My 11 marathons in 11 days challenge

As part of my ongoing commitment to run 100 official marathons to coincide with the RAF100 centenary, thus joining the 100 marathon club in the process.  I set myself the challenge to run 11 marathons in a 11 days to help stay on schedule.

Day 1:  It all started on the 23rd November at the Timelord on Thames challenge.  Already weary from running a double marathon the weekend before, this race was probably the biggest challenge knowing what I had instore for myself.  I finished the race in 3:27:27 which was a good start towards a sub 3:30 average that I wanted.
Day 2:  The next day was the start of the SVN 10 in 10.  Starting off in Samphire Hoe in Kent.  This race didn’t go as well as expected,  I felt really lethargic and mentally I didn’t feel strong, I finished in just over 3:38.  I was thinking to myself I’ve still got 9 to go, it was going to be an uphill battle all the way.
Day 3:  Was on same course but called the Fudgathon challenge , a totally different  story to the previous day.  I somehow felt rejuvenated and I finished in 3:14, 1st place.
Day 4:  Was the Saxon shore challenge in Deal.  After the previous day, despite the legs feeling sore, mentally I felt energetic.  I took that energy into the race with me, although I didn’t win, I finished in just over 3:15.
Day 5:  The Hugin challenge at the Pagwell nature reserve.  6 loops near the seafront with a hill thrown in.  There were a few people with fresh legs running.  I set off at a fast pace and led from start to finish.  Completing the race in 3:19 and another 1st place.
Day 6:  The relativity run along the Margate seafront.  The course was longer than a marathon, it worked out to be about 27 mile.  This was 4 out and backs.  I started off out in front but on the 2nd lap I felt a bit lethargic and two runners ended up being some distance away from me by half way.  However, on the 3rd lap I got my 2nd wind and really picked up pace.  The leaders gradually slowed their pace down and by the end of the 3rd lap I had overtaken them and finished strong finishing in 3:19, 1st place and 10 mins ahead of the person in second.
Day 7:  Back at Margate seafront, same course as the day before for the Soul cake challenge.  The wind was an absolute killer that day.  It felt like I was running into it most of the time.  It was a lonely race too, I had no competition to give me that extra push.  I finished in 3:34, 1st place and about 25 mins ahead of 2nd place.
Day 8:  This was at Ramsgate seafront, it was a strange course with two prominent hills.  This was the St Andrews day challenge.  I saw fit to wear a fancy dress kilt for the occasion.  Despite going the wrong way on the course to start, I still had a really good run.  I like it when I have the odd hill to contend with, it allows me to use the strength in my legs to power up them.  I ended up finishing in 3:21, again another 1st place finish.
Day 9:  The advent challenge, again back at Ramsgate.  I had a sports massage the night before.  That had seemed to do the job.  My 9th of running and I felt really strong.  I went through half marathon running at just over sub 3hr pace.  I faded towards the end but finished in 3:08 which was the 2nd fastest time I had ever run a marathon and of course it secured 1st place.
Day 10:  The Fowlmead challenge at Betteshanger park.  The original course had to be changed last moment as part of the track was impassable.  So ended up having to do 12 Laps of a quite flat trail track which probably played in my favour as the original track was quite hilly.  I was in 2nd until the last 2 laps where I caught up with the leader.  He had slowed his pace right down and I was able to pull away from him.  I ended up finishing about a mile in front of him in the end, coming in at 3:22 and another 1st place finish.
Day 11:  The final day of what had been an epic challenge and some of my best running.  It was back at Betteshanger park but on the original course this time.  This was the Fowlmead lucky dip challenge basically you got to select what medal you wanted which were left over from previous events.  I was hoping to finish on a win for the last one.  Unfortunately there was a guy there with fresh legs that on a good day could run sub 3:20.  This was it for me, my legs were definitely feeling it now.  I couldn’t keep up with the leader and previously where I’d usually finish strong towards the end, this time I had nothing.  I still finished in a credible time in 3:25, 2nd place.
I had originally had a target of a sub 3:30 average for all 11. I totally exceeded my expectations finishing on an average of 3:22.
The 11 in 11 challenge brought an end to a very successful marathon running year.  I have completed 52 marathons in 48 weeks including 2 x 11 in 11, 1 x 7 in 7, 1 x 4 in 4 and also a PB of 3:01:53.  It also brings my total to 95 official marathons leaving me 5 to go in my RAF100 marathon challenge.
I hope people reading my story and following me, can take inspiration in what I’m doing.  Through making sacrifices and always giving a 100%, I’ve reach a level in running which I never thought was possible.  Yet, the journey is only just beginning for me.  I’m only going to get better especially now that I’ve joined the Moray road runners ☺
Report by:  Jon Ward

Leeds Abbey Dash – 05/11/2017

Kenny Wilson pulled on the Scotland vest today to run the Leeds Abbey Dash 10km.  This was his first outing representing his country but I am sure it won’t be his last.  His comments on this race are below:

”  Thanks everyone for the messages of support.  Really cool to say I have now ran for Scotland.  30:44 and 28th place.  Hoped for a bit more in the second half of my race, but a couple of lessons learned and just need to keep working hard in training.  Great runs from my teammates Logan in 29:28 for 6th and Lachlan 30:11 for 19th.

