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Brighton Half Marathon 2019 – Race Recap

I LOVE Brighton! AND I love the Brighton Half Marathon

Date: Sunday 24th February 2019

Time: 9:30am

Weather: Bright sunshine and warm.

Course: The course is the exact same as last year, so rather than rewriting it, check out last year’s post here.

Website: Brighton Half Marathon

My race:  I was so nervous about this race! I would even say that I wasn’t really looking forward to it – dreading it! After last week’s race, read here, I just didn’t want to hate it. I didn’t want to ruin my love for this race.

It was a slightly later start than normal, so I didn’t have to get up ridiculously early, so a 7 am breakfast was very pleasant. I got to the race at about 8:45, went for my traditional cup of tea from the place on Madeira Drive. The queue there was quite long and I did worry about being delayed getting to my pen, as its usually VERY busy, but once I had my tea, it was surprisingly quiet and calm getting to the pen. I must say that I was glad to be staying close to the start, as the toilet queues did seem horrendous.

I took the sensible option to move back a pen, as I originally should have been in the sub 2-hour start. Whilst waiting in the pen, one of the volunteers asked me about my connection to MND, and without warning, I started to well up! I told him about my dad, and we discussed the disease, he had run London many years ago for the MNDA. He wished me well, and I stood waiting for the start gun. I felt so emotional, I had to hold back the tears many times prior to starting the race!

The excitement nerves kicked in when Fatboy Slim was played over the speakers, and then we were moving forward. I was excited as I knew The Welsh Runner AKA Matt Rees was starting the race, so I stayed on the left, so I could high-five him!! Proper fan girl moment! hehe

The start felt very crowded, and I was unsure if this was because I started further back, or I just that I  hadn’t taken part in a big event for a while. The start to mile three was spent trying not to run into the back of people. This was good as it kept my pace sensible. I then spent a lot of time trying to spot people who I knew were running it. To my surprise, I managed to see all of them. I love spotting people and giving them a shout, it motivates me too.

All was feeling good as we finished the first out and back and headed into town. The roads were wider and there was more room, so my concentration was really on not running too fast at this point. As we headed back on to the seafront, I knew my husband was around mile 7, so I just kept pushing, making sure I was looking like a runner, as I had told him to take some photos! I had set that as my targets earlier that morning – I wanted to finish the race and get a race photo in which I looked like a runner haha. I think I was pretty successful!

I think I smiled all the way down the King’s Road. The support was amazing, the sun was shining, and so far all my miles, bar the first were sub 10 minutes. Life was good!

You turn to head back after the Hove Lagoon, around 10 miles. I had to walk the water stations as the water was in paper cups. It was warmer than it had been in a while, so I was making sure that I took on water.

Walking this water station meant that mile 10 was a 10:04 minute mile, I was NOT happy. Running along the seafront, you can’t help but think only a Parkrun, but I was worried that I would push too early. I tried to relax, and take in the surroundings. The sea looked amazing, the support was loud and motivating, shouting everyone’s names. With a mile and a half to go, you join the King’s Road again, and it was now head down and work. I felt like I wanted to run faster, but my legs were having none of it. Luckily having run this race many times before, I know that when you turn into Madeira Drive, there is still a bit to go, so I didn’t push too soon. My finish line was made even more exciting by finally getting to meet Kelly from Kellogs on the Run, and I had another fan girl moment!

Lesson learned: I still love this race. I think this run, made me love it and the running community just that little bit more!

Pros:

  • I still love out and backs! I love watching the speedy runners, and dreaming that one day I might be a little faster!
  • The weather was AMAZING!
  • The support in Brighton is AWESOME.
  • I loved my pacing and sensible approach.

Cons:

  • TRAINS!!! We had to drive, as yet again replacement buses were in place from Three Bridges to Brighton. They seem to do work on the same weekend every year!
  • Hotels are expensive in Brighton
  • Water in cups are so hard to drink from when running.

So, my fifth Brighton Half means, there is very likely to be a sixth. I just seem to really enjoy this race. If you want to read my previous experiences, they are here, here, here and here (for some reason I don’t seem to have 2015!)

Has anyone else run Brighton? Do you love it as much as me?

