The Ealing Half Marathon has a fantastic reputation, being awarded the trophy of the best half in the UK for atmosphere. Living only a one and a half hour train journey away, I had to check it out! This was my second marathon in four weeks. Having achieved a personal best (PB) at the Richmond Running Festival, with 1:27:32, I was not hoping to gain another PB just a week later.
At the start line, I decided to start ahead of the sub 1:30 pacer, seeing if I could dip under 1:30 again. I was still unsure if last weeks result was a fluke or an accurate representation of my improved performance.
I am not going to be reviewing the iPhone 6 Plus in this post. No, Sir. There are plenty of in-depth reviews online detailing the pros and cons of Apple’s latest handsets. I simply wanted to share my own views on the iPhone 6 and initial thoughts.
So, I was not initially planning to purchase the iPhone 6 (but somewhere in the back of my mind knew I could not resist!). Being unable to get to an Apple store to personally view the phones, I pre-ordered online and reserved for in-store collection. I opted for the iPhone 6 plus; 64GB. As my iPhone 5 had 64GB of storage, which never reached capacity, decided this would be the best option.
I was slightly apprehensive about the first of four half marathons planned within the next 5 weeks. For the past 3 days I have been struggling with planter fasciitis affecting my left foot. This made me a tad nervous about this event, as it was not entirely healed and I did not want to sustain any further damage.
I arrived at Kew Gardens where the race began, just after 8am, ready for a 9am start. Just before arriving I realised that I had left my timing chip to attach to my shoe at home *slaps forehead*. Damn! I went over to the race information tent, where they kindly reissued me with a new race number with no fuss. I was asked my expected finish time, to which I replied “between 1:30 and 1:35”. With my foot not feeling 100%, this was a stretch! I was even more pleased to receive a new number “23” (replacing my current number, 636). My lowest race number, to-date!
This was my first experience of the Run to the Beat series of races, and left me with mixed feelings. Previously, this event was a half marathon in Greenwich Park, but has now shifted to Wembley in the form of a 10km road race.
I did not receive my race pack, which was disappointing and I had to arrive early to collect it on race day. It was actually not even posted to me, and I was “missed out by the system”, according to the organisers. Not a great start. The event is showcased as being outside Wembley stadium, and that is exactly what it is. Just outside the stadium, with the race village in a big car park. Hmmmm.
I put sub-40 as my finish time (my previous PB for a 10k being 41:30), so was expecting to run around this time, or if I could push myself and get a clear run, would have been happy with anything around 40-41 minutes. I was in the “pink” wave, and started pretty close to the start line.
The British 10K London does not have a great reputation, with current Runners World reviewers commonly rating this event with dire scores. Despite this, year on year, the race attracts approximately 20,000 runners. I ran the British 10K London run (hereafter referred to as the B10K) for the first time in 2013, and after a disappointing affair, agreed not to return.
Here we are in 2014, and for reasons I shall not bore you with, decided once again to run the B10K. I decided to run for Help for Heroes, the official charity of the event, which allowed me as a bonus to start in the “first wave”.
I first found out about the inaugural Hackney Half Marathon on Runners World around 7 weeks ago. Hackney seemed the most unlikely place to find a Half Marathon, but there was already a lot of hype surrounding this new event, so I decided to sign-up.
Up until the event, the team were very interactive, providing information on both Facebook and twitter. I received my race pack well in advance, which included a small race booklet and my race bib (with an attached chip on the revers side, instead of an IPICO shoe chip).
I absolutely love running events. Getting up early before the dusk of dawn, fuelling your self with optimal nutrition and making your way to the event. The Bupa London 10,000 is one of my all-time favourite events. It is organised by the same team as the London Marathon, staged in London with a fantastic spectator turn-out. Think of this event as the London Marathon, just over 10k!
I arrived in Green Park at ~8:30, well in advance of the 10:00 start. This is my 3rd year running this event, which normally attracts just over 10,000 runners. However this year, there were close to 12,000, perhaps due to it’s surge in popularity, as well as 10k being the most popular road race distance in recent times. This was well reflected in the park, which was busier than previous years.