Friday, 26 February 2016


Anyone who is familiar with my blog will know that I enjoy reading about running and athletics nearly as much as actually doing it and frequently mention in my blog posts the book that I have been reading.

Unfortunately I have not had the time recently for very much reading.  However, I have been following closely Rob Hadgraft's blog Diary of a clapped-out Runner

Rob has written a number of books about runners of the past and is currently researching material to write a book about Sydney Wooderson.

As part of his research he is visiting (by way of a personal challenge to celebrate his 60th birthday) and running at 60 of the places where Sydney Wooderson raced during his career.

The blog, recording the progress of the challenge gives an interesting insight into the race venues used in the past. and is well worth a follow,

Here's looking forward to the publication of the book.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Royal Signals NECAA Road Relay Championships

Saturday saw me making my second outing of the year.  This time it was the 'Signals' relays.  I ran  for the Over 50's team and this consisted of 4 x 2.2 mile legs (2 laps of Hetton Lyons park).  There were 21 over 50's teams and the race was ran in conjunction with the women's race, giving a total of 88 teams all together.

I was on 4th leg, so Paddy got us off to a steady start with 14.09 for the first leg.  Bringing us back in 25th place overall. Eric ran 2nd leg moving us up two places with his leg timed at 14.50.  Up next was Liam with 14.44 and a further two places gained.

I knew that this sort of distance was going to be a shock to the system and so it proved as I managed 14.56 for the last leg.  Moving us up to 20th position overall and 9th Over 50 team.

Blaydon also fielded a Senior team who finished 18th in their race.

It has been a number of years since Blaydon have turned any teams out for the 'Signals' so it was good to be fielding two teams and from a personal view point, its another small step towards getting back.

Full results can be found here along with some video footage of the Senior Race.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A race at last!

My first race since July.

It may not have been the build up I would have wished for, with the hamstring niggles.

It may not have set the world alight.

But it felt great to at long last get a race under the belt.

Yesterday saw Wallsend Burn host the North East Masters cross country championships on a 3 lap course with two steep hills on each lap covering around 7.5 km.  I started off easily, with the aim to just get around.  The hills were steep and slippery but I managed to keep a fairly steady pace throughout and picked up about 10 places as the race progressed.  Finishing in 75th place in 39.39.  As I said earlier hardly a result to set the world alight but it feels great to be racing again.

Next race up in two weeks time and the Signals Relays

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Getting ready for the start...............

.................... and we're up and running

It's a while since I have been through this but I naturally fall into the old familiar routine of preparation.  This routine it's self acting as a cue to trigger dormant emotional memories.

There is a shiver of excitement, at once enjoyable and a little scary.  The tension increases and the heart rate rises, as I concentrate on the task in hand and remind myself  of my belief in my ability to succeed.  After all it's hardly the first time I have successfully competed.

As start time approaches I maintain emotional control and focus on what's about to happen.

Then We're off..........................................

49 minutes later and my online entry for the Blaydon Race is accepted.  Sometimes the competition just to enter a race is just as fierce as the actual race and with 1192 people ahead of me in the queue at seven o clock as the entries open, the 49 minutes is also longer than it will take to run the race.