Mad Dog ’18 Race Recap


In Which I Go Back AGAIN

Mad Dog. One of my first 10k races ever and the one that I always say means that my running year has started properly. (York marathon in October signalling that I can take it easy over the winter. As though I’ve been pounding the pavements all summer..!)

The main concern with this years Mad Dog (Sixth year in a row I’ve been there!) was getting there. (Floo powder?) For the five years previous I’ve been living in Yorkshire and so a little over an hour drive and you’re there. At the end of last Summer we moved up to just outside Edinburgh and so the commute to the race got a bit longer. Four hours to be exact. (Not too exact. Four and a bit hours. Four hours 15 minutes. And 17 seconds. Not counting stopping off.)

(Four hours 37 minutes and 32 seconds in total to be exact.)

(Roughly.)

There was also the matter of staying over to take into account as it was too much driving (For Hayley) to go there and back in the same day (lazy) so we decided to make a weekend of it. (In Southport. In Winter.)

I had a hotel booked (Ramada Plaza) with payment on arrival, which was £90 for room only so we decided to stay Friday and Saturday nights. A few days before race day however, I got an email from the (excellent) organisers of the Mad Dog 10k saying that you could get Bed and Breakfast for £90 a night and organise late check out if you mentioned Mad Dog but only at the hotel… Ramada Plaza!

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Straight on to the phone was I, and the nice lady at the other end changed my booking. Same price as before but now with late checkout and breakfast for us both? Magic!

I won’t bore you with the Friday and Saturday details because you’re here for the race recap and not a holiday recap. But we ate plenty, had a good wand-around, Hayley spilled my beer all down me on the Friday, and we played in loads of Amusements and won a baby Groot after spending a few quid(ditch).

Sunday Morning 

Getting up nice and early (nope, snoozed my alarm loads) we went down for breakfast. I took it easy and had bacon (x2) sausage (x2) hash brown (x2) and coffee (x2 and a bit.) We then walked the 15 minutes to the car park where the coaches were lined up shuttling runners and spectators to the start of the race. Only takes five minutes or so on the transfer buses and its free for everyone.

Every year there’s a movie/tv theme to the Mad Dog 10k with a canine connection. This year was Hairy Potter and The Half Bred Pup and as such there were plenty of Harry Potter costumes going on. We saw a few wizards, plenty of HP scarves, a woman dressed as a broomstick and, oddly, five blokes dressed as the Spice Girls. (It’s not Leviosah, it’s Levi-Zigga-ZiggAH.)

A nice touch and to save time at the end, you can get your t-shirt and goody bag before the run. (Medals at the end still.) It means that if people want to run in that years themed tshirt they can, and also reduces congestion at the end of the race. The goody bag is BRILLIANT. You can wait til the end though.

Time to line up so went and lined up. Must’ve got giddy with my predicted time because I was right at the front. The race was started by Jo Pavey (an ACTUAL Olympian) and after a countdown and some barking, we were off. The course is an out-loop-back kinda set up. The first and last 2.5k are on the same stretch of road with a 5k loop in the middle.

There’s plenty of bands/singers/entertainment going on and the middle loop is always well supported. You run alongside the coast for a lot of the run and even though the day had started off icy, it was very nice running weather.

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Now the thing is, starting too far forward means that there’s fast people around you. From the start. And because they are fast you feel you have to go fast too as otherwise they all overtake you. Which is why, after planning to start off around 8m15s a mile, I clocked my first mile at 7m15s. WAY too quick. I actually did the first two miles in 15 minutes which is probably where the (golden) stitch came from to slow me down.

Running towards the Pier and by the Elvis impersonator (think he lives under that Pier, he’s always there) I made myself slow down because I knew I couldn’t keep that pace for long without messing up the second half of the race. Still, first 5km done in bang on 24 minutes.

Water station coming up so allowed myself to walk through it to get some energy back before tackling the second half (blood prince) of the course. I was nowhere near the speed that I had before and that was fine by me. Sub 50 was ebbing away but figured I can still get under 51 minutes. Before I knew it I was back on the main road and then turning towards the finish line, keep going keep going annnnnnnddd…… finished. 50:41.

Chuffed.

So that’s that! Mad Dog 10k done for six years in a row now. Will I make it back for next years race? Always. (Especially seeing as though it’s called “Bark To The Future”!)

Oh wait! Before you go!

LOOK AT THE GOODY BAG!

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Backpack, Running hat, Racebelt (THAT HAS A FLASHING LIGHT) Water Bottle, Fridge Magnet Picture Frame, Snood, Fruit, Energy Drinks, Number Clips, loads of snacks PLUS the Medal and TShirt! (The bar just above the bag is a doggy treat bar. I’ve seen a few people on facebook that didn’t realise it wasn’t an energy bar til too late… Mongrels!)

*flies off on his broomstick for butterbeer*

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Mad Dog 10k Recap 9th February 2014


In Which I’m Almost Blown Away!

