The Tony Mackness Running Pages
Rotterdam Marathon | Oxford Town And Gown |
Upper Boddington 10k | 2 Castles |
Arden 9 | Kenilworth Half | ING Amsterdam
Marathon | Rugby 10 |
Snyed Striders Pudding
has not got off to a good start.
day after the Pudding run my left calf started giving me problems, and
has continued to do so.
Six days off and I then went for an 8 miler. Calf felt reasonable until
the last couple of hundred yards when
it started to hurt again.
I knew it wasn't right, after four days of rest, ice, heat and anti
inflamatory gel I gave it another go.
After two miles I was struggling and turned for home early. That was
Dec 27th and I haven't run since.
My physio has told me that this sort of injury can mean 3 - 6 weeks
four weeks off I have been given the go ahead to resume light training.
My first "run" was 32 minutes
at a very easy pace. No problems during or after. The following day was
a day of rest, then a treadmill
run of 35 minutes. Good news is that once again there does not seem to
be any pain or discomfort, so
I am hopeful that I can continue to run and do a bit more each time I
get out. With only 11 weeks before
Rotterdam, that's 9 weeks training, and a 2 week taper I have decided
that the Ashby 20 will have to be
forsaken this year, and more likely than not also the Milton Keynes
most important thing now is to recover from the injury, and don't make
problems for myself by
trying to do too much too soon.
10th February I had worked up to a long run of 10 miles. The following
day 4 miles into a 5 miler
my left hamstring started giving me problems. A visit to to
the physio found no obvious problems,
but on my Wednesday run I had only gone about a mile and a half and it
was uncomfortable, so I turned
round and called it a day. Time for a few days off .....
six days off I went out, more out of frustration than anything else.
Those around me were talking
about their runs and that made me determined to get out. I only did 5
but the hammy eased off as I ran.
That was a good sign. With only seven weeks to go I was going to have
to try and stay injury free, and
increase the miles. A difficult balance. With 4 weeks to go I had built
up to 16 miles on a long run, and
followed that with an 18 and a 20 and then a two week taper of 15 and
ideal preparation for a marathon, but I am resigned to just doing my
best on the day.
No sub 3:15 for me.
The 18 and 20 went OK, but
then on my Friday run with half a mile to go the calf stiffened up. I
however manage to do my 15 on the Sunday. A physio session on Wednesday
left me feeling particularly
sore and I took the decision to take a few days off. One week to go and
the planned 12 mile became a
steady 6. Came through alright and ran 6 again on the Wednesday night.
Will run 4 on Friday and then
that's it until the Marathon.
Rotterdam I shall have a two maybe three weeks complete rest, and then
start some quality training incorporating some hill, speed work and
races. As long as I stay injury free I will then work towards a
marathon in August or September. I am determined to do a sub 3.15 and
get a GFA place in the London
A few years ago I
heard a saying that certainly has a true ring to it at the moment...
- There are
three types of runner:
- Those who are
- Those who are
recovering from an injury,
- and those who are about
to get injured.
Fortis Rotterdam Marathon
Sunday 13th April 2008
Running Number 9597
My 9th marathon, 20
years after my first "Mars London Marathon"
news is that I made it to Rotterdam and the start line. Even better
news is that I completed the run.
After checking the weather forecast every day the week before the signs
were not good. On Friday morning
the forecast was heavy showers, by mid afternoon it had changed to
sunny spells..... Was Michael Fish doing the weather forecast I asked
Anyway Saturday turned out to be dry, and Sunday
was just perfect for running. Cool breeze to start with
warming up later. It did rain in the afternoon, and we only knew that
because we saw it on the highlights on TV. We had finished and gone
back to the hotel for our post marathon nap, totally oblivious to what
was happening outside.
you want to run a flat, fast course with loads of PB potential then
this is the one for you. If you don't get a place in Paris or London, or
you just want to try somewhere new you can get there in little over 90 minutes flying from Birmingham to
Amsterdam then train to Rotterdam.
- The highest spot
on the course is the Erasmus bridge, which you go over twice, the rest
is, "Pancake flat" Not the most interesting of courses I have to
say. A figure of eight takes you from the start line on the Coolsingel
in the City centre, out to the south of the city, passing the
Feyenoord football stadium, back through the centre and then a loop
round the north returning to finish at the start ! Well
supported apart from the north loop which goes round a park between 30
and 40k, (or 18 and 24 miles depending on your preference !!). That's
where the going gets tough, and the extra support would be a real
boost. The good thing is upon leaving the park there's only 2K to go so
you know the job is nearly done.