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MK Winter Warmer 10K – Race Recap

I booked this race about 2 weeks ago. I only heard about it as my cousins were running it, and I thought it would be nice to join in with them. I left it till last-minute to book as it was the start of half term, and we hadn’t made up our minds if we were going away or not. I booked it and then didn’t really think about it.

At training last week, someone had said to me, you have enough time to race it and still recover for Brighton Half the following weekend. So then I started think about seeing how close I could get to my PB. I have been training, and working fairly hard, maybe I could surprise myself.

Well, I did get a surprise, but not of the nice variety. I obviously think I have been training hard, but yesterday showed me, that maybe that isn’t the case. For the first time yesterday, I thought about whether running was really for me anymore!

Date: Sunday 17th February 2019

Time: 10am

Weather: Bright sunshine, not too cold.

Course: It was two laps, as there was a 5K happening at the same time. It is sold as a flat course, but no race in Milton Keynes is ever flat. You start at Willen Lake, and immediately head up hill, then there are bridges over the canal, and bridges over the road. All not that bad, but enough to make you notice and make you work hard. It was mainly on paths, but there was part on what I can only describe as wood chipping(it was very soft under foot). It was pretty running along the canal,  through the open spaces at Willen Lake, and along the lake side. There was water just after the 5K finish and the marshalls were very encouraging.

My race: As I have said above, I decided to go for it. I didn’t really make this decision properly until about 100m in to the race. I started nearer the back, as I never have enough confidence that I can start further up the field. What if I latch on to a fast runner, and then have to stop and walk at 1k!

The start was very congested, so starting towards the back, meant that I had to run on the grass at the side to get past people. It was really quite difficult to find a pace, due to the congestion. I knew I was working fairly hard, but then I always find the first 3 miles of a race hard.

I kept trying to relax and concentrate on my running technique. My watch beeped the first mile in 9:31, and I thought, that’s ok. So I carried on pushing, weaving in and out of people. When the second mile flashed up as 8:41, I panicked, but  tried to blame the downhill section. I tried to slow myself down, remembering I was doing the 10K, not the 5!

Mile 3 was 9:04, but coming past the finish and setting off for lap 2, I just wanted to give up. When I got to the water station, I took water and stopped to walk and drink. I don’t know if I stopped because the water was in cups, or stopped as I needed to give myself a talking too!

I set off and headed up the hill, but I just kept thinking about giving up. I felt like I was shuffling along. There was another hill, that I walked up, I just mentally wasn’t tough enough to battle up it. I was getting more and more frustrated with myself, and wondering why I do it. Mile 4 was 9:35. I managed to settle a little, and just kept thinking, when my watch beeps again, it will only be a mile left. Lap 5 was a 9:06 mile, and from here I really wanted to push on. I felt like I was working hard, but the last mile was a 9:10. I finished in 57:45, which is a good time, but I hated how hard it was.

I was disappointed, as I thought I had been working hard in training, but maybe it was the wake up that I needed. I have Brighton Half Marathon next weekend, and now I know I need to be realistic and pace well, otherwise I could be walking quite a lot.

Looking at the race photos also depressed me, will I ever look like a runner?!!

Lesson learned: I need to have a good look at my training, and decide what I want from running. If I want to get faster and run better, I need to work harder and smarter! Not just in the running part either. If I fuelled properly and lost weight, I’m sure running would be a little bit easier. If I want to plod along and enjoy it, then what I am doing is fine, but I can’t expect miracles at races!

Pros:

  • Meeting family members at the start and end, and sharing the race with them.
  • Local-ish race, so not taking up the entire day.
  • Lovely area and surroundings.
  • The wake up call that I needed – stops me crashing and burning at Brighton Half!

Cons:

  • It’s not flat.
  • Two laps are a killer, when you have not paced the first lap well.
  • There is no short cut, if you don’t put in the hard work, running will let you know!

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I have three half marathons in 4 weeks, so be prepared for more ramblings soon!

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#MNDAD70

It’s been a while since I last blogged, but as it’s half term, so I thought I’d post! If you follow me on social media, you will have seen the hashtag #MNDAD70, and hopefully you will know what it is about. But just in case this blog reaches people that are not following me, let me explain.

So my dad died in 2010 of Motor Neurone Disease. – for those that are not sure what this is, if I said Ice Bucket Challenge or Stephen Hawkins, you probably have heard of it at some point. It is the most horrendous disease that attacks the motor neurones.

