Today, I learnt what an Acronym was!  With a title of today’s events full of them, here are some reports kindly sent in by our runners (many of whom got PBs today or completed their first Half Marathon or Marathon):

London Landmarks Half Marathon:
The landmarks half saw us arrive in the busy capital on a dry but fresh April morning.

It was quite organised as we left our belongings on a big red bus to be reunited at the finish line and took our place in the pens.

At the start of the race they announced that at last count before the start the entrants had raised a combined £8.5 million for charity which is amazing. The run was split into 8 waves and saw runners in both club and charity tops, I spotted a Yarmouth top and Wymondham so a few of us left the County for the event.

The run itself weaved through the city with signs to look out for the landmarks, we ran past St Paul’s, The Shard, The London Eye, The Guildhall and The Royal Courts of Justice which had the gold statue of justice on the top. There was various entertainment on route from bands, to DJs and choirs and the whole route was well supported with yells, cheers and chants which were especially loud from the charity stations. We ran through the city which despite being sold as flat had a few ‘mounds of opportunity’ and then in the latter part of the run we ran through ‘ a rave tunnel’ which had dodgy lighting and equally dodgy tunes before the sun finally made an appearance for the last stretch.

The run ended down embankment where Kerrie appeared to get us through the last bit…I was definitely lagging by now so it was fab to see a friendly face and she had strategically planner her support spot. We then went over Westminster Bridge before taking a U-turn to admire Big Ben which I’m reliably informed is the only landmark Kyle saw as he sped through the course. We then had the suffragists mark the last 400m to the finish, this part was absolutely buzzing and really helped me dig deep for the final few metres. Finally we were over the line and the Chelsea pensioners were in their fine dress to present the medals. Overall it was a very well supported half through the capital with tonnes of good spirit and entertainment and raising plenty of pennies for some fab causes. Anyone after an atmosphere should get entered for next year. 😊’


‘Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Race Day – London Landmarks Half Marathon.

For the love of Mum and Mo

After a porridge and toast breakfast Leanne Kershaw, Nicola Kershaw and I took a 15 minute walk from our hotel to the bag drop village where thousands of athletes and their families were gathered. I felt a long way out of my comfort zone. 13.1 miles out of my comfort zone to be precise.

As we approached the iconic red double decker London buses, which were being used as homes for our bags for the day, I reminded myself to take in the atmosphere. Looking around at the other people wearing race numbers I could see people of all ages, shapes and sizes represented. I rubbed the little running shoe good luck charm on my and told myself, ‘I am a runner and today these are my fellow runners.’

With less than an hour to go until our official start time I ate a banana for some extra energy. Judging by the overflowing wheelie bins so did every one of the other 16,000 runners. As 10.51am approached we were funnelled through barriers with all the other ‘athletes’ in Wave 8. The Royal Wave. When Sweet Caroline boomed out through the loud speakers and everyone joined in with, ‘So Good, So Good, So Good,’ the camaraderie was palpable. Moments later we were shuffling forward, and the start line loomed into view. There was no way out now, literally.

As I ran under the start arch with Leanne and Nicola either side of me I felt a wave of apprehension. I was not at all sure I was ready to run a half marathon. Then, as we crossed the start line and started our watches we heard our names being announced over the tannoy. This was just the boost we needed. Grinning from ear to ear we were off. The first 5 minutes passed in a flash. The onlooking crowds waved and cheered. Strangers shouted our names in encouragement. The weather was a little overcast and therefore perfect for running.

We checked our watches and together we resisted the temptation to go off too quickly. Just after mile 1 we spotted familiar faces. Angie Barker, Shirley Browell and Teresa Abel were waving, shouting and rattling on the sidelines and this gave us a first turbo boost of energy. As the 2nd big yellow Mile Marker came into view I tried to feel encouraged but all I could think was, ‘we haven’t even done a park run yet.’ Reading my thoughts, Leanne said, ‘Watch your pace, I know you will be wanting to get to the end but try to take it all in and enjoy the day.’ I took my head band off and put it onto my wrist, covering my watch. I took Leanne’s advice on board and stopped looking at the distance completed every few minutes.

At mile 5 I felt as if we had met our first target. Our pace was steady and we were all still feeling comfortable. The support was phenomenal. The backdrop of London Landmarks gave the route a feeling of grandeur.

I lost count of the number of bands, choirs and musicians dotted along the route. As we passed the steel drums we all adjusted our pace to run in time with their rhythm and it felt amazing. The young lad singing The Proclaimer’s 500 miles at around mile 10 on the NSPCC cheer station made our day.

At mile 8 I finally allowed myself to think that a half marathon might be doable. At about the same time I felt what could be the beginnings of a blister on my right big toe. The last thing I wanted was to stop apply a plaster. Thankfully, it wasn’t painful and so I didn’t mention it to the girls.

