 1 same came around were I didn’t stop for long at all just topping up my water and continued on wards. I soon came across Nathan Taylor who I had met at the 100k and we ran together for some way. I know Nathan is a stronger runner than me so wasn’t sure how long I would try and keep to his pace. He has run St Peter’s a number of times so it was great just to follow him and not refer to the map or notes. We passed the A12 and then onwards passing a railway line. It was only a few days after storm Doris and along this section there were a number of huge trees down which meant a small bit of climbing over or ducking under. Shortly after I fell behind Nathan and made my biggest mistake of the run missing a turning he had taken which left me back tracking and trying to find the correct turn. A fair few people had managed to pass me at that point and I ran with or near to another set of runners passing alongside a golf course and narrowly being missed by a wayward shot through Stock and on towards Hanningfield.

stpeters4-08

The route then leads on to the A130 and following this is a long incline which I had to take a walk on as it seemed to drag on for ages and got to my legs. Fortunately once it was over I was able to pick up the running again, I’m not sure in hindsight what my pace was at that point but I know it was good and better than I had been hoping for. It was now a matter of how long it would last! There were some reasonably rough field crossings but the weather had been kind to us and I managed to run across them. They certainly would have been far worse in a downpour. I had developed a bad backache mainly due to not running regularly with the waist belt I was using. Heading on to Maylandsea and beyond was a good section and the legs were working well and I was still! yes! still! holding a good pace. As I headed on to the final checkpoint the wind was really picking up, no rain fortunately but it was really strong. As the final checkpoint came into view I was feeling really confident and just wanted to forge on to the sea wall where I knew the end was near. On leaving CP4 I pushed on fairly strong and was determined not to let the few fellas behind me catch up and overtake. I kept looking back but had lost sight of them. I think it was just before Tillingham I noticed that someone different had also overtaken them but was making good ground on me!! I pushed on “when is that bloody sea wall going to appear!” I kept looking back and I could still see a fluorescent yellow t-shirt some way back, maybe half a mile. After passing though a small farm and over a couple more fields the bank of the sea wall was in sight. on top and looking out the chapel of St Peter was in view. The wind was howling and the strongest it had been now open to the sea. I got a bit carried away and belted along the wall. As the crow flies the chapel looks quite close, about 2.5 miles but the wall loops around and is closer 3 possibly 3.5 miles. I slowed a little and kept a strong pace…it just didn’t seem to get closer. Then it was standing before me..passing through a small copse and on through the finish line.

chapel

I finished in 7h 42m well inside my target of 9 hours. An average pace of 10.45 a mile which was 15 seconds per mile faster than my effort at the 100k so a good improvement. All of my races in the coming months are all training for the Grand Union Canal Race  which I failed to complete last year missing the cut off at CP9, 133 miles.

Thanks to Lindley and all of the volunteers who made it a great day, a great scenic and historic route. It’ll certainly be on my list for next year.

stpeterslogo

 

Advertisements

Flitch Way Spring Marathon 2015

Having received my new work roster for the rest of the year I have now been able to look through and pencil in possible races for the year. After finishing Paris I had no particular races in mind and ran Birchanger 10k a couple of weeks back. Knowing I had Sunday 17th May free I had a look at what races were available. There was Great Baddow 10 mile, Wimpole 10k, Richmond Marathon and the Flitch Way Marathon. I opted for the Flitch Way Marathon. The Flitch Way Marathon is one of Challenge Running’s many races, this is now the fourth of Lindley’s races I have taken part in.

Image result for flitch way

The Flitch Way is now a footpath that follows the route of an old railway line that used to run from the town of Bishops Stortford to Braintree but was removed in 1969 under the Beeching cuts. It is predominantly flat if a little soft under foot in places, to the extent that one section runs on a wooden walk way through the worst of the boggy patches. The Flitch way Marathon route starts in Great Notley Country Park, heads out along the Flitch Way towards Takeley for 13 miles and then back to finish at the top of a steep hill in the park as seen below.

