Running review of 2014

I don't know how far I've run this year but it's further than any other year. More importantly, I've had an amazing time meeting new people and seeing wonderful sights. Here are some highlights.

Best cake
Race: Country to Capital
Location: Wendover to Paddington
Date: 18 January
Distance: 45 miles 
Time: 7h42m (PB)
Learnings: Don't waste time at check points; it really doesn't always get worse; don't follow other people; the Go Beyond fruitcake is delicious.
Race report

Fastest
Race: British Heart Foundation 10k
Location: Regent's Park, London
Date: 15 March
Distance: 10k 
Time: 41m55s (PB)
Learnings: Speed work works.

Most disappointing 
Race: South Downs Way 50
Location: Worthing to Eastbourne
Date: 5 April
Distance: 50 miles
Time: 9h48m (PB)
Learnings: More hill training required; bottles are better than bladders; sometimes you have a bad day.
Race report

Early on at SDW50

Early on at SDW50

Most surprising
Race: Edinburgh Marathon
Location: Scotland
Date: 25 May 
Distance: 26.2 miles
Time: 3h38m (PB)
Learnings: How you feel in training is not necessarily an indicator of race day performance; starting slow and finishing quick is a great feeling; wear sunscreen, even in Scotland. 
Race report

Toughest
Race: The Picnic Marathon
Location: Box Hill, Surrey
Date: 21 June
Distance: 26.2 miles (with 6000ft of ascent and 6000ft of descent)
Time: 6h30m (PW)
Learnings: Sweatbands are multi-purpose; if you can keep going, keep going - it will give you huge belief in yourself.
Race report

Another smile and with sweatband intact - clearly early on in the race

Another smile and with sweatband intact - clearly early on in the race

Hottest
Race: Chiltern Challenge
Location: The Chiltern Way
Date: 19 July 
Distance: 50k 
Time: 5h59m (PB)
Learnings: Respect the heat; eat early.
Race report 

Most satisfying
Race: Ridgeway Challenge
Location: Ivinghoe Beacon to Avebury
Date: 23-24 August
Distance: 86 miles
Time: 19h38m
Learnings: Eating is key; sunrises are awesome (and so are hotdogs at 6am); it's easier to run all night than crew (apparently).
Race report

The Thames at dusk

The Thames at dusk

Best views
Location: Dipsea Trail, California
Date: 9 November 
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1h58m
Learnings: Don't have an In 'n' Out burger 90 minutes before running - you'll soil the incredible scenery; leave enough time to run the whole thing; practice stair running.
Garmin stats

The first of about a million steps on the Dipsea trail

The first of about a million steps on the Dipsea trail


Next year
My only two races booked for 2015 so far are:

Country to Capital (18 January) - target is sub-8 hours.
Thames Path 100 (2 May) - my first 100-miler; target is sub-24 hours.

See you out there!