I always enjoy taking a look back at the year, and 2019 has been a fantastic year of running. I have been doing a running recap for the last 3 years now, and each year has been better and better. You can look at my 2017 recap HERE and my 2018 recap HERE. This has not only been a great year, it’s been a fantastic decade and I cannot wait to see what the next decade brings.
I finished 2018 with a few goals, to run a faster marathon towards the end of 2019, run another ultra, take part in another Ironman, and continue pacing around the world. Throughout this blog I will do a short recap of every event over 2019 and link each race review so you can read more if you want. I achieved most of my targets, having paced slightly fewer races, but explored more of the world, gaining lots of amazing memories. I completed my 4th Ironman, and another Ultra. I did not complete a faster Marathon, however I am entered into Tokyo Marathon 2020 and will tackle this challenge then, so I am a step closer.
National Running Show – BLOG
The National Running Show is a great way to start the year. In my recap you can see what I got up to, but there is something for everyone, and I’m looking forward to going in 2020 as it will be bigger and better. I have been an Ambassador since the beginning and I will be talking on stage in 2020 for the second time, come and find me next year.
London Winter Run – BLOG
I have been wanting to run the London Winter Run for a while, but it has always clashed with events I pace. I ran this event last minute in 2019 as my event was cancelled because of snow. I am so glad I did, what a great event to start the year.
East London Half Marathon – BLOG
I was really pleased to pace this event. I’ve heard great things about the Runthrough events, and it was a lovely event. I was disappointed with course measurements and marker placements which impacted my race as a pacer. If I wasn’t pacing this would not have detracted from a great event.
Hampton Court Half Marathon – BLOG
The Hampton Court Half is a regular event for me, and one I enjoy. I had planned on running it to improve my speed, but the night before a pacer dropped out. I therefore stepped in to pace 1:45 for Xempo, and as always had a great time on the #funbus.
Benidorm Half Marathon – BLOG
I won a place in the Benidorm Half, so Phil and I went and booked a weekend away together. It was a lovely weekend away, and a good events event with lots of potential. I fell short of my target, but in fairness I did fall off my bike the day before.
Big Half Marathon – BLOG
For the second year in a row I paced 1:45 at the Big half for Runners World. I absolutely love this event, and disappointed it clashes with Tokyo in 2020 so I won’t be able to return. The wind was crazy, and I have never taken part in such difficult conditions. So much so that the organisers had to cancel the race finish at the end which was a real shame, as it was awesome in 2018.
Limassol 5K and kids race – BLOG
Limassol Marathon weekend has become a family favourite. I returned for the 3rd time in 2019 and both my kids love the kids race. It’s a made race, but they always are with that many kids, but not as mad as the 5k which is a huge turn out, not one for a PB. I always go back for more though.
Limassol Marathon – BLOG
Limassol Marathon was the first of 10 sub 4 marathon #funbus appearances for the year. A smaller field, but friendly atmosphere, a lovely event to be part of. I will be back in 2020.
Manchester Marathon – BLOG
I returned to Manchester Marathon for the 3rs time pacing the sub 4 #funbus and it didn’t fail to deliver. A lovely race, which will be even bigger in 2020. I loved talking on stage the day before and the family always love the day.
Paris Marathon – BLOG
It was a pleasure to go and pace Paris Marathon after running it in 2015. Behind the scenes I helped get a team of Pacers together from the UK to join the usual pacing team. Paris is definitely event everyone should do. If there was another World Marathon Majors in Europe I would be surprised if Paris was not selected.
London Marathon – BLOG
I make no secret that London Marathon has always been my favourite event. I want to run it every year I can, and if possible pace it every single year. After running it for Charity in 2011, as a ballot runner in 2013, I have paced it 6 times. I love to share my motivation and enthusiasm to help people truly experience London. It is in London Marathon that the #funbus came alive, have you ever joined me in London?
Milton Keynes Half Marathon – BLOG
At Milton Keynes there is a 5k, half, marathon and kids race. I have paced the half marathon for 4 years, and love leading 1:45 for the team. I would love to pace the marathon, but happy to help in the half, so will return in 2020. The full and half share the first 7 miles, and the half really is a race of two halves.
Gatwick Half Marathon – BLOG
The sister race to Run Reigate, the Gatwick Half is a fun and friendly event I have ran since it started. I stayed to take part in the kids race after leading the funbus, and my family had a good time.
Hackney Half Marathon – BLOG
The Hackney Half has a huge presence on course with crowd support and atmosphere. The team at virgin put on a great after party, and I always enjoy pacing for them.
Liverpool 5K and Marathon – BLOG
The Rock and Roll weekend is always high on my list. I have been pacing and organising the Pacers for the last three years. Along with a quick 5k event and talking at the expo, I love collecting all the fantastic medals. It’s not the easiest finish, but the afterparty is worth it.
London 10000 – BLOG
Unfortunately I never get the chance to do the Westminster mile as it clashes with Liverpool. However, as the 10k is on the Monday I can get back in time and run through London. A huge event, well organised, the only thing missing is Pacers. Alas I take this as an opportunity to stretch the legs.
