The Tony Mackness Running Pages

2016 Race Reports

Centurion Grand Prix Series / Draycote Water 10 mile /  Silverstone Grand Prix 10K / Bosworth Half Marathon /  Ryton Pools 5 Miles / Sphinx 5 /  
Two Castles / Arden 9 / Birmingham and Black County Half Marathon / Continental Thunder Run 24 / Dingle Half Marathon

Centurion Grand Prix Series

2015 / 2016

5 Miles

CGP Feb 2016

CGP Feb 2016

Click to view full size images

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: Looking out of the window at 8am it was overcast and raining, typical of the weather over the last few days, but at least I wouldn't have to scrape the ice from the car as I had done on New Years Day !
When I set out at 9.45am it was still raining. I turned on the car radio, and had to smile as the song "Cloudbursting" by Kate Bush was playing.  
When I heard the lyric "The sun's comming out", my immediate retort was "Not today it's not Kate ! "

Unfortunately the rain was not going to give up, and added to the recent rainfall it made for a very wet run, with alot of standing water on the path's and the grass was sodden and slippy. Things could have been alot worse as a tree had fallen a couple of days prior, but sterling work by Centurion Runners meant it had been cleared so the race could go ahead.

I had hoped to better my previous months run, but the weather, and a sleepless night put paid to that, and I clocked 37.49, which was exatly the same as my November 2015 time.

February: Saturday had rained all day long and parts of Coventry were flooded. I was expecting the race to be rather wet, but strangely there was only one large puddle, which could not be avoided. so it was soggy feet time on laps two and three. Despite some spots of rain just prior to race start time it failed to be more than just that so conditions were good.
WhiIst going through my warm up I turned on my Gamin only to see the low battery warning, so I knew it would only last for about ten minutes, and I wasnt going to get round that quick ! I would have to run not knowing what my pace was or how far I had run.
I was off to a good start running at 7.10 pace before the Garmin ran out. On the second lap I passed  a runner who has had the better of me recently, which was pleasing, so I had to work hard to push on and not let him come back at me. I then passed a Northbrook runner, and then a group of 5 infront.
I had moved from 46 place to 41 and dug deep trying to catch the guy in front, which I didn't quite manage
 to do and he finished 3 seconds in front of me.

I was very surprised, and pleased to finish in 35.59, only 4 seconds away from my
best time at this race, 35.55 which I managed in March 2014

March: I'd had a cold since Wednesday and felt so lathargic that I even skipped the Wednesday night club run.
Still bunged up, I tried a steady park run on Saturday,  but in all honesty I didn't really feel "up" for the Centurion GP race.
Conditions were good for racing, but my breathing was laboured and I couldn't get going. I knew it would be a tough one and had to focus on getting round as best as I could.
I was reasonably happy with my time, but with next month being the last race of the series and the V55 age category prize I will be hoping to get a sub 36 time.

April: Good conditions for the last race in the series. My target, was for a sub 36 minute finish so I had done parkrun the previous day a little slower than usual to keep a bit of energy in reserve.
I started with a 7:03 mile, followed by three slower at an average of  7:12 before a final mile of 6:59. I had an eye on my main rival in the MV55 category, and managed to get passed him on the third lap, and I wasn't going to let him back in !
A good run and finishing in 35.38 was a pleasing result.
In the overall series I finished 1 or 2 in my age category so overall a successful 2015/2016 CGP series.

I'll be back in November when i'll be competing in the MV60 category !

Click here to go to November and December Centurion Grand Prix 2015 results.

Race No Overall Position Age Position Time
Sunday 3rd January 2016 379 67 / 154 2 / 8 37.49
Sunday 7th February 2016  139 40 / 132 2 / 9 35.59
Sunday 6th March 2016 224 36 / 102 3 / 8 36:45
Sunday 3rd April 201630329 / 972 / 935.38

Draycote Water 10 Mile

Sunday 20th March

Race Number 2394

Finishing Position 29 / 148

 Age Position 5 / 13

Finishing Time 1:12:44

Full results HERE

First 10 mile race since December 2008, when I did the Syned Striders Pudding run in a time of 69.50 !
Today's race was run in a clockwise direction, whilst all my other runs at Draycote have been anti clockwise,
and I must say today it seemed alot more undulating !
Draycote can be difficult as its fairly open but the wind was not so evident today.
Its a two lap course round the reservoir with an extra quarter mile at the beginning to make up the distance.   

