The Tony Mackness Running Pages

2015 Race Reports
Centurion Grand Prix Series / Silverstone 10k / Bosworth Half Marathon / Two Castles / Sphinx 5 /  Arden 9 /  Ryton pools 5 /  Adidas Thunder Run 24 /
Godiva Autumnal 5  /   Kenilworth Half  /  Centurion Grand Prix Series /  Sphinx AC Coombe 8 /

Centurion Grand Prix Series

2014 / 2015

5 Miles


Full results HERE

Organised by Centurion Running Club, consisting of 6 races over a 5 mile traffic free course round
 parkland in Chelmsley Wood. One small loop and two larger loops..

January: Not a good start to the year as I'd had a sore throat for the last couple of weeks. At one point I thought i'd seen the last of it, but the day prior to the race it came back with a vengence. I felt pretty rough and could't really get motivated to run. In true runner style I put any doubts to the back of my mind and headed off in minus three degrees to do battle with myself more than the course.
It was a bit icy in places, so running on the grass was a good idea. At times I found my breathing was laboured and it was tough, but hell, there was no way I wasn't going to finish.
Despite feeling slow and sluggish I actually did my best time of the series so far. Not sure how that happened but It was a welcome surprise.

Two days later I'm at the doctors being told I have a virus and chest infection, so that explains
why I felt so shit !
At the moment I don't have the energy to run to the bottom of the garden, so it's time for a rest.

February: My virus and infection really knocked me for six, and in all honesty I'm probably still not over it. I took three weeks off running and started back with a gentle 15 mins on the treadmill, before trying a 5km parkrun. After the park run my chest was as tight as a drum and my breathing was just not right. A couple of days later, it was back on the treadmill for 3.5 miles, and I followed that up with a steady 4.5 mile run with club pals on the Wednesday night. It was a cold night and my chest was again feeling pretty tight.

At the beginning of the week I had returned to my usual lunchtime gym session doing stretching and strengthening exercises. On the Friday my left calf was a little sore to the touch, but I didn't know why. Was it returning to running or the calf exercises I had been doing ?, so out came the anti inflamatory gel and ice pack, and the planned Friday run was cancelled.
On Sundy morning the calf felt alot better, but as a precausion I strapped it up, and headed off to the race.
After about a mile I felt uncomfortable and thought I would pull out. I stopped and undid the strapping and proceeded to jog back to the start. However, instead of stopping I carried on as it felt alot better. My conclusion was the strapping was probably too tight.

I took the race steady as I wanted to get round and finish, which was well a truly
reflected in my finishing time !

 March: This would be my final run in the 2014 / 2015 series. Strong headwinds made it a tough race but I got my head down and progressed through the field on the second and third laps to come home in a creditable 36.37, which would be my best time of the series.
A smaller than normal turn out this month, I suspect because the Coventry Half Marathon was also on today.

Click here to go to Centurion Grand Prix 2014 results

Click here to go to Centurion  November and December 2015 race report

Race NoOverall Position Age PositionTime
Sunday 2nd November25067 / 134
3 / 8
Sunday 7th December423
49 / 107
5 / 7
Sunday 4th January43040/1143 / 736.55
Sunday 1st February12784 / 1394 / 739.56
Sunday 1st March35730 / 943 / 836.37 SB

Wednesday 6th May 

Silverstone 10k 

Distance 6.21 miles

Running Number 269

Finishing position 292 / 1067

Age Position 7 / 49

Full results HERE

Part of the East Midlands Grand Prix series of races which take place between May and July, at Silverstone, Rugby, Blisworth, Corbry, Banbury,Harborough, Weedon and Milton Keynes.

 Because of the excellent surface and flat course it's regarded as a PB potential course....but not tonight !
Strong winds and heavy rain made it a difficult run, with the latter part of the track on the second lap being more suited to ducks than runners. Consolation was the pretty rainbows on view !

