London Marathon 2023 – The hardest race of my life!

It’s about 6.30am and I have woken in my friends flat in Tooley Street to a load of clattering about. Making my way to the window, I can see that work has already started building the water station at the 12 mile mark. It must be time for the London Marathon!

I have tonnes of time, as I am not starting till 11am, so I wander to the shops and get some breakfast, chat to Andrew and Mark (who generously let me stay in their spare room the night before), get my gear ready and head out the flat at 0930 to catch the train from London Bridge to Blackfriars.

Making my way to London Bridge proves to be problematic, as I cannot cross Tower Bridge Road or Tooley Street cause of barriers, making it impossible to get to the station. I ask a chap in a high vis vest to let me through. He won’t, and sends me the other way to a “gap”. I go the other way. No gap. Ask another chap in a high vis vest, who sends me back the way I had come. Get back to the original chap, ask him again and he just flatly refuses. Clearly an NPC.

I decide to get brave and just jump the barrier. The NPC shouts at me, but he can’t catch me, I’m a marathon runner, and I am over the other side and on the way.

I ring my wife for a pre marathon chat, then realise that I have left my race belt (that carries my phone and gels etc) at Andrews flat. Ringing Andrew, I then have to run back to his flat where we face the same problem with the barriers (though this time I am on the other side of the road). I hurdle the barriers again, collect the belt, go back across the road, over the barriers AGAIN, and then a very fast walk to the station.

Arriving at London Bridge I go to the wrong platform, change platforms and miss the train. It is now 10am and I am supposed to be at my start gate at 1015!

Getting on the next train, which was at 1013, we make our way to Blackfriars. Except somehow the train goes to Lewisham and misses Blackfriars completely (I am with quite a few other runners on the train). We all get off, wait for the next one to Blackfriars, get back on and eventually I arrive at the start about 11am. No chance to make my alloted start time, so I just join in with another wave. Luckily, Suzie (fellow Daisy’s Dream runner) spotted me, so we started together.

The plan was 6 min walk 6 min run from the start, so that is exactly what I did. Suzie was doing a walk/run too, but 30seconds walk 30 seconds run, so we kept leapfrogging each other at the start as she moved ahead of me, then I moved ahead of her.

I felt good. The race was underway, my calf was feeling OK and I was going nicely.

Making my way through the first 10km, the crowds were absolutely phenomenal. Having a silly name on your top means a lot of people shout “GO ON SNOOKY” from the sides of the course. I made sure to give each one a fist pump or a smile or a “thank you” if I was close enough. It gives you such a boost when the crowds cheer you on.

At about the 10km mark I was still feeling good, so decided to switch to a 6min run / 3 min walk strategy. This worked well, and soon I was heading into the city and along Tooley street, past the 12 mile marker. Andrew and Mark were outside their flat to cheer me on, and as I rounded the corner onto the iconic Tower Bridge I took a quick video and sent it to my wife and Michelle. I then saw on my phone I was up to £4500 fundraising and I was overcome with emotion. My eyes filled with tears and with blurry vision I ran up and over Tower Bridge, people shouting my name all the way.

The race then turns towards Canary Wharf, and this is also when my race turned. At 25km I felt a little twinge in my calf. Nothing major, just a twinge. I stuck with my walk/run strategy and kept on going. I was paranoid as hell it was going to tear again. But I was more than half way done.

I saw my brother shortly after this. He was helping with marshalling at the race and I stopped for a quick chat and a photo. When he asked me how I was doing, I remember saying to him “It’s starting to hurt”. And it was starting to hurt. Leaving a voicenote for Cat and Michelle, I remember saying “this is where the marathon really starts for me. This is when I have to dig in”.

And dig in I did. Niggling pain I can deal with. Every runner does. Into Canary Wharf I went. Past the 20 mile marker. Just over 6 miles to go. And BANG!!

I felt my calf rip from the left to the right. A horrible feeling. I had been expecting it. It was incredibly unlikely that I would make the whole distance without it going again. I was pleased to have gotten 20 miles into the race before it tore.

I was about 4 hours into the race at this point, and figured that I would be probably another 1.5 hours to the finish now my calf had gone. I could manage a sort of shuffling run for about 3-5 minutes before I had to walk again. But this was just the beginning of my problems.