I still find it heart breaking that there is no cure. I remember my dad taking part in trials to help find a cure, yet we are 9 years on from his death and people are still being diagnosed with this, knowing that they will never be cured!

January 30th 2019, should have been my fathers 70th birthday, so I had this crazy idea that to celebrate his life and raise funds and awareness, in hope that one day a cure would be found, I would try to run 70 raffles throughout the year.

I have been fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association ever since my dad died, but I didn’t want to just ask people for money again, so I thought I would run raffles, so donators had a chance of getting something from it. I have been fortunate that Runr, Run Mummy Run, Hygge Bands, Sports Direct Running, Proviz, Halo headbands, Pepper Jar Creations, and Time 4 Nutrition have all donated prizes so far.

SEVENTY is a massive number, and I know that it is going to be hard work to get that many prizes, but I will keep going, just like my dad did. I would love to see a cure in my lifetime, and know that I played a little part in helping, but mostly to know that anyone who is diagnosed has a chance to fight and be cured.

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My #flashbackfriday has to be a photo of my last holiday with my dad – a week before he died of #MND . I have had many new followers recently, so I thought I’d share my reason for getting into running. . I played basketball for many years, so I always ran to keep fit for my sport. . In 2009, my dad was diagnosed with #motorneuronedisease on the 9th Nov – I’ll never forget as it was my birthday! . I had read a bit about it, but didn’t know what to expect really. My dad deteriorated pretty rapidly, he lost his ability to walk, and talk, but never lost his smile and kind ways. . My dad died 8 months after being diagnosed, and as hard as it is for all of my family and friends, it was the best thing for him. This disease is so cruel and the less he had to suffer the better. . There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t miss him. He missed my wedding, meeting my little girl and being her granddad! . I had run a half marathon when my dad was alive, but promised him I would run a 16 mile race to raise money for #MNDA . I didn’t make the 16 mile run as I fell pregnant, but I knew I wanted to raise money and keep my promise to my dad. . I finally ran @londonmarathon in 2014 and raised money. It was there that I became part of the amazing @run.mnd group. . All have been touched by #MND and run to raise money and awareness for #MNDA . June is #mndawareness month, and we will all keeping ruining in hope that one day there will be a cure for this horrendous disease. . #nofinishlineuntilthereisacure #runmnd #mnda #runnersofinstagram #runstagram #mydad❤️ #Run #runners #instarunners #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #mndawarenessmonth

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Even if the prize that is offered doesn’t interest you, please spread the word about the raffles, as the more people that know about it, that’s more people that are aware of MNDA, and potentially more money raised.

If anyone is aware of any businesses that may be able to donate prizes to my 70, please comment below, or email.

www.justgiving.com/dennismurphy1949

 

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Wellingborough 5 Miles – Race Recap

I know, it’s like buses!! I don’t race/blog for a while and then two come along in one week! Blame my club, as they have two club champ races in one week. So, if I’m going to delay my holidays for a race, I might as well do both of them!

My niece and nephew held their annual #twinfest to celebrate their 5th birthday, so I was actually camping all weekend. I did wonder whether I would make the race, as I knew the celebration may involved some alcohol. Well, I was a very good girl and only had one beer on Saturday. The weather was pretty shocking, so I retired to bed very early, just to keep warm. This all sounds good, but I had a pretty shocking nights sleep, so when my alarm went off at 6:30am, I wasn’t so keen on running!

Date: 29th July 2018

Time: 10:30am

Weather: So after all this lovely weather we have been experiencing, the weather was wet, windy and a the start cold!

Course: Having never run this race before I didn’t really know what to expect, but was actually pleasantly surprised. The starting/finishing road was closed to traffic, but the rest of the roads were still open to traffic, although they were very quite country roads. The course took you out from HQ and then roughly a 3 mile loop that took you through a very pretty village, and then back. The course is pretty flat, a small incline through the village and a few inclines on the road, but nothing too bad.

