London Marathon 2024

Here is Stuart’s full race report:

‘Where do I start what a weekend and such an amazing event.

Thank you RntS for having this opportunity.

The dream marathon for me after being rejected for 5 years. This bucket list race has always inspired me to run to the best of my abilities.

Training never went as smoothly as I had hoped, some missed speed work and long runs, due to a calf twinge but it was too good a race to miss. So stepped back the training to recover and then get back to it.

I decided to follow the Hanson marathon method that had served me so well for Brighton 2022, and I ideally wanted a time between 3:30 and 3;45 to get a new PB as Brighton was 3:49. But under 4 hours was good enough in my mind.

Friday 19th was race pack pick up day, I took my eldest daughter with me on the train for the day and headed to the excel arena.

A really slick operation for bib collection I was dreading massive queues but it wasn’t bad at all. They now print your bib when you arrive and then send you into the expo to collect the finisher shirt before you race.

We headed back to London for the weekend on the Saturday and did the touristy sight seeing walking around 10 miles to keep the legs loose and nervous energy at bay.

Race day Sunday 21st…

Usual morning routine with the added tube and train journey. All public transport on race day is free to participants making everything super smooth and easy to get to the start pens.

I had a 10:10 green wave 4 start time and had to be at the start by 9:22 for security checks and the obligatory endurance events of queuing to use the portaloos or urinals.

We could watch the start of the elite and wheelchair races on the big screen and the atmosphere was electric, everyone was wishing each other luck and conversations flowed around trainer choices etc (as they do at every race we attend 😂)

Going into my own wave, my actual start time 10:16 and we were off, from the first second the crowds were absolutely amazing offers of jelly babies, oranges bananas and Haribo every few meters.

The first 3km I felt amazing and then the urge to pee kicked in so the next block of toilets was my destination, luckily in the marathon they make sure there are many at regular intervals.

Back to running and again the crowds were epic, live bands, DJs and local community groups entertaining as we ran (no need for headphones, not that you would hear your own music if you decide to use them).

The first big milestone for me was the Cutty Sark and it never disappointed, it was incredible sweeping round the bend past this beautiful piece of history,

Around the 12 mile mark I turned the corner and there she was Tower Bridge ,just wow!

A real pick me up at this point and one of the most incredible experiences of my life running across this true icon of Britain this made the running experience.

It started to get really tough around the 17 mile marker and I had my nutrition and hydration on point a gel every 4 to 4.5 miles and always taking on some water at every station, little and often for the whole race.

My Polar GPS was going crazy at times with the high rise building and the few under passes we utilised.

The crowds continued to be totally amazing.

The last few miles were tough and it became a mental challenge as much as physical. The last straight approached and then it happened my biggest and most needed pick me up – my cheer squad were there and grabbed my attention turned the corner saw the Buckingham palace and then the finish line.

A new marathon PB of 3:39:29 and I couldn’t be happier. ‘



Brighton Marathon

It’s hard to believe that it was a week ago I was in my hotel room getting ready for the Brighton marathon happening the next day. Clare and I had done our usual trip down to check the roads to all our points and then parked up in Brighton marina to walk into town and grab some lunch. I was really looking forward to the run on Sunday, especially if the weather was promising to be nice. We did miss Paula who is usually part of ‘the Krew’.

In the lead up to this weekend I felt like I’d done a good block of training but a family emergency meant an enforced slightly early taper. As it turned out I don’t think it was a negative impact, if anything I started feeling strong and comfortable. Fortunately other events I’d taken part in already this year had probably also had a positive contribution too.

On race day, it was bright and I had a top ready to leave at the start pen. Clare and I got there in good time and the wind was quite fresh. I had some more breakfast while taking in the atmosphere and trying decide whether to join the queue for the loos! Once Clare left to get into her first viewing position, I moved over to be closer to where the starting pens were as I was paranoid that I’d miss my wave being called. While standing there, I had a lovely chat with another brown wave lady (Jenny) and I think it helped us both relax a little.