The pain started to wash over me in waves. Searing pain. It is hard to describe, but it was bad enough that it made me feel incredibly nauseous. I could not stomach any of the energy gels that I had with me. I could barely stomach any water. Running 1.5 hours, after already being on the go for 4 hours, with no water or fuel was going to be interesting.

As the minutes passed I felt worse and worse. I don’t really remember anything about where I was at this point in the race. The mental battle was underway. I knew I could keep going like this, but if the calf got worse, or the tear became more severe, it would be race over.

Because of my shuffling, limping run and walk, my left quad cramped hard. I was really limping now, but the insane crowd just kept shouting my name. The atmosphere was electric and the noise was a cacophony of sound filling the air around me. I just had to keep going.

Shuffling on I passed my brother again (going the other way). I barely spoke to him at this point, other than when he asked me “how’s it going” I simply responded “bad”. I was very deep in the pain cave now. I had not been updating my wife on my progress. I had gone deep into myself. It is a strange sensation when you have to dig as deep as this. Like I was completely alone, even though I was surrounded by 1000’s of people. Like you are underwater in a way. Everything seems very surreal. The crowd kept shouting my name. I kept giving them a fist bump every time. But inside I was in real trouble.

Getting to the finish at this point seemed impossible to me. It was about 5km to go, but it may as well have been 500. Would my leg hold out? I felt so sick, the pain was getting worse. I started to mentally prepare myself that I might have to pull out of the race. Started to think how I would explain it to everybody. How I would tell you all I had let you down.

With a lot of mental wrangling I managed to snap myself out of this. No way I was going to quit. Stop being a fairy and get on with it. Pain is temporary. Time to dig in again. See what I am really made of. I have completed an Ironman. I have run 80km with 3 broken ribs.

But I had to be honest with myself. This was worse. Far worse. This was the most pain I had ever tried to exercise with. In fact, other than when my cruciate ligament snapped when I was younger, this was the worst pain I had ever experienced.

I remember nothing about the next 3km. I think we were on the embankment, but am not 100% sure. What I do remember is getting to the 40km marker. This is just 2km to go. At this point I realised I was going to make it. Even if my leg fell off, I would crawl to the line. Emotion washed over me for the second time in the race, and I just burst into tears. I was 2km away from the finish and I was crying like a schoolgirl. This just made the packed crowd shout at me even more, and I broke into the best running gait that I had had for ages. This was it. I was gonna make it.

Buckingham Palace soon loomed large in the distance and we had 400 metres to go. I couldn’t believe it. Over the line I went, in 5 hrs and 35 mins. Almost the exact time I had predicted when my leg went pop.

Immediately after the finish line I could not process the emotions I was feeling. There were too many. They were too strong. I phoned my wife and Michelle and they told me how proud they both were of me. I also phoned my mate Dave, who has been my running buddy for a long time. We have done a lot of fundraising together in the past and he is one of the most lovely people you could ever meet. Dave had been there every step of the marathon. He was texting me with updates, leaving me encouraging messages, and was my coach on the course. Thanks Dave, I owe you one.

So that is it. I have run and completed the London Marathon. This morning, I have also just gone over my fundraising target of £5000, which is simply fantastic. I am exhausted, in absolute agony (I can barely walk) but I just can’t stop smiling. What an achievement. What amazing generosity and kindness so many people have shown me.

London Marathon 2023 will stay in my memory forever. The hardest, but also one of the best experiences of my life.



PS – There are a few people who I owe a momumental amount of gratitude to.

First of all, to my fellow Daisy’s Dreams runners and Vicky. You guys are legends and I am so proud of what we have achieved together.

To my friends and family who have supported me and shown me so much kindness and encouragement. Thank you. It means more to me than you can ever imagine.

To Trevor. Without your guidance and your physio and coaching, I would never have made it round. There is nobody better in the country than you at what you do. I love you man.

To Michelle. For giving me the opportunity to run London on your behalf for such a wonderful charity. You are an amazing person and one of the strongest women I have ever met. Thank you for everything.