Image result for flitch way

 As I hadn’t trained I planned on taking the run easy and treating it as a training run. The weather was as perfect as it could have been for running and with the Flitch Way bordered by hedge row and trees it was very shady and cool to run along. I was dropped off at the start around 9am and saw Lindley the race director who pointed me up to the race HQ. After collecting my number and storing my bag I chatted to some of the other runners, some of whom I had met before, others I hadn’t. I had initially told my running friend Gin Craig I was going to run with her as I reckoned I was only going to run between 4 hours 30 minutes and 5 hours. After we set off that barely lasted 1/2 a mile, the pace was 9m 25s per mile and I felt comfortable enough to run a bit stronger than that.

 After winding our way out of the park and heading onto the track itself we crossed a road. A short distance on runners were greeted by a cafe set at one of the old stations, Rayne,  complete with an old railway carriage.

Image result for rayne cafe

 The route then continued along a firm packed track. Being a clear warm day the track was quite busy with family walkers and cyclists. The route headed toward the town of Great Dunmow. I had quickened my pace a touch too much and was at 8 minutes 15 seconds per mile and slowed a little to someone who was close by and holding a comfortable pace. It turned out to be Jaime Neill who is an online acquaintance from the Facebook page Run 1000. He was holding a very steady 8 minutes 30 seconds per mile so I decided to run and chat with him. What had started as a day off and taking part for the fun of it was now turning in to a run that was currently better than PB pace! I was mindful to make good use of all the aid stations along the way, the first of which was manned by Rich Cranswick whom I’d met at the SVP last year. At Dunmow the route deviates very briefly through part of the town then linking back up with the Flitch Way route. The ground in parts along here was very soft and quite wet but I managed fine with my road shoes and stayed up right! I always use Nike+ app on my phone when running as it gives an audible pace every 0.5 mile which I like and lets me know if I’m working too hard or even not hard enough. The pacing was still very steady at 8m 30s a mile. Heading ever closer to the turn around point I was hoping I wouldn’t hit any type of problems until well after the 20 mile mark. wanting to get a good amount of drink onboard at the half way point I told Jaime I was going to push ahead to give myself a couple of minutes to stop. The legs were still felling strong despite not having a long run further than 13.5 miles since Paris Marathon.

Image result for flitch way

 After the half way point there started to be more a bit more of a difference in pacing, sometimes catching people, sometimes being over taken. As I headed back towards the town of Dunmow I had to take a left hand turn through a hedge and into the industrial estate. I missed the turning and went straight on.  A runner behind me followed, we both hadn’t gone far and I started to question it, it didn’t look right. I stopped, he carried on. I back tracked and bumped into another runner also heading along the same path. I told him I thought it was wrong and after going back a few hundred yards saw the gap we should of turned through. I’ve no idea where the other runner went or if he’s even finished yet! My legs had started to feel things now and were getting tired. The new runner I was now with was David Rogers. He had initially been ahead of me before slowing enough that I could catch and over take him before meeting up again when I made the mistake. Both tiring we decide to stick together and pace each other back to the finish. My pace was now fading away quite badly and the chance of a PB had gone but I was still on for a strong run. The finish of the marathon is at the top of a steep hill which has a large sculpture on it, upon touching the sculpture you have finished the race.

Image result for flitch way

 Having been running together for 3 or 4 miles I suggested to David that we should race the hill up to the finish together. I’m not sure if he thought it was a good idea but he agreed anyway. We returned back passed the cafe at Rayne station, back on to the track and just had to get back down into the park. we could see the hill ahead with the bird sculpture on top, the bottom of the hill approached, a quick shake of the hands and a wish of good luck and I was gone!! I put my foot down and powered up the hill not looking back to see if David was hot on my heels. A sprint of the last 30 yards and I had finished another race. If counting ultras this was now my 7th race of marathon distance or greater. The organisation and marshalling is second to none at challenge running events and can’t recommend them highly enough. Get over to their website, have a look and sign up to one of their future races.

Initially I wasn’t really sure what my time was but found out via Lindley that it was 4h 14m 19s. 12 minutes faster than Paris marathon and only 14 minutes 26 seconds away from my PB so quite a good day. Now to just keep the miles up and stay injury free!

