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Saturday, January 16, 2016

parkrun clubs

After all the endurance events from last year just concentrating on the parkrun 5km's doing new events and revisiting old events I had done along with some follow parkrun tourists on some of these. Ranging from a new one in my home town plus day trips to Scotland and Wales from the south coast of England.

I also maintened volunteering at the events and have now got my volunteer t-shirt from 25 volunteering events :-)

Plus some an unofficial target of 50 different events and I have set some new PB's on some of the courses.

My next parkrun target is the 250th parkrun.

Review from 2015 races

From the Ironman and Treble Marathon I did during the year there were a few things that need to be addressed.

I need to lose some weight as not helping with the endurance events I completed.

To review the course more, even if it is in a flat location double check there are no hills.

The weather conditions I prefer the warm weather such as at the ironman but not the wet and cold as in Dublin. So I need to do more of these cold runs, possibly with different kit options to help me.

As the distances and events had different nutrition I felt I coped with them well apart from on the Ironman run which I could not stomach any gels perhaps due to the amount of drink (salts and energy) on the bike as it was hot.

Pacing on the longer events when there is subsequent part to follow or the next day I need to improve on, single events my pacing is pretty good.

As part of my training I need to do other sessions such as weights and cross training such as cycling when doing running phase of training.

My logistics from driving to Netherlands and the Treble marathon were all great (99%) with only a minor item missing from each event. This included taking al the possible kit needed for the ironman and having multiple race kits packed for the Treble luckily including long sleeves and waterproof jacket.

The importance of recovery was placed particularly on the Treble where I had to physically recover as much as I could and also drive me to the next venue. This also includes adequate sleep in the build up plus as much sleep as I can get between the events, even a quick nap on the short flight to Dublin helped.

Lastly but not least the support I got from other runners and the spectators at these races were great and gave you encouragement when starting to struggle. This was the same from the middle of Ireland at Athlone Middle Distance Triathlon, Ironman Netherlands from the multi language of triathletes and supporters to the Treble marathons. Without these I would have not finished the Treble.

3 Marathons in 3 Days

To end last year's running season I did 3 Marathons in 3 days.

Day 1
It started at the Beachy Head Marathon, this is an off road marathon starting and finishing at Eastbourne. With the last last few miles alone the Seven Sisters. I have done this race 2 years ago so I knew what it was like. This year it was a dry race but windy. I finished the race a few minutes slower than the previous time I have done this race, possibly too quick pace for the rest of the running.

After the race I then drove over 4 hours to the next race in Bristol. I had a 30 minute stop at my home on the way to get rid of the first race kit and pick up the next two race kits and something to eat.

Day 2
The next day I did the inaugural Bristol to Bath marathon. It was a a cold start especially getting the park and ride bus to the start but there was a good atmosphere.

The first half was in Bristol and was quite nice as you ran under the suspension bridge from both directions which looked impressive and high on the cliff face either side of the river avon.
It then headed out in the countryside to Bath, then the fun of all the hills started. Everybody was saying it was tougher than expected from Pink Panther to Army Squad. Tried the race gels which were quite nice and refreshing lemon and lime flavour. I was walking any hill from this point in the countryside. When we got to Bath you did a look around the town and you could hear the finish line announcer from a couple of miles away. From here I started to pick up the pace and was overtaking a few runners.

I was glad to stop running at this point and hobbled to the baggage trucks and then to the changing tent which was on the scenic green of a Victorian crescent of houses. I then got the park and ride back to my car in Bristol. There I had some more food and drink and changed some clothes to travel to the next race.

I then headed to Bristol airport and took out the next set of kit and trainers. As I was flying to the next race I had a basic kit in my hand luggage in addition to my suitcase, just in case. As I had plenty of time I could get my dinner here due to the time I would get to my hotel plus I could watch the end of the rugby cup final.

When I landed in Dublin it was only a few minutes wait to get the coach in to the city and before I knew it we where there. Then it was just a 10 minute walk to my hotel, were a person had kindly got my race entry pack after agreement with the race organiser. I had booked a hotel within 1/2 mile of the start and finish plus a quieter area as I would need some sleep.

Day 3
I have done Dublin marathon a few times the last being a pacer, so I knew what to expect. However it was wet and cold I had the right kit with me so I was ok for the race. However I had forgotten a bin liner for the start, kindly an Irish runner gave me his spare as I was preparing for the race near the baggage area.

The course had changed a bit at the start and finish 2 miles but I knew the area, however when our wave started I was going with a faster pacer group than I should basing it on a a slow time for me single marathon and not on tired legs.
This was fine until 10 miles when the wet and cold was starting to get to me. By the time I got a few miles further to the half way point it had mentally broken me and if they offered to drive me back out of the wind and cold I would taken it. However at this point I started to talk to more of the runners who were at my pace that along with the crowd and the Craic got me round the last few miles. They also had a number of dj tents which the music motivated you.

At the end I crossed the finish line in my slowest ever marathon (including at Ironman) but I had completed the 3 marathon in 3 days (The Treble). However the time didn't matter I had done it and accomplished my goal of completing them!!

The walk/hobble back to baggage tent was slow and then I managed to put on some warm clothes before heading back to the hotel very slowly. After a shower at the hotel it would have been rude not to have some chips in a hot chilli sauce from a local chip shop and then a few well deserved Guinness.

Time to gear up for the 2016 challenge.