And finally. To Cat. My long suffering wife, who has seen me put myself though the wringer at so many of these events. Who never stands in my way, who is always there to take the piss out of me when I start complaining, and who shows me compassion, kindness and patience when I am at my lowest points. Thank you Doc. For everything. I love you.

It all leads to this

Tonight will be the final long run of my training plan. I will be heading out with my good friend Ant, to run 28km. And that will be that. Other than a couple of weeks reducing my running load down steadily, my training will be mostly complete.

This is a good opportunity to reflect on how my training has gone. I think it is easy enough to summarise in one word. Inconsistent.

Starting in earnest on the 2nd January, if all had gone to plan I would have completed around 36-42 training runs at this point. In reality, I have completed 22. So slightly over 50% of my upper training target.

Now any running coach worth their salt will tell you that conistency is the key to marathon training. So why have I been so inconsistent?

Broadly speaking I think this comes down to two main reasons.

  1. Consistenly applying myself to anything has never been a strong point of mine. I set myself a series of rules or ideas to live by, then instantly rebel against myself. I have no idea why I do this, but I always have done and probably always will.
  2. Injury
Definitely me. A rebel without a clue. Plus gives me a chance to remember Tom Petty. RIP

Now of the two above, I expected number 1 and can deal with number 1. Number 1 has been with me my entire life and I can plan around that.

The injury situation has been less than ideal. Starting with a right knee issue, various exercises and strenghtening have got rid of that, but no sooner did I manage to get the knee working than I developed insertional achilles tendonitis. Queue more exercises and physio, some new running shoes and a drastically reduced running schedule and the tendonitis is much better. Big shout out to Trevor Payne from Athletic Performance and Therapy for helping me with my injuries. As always, I owe you big time T.

What all this means though is that I have trained less than I should have. But I have still trained. Though I have had to battle through two different injuries in 3 months, I have not stopped training entirely for any period longer than 1 week.

According to Yale Medicine, over 50% of all regular runners get injured at least once per year. So I have had mine. That’s all there is to it. Or as my good friend Tim likes to say “It is what it is Snooky”.

Where this leaves us, dear reader, is that I am going to be going into London Marathon rather under-trained. What this means, I am not quite sure. To be honest, this is the most under-trained I think I have ever been for a marathon. This being said, there is absolutely no way that I will not make the start line and also no way that I will not finish. Wild horses could not hold me back from crossing that finish.

Mostly, in fact almost entirely, this is due to the amazing generosity that my friends, family, extended friends and family and some complete strangers have shown to my fundraising. I am humbled by this every time I fundraise. You guys who are reading this, those of you who have donated, you are the real heroes in this story. Not me. I just do the running. The generosity you have all shown carrys me along through those painful runs. The ones where you want to give up. The wind and the rain and the hurt and the pain. I genuinely do think of my sponsors at this time, and it is you that keeps me going.

So thank you.

For the rest of you who have not yet donated, there is still time. The race is in 20 days. Why not join the elite group of people who can say that they helped a middle aged, over-weight and under-fit man complete the London Marathon and raise a bucket load of cash for a great charity? Go on, you know you want to.



Half way there is more than half way there.

It’s Sunday 27th March. 7pm has come around. I have waited all day to head out for my training run today as the weather was supposed to clear, which it has.

I wearily gather up my running vest so I can carry some nutrition, my head torch (cause despite the clocks going forward, it’s still going go get dark), kiss the wife and kids goodbye and then out into the twilight I go.

Heading up to the Havant road my path takes me westwards before I turn south and head onto Portsea Island (the island which Portsmouth city is on). Jogging past houses and flats, I am instantly struck by how much more you notice when running than any other form of locomotion.

I have driven, cycled and walked down this road hundreds, if not thousands of times, but running seems to allow me to take more in that any other method of getting about. I notice roads I have never noticed before, little cut through alleyways and paths weaving between the houses and flats. I am struck by the beauty of the twilight. It is quieter than I expected, and even though I am on a busy dual carriageway style urban road, there are few cars about.