Position Race Number Forename Surname Gender Club Finish Time
1 11 Ian Coxall Male Ipswich Jaffa RC 03:16:22
2 15 Robert Dixon Male   03:29:27
3 23 sebastian parris Male barnes runners 03:30:09
4 33 Pete Jones Male   03:36:31
5 39 Nick Butcher Male Trent Park Runners 03:39:58
6 8 Charley Jenning Female   03:42:43
7 16 Vincenzo Arduino Male   03:43:12
8 12 David Ferris Male   03:43:45
9 53 Nigel Harrison Male Ipswich Jaffa 03:47:42
10 21 Paul Cross Male   03:53:52
11 1 Gary Paul Male   03:58:53
12 17 Adam Waller-Toyne Male   03:58:58
13 29 Mark Loftus Male   04:04:22
14 26 Jamie Neill Male Great Bentley Running Club 04:07:36
15 43 chris poynter Male   04:09:39
16 36 Alan Li Male adidas26s 04:11:09
17 38 Barry Taylor Male Saffron Striders RC 04:14:19
18 47 David Rogers Male Leigh on Sea Striders 04:14:28
19 13 Andrew Wilmott Male Halstead RRC 04:15:10
20 46 Damon Jackson Male   04:23:45
21 32 Karl Simon Male   04:24:15
22 31 Noel Bundy Male Mid Essex Casuals 04:24:16
23 34 Verne Barltrop Male 100 Marathon Club 04:24:19
24 40 Peter Maddison Male Crowborough Runners 04:24:20
25 19 Kim Freeman Female   04:27:49
26 2 Stuart Mellows Male WDAC 04:27:50
27 42 Duncan Anderson Male Bracknell Forest Runners 04:30:29
28 54 Daniel Smith Male Halstead RRC 04:38:07
29 20 Gin Craig Female Sudbury Joggers 04:42:33
30 10 Steve Morris Male Royston Runners 04:43:03
31 41 frances cooke Female 100 marathon club 04:47:17
32 55 Richard Weeks Male   04:47:43
33 25 Bob Parmenter Male 100 Marathon Club 04:49:31
34 51 Richard Townsend Male Saltwell Harriers 04:52:55
35 4 Sally Denwood Female   04:52:59
36 44 Sally Silver Female Canterbury Harriers 04:59:07
37 52 Steve Harvey Male   05:07:42
38 6 Emily Adams Female   05:09:53
39 7 Paul Adams Male   05:09:53
40 49 David Clare Male 100 Marathon Club 05:17:59
41 14 Jonathan Hyde Male   05:30:12
42 48 CAROLYN THOMSON EASTER Female TRA 05:30:52
43 56 Hazel Kurz Female 100Marathon Club 05:40:54
44 45 John Kew Male Bristol And District 05:49:03
45 5 Fran Thorne Female   05:59:23
46 35 Ric Falco Male   06:33:45
47 37 Des Connors Male   07:04:56
48 18 Dean Woodcock-davis Male   4:12:078
49 3 gemma colling Female   DNF
50 9 Benjamin Ficken Male Great Bentley Running Club DNF
51 22 Susan Foot Female North Herts RRC DNS
52 24 Cynthia Neldner Female RRC DNS
53 27 Chris Witmore Male Bungay Black Dog RC DNS
54 28 martin mead Male   DNS
55 30 Tracey Ranson Female Springfield Striders RC DNS
56 50 Tom Fairbrother Male Woodbridge Shufflers RC DNS

Still Making Progress With The Running

By the end of March I’d managed to shake off the injury I had been carrying for almost a year. The running was beginning to improve again, the distances getting longer and the pace slowly improving. One thing I have started doing the last few weeks is actually attending Park Runs. I registered about 2 years ago but had never been until 4 weeks ago! They are clearly a great training aid for a bit of speed because I ran a new PB of 20m 51s a couple of weeks back.

Out of nowhere the other week I pulled/tore a muscle along the front of my shin which made walking painful. I have no idea how it happened or why. went to bed fine and woke up in pain. So that put an end to running the Ashdon 10k. It healed up pretty quickly and I was back to the running with no problems a week later running the Birchanger 10k. That was a really tough run! some large hills on a 2 lap course meant my time on the face of it was quite slow at 46m 13s. but a flatter course would easily take 3 or 4 minutes off that time. That means my target of a sub 40 minute 10k is still some way off.