My race: I wasn’t feeling in tip top condition and really just wanted to run this race sensibly. I was running with my friend ‘Larks’ and she is naturally faster than me, so I was worried about going off too fast. We kept saying that we had to start slowly, but the competitors in us never lets this happen. We ran mile 1 in 9:16. This worried me slightly, but I didn’t feel too bad. I thought keep at this pace or slightly slower and I should be fine. Well, then a lady passed us, who Larks did not want to be beaten by, so we sped up a little. Mile 2 was 9:02! I just kept thinking get to half way and then it’ll be mentally easier. Mile 3 was 9:13. The end of the third mile and into mile 4 was an incline, that actually took it out of my legs. I had tried to positively tell Larks that we needed to relax through mile 4 and push for the last mile. There wasn’t much relaxing going on through mile 4, I was just working hard to hang on. Mile 4 was 9:25. I felt like I was fading during the last mile, and was so relieved when I saw the finish. But to my surprise the last mile was my fastest in 8:47. Myself and Larks clocked the exact same time, finishing in 45:52. That was quicker than I thought I would do it in, so I was happy with that.

Lessons learned: I am enjoying racing again, and I need to book more for this year, and try to get to Parkrun more.

Pros:

  • Local race and a really nice course. Mears Ashby is a really pretty village that you go through.
  • Good value for money. Well organised
  • Running the entire thing with Larks
  • Having a big turn out from my club again was really nice. It makes the start and finish so much more enjoyable.
  • Really encouraging and friendly marshals throughout the course. (I’m not just saying this because Mary @Ahealthiermoo was one of the marshals 😉

Cons:

  • I would have preferred to have a race t-shirt or medal rather than a polo shirt.
  • I don’t think there were any official photographers – I know they are always awful, but who doesn’t like looking at themselves and having a giggle!

So, I’m off now to book more races, anyone have any recommendations?

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Doug Anderson 5k – Race Recap

I’m not one for paying for a 5K race – why would you when you have a free weekly 5K in Parkrun, but this race is part of our club championship and although I know I will never win, it does mean that I get an entry into the London Marathon club ballot. With ballot places becoming harder to obtain, I think it is worth giving myself more chances to get to run the great marathon again one day!

5K’s are hard, made harder when your training hasn’t been that consistent. Annoyingly, I seem to be saying this a lot lately. I seem to respect and train for marathons, but have a poor work ethic towards other races!

Date: Wednesday 26th July 2018

Time: 7:30pm

Weather: Hot, hot and some more hot!

Course: The race follows the same route as the Bedford Parkrun. It’s funny as it is pretty flat, but the tiny incline it does have seems SO much worse when part of a 5K, and because the race is two and a half laps, you run the tiny incline THREE times!

My Race: I had no idea of what shape I was in. I have been doing a few of my runs on my treadmill, so I wasn’t too sure how this would transfer to outside. I know that I always go off too fast, so I kind of thought that I would try run a low 9:XX minute/mile for the first mile, then try to dip just under 9 for the second mile and then give it everything for the last mile, hoping that to be around the 8:30 pace.

I completed a mile warm up and I felt ok, it was SO hot and I was sweating lots after just the mile. The start of the race was very crowded and lots of people were running past me, which made me feel like I was going slow. I didn’t mind this. I felt very comfortable, and just kept plodding along. I did look at my watch, and it was registering 8:30 pace, so I tried to slow down. As I approached the tiny incline, I worked fairly hard to get it over and done with. I clocked the first mile; 8:38 – Great, just what I didn’t want to do. I still didn’t feel too bad, but I knew I’d set off too fast. I kept pushing and mile 2 was 8:54, I knew at this point that I was definitely heading for a positive split, hehe.

During the final mile, I had people pass me and I just tried to cling on to them. I picked up water and nearly drown myself as I threw the cup of water towards my mouth! My final mile was my slowest at 9:04. I executed my pace plan, but just the wrong way round!!!

It was great being part of an event with so many of my club mates. The support around the course from club supporters also kept you working hard.