- Pre race plan was
to try to stick to a steady 5 min per kilometre, as long as the calf
and hamstring which had caused so much problem in the training held
up. I started off well and felt comfortable, covering the
first 5k in 24.23, and continued to run at slightly under my target
pace, after 35k I was 5 minutes ahead of target. By 40k this was
reduced to 2 minutes ahead and at the end I was spot on
- Overall, very well
organised. Toilets and pissoirs in the starting pens !!. Fresh oranges,
bananas, tea, plenty of water and "Extran" sports drink at the end. No
rip offs on the race photographs either, as they are available to
download for free from the marathon website.
- Only have one
criticism, that being the starting pens were a free for all, unless you
had a sub 3.15 previous time. For everyone else it was a mass start.
Yes, we had ChampionChip timing, but even when you cross the start line
it still takes a bit of effort to get into your stride and past the
- Official Time
- Chip Time
- Overall Placing
1427 out of 6841
- 144 in Age
Category M50 out of 786
Oxford Town and Gown
Sunday 18th May 2008
Running number 2351
a race that I enjoy doing, a nice fast, flat course. As in previous
year the weather was ideal for running. Went into the race not really having a plan, as
I hadn't done any speed work. In the back of my mind between
42 and 43 minutes
would be OK. Maintained a nice even pace throughout the race, finishing
in a gun time of 42.38. For some reason my chip time is not on the official
results, but I reckon that would be six or seven seconds under the
at the most
finishing time 42.38
position 244 out of 2666
was one of those last minute decisions. Typical bank holiday weather
meant that gardening was out of the question, so off to Upper
Boddington, a small village in Northamptonshire. It was a very windy
day with some rain thrown in for good measure. Nice course through
country lanes, which on a good day could well be a PB course. A fast
start due to a downhill mile the rest of the course reasonably flat,
with the exception of some canal bridges, and one or two small
first mile of 6.05 mins. gave me an encouraging start but with the high
winds it was difficult to keep an even pace.
Finishing time of
Position 46 out of
Monday 26th May 2008
Running Number 351
The Northbrook Coventry 10k
Sunday 1st June 2008
Running Number 291
third 10k race in three weeks. Hopefully that will help me with the
speed work that I have been missing.
were ideal for the 357 runners taking part, with good support and
marshalling along the way.
it to be a tough course I was very pleased to finish 26 seconds faster
than last year !
Finishing Time 42.11
118 out of 357
Warwick Castle to Kenilworth Castle
Sunday 8th June 2008
Distance 10k Running Number 1255
race used to start in the grounds of Warwick Castle, but as the number
of participants has increased over the years it now starts in St
Nicholas Park, next to the Castle. Good job this one started at 9am as
it was a nice, warm sunny day. An undulating course with a nice bit in
the middle through the leafy country lanes of Leek Wotton.
I obviously didn't put enough into the race, as when I returned home I
went out and ran another 4 miles.
109 out of 2132
Asics Arden 9
Sunday 22nd June 2008
Distance 9 miles
Running Number 62
event was celebrating its fifth anniversary, but was my first time,
and, it wont be my last.
20 minutes drive from home, so its a local race. Run round the lanes of
Hampton In Arden, Catherine De Barnes, Barston and round the lakes at
the West Midlands Golf Club. Not too hilly, but there is a few ups and
downs. The worst one coming between 8 miles and the end.
Target was to do
under 63 minutes. Started well, and with the assistance of my new
training partner, Mr Garmin, I kept a close eye on my average pace as
the race progressed. Running at an average of 6:50 pace I was well
inside my target.
Nice goody bag at the end containing some Asics
stuff, a cereal bar, Cadbury's choc, and a box of tea tags
was a problem with the marshalling at the eight mile point, (there
wasn't one - marshall that is !!) which resulted in the leader going
the wrong way, having to turn round, causing him to lose his lead and
Glad to say by the
time I got to 8 mile the marshal was in place.
No medal or
t-shirt, but instead a fantastic paper weight. Really nice
And, as I have
never done a 9 mie race before, a new PB !!!!!
Position 37 out of
Kenilworth Half Marathon
Sunday 5th October 2008
Distance 13.1 miles
Running Number 586
usually a great run through the leafy lanes of Warwickshire turned out
to be a rather wet race today. I could hear the rain before I had even
got out of bed, and driving from Coventry to Kenilworth I encountered
loads of standing water along the way.
