Lancaster Runner

A blog about running in and around Lancaster, England
Barcelona Marathon
Here are some pics of me running the Zurich Barcelona Marato last weekend. I hadn’t expected it to be as hilly as it was, and it also got rather hot towards midday - mid 20’s. Still, you get to take it some great sights such as Barcelona FC’s Nou Camp, the Segradia Familia and a lovely stretch of beach.
I test raced in my new Brooks transcend trainers, which felt great, and helped ease my mind about a niggle on my right foot. The extra bounce really came into effect in the last 10k!
All in all, a good training race for london, completing the distance in a respectable 3 hours 07mins and 55 seconds.

Barcelona Marathon

Here are some pics of me running the Zurich Barcelona Marato last weekend. I hadn’t expected it to be as hilly as it was, and it also got rather hot towards midday - mid 20’s. Still, you get to take it some great sights such as Barcelona FC’s Nou Camp, the Segradia Familia and a lovely stretch of beach.

I test raced in my new Brooks transcend trainers, which felt great, and helped ease my mind about a niggle on my right foot. The extra bounce really came into effect in the last 10k!

All in all, a good training race for london, completing the distance in a respectable 3 hours 07mins and 55 seconds.

Transcending my Asthmanaut outfit

On Thursday I became the proud owner of a pair of Brooks new flagship trainer, the Transcend. Thanks to a chance discussion with our friend Ian at The Runners Centre, Lancaster, Mark from Brooks and my Wife - It just so happens that Brooks marketing material for the Transcend (only launches this week) features lots of astronauts and space, perfect tie in with my world record attempt for fastest marathon dressed as an Astronaut (or Asthmanaut as I like to call it). And even better - the shoes are funky bright orange, just like my Asthmanaut outfit. 

Having already run 20 marathons in Brooks adrenaline GTS, Ian and Mark retested my running stride on the gait analysis machine, to ensure they were going to OK. Super springy and really cushioned I couldn’t wait to get them out on a proper run. Even though they are heavier than my GTS, the new super dna cushioning makes them feel a lot lighter - and new guide rails ensure that my stride stays on course, so hopefully less injuries!!

Find out more about the shoes here : http://tinyurl.com/oevblgf

Get your pair from Ian at the runners centre : http://www.runnerscentre.com

I’m running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Asthma UK, whilst attempting to break the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon dressed as an astronaut. 

I’d be over the moon with any sponsorship, you can donate here: http://tinyurl.com/m7jmnuy

 

FEBRUARY TOTAL

A weekend in Prague, Genevieve’s 1st Birthday and a heavy night at the Darts may mean I didn’t get as many long runs in as i’d like, but marathon training went fairly well with 23 runs completed and 144miles covered. Getting a few niggles but on track for breaking the Guinness World Record for fastest astronaut at the Virgin London Marathon in April. 

Don’t forget to sponsor me on this site, and remember to add Gift Aid if you can. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SimonCouchman

Great North West Half Marathon

Ran the Great North West Half Marathon last weekend in very windy (well, Gale force actually!) Blackpool. Very scenic and very bracing but a great practice run building up to my two marathons in Spring.

VLM 2014 AsthmaNaut World Record Attempt

I’m running the 2014 Virgin London Marthon in aid of Asthma UK.

To make it more fun, I’m attempting to break the Guiness World Record for “Fastest Marathon Dressed As An Astronaut”. The current time is 3hr19mins, so its quite tough!

I am running for Asthma UK, as I have had asthma since a child, and it is a small way to repay them. I couldn’t even run as a child, and rarely did PE, and only took up sport in my 20s, so want to show that having Asthma shouldn’t stop people achieving their goals. 

That’s why I’m calling my outfit the Asthmanaut!

Hopefully I’ll be able to break the record, raise a load of cash for Asthma and celebrate 10 years of marathon running.

I’ll be adding pictures and videos of me training and getting the asthmanaut costume ready for the big day.

Please sponsor me on this site, and remember to add Gift Aid if you can. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SimonCouchman

I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

Here’s the suit arriving!