Making my way further west the flats become a bit less frequent and more of the sky becomes visible, and it is a beauty. We often get stunning reds and oranges in our sunsets in Portsmouth, especially over the Solent, but todays sunset is lilac and purple and deep blue. There is a real “other worldly” sense about the night tonight. Dawn and dusk are by far my favourite parts of any day, but I think I especially enjoy sunset. The hustle and bustle of the daytime is giving way to the relative peace and tranquility of the night. The birds flying overhead are finding their nightime resting roosts, and not quite yet, but in a few weeks time the bats will be out, hoovering up insects as they expertly weave their way around the urban landscape. There is always great beauty to be found, if you just look around a bit.

Eventually I turn south, crossing over (or under in this case) the M27 and then making my way round the very top of Portsmouth Harbour. There is nobody about, and as I make my way past Hilsea Lido and then shortly afterwards, the SouthCoast Wakepark I am actually feeling fairly decent. I am just over 5km into my half marathon (21km, or 12.1 miles for those of use who like ancient units of measurement) and have completed the distance in about 35 minutes, which is far from fast, but perfect training pace.

They have recently updated the path around this part of Portsmouth Harbour, and they have done a great job. It is a great area to cycle or rollerblade or run or whatever, but tonight, other than an odd cyclist and a very occasional runner, I am out here on my own.

Looking west from the path around Portsmouth Harbour. The lights are the M275 that runs towards Gunwharf down the west coast of Portsea Island.

As my distance increases my pace slows a little, but this is inevitable. I am not as well trainied as I should be at this stage of my marathon training plan, but then again I never ever am, so this is par for the course. Never-the-less, I plod on, turning left again and making my way east across Portsmouth through North End. The houses here are mostly old Victorian terrace housing built around the turn of the century (1900 not 2000) and they have large bay windows and high ceilings. I have always loved this type of architecture and ponder to myself how so much of it is still in such good condition. I doubt when these houses were built anybody expected people to still be living in them 100 years later.

The occasional sickly sweet smell of what must be rather pungent cannabis hits my nostrils as I pass certain houses. “Clearly they are having a chilled one tonight” I think to myself, contemplating if they hear me shuffle past from inside their living room and are wondering to themselves what the hell somebody is doing out running. It is now about 8.30pm, I have been out for about an hour and I am going along nicely.

It is always strange where your mind goes to when you run long distances. More than an hour, and my mind seems to just relax into it. As long as I am not aching or struggling too much, I achieve a sort of Zen like state. I suppose it is the rhythmic pounding of my feet on the ground, the relaxed but elevated breathing, my heart going quicker than at rest, but I find the entire thing very relaxing. No sooner am I thinking how lovely and relaxing it is, than I turn south again and straight into the wind.

Now it is almost always windy in Portsmouth, so running in a breeze is standard fare for me. Running into the wind makes it a bit more tough going, but I soldier on past houses where old friends used to live, filled with memories of fun times. Many of these friends have left Portsmouth now, but the memories of BBQ’s and watching football matches and just hanging out remain. Great times.

Eventually turning back to the east and then northwards, I am out onto the Eastern Road and making my way North towards home. Now somehow (and I have no idea how) the wind is still into my face. Portsmouth has a unique way of channeling the wind so you always feel like you are running into it, and tonight is no different.

Slogging up the path to the side of the dual carriageway I am cursing the stupid wind. I am starting to feel pretty tired now and the last thing I need is the wind hampering my progress. I know that I have to do 10 miles (16km) before I will turn down the cycle path that runs along the north side of Langstone Harbour and the will be sheltered from the wind, but I am a few kilometres from that yet.

Approaching the 10 mile mark I start to get a bit of a second wind (pardon the pun). 10 miles always seems like a significant distance to me and I pick up my pace ever so slightly. I change from my usual audiobooks that I like to listen to when running, to a comedy podcast (The Wolf and Owl – extremely highly recommended) and turn onto the path that signifies the final leg of my journey. My kids call this path the “Dead Rat Trail” because they once saw a dead rat here, and imagining them talking about it amuses me as I complete the trail, turn north, then quickly west and am finally on the Havant road back home.

Arriving back at the house, I have completed a half marathon in just over 2hrs 30 mins, which is a good time for a training run, and most importantly, I have run the entire way without stopping and don’t feel like I am going to die, which is always a bonus.

