Tag Archives: 10m

Race Report: Bramley 20/10

Sunday was the date of the Bramley 20/10 – a Road race around the village of Bramley in Hampshire (Just outside of Basingstoke) which is a relatively flat 10 mile loop. 20 milers do the same loop twice.

It’s quite a well-regarded race on the calendar as one of the few 20 mile races around for good marathon preparation, and attracts a field of great runners (And these three reprobates).


Dave and Simon were in the 20 miler, and I was doing the 10 as that fit better with my training plan. Jodie also took part, and was entered in the 10 mile but wanted to see if she could do the 20 with her sister Lauren, who was using the race as her first 20 miler in training for her first marathon in Manchester. Jodie didn’t want to sign up for the 20 as she wasn’t sure how her pregnancy would affect her ability to run 20 miles.

Getting to the race was easy enough, and the car parks were signposted from the main roads. The only problem we found was that we ended up in the “overspill” car park which was a good 15-20 minute walk to the start – but no big deal.

By the time we got there the HQ was bustling with loads of runners assembling and changing. The organisation here was excellent with plenty of toilets (Though the queues as always before the start of a race, were massive) and great baggage and changing facilities. It was absolutely freezing though, definitely a day for gloves! We of course got the obligatory club pic!


Start arrangements were pretty good – whilst there were no “pens” there were very clear signs indicating where you were meant to stand based upon your predicted finishing time. Being a good local race with many experienced runners, this seemed (to me) to be pretty well-respected. The only slight problem was we were all too bunched at the front and had to be moved backwards so not to affect the timing mats!

We  were away pretty promptly, and aside from a bottleneck about 50 meters in – thanks to an inconsiderate driver who parked on the course – we were away cleanly.

The course itself is of a reasonably flat profile, with a few climbs (The main one being at 6 miles) but nothing too strenuous, and the rolling nature of the course meant it was pretty fast. There was a small loop then a larger loop – a bit like a lopsided bow tie. The roads were open, but there was very little traffic. Though saying that, I did see one close call between a van and a BMW who ended up nose to nose, 6 inches apart!


In my race I was neck and neck with number 278, and we chatted regularly throughout keeping each other motivated. He looked and sounded a bit like John Bishop, only shorter!

Thanks to Barry Cornelius of Oxon Races, we got some good action shots.

Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)
Credit: Barry Cornelius (http://www.oxonraces.com)

Being the only one doing the 10 miler I saw everyone pass the halfway stage after I collected my bag. I JUST missed Dave but saw him through the fence. Everyone looked really strong at halfway.

Somewhat astonishingly, just before I saw Jodie and Lauren, the winner of the 20 miler came through in 1h40 or something ridiculous like that. Absolutely motoring!

At the finish the goody bag had some decent stuff in it – A “Seed shot”, a mars bar, some Dolmio pasta and cheese, and a decent medal. The other nice touch was they had a “trolley token” key ring – perfect when you need a pound coin for your shopping trolley!


It was a great race all in all. I was delighted to have PBed, Dave wasn’t too happy after a consistent first lap but a difficult second. Simon maintained a good average but was a bit up and down on his mile splits, and Jodie/Lauren did brilliantly – much faster than we expected them to come through in.

And the scores on the doors:

Bramley 10m
P47 – Matthew Warr – 1:06:44 (PB)
P515 – Jodie Warr – 1:42:16

Bramley 20m
P190 – David Purchase – 2:27:30
P206 – Simon Carney – 2:30:33
P706 – Lauren McCarthy – 3:33:07

All in all a fabulous race, highly recommended!

Manchester Marathon Training: Week 2 of 18

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers and followers! Needless to say as someone who struggles with weight, its been an indulgent festive season. I’ve eaten far too much, but thankfully my training has continued uninterrupted. So whilst I no doubt have gained weight (And I shan’t be finding out how much for a couple of weeks) the running has been consistent.



This is the most disjointed week of planned training, and doesn’t follow P&D too much at all. It was always going to be though – with it being Christmas week, there is always so much going on family visits etc I was pleased to get these all in.

Tuesdays General Aerobic run was splendid, and Introduced me to Strides. Bursts of acceleration to 5k pace (I actually just accelerated to top speed). I felt strong and comfortable and it also involved a lot more climbing than I thought – and didn’t really feel it to much.

Wednesday was meant to be a recovery run, but as Thursday was Christmas Day and I was intending to do the parkrun Chrustmas special, I switched it with Thursday, so it was a 10 mile General Aerobic run in my second home of Basingstoke. I’ve found some really nice routes around there now, and the run felt comfortable.

