What A Year

I think it’s safe to say that 2013 was insane. 11 running events done, met some amazing people though RunDemCrew and got a chance to visiting some of the places on my Bucket list. A win all round I think.

My highlight has to be visiting Copenhagen, such an amazing city and the experience of doing the Copenhagen Half Marathon with RunDemCrew and all the other international crews is one I’ll cherish for a long time.

But now 2014 is almost here, it’s time to look ahead. I’m planning to not do as many events this year, and concentrate on some big events.

Currently planned are:
– Richmond Half Marathon (23 March)…in preparation for..
– Paris Full Marathon (6 April)…*gulp*
– Rat Race Dirty Weekend (10-11 May)…loved it last year.
– Bupa 10k (25 May)…of course

I’ve also put my name on the ballot for the New York Marathon (2 November), If I don’t get it I’m looking at the Istanbul Marathon (17 November) to round off the year and cross another city off my bucket list. I might also look at another half marathon of the second half of the year, maybe Man Vs Mountain (http://www.ratracemanvsmountain.com)..a gallivant around Snowdonia would be rather cool.

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Mission Accomplished

Mad May was awesome fun, doing three things I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing a year ago…Going to Berlin to complete an event (an event that was longer than a half marathon…a year ago I couldn’t imagine doing another 10k), completing an assault course run (the world’s largest), and finally revisiting the one that started it all – the Bupa 10k.

The month has definitely been draining, preparing for each event without much down-time in between, the final bruises and cuts from the Dirty Weekend have only now finally faded. But it was worth it.

I did the month to show to myself that I can survive outside my comfort zone and to help raise some money for Save The Children. If you haven’t already sponsored me, please visit http://virginmoneygiving.com/martynthomassci and throw a few pennies my way. Thanks

Rat Race Dirty Weekend – Done!

Well I survived, a few bruises and still finding mud everywhere, but I survived.

The Rat Race Dirty Weekend sounded a challenge on paper, a 20 mile run with 200 obstacles between me and the finish line, and it was a serious challenge in practice. Luckily I ran with some friends from Covent Garden Nike which made the event bare-able and do-able. The obstacles were split into 20 zones, which were spaced out every mile or so, this meant we were able to have a recovery jog before facing the next group of challenge. Each zone was themed, including:

– Mud Run – Crawling and wading through mud (at least I hope it was mud), at one point everyone was so caked in mud it was hard to tell everyone apart.
– Trail Blazer – A run along a dirt track in a wood, which I really enjoyed and now seriously tempted to invest in some trail shoes and hit some trails
– Ewok Village – A wood full of wooden balance beams, cargo nets and A-frames.
– Men’s Health Survival Of The Fitness – Lots of obstacles used in Men’s Health Survival Of The Fitness (which Rat Race also organises) – More A-Frames, crawl spaces and scaling large walls.

Sadly not all the obstacle were available, part of the water zone was closed because some of the large inflatables had lost their moorings and could be seen embedded in the trees at the other side of the lake looking sorry for itself. Also due to a healthy dose of rain the monkey bars ,a world record attempt for the worlds longest, was closed. ‘Luckily’ Rat Race had arranged extra obstacles so we didn’t feel left out – erm, thanks(!).

At the bail-out point at 13 miles some of the group dropped out leaving only 3 of us to complete the full 20 miles in 5:37.42.

Loved the event, there were a few teething issues with the event – not enough toilets and showers at the camp site, bottlenecks at some obstacles and apparently the beer tent ran out of booze early during the after party…doh! – but I think Rat Race can easily iron them out before next year. Needless to say, I’ve already signed up for next year.

Edit: Someone with a GoPro recorded the highlights of the event, his efforts is up on youtube to ‘enjoy’ – http://youtu.be/ql3FQ3hy-Y8

Mad May Cometh

May is going to be a mad month for me, I’m doing 3 events in aid of Save The Children. I’ve got a horrible habit where I’m game for a challenge and tend to jump in feet first without thinking things through. Next month is a perfect example, 3 big challenges in one month, I’m doing:

  • A 25k (15 mile) run around Berlin, It’ll be my first time in Germany and I’m really excited to be exploring Berlin. I’ve not ran more than 21k (half marathon) before, so 25km is going to be interesting (I need to learn the german for ‘Which way to the hospital?’, just in case)
  • The weekend after Berlin I’m doing Rat Race’s Dirty Weekend. Dirty Weekend is an attempt to create the world’s largest assault course, it’s 20 miles long with 200 obstacles – including the world’s largest monkey bars (210m long), world’s largest cargo net crawl and many other pain-inducing obstacles. Their website has loads of youtube videos of some of the challenges ahead, each one makes me weep a little. It’s been billed as the equivalent of 2 Tough Mudders back to back. I feel wholly unprepared, I lack any form of upper body strength (serves me right for not training).  In the words of one of my very supportive ‘friends’ “You’re going to die a wet and muddy death out there Mart” – eek!
  • At the end of the month (providing I survive the Dirty Weekend) I’ll be running the Bupa 10k. Last year’s Bupa 10k was my first ever serious running event, It’s going to be fantastic to tackle it again this year – hopefully it won’t be as hot as 2012’s

I’ll of course blog about my progress and bruises – Just so you lot can laugh at my expense. If you want to help soften the pain and make it all seem worthwhile, please sponsor me at http://virginmoneygiving.com/martynthomassci