A bit of a last minute impulsive entry I have entered the Flitch Way Marathon. As it is local and I’m looking to increase my training mileage I’m just treating it as a training run. I am quite likely to enter the 12hr Enduro at Wimbledon in 4 weeks so this will be the start of the increase in distance that I need.

Here’s hoping I can now stay injury free!

My Running Plans As I Enter My 40th Year

So I just finished work at 01.15a.m. on Sunday June 15th, my 39th Birthday.  The last couple of years of running have seen improvements I wasn’t sure that I was still capable of. The willpower and discipline has been up and down and the results have been an equal rollercoaster. But, from where I started I have come along way. Initially running only a couple of miles at a time, eventually building to 10k. The time for that 10k then slowly dropping from 1 hour 5 minutes to 41 minutes 47 seconds over a 2 year period and the distance building up to marathon distance. Then I started to read and think about ultra running, went to Scotland and ran 35 miles and entered Challenge Running’s Stort 30 ultra.

I have recently been back to Scotland and covered the 35 mile run again. So, to what and where is my 40th year going to lead in respect to my running?

I generally do lots of treadmill speedwork over winter and try and aim for some spring PB’s. That is what happened this year setting new 10k, half marathon and marathon PB’s. As the year progresses I Like to do a mix of 10k’s and some long distance races and more recently looking at doing ultras. I have a loose plan mapped out for the rest of this year which is mainly concentrating on doing ultras. I have now signed up for the Saffron Trail ultra http://www.challenge-running.co.uk/saffron-trail/ a run from Southend on the Essex coast to Saffron Walden, approximately 70 miles. I have been out training over various sections of the route, the last two legs are my local home area so I run these parts quite regular already.

crocus (2)

 

Wanting to do more ultras some carry conditions that you need to have run a specified distance before entering. I need to complete the Saffron Trail before being able to move on to other challenges. My drawn out plan that fits time off, work and family commitments  is July 12th Saffron Trail – 70 miles,  16th August Stour Valley Path – 62 miles (2 UTMB points), September 27th Cotswold Way – 102 miles (4 UTMB points) and the Stort 30 on October 26th. When I gain the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc points this will qualify me to run the CCC  http://www.ultratrailmb.com/page/21/CCC%C2%AE.html next year. To run the UTMB you need to have gained 7 points from no more than 3 races so I won’t be able to qualify this year.

The CCC route    http://www.nexxtep.fr/UTMB/FR/Reperages/CCC/

So the year ahead is looking exciting and most definitely challenging. I just need to continue with long steady miles, including the odd 10k and club night for a bit of speed. And to try as best as possible to stay injury free. I have no idea how this will pan out as time goes on, I don’t know if I can get through 70 miles let alone 102 miles. What I do know is I will never find out thinking and fearing what may be sitting at home in a chair. I need to get out there and do it.

 

Feel the fear and do it anyway!!

Hatfield Broad Oak 10k

big o

 

 

I had been looking forward to the Hatfield Broad Oak 10k for weeks. I hadn’t run this course before but was told by club members that it was all road and had potential for a PB. After my last PB effort a few weeks back this had been my next aim and attempt at getting close to it again. From the outset of the day travelling over the weather was perfect with a clear blue sky, sunshine and a light breeze in the air. I met up with my friend who lives in the village, he was also taking part and was his first organised 10k that he had signed up for.