Going in to the race I had a sub 45 target to aim for. To say that I was disapointed to cross the line in 45.02 would be an understatement. I was gutted !  Had the conditions been more favourable i'm sure that I would have been at least 20 seconds faster.

Sunday 10th May 

Bosworth Half Marathon

Distance 13.1 miles

Running Number 141

Finishing position 114 / 588

Age Position 16 / 80

Full results HERE

Bosworth is only a 40 minute drive from Coventry so a nice easy race to get to. Despite having a Coventry post code it is actually in Leicestershire.

The Battle Of Bosworth took place here in 1485 and it wasn't until 2012 that King Richard III body was found
under a car park in Leicester !
Miles 6 to 9 of the half marathon route run alongside the site of the battle field.

Anyway that's enough history, on to the race.....
The race starts and finishes at Market Bosworth Water Trust, which looks a great place to take the kids.
A coolish day with a slight breeze made for great running conditions, allthough the sun did break through later on.
The course goes through small villages offering great views over the Warwickshire and Leicestershire contryside.
I had seen pictures and read about the hills which come between miles 8 and 11, so was expecting a challenge. There are small ups and downs throughout the race and to my surprise it was not as tough as I had feared.
Well marshalled with water stations at approximately every 3 miles and the last one having High 5 drink and energy gels.

My target was to get round in between 140 and 1.45. and pace was fairly consistent all the way round, averaging about 7.30 with the exception of 8.02 and 8.11 minutes per mile when I encountered the two hills previously mentioned.

I found a little extra on mile 13 knowing I could hang on and when I saw the 13 mile marker I knew I was going to get under my target. To finish in 1.39.00 was very pleasing, and I earned a well desrved curry and pint later on that evening !

Bosworth Half 2015
Bosworth Half 2016

Sunday 14th June 

Two Castles 10k 

Distance 6.21 miles

Running Number 167

Finishing position 270 / 3835

Age Position 11 / 227

Full results HERE

June is a busy month with three race in a week, and all of them part of the Warwickshire Road Race League,
so an opportunity to get some points on the board.

First up The Two Castles - Warwick to Kenilworth. Plan for this was to get under 45, and having done 45.02 at Silverstone last month in terrible conditions I was pretty confident of doing it.
A pleasant day for running, some found it a bit warm but I thought it was ideal. A head on breeze in the latter stages was nice, and not enough to slow you down.

Not enough toilets at the start. I must aplogise to those patiently waiting in line when I jumped the queue and dived in the port-a-loo. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

This race just keeps on getting bigger and bigger, with 4000 runners accepted.
 Nice goody bag containing cotton tee shirt and a medal. Water and a ceral bar were also available.

Gun time of 44.45 but chip time of 44.18 so I did it !

Next up is the Sphinx 5

Wednesday 17th June 

Sphinx 5 

Distance 5 miles

Running Number 89

Finishing position 117 / 289

Age Position 10 / 20

Full results HERE

The second of three race races in a week.

Organised by local club Sphinx AC this race always gets a good turn out, and this year was no exception, when the race sold out a week prior to race day.

Run at the War Memorial Park in Coventry its a two lap course mostly inside the park with a short distance outside on public footpaths. Some light drizzle about an hour before the race but the air was still quite muggy. The main talking point afterwards was how alot of runners had gone off far too fast (myself included, with a first mile of  6:45) and then suffered afterwards !  It is a downhill start and no doubt that was partly the reason why. I heard of one guy who was a minute and a half slower for his second mile, and I was 33 seconds slower at 7.18. Subsequent miles were a bit up and down but not wildly different.

Finishing time was 35.50

Next Up the Arden 9

Sunday 21th June 

Arden 9 

Distance 9 miles

Running Number 148

Finishing position 115 / 342

Age Position 26 / 75

Full results HERE

The third of three races in a week, so it was a short journey to Hampton In Arden to run my Sixth Arden 9.