I’m starting to feel like a proper runner again, which I am loving. It feels good to be able to go out and run long and enjoy it. Is a proper little bit of tranquility in an otherwise crazy world.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you made it to the end, thank you for sticking with me. Just to remind you that all this training is in aide of the London Marathon for Daisy’s Dream, so if you can donate to my fundraising effort I would really appreciate it.



Well the weather outside is frightful

It is freezing outside today. Absolutely baltic. Brass monkeys. It feels like the longest winter I can ever remember.

Training for springtime marathons often involves a lot of training in bad weather. It is unavoidable. Most of the time training in bad weather doesn’t bother me (as you can read about here Some runs count triple) but recently I have just been feeling very cold.

Is a sign of old age I think. I also work from home, and am too tight fisted to put the heating on when I am home alone, so I spend the majority of most days being cold. Walk the kids to school and I am cold. Walk the dog and I am cold. Basically, if you are struggling to get the message here, I am cold.

But I have to train today. I need to go out running today. It is in my training plan, and the best way to get better at running, or to improve your endurance, is to run. So now it is a question of motivation.

Luckily, motivation to get out running is easy to find when you are doing the following

  1. Taking on some sort of crazy challenge (a marathon counts as this)
  2. Raising money for a great charity at your crazy event
  3. It is not long to go until the crazy challenge.

In my case I currently tick all three of these. Less than 7 weeks until the marathon, which is less than 5 training weeks as I will have a 2 week taper before the event.

So whilst you are all sitting in your houses this evening, think of me as I put my running shoes on and head out for a 2 hour run in the freezing, windy, dark, sleety, rainy British winter.



PS – I am currently a long way off of my fundraising target for the London Marathon, so if you are feeling generous (or sorry for me) and can donate to my fundaraising I would be very grateful.

Why why why?

Those of you who have any small children in your life, will be more than familiar with the word why. Kids want to know why they have to brush their teeth. Why they have to go to bed. Why they have to eat their vegetables.

If you think about it, “why”, is our reason for doing a thing, or a reason that things have to be done. At a deeper level, “why” really drills down to your entire sense of self. Why do you do the things you do? What motivates you to do those things?

Anybody who has ever been out running will have thought “why” to themselves on a run. I don’t care if you run for 1 minute, or 1000, every single runner will have thought “why” to themselves at one point. “Why am I doing this to myself?”, will be a thought that has run through their brain, I guarantee it.

Marathons are a slightly different kettle of fish. Even good runners who love regularly running 10km, or 10 miles, will ask “why” when it comes to the marathon distance. This is because marathons are hard. It doesn’t matter if you are Eliud Kipchoge, marathon world record holder (2hrs 1min and 9 seconds), or some bloke like me plodding around in 5 hours, they still hurt the same.

So why why do I run marathons? The reason is two fold. Firstly, I enjoy the challenge of it. No matter how many I run, they are always hard and the training is increasingly tough as I get older, but as Garth Brooks sings, “life is not tried it is mearly survived if you’re standing ouside the fire”. I guess marathon runninng is my way of standing in the fire.

Secondly I run to raise money for charity. So many people rely on so many wonderful charities, and if it wasn’t for people like you donating money to people like me to support out fundraising efforts, the charitable sector would just not exist in this country.

Below is a video I made about why I am running for Daisys Dream. If you cannot be bothered to watch that, I have paraphrased it below.

My friend Michelle lost her husband of almost 20 years. He took his own life. She discovered what had happened to him when entering the house after returning from work. Michelle and Ted had a young son at the time. I can only imagine what Michelle went through, finding her husband and her son’s father had taken his own life. Those of you whom have been touched by suicide in your life will understand this. Those of us who are lucky to have never been affected by suicide will never truly understand how it feels, but we can imagine. The thought is harrowing.

Daisy’s Dream provided support, care and counselling for Michelle and her son, helping them both to deal with Ted taking his own life. Helping them to adapt to life without their husband/father.

They provide these services to countless children. Sevices that are so absolutely vital, and that the NHS is sadly just not equipped to provide.

This is why I am running? To support this superb charity and to help them provide these crucial services to as many children and families as they properly can.