Goals For The Race:

  1. Get A PB
  2. Run the whole course, no walking
  3. Beat Nigel

Sunday morning, tried to eat some porridge but couldn’t eat much because I don’t really like porridge, especially in the morning. Had about half.

Still no idea how to pose for a decent picture. I'm 31 for goodness sake!

Still no idea how to pose for a decent picture. I’m 31 for goodness sake!

Got picked up by Ironman Tony and future Ironman Nigel, and we then collected Ironman Rob and set out for Southport on the coast, just under two hours away.

Hardly any traffic or roadworks or dead zebras so got there at the expected time. We all got out of the car and WHOOOOSSSHHHH!!!! Windy as a Windy day in Windy town on New Years Windy Eve! Also, it was freezing!

I’d packed a pair of long shorts for after the run, so I didn’t make the car smell of sweat too much, but decided to put the long shorts over the shorts I was already wearing because it was FREEZING.

Great Train Robbers: Me, Nigel, Rob, Tony.

Great Train Robbers: Me, Nigel, Rob, Tony.

We boarded the free bus to the race, found our way to the start (after a toilet break) and before long we were off. Ironmen Tony & Rob were well away from the start, where as myself an Nigel ran together. No one set off too quick however, due to the (what turned out to be) 30mph winds coming straight at us.

The run route was flat the whole way, but the first 5k honestly felt like we were running uphill. Ran passed a drumming/samba band and then passed a mentalist who was singing (?) at the side of the road, dressed as Elvis. Think he was there last year too. (Hasn’t improved. Not a jot.)

Along the sea front we ran, and on one part it was so windy the sand was blowing against my face. Didn’t tickle. Chatting to Nigel about triathlon and Ironman plans made the time pass easy enough, and we reached the 5k marker bang on 30:00.

I was feeling good as we ran by the water station and asked Nigel how he was feeling. He was breathing heavy, and so, due to wanting to beat Nigel, I sped up a bit without saying anything to him. Did I feel bad? Nope. Not one bit.

As it turns out, I’ve never run a 10k race without having a little walk break (or two) along the route. I normally walk at the aid stations so was pleased with how I was going.

Never even had any formal Paint training! None! (C) Me

Never even had any formal Paint training! None! (C) Me

3k – 7k was a loop, before meeting up with the road we did the first 3k on, and as such was a bit further in land. That meant that there wasn’t a tail wind until just after 7k. I started to pick people off from 6k and felt strong.

7k hit, and the wind was welcome this time, pushing me on towards the next marker. 8k passed, and still feeling good I pushed a bit more and a bit more. 9k in the distance, no problem. I knew that I’d manage to get to the end without walking at all, and that made me push a bit more. More people overtaken, more speed.

9k marker left behind, final corner, finish in sight and before I knew it, my 2nd Mad Dog 10k was in the (doggy) bag. Official time of 55:59. (No PB, but a PB by 2 mins on this course.)

I’d run the 2nd 5k of the race in 25:59, 4 minutes quicker than the 1st 5k!

I honestly don’t think that between 7k and the end, I was overtaken by anyone. Marc Hemingway: Boastful.

Rob was waiting right over the finish line, then we waited for Nigel to finish and went to find Tony. Goody bag and fruit collected, we went to get our race T-Shirts then back on the bus, back in the car and home.

  • Rob: 46:28
  • Tony: 53:23
  • Me: 55:59
  • Nigel: 57:48

Got home and Sarah had been out and bought me beer and a nice bit of junk food. She knows me so well! Also excellent goody bag again!

Well worth it!

Well worth it!

If the wind hadn’t’ve been so windy, I honestly think I’d’ve gotten a new PB. (The winner finished in 37:05, where as last year was 32:32, so must’ve been a slow first half for everyone) As it is, VERY please with my first non-stop 10k and VERY pleased with my millage times, most quicker than the last:

  • Mile 1: 09:31 mins
  • Mile 2: 09:41 mins
  • Mile 3: 09:44 mins
  • Mile 4: 09:03 mins
  • Mile 5: 08:14 mins
  • Mile 6: 07:51 mins

Next race: Bradford 10k on March 16th. Hometown run!

Anyone joining us?

 

Mad Dog 10k Recap


In Which I Have A Great Race and a Great Weekend

Cast:
Sarah – The Wife
Rob – …..Rob
Claire – Mrs Rob
Ironman – Tony, Sarahs Dad
Susan – Sarahs Mum
Hannah – Sarahs Sister
Indy – Our Cat

The run was on Sunday 10th February, but as it was in Southport and we live in Bradford, decided to stay over night on Saturday the 9th so we didn’t have to travel early.

We met Rob and Claire in the train station on the Saturday morning where we needed to catch a train to Manchester, then onto Southport. Myself and Sarah got there about 15 minutes before the train left, Rob and Claire got there with about 10 minutes to spare. Claire went for a coffee but the girl in the coffee kiosk was VERY slow at making coffee, so me and Sarah ended up convincing the train driver not to set off yet, with Rob stood in sight of us and sight of Claire shouting in both directions, and Claire waiting on her coffee. All worked out fine though, and a few minutes later we were off.