As always a well organised race by Hampton Tennis Club, with the help of
 Knowle and Dorridge Running Club.

The course record was broken by Toby Spencer (Coventry Godiva Harriers) in a time of 45.30. I think he had probably showered and gone home before I even finished in 64.11

Arden 9 2015

Thursday 2nd July 

Ryton Pools 5 

Distance 5 miles

Running Number  417

Finishing position 103  / 241

Age Position 12  / 24

Time 35.59

Full results HERE

Race hosted by Spa Striders

Another race and yet another Warwickshire Road Race fixture.
A lovely run round Ryton Pools on pathways, so not a car in sight !

The previous few days had been really hot, in fact Tuesday had been the hottest of the year, so concerns were high that this could be a very tough race. Fears were slightly allayed when there was a downpour late afternoon, but it was still a warm night for running. The one good thing was the rain had reduced the pollen floating about in the air.

The race limit is 300 (Entries on the night only) and as we stood on the start it was announced that there had been 299 entries. Quite why there were only 241 finishers though remains a mystery. Surely 58 didn't get lost on the way round !

Not a particularly fast course due to the number of sharp turns.
Well marshalled and a water station which you go past three times and a plentiful supply of bottled water and bananna at the finish. There was also a barbeque.

I went into the race hoping to better my time of 35.50 at the Sphinx 5, so needless to say I was very dissapointed
to finish 35.59.I was even more dissapointed when I checked back on last years run and found I was six seconds slower.

 I keep on trying but speed is just not there. I read that when you have been out injured it takes the same ammount of time you have been out for to get back to where you were. On that basis I have a nother two years to wait, and I'm not getting any younger !

After four races in 18 days I was feeleing quite tired, and looking forward to taking it a "bit" easier.... well until the weekend of 25th July when I will be taking part in the Thunder Run 24 Hour Race !

Saturday / Sunday 25 & 26 June

Thunder Run 24

Catton Park

3 x 10k 

Running Number  2244


Web Site HERE

I went to watch this race two years ago, and really wished I was taking part. At that time I was still recovering from my achilles injury and there was no way that I could have done it. 
It starts at noon on Saturday and finishes noon Sunday. There are teams of 2, 5 and 8 and also solo runners, held in the grounds of Catton Park in Derbyshire. The winner(s) are the ones that complete the most 10k runs in 24 hours.

The weekend's adventure started on early evening Friday, leaving Coventry in driving rain. Hopefully the weekend wouldn't be as wet as it had been previously. Ariving at about 7.30 I unloaded everything from the car into the tent and then relaxed with a couple of glasses of wine, whilst sitting with all the other Northbrookers, some of whom had been there all day to secure a camping pitch.  

Despite going to bed at just before midnight, I was still awake at 2am thanks (not) to a group of people (not Northbrook I hasten to add) who were having a far to good time !  When I woke at 5pm I needed the loo so off I went, to be greeted by Rich Cawley who was boiling a kettle. Not one to turn down a coffee, albeit at a hour I dont recognise, I went to said loo and then partook in a drink. That resulted in another trip to the loo !

Conkers Parkrun is only 8 miles from Catton Park, and as I am trying to run as many of the Midlands Park Runs
this year it was an opportunity no to miss. Normally they average 325 runners per week but when Thunder Run comes to town it shoots up, this year to 589.
So with the first run of the weekend done we headed back to base camp for breakfast, and more coffee.

At just before noon we all headed off to watch the mass start, and then prepare for our own runs. I was to be off third for "Nortbrook Aces". With millitary timimg we all knew where we had to be and at what time, as team captain Damian had it all down on his spread sheet. My leg started on schedule at 1.50. The first couple of kilometers were  trecherous, due to all the rain the previous day. It was very muddy and difficult to stay on your feet at times. I tucked in behind the runners in front watching where they ran. If they stayed upright I followed them, If they skated about like Bambi on ice I deviated from them. Mindful 
that my next leg would be in the dark I was looking carefully
on the way round for potential problems - things like tree stumps that you can see in the light, but not in the dark.

