Archive for the ‘marathons’ Tag

DT #290, 17 October 2014 (Rosemount Reserve Shiraz Grenache)   3 comments

Rosemount Reserve Shiraz Grenache


Don’t tell your surgeon,
“I’m just glad to be back from
Sierra Leone.”

Name: Rosemount Reserve Shiraz Grenache
Type: red wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: In the hospital again, getting my boobs lifted or, at least, the left one were the superficial BCC was cut out.  The conversation led around to the Isle of Wight Marathon at which point she said that it seemed excessive to run that far.  “I  just did it to celebrate returning from Sierra Leone.”  We laughed and laughed.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January



2014 Isle of Wight Marathon   7 comments

IOW signage

First, my thanks go out to the organisers and volunteers for allowing me to participate in their little pub crawl. The venue was great and the small field lent itself to social interaction throughout.

I arrived early from my hotel in Shanklin due to a scheduling anomaly and once I registered I walked back to Cowes quayside to find a pre-race pint. But, no one had a license to serve before 11 am so I walked back up to the Sport Club grounds and waited out their opening time. They were serving tea, coffee and snacks but I decided to leave it till 11 to ask for a beer. And, with that purchase, my esteem was either raised or dashed depending on the co-participant’s attitude. Strange: it was like I had gone much farther from England than the 20 minute ferry ride.

At the starting gate, I stripped off my disposable old clothes (sweats that have become threadbare) and cranked up the GPS in my phone a few minutes before the start, taking my place in the crowd. I didn’t do the excessive pre-scouting of pubs that I have in the past; rather, I planned on stopping at every licensed facility I came across, bar none.

IOW marathon start

The first was the Sportsman’s Rest, a nice little pub with a rude and completely incompetent bartender (hence my long layover–more than ten minutes here). Next up, we passed (or, THEY passed) the New Inn which was much more efficient and completely nonplussed by my stop. Not much farther along the way the Horse and Groom loomed and after service I stepped out to heckle my compatriots for the first time.

iowm first couple of miles

We turned onto an old rail bed and soon we came up on the old station for Yarmouth, or part of Yarmouth, which is now the Off The Rails bar and restaurant. I yelled up to some diners on the platform, “is this place licensed?” then, to drown out their laughter, I repeated, “no, really, do they serve adult beverages?” Served by bemused staff, once again, I went back out and heckled the other runners while I enjoyed my bottle on the platform.

There was a long stretch after that along the riverside and through quiet lanes back almost all the way to Cowes (with no new pubs, although we passed the Sportsman’s and the New Inn again) then the path split off and we started up a long and (at that stage in the game) steep incline that housed, off to the right and nearly at the top, the Traveler’s Joy. It was a truly welcome respite, indeed.

IOW marathon map

With something less than 2 miles left, I eschewed further interaction with my compatriots (for the most part) and focused on finishing in under four hours. Which I did (just barely). It was then I realised how nackered I actually was. I’ve had worse leg cramps, mind, but these came all at once despite my aforementioned carb, nutrient and fluid regimen.

Spectacular organisation in this race, really, and the small and friendly field and the lovely refreshments I found along the way were just a bonus. If I were going to repeat a marathon, this would be one of my top choices. But, now I am qualified for the Ultramarathons I have planned for next year.

IOW marathon special drinks bags

Heh -heh…special drinks, indeed

DT #278, 5 October 2014 (Andwell Gold Muddler)   Leave a comment

Andwell Gold Muddler

The marathon need only
Count as completed.

Name: Andwell Gold Muddler
Type: Blonde ale
Venue: Steam Railway, Swindon

Review/notes: First cool temperatures of the Autumn, today, so I picked up a bunch of windfall apples on today’s run to make an apple infused vodka.  I also had to drop by the Co-op for some supper ingredients (roasting a chicken and baking some cauliflower in gorgonzola), so popped into the Steam Rail for a pint.  The Gold Muddler had the crisp, steely edge that really suited the single digit (Celsius) temperatures.

Also, this was the end of the taper.  To qualify for the Ridgeway Challenge I needed to complete a marathon in a certain time-frame and I’ve trained for it as though I was planning to race but the pubs in the vicinity all open early and there are four of them on the race route…it will be a training run more than anything else.  Shooting for 4 hours including the 4 pub stops.

Here’s the apple pie vodka infusion to be named at a later date:

drunken bunny apple pie vodka to be named

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

London Marathon 22 April 2012   14 comments

Before I say anything about the London Marathon, let just take a second to say that the Angerstein Hotel can go fuck itself.  Thanks, that’s a load off my mind.