A big well to Kenny from all at Moray Road Runners

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Brodie Castle 10km – 05/11/2017

24 MRRs participated in this popular race today.  There were so many of us we need a team bus.

The day was perfect for running, dry, cool with a bit of wind.

This is a lovely race to do as it starts and finishes in the grounds of Brodie Castle.  The roads you run on are very quiet with very little traffic to worry about.

MRRs put in a good performance, with many PBs today and some places in the medals

James Wilson was 3rd Overall

Martin Bain was 1st M40

Steve Reeve was 1st M50

Simon MacDonald was 2nd M50

Barbara Bowie was 1st F60

Well done to all who ran today, got PBs, placed in the medals or who just enjoyed a race. 

Special mention goes to Paul Jamieson, who smashed his 10km PB and finished for the first time under 1hour

Results

Pictures

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Dublin Marathon – 29/10/2017

Now that the DOMS and epic hunger have departed I can finally write up my Dublin marathon race report.

Last Sunday (29th Oct) I lined up with around 16,000 other folk to run my 5th marathon. It only took a few minutes to cross the line and then we were off, winding through central Dublin before heading up to Phoenix Park and through the suburbs. I had started at 7.50m/mile pace but my legs were feeling fresh and I found myself unintentionally running at 7.30 pace. It felt fine so I just decided to go with it and deal with any fallout later!

The route was good and there was lots of support along the way. There were a few gentle inclines between the start and halfway, but nothing major.

I had caught the 3:20 pace group by mile 8 so decided to stick with them for a while, before gradually pulling clear of them. The miles were being ticked off and all was well until somewhere between mile 20-21 when I started with the ‘Stitch of Doom’! It got worse and worse, until I could hardly breathe, so I had no choice but to pull over and stretch it out. After that it abated a bit but kept returning, and forced me to slow considerably. I had to dig deep as I watched the 3:20 group disappear off happily into the horizon. Those last few miles were tough – the legs were willing but the lungs felt like that of an 80-a-day smoker!

Eventually I was down to the last half mile, and I spotted Neil waving and shouting amongst the crowd, so that spurred me on. My finishing time was 3:23.06 – an 11 minute PB despite the wheels coming off a bit at the end. Upon returning to the hotel I discovered my sports bra had been on so tight it had given me a bruise. I suspect this may have contributed to the stitch a bit!

Dublin is a great course and the atmosphere is excellent. The finishers’ medal is probably the best one I have ever got at any race, and the high quality long-sleeved technical top made a fine change from the usual t-shirt. All in all it’s a great event and I would recommend it to anyone that fancies at autumn marathon.

Report by:  Michelle Donaldson-Slater

Scottish Selection – Kenny Wilson

“SCOTTISH SELECTION For Kenny Wilson”
Great news, Kenny Wilson has achieved his first Scottish selection. Kenny will be in the Scotland team for the International Leeds Abbey Dash 10k on the 5th November. This is a great reward for Kenny who has worked so hard and now he receives the recognition he deserves for his commitment and hard work.

This is the first Scottish “Senior” vest for a MRR member in the history of the club. We are very proud of Kenny and wish him all the very best.

Kenny will be joined in the squad by IH Jenny Bannerman. Good luck, it’s great to see 2 North athletes from a team of 8 in this selection 👏🏻👍🏻

Scotland 10K teams for Leeds

Great Scottish Run – 01/10/2017

MRRs had 2 athletes entered into the Half Marathon.  Kenny Wilson and Michelle Donaldson-Slater.

Both ran a brilliant race at Glasgow Great Scottish Run.

There was typical Scottish weather, but that wouldn’t have bothered our 2 runners.

Kenny Wilson finished 7th overall, a superb achievement with a time of  – 67.37, over a minute pb.

Michelle Donaldson-Slater smashed her pb by 5 mins, finishing in a time of 1.32.28

Very well done to both runners.  It was awesome to watch a big race on TV and see people you know and run with racing.

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running – 24/09/2017

Today saw a lot of yella vests taking part in this event.

