2013 Race Schedule (T.B.C)

In 2013, as part of my 2013in2013, (doing 2013k of exercise in 2013 to raise at least £2013) I’m aiming to complete a race a month of at least 10k. So far I’ve worked out a list of 12 races, most of which are 10k, two are 1/2 Marathons and one is an 11k Trail-ish run. There’s a chance that one of the 10k runs will be changed for a marathon, but that depends on if I find the right one to do.

I don’t want to be running a marathon with tens of thousands of people, but don’t want to be running with just elite runners either. Also, I want a medal and a t-shirt. There’s a Yorkshireman Marathon in September, but no medal.

I like medals.

(M) = Medal

(T) = T-Shirt

(Z) = 10 Points. Haha, like in Scrabble and Words with Friends! Get it? No? Nevermind.

JAN 27thMeltham 10k
Near Huddersfield, so not too far away. Finishers receive a ‘memento.’

FEB 10thMad Dog 10k (M)(T)
Subtitled: Judgement Day. Twice voted the best 10k in the country. (By Runners World runners.) It’s in Southport.

MAR 10thFlorette Fradley 10k (M)
A two lap course in Lichfield, Staffordshire, sponsored by the Florette Salad people.

APR 7th – Lincoln 10k (M)(T)
Funnily enough, it’s in Lincoln. Medals from 2012 look very cool, so going for one of those bad boys.

MAY 12thRun For All Leeds 1/2 Marathon (M)(T)
My 2nd ever Half Marathon, and a lot closer to home!

JUN 16th –  Alexander the Great Run  (M)
A 10K Run near Stanwick Lakes in Northamptonshire

JUL 14thRun For All Leeds 10k (M)(T)
Back to Leeds, this time for a nice little 10k.

AUG 31stBlackpool Illuminations 10k (M)
This looks like a fun 10k, along the coast of Blackpool.

SEP 29th – Great Yorkshire Run 10k (M)(T)
Sheffield. We did this one this year, so want to go back and get a decent PB. Nice and flat til the end!

OCT  – Great Edinburgh Run 10k (M)(T)
Another ‘Great Run’, not done this one before though. Och aye!

NOV 16thShakespeare Raceway 10k (M)
No link to Nov run yet, so linked to March run. ‘Flattest 10k you’ll ever run.’

DEC 1stTrack Shack Orlando 1/2 Marathon (M)(T)
Links to this years event. Hopefully HOPEFULLY me and Sarah are off back to Florida at the end of November, so can squeeze this one in quite nicely!

There you have it!

Leeds Abbey Dash 10k – 18/11/12

In Which I Run A Good Race

My alarm went off at 0700 on Sunday morning. Never a good start. I pressed snooze, and so it then went off again at 0715. I switched it off and then checked Facebook. The other people running the race with me had all put status’s that they were out of bed. (The other people as in Rob, Nigel and Martyn, not the other people as in 9’000 entered. Not friends with them all on Facebook.)

I got up and dressed and then packed my bag for the day. Martyns dad was bringing Martyn and Rob to my house, and Nigel had arranged to meet us here too. Around about 0800 I was eating porridge and could hear voices outside so went out to meet them, and bloody hell was it cold! There was ice on the ground.

We all piled into my house and I made everyone a cup of tea. (I’m nice like that.) Before too long we’d woken everyone up so decided to set off to Leeds.

Car Journey: Uneventful.

After parking in a car park in Leeds we made our way down to the start line with the thousands of other runners. The queue for the toilets was about 200 people long so we did the intelligent thing and went into Wetherspoons to use their facilities. No queue at all. We then made our way back to the start and had a picture taken:

Nigel, Martyn, Me, Rob

Before too long the countdown had begun and then finished and we were off, crossing the start line to ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. All four of us stayed together as a group, chatting away nicely and setting a steady pace until about the 3K marker. After that Nigel was keeping pace with me until about 4K and then I lost sight of him until the turnaround at 5K, when we waved at each other as I headed back and he neared the turn around. The furthest I’ve ever managed running without talking a walk break is 4 1/2K which meant I was chuffed to reach 5K non-stop!