Pre race target was to get between 1.15 and 1.20.
I started off well and held an average pace of 7.21 for the first lap. There had been a guy on my shoulder for a while who came passed me at the start of lap two. I tried to hold him off but he came back at me. On a downhill stretch I pushed hard to put some distance between us, and he dropped off. Next was a couple of guys and a female runner who I had in my sights,
the gap was narrowing and when I got in front I was running on my own.
It was a while before I could see the person in front, by which time we were into the last half mile. They had a good
lead on me, and I wasn't closing it down.
Looking at my watch I could see that a sub 1.15 finish was on so I pushed hard with a last mile of 6.40 to cross the line in  a very pleasing 1.12.44 (chip time)

Very good value race at 12 for affiliated runners.
Chip timed and a goody bag containing water, energy drink, energy bar, energy drink powder and popcorn !
Technical T shirt and medal also.
Mile markers in use but they need to be BIGGER !!

Race promoted by " The Race Organiser" who also put on other events at Draycote.
There's  a half marathon in May, 7 at 7 in July, 10k in August and a second 10 miler in October.


Silverstone 10k

Wednesday 4th May 

Race Number 431

Finishing Position 268 / 1172

 Age Position 12 / 47

Finishing Time 43:48


Full results HERE

Would the conditions be better this year ?
Both the 2014 and 2015 races were run in lousy conditions.
The BBC forecast predicts " a good deal of dry and fine weather".
We shall see...

Good to be able to report that the BBC got it spot on this time, and, conditions were ideal for running this year.
A gentle breeze was blowing, but that was welcome !

I was determined to better my Silverstone runs, and before heading off to the circuit, I wrote my previous times on the back of my hand. With ideal conditions there would be no hiding,no excuses, I had to go for it.

The first three miles were all sub 7 minute pace, miles four and five at 7.07 pace before the final mile of 6.59.
Of course there is still that .1 of a mile to go, which I knocked out in 1 minute and 49 seconds, which is equivalent to a pace of 6.17 per mile - which was the fastest of the race
   All that brought me home in 43.48...Mission accomplished !  

On the way back I stopped off at McDonalds, with the intention of having a coffee, but that became a Chicken Sandwich meal. Looking around there were quite a few other runners who had done the same. That made me feel less guilty. If a McD's is good enough for them it's good enough for me.

Previous Years Results

Bosworth Half Marathon

Sunday 8th May 

Race Number 96

Finishing Position 74 / 581

 Age Position 8 / 79

Finishing Time


Full results HERE

Having raced at Silverstone on Wednesday evening, I decided to run 4 miles on Friday morning and take a rest from parkrun on Saturday. As it was I would have a pretty hectic Saturday anyway with LCFC winning the Premier League there would be plenty of celebrations at the King Power Stadium both before and after our game with Everton, and then I had a family party to attend in the evening. Not best preparation for a half, especially when I didn't get to bed until after midnight.

Earlier in the week, the weather forecast was for Sunday had been for thunderstorms. Saturday had seen glorious sunny weather, until late afternoon when the heavens opened. Sunday was just Sun Sun and then more Sun !
The weather caught quite a few runners out, with some requiring medical attention. There was no hiding from the heat. I was dripping wet within the first mile, and there was hardly any cooling breeze. As we climed higher the breeze became more evident, but that wasn't until about 8 miles. Between 8 and 11miles it's an uphill climb, and then a welcome downhill to the finish.

I really wanted to beat last years time, but I was to be dissapointed.
2015 time 1.39.57, this year it was 1.40.13 so I guess that a finishing time of only 16 seconds slower
is pretty good going, especially when you consider this years tempertaure was 68... and only 54 last year.



Ryton Pools 5 Mile

Wednesday 25th  May 

Race Number 36

Finishing Position 109 / 264

 Age Position 9 / 23

Finishing Time 35:34

ryton pools 2016
click to view full size image

Full results HERE

The Spa Striders 5 mile race is the second of twelve races in the Warwickshire Road Race League.

A good night for running. Nice and warm in the sun, but with a gentle breeze making it cooler in the shade. It had been dry all day which meant a bit of a dust cloud at the beginning but nothing too bad this year.

I only had one objective tonight, and that was to get round in a course best. Last year I had missed out by only 6 seconds, when I finished in 35.59, and with my best time of 35.53 back in 2014 I reckoned it was do-able.

Starting off with a 7.05 mile I then put in two at 7.13 before a forth mile at 7.02.
So far so good and I knew that I was on for my target, even if I slowed down to a 7.15 ish last mile
But that wasn't going to happen as I continued to push and recorded a final mile at 6.51pace to finish
 in 35.34, knocking 19 seconds off my course best.

