Tuesday 14 January 2014

The complete story

In late 2011, over 2 years ago, I set myself a challenge to complete 12 half marathons in 12 months and raise as much money for Cancer Research UK as I could in the process. I can't remember exactly how the idea came about but I don't regret it one bit!

Originally, I set a target of raising £1,000 which I thought for one person sounded about right. Little did I know I would end up with over £2,500 raised for a great cause. I can't thank my friends and family enough for donating their hard earned money to this cause, it has made it all worthwhile!

The challenge ended up lasting 24 months in total due to me suffering a broken foot coupled with ligament damage in July 2012 after 7 races. This was a major setback and after 2 operations and a steady recovery period to make sure nothing else went wrong, I was back running by April 2013 and by September 2013 I was back to near full fitness and I managed to finish the final 5 races by the end of the year. Was a tad emotional managing to complete it all!

The 12 races contained 2 in Europe, 3 PBs, a third placed finish, running around a motor racing track, an extra one being pushed round in a wheelchair, one with 1,700ft of climb and one dressed as Santa! A decent selection and I would like to thank all the race organisers for putting on some cracking races! Also thank you to all those who came and watched or ran the races with me, it was a huge help having you all there to support me :) I won't name everyone because the list would be too long!

I think that sums it up in a nutshell, I have thoroughly enjoyed it! I am now training for Brighton marathon in April with a view to work on my shorter speed in the rest of 2014. Keep an eye out for my next charity adventure though, it will be more bonkers than this one believe me!


Wednesday 18 December 2013

The final hurrah! The 12th of 12 half marathons ...

And it's finished! On Sunday I ran half marathon number 12 to complete my challenge and I can't believe it has finished!

The Santa run in Wellingborough was more of a fun run and was hilarious seeing everyone dressed in their various Santa costumes! There were some others as well, like the Santa and reindeer combined! Not sure how they managed that ... There was a delay at the start as some annoying people stole some of the markers so the organisers had to put new ones out and stand out there themselves. A shame really.

Despite this, the atmosphere between the runners was fantastic with people encouraging each other. The winner wasn't wearing anything Christmassy so I think that's cheating! Overall in the race I came 4th which I am extremely happy with :) got a bit stuck at the start but caught a few up and finished well, I think knowing it was the last few miles of the challenge spurred me on.

The course was a bit short of the half marathon distance at 10.77 miles due to the signpost stealing but it didn't take away from the race. A great and fun end to an amazing 12 in 12 in 2012 challenge, extended due to my broken foot!

One more blog entry to come at the weekend ... A summary of the whole thing!

Monday 2 December 2013

Bath half marathon video :)

Here is a video documentary of half marathon number 11 from Bath last weekend!


Thanks very much to Michael for editing this up for me :) to Becky for filming it all and Anna for starring in it!

Saturday 30 November 2013

Bath hilly half marathon - 11/12 complete!

Well that was tough! Hills, cold, mud, even steeper hills, even colder ... but I have conquered the Bath hilly half marathon and am 11 half marathons down out of 12, only one to go!

As part of the Trionium series of races, I had done the Midsummer Munro in 2011 and loved the race which is why I was keen to do another one of the series! At 1,700ft of climb and 85% being off-road it was due to be an extremely tough race and so it turned out to be! I had done some hill training but possibly lacked a bit of off-road training, the hills were incredibly steep and turned runs into very slow jogs but the training got me through. It was bitterly cold on the day which really got to your lungs and made life that bit more difficult.

Despite all of this, it was a cracking race and a great atmosphere. The Trionium series has a fantastic feel to it and all the runners encourage each other during the race which I think is brilliant and part of the reason I enjoy the running community! I managed to clock a time of 1:45 which I was very happy with :) along with a 24th place finish out of 205 runners.

I would like to thank Rob who organises the series for letting me defer my place from last year and for putting on a brilliant race! Also for including my picture on his website!


A big big thank you also goes to Becky and Anna for coming to support me during the race and cheering me on at various points, Anna even jogged up a hill with me! Was great to have you both there and taking some footage of the race which my flatmate Michael has kindly said he will edit for me (video to come soon)! Thanks to Anna's family too for the fantastic hospitality over the weekend!

So, nearly done! One half marathon left before the challenge is over! Can't believe it's almost done! Catch you again in 3 weeks time :)


Monday 14 October 2013

Home sweet home for #10

Time for half marathon number 10 and a trip home to Leicester! 4 years after first running the Leicester half marathon, I returned to complete it again as part of my challenge. I was greeted with miserable weather for the weekend but had some company in my good friend Elliot to run with!

It was raining all of Saturday and Sunday morning but eased off into drizzle during the race. We were also treated to cold and windy conditions along with the wet underfoot conditions! Despite all of this, Elliot and I paced ourselves round in times of 1:25 with Elliot pulling away to beat me by around 20 secs! Well done mate :)

There was a slight problem at the end in that the chips didn't work, luckily all the gun times have been sorted so I do have an official time!

10 down and 2 to go :) not far away from completing my challenge! 6 weeks to wait until Bath Hilly Half, part of the trionium series of races, a great selection of trail races!

See you in 6 weeks! James

#9 Hanner Marathon Caerdydd

So October 2013 came by very quickly and so did my 9th and 10th half marathons! Number 9 was in the beautiful city of Cardiff where I could go and visit my wonderful sister, Becky, for the weekend too :) had a great weekend seeing her brand new office and going to a gig!

It was great weather on the day and the sunglasses had to make an appearance! An estimated 15,000 runners were on the start line and showed how much the Cardiff half marathon has grown recently. The course had changed from 2011 when I first ran it and took out the dual carriageway section, an excellent decision! I wanted to push the pace and see what I could do, even though training hadn't been great with a busy work month and exams!

The first 9 miles I felt great and was on for around 1:25 but then my legs basically said no! The bay is possibly one of the most picturesque parts of a half marathon I've done (this is my 20th in total in 4 and a half years!) and was feeling really good at this point. Still pleased with my time of 1:27:08 though as the injury comeback is still continuing! 

Well done to everyone who ran the Cardiff with me too :) especially Anna for running a 3 min PB of 1:33, a cracking performance and Tash for completing her first half marathon!

Monday 9 September 2013

Run to the Beat take 2 - the comeback

So 14 months after completing my 7th half marathon of my challenge I have finally been able to do my 8th! In that time I have broken my foot and damaged the ligaments, had two operations and been training back up since April.

Yesterday I ran Run to the Beat half marathon in 1 hour 26 minutes which I am extremely happy with as I wasn't sure how my foot would hold up in a race, even though training has been going well! So pleased to be back and with 4 half marathons to go over the next 3 months, I'll be able to finish my challenge :)

I have already raised £2,110.55 for Cancer Research and thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me so far. If you haven't and can possibly spare a few bob for a great cause then that would be fantastic as that's what this is all for!

Thanks very much and I'll let you all know how my next races go in Cardiff and Leicester at the beginning of October!

Cheers from a very happy James!