We were called into our pens, and Paula Radcliffe was starting each wave off. I love the whole bubbly atmosphere of the pen as we are all nearing the start and before long we were off! Third year in a row for me and a third slightly different route. The whole atmosphere was amazing. Some areas are more well supported than others, the points furthest out both ends tend to be quieter but this year came with an amazing pickup – Clare hired one of the ‘Beryl’ bikes; so as I was heading out towards the most Easterly part of the route (Ovingdean / Rottingdean) I suddenly heard a bell being rung and my name called. Absolutely brilliant, it made my day! Clare chatted while I plodded and I made it up to the top of the hill 💪 The whole race I never knew where to expect her and every time I did see her, it always gave me an extra lift.

The course this year, I personally felt was the best out of the three I have done as there are so many parts where it switches back so you get to see the runners ahead and then those behind once you’re on the other side.

I had a goal finish in mind but the weather had blessed us with beautiful sunshine and a strong wind, this meant I changed my plan slightly to finish and feel comfortable rather than push myself and feel rubbish. I’m not too good in the heat so I slowed it down a bit and kept well hydrated. I tried to smile all the way through and by having my name on my drink belt meant plenty of cheers and calls which was fantastic.

Coming down towards Hove Lawns where the finish line was, I was so grateful I’d kept myself steady as I felt I had renewed energy and had a sprint kind of finish 😄 my fastest mile as well!

Another incredible weekend. Thank you to everyone who tracked, messaged and supported me ❤️

Kirsty x

Valentine’s 10k & Marriott’s Way Marathon

Thank you to Michelle for her Valentine’s 10k race report:

Valentine’s 10k

Great turnout of racers and supporters and all we all managed to find each other without resorting to sending out any search parties!

The race itself is a lovely single lap course starting off from Easton College where the race HQ is indoors and there are lots of toilets, always an advantage for racing, especially when it’s quite a big race as this one is!

It’s a well organised with lots of parking (although you do have to queue getting in and out) and it’s a good 15 minute walk to the start, you might call that the warm up! The weather gods were kind to us with a dry day, a little bit chilly but no wind.

The race starts off uphill, which I like because it keeps you steady, then disappears off into the countryside undulating its way round some quiet lanes, past some pretty houses and welcome local support.  Lots of marshals out on the course were also really supportive and kept us on the right road.

There’s been a lot of rain lately, you may have noticed 😉 so there were lots of puddles, some went across the whole road and had to be run through. Now I like that kind of thing so thoroughly enjoyed splashing through them and especially enjoyed the very long stretch while others had clambered into the verge to try and avoid the puddle, or perhaps they were trying to avoid being splashed by me.

After that the marshal had told us it was all downhill to the finish some 3k away and indeed it was downhill for about 2k and then rather meanly it was uphill to the finish. I was pretty much done by then so it was a bit of a drag. Lovely support at the finish from club mates and the marshals. Nice medal too if you opted to have one.

Ant Cude 40:43.3
Will Ayley-Dodd 47:29.5
Andrew Tuckett 49:47.9
Paula Smith 51:01.7
Bob Lyddon 52:27.4
Michelle Finnegan 1:02:14.7
Denise Sutton 1:04:13.4
Paul Woodhouse 1:08:29.0
Vicki Armes 1:08:29.4

Ana Sucur-Hills
Francesa Iaccarino
Angie Barker
Kevin Barker
Vikki Powles
Mark Riseborough


Marriott’s Way Marathon

Race report from Kerrie:

The second event of the year for Positive Steps and this time ‘just a marathon’, words that I never thought I’d be saying!

Kerrie and I went to Aylsham together and met Marie there; we had a nice relaxing bus ride to Norwich (once it arrived!) and then met up Lucy. Nice short queue for the ladies again and despite the delay we still set off on time. I hadn’t felt nervous about this at all, the only bit that worried me was getting to the carpark and then to the bus.