Like I said... A good night for running ! 

A great race organised by Spa Striders, with bottled water and bananas at the end for all runners,
and at only 5 to enter an absolute bargain....


Sphinx Summer 5

Wednesday 8th  June 

Race Number 141

Finishing Position 109

 Age Position 7 / 22

Finishing Time 35.40

Sphinx Summer 5

click to view full size image

Full results HERE

These WRRL race come thick and fast in June. Only thirteen days after the Spa Striders 5 mile race the third race of the series is the Sphinx Summer 5 mile race, held at the War Memorial Park, Coventry.

This race is guaranteed a great turn out, and is always sold out in advance of race day.

Wednesday had started off a fine day with brilliant sunshine, but this was to change mid afternoon, when torrential rain arrived. Local roads were flooded, and school children were walking home soaked to the skin.
When I left the house to go to the race it was abot 6.50pm, and there was a few spots of drizzle in the air, but it was so humid.
During my warm up I was sweating profusely, probably as I had drunk plenty of water in the hours before the race.
Start time was 7.45pm, but the temperature was still a sunny 68

My target was to better last years time, and hopefully, and also my Ryton Pools time from two weeks ago. The start was a bit manic, with 300 runners strung out over a narrow start line, meaning it was half a mile or so before it started to thin out, and despite this mile 1 was my fastest of the race at 6.53 pace ! The next four were an average of 7.04 pace which would have been a finish time of 35.14, however for some reason I ran 5.07 miles, bring me home in a respectable 35.40. I had beaten last years time (when the course measured 5.03 miles), but failed to beat my Ryton pools time by 6 seconds.
Nice custom medal at the end depicting the Coventry War Memorial.

What wasn't so nice at the end, was an aching achilles.
I had run 11 on Sunday over a particularly hilly route. I wasn't keen on doing it but got round fine without any issues.
The following day my achilles was a bit sore, but not bad enough to prevent me running. After the Sphinx 5 it was tightening up, and I feared the worst.

Plenty of ice and anti inflamatory gel over the next few days seemed to settle it down, but I decided not to run again until Sunday, when it's the fourth race in the WRRL series, the Two Castles 10k.


Two Castles 10k

Sunday 12th June 

Race Number 258

Finishing Position 356 / 3954

 Age Position 17 / 100

Finishing Time 45.52

click to view full size image

Full results HERE

Up at 6.15am for this one. Allthough the start is only 9 miles from home, logistics have to be sorted getting to and from the race, and the gates to Warwick Castle close at 8.45am. If you are not in the Castle grounds by then you are out of the race !
Usually I park in Warwick, do the run and then run back from Kenilworth to Warwick to get the car, but on this ocasion I wasn't going to put any undue strain on my achilles so opted to one way only.

I did plenty of stretching before leaving home, and then more 15 minutes before start time. I decided to keep my pace sensible and not go off too hard. I wanted to get through this as I have two races comming up before I can take a bit of a breather. It's a bit up and down, with the first up comming after half a mile. Its then pretty flat until
three miles and then flat again until four and a half when you come to Rouncil Lane, which is quite a long uphill stretch.Once at the top you go downhill until one last uphill before turning into Kenilworth Castle.
I started with a first mile at 7.07 then 7.20, 7.37,7.39, 7.22, 7.11
and the final .25 of a mile at 6.25 pace !

Weather was good for running. Predicted thunderstorms failed to materialise, but it did start to rain about half way.
Trees along the route provided some shelter until the last couple of miles. As usual cotton T Shirt, water and cereal bar at the end.

Achilles held up, but there were a few little reminders along the way. More Icing and anti-imflamatory gel this week ahead of the Arden 9 next Sunday.

Arden 9

Sunday 19th June 

Race Number 157

Finishing Position 179 / 366

 Age Position 17 / 50

Finishing Time 69.26

Arden 9 2016

click to view full size image

Full results HERE

After a week consisting of rest, physio, ice and anti inflamatory gel, the achilles felt alot better.
I started the race fairly easy, and got to about 6 miles before I felt some tightening in the achilles. Strangely however, it was not my troublesome left side but on my right. This caused me to slow down and be a bit more cautious. At about seven the route goes round Barston Lakes, and from here on in it was getting progressivley worse. By eight miles I had slowed down even more and runners were comming passed me. I could see myself having to walk up the last uphill climb, but I managed to shuffle up and just about finish the race.
I honestly think that if it was any more than a 10 mile race I would have had to either walk or pull out.
My first 6 miles had averaged out to about 7.25 pace and the last three were 7.40, 8.41 and 8.11

I was really dissapointed with today.
I can live with my left achilles giving me grief, as I have had to manage it and put up with it for almost five years.
Quite why my right achilles is troublesome is a mystery.
Perhaps I am trying to compensate for my left ?
This week will consist of more physio, more self treatment and no running.