Thursday was Christmas! Yay! At Basingstoke parkrun they host a Christmas run and it was always my intention to run this if timing allowed it. So although I SHOULD have been recovering, I wanted to run it hard. Furthermore, I wanted to run a sub-20 minute 5k by the end of the year. Unfortunately off the back of 18 miles on the previous 2 days, I didn’t make the sub-20, but I DID set an ALL TIME 5k PB by 5 seconds. On that course, off of 2 long training days, I was very pleased. Jodie also managed to smash her PB at Basingstoke and rather nicely they presented finishers with a christmas medal!

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Saturday was, again, supposed to be a recovery run. But still being in Hampshire, the opportunity for parkrun tourism was rife, and it would have been my last chance to go sub-20. We went to Woodley parkrun, as Kerri, who interviewed me for the parkrun show, is the Event Director there. She wasn’t present, instead touring in Southampton. She told me Woodley was very flat, so thought sub-20 was more likely. But alas, it was not to be. I knew the opportunity had gone after the first kilometre, and instead treated it as a threshold run. The course WAS flat, but there was a lot of muddy field I didn’t have much grip on, my legs were tired and it was absolutely FREEZING. C’est la vie!

Finally, Sunday was the Gutbuster. P&D would have had me doing a traditional long run, but Jodie bought me this race entry for my birthday. And what fun it was! It was cold, hilly and muddy 10 miler. There was a ford which few people ran through (Though me and Jodie did) and a brilliant medal at the end. No way a PB course but certainly a lot of fun and great motivator to keep you focussed over christmas and stop you indulging TOO much. I ran a creditable 1:18:57, and could have gotten a little quicker but had a seriously bad tummy and was praying for a portaloo for the second half of the race which, alas, didn’t arrive! As you can see from the photos below, Jodie also ran and did incredibly well. The race was brilliantly organised, has a fun, friendly atmosphere, superb medal and mulled wine and mince pies at the finish – first class event!

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So Week 3 starts tomorrow and is back to the proper structure of the plan with minimal of my own mods. Though we are doing a New Years Day parkrun double – so will need to fit those in as part of another session.

Great South Run 2014

Michael Shelley, Andy Vernon, Steve Way… Just a few of the big names towing the start line with us in Southsea yesterday. It was the Great South Run 2014, an event I’ve wanted to do for a few years and it was finally my year.

I love a big event. I love the atmosphere, the buzz, and I love running in a massive crowd. Don’t get me wrong, parkrunning is great but nothing beats being in the start pen with 20,000 people shuffling around. There’s nothing like it.

The morning didn’t start well though. Despite my suggestion we leave at 7.30 I was over-ruled… and we ended up in crawling traffic! And when we were trying to prepare a quick departure I realised I’d forgotten my spibelt! Luckily Simon offered to take my phone and money in his for me. Then when we did eventually park we had no change/time/patience to queue to get a parking ticket, so we used the RingGo service while walking to the start… Not without its own frustrations! And finally Jodie forgot her iPod.

Anyway, the 2 mile walk to the start served as a good warm up and we walked along a couple of sections of the course. We stupidly bypassed some toilets thinking we’d get some near the start… Error! The queues were massive! Simon and I only had 10 minutes or so to get to our pen, but Jodie thankfully had more time. We wished Jodie luck and like the considerate fiancée I am… Left her in the toilet queue 😀 (we found a convenient tree)

We hopped the fence to get in the Orange start pen. There was plenty of room in there, and we hopped in about a third back from the front. We only had the fast club and elite runners ahead of us, so I hoped there would be limited weaving during the early stages… I was wrong.

Anyway there was a cheesy mass warm up before we were started by the legend that is Jo Pavey. We eventually crossed under the starting gantry, caught by the good people at Channel 5!


Our race strategy was simple – even splits at 7m/m for a target of sub 70 finish time. The first mile was an utter nightmare. There were people EVERYWHERE. We were weaving around for at least the first mile and it got slightly easier moving into mile 2 and did get progressively better. But it was frustrating and energy sapping. Missed the first split by about 5s so I was determined to catch that up in mile 2. At which point we overtook Eric Pollard off’ve Emmerdale! Lovely man, I said ‘come on Eric Pollard’ to which he responded with a cheery ‘Good Morning!’.

We passed our support crew of Jodie’s parents and sister at about 1.5 miles, I have no idea how they saw me with the number of people running!

