Brutal Mad Dash, The Annual Death By A Million Midges & The Black hound

“I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.”
-Meb Keflezighi, silver medalist, 2004 Olympic Marathon


290 days till the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

Also 7 days till the Doncaster 5k

11 days till ##### ######## race.

25 days till the Great Grimsby 10K

Why have I blocked out the middle race? Because there is a chance I could win. Past results over the last few years have shown no one or only 1 person capable of going faster on paper.  So at the moment its a secret.

Its been a while since I last blogged but Ive been busy, that is busy running.  I have found my running mojo and actually been putting some miles in.  Not old school mileage of 50mile plus weeks but that will come. The runs i have been doing have been mostly 10miles or so. This has put in a good base of endurance. The speed comes next before the important winter I need to prepare myself for next years Marathon attempt. #sub2:50orbust. Ive not being hitting the weight much recently till today but still using the gym for the treadmill speed sessions.  They are tough with only a tiny fan to cool you down.

So onto recent racing. With the return of mojo came the upcoming Damflask Relays.  With no parkrun opportunities I needed a race to prepare myself for what is one of the best events of the local running scene. The quality you get at The Damflask relays is immense so I didn’t want to go into it not knowing what shape I’m in so I needed a sharpener. A last minute chance came for me to do a race Ive considered before but never attempted. The Midsummer Mad Dash, a 5mile trail race in High Green, Sheffield. Id heard it was undulating but its not. Its bloody Brutal.  3 hard little climbs in the 1st mile of the 1st lap of 1 large 1 short.  You then climbed again before dropping down a long woody stretch before a flattish part and doing 2 of the 1st climbs and coming back home. I had faded in the summer heat but I learned a lot about where I am at the moment.  I wasn’t ready for the tough nature of the race. Mad Dash indeed. the picture below doesn’t show how tough it was.  Damflask I know wasn’t as tough as that.


A week later and a total opposite weather for the Damflask relays. I had had mixed performances on this course. In 2014 I shot around in the heat, 2015 i had gone a little slower, my downhill for once letting me down, 2016 I pushed too hard on the 3mile flat before dying on the uphill.  What would this year bring? I ran the 3.2miles from Worrall over the top to Low Bradfield.  The midges were not as apparent as other years but I kept feeling the odd one but there was no sign of the evil beggars. I was, like last year on leg 1. I had a plan of setting off fast for the uphill bit then relaxing to regain some energy then exploding to the dam wall for another relax and the attack on the hill. reach the brow and it was a fast downhill smash home.   The plan worked a treat, the faces on the people who passed me in the 1st period of relaxing when I shot past and increased the distance was comical.  They had thought they had took my racing scalp after only half a mile and they were mistaken.  I brought the B team home in 30th which considering the fastest 2 in each team of 4 traditionally go first and last legs and the quality of field is a great run. Only thing left was the huge climb up and over the hill to Oughtibridge and back home.


I was boycotting the Doncaster town centre 5k on the 12th July due to the massive increase over the past few years but the lure was too great. Its always a good night with another great quality field.  The last time I ran was 2014 with the start of the hamstring problems which would plague me for 2 years. I ran what is my current PB of 17:54 but was capable of so much more. The hamstring being the deciding factor.  This time I would be happy with under 18:30.  I may be capable of faster or even could be slower.  under 19min of pain and its over will be the motto for the night.   Its little steps like that will be the keystones of my hopeful improvement over the next year.

The Great Grimsby 10k will be my very last race in my 30s, my last blast as a v35 before I step up to the big pool of the Vet 40s.  I have to be careful I dont put way too much pressure on myself but also I want it to be a great time. last year I ran 38:56

3rd of August and It all changes.  With another decade comes more chance to prize.

I got a new GPS watch.  The Epson i received for testing at he beginning of 2016 had started to reset mid run which is not good for a runner who relies on stats so after falling over 5.5miles into a run, the Epson reset and id lost all the run up to there.  On returning home 6miles later I on the spur ordered a brand new spanking Garmin forerunner 235.  A fantastic watch so far.  The epson wasn’t helped by the puppy chewing the strap either.



one little problem I did encounter was a very unexpected attack of the old depression. Without a full on attack of the black dog all year and without any obvious triggers it was a shock to sink as low as I did for that week in the middle of June. This is something i will have to keep a very close watch on.  Depression without the trigger is a worrying development and one I don’t get again.   Forever fighting this hound of death.

On That I will say

Anyway, Bye For Now


“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”
— George S Patton


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