Medal Monday pt2 : Cross Bay Half Marathon

I’d run it before, but last weekend was one of the toughest runs I’ve ever done. A half marathon across the ridged sands of morecambe bay, in a strong headwind with no shelter or respite, and stages of water up to your knees! After a strong start, and long after my ipod had give up, my legs were struggling to lift with sodden trainers sticking to the now muddy sand. A few stops caused my to lose my top ten position, and about 5 mins time, to finish a respectable 31st. 

Medal Monday : The London 2012 Olympic Medals
Ok, so not a medal i’ve won, or ever would have a chance of winning, but though it would be nice to showcase the amazing (and rather large) London 2012 medals. As with most things with this Olympics, they were a great piece of design.

Medal Monday : The London 2012 Olympic Medals

Ok, so not a medal i’ve won, or ever would have a chance of winning, but though it would be nice to showcase the amazing (and rather large) London 2012 medals. As with most things with this Olympics, they were a great piece of design.

MY TOP TEN LONDON 2102 OLYMPIC MOMENTS
10. Games Makers
Everywhere we went in London, the purple clad volunteers we there to guide, welcome and generally be as helpful as possible. Thanks guys.
9. Inspire a generation
More than a cheesy slogan, you got the sense that London truly mean’t that this Olympics will have a lasting legacy.
8.The Atmosphere
Everywhere that you went, there was a feel good factor. Winning all those medals probably helped!
7. Wiggo 
Not long after his triumph at the Tour de France, did Bradley Wiggins wipe the floor in the Olympic road race, grabbing Gold with ease. Increased sales in stick-on sideburns seen.
6. Women’s Marathon
It was odd to watch a marathon, rather than participate. Even the torrential rain couldn’t stop the feel good atmosphere.
5. Opening Ceremony - Lighting of the torch
Rather than bigger is better, London again go for a stylish understated approach that is both classy and inspired. Again, Underworld’s track Caliban’s Dream adds much to the proceedings.
4. 29 Golds
Uncontrollable tears of joy. And that was just the blokes. Its hard to think 4 olympics ago we only got one gold. And not forgetting all the silvers, and bronzes too.
3. Opening Ceremony - Pandemonium
The highlight of the opening ceremony by far, covering GB’s history (even the bad bits) in a way that was original, creative and awe inspiring.
2. Opening Ceremony - Underworld
Whilst Danny Boyle quite rightly is praised for the amazing opening ceremony, little is mentioned of the huge part that dance band Underworld played, creating, mixing and creating such an appropriate soundtrack.
1. Seeing athletics in the Olympic Stadium with my wife
Enough said…

MY TOP TEN LONDON 2102 OLYMPIC MOMENTS

10. Games Makers

Everywhere we went in London, the purple clad volunteers we there to guide, welcome and generally be as helpful as possible. Thanks guys.

9. Inspire a generation

More than a cheesy slogan, you got the sense that London truly mean’t that this Olympics will have a lasting legacy.

8.The Atmosphere

Everywhere that you went, there was a feel good factor. Winning all those medals probably helped!

7. Wiggo 

Not long after his triumph at the Tour de France, did Bradley Wiggins wipe the floor in the Olympic road race, grabbing Gold with ease. Increased sales in stick-on sideburns seen.

6. Women’s Marathon

It was odd to watch a marathon, rather than participate. Even the torrential rain couldn’t stop the feel good atmosphere.

5. Opening Ceremony - Lighting of the torch

Rather than bigger is better, London again go for a stylish understated approach that is both classy and inspired. Again, Underworld’s track Caliban’s Dream adds much to the proceedings.

4. 29 Golds

Uncontrollable tears of joy. And that was just the blokes. Its hard to think 4 olympics ago we only got one gold. And not forgetting all the silvers, and bronzes too.

3. Opening Ceremony - Pandemonium

The highlight of the opening ceremony by far, covering GB’s history (even the bad bits) in a way that was original, creative and awe inspiring.