If you can find it in your heart to support my fundraising efforts, I would be eternally grateful. Anything you can donate will help.

Please give generously.



Some runs count triple

Its last Wednesday, just after lunch. I am having one of those days where I have tonnes to do but am getting nothing done. Sometimes it just goes like that. It’s been raining non-stop in England for what feels like forever. I genuinely can’t remember the last time that I saw the sun shining. Its grey, damp and depressing.

As I look out of my home office window onto the street the rain is coming down sideways. The wind is howling and it looks very much like there might be a bit of thunder. Another joyous winter day in England.

My motivation to do anything is virtually zero. I am moping about the house, trying to get my work done whilst figuring out if I need yet another coffee, something to eat, to do 1000 press ups or just to slack it all off and go to bed.

I am grumpy, and I am getting increasingly grumpy just about being grumpy. Fed up and I’ve just had enough. It is starting to get dark outside, but then again, it is pretty much totally dark even during the daytimes when the weather is like this.

Thinking back on my running career, I realise it is time to take action. To sort my life out. I wearily troop upstairs and dig out some running gear. Waterproof running top on, I stash a headtorch in the pocket and head out into the rain. ‘My god this weather is awful’ I think to myself as I head out the door.

Off I go on my usual 7ish km route that I regularly run. Out along the main road I plod, but quickly after I get going I start to feel better. Running can have this effect on you. Luckily, I am running with the wind, so as the rain lashes against my back I get a little boost. It is always easier running with the wind. That being said, the rain is so hard that it is stinging my calves as I make my way down the Havant road towards Langstone Harbour.

Right on queue, the thunder starts. A huge flash of light, followed very quickly by an enormous boom that sounds like the heavens are splitting in two. The storm must be right on top of me. I can only imagine what the car drivers are thinking as they see some lunatic runing down the road in a thunderstorm, their wheels sending up huge waves of water, soaking me through as they drive through the enormous puddles on the roadside. The thunder and lightening continues, flashes lighting up the dark clouds as the sky rumbles above me. Whenever I am out running and there is a thunderstorm, I always think back to the ancient people of earth. How scary it must have been for them, not knowing what is causing this apocalyptical noise. The Gods were definitely angry.

Soon I make my way through to an offroad section which leads to the harbour. I am sliding around all over the place in the mud. My road shoes have zero grip and I am forced to stop and turn on my headtorch. It is dark as hell.

The mud gives way to more tarmac, and as I turn along the harbourside, suddenly I am straight into the wind. The rain lashes at my face, stinging my eyes. My waterproof jacket is useless in this weather, having been soaked through by the car splashes, and I can feel water leaking through my shoulders and chest.

This really is the most horrendous running conditions, and I am absolutely LOVING it.

I am grinning like an idiot as I turn and make my way back across the M27 bridge and turn back for home. This is not some sort of massochistic joy, though you would not be mistaken in thinking that it was. My smile is because I know that runs like this are worth so much more than just the exercise itself.

Whilst I am always hopeful for good weather at the races that I run, good weather is far from guaranteed. Thinking back on it, I have run Beachy Head Marathon in the strongest wind I have ever been outside in. I ran the Mouth to Mouth Marathon during a horrendous hail storm, and the marathon at the end of my ironman triathlon was rain very similar to today (you can see this for yourself in this video of me and my mate Bushy crossing the finishing line). I even completed the Owler half ironman when literally half of the field had to stop on the bike leg because the rain was so hard you couldn’t see where you were going. I didn’t stop of course. Why would I? I finished last in that race, but at least I finished.

So I am no stranger to completing races in shocking conditions, and there is absolutely no guarantee that when I run London Marathon in 14 weeks time the weather will be good.

This is why these runs count triple. Firstly, you are out there running in the first place. Secondly, nobody else is mad enough to go out in these conditions and I could have easily just stayed in the house and done something else. Finally (and most importantly) Iare building up my mental reserves. These mental reserves are vital, cause if it is shocking weather on the day of your race at least I am conditioned for it. Preparation is vital, after all.