The first 5K (and I suppose, the second 5K, what with it being a race that’s there and back…) was along the streets of Leeds until you got out to Kirkstall Abbey, which is where the turn around point and water station was. Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian abbey in Britain.  Set in wonderful parkland along the banks of the River Aire, Kirkstall Abbey boast historic architecture amid a haven of wildlife and greenery. (Just copied and pasted that from their website.)

After the turn around, it got warm. The sun seemed as though it was at eye level above the buildings of Leeds, and combined with the sweat pouring from me, I was very hot. I didn’t stop at the water station because I had a bottle with me, but haven’t practiced running and drinking at the same time. I looked at my watch and figured I’d been running about 35mins non-stop. Before long I reached the 6K marker, still no walking, then the 7K.

As I approached the 8K I needed to walk to take a proper drink as my head was getting dizzy. I pushed on further, and managed to pass the 9K marker, but then thought about how embarrassing it’d be to pass out so walked, and had a drink. I looked back at my watch and figured I had about 6 minutes to finish the last kilometre and to finish under an hour. I pushed it.

Round about the last 200m my watch ticked into the next minute, the minute that I knew signalled an hour, so I sped up as best I could and finished the race strong and with a sprint. I was knackered. I went onto sports tracker on my phone and it read:


Even allowing for starting it before the start line and ending it after the finish, I didn’t think it’d take off much more than 30seconds. Still, it was a PB.

My phone beeped as a message came through.

It was from the Abbey Dash people, whos tracking chip I was wearing on my shoe.

Official chip time: 59:58.

I actually cheered! My first ever sub hour run. Absolutely chuffed. I looked back over the crowd and managed to spot Nigel who got his own PB of 01:02:41. Not too long later, Martyn and Rob finish the run. Rob finished his first ever official 10k (weighing 19stone, running in football trainers, and after a night of 9 pints and a curry) in a time of 01:05:46. Martyn had trouble with his legs on the way round the run so wasn’t at 100%, he finished a second behind Rob.

We made our way up towards the exit of the run to get our finishers T-Shirts, but as it turns out they didn’t bring enough for everyone so none of us got one. We were told to email the organisers who would send them out to us, but we were gutted not to be able to wear them there and then.

Looking at the stats on my tracker, I was amazed. Apart from the last part of the run, where I walked for a bit to have a drink, each mile was quicker than the last. I improved my pace all the way to the last mile!


After the run we went to Wetherspoons in Leeds train station to meet a group of people who were coming along to York for my stag do that afternoon and night. I don’t remember everything that happened, but I came home Monday with both my eyebrows and a hangover, so it was all good. We only got barred from one pub too. Brilliant weekend.

Next race is Bradford 10k on 2nd December.


Thanks for reminding me Nige, though I don’t know how I forgot this!

Just before we split up we were chatting away happily when we looked up. There was a heavy set bloke plodding along a little way in front of usand you couldn’t help but notice his outfit. Not for the fact that he was wearing just lycra shorts without any running shorts over the top, but for the fact that his lycra shorts had slipped down and were now halfway down his arse.

Seriously, a few more steps and they’d be down completely. He hitched them up, and carried on. A few seconds later, they were  down again. He might’ve been the reason I got some speed up…

They say that race day isn’t a day to try out new running shoes. They should also add that it’s not the day to forget to tie your shorts.


In which I talk about stalking tweeting celebrities.

Yesterday I was busy at work. Busy in such a way, that I was reading the Daily Mail. (I’d already been busy checking Facebook and Twitter, looking for a holiday and playing Bejeweled Blitz.)

I pretty much read the paper from start to finish (apart from sports. Even though I like running, the only sport I really watch is WWE. Yes, I know it’s fake.)

Anyway, each day in the Daily Mail they have an anagram sent in by a reader. Todays was by a bloke called Tony. (Not Ironman Tony)

Bet it took him ages!