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So tonight we had our club champs at the #douganderson5k . This photo was taken in the finishing straight, and to be honest it’s pretty awful. I am carrying far too much weight, I look heavy legged and my time was nothing special (27:45) . But this is where I’m at. I can’t say I have been particularly focussed on my training and nutrition (not sure I’ve ever been sorted with nutrition) so I either take some action or have to accept photos like this! . Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud that my body allows me to run and is strong, but I think it’s time to take a little more care. I can’t expect it to keep performing if I don’t look after it!! . I work well on a plan, but other than a 5 mile race on Sunday I don’t have anything else booked in for this year (5 events already booked for next year 🙈) so I think it’s time to book something for the summer and start working on a plan to do better than just turn up!! . What’s everyone got booked for the Autumn? I’m not@even sure what distance to target! Maybe I should target another 5k, and work to get a PB at this distance!???! . . . #runner #thisgirlcan #5k #race #runnersofinstagram #ukrunchat #ukrunners #instarunners #womensrunningcommunity #runstagram #teambalancise #runclub #inneedofaplan #trainhard #focus

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Lessons Learned: I NEED a plan. I am good when I have a plan. I need to target a race in the autumn and train for it. I’m not sure what distance or race yet, but I’m going to do some research today. My initial thought is maybe to target a 5K PB???

Pros:

  • Local race, well organised with familiar route for me.
  • Not too expensive
  • 5 k’s don’t take up much time!
  • Without too much specific time, I was only around 1 minute off my PB.
  • I tried out my Hydratem8 Insulated bottle with cold For Goodness Shake Chocolate milkshake, and even in all the heat, it was still icy cold at the end of the race!

Cons:

  • 5K are HARD work
  • It was HOT, HOT, HOT!
  • It has made me more aware of how much hard work I have ahead of me. I need to be stronger, lighter and fitter!

Thanks to Andrew Brayford for the photos 🙂

Does anyone actually enjoy running 5K races? (Ok, Philip I know you do!) My next race is the Wellingborough 5 Mile this Sunday. What does everyone else have coming up? Any suggestions far a target autumn race? Please leave suggestions below.

 

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Mizuno Endure 24 2018 – Race recap

This was my third time at this event and for the third year in a row, I can say I LOVE THIS EVENT! For some reason, I didn’t write a race recap last year, but you can read 2016’s here.

The event felt bigger this year, and I am sure there were lots more people running and spectating. If you are not familiar with this event, it’s a 24-hour race that starts at noon on Saturday and finishes at noon on Sunday. It’s held at Wasing Park, Reading (and there is one in Leeds) and you can run solo, in pairs, small teams and large teams. The course is just shy of 5 miles and is an undulating trail route.

I was in a large team, and there were 6 of us. The maximum in a team is 8, and I think 3-5 people is classed as a small team. I arrived on the Friday night, but was lucky enough to be part of RunMND, and some of the group had got there at 11 am and secured a good spot for camping. We were camped in the same place as last year, which is to the left of the event village and only about a 5-minute walk to the start line. If you camp in the large field, you can have a 10-15 minute walk to the start.

Arriving on the Friday night allows me to catch up with friends and meet new friends. Our running group is expanding rapidly and there were many new people to meet. Although the reason for us all knowing each other, (we all have known/know someone suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and we all have a passion to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for the horrific disease) it has allowed us to meet the most amazing group of people.

The event organised a kids race and a disco on the Friday night. I went down to support the children’s race, but didn’t stay for the disco, as we had some pizza’s to get through!

I didn’t get the greatest night’s sleep on the Friday, and I really MUST remember ear plugs next year, as someone talking outside my tent woke me up at about 4 am! Honestly, I probably would have woken at this time regardless, but I’m hoping earplugs might allow me a few more hours sleep next year!

They have about 18 showers available, and I used them twice over the weekend, and they are nice. I would have used them again at about 3 am on Sunday morning, but the queue was huge, so instead, I headed to my tent to catch a few hours sleep.

The start of the race is always manic, as everyone comes down to see the start and cheers the runners on. This is when you realise how many people are at the event. I was going 2nd for my team, so after cheering everyone off, I stayed around the race village and then headed into the change over pen.

Live from the start of Endure 24! Maybe Fatboy Slim will come and DJ next year🤩

Posted by Endure24 on Saturday, 9 June 2018

My training hasn’t really been very good of late, due to being ill and my husband being away with work, so I had no idea of how my laps would go and how many I would do. My only aim was to enjoy the laps and have fun with RunMND.

I ended up doing 4 laps, so just under 20 miles. I ran 3 of the laps, well ran/walked as I didn’t even attempt to run some of the hills. One day, I may attempt Heartbreak Hill, but then again…..