2. Opening Ceremony - Underworld

Whilst Danny Boyle quite rightly is praised for the amazing opening ceremony, little is mentioned of the huge part that dance band Underworld played, creating, mixing and creating such an appropriate soundtrack.

1. Seeing athletics in the Olympic Stadium with my wife

Enough said…

'Real Relay' runners overtake Olympic torch : here's a story from the bbc website
A group of amateur runners following the route of the Olympic torch look set to overtake it later on - but unlike the official relay, they are running every step of the way.
One has attracted global celebrities and sports stars, and has been followed mile-by-mile on TV and at the roadside by millions of people. The other is lucky to get a solitary figure on a street corner cheering it on.
But the differences between the official Olympic torch relay and the amateur Real Relay do not end there.
While the official flame is stopped in its tracks every night, the Real Relay continues 24 hours a day as part of its non-stop journey around the British Isles. And later it will move in front of its official counterpart in Dover.
"The Real Relay was conceived when we saw that the Olympic torch was spending a lot of time in the back of a van," says Kate Treleaven, one of the organisers.
"We sensed a missed opportunity and set out to recruit real grassroots runners from around the British Isles to run all the way around the Olympic torch route."
Instead of the golden Olympic torch carried on the official route, runners carry a metre-long baton which has a GPS tracker inside so people can follow the runners’ progress.
There are 672 stages of 10-to-12 miles in the relay, which started at Land’s End in Cornwall on 28 May - 10 days behind the official one - and concludes at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, five days ahead of the torch relay.
By the time it reaches London more than 2,000 runners will have taken part, covering 7,377 miles on foot, over 55 days and nights
Everyone has enjoyed playing a small part in something so much bigger which is, in its own way, making a little slice of history”
The Real Relay has had little publicity but word of mouth has seen it take off, Ms Treleaven says. She believes the tradition of a stripped-back relay without any “road support crew, sponsors and razzmatazz” is what appeals.
Unlike the Olympic torch, which caught a train up Snowdon, the Real Relay ran up the biggest mountain in Wales, along with the other three highest peaks in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland.
Runners are told where to begin and end their leg, but plan their own route which must take in each community listed on the Olympic torch route.
But is it in competition with the official torch relay? Ms Treleaven says it is not an “anti-Olympic torch uprising” but a chance for those not involved to feel “a little bit closer to it”.
And unlike the torch relay, the challenge is raising money for the charity CHICKS, which provides free, week-long respite breaks for disadvantaged children. Each runner donates £10 to the charity and the organisers believe they will raise well over £10,000 in total.
Team Golden Cap’s leg took in the highest point of the south coast of England, on the South West Coast Path. She adds: “I love the torch relay and I love running but I’m not going to be part of the official relay. This was something so unique and personal to the Olympics that I could actually take part in.”
Meanwhile, Tony Phoenix-Morrison, 48, ran from Blackhall Rocks to Billingham via Hartlepool with a fridge strapped to his back. He took the unusual decision because he had found it increasingly difficult to get sponsorship. ”When you take the baton and you know all the people who have carried it and all the kind of runs they’ve had - good or bad and short or long - that feeling of us getting together to make this happen was just extraordinary,” says Mr Phoenix-Morrison, who has completed several races with the 40kg appliance. Next month he is to run the course of the Great North Run every day for 30 days, fridge included.
The Real Relay is on course to overtake the Olympic torch in Dover at about 17:30 BST on Wednesday, and should reach the Olympic Stadium on 22 July.
"When we started the Real Relay 10 days behind the official torch we always hoped we would catch it up," says Ms Treleaven.
"To overtake the torch in Dover and to run past the same crowds who will be cheering on the official torchbearers will be an incredible moment. But for us the real excitement comes in knowing that the Real Relay is going to make it all the way to London.
"After 55 days on the road it will be an immense and inspirational achievement that reflects the unique spirit of Britain’s runners."
The organisers had contacted the Olympics committee to ask if the relay could end with a lap of the stadium in the Olympic Park, like the official one, but London 2012 said this would not be possible.
A spokeswoman said: “It is wonderful that the Olympic Torch Relay has inspired so many runners to get together in this way and we would like to congratulate everybody who has taken part.
"Unfortunately, we are unable to offer the Olympic Stadium as a finishing point as we have a full rehearsal programme under way there for the opening ceremony but we do have some ideas for other finish locations that might work for the organisers."
Ms Treleaven says wherever it ends the relay has been memorable.
"Even those who have run at half past two in the morning in torrential rain through city centres full of drunks have said what a wonderful experience it has been to be part of the Real Relay," she says.
"Everyone has enjoyed playing a small part in something so much bigger which is, in its own way, making a little slice of history."