The race got of to a bad start, when after only 50 yards the marshal's
directed us left, but the correct route was to turn right. The front
runners duly followed the instructions before being called back. For
some runners who did turn right it was their moment of glory as they
led the pack for a short distance before the leaders managed to make it
back to the front !! There were two places on the route that were
completely flooded, but I managed to run on the grass verge and so
avoided soggy shoes and socks. For most of the way the rain continued
Another problem was the finish. Coming off the road and then having to
do the final .1 mile around a field is not a good end to any
race. Today's wet conditions made it a quagmire and any chance of a
fast finish was out of the question. Just staying on your feet was a
bonus. My pre race target was to complete in sub 1.30. Bearing in mind
the conditions and that I had failed to shift my cold I thought it was
a reasonably target. For some reason the official clock was
30 seconds out, hence the difference between my time and the official
Unofficial Finishing Time 1.29.47
Finishing position 59 out of 475
The ING Amsterdam Marathon
Sunday 19th October 2008
Running Number 7090
The training for the run has gone really well
and I have managed to avoid any major injuries. As always I set a few
personal targets in preparation, all have now been met. The three
- To do 5 long runs
totalling more than 100 miles. This would be the hardest of the
targets, the first three runs of 21 came and went without problems. The
fourth was a 23, which included some hills. I found it tough but
rewarding. The fifth and final run was 20.5 miles, came only four days
after the 23, so again it was a tough one.
- The second was to
do at least one run over three hours - I did two
to the big day.......
- The third was to
complete more than 50 miles in a week
marathon in six months and both in Holland.
Our flight to Schiphol was departing Birmingham at 7 am so it was up at
4 am and out by 4.30 am to pick up my running colleague Howard. It was
so early that even the larks were still asleep !! Upon arrival in Amsterdam we dropped in at the
world famous coffee shop "Starbucks", not to be confused with the many
other Amsterdam coffee shops...that don't even serve coffee !
Once the formality of registration was over we then had Saturday
afternoon for a short stroll round the "Leidseplein" area and made a
booking for our evening pasta meal at an Italian restaurant which I had
on a previous trip to Amsterdam. This turned out to be a strange
coincidence as Howard recognised it as
the same restaurant he had been to 28 years ago..
Sunday morning and race day...... Due to road closures we allowed
plenty of time to get to the start which was at the 1928 Olympic
Stadium. The easiest and quickest way to travel is by tram.
When the tram finally arrived at our stop it was packed. I know know
how John West sardines must feel....
Conditions on the day were ideal for running, a slight breeze but
nothing to worry about. The course as you would expect is pretty flat,
with only a few inclines that us marathoner runners laugh at.
It starts with a loop of about 9 km, taking in the largest park in
Amsterdam, Vondel Park, before heading out along the River Amstel. This
is quite a long stretch of about 15 km. As you run out along one side
of the river you get a good view of the leaders heading back on the
other side, passing the half way point. Between 26k and 30k the route takes you
through an industrial area where there is very little support, and its
at about this distance (18 miles) when the going gets tough. It was on
this section that my pace started to drop, but a 3.15 was still on.
this point on the course heads back towards the centre, mainly through
suburban areas, and well supported. At about 35k I gave up any hope of
a sub 3.15 finish when the Runners World 3.15 pacer came past me, and
there was no way I could keep up with him. His little red balloon got
smaller and smaller before disappearing into the distance, and I knew
than if I could cover the final 7k at the current pace I should be on
for a new PB at least.
The final 3k repeats part of the initial loop through the park, and on
getting to there I gained confidence knowing there was only 16 minutes
or so of running left.
The race finishes in the Olympic Stadium. Turning onto the track for
the final push of 300 metres was very emotional. The crowd cheered and
music blasted out, it made me feel like I was an Olympian, and I guess
planet Mackness I was !!
Chip Time 3:18:02
Overall Placing 758
out of 5972
58 in Age Category
M50 out of 504
Sunday 9th November 2008
(Race at Draycote Water, Daventry)
Running Number 106
very blustery day which made it tough on the more exposed sections of
this run round the reservoir at Draycote. Two and a half minutes slower
than last years time, which I can only blame partly on the weather !!
Overall pleased with my performance. After about 4 miles I was in 65th
place, and moved up through the field to finish in 51st. From 5 miles
onwards only two runners came past me, but I managed to get revenge on
both of them. Nearly managed to get the scalp of club mate Dave Halford
in the final 50 metres but he just managed to hold off the challenge.
Position 51 out of 222
Striders Christmas Pudding Run
- Sunday 9th
- Distance 10
My last race of 2008, and one of
my favourites. For the
first time in six appearances the weather was perfect.
No wind, rain, snow, or sleet.
Not for the first time however I
found myself going into
the race less that 100% fit. An ITB / knee problem over
the last three weeks had been troubling me, but after
five days rest I felt confident. All was fine until the last
half mile, so I soldiered on.
116 out of 725
page last updated on Saturday 5th September 2009 ©
A S Mackness 2009