Thursday, 27 April 2017


What a day! What a life! What a time!

Three and a half minutes faster than the time I recorded in my first marathon - London 2012.

05:37:29 in London in 2017.

05:40:55 in London in 2012.

05:42:10 in Edinburgh in 2014.

Yes, it would have been marvellous if  I could have maintained continuous running beyond the half marathon point - rather than switch to speed walking and running. I had after all run continuously for at least 17 miles in training. But when from 8 miles you are increasingly surrounded by walking runners, it becomes harder and harder to resist the switch. And my second half marathon was not much slower than my first - just under 3 hours compared with  2 hours 38 minutes. My dad used to take me walking when I was knee high to a grasshopper and I learned to be a fast walker from that very young age in order to keep up. I once had to kick my dad's ankles hard when he had over-walked me. Sometimes you can't just find the words!

Joy in the Meet and Greet to the south-west of Admiralty Arch

I remember posting after the Oxford half marathon in October last year and remarking on how inspiring it is to experience a city being closed down and refocused on one sporting event in the name of charity and community. It was extraordinary in Oxford - imagine how awesome it is when the city in which you find yourself is one of  the greatest capitals on our planet.

London - April 23, 2017 - what a privilege to be in that place at that time. And to be one of  the

Monday, 3 April 2017


This will be my final running blog before April 23 and the 2017 London Marathon - barring injury or other athletic nightmares. Yesterday was the last long run in the longer and longer Sunday run sequence. The next two Sundays will be run as part of the Tapering Programme before the marathon itself - 120 minutes next week and 70 minutes the week after. Then the 26 miles challenge in London.

First, the tale of Sunday's morning run as told by me yesterday afternoon on the Salvation Army runners website:

'My last long run today (03:06:24 and around 17.5 miles) - congratulations again to Sparky Joseph Holly for the long run and ode - and I was quite chuffed to add the half-mile from Mousehole up to Paul to the distance - and then back down to Mousehole. The emphasis is on the 'up'. I didn't so much run up the never-ending ascent but gently jog. The lone rambler walking ahead of me I took some time to catch up and pass with a friendly greeting - and then there was nothing to motivate me but the thought I could eventually sit in front of this computer and type the words 'I ran from Mousehole up to Paul before turning round at about 92 minutes of continuous running from Marazion.' Next Sunday, 120 minutes ...

From the village of  Paul, half-a-mile up from Mousehole, looking back towards Newlyn and Penzance

I'm really quite proud of having made that ascent from Mousehole to Paul jogging all the way. It is a  very steep hill and the sign in Paul proclaims that Mousehole is half-a-mile away. The pub and the church and the village green all entice me to stay for longer - this is surely a village setting that would have been taken to heart by Jago Stone, the subject of my biography and latest work of literature - see this link here. (I can't resist the author's urge to plug his own work: 'The Road to Corbyn' remains a fine 21st century secular and socialist update of John Bunyan's 17th century Christian classic 'The Pilgrim's Progress' - see another link  here. If you haven't yet got a copy or know someone who