Wendys London Marathon Blog

London Marathon 2018, by Wendy

Intro

I’m a little apprehensive writing this as Jim is so good at this kind of thing – but I promised I’d do this when he withdrew his club place this year. So where to start… How about this (to the tune of Hot Chocolate’s “It started with a kiss”)…? [Editor: here’s the link if anyone needs a refresher.]

It started with a pick,
In the back row of Rigby’s
How could I predict
My name would be chosen
Little Tom he did so good
I was happy beyond belief
I made a promise to make you all proud
I made a promise to take training seriously
But then…it was only December
And I had to wait till April 22nd…

Ok, bored with that, you guys get the gist! From the 3rd December, when my name was drawn, it all started. Those of you who were there know how much it meant to me! With promises from everyone about helping with training etc, I knew this was gonna be epic and I couldn’t wait; however poor Neil must have thought: “OH NO NOT AGAIN!”

So it begins…

I got Christmas done and dusted – and then the real training started. First of all I took on the challenge of run everyday in January (which was REALLY tough), but I think it made me stronger for the weeks ahead of me. Then came my first significant long run on Friday 23rd February of 16 miles for which Jim joined me and Kat jumped on for a few miles, while Alan following the whole route on his bike, giving advice, carrying drinks, etc.

I think it was at this stage I noticed my times were getting better for Parkrun etc (achieving a pb of 24:45). Dave W soon jumped on board (after getting me an impressive pb at the Mad Dog 10k of 52:53) and announces he’s going to pace me for the BTR half Mara to a sub 2hr which I’ve never quite achieved. I’ll get back to this a little later…!

My next big run was a 17 miler on 10th March with Gemma. We ran to Parkrun with Fiona, then continued via New Brighton back to Leasowe. It was Gemma’s longest run to date and she did amazing. 17th March another long run done with Gemma; once again we went along the Wirral Way – this time 9 miles out and back, completing an impressive 18 miles. (Poor Gemma wasn’t well this day but she struggled on and did 12 difficult miles – she’s doing amazing!)

The BTR Liverpool Half Marathon

The next big milestone was BTR Half Marathon, me going for it big time with Dave W and Dave M on the start line (Fiona also joining). Dave M was pacing 1:55 so I thought there was no way I could stay with him – but see the pics – we smashed it! Loved it, finishing it with BTR teammies in an impressive 1:52:59… to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement!

Big thanks here to both Daves. This gave me such confidence in my pace and endurance, I knew at this stage I could get a time I’d be proud of in London.

The training continues

Easter was soon upon us. On Good Friday, I embarked on a 20 mile run to my brothers in Saughall, Chester. My cousin Jo set off an hour before and was hoping we wouldn’t catch her! Again, my teamies were fab; Dave W started off with me from Moreton with Dave M cheering us on; then it was onto Hoylake to meet Jane D, Beckie and Gina. We headed to the Wirral Way, where we were greeted by Laura (and a fab food and drink station), with a quick hello to Andrea too. We left Dave W in Heswall and headed up to the Hinderton Arms, where we said goodbye to Beckie and hello to Kat, Jen, Jacq and Maria for another fuel stop. Jane D and I then headed to up Two Mills… what a mistake, sorry Jane!! Who knew there was no footpath? With a cut leg and cut pants we finally got through to Two Mills, where hubby was waiting with more water. Then just that last final push to Saughall (although we never did catch Jo, who was chuffed after being chased like something off Benny Hill for 21 miles).

Finally, the next few weeks were “taper down” time. Still enjoying club runs, but definitely dropping the mileage. By now major excitement was setting in for everyone to see – I swear the week prior to London I couldn’t stop smiling!

After a great send off from the club on Tuesday, it was off to London!

The day dawns

Friday 20th arrived and we travel down to London, first class no less (thanks Jo). The hotel is fine, although I’m fuming a little; we have NO bath. The Expo was brill though, really enjoyable. A little sightseeing around London… dinner with Mum and Aunt… then off for an early night.

Up bright and breezy on Sunday and off to Greenwich. I leave Jo at the red start and make my way to the blue start to try and find Gemma. Not as easy as you might think… but I did find Hayley, fab to see a familiar face. At this stage the heat at this stage was already starting to worry me, but with my bag safely on board the wagons we head to our pens; still no sign of Gemma. We are in the same pen but both so dinky we can’t see each other! I made a quick phone call to hubby, who’s at home watching on tv…

So… OFF WE GO! I get to approx 2 miles when I hear that cute little Irish twang behind me shouting my name – yes, Gemma had (somehow) found me amongst 40,000+ runners! We stayed together for approx 10 miles and then left each other, our pace being at different rates.

