Year of running – 2019 recap

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.

Some 2019 marathon highlights

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.

January

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.

February

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.

March

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.

April

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?

May

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.

June

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.

July

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.

August

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.

September

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.

October

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.

November

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.

December

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.


4 thoughts on “Year of running – 2019 recap

  1. What a fantastic year you’ve had – and a great role model, inspiration and help to so many people. I will definitely come and shake your hand at the running show in Jan! Watch out for folk from Kings Heath Running Club – a lot of us will be there!

    My plans have firmed up now. I probably won’t be taking up my club’s reserve place at London Marathon – I hope not as I don’t want either friend who has a place to have to drop out! But I’ll be there supporting (and will drag my best friend to another parkrun on the Saturday!) and will then run around the number 11 bus route in Birmingham with a few mates the next weekend. Then in August I will do the Canal Canter Marathon – this starts and finishes 8 mins’ walk from my house and is a walking event too so no cut-off. So some not-much-risk, fun stuff to do, training won’t be too bad for either as there’s a longer cut-off than I’m used to, and I’m very much looking forward to it – as well as supporting the newest parkrun in Bham as a volunteer and helping with club’s 5k and beyond course starting next week.

    Have a great 2020!

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  2. You took part in so many races this year! I ran less than one third your total number! 😅
    Fantastic year you have, and you seem to be getting stronger and better! Wish you all the best for 2020!
    I intend to take part in my first marathon in 2020, if I am good enough. Will be taking a 30 km race to test my pacing out first!

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