An hour later we got to Manchester, changed trains and went onto Southport on a train that was about as old as the first ever train. Another hour passed and we arrived at Southport train station with a rough idea of which direction to head for the hotel. GPS on Robs phone came to the rescue and after a LONG walk on a COLD pier we got to the Premier Inn. Because we booked about two months in advance, our rooms were only £29 per night. Excellent.

A short while later, after two lovely bottles of non-alcoholic beer, we hit the amusements and played on 2p pusher machines, Rob won Claire a teddy (I wasted about £10 trying to get one for Sarah, no joy…) and we had a very nice meal in an all-you-can-eat world food buffet restaurant place. It was then an early night.

On the Sunday morning myself and Sarah went down to breakfast and met Rob and Claire, and I had some porridge, a slice of bacon, a bit of fruit and a yoghurt.

We then walked the mile and a bit walk along the seafront to where the race organisers had arranged for free buses to take all the runners and their supporters to the start of the run. We met up with Ironman, Susan and Hannah who had driven over that morning for Tony to take part in the race.

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Rob, Ironman, Me

There was a queue for the buses but within ten minutes or so we were on our way, and ten minutes after that we were at the start. You could get your race t-shirt either before or after the race and decided to get them before to save time afterwards. There were girls giving out pens and shower gel and energy lemonade so we got a bit of everything, along with our t-shirts. The race was delayed by half an hour, but the hall where the t-shirts were collected from was nice and warm. (Also, where a bloke was giving his two kids energy drinks. Bet they’re still awake now.)

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Brilliant T-Shirt!

The race is called Mad Dog as it was named after a member of Southport Hesketh Round Table, who died suddenly (Tony McWade, whose nickname was “Mad Dog”). This is only the third year it has been run, but both the previous races have been voted the best in the country and it’s easy to see why.

The start line was a few minutes around the corner so went to the toilet on the way (for the second time since arriving) and then lined up with everyone else. (Obviously, the music blarring out was ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’) Didn’t take too long before the race was under way, and Ironman shot off. Rob started a bit behind me but within a few seconds he pealed off too. I had Rob in my sights the whole way around, but never caught him. I got within about 50 metres at one point but no closer.

It was a very flat course, but due to the time of year, a very cold one. We ran down the seafront that we had walked up an hour earlier, then past a band of drummers and passed the staff of Chiquitos who were cheering from under their own tent. With my marathon plan in mind (run 5k then walk through each water station in the marathon) I decided to run 5k, then walk through the water  station. Reaching the 5k point, there was no water station, but it turned up at about 5.5k so I didn’t cry or anything.

I had a steady run back, but stopped at 7k and also 9k for a drink of water due to my head over-heating a bit. When I was having a drink at 7k, a lad ran passed me and slapped me on the back saying ‘Coming on mate, you’re almost there.’ But he said it really smuggly so when I ran by him after my drink at 9k I slapped him on his back and said ‘Come on mate, you’re almost there.’ Bit petty, but served him right.

As I mentioned earlier, I had sight of Rob for the whole way and so I saw him cross the line, and it helped me find everyone after I finished. On our race numbers there was a QR Barcode thing to scan, and it turns out I got a brand new PB of 56:50! That’s over three minutes knocked off my best time! VERY chuffed with that.

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Tired

With Ironman setting off ahead of Rob, Rob knew that he was close to Ironmans finishing time. I scanned Rob’s code first, and it came back as 55:32. (A new PB too!) I scanned Tony’s and his came back as… 55:15. Rob was gutted, 17 seconds away from beating the Ironman! (The trash talk started straight away, and didn’t stop for the rest of the day.)

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Fantastic Medal

The organisers were giving out medals, goody bags and fruit so I got one of each. (I had an apple.) I put on my medal and had a look through the fantastic goody bag.

It included:
Money off vouchers for the restaurants opposite our hotel.
A can of Mad Dog Energy Lemonade
A bottle of Recovery Gatorade
A pack of sweets (Lovehearts, fruit salad, blackjacks and more)
Some Rice Biscuits
Some shaving gel
Few other bits!

Brilliant!

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Great Goody Bag

Afterwards we waited less than five minutes and got the bus back, then everyone got in the car to the hotel but as there were 7 of us, me and Rob walked back and talked tactics.

After a shower, we all met in the hotel bar/restaurant and had some food and a few beers. (No beer for Rob, being too healthy.) Tony, Susan and Hannah drove back and the rest of us used our return tickets and went for the train. (After visiting a few clothes shops and stuff for Sarah and Claire.)

It was a fantastically well organised run and everything ran smoothly. The crowds were brilliant along the route, as were the entertainment. I didn’t even mention the female singer on the way back, or the Elvis on the way out!

Already looking forward to next years ‘Mad Dog 4: The Good, The Bad and The Pugly.’

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Indy ‘Mad Cat 10k’ finisher