Tower Bridge was my next awesome sight where I was stuck behind an orange octopus (which I think some of you saw on tv). [Editor: Yes we did – below!]

Frantically looking out for my Mum, I finally laid eyes on her at the end of the bridge, which gave me a massive boost. Onwards I kept going; by this point the heat was really starting to take its toll. I know I stopped at every water station (every mile), and if I didn’t drink the water I certainly doused myself with it; which is why I was completely drenched through!

Miles 15-20 go by in a blur. I was struggling but still smiling. It was so hot,hot, hot! I can’t explain how uncomfortable I was, but once I saw those 20+ mile markers I gave myself a good talking too, teling myself I could do this – it’s all in your head girl – “I can do this!”. At 22 miles I saw my lovely friend Jen and her hubby Neil, who watered and sun-creamed me up. I think I knew at this stage my time was going to be disappointing but in hindsight, with so many people on the sidelines being attended to by medics, I’m relieved I was sensible and slowed down to finish safely.

Then at mile bloody 25 – OMG – my gorgeous hubby and youngest son were screaming at me from the opposite side of the embankment! The pic they got of me as I saw them is my favourite of the weekend. After a quick cuddle and a kiss, I left them to finish what had to be the longest mile of my life. But then, there it was; Buckingham Palace in all its glory; and of course the The Mall and finish line.

I was happy beyond belief. I’d done it – I’d completed The London Marathon, proudly representing my club in orange! The finish line was amazing. The medal was amazing. Even the apple was amazing! Finding Gemma again was amazing and also seeing Tom was amazing.

Final thoughts

Even though I’m a little disappointed with my time (4:47) it’s a pb, and an excuse to maybe try and better it one day. A friend said to me this week I will have to do it once more so I can leave each of my three sons a medal from The London Marathon – so maybe in a couple of years I’ll be back… (Shhhhh don’t tell Neil! The best spectators banner I saw was ‘If your still married, you haven’t trained hard enough’ LOL it’s so true!)

So once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart BTR Road Runners. I love being a part of such a great club. I love you all and I’ll never forget this experience.

wendy Marie Jones

 

 

Road Runner First Aiders

BTR Road Runners gain vital skills

On Saturday 10th March, several BTR Road Runners attended a first aid course hosted by Paul Rogan of Robert Peel International, gaining important life skills in the process.

Well done all who attended; Jane and Dave Berry, Roy and Sara Morris, James Roberts, Dave Moore and Beckie Waterton.

Attendees report that the course was a great event to take part in (Editor: guys and gals, you look like you’re having way too much fun)!

For more details of first aid training, contact details are:

Paul Rogan
Robert Peel International Ltd
07973 699416
paulrogan@rpeel.co.uk
Robert Peel International

SARA MORRIS

Abs’ Journey to London

My Road to the London Marathon

My name is Abir Ali and I am doing the London Marathon in April for The Lullaby Trust, the UK’s leading charity in aiming to prevent unexpected deaths in infancy and promote infant health. They fund research, support families whose babies have died suddenly and unexpectedly, spread information on infant health, baby care and sudden infant deaths to both health professionals and the general public, and work with professionals to improve investigations when a baby dies.

Abs and Lullaby Trust logo

I have a personal connection to the charity’s work, as I lost my son, Charlie in 2004 after only 3 weeks. In 2012 I decided to raise funds and awareness for the Lullaby Trust by running events – from 10k races to half and full marathons. To date, I have done 150 events and raised nearly £8,000 through Justgiving.  The charity have been a great help recently, with advice that has helped my daughter Esme (who is now 7 months old and my companion at Parkrun).

Last February, I visited the Lullaby Trust offices, in London, to meet some of the 55 strong members also doing the London Marathon. The day involved getting to know a few members of the team and going for a 10k jog in Battersea Park. Before the end of the day we all discussed our experiences, and it transpired that I was the only one in a running club; naturally I told them the benefits of joining one – and they were certainly all amazed by the prospect of a reward of cake at the end of each club run! I told them that running clubs offer coaching, advice, moral support, friendship and can help you reach your training goal. Running clubs (especially BTR Road Runners) cater for everyone from the super-competitive to the recreational jogger.  The team atmosphere can instigate big improvements in your performance, provide enduring memories, experiences – oh, and cake. Did I mention cake before?