The route took us through the docks, passing HMS Victory (which I saluted), the Mary Rose (museum) and some Royal Navy ships. As we reached the 3 mile point I was struggling to keep Simon in touch. I was trying to control my pace but felt pretty good, but He was struggling after running the tough Bupa Great Birmingham Run (half marathon) only last weekend! So I pressed on on pace.

My watch wasn’t very good with its measuring for this race. The mile markers were getting progressively further apart, so I was having to do some quick maths to stay on track. I worked out that on my watch is need to be doing a pace of 6.50m/m to keep on my 7m/m target.

After a quiet 3rd and 4th mile which consisted of a water station, an out and back and a hairpin turn we came back into ‘town’ to mark the halfway point – and the crowds were magnificent! I heard a ‘come on Yeovil!’ which was great motivation. I passed the Lucozade station and didn’t pick one up, which I think turned out to be a mistake. Shortly after I ran through the shower to cool off. It was around here I saw the back of a bleached blonde guy in a McMillan Cancer vest – I’ve seen enough televised mass races to know that it had to be Iwan Thomas, British 400m record holder, Wold Championship gold medallist and Olympic silver medallist! I put in some extra effort to get past him, and with a great deal of pride I overtook him shouting ‘come on Iwan Thomas!’ He looked at me like I was a right nob but was polite 🙂


Miles 6-8 were mostly residential but still well supported, I started to flag. Watching back the coverage on the TV you can see me crossing the 10k split whilst the race leaders were on the opposite side of the road – I was oblivious to them! I did see Michael Shelley at his 800m to go though.


I was having to work really hard to hit the pace splits, and as my watched beeped for 8 miles the official mile marker was still 150yds away, so I pressed the manual lap button as I passed it. Looking at the time I passed 8 in just about 56 minutes – I was bang on still but it was so tight.


Then we turned on to the seafront and the famous ‘Great South Run Westerly Wind’ kicked in. After 8 miles at my top end effort this was a massive kick in the nuts. I tried and tried but I had nothing left. Some supporters were offering Jelly Babies and I grabbed a couple. But I couldn’t chew them, I had no saliva and they were tough to swallow so I just let one melt in my mouth. Crossing the 9m mark I clocked a 7.25 mile. I knew the target was gone. But I could see the finish past the pier and I was determined to go under 71mins so I pressed on.

The crowds were getting better and started passing the masses on their way back. I kept my head down and just gave it everything I had left. The support was brilliant and I crossed the line in 70.27. If it weren’t for the wind I would have made it! But I was still incredibly pleased with my time.

The race had split times every 5k which was good – so when I look at the official results I can see that I really was as consistent as I thought. This alongside my Garmin Activity break it down further, though it looks like there was a fault with my heart monitor – no way it dipped that low for the last 3 miles!



Analysing the results further I can still see that I over performed. Regular readers know I use the McMillan Calculator to work out target and training times, which is why I knew I had over-performed compared with my relatively recent Bristol Half Marathon time. According to that I should have been outside of 1.12 for this race.  667 overall out of 16,000 runners – whats not to be pleased at with that?! Furthermore when looking at how RunBritain had rated the race conditions, it further cemented that I had done well.


I moved to the side of the funnel as I thought I was going to vomit and grabbed a sick bag from the volunteers. As I was urging I saw Jodie’s family which was slightly embarrassing, but when I stood up I realised I was in front of a tv camera! Luckily it wasn’t broadcast!

I waited in the funnel for Simon. He took a few minutes as he’d had a tough race, but at least he went for it. Considering he had a half last Sunday he still had a lot to be proud of! We got our goody bags and medals. Note to self – I am no longer a large! Medium is fine. The large tee I got was massive!

We walked past the podium, it looked like the women’s medals had just been given out as Gemma Steel was in the enclosure with 2 Kenyans. We took the obligatory podium selfie! Closest we’ll get to actual medal!


We then found our support crew and waited for Jodie. They saw her at the same place they saw me and said she looked in control. She was targeting 10 minute miles and we had the race clock on the finish gantry. We were (very proudly) shocked when we could see her and there was 1.35 on the clock! Sister Lauren managed to get this vid of her – mind your ears!

She smashed her target and we all couldn’t have been prouder. After the race she was very pleased with herself too and she enjoyed it – and I love that she enjoyed it too!


We all had a fantastic day. The weather held off and the organisation was good. The goody bag was full of tasty treats and it was a nice medal. Not sure I’ll do it next year but I do have a score to settle. If I do come back I’ll be starting nearer the front of the pen to avoid the weaving.

Next race: Weston Christmas Cracker!