With two weeks to go before the Birmingham and Black Country half,
 I am doubtful if I will make it to the starting line.


Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon

Saturday 2nd July 

Race Number 277

This race starts in Wolverhampton and follows canal towpaths to Brindley Place in the centre of Birmingam.
I expected it to be flat, but apparently you have to go over lots of bridges, so it turns out to be quite tough.
Theres also the Coseley tunnel to contend with at 4 miles. Its 329 metres long and very dark !

All that sounds great but sad to say I didn't make it to the start line, so I cannot speak from experience.

No running since the Arden 9, and the right achilles/calf is still sore. I have tried to do some single heel raises,
but it's not strong enough, so I have had to do them on both legs at the same time.
There are three weeks before the Thunder run, so I shall continue with the icing, stretching and physio for the next two weeks before making any decisions.

Very dissapointed to miss out on the Half as It was a race that I had fancied doing for a while.
Long term I need to be fit for Dingle in September, and hopefully I'll be able to do the BBCHM next year. 


Continental Thunder Run
Catton Park

Saturday / Sunday
23nd / 24th July 

Race Number 2060

Thunder Run 2016
click to view full size image

A 24 hour race in which teams of 1,2 5 and 8 attempt to run as many 10k laps starting Noon on Saturday and finishing Noon on Sunday.

I had rested my legs for four weeks and on the Saturday a week befor the TR24 I had ventured out over the common and did 15 minutes. It wasnt 100% but it wasn't any worse afterwards. On the Monday I did 18 minutes and again I didn't seem to have any adverse reactions. I decided that my next run would be Thunder Run.
I was quietly optomistic that I would be able to do one lap, and if I could do two I would be very pleased.

I was doing leg 6 in a team of 8. When my turn came round at about 5pm, I stood nervously on the start line waiting
for the handover. I started slowly and on the first hill I ended up walking, not because I couldn't run but because those infront of me were walking and it's a very narrow path. I continued to run very, very steady, but after 4.5 kilometers I felt my achilles beginning to react. By five kilometers I had slowed down, and knew that if I got one lap in that would be my only involvement in the race. I coaxed it round stopping and stretching, with some walking too. My lap took a dismal 62 minutes. I was not happy.

Afterwards, I "walked" back to the campsite, threw my kit into my tent and opened my cool bag.
Out came a can of Kronenberg 1664, quickly followed by a second and then a third.
I kept myself to myself for an hour or so. I wanted to be alone.
I took some consolation that it didn't feel as bad as it did after the Arden 9, but never the less it was not the outcome I had been hoping for.

So where do we go from here ?
Dingle is in 6 weeks. Physio and rest.
Whatever happens
I WILL be on the start line.
I WILL get round
and afterwards there WILL be Guinness, and plenty of it.

Dingle Half Marathon

Saturday 3rd September 

sad face

After the Thunder Run I rested for four weeks before tentativley trying out a short 15 minute run on grass.
That went OK and the following morning it wasn't any worse (but it wasn't any better either !).
I then took a day off before doing Coventry park run, again taking it easy, which was reflected in my finishing time of 25.58, but, as I kept telling myself on the way round, it WAS NOT a race.
I then left it for a few more days,before venturing out again, this time for 3.5 miles. The following day It was sore again, so out came the ice pack AND hot water bottle, which, seems to be having some effect.
I decided that with a week and a half to go I would stop running, and rest completely.
My next run would be Dingle.

Well, in fact my next run would NOT be Dingle.
At 23.15 hours on Thursday evening (9 Hours before departure time) I received a text from Aer Lingus
informing me that due to "Opperational problems" my flight was cancelled. Because I had gone for an early night I didn't read the text until 4am, leaving very little time to do much about alternative travel. A later flight was scheduled for 9pm on Friday night, but with at least a two and a half hour car drive at the other end of a 95 minute flight it wasn't an option.

To say that I was very dissapointed would be an understatement.
With my current injury, perhaps it was meant to be, we will never know.

No Dingle. No Run. No Guinness.  

Go to top of this page Return to running home page


This page was last updated 2nd September 2016   A S Mackness  2016