It really is an honour and a privilege to be part of such a fantastic running club.

If you would like to donate to my Justgiving page, even just a few quid, every little helps The Lullaby Trust; please follow the link below:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/abs-ali1

Abir Ali

 

 

Moel Famau 8k, 28th January 2018

By Sarah Rogan

The Moel Famau 8K is an event put on by Lion Races and I took part in it on Sunday 28th January 2018 along with Alan Rothwell, Fiona Duckers and Andrea Robinson, making sure there was a good orange presence.

The race starts at 10am, quite civilised, in the beautiful setting of Moel Famau. Race numbers are collected on the morning, really easily done, and was lovely to collect our numbers from our very own Liz Leay, volunteer extraordinaire! Chip timing is by way of velcro tag around your ankle; so, feeling slightly like criminals we toddled off to the start (via the toilet, obviously!!!) Toilets at this race are “actual” toilets, which is a very important issue to some of us!!

It was a cold but dry, and surprisingly nice, morning and off we went up the mountain! Trail shoes are definitely a must, it was pretty muddy underfoot in parts. What a climb; unless you were part mountain goat you couldn’t run up the really steep parts, but with encouragement from a very kind stranger and possibly a few swear words I made it to the top. I’d love to say the view was spectacular, however, it was so foggy and windy I couldn’t see a thing and it was all I could do to not get blown away.

Downhill was a little scary: steep mountain + mud + wind = heart-in-your-mouth but I made it down in one piece and the views on the way down were amazing!!! I crossed the line with Fiona, hand in hand!

Nice medal, bottle of water and most importantly the choice of some chocolate goodies at the finish. In true runner fashion I uttered the words “Never again” however we hadn’t even got home before I was uttering the words “Think I’ll do that again, actually”(!) A nice little well organised event, can imagine it not being quite so pleasant in bad weather… but definitely one for next year’s calendar.

February Update

by james roberts

Here it is at last, the February update. Sorry for the delay but with having such a hectic work schedule and social life style ( yeah right ) I just didn’t have the time (or inclination) to do it. As they say though, everything comes to he or she that waits.

February brought with it not only the shortest month but some of the coldest weather for a long time. In fact, it was that cold, I’m sure I saw a brass monkey🐵 looking for a welder. Nevertheless, the Club members continued to turn and pound the streets of Hoylake and West Kirby before stuffing copious amounts of cake into their mouths at The Ship Inn.

The mileage for the month of February was 41 miles up on last month on 789.82 with the current total for the year at 1,538.51. As before this does not include individual miles, only those ran on Club nights. Nobody managed to run all the Club nights in Feb, oh wait a minute, they did, ME. As I’ve said before, no life.

RACES

Mad Dog 10k. 03 Feb 18

Racing got underway for a lot of the Club on 3rd Feb at Southport with the Mad Dog 10k. A cold, crisp and in places icy morning welcomed us at the car park at the prom in Southport. After making our way to the start area via the busses that were laid on, we were able to collect the goodie bags and t shirts beforehand. It crossed a few people’s mind to just get back on the bus and head back home but no we stayed and an excellent performance from the ladies ensued.

The weather had improved slightly by the time the race got underway and it was very good race conditions all the way along the Prom. Past Batala Mersey, the Samba Drum Band, a regular sight at most races now but I do wish they would play a tune we know and could singalong too. Awful Elvis serenaded us with Blue Suede Shoes and other tunes just by the Pier and Fairground, (what’s left of it). On to the top road and the water stop with another young lady soulfully singing along with her guitar, ( the guitar wasn’t singing before you start) then back down to the Prom and Batala Mersey again. A long straight road back up to the finish and then a final straight to the timing mat. Didn’t realize how long this last bit was and was beginning to regret, sprinting from the corner of the road. All in all it was a good race and PBs were achieved by Wendy Jones, Sarah Rogan,, Audrey Stocker, Sandra Freeman, Jane Dasgupta, Emma Holmes. The following were also rans Elaine Charles, Helen Parton, Me, Dave Ward, Dave and Jane Berry, Dave Moore, Ian Body, John Evans. Mr Dave Freeman was honorary BTR for the day. It was then off to the pub for a hard earned lemonade.