Getting home from the run, I felt great. After a quick shower I was able to focus, get on with my work and turn what would have been an unproductive day into a very productive one. This is the power that running can have, especially running in conditions that no sane person would even go outside in!

During this run I had a couple of phone calls. My wife rang me to see what I was up to, and wasn’t even slightly surprised that I was out running in the torrential rain. She is used to these sorts of antics now, and after a short conversation she just said “I’ll leave you to it, see you at home later.” No “take care, the weather is awful” or “what the hell are you doing out running in this”. This really amused me. I know that she is always worried about me when I am doing this crazy stuff, but I always make it home in the end and she knows the value of runs like this and how much I need running in my life.

I also briefly spoke to Vicky from Daisy’s Dream, the charity that I am running London Marathon for. She was substantially more shocked than my wife that I was out running in the awful weather, but when I caught up with her the next day she too understood the value of going out in all conditions.

I suppose the moral of the story is that when you are in a funk, sometimes a bit of exercise is all that you need. Not all of us are lucky enough to be fit enough to run. Every day I count my lucky stars that I am in good enough condition at the moment to do some exercise. I have spent long periods of time injured and unable to exercise as I would like. But right now I am feeling good. Fitness is improving and I am proud that I went out in the awful conditions and am even more proud to be running for Daisy’s Dream.

My next post will be all about them and my fundraising endeavours this year. London Marathon is just the start of things for me. The first in a series of events this year to raise money for some very deserving charities. Times are hard in the UK right now. Most of us are cold at home cause the heating bills are so high. We are struggling to make ends meet. I know that. But at these times charity becomes even more important. This is why I will fundraise hard this year, because charities are hit the hardest during tough times. The work that they do is so very vital and so many people rely on them, and by proxy, they rely on people like me to hopefully motivate people like you to donate some of your hard earned money to keep them running and enable them to maintain the vital services they provide to those less fortunate than us.

Anyway, its a nice sunny day today (the first one that I can remember). Blue skies are shining outside my window and the world seems like a better place for it.

Even better, I am going out for dinner tonight with the lads from my NCT crew. We met during NCT classes when our first kids were all due to be born and have remained friends since, so I am excited to see them and catch up.

Hope all is well with you guys who are reading this. For all your runners out there, next time it is awful weather and you don’t want to run, think of me grinning my way round a 7km run in a thunderstorm and perhaps put your shoes on and head out yourself. You never know, you might just enjoy yourself.



PS – here is the link to my fundraising page.

I promise you the money goes straight to Daisy’s Dream. I will be using my own money for dinner tonight 😉

Its 2023, and it’s gonna be a big one!

So then dear reader, the Christmas period of feasting is behind us. The New Year champagne corks are all popped. Normal life has resumed again.

I have been building up to a very big year for a while. Last year was peppered with injury and illness and change and challenge and most of my goals went flying out of the window. I lacked motivation and was finding life hard going in general.

Whilst I am positive I am not alone in feeling this way about 2022, I did take the opportunity to educate myself on strategies and ideas to cope with modern life and with my ever aging body. I read books, listened to podcasts, engaged with people whose opinion I trust and slowly, during the final days of 2022, I started to see things clearly.

What I have lacked, what I have always lacked, is consistency. I am able to hyper focus a block of time on a particular goal or task, only to then either achieve or not achieve that thing, and then put it to one side and do something else afterwards.

A prime example of this is in my endurance feats of the past. I have been fit enough to complete Ironman Triathlons, ultra marathons and all sorts, but then let that fitness lapse. I have lost a quarter of my bodyweight (25kg), only to put it back on, and more. Each time I start again from scratch. Each time I take on a new challenge I start from zero, unable to run more than a couple of kilometres. Way overweight and unfit. And again and again and again. Repeat ad infinitum.

Well this year is when it all changes. This year is the year of CONSISTENCY.

I have some fairly big challenges to complete this year, the first of which is the London Marathon, raising money for Daisy’s Dream. Next we have The Isle of Wight Ultra (just one week after London) which is 66 very hilly miles round the Isle of Wight, raising money for SANDS. Later in the year I am running another ultra in Bath (only 50km this time), I am doing the London to Brighton bike ride, I am also planning on hiking the South Downs Way non-stop (100 miles) and maybe going to throw in an odd triathlon here or there towards the end of the summer.