The booklet the London Marathon authorities sent included a map of the route with a little pint glass marker at every pub along the way (which was a logistical godsend for me)–you’ve really gotta love the British…they even put a can of London Pride in the starters’ goodie bag.  However, it occurred to me that the route was fenced almost the entire way to keep the riffraff away from us elite athletes; I wrote to a number of these pubs asking if I could call in an order from about a mile out to be brought to the kerb and I’d put together correct change and gave them my bib number.  The Lord Nelson (Isle of Dogs, about 16.7 miles  from the start) was the first to respond closely followed by the Porter’s Lodge (Monument at about 23.5 miles) both offering to comp me the beverages; then the  Angerstein Hotel came through soon after (another free offer, as bogus as the one at the Porter’s Lodge, at 5.3 miles) and I stepped up the search for someplace in the range of 8-14 miles.  Sweet: this was shaping up to be the best marathon ever…or second best after this one.

Similar to the runner info magazine, the online interactive map shows the pubs nearby (the pint mugs are drawn on the little orange markers)

My original plan was to take the World Record for fastest marathon dressed as a nurse, then this jackoff did it much faster than I possibly could (whilst flaunting the “dressed as a nurse” bit).  Then, fastest marathon playing a ukulele was rejected by the Guinness people as “too specific,” whatever that means.  A friend in Georgia then asked, “if you want to do something absolutely ridiculous and somewhat memorable, why don’t you just go as yourself?”  Brilliant in its simplicity, as indeed so am I, that is exactly what did.

Me, one day before and a few minutes after the race

Preparation for this event–I don’t think it appropriate to call a 50,000 person clusterfuck like this a “race”–involved all the normal endurance practice: slowly ramping my weekly long runs to around 20 miles, doing some of these with 4-6 beer stops, and carrying a bit of training weight in the form of a cold can of Carling throughout (although some of this was sacrificed en route in the name of the 100/100 Challenge).

Approaching Tower Bridge and the halfway point it was still wall-to-wall people

Since a lot of the training runs came at the end of the workday in the lousy winter weather so that I was forced to carry a towel and dry clothing and a heavy coat on most trots, I was already prepared to carry a light backpack with a couple of dry t-shirts and some extra Vaseline for my nipples; I also packed the 100th Carling, a cuban cigar and lighter, a bunch of oat cookies, and my mobile (to phone the pubs).  One thing that might have helped would have been to include a few runs directly into crowds trying to exit busy subway stations which would have prepared me for the first two or three miles of the crowd.

After the hike from Blackheath Station, the Blue Start looms over the hill (roughly at the Greenwich Meridian)

Okay, enough whingeing about the big race logistics.  Once you decide to just enjoy the day as a day out, the London Marathon can be fantastic.  It is, more than anything, a fundraising machine but there are some compelling and even heartbreaking stories enacted before your very eyes (these are covered in great extent by better writers in less smart-arsed venues, but try to find the one about the paralyzed woman in the mechanical suit or any of the ones where a loved one ran in memory of the recently departed).

My own run was interrupted to make calls to the ostensibly free beers and, of course, to make stops in pubs for pints.  These have been covered on this blog already (links to the names):

Inside The Rose of Denmark at 5.1 miles
In front of The Angerstein (gfyourself) at 5.3
Inside The Farrier’s Arms at 8.5
At the fence near the Lord Nelson at 16.6
Inside the Porter’s Lodge at 23.5

Then, at the 25 mile marker I lit up a Cuban, pulled out Carling #100 of the 100/100 Challenge, and ambled along to the finish.

The weather was perfect, sunny and lightly breezy despite the dire warnings from the Met Office of 30 mile headwinds and torrential downpours.  Most folks were pretty civilised and I don’t feel at all bad about my splits (a bit embarrassed, but such is my day-to-day existence).  Keep in mind that these include the beer stops (a couple of which were inordinately long) and that there were 37,000 folks in the narrow roadways (I could touch at least two people without stretching out my arms full length nearly every step of the way):


Got my 2012 London Marathon Acceptance Letter   2 comments

Okay, let’s try this again…last year I had to drop out of the London Marathon due to broken vertebrae and ribs, recently collapsed lung, and ligament damage that I am still recovering from 9-½ months later.  So, I got an automatic re-entry.  (Update: it was a pleasant day…write up here → ).

My plan was to destroy the World Record for Fastest Marathon by a dude in a nurses uniform (by wearing some sort of fetish outfit for my attempt, but at a minimum something traditional and recognisable as a nurse outfit).  Unfortunately, this jackass (below) claimed the prize at a speed I can’t beat whilst wearing a hospital shirt and a hat with a red cross on it…I wonder if I can sponsor a Kenyan to write the word “NURSE” on the back of his bib label to snatch this away from him, since that seems to meet the criterium for a ‘uniform.’  At least I was going to abandon my dignity overtly.

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