Saturday, 29 January 2011

2011 South of England Cross Country Championship Results

Another fun day at Parliament Hill and my first race for 3 months (left: photos Ken Hoye). All in all it was pretty hard work but an enjoyable one in the Saucony South of England Championships.

Up front Neilson Hall defended his title from last year in a much quicker time if my memory serves me correctly. The course seemed to be the driest I can remember, not that I was any good in the little mud there was ! Runner up was my Wells City Harriers club mate Ben Tickner and third was Jon Pepper with Parliament Hill specialist Chris Smith a close 4th.

A couple of minutes back I finished 29th which constitutes a personal worst for the southern but not unexpected given the lack of consistent training recently. You can only run on former glories (and mileage) for so long ! The lack of miles really told in the mud and up the hills though encouragingly I was able to work up a good head of steam on the flat, dry sections so the engine is in pretty good order. Just need to get some strength back in the leg muscles.

Today was pretty cold and I can't imagine it was much fun for the marshalls who had a long day battling dog walkers and their stray hounds. As has become the norm here the finish system works brilliantly with chip timing
allowing results to be available on course a few minutes after the race is over. And this year I was far enough behind the leaders to hear the presentation starting to take place as I crossed the line !

No doubt much discussion will take place about the race starting with what seemed like several hundred people still trying to get through the chip inspection tent. The race started on time but there was a big bottle neck again to get to the start. It would be good to hear the SEAA perspective before passing judgement. On the one hand people knew what the start time was and on the other it did take a long time to get through the tent.

Whatever the rights and wrong of why it happened having a championship race get underway without many competitors on the start line has got to set alarm bells ringing and its something that needs to be fixed for 2012.

Senior Men
1 48:23 Neilson Hall Bedford & County AC
2 48:40 Ben Tickner Wells City Harriers
3 49:00 Jon Pepper Enfield & Haringey AC
4 49:06 Chris Smith Thames Valley Harriers
5 49:06 Gary Thornton Kent AC
6 49:21 Glen Watts Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers
7 49:24 Dean Lacy Cambridge Harriers
8 49:27 Kevin Heywood Bideford AAC
9 49:34 Darren Deed Bedford & County AC
10 49:47 John Gilbert Kent AC

29 51.55 Adrian Marriott Wells City Harriers

Full results here

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

UK Marathon selection policy for London 2012

UKA (the governing body for athletics in UK) has published its initial approach to selecting the marathon team for the 2012 Olympics.

What jumps out is the absence of a trial race and an intention to select athletes before the end of 2011 if they are considered a top 8 shot and in possession of an A standard. Top up selections will take place after the 2012 London Marathon.

The 'A' and 'B' standards for men are 2:12:00 and 2:16:00 and for women are 2:31:00 and 2:35:00.

Yet again UKA has gone for tougher standards than the IAAF use and while it would be great to half a dozen lads running 2.10 we don't so I would think that there is a strong possibility of having less than a full mens team on the start line which is disappointing.

Interestingly a top 20 finish in Daegu counts as an 'A' standard so could be the best hope of getting an A standard (especially for the men). So a viable strategy may be sub 2.17 in London 2011, Top 20 in Daegu and then hope that only 2 others do the time. A bit perverse but there you go.

And for all the A and/or B standard questioners if athletes with an A standard are selected (up to 3 of them) then the B standard becomes redundant.

All the details are at

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dry needling for sports injuries

In recent months i've increasingly become a big fan of dry needling to release some of the chronically tight spots in my legs and back. I've had occassional needling for years as part of physiotherapy treatment from both Mark Buckingham and Claire Wheller. Last year after months of trouble with psoas, adductor magnus and the erector spinae I had a long session with Jona based, Swiss physiotherapist Philip Rist (left). Bizarrely we first met in 2003 in Eldoret when he was training there with Christian Belz and Viktor Rothlin and then reconnected several years later at the Zurich Silvesterlauf. Running really is a small world.

Anyway, Philip did some work with dry needles and spent some time manipulating them once they in the trigger point which was different from more traditional accupuncture. The adductor treatment was particularly uncomfortable but the impact was huge and within 48 hours I was noticeably looser and able to fully stride out for the first time in ages.

Physiotherapie Philip Rist (Rapperswil-Jona)
Neuhuesli-Park 22
8645 Jona

Claire Wheller website
Running Bath, 18 High Street
01225 446450

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Pre-london half marathon comes to Yeovil in March

The first Yeovil Half Marathon will take place on Sunday 27th March 2011. Starting and finishing at the Yeovil Town Football Club the course will take in the town centre, ninesprings country park and the village of Odcombe (below).

With the Bath Half Marathon sold out and other pre-London or Brighton options thin on the ground unless you want to travel to Wilmslow, Hastings or Fleet this should prove a popular fixture on the calendar and entries are already flooding in.

Placed 3 weeks before London this is the perfect weekend for a final hard workout before starting to taper. And if the marathon is a step to far for you in 2011 then a half could be a great target to aim for.

From a personal point of view I've run these roads thousands of times over the years and know them well. The layout will be sure to keep runners interested and there are some good spectating spots so bring some supporters along !

Online Entries HERE