Torremolinos Half Marathon. 03 Feb 18

Sorry don’t really know much about this one except that Alan Rothwell and Dawn and Martin Hunt were the clubs representatives here and that the weather was colder here than it was at Southport. A proper race report will follow next year as this has been singled out as a BTR RR away day, or may be a bit longer. Yeah man, bring it on.

Blackpool Half Marathon. 18 Feb 18

Again not much known about this, except it’s in Blackpool and its a half marathon race. If someone would like write it up, please do. Big well done though to Danny Mc and the Hunt clan, Dawn, Martin and Ollie for completing this.

Erica’s Woodland Womble. 18 Feb 18

I would like to pass the part over to Erica to write as I don’t think I could it justice. Only to say. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Big thanks to all who ran and all who came and supported and helped out. Well done all

Rhyl 10 Mile. 24 Feb 18

This race, I have done albeit 2 years ago but I don’t think the course has changed one iota. It’s a straight 5 miles out, turn around and 5 miles straight back along the Prom. The wind will be with you one way or the other. This can lead to a false sense of PBness if the wind is behind you on the way out. This however, did not stop Dave Moore, who took over 20mins from his time last year and Erica “Liver Bird” Dillon who smashed her previous 10 mile best. Looking strong for the VLM Missus. Alan R and Gaz R also participated in this Marmite Race.

Village Bakery Half Wrexham. 25 Feb 18

Again not a race I took part in, I really think last years Wrexham 20 miler has put me off this neck of the woods for a long time. However the weather was kind to our group of runners and some of them excelled themselves on the streets of this Welsh town. Was it the atmosphere that drove them on, was it the beautiful countryside that pushed them to the limits or was the lure of a fast flat course enticing them to achieve a PB. No, it was a bloody packet of CRUMPETS in the goodie bag, I mean I ask you. Sarah R did say they were lovely though.

This race was attended by Dawn, Martin and Ollie ( again), Abir Ali, Kat Whitton and Sarah Rogan, who may just have blown her chance of a PB medal at the Liverpool Half in March by achieving a Personal Best in this race. Dawn actually missed the start of the race as she was in the toilet queue. Or didn’t you want anyone to know that.

Harewood House Half. 25 Feb 18

Audrey Stocker was the sole participant on this as she says, Beautiful, well organized friendly and no queues for the toilet race. A hard race with a few hills, one that subdued her to walking pace. So it’s back next year for Audres, as she has unfinished business and I don’t mean at the toilets. 😱😱😱

Stroke Association 5/10/15k. 25 Feb 18

This series of races took place at Croxteth Pk for the Stroke Association. A fairly small affair with a total of about 250 runners for all 3 events. Staggered start times saw the 15k runners go first followed 5 mins later by the 10k runners then 5 mins after, the 5k runners set off. The course took in the Croxteth Pk 5 k Parkrun and you went around, once, twice or three times depending on distance. It was bitterly cold at the start but had warmed a bit by the time the race began. I ran the 10k route with Anthony my future son in law, while Pol ran the 5k route with Millie. The course was a mix of tarmac with long stretches of hard flat trail routes. The Goodie bag at the end was bottle of water but you did get a Tech T shirt and a medal all for £16. The smile on Pols face at the end of it was worth every penny.

PARKRUN

Please continue to support the local Parkrun event at Birkenhead Park and if you’ve never done one try it, you won’t like it, you’ll love it. Alan R has planted the seed for a Parkrun takeover to try and improve recruitment. Further details to follow .

 

BIRTHDAYS AND DATES FOR MARCH.

At the time of writing this, some birthdays have passed. Nevertheless we all hope you had a fantastic day. Some of you still owe cakes.

  • Ian Raymond.
  • Erica Dillon. THE BIG 40, in case anyone missed it.
  • Martin Hunt.
  • John Evans.
  • Andrea Robinson.

All the very best to you all.

CLUB MEMBERS

Now standing at 52. There are a lot of people on the Facebook page that would dearly love to be a BTR RR member. Come on down, we don’t bite. Only cake, we do bite cake.

A new runner with the Club is Andrea’s partner and future Husband, Daniel Morgan. Many congratulations to you both.

Congratulations also go to Kat and her partner Tom, also on their engagement. We all wish you every happiness together.

