Qualifying for Boston

Running Boston often appears on many marathon runners radars, it had appeared on mine. I did however think a qualifier was a long way off, perhaps 5 years down the line. That was until I had breakfast with a friend of mine.

We were chatting about marathons and I flippantly said yeah cant run Boston this year as its the same day as Manchester. “No it isn’t Simon, its the day after”. Wait so if I ran Manchester quick enough I could get on a plane and run Boston? Then jump on another plane and run London?

After realising it was possible there was only one thing left to do, find a qualifier. It turned out there was one, and only one qualifier left in the UK. Therefore, I had one shot, the only snag, I hadn’t trained since returning injured from the USA.

I turned up to Birchington-on-sea barely fit enough to run a half and had to run a Boston qualifier. It turned out to be one of the toughest races in recent memory. The course itself was a simple out and back repeat, with an aid station back at the start. The first half went reasonably well, then my lack of training shone through, my body just wasnt conditioned to run a marathon, it had been two months of little training while I healed.

My stomach shut down shortly after the half way point, my legs turned into rocks and my guide runner had begun to “motivate” me in his own particular fashion. After a few difficult moments and the very real thought of backing out of the race, it was time to just dig deep. I somehow inched across the line with 2 minutes and change to spare to qualify for Boston. The race had been hell 13 miles of constant struggle. It taught me a valuable lesson, never take distance running lightly, turn up trained or just dont turn up at all.

Thankfully, I did eek out that time, partly due to the “motivation” from my guide and partly because we had travelled way too far to qualify for Boston and I just couldn’t fail.

But now the adventure is on, running 3 major marathons in 7 days!

Marathon Sandwich

The first of this years challenges has been entitled the Marathon Sandwich. It will involve me running the Sheffield half marathon, then running a full marathon, with a half tacked on the end.

The halves make the break while the marathon is the filling, making for a marathon sandwich! It will be a steady 52.4 mile run that I am intending to use for training for the South Downs Way 100 which is 4 weeks later.

The event takes place on the 27th of may. In order for people to take part we have decided to run the majority of the distance doing circuits of Endcliffe Park in Sheffield. So we are inviting anyone who would like to attend to run a 1.3 mile loop of the park.

I am raising money for a local blind charity Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). It is a wonderful charity that offers many services to the visually impaired within the district. It is the only local charity for some distance to offer such services as I travel all the way from Doncaster in order to attend their meetings.

More details of the challenge can be found over at Marathon Sandwich if you would like to donate to the charity please visit JustGiving