Another Ultramarathon Running Blog

2015 Wokingham Half Marathon

Unfortunately the 2013 Wokingham Half marathon was cancelled due to flooding on the course I recall and all entries were deferred until this year which so happened to be the day after the Thames Trot.

Not wanting to let the entry go to waste I decided to use this as a bit of a recovery run to shake out some of the soreness and stiffness from the Thames Trot. To be fair, my right knee was sore, legs and groin were a bit stiff (probably due to the uncomfortable slipping around in the mud) and I wasn’t sure how the legs would respond during the race. I waited in the car until about 15 mins before the race wondering why I was running today but eventually coaxed myself out of the car and walked gingerly to the start line.

I decided to run along with the 1.45 group and was actually pleased when the race started, you ran 10 yards (which I managed) and then everyone stopped before jogging a little while later. Fitness test complete, I can at least plod around.

It was cold at the start of the race but when you warmed up it was a lovely cool clear sunny day, almost perfect for running.

The legs were a little uncomfortable for the first few miles but I kept up a just over 8m/m pace and was content to tick off the miles and just see the race out. As I got more into the race, I felt a little more comfortable and kept the same sort of pace going.

I bumped into a couple of people I knew and said hello but pretty much ran most of the race by myself. As I got to 10 miles I started to speed up a bit and ran my quickest three miles of the race which meant I started to overtake a few people towards the end. I hit the final turn made a bit of a dash for the line and finished in 1.43 which had felt fairly comfortable overall after the legs started working. I was fairly happy with the run after the previous days exertions.

The race was well organised and marshalled so it was an enjoyable run but but I’m sorry to say the finishers medal was a bit disappointing, a very “standard” medal. The course is fairly flat, road based and pretty quick for those looking for a quick half marathon in the future.

Local News report and photos here with at least three people I know pictured.

Wokingham Half Marathon website here


Leave a comment

2014 Reading Santa Run

2014 Santa Run Reading Paul Ali 01

Mr & Mrs Avon

I took part in the Reading Santa Run today. The event is a charity based 5k event around the centre of Reading and is part of the Santa Dash charity runs which take place all over the country.

We had a number of runners (about 20) taking place from my workplace which has a partnership arrangement with Alexander Devine, a children’s hospice who were one of the supporting charities for this event.

As it was primarily a fun run based event, I’m not sure of the exact number of participants but would estimate there were at least 500 people (maybe more) dressed in Santa outfits ready for the start of the race.

I decided to enjoy a brisk run and started somewhere near the front and dashed around the cold streets of Reading which thankfully wasn’t too busy with Xmas shoppers at 9am. A school boy error meant a shoe-lace stop after a mile and there were several adjustments of the santa suit on the run but I survived and finished in 19.44 which was actually a new 5k PB (have to admit my Garmin recorded it as short but may not be 100% accurate as there were several tight turns).

However, before I started to feel too smug I realised this was still a slower pace than Paul Navesey ran on his world record  treadmill effort the day before… over a distance of 50km.

I ran back to meet Sally-anne who was also taking part in the event and we jogged the last km together to the finish and hung around to cheer on the other runners and finishers before (in typical ultra runner fashion) eating a massive hot dog and then jogging home.

It was an enjoyable fun run and hopefully raised some money for some worthy causes. Oh, I should mention the goody bag also included Branston Pickled flavoured Mini-Cheddars and whoever invented this flavour is a genius.

2014 Santa Run Reading Paul Ali 02

Members of “Team Covea” finishing the Reading Santa Run





1 Comment

2014 Jedi Challenge

2014 Jedi Challenge Header 00

The “Jedi Challenge” is a virtual run/charity initiative which involves people making a donation towards the charity, run a virtual 5k (i.e. anywhere of your own choosing) and then receiving a “Star Wars” themed medal to mark the achievement.

Matt Dunn made me aware of this initiative as I had a ‘passing interest’ in all things Star Wars and we elected to make our donation but agreed to make the virtual run a bit more of a challenge. Rather than just run a 5k (which we both do pretty much every day), we were only going to award ourselves the medal when we ran a 5k PB time. It was a little bit of encouragement for both of us to go and do the occasional effort run.

I received the medal a couple of months ago which was a pretty cool replica of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite from the 1980 Empire Strikes Back Film… er.. or so I am told by Matt and its sat on my desk for a little while.

Continue reading…


Mental! : The Toughest, Bloodiest and Hardiest Challenges in the World!

Book Cover

Back from summer holidays and a belated thanks to Helen Summer for a copy of her new book “Mental! The toughest, bloodiest and hardest challenges in the world” which features some of the toughest runs out there (and Tough Mudder).

The book is obviously awesome as I’m featured in it with my report from last years Thames Ring but there are also lots of other reports from friends and fellow runners who have taken on some completely ‘mental’ running events (see what I did there) from around the world.

Continue reading…

Leave a comment

2014 T60 Night Race

I helped out at the T60 Night Race last weekend, so here is a blog from the “other side of the fence” on this occasion.

The T60 Night Race is a new Ultra running event and involves a 60 mile overnight run along the Thames Path from Oxford to the source of the Thames. The event itself is a self sufficient run with competitors being required to carry all of their own food and equipment although water would be provided at each of the Checkpoints placed every 15 miles or so apart.

The T60 Night Race can be considered the “little brother” to the T184 Endurance Run which takes place in August. This event involves a run/walk/jog across the full length of the Thames Path from the Thames Barrier to the source. Again this event is self supported so a little different to a normal Ultra run. The T60 covers the last 60 miles of the T184 so a good chance for me to get a bit of a look at the route.

2014 T60 Night Race T184

A number of competitors for the T184 were using the T60 as a warm up to test kit and equipment and recce the route. As I had taken part in the Thames Path 100 the week before (seems to be a theme here with races along the River Thames) , I volunteered to help out and was scheduled to assist at registration, man Checkpoint 1 and then sweep the last leg of the race the next day so a full days (nights) work.

Continue reading…

1 Comment