Taking part in a 24-hour running race is tough. You don’t have to have a runner on the course at all times, and my team were very relaxed about how long we took, and how many laps we would all complete. We were not going to win it, so we went to have fun, and between 3 am and 5 am we didn’t have anyone on the course, and it was between these hours that I did get my head down. I could have slept at other times, but I had FOMO! (Fear Of Missing Out – explanation for my mum!!)

Our group had set up a temporary camp along the finishing straight, and we cheered all the runners on. The finish line camp had people there for the whole 24 hours, and even though we cheered our own runners on the loudest, we supported every runner. As you become more and more tired, the cheers become funnier and banter flies – I laughed so much I didn’t want to go and sleep as I didn’t want to miss out!

Sorry Mike, it had to be shared!!

My night lap was with one of my club mates. We walked the loop, took photos and video’s and I loved being able to share the loop with Julie. Considering there were so many runners from RunMND and two teams from my club, I saw very few of them on the course, yet,  you never feel alone. The running community is a friendly group, and there were so many solo runners, that I congratulated and wished well on the way around. The course is also challenging so it keeps you focussing all the way to the end.

Last year, I remember saying how it would be great if they had pre-erected tents and they had that option this year. We realised that this wasn’t quite what you want when you are with a big group of people, as you want to be able to camp together. But, the taking down of the tent at the end is something you dread, as by this time you are on the struggle bus with sleep deprivation. I was VERY lucky, as I shared the tent of some other runners, and by the time I got back to camp, Paul had already taken the tent down! Thank you, Paul, I owe you big time! But we did discuss how paying people to come and take your tent down, and neatly pack it away in your car, would definitely be a money maker! hehe

This year, I booked to stay in a hotel in Newbury on the Sunday night, as the drive home has not been pleasant for the last two years. It did mean that I would have to be up super early on Monday morning to get back for work, but I still felt this would be better than the drive home! When my alarm went at 4:30 am on Monday morning I wasn’t so sure! I really need to get a job where I can take a days holiday during term time!

Throughout the weekend Mizuno ran competitions on their twitter feed to win trainers. I tried to enter two of the competitions, but with no luck. You have to remember lots of additional battery chargers for your devices, as logging on to twitter, downloading your laps to strava and taking all the photo’s to share on Instagram certainly zap your battery – yes I know none of these have to happen, but if it’s not on Strava did you really do it???

I managed to purchase two new headbands over the weekend too. After my New York City Marathon headband from Sparkly Soul costing me SO much (thank you import taxes!), I have tried to get my monies worth and wear it ALL the time. But as soon as I looked at the Halo headbands, especially the Endure 24 one, I knew I needed to buy it. They had a deal on for two, so I decided to get the Union Jack one, as one day soon I will do another international marathon!

Recently, I have been blogging less and less and was wondering why I even kept this site. Then I lost the entire site somehow when I was updating a race time. It sent me into panic mode, as I realised that I like looking back over my training. Yes I could keep a diary, but I wouldn’t stick photo’s in, so this is just my form of diary!

At the same time, if I can encourage one person to run, or join an event, especially this one because of my feedback, I know Sthat can only be a good thing! So, if you have any questions about Endure, please post below.

For me, when packing next year (and anyone else needing reminding), things not to forget next year!

Tent – if Julie and Paul are reading this, yes I know!!! hehe, Sleeping bag, sleeping mat, pillow, I try to pack a complete change of clothes for each lap, including underwear (packed in separate carry bags), flip flops, and one set of casual clothes for the end. I mainly changed straight into my next set of running kit after each lap. So far I have only ever used one set of trainers, but take a spare pair, as if it was to rain, wet trainers would not be pleasant. Camping light, head torch, FOOD; I mainly rely on the food outlets at the event, but you still need snacks between laps, I think I lived on Jaffa Cakes! I had my Spibelt, that has bib number tags, it means I don’t have to change my race bib every time I change clothes. Towel and flip flops for the shower. Dry shampoo! Fully charged extra batteries for my phone and Garmin, EARPLUGS for sleeping, deck chair. Mug for Tea – I forgot mine! A funny story, I pulled into Reading Services, thinking I could buy a travel mug there. I took a wrong turning and ended up back on the motorway without even stopping! What a wally!

I know I haven’t added everything to this list, so I will keep editing this post, in hope that next year I will be super organised. Please feel free to add things below to help!