Sorry if I have missed off runners to races or events. Please let me know and I will amend.

James Roberts

Membership renewal 2018

Important information

For all current BTR Road Runners, a reminder that club memberships are due for renewal by 31st March.

All UKA registrations expire 31/03/18.

So, make sure you get your renewals in, people – any queries, let us know via the group’s Facebook page.

14th March 2018

An ode to the BTR Road Runners

Not only are we runners, hidden talent lurks within our club! This little creation by one of our team, so read on…

 

Thinking of joining?
“If it ain’t fun, we don’t run”

So you’ve clicked on our website
You’re checking us out.
BTR Runners
“What’s that all about?”

Read on fellow runners, I’ll tell you some more
But if you have any questions, we’ve an open door…

Tuesdays and Thursdays – it’s a great sight to behold
Market Street Hoylake, awash with runners all bold.
A sea of orange vests sets out at a pace
Minds focused on training for the very next race.

But don’t be mistaken, don’t think ‘I’m too slow’
The pace is for everyone, so give it a go.
The running’s important but hell, so’s the cake
We all enjoy racing but we also love to bake!

For leisure, for chatting, for serious training
If you join BTR runners, there’ll be no complaining.
Just really great people with one common passion
To support one another, in the best possible fashion.

5km, 10km, a half marathon or a whole
Our amazing team will help you to reach your goal.
Or if you’re simply running for leisure
Guaranteed that with us, it’s always a pleasure.

 
(c) BTR Road Runner Fiona Duckers
 
Think you have a similar artistic creation you want to share? Let us know! (But you have to come along and join us to get the email address to send it to…!)
 
 Road Runners at the end of the Wirral Half Marathon

September Multi Terrain

September – change to Tuesday Training !

Most of the BTR Road Runners will be valiantly(!) taking part in the September Wirral multi-terrain league; as these races take place on a Tuesday evening it is likely that the usual Tuesday training from the Ship Inn, Hoylake will not happen! We will still meet in our usual base on Thursdays though, so please do turn up if you want to give us a try!

Multi-terrain league dates:

  • 05/09/17, 19:00 – Royden Park
  • 12/09/17, 19:00 – Wiiral Country Park, Thursaston
  • 19/09/17, 18:30 – North Wirral Coastal Park, Harrison Drive
  • 26/09/17, 18:30 – Arrowe Park (Toby Carvery)

Team Vests must be worn. For full details and rules, please see Steve Saunders website here.

…and good luck to all taking part!

 

Snowdonia Trail 2017

The BTR Roadrunners were back out in force for the Snowdonia Trail Marathon and Half Marathon on the 23rd July.

 

Given the capricious British weather, a forecast of heavy rain and wind… somehow failed to materialise.

Obviously, given its name, not an easy race, but the unanimous verdict seemed to be: Back again next year!

A huge well done to all who took part – Snowdonia is not something to be bitten off lightly!

 

23/07/2017

Tour of Merseyside 2017

In the first week of July, a large contingent of BTR Roadrunners took part in the 5th Tour of Merseyside.

This event, which covers 52 miles over 6 races in 1 week, kicked off on the 2nd July with the Southport Half Marathon, a wonderfully flat and fast course – which for once wasn’t too hot.

Monday saw the action move to Thurstaston and a 6-mile multi terrain, including the beach, up and down the Dales at Heswall, finishing with a burst along the Wirral Way.

Tuesday was the (loved by some, dreaded by others) 10 miler along the ‘Ralla; from Walton Hall Park, 2.5 miles north, turn and back, then 2.5 miles south, turn and finish. If anyone was running low on protein, there were plenty of midges…

Wednesday was a rest day, before battle recommenced on Thursday evening with the 5 miler along the promenade at Otterspool. This race has (unofficially) become the fancy dress night of the tour, with plenty of the BTR Roadrunners and others raising the bar!

Friday evening is the furthest east of the event, and two laps of the well-established cross-country course at Stadt Moers Country Park. (Where? some ask – it’s a hidden gem, near Whiston.)

Somehow, everyone managed to assemble prompt on the Saturday morning for the final challenge, and the 12 mile coastal run out to Hoylake and back (including the dreaded 1/2 mile out across the beach…) And the BTR Roadrunners demonstrated the Tour motto: no runner left behind!

Then it was just off to, ahem, recover at the presentation and after party…

 

08/07/2017