Friday 11 January 2013

Review of 2012

Races during 2012

The arrival of Benjamin in January was the major event of 2012, however I still managed a few races.

Benjamin on Day 1
Benjamin on Day 2
Benjamin on Day 2
Benjamin learning survival skills
Benjamin on the beach
Benjamin at the Burrell Collection
During 2012, I ran 60 races and completed one 600km hike across the Alps.

The 60 races consisted of 25 hill races, 18 road races, 5 cross countrys, 5 trail, 5 Parkruns and 2 indoor track races.

The 600km hike was from St Gingolph on Lake Geneva to Menton on the Mediterranean Coast in July, via the GR5, GR55 and GR52, over 15 days. See

Day 14, on the GR52 in the Mercantour National Park
Road races
The longest road race was London Marathon which I pottered round in 2:59-dead, after very little training, and trying to expend as little energy as possible over the 26 miles.

I also managed 4 half marathons: Alloa (1:22), Heaven and Hell (1:27), Balloch to Clydebank (1:19) and Lancaster (1:17) , plus two 10-mile road races: Lasswade (61:43) and Millport (58:54).  I was pleased with the Lancaster Half and Millport 10-mile, which were both the quickest I'd run in 5 years.

I was also pleased and surprised to run 2 of the Polaroid 10k's (Helensburgh and Dumbarton) both in 35 minutes something.

Hill races
I managed 3 races down in the Lakes: Kentmere Horseshoe, Borrowdale and Three Shires.  Borrowdale was my longest race time-wise of the year in 3:52:50, a full 21 minutes slower than I ran in 2003, but I was still happy to jog round in under 4 hours against a super-competitive English championship field.
Borrowdale Fell Race
Towards the end of the season my hill running started picking up after recording a personal worst at Ben Nevis with 1:56:09, I started improving at Three Shires in mid-September by not trying too hard. And managed to hold off Jasmin Paris by a few seconds at the end, partly helped by Jasmin going the wrong way and taking a fall just before we hit the final track.

At Two Breweries, a week after Three Shires, I made my slowest ever start, and drank and ate more than ever before during the race. The net result being that I missed out on a PB by less than 90 seconds for my 11th year in a row at this classic journey across the Scottish Borders.

Three weeks later I ran the Pentland Skyline also for the 11th year in a row, and once again had Jasmin Paris right on my heels the whole way round. I was pleased to finish in 2:54:18, having made up about 10 places in the second half of the race.

I ran 2 Parkruns at the beginning of January just before Benjamin was born, then another one in mid August, the morning after the Tour of Clydeside Bella Belter 10k, then in September I surprised myself with a PB of 17:11, just a week after my personal worst at Ben Nevis. I put this Parkrun PB down to a week's steady training with the Baby Jogger.

Indoor Track
We had 2 unofficial Westies indoor track races at the Kelvinhall over the classic mile distance. I was interested to see if I could go sub 5-minutes.  The first attempt was the night after running a half marathon in Pollok Park, and I only managed 5:13. Two months later I was just recovering from gastroenteritis, but managed a slight improvement with 5:03.

The tail end of the year fizzled out due to illness.  I was selected to run for the Scottish Vets team at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country at Belfast in November, but had to withdraw due to gastroenteritis, and since mid-December I've had sinusitis and chest infections which have scuppered any running for the past 4 weeks.

Looking ahead
Looking further ahead, I have no specific plans for 2013, other than to feel better again at some point, and to hopefully get back to some running. I would like to try a few new races, and maybe to branch out with some slightly longer events.

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