First run completed  49.15

After that leg it was back to the Northbrook Village, chilling out and relaxing in what was a glorious summers afternoon. 

With my second run starting at 9.25pm the evening was drawing in and head torches and hand torches were required, as in the woods it was very dark. Having never done a night run in woods ever before I was really looking forward to it, and the sight of dozens of torch beams on the way round made it a great experience. Obviously care was required to avoid stumbiling or falling over,which I managed so that was a bonus. The night leg was always going to be slower than the first but I was pleasantly surprised to finish only 3.5 minutes slower.

Second run completed 52.40

This time it was back to the camp and straight to bed as my third and final leg would be at daybreak, but I would need to be awake and ready in good time. 

At about 4.15am I got the shout that the second leg runner had started and I needed to get to the start in readiness. It was geting light by the time I started so torches were not required. Soon after the start you encounter a short but sharp hill climb. I knew it would be tough, and I was determined to get round without stopping. Going up that hill I was reduced to a shuffle but as the run progressed my legs started to ease off and I felt more confident of getting round without stopping. It was inspiring running whilst the sun was comming up, particularly at  the highest point and looking over the countryside. I finished the run and was quite grateful that I would not have to do a fourth. In fact I doubted that I could  run another leg.

Third run completed 53.07

My intention was to go back to bed, but that didn't happen. There was so much going on back at base camp so I just stayed up. Over the weekend I reckon I had about four hours sleep. Mid morning the rain started and didn't stop. 

The Northbrook Aces completed 25 laps (155 miles) in 24:49:53 to finish 92nd out of 228 in the mixed 8 teams.

Fantastic weekend

Would I do it again ?   You bet !

Wednesday 19th August

Godiva Autumnal 5

Distance 5 miles

Running Number  309

Finishing position 109  / 250 

Age Position 7 / 11

Time 35:05

Full results HERE

Race hosted by Coventry Godiva Harriers

Another race in the Warwickshire Road Race league, and held at the War Memorial Park Coventry.

Target for this race was to better my time from the Sphinx 5 and the Ryton Pools 5

Weather was pefect for running, it had rained in the hour or so leading up to the race, and then again as the race was on. 250 turned out for the race.

So how did I do ?
Sphinx 5  35:50
Ryton Pools 5 35:59
Godiva 5 35:05

Sunday 6th September 

Kenilworth Half Marathon

Distance 13.1miles

Running Number  669

Finishing position 211 / 739

Age Position 12 / 46 

Time 1:40:58

Ken Half 2015

Full results HERE

Race hosted by Kenilworth Runners

Another race in the Warwickshire Road Race league.

Training had been going really well in the months leading up to the race. Two weeks before I headed off for some warm weather training in Sorrento, Italy, where I managed two runs, one of 4.25 miles and another of 4 miles.

I had planned to do my last "long" run of 8 miles on the Bank holiday monday of race week, and true to form the British weather did not let me down. I had poured down on the way back from Gatwick on Sunday afternoon, and Monday was the same. Checking the forecast I saw that there may be a brief window late morning so I got ready to "make hay while the sun shines" !

A nice 8 miler was interspersed by drizzle but that was as bad as it got. I was pleased with the run, but later that afternoon I felt a tightness in my achilles. Not good. On Tuesday it was significantly tighter so I decided to rest up until Sunday. I tried to reason why this had happened. Last year when I returned from Kent I had driven back home without a break, run the following day and suffered achilles pain the next day. This year I had driven back from Gatwick, 2.5 hours without a break, and run the following day. Exactly the same scenario, so I believe sitting in a car  without a break was probably the cause. A session with the physio confirmed my back was really tight, and a good massage eased it significantly.