I thought nothing more of it until I was busy at work, on Twitter again. The newest tweet on my Twitter feed was by Ricky Gervais. ‘Hang about!’ Said a voice in my head. ‘Someone mentioned something of his in the paper!’ ‘Yes they did!’ Said the other voice in my head. (Bit crowded in there.) ‘You should take a picture and send it to him!” (Not sure which voice that was. Might’ve been a new one.) I took a picture of it (the one up there ^) and sent it in a tweet to Ricky Gervais. Now the thing about Ricky Gervais is that on Twitter he has just under 3.5 MILLION followers. Even if only 10% of them send him a message, that’s still… a…….. lot of messages… so getting a reply is impossible.

NEARLY impossible…


I was chuffed! I got busy at work telling Facebook and Twitter and everything. I messaged Sarah and told her and she replied ‘I bet you’re chuffed!’ And she was right, because I was! As the day went on, I started thinking more and more about Twitter and things. For me, getting a Tweet is like when people used to go Autograph hunting but without having to wait out in the rain, or having to go out at all really. They’re both quite similar, you have to have good timing to get a reply.

So far on Twitter I’ve had replies from quite a few famous people. Click on their name if you don’t know who they are, links open in a new window:

Dave Gorman (sending him something that was in the Daily Mail as it happens!)

Danny Wallace (he sent ‘haha!’ to a joke I sent once, and another time ended his reply with a kiss. Bit odd, that’n…)

Martin Roberts from Homes Under the Hammer (He actually hijacked a Tweet I’d sent to Dave Gorman about a song on Homes Under the Hammer)

Neil Gaiman (Quite a few from him, once asked him a question about a characters name in Neverwhere because I was too lazy to get out of bed and look in the actual book.)

Mick Foley (The Wrestler, sent me an actual message on Twitter)

William Regal (The Wrestler, replied with ‘No.’)

Lucy Jo Hudson (We were talking at home about when Wild At Heart will be back on, so I tweeted her and she told me.)

Brian Baumgartner (From the US version of The Office. Not the space jump bloke. Look at that! Ricky Gervais said the space jump quote, the bloke that did the space jump shares his surname with an actor in the US Office, written (originally) and produced by Ricky Gervais! How odd!)

And…. I think that’s all!

Thinking about how chuffed I was, I started thinking about the person who wrote the anagram that caused me to get a reply from Ricky Gervais, and I was thinking that he’d be chuffed to learn that his anagram had been seen by the person who (whom?) it was about. Unfortunately, I’d already thrown away the Newspaper and covered it in left over food. (Not a ritual, just happened that way.) Ah well, I thought, nevermind. But wait! I took a picture! And it has his name on it!

Back on the computer, I found an email address for the Daily Mail and explained about taking a picture and tweeting it to Ricky Gervais, and asked if they could forward it on for me.

Today, I got this email:

Hi Marc,

As you can see, the Daily Mail forwarded your email to me.

Wow, thanks for sending my anagram to Ricky! I do feel a bit guilty about calling him 'chronically irritating' but he seems to have taken it all in good part! His original tweet was, in my opinion, one of the most powerful comments I'veever seen and I'm pleased that he has such a huge following on the Twitter community to deliver his message to. As he says, 'Changing the world one person at a time.' That's what it's all about.

Thanks for taking the trouble to write to the Mail and I do indeed appreciate knowing that Ricky Gervais himself has 
seen my anagram.



All in all, not a bad couple of days.

Running the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k on Sunday, followed by my very own Stag Do in York. Might be a few days before I managed to write a coherent race recap… Good Luck to everyone running, and good luck to everyone coming on my Stag Do!

In other news, myself and Sarah had been expecting for a while, and last week he finally arrived. His name is Indy (Short for Indiana, as in Jones)


He’s a Bengal crossed with a British Short Hair. He makes a ‘coo-ing’ noise and likes to sleep. 12 Weeks old.

Gunpowder Plod 5k 05/11/12

In Which I Get Hungry, Thirsty, and Very Very Cold

I’d been looking forward to this run for quite a few weeks, my first night time run with pyrotechnics and fireworks, followed by a hog roast and cold beer. Who wouldn’t be looking forward to it?! (Apart from someone who doesn’t like fireworks. Or a teetotaler. Or a vegetarian  I suppose…)

Point is, I was excited.