 The Hatfield Broad Oak 10k were the winners of the BARR (British Association of Road Races) award in 2012, which shows what a well organised and fantastic event this is. The event was also a sell out with 1500 entrants taking part some coming from as far afield as New Zealand and Barbados! This will be a definite in my race calendar for next year.
 The race was due to start at 11 am so about 10.30 am we changed and headed down to the start area. Having a walk around i managed to catch up with quite a few runners from the Saffron Striders. After talking with the chairman Nigel Coates he didn’t think the club had much chance of ending up in the prizes such was the high standard of the entrants. That was saying a lot as we have a number of runners who can run sub 40 minutes and a few who regularly run around the 35 minute mark! We were soon at the start time and the race was started by the British hockey team player Chloe Rodgers who won bronze at last years Olympics.
 The course winds its way around country roads that are closed to traffic. There are some hills throughout the course but none that i would say really kill the legs, mainly gentle inclines over a few hundred yards. The weather on the day ended up being really hot and i think this is what slowed me down a little. Had it have been slightly cooler i think i may have gotten closer to my PB. I resisted the urge to take on a drink in a bid to save a few seconds. Although i sometimes feel like taking on a drink over 10k or lower i have never bothered, you should really be plenty hydrated enough before the start for this distance. Due to the heat i felt a little slow through the middle section and didn’t want to push too hard and come to a grinding halt. I settled into a good and comfortable pace and waited until i saw the 8k marker and then began to pick up the pace again. I managed to finish quite strongly but left my sprint a bit late and didn’t pass anyone. Although i didn’t get any better than 43.27 set a few weeks back i did manage 44.10 which is still a great run and is my second fastest time.
hbo
Once the race was over i waited around near the finish for my friend. We then went and handed in our chips and collected our t-shirts. Over the past year i have had some lower left leg problems and have booked in for a sports massage with the sports injury clinic. They were at the 10k giving out free massages so thought it would be a good idea to take advantage. After going over my left calf muscle she found a point that was quite painful and set to work on pressing and massaging the area. If anyone thinks sports massages are nice and relaxing…think again! After having a conversation she said that i have quite large calves and thinks i may have compartment syndrome. This is where the muscle is too large for the sheath of skin it sits inside of and can cause inflammation and soreness. So apart from the regular stretching i do it will be a good idea from now on to get regular massages  as finances allow.
 I highly recommend this race to everyone! you should look it up and if time and cost permit seriously think about travelling over and taking part. You get to run all on road in a pretty village. The roads are closed to traffic. The pub does an amazing hog roast out on the street and there is also a village fete and flower show to coincide with the 10k. They have a 1 mile race for children under 15 as well. All in all one of the best 10k races i have entered over the past year.
Happy running, Baz.

What A Difference A Week Makes!

run1

 

 

I’ve had some niggly injuries recently and think i have managed to shake of the worst. I had been working on getting the miles in again and also trying to find a bit of speed. Last Bank Holiday Monday (6th May) i had Ashdon 10k in North Essex. I had been for warned by club members that this was a hilly course…an understatement if ever i heard one! The route felt like one permanent hill, my legs were struggling and it was a real grind. If you can imagine the start was on a street about 100 feet lower than the finish point higher up on a hill. So from the start you were slowly but surely making your way around a loop finishing at a higher point. The time for Ashdon came in at 47 minutes 46 seconds, which seems slow against my previous times but for the route wasn’t all that bad! I felt disappointed at the time as i felt sluggish and slow and not particularly fit, in hindsight it was a good run. I didn’t stop at all even though my legs quite often were telling me to. Also the course was a good tester of mental strength as well as putting some good miles in the legs.

During the week i had a six mile run and a 5 mile run much closer to my average times i achieve. My lower legs have still been aching quite a lot and i really need to book in for a sports massage to get some of the slight tightness out and help them feel more relaxed. The diet hasn’t been completely strict, i have been eating all the good stuff as usual but with plenty of the  junk added along the way. It hasn’t affected my weight but i do think it may add to my sluggish race feeling. This last week i have been making a bit more effort on that front and have started drinking beetroot juice again which i feel helps even if it is a placebo effect. Heading into Sunday just gone i was feeling quite good. The Clapham Common 10k in South London which i took part in yesterday (12th May) is fairly flat. It is a mix of tarmac paths and grass tracks and only has a very slight elevation rise. I went into this in two minds, one knowing i had run a slow time last week but also that it was flat and i could get a good time if i could summon up the effort. A perfect day for running with it being dry, warm and breezy i got of to a good start and was almost unsure as to how i should pace myself. I decided to try and warm into it for the first couple of miles, it was a two lap course so as soon as the first lap was completed i began to push harder and found a good rhythm. I tried to catch someone that had been about 30 yards ahead of me for the whole race but i just couldn’t get them. It was a good way of sticking with a high tempo pace though and i was rewarded with a time of 44 minutes and 49 seconds which is my second fastest time finishing in 37th of 311 runners. It was really pleasing to have such a good run and i have more races soon as well. Henham 10k in North Essex on Sunday 19th May and then Hatfield Broad Oak 10k Essex on the next May Bank Holiday 27th which i am told is a PB potential course. So all being well that will be the race i will try and improve on 43 minutes 27 seconds.

