Spring Marathon – Firebird Series

On 17th April 2021 I ran the Spring Marathon with Phoenix Running Events. This was the 1st installment of the 4 part Firebird Series. I have always been interested in the Firebird Series and see the medal proudly hung at expos such as London Marathon, but the Spring event never works out for me. I am always looking for opportunities and the positives out of the current situation we are in. My events have been cancelled this Spring, so an opportunity to take part in the Firebird Series.

The whole Firebird Series medal

The Firebird Series medal comes as the final medal in December, with today’s Spring Marathon being the first event. I have entered the Series, so looking forward to receiving the huge Firebird medal. Today was my first marathon of 2021, and my 61st official marathon (70th towards the 100 marathon club).

London Marathon 2011, Horny Paul

I had a little reminder today that it was 10 years ago today that I ran my first ever marathon. It is crazy to think that there are 60 marathons separating my first ever marathon in London Marathon and my event today. I expect (covid permitting) to join the 100 marathon club in 2022.

Standard #flatlay

Many of you will know I’ve taken on a huge challenge of 11 marathons in 11 days, and I’ve been asked how I will prepare. There is not a lot I can do to prepare, other than run marathons. Today I ran the same course I will be running for 11 days in a row, and my aim was to have a solid training run. When I take on the 11 in 11 I want to run around 4 hours (if I can), but today I aimed to go a little faster. I took it steady as I didn’t want to push, so when I started at around 7:30 pace that seemed like a sensible pace to both give me a challenge, but also not push too hard.

Enjoying the tow path

The route was dry and perfect. I had my fuel on me, only needing water at the turn points. It is 8 out and back laps for a marathon, so I collected a bottle of water every other lap and carried it until I picked up another bottle. The day started cool but warmed up as we ran, for me it was pretty perfect conditions.

Today was a real confidence boost for me. After running a sub 1:27 half a couple of weeks ago, and now running a solid marathon as a training run, I am feeling like I am ready for an attempt at a sub 3 marathon. This is the first time I have really felt this ready, so excited to plan when I can give it a go.

The medal shot

My official time was 03:22:21, however my Garmin said I had a PB of 3:18. It may be a PB for this watch, but 10 minutes off my PB of 2013. But with equivalent effort, I am in the shape I was in 2013 and can’t wait to make my marathon PB start with a 2.


The best thing about finishing a marathon at a pub is that refreshments are near by.

What’s your next challenge

8 thoughts on “Spring Marathon – Firebird Series

  1. Congrats – I hit a 5k PB today at 7:51 pace so I’m not at all jealous of your 7:30 marathon pace! Next challenge is a Not Edinburgh Marathon, run around home at the end of May, when I hope to finish under 4:30 for the first time. It’s all relative.


    1. Mate, it is indeed all relative. We can all fall into the trap of comparing which is not healthy. The best comparison is the old you…

      I am 10 minutes slower than my best in 2013, but feeling strong and better than I have been for half a decade. So it feels great.

      Good luck with your marathon. Check out my #FunbusMarathon challenge


  2. Wow, that medal’s huge on its own! Good luck for the 11 challenge, and lovely to see you so energised and positive.

    I ran with two other people today for the first time since last time we could do that, and it was lovely. I’ve also been picking my pace up a bit, mainly to get myself in good shape for supporting our beginners at running club when we start running that again.


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