I met Nigel (Sarah’s Uncle) in Leeds train station. I mean I met up with him in Leeds train station. Obviously I’ve met him before I met him in the train station. It’d be quite a coincidence if I’ve met him then for the first time! As he turned up, so did the train.

We embarked (don’t really get the chance to use ’embarked’ much in a sentence, so I take every chance I can,) and looked for seats. The carriage we had got on had a reserved ticket stuck on the back of each seat so all the passengers that embarked before us passed them by. I did the clever thing and looked at which tickets the seats were reserved from and to. The two right next to where we embarked were reserved from York to Newcastle, and as we were getting off in York, we sat down. (If you embarked in York and went to Newcastle on Bonfire Night, and thought you’re seats were warm, you’re welcome.)

Got to York station and Nigel went to the toilet. I had a bit of Powerade while I waited. We then walked the mile or so to York racecourse, where the run was taking place. Toilet stop again. We showed our tickets and then went and found the registration tent where we  found out we had to fill out a form first. We found the forms, then went back to the registration tent where we were told we had to go look at a board to find out our numbers before registering. We went and found our race numbers then went back to the registration tent and registered, where we were given a very nice technical T-Shirt and our numbers. Also, we got a sparkler each.


Nigel then went to the toilet again.

Working our way past all the food stalls selling chilli and hog roasts and things, we found a quiet bit of the field and got changed into our running gear. (Both had a base layer on so it wasn’t like we were flashing anyone. Anyway, if they don’t want people getting changed in the open they should supply a changing tent.)

We walked back to the toilets (past the changing tent) and both used them this time.

After that we made our way to the stage where the runners were supposed to gather. There were about 300 people there (out of 1500) and the run was 10 minutes away from starting. They made an announcement saying that people got in late to the registration and so it was going to be delayed a bit.

The ‘delayed a bit’ eventually turned in to 50 minutes. In the November air of England. Where the thermometer (if I had one with me) would have read about one degree Celsius. (Nigel went to the toilet again.) We waited so long that the pre race warm up became a pre-pre-pre race warm up, followed by a pre-pre race warm up, followed by the pre-race warm up, followed by walking about ten minutes across the race course to the start of the run, where we stood waiting for the race to begin, in the cold, where our warm ups cooled down.

Eventually, finally, the race began with a couple of fireworks being set off.

The race was run on a pathway around the circumference of the race course, and the path was about six foot wide with muddy grass on either side. 1500 people were jockeying for a better position. (Jockeying! whilst running round a horse race course! hahahaha!)

It was really slow to start with due to it being dark and so many people. A few of the more forward thinking runners brought torches and head lamps, but not us. We were told before the race started that the route would be one
and a half times around the track. A few of the sections of the track were marked out with little flames on each side and every so often there was a small burst of flame. Not quite the spectacular pyrotechnics we were promised. I’d’ve done better lighting my sparkler!

I lost sight of Nigel before too long due to the closeness of the other runners, and the dark, so didn’t talk much going round. Before too long my legs began to hurt due to being stood around in freezing conditions before we started, and after about 3k I walked for about ten seconds. When I set off again, Nigel turned up behind me and told me that he’d had to nip off the side of the track to go to the toilet again.

We ran the rest of the race together and finished at a faster pace. My official time was 33:15. Not my quickest ever 5k, but still happy with the time.

After we’d finished we made our way to the finishers tent (another queue) where we then collected our finishers medal, plus a bottle of water and a Snickers. We then went to the toilet.

I was looking forward to the beer tent and food stalls but there was a slight problem. Thousands and thousands of spectators were there before us. Queues had hundreds of people, all wanting beer and hogroast. We both agreed we’d had enough of delays and queues so we decided to go to the bar in the train station. We walked back, but it was closed, so we bought a few beers from the shop, embarked our train, and drank them on the journey home.

The day after the run I got an email from the race organisers saying that due to all the delays they would be donating £5000 to a local charity, and offering a 50% discount on any one event for next year. Which is nice of them!

Hope I get to embark another train.