Run Fest Run – BLOG
Take a read of my blog for Run Fest Run, as it’s a great concept. Running for the whole family, camping and live music. I’m just gutted the date has changed next year and it clashes with Liverpool otherwise I would definitely be there.
Race To The Tower – BLOG
Ultra marathons aren’t supposed to be easy. This double marathon was beautiful, but hard. I’m not used to the hills, and I underestimated the elevation. I took part in this event with a friend, I definitely slowed him down, but we had fun along the way.
London Relay – BLOG
Austin got together a great group of runners for the London Relay. 10k in the centre of London, continuously for a month. If you haven’t done this before, check it out for 2020.
London 10k – BLOG
Once again I paced the London 10k for Virgin Sport. I love pacing and Virgin share my views on pacing to make sure it’s fun for everyone. I have paced the 45 minute #funbus for the last 5 years in a row, but have taken part in this event 8 times, it is also my PB course (very old now).
London Triathlon – BLOG
Another first at the London Triathlon, and I must say it was a fantastic event, really well organised and very inclusive. I had issues with a puncture which ruined my finish time. I had a weird experience on the run with another runner threatening me, but it is an event I would definitely recommend.
Ironman Vichy – BLOG
My 4th Ironman. I have no words, I am so proud of my Ironman experience. It was my slowest Ironman, and I really struggled, but I did it. Full details in my blog, but I really had to push through some hard times at Vichy. This has not put me off though, and I have already entered my 5th Ironman.
Brooks Best Fest – BLOG
I love my #runhappyteam. I went away with Brooks to celebrate Brooks Best Fest. Such amazing memories and experiences, I am so lucky to be part of this fantastic team.
Kew 10k and Richmond 5k – BLOG
I’ve organised the Pacers for the Kew 10k since its inaugural event. I always love pacing the 45 minute #funbus and it’s the most beautiful 10k route I’ve taken part in. I would recommend this event to everyone. I also took part in the inaugural 5k event in the evening as I had the marathon the next day. A great run and sprint finish with Jonathan.
Richmond Marathon – BLOG
I’ve never done the Richmond Marathon as it’s always clashed with other events. It’s mostly run on the Thames Path, so a quieter event, but really well organised and a lovely event village to finish. I enjoyed pacing the sub 4 #funbus and I will be back.
Berlin Marathon – BLOG
Berlin Marathon is now a regular fixture of mine, as I paced the sub 4 #funbus for the third time. I can get to and from Berlin in a weekend, and I love the race and atmosphere. I did a live interview for World Marathon Majors the day before, and had such great fun pacing.
Kingston Half Marathon – BLOG
Kingston Half is a nice local event for me which shares a similar route to many events in this area along the Thames Towpath. I enjoyed pacing for Xempo once again.
Chicago 5k – BLOG
I returned to Chicago for the second year, but this time I ran the Chicago 5k. A lovely shake out run, if you do Chicago you must sign up to this event.
Chicago Marathon – BLOG
Pacing a World Marathon Major is pretty special, and returning to Chicago was amazing. I love running Chicago and it is a fantastic marathon. If you get the opportunity you won’t regret it. Don’t forget the afterparty, I had a fair few beers in the finish area, such great fun.
Amsterdam Marathon – BLOG
Amsterdam is a great European event, such a fast and flat course. It had issues with congestion this year, which will be because of the roadworks, and I really hope they sort this out next year. I had to ease people back to pace, but the I kept the sub 4 #funbus alive and we finished bang on time.
New York Marathon – BLOG
The New York Marathon. Possibly the highlight of the year, an event I’ve been wanting to pace for 5 years, and I finally got the chance. I am so pleased I got to Pace the Big Apple, New York is simply amazing. I hope to return to pace the sub 4 #funbus in 2020.
Fulham 10k – BLOG
I met up with the #runhappyteam at Fulham 10k, and had originally booked my place with Let’s Do This. However I managed to get a spot pacing the sub 45 minute funbus. I thoroughly enjoyed the event, it had a great atmosphere. If I was running it personally I would have no complaints, however the markers were terrible and as a pacer this really impacted my experience. I would return, but I would run faster in case the markers were out.
As always I ended the year event free. Having a busy Spring and Autumn, I find it is important to take some time to just have free weekends with my family. Over December I have got my boy into Junior Parkrun, and I have been doing a Blog Series on running motivation.
It has been a fantastic Decade, one that would be difficult to match, however I have every confidence that it will get better. For now my targets for 2020 are to run a faster marathon (ideally sub 3 and BQ, but this is a stretch goal); complete another Ironman (for now I don’t care about times, I just want to enjoy the experience); continue pacing around the world. I love running, but most of all I love running with people. I hope I have helped motivate, encourage and support people on their journey, and I want to continue doing this in 2020. My main goal is to #runhappy
What are your plans for 2020? Will you be joining me on the #funbus? Let me know.