Miles 9 and 10 were ok although our pace dropped off a little. By now we had seen our various teams of supporters at least 4 or 5 times each. They had spread themselves out along the routes in such a way that one group or another seemed to pop up every 10 minutes. This was brilliant and we found ourselves running a little quicker for a minute or two every time we saw them but it did mean that we didn’t dare stop for a walk break.

As we passed mile 11 we were well into new distance territory and we could feel it. We agreed to walk at water station to that we could pick up a cup and drink properly. Our legs and heads were feeling weary and we finally allowed ourselves a five minute walk break. With Mile 12 in sight more music blared from huge speakers. This time it was ‘The Final Countdown.’ It was just was we needed to hear. Running again we sang along knowing we were less than 15 minutes from crossing the finish line. (PLEASE NOTE – two years ago when I rocked up to Couch to 5k I could not run for 2 continuous minutes).

With all the crowds and cheer stations suddenly shouting, ‘You are nearly there,’ we had a quick chat about our finish line pose. We turned the corner and the big yellow 13 told us we had just 0.1 of a mile to go. We had got this! I thought of Mum and Mo and hoped that we had done them justice. My thoughts then turned to other loved ones we had said farewell to in the last 12 months and I remembered that it was a privilege to be able to run today.

Finally, after 3 hours of running we held hands. As the tannoy announcer once again said our names we raised our arms in the air and we were over the line. Strangers congratulated us, gave us our medals and handed us each a goodie bag. My legs were heavy but my heart was full. I would forever be able to say, ‘I once ran a half marathon.’

When I look at video clips of myself running I am momentarily embarrassed. It is more of a flat footed shuffle. There is nothing athletic about my gait at all. But, whatever it is, I did it for 3 hours today and for that I feel proud.

Thank you to my friends and family for always believing I could do this.

Thank you to Leanne Kershaw and Nicola Kershaw for doing this with me.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the £1700 raised for @Alzheimer’sResearchUK

Thank you to anyone who has ran with me since my first ever c25k session almost 2 years ago. Extra special thanks to White Christine, Angie Barker and Gill who kept me going week after week.  Thank you to the Thursday Jog n Jabber group for showing me that running can be fun.

And, thank you to the Runners-next-the-Sea. This is all down to you.’


Official Results:
Kyle – 1:29:07
Sarah-Jane – 1:47:39
Lucy Mc – 1:57:26
Marie P – 2:09:52
Anna – 2:12:50
Denise – 2:50:37
Sarah – 3:03:36

Rutland Spring Half Marathon :

‘I entered this race both to discover what  Rutland Water and the peninsula looked like and also to aim for a run at effort pace continuously throughout a half marathon distance. I’m happy to have take part in the event. The race was very well-organised, with three water stations, excellent marking and lovely support from all the marshals.

The course is mostly tarmac some of which is by the main road but there are a lot of wooded trails which I actually preferred. It is quite undulating but nothing of the kind that would make it a difficult race. Some of the trails were a little muddy but again this was not a major problem.

The view around the peninsula is beautiful. I wanted to take photos while running but thought better of it as it would have definitely affected my running.

I’m very pleased with my result but, more importantly, pleased that I shared the happiness of my friend who was running her first ever half marathon. We ran together and seeing her achieve her pursuit was a great feeling.’


Official time:

Brighton Marathon

‘After a few hiccups with communication and a new company taking over organising the Brighton marathon, the day finally came!

Weather was overcast and chilly while waiting to be called and go into our starting corrals but once out on the course, the clouds lifted and the sun came out. It was beautiful but made for a tough run once it got to midday.

Amazing support from the crowds and volunteers made the amended route a lot better this year and knowing most of the course from the previous year I knew mostly what to expect which helped my mental mind over matter thinking. ‘


‘The day started very chilly with the promise of sunshine. It did indeed warm up and at times it was quite windy. Brighton was my first marathon and the nerves at the start really got to me, the task ahead seemed huge and impossible. I stuck with the 4:45 pacer for the first 6k enjoying his music and chatter, helping me forget my nerves. The route is a mixture of city streets and the seafront. The first half has some very lengthy and steep hills but with beautiful views of the seafront. I finished the first half comfortably and ran back towards the city full of confidence due the flatter second half. All was good until mile 21, the heat of the day and the energy needed for those hills left me fatigued and nauseous, I hit a huge wall.

21 miles was the peak of my training runs so self doubt crept in now and I really didn’t know if or how I could do 5 more miles. I actually don’t know how I did get to the finish, there was a lot of crying and the urge to stop was huge. I crossed the line in 4:47, thrilled to be under 5 hours and overjoyed it was over.

I loved my first marathon experience and I’m glad I chose Brighton, it’s a challenging route but the crowd make it one great big street party. It was the atmosphere and the crowds that kept me going when I was struggling. I can proudly say I have run a marathon but more importantly I raised £700 for the charity Beat. I think I’ll hang up my marathon trainers there! Box well and truly ticked.’

Official Results:
Hayley – 4:47:13
Kirsty – 5:06:17