It wasn't until the Saturday I decided to run Kenilworth, albeit I wasn't 100% sure it was the right thing to do. Being  totally honest I didn't enjoy the race. I was thinking about my achilles all the way round. I could't think of anything else. All I wanted was to get round in one piece, and in exchange for that I would take a break to let things heal.

I ran fairly evenly and got round in 1.40.58, so not too bad but not what I was hoping for.

Nice goody bag at the end containing Long Sleeve Tech Shirt, a bananna and chunky Kit Kat - Mmmmmm

So now its feet up time and take a while out.

Centurion Grand Prix Series

2015 / 2016

5 Miles


Full results HERE

Organised by Centurion Running Club, consisting of 6 races over a 5 mile traffic free course round
 parkland in Chelmsley Wood. One small loop and two larger loops..

November: After Kenilworth half I took some time out and then started back training from scratch, starting with ten minutes and building up gradually. Three days prior to the first Centurion race I completed a five mile run without any major problems so i was pleased with my progress. I decided on the Saturday that I would take part, on the basis that if I were to run from home I would do 5 miles so I might as do the race, without racing it.
Its easy to get dragged along in that type of situation, particularly when there's someone breathing down your neck, so my first mile of 7.20 was a tad faster than I had run in training. Miles 2 and 3 were slower at 7.36 pace with
mile 4 being 7.46 and then finishing off with a 7.20, for a total time of 37.49, which I was pleased with.

December: Didn't get off to a good start !  Getting my kit together I could not find my off road shoes. I then remembered I had left them in the garage the outside loo the previous week as they were soaking wet and muddy after the Coombe 8. I hurredly stuffed them with newspaper to absorb some of the moisture and proceeded to drive to the race with the heater full on in an attempt to dry them out, which did work "sort of" !
The race started in windy conditions which soon became wet and windy, however it was just heavy drizzle so wasn't to bad. On the second lap I was joined by a runner from Knowle and Dorridge who tucked in behind me. I tried to shake her off but she stuck with me for the next lap. Going into the final lap I pushed on trying to break her, but she was good ! With about a mile to go i finally pushed hard and pulled away, and set my sights on a group of 5 ahead. I got passed them and then had a sprint finish against a guy from Centurions, beating him by 1 second. I didn't know at the time he was in the same age group as me so i finished 2nd in my group, and an improvement of 39 seconds on Novembers race.
Despite the shaky start with the shoes, all ended well when I won a prize in the raffle afterwards.. A big bag of chocolates. Now I will have to run harder to burn off the calories !  

Click here to go to Centurion Grand Prix 2016 results

Race NumberOverall PositionAge PositionTime
Sunday 1st November12352 / 1242 / 737.49
Sunday 6th December21935 / 1062 / 837.10

Sunday 29th November

Sphinx AC Coombe 8

Distance 8 Miles

Running Number 294

Finishing position 109 / 279

Age Position 6 / 23

Time 1:07:41

Full results HERE

I had entered this race not knowing if I would be ready for it. Places were filling up fast and I didn't want to
miss out. Over the last few weeks I had increased my "long" run and after doing 7 miles the previous week without any issues I was "up for it" ! What I wasn't prepared for was the weather... very windy and the previous day we had alot of rain, which made the course very muddy in places.
Last year it was possible to run through the river crossing, as the water was ankle deep, but this year it was over knee height so just getting accross without going over was a bonus, it was also pretty cold. i though you were supposed to have an ice bath at the end of a race !

At 6 miles the head wind was so strong it held you upright, and it felt like you were not getting anywhere. For some reason getting up and down the "bomb craters" seemed easier than last year - perhaps there was a tail wind going into them ! 

Pleased to get round in a reasonable time, but just wish I could see some consistent improvement in my
running. At the moment it's all back to basics and start building up again, which is very frustrating.  

Looking a bit windswept !

Coombe 8 2015 Coombe 8 2015

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This page was last updated 2nd December  A S Mackness  2015