After running this event on my own last year it was nice to share the fun with Kerrie. The weather was perfect but it could have been muddier – or not! I found the first half worse and that trying to stay upright sapped the energy out of my legs and made my knees ache! Luckily having good company and a fantastic support crew again made it better and we got through it and ran our own race like Peddars Way. We had so many opportunities to laugh and smile, and when it gets tough it’s good to be able to share your thoughts and feelings to get it out and not stew on the negatives.

Crossing the finish line hand in hand is completely the best feeling when you have supported each other all the way round ❤️

Congratulations to Marie on her fantastic debut into the 1% club and to Lucy for another great run in challenging conditions 😊

Report from Kirsty L:

Marriott’s Way Marathon

This is the first time I have ran this event, I ran the half a couple of years ago and it was one of my favourite routes.  It is organised by Positive Steps who are a great team at organising trail events around Norfolk/ Suffolk, they have such a relaxed attitude and their events are ones that I never worry before a race.

The half and the marathon were open to runners and walkers, with a very generous cut off time.  I was really looking forward to this run especially after running nearly double the distance 3 weeks earlier.

Kirsty, Lucy, Marie and Myself were all running the marathon distance, second time for Kirsty and first time for Lucy, Marie and me.  Myself, Kirsty and Marie were travelling on the bus from Aylsham to the start at Norwich, it gave us the opportunity to calm nerves (after the bus was 20 minutes late) and chat about the run on the way there.  The weather was perfect running weather, however with all the rain we had during the previous couple of days, we knew we were in for a treat on the trail – we were not disappointed.

Kirsty had asked whether friends and family could track us along the route and she was told they only use them for their longer linear events!  We met Lucy whilst collecting our race bibs, listened to the race briefing in perfect Kevin style, then we were off on a 15 minute walk to the start.  The race started in a park, where we ran towards the start of the Marriott’s Way, before coming back on ourselves, the route started off on tarmac and we spread out nicely along the route heading out of Norwich.  Kirsty and I ran together again, we had plenty of food and drink between us for the journey ahead, the tarmac soon turned into trail, with lots of water and boggy parts, trying to dodge them was more of a challenge so we quickly decided the best option was to go straight through, occasionally this meant skidding through when you misplaced a foot!  It was nice to see David and Harley (my dog) along the way, they were having a great time walking along the trail.

The first checkpoint was just outside Norwich with supportive and friendly marshals as always with this company, after the checkpoint we ran over the Northern Distributor Road and headed out toward Taverham and Lenwade.  The route was so pretty with so much to look at and see, Kirsty treated me to facts at each Station where we stopped to have a photo and I learnt about the history of the Marriott’s Way – such a great idea.

We reached the second checkpoint at Whitwell where the half marathon had started, David met us there with more support and encouragement, the trail continued to be muddy and wet with puddles, but undeterred we continued on with more facts and on Will’s advice reciting A-Z’s on various topics – it’s funny how your mind goes blank and you cannot think of a tv programme or film beginning with I ( the first aid chap at the checkpoint gave us Independence Day – of course it was!)

Hayley and David met us at Reepham (the final checkpoint) with cheers and smiles, my legs were tiring at this point and I think the time on my feet was taking it’s toll, but we were not defeated and we carried on with smiles and more mudiness to come and knowing we had about 7 miles to go we were nearly there (or so we thought).  With these events, you do need to prepare yourself that you potentially won’t be stopping at the distance you think you should be – hence I ended up running 27 miles – but better over than under I guess!!

We arrived at the finish at Aylsham Town Hall hand in hand again with smiles and cheers from David (and Harley) and Marie – a very  welcome sight and nice to be able to stop.

Sadly this is the last year that Positive Steps are doing these events, but fingers crossed the races will be taken over my somebody else, I would highly recommend this one to anybody, it is a lovely route, very relaxed and lots of fun.  We were not quick, but this didn’t matter – we had fun and enjoyed the route and were well within the cut-off – it just goes to show that you can achieve anything with determination, encouragement and a friend who takes the time to research facts about the route making it even more memorable.

Official Results:
Lucy Mc – 4:58:42
Marie P – 5:19:57
Kirsty L – 6:31:50
Kerrie – 6:31:50