 

run2

 

Hope you’re having some great runs in the warmer weather, Baz.

Halloween Hell Run Home!!

I rely on the train to get too and from work. We only have the one household car so on the odd occasion where i finish later than the last train leaves i’ll borrow the car. Unfortunately this particular evening being Halloween the kids were going to a Halloween event which meant i was unable to have the car for work. On a couple of previous occasions i have cycled home out of desperation but having a heavy work bag work clothes and shoes, basically the wrong kit for the job!, it was bit of a slog. Then the thing happened, the thought went through my mind, i can cycle the 10 miles home in an hour, may be i could run it! I convinced myself it was a good idea, i had a day off the next day, yeah! i’ll do it!

The weather was forecast reasonably mild but rain was also forecast for the early hours of the morning. I took a gamble that i would just about be in front of the rain and could make it home without getting too wet. A couple of firsts as well on this run. First run at night and a first run wearing a backpack. The pack i used was one i’ve had 18 years from snowboarding and is a DaKine helipack, slimline, 10 litre and capable of holding a hydration pack. There was bit of a cock up at work and instead of finishing at about 00.50 when there was only a slight drizzle in the air, i finished at 01.40am and the heavens had opened!! By time i had got changed into my running gear i was starting to wonder if it was a good idea, may be i should grovel to the company for a taxi home! No!, i was committed and it was time to get moving.

Bishops Stortford is a market town on the Hertfordshire border so is well lit so no need for the headtorch at this point. Heading out of town i passed by the Cock pub c1590’s. No sign of any headless apparitions, also no sign of any legless ghouls either! they had either been locked in or had been long since kicked out! Making my way along the London road passing by the Roman road into the old Roman part of town. Apart from the pad of my own feet on the wet pavement and the sound of hammering rain there was no sound of hobnail shoes of marching legions tonight! The water was rising in the streets and there were some large flooded road areas. Into the half mile poorly lit section between Bishops Stortford and the next village of Stansted Mountfitchet. Over the railway bridge passed the Old Bell Inn and on Into the village which again is a well lit area, still no ghostly sightings! Heading out of the village the next 3 miles has no lighting and had to use the headtorch to help light the way. Still the water was rising and covering the pavement in a lot of places and it was easier to run in the road for the most part. By this point i was absolutely soaked but pretty warm and was having to launch through ankle deep ponds of water as the roads were covered.

Heading on towards the villages of Ugley and then Quendon i was now out into the “sticks” of North Essex which consists of open fields and wooded areas. I think even the dumbest of wildlife had the good sense to be taking shelter for the night and wasn’t going to be bothering me. If anything they were probably having a good laugh at me being the dumbest of them all!! Passed Dick’s wood were a homeless fella lived for 30 years or more of his life and only passed away a few years ago but even his ghost didn’t fancy venturing into the horrendous nights weather to try and scare the wits out of me. On reaching Quendon i was effectively on the home stretch with 3 more miles to run. My soggy feet squelching away, breathing into the dark night air, soaked to the skin, i was almost there! I rounded a couple more bends, up a small hill, along a cut through and finally at my front door.

No ghosts, ghouls or apparitions on the run home. The scariest sight of the night was seeing myself in the mirror, drowned rat is an understatement!! I’m the first to admit absolutely hating the rain, cold and snow i can handle but i hate the rain and i chose the wettest night of the year to run home. I set off at 01.55am and made the 10 mile trip home by 03.05am, 1 hour 10 minutes and 59 seconds. Not bad for an absolutely hellish Halloween run home.