I also have some much more personal challenges that I will share with you in due course, but I have aims and targets to progress myself personally that I am determined to make big inroads into in 2023

So the $64,000 question is, how am I going to do this. Well that will be the topic of my next post, but it involves getting up at 5am EVERY DAY as a starting point. That is right, I am going to be that person. It is worth saying that I hate getting up early and have always been a night owl, but as they say, the early bird catches the worm, and I have some big worms to catch.

More coming soon, so for the time being, if you are reading this I wish you and your loved ones a prosperoous and healthy 2023 and hope that this blog brings a bit of joy or inspiration into your life.



A great advice video for older runners, as well as my thoughts too

Great article from Roger here. Well worth a read.


The phrase “age is just a number” may well mean you don’t approach your training any differently from a psychological point of view but as we age the physical side inevitably catches up. So, maybe the answer is coupling this “glass half full” mindset with the right physical regime to then let us enjoy our running for as long as possible.

I have been guilty of some bad habits in recent years and as we look towards 2023 I thought I’d share my thoughts, especially after watching this excellent video from James Dunne, that really hit home this point now that I’ve reached 60.

I’ve attached the video from James and in many ways you could stop reading now. Why read on ? Well I’ve been running for over thirty years so if nothing else I have some experience to draw on, even if I haven’t got the expertise like…

View original post 518 more words

And GO……..

Hello all. I write this blog post in a joyous mood. Only about 7 weeks to go until the London Marathon and I am starting to get very excited indeed.

Those of you who have followed my blog will know that I am nursing (and continue to nurse) an injured knee. It appears that it is not actually the knee that is injured, but a weak hamstring on my right leg that is causing the knee to hurt.

This is extremely good news because:

  1. I can strengthen this hamstring up.
  2. I can run without doing too much damage to my knee (I think).
  3. I can put in place a plan to enable me to train successfully.

Now, dear reader, I know you are all screaming at your screens saying something like “but Snooky, you only have 7 weeks to train up. This is just not enough time”, and usually you would be right that 7 weeks is not enough time to train for a marathon. Alas, dear reader, on this occasion you have forgotten one important thing. My secret weapon. Bloody Mindedness.

Determination has seen me through tougher situations than I am in now, and determination will see me through again. I have written my training plan. 4 “runs a week”. Well when I say run, what I actually mean is walk/run, because I have been advised by Trevor (see previous post to learn all about him) that a walk/run strategy is the one for me. Run for 3 minutes, walk for 2 minutes. Keep repeating until the marathon is done.

So my training plan is to practice this exact strategy. I will be doing 3 lots of strength workouts per week too, so I have the maximum chance of success.

I am EXTREMELY confident this strategy will work to get me over the line, and also quietly confident that it could well be a record tarmac marathon pace for me. The reasoning behind this is down to simple mathematics.

Usually when I run marathons I start out at a good pace and then generally slow and slow and slow as I get more and more tired. What may be 5 min/km at the start, is probably more like 8 min/km at the end (or worse)

A walk run strategy will even this pace out. Bear with me for a bit of maths.

3 minutes running at 6 min/km = 500 metres covered

2 minutes walking at 9 min/km = 225 metres covered (admittedly this is a fast walking pace but I am not intending on hanging about)

Total distance covered every 5 minutes is 725 metres.

725 metres in 5 mins is equal to an overall pace of just under 7 mins/km. 7 mins/km, averaged over 42km would mean a finish time of 4hrs and 54 minutes. My current tarmac marathon personal best is 5 hrs and 2 minutes.

So as you can see we are in personal best territory. And this is whilst walk/running the entire thing, which my knee should handle and I should be able to train for.

If training goes well, I might be able to eek out the run portions a bit longer towards the end of the race and improve on this finish time, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For the time being, it is time to hit the training hard, keep consistent with my strength training, diet, and run schedule and see where I get to.

I will blog about the 3 Peaks Challenge another day as there is a great story to tell with that, but for the time being I hope you are all enjoying the lovely heat we have in the UK at the moment (assuming you are in the UK) and I will be back soon.