We had 5 people taking on the full marathon and 15 taking on the 10km

Within the 10km Kenny Wilson continued his winning form and finished 3rd in a time of 30:25.

Congratulations to Kenny and to all participants in the 10km and the Marathon

The results and pictures are available on our website

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Scottish 10km Champs – Stirling

Kenny and Susan

Wow excited is the word today!

Kenny Wilson finished 4th in the Scottish 10k champs in Stirling with a great 25sec pb of 30.46

Susan Rae finished in 43.11. Rain and windy in bits but outstanding run!

Great running guys

Results

Report by:  Carol Sim

MRR Winning Streak

Kenny Wilson stormed to a tremendous win at the first ever Great Aberdeen Run in an incredible time of 31:54

 

 

 

Grace Whelan had a superb results at the Nationals winning a bronze

 

 

 

 

Dionna Milne got a bronze at the Senior Womens Discus at the Nationals

 

 

Nairn Highland Games HM – 19/08/2017

Nairn Highland Games Half Marathon. 19AUG17 Many months ago I saw an advert for this race. I knew it was not long after my return from operations in Africa and thus saw it as a good opportunity to test my speed after sweating off a few kilograms out there.
Parking a mile or so away from the venue in any available spaces we could find provided us with eyes on the first and last section of the course, which we then walked along to the registration tent, guided by the lights of the fun-fair ahead. Helpful volunteers told us where to register and where to change, conveniently right next to the start line. We quickly retrieved our numbers and thus prepared ourself for the beginning of the race. Approximately 265 runners began the race (if I heard correctly due to two people talking on different tannoys at once!). The starting gun went off and we began the race with a parading lap around the race track within the playing field then headed off along the coast heading towards Brodie.
On an initial map assessment I surmised that the route would be fairly flat but I was slightly off, with the route quickly climbing out of Nairn and continued to have long, slight climbs throughout. The weather held out until about 45mins into the race with a heady downpour giving a bit of relief from the wind matching our pace from behind and humidity making it a little uncomfortable. After the 7 mile turn-around point the 15kph wind was now in our face but we were heading to the finish, powering through it. With 4 water stops, hydration was not an issue and the whole route was well marked and marshalled . Although the public roads remained open, traffic was light and drove at a considerate speed. Quiet countryside just a couple miles north of the A96 aided this. Returning back into Nairn on what felt like the only downhill segment was short respite for my, now very weary, legs. I was trying to maintain a 1hr30 pace throughout and those last few miles were extremely tough. Constantly glancing at my watch I remained steadfast in my attempt to hit that time. By now I was beginning to overtake a lot of people who were starting to slow, a few of those were were from the Nairn club so that was a nice little morale boost. Talking of morale, this morning I told my wife, “meet me at this point of the course”, where I pointed out the 7 mile point on the map. “and make sure you have some banana for me!” she agreed, I even reminded her as I left the house. Of course, I’m running along prior to the seven mile point looking forward to this little energy fix. When I finally arrive she tells me she forgot it! Morale took a heavy dive, it might have just given me a placebo affect but, damn was I looking forward to it! Anyway, back to the race.
Back in Nairn people were offering their support, with the harbour and Maggot quite busy. Although appreciated, lots of people were very ignorant of the race and did not bother to create space on the path from the Maggot, back to the finish. This resulted in me and the majority of others doing what felt like a slalom for the last mile. I even had a chap on a mobility scooter overtaking people on the footbridge practically blocking it up. Somewhat aggravating! This is something that should be managed better in the future as I feel someone could easily take a tumble and get hurt, either racer or pedestrian. On arrival at the arena, marshals once again guided us the route back into the finish. My heart rate was now hitting 190bpm, it had creeped over 180 around 2 miles from the finish. I was sapped, doing the final lap of honour felt like an eternity, people’s cheers and claps were hardly breaking through the physical torment I was currently in. I eventually crossed the line to only find it was not the finish line and had to double back and go to the correct race exit, Hopefully they don’t add to my official time! I staggered across the line, my body was spent. I collapsed on the floor in a pathetic, panting heap. I was kindly handed a bag of treats and my medal.
Offering congratulations to others crossing the line including several others wearing MRR tops (I believe there was 6 of us racing in total), I gorged on a couple of bananas given to me as I got my soul back (least someone gave me a banana!). Looking at my watch, it tripped the half marathon point at 1hr 30mins and 2 seconds perhaps 200m prior to the finish line. I’d got my PB and got my 1hr30 so I was pretty damn chuffed. Hard work training with MRR has really paid off, so thank you all those who have trained with me and cheered me on at races throughout the season. Roll on the cross-country season!
Report by:  Jason James