'Real Relay' runners overtake Olympic torch : here's a story from the bbc website

A group of amateur runners following the route of the Olympic torch look set to overtake it later on - but unlike the official relay, they are running every step of the way.

One has attracted global celebrities and sports stars, and has been followed mile-by-mile on TV and at the roadside by millions of people. The other is lucky to get a solitary figure on a street corner cheering it on.

But the differences between the official Olympic torch relay and the amateur Real Relay do not end there.

While the official flame is stopped in its tracks every night, the Real Relay continues 24 hours a day as part of its non-stop journey around the British Isles. And later it will move in front of its official counterpart in Dover.

"The Real Relay was conceived when we saw that the Olympic torch was spending a lot of time in the back of a van," says Kate Treleaven, one of the organisers.

"We sensed a missed opportunity and set out to recruit real grassroots runners from around the British Isles to run all the way around the Olympic torch route."

Instead of the golden Olympic torch carried on the official route, runners carry a metre-long baton which has a GPS tracker inside so people can follow the runners’ progress.

There are 672 stages of 10-to-12 miles in the relay, which started at Land’s End in Cornwall on 28 May - 10 days behind the official one - and concludes at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, five days ahead of the torch relay.

By the time it reaches London more than 2,000 runners will have taken part, covering 7,377 miles on foot, over 55 days and nights

Everyone has enjoyed playing a small part in something so much bigger which is, in its own way, making a little slice of history”

The Real Relay has had little publicity but word of mouth has seen it take off, Ms Treleaven says. She believes the tradition of a stripped-back relay without any “road support crew, sponsors and razzmatazz” is what appeals.

Unlike the Olympic torch, which caught a train up Snowdon, the Real Relay ran up the biggest mountain in Wales, along with the other three highest peaks in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland.

Runners are told where to begin and end their leg, but plan their own route which must take in each community listed on the Olympic torch route.

But is it in competition with the official torch relay? Ms Treleaven says it is not an “anti-Olympic torch uprising” but a chance for those not involved to feel “a little bit closer to it”.

And unlike the torch relay, the challenge is raising money for the charity CHICKS, which provides free, week-long respite breaks for disadvantaged children. Each runner donates £10 to the charity and the organisers believe they will raise well over £10,000 in total.

Team Golden Cap’s leg took in the highest point of the south coast of England, on the South West Coast Path. She adds: “I love the torch relay and I love running but I’m not going to be part of the official relay. This was something so unique and personal to the Olympics that I could actually take part in.”

Meanwhile, Tony Phoenix-Morrison, 48, ran from Blackhall Rocks to Billingham via Hartlepool with a fridge strapped to his back. He took the unusual decision because he had found it increasingly difficult to get sponsorship. ”When you take the baton and you know all the people who have carried it and all the kind of runs they’ve had - good or bad and short or long - that feeling of us getting together to make this happen was just extraordinary,” says Mr Phoenix-Morrison, who has completed several races with the 40kg appliance. Next month he is to run the course of the Great North Run every day for 30 days, fridge included.

The Real Relay is on course to overtake the Olympic torch in Dover at about 17:30 BST on Wednesday, and should reach the Olympic Stadium on 22 July.

"When we started the Real Relay 10 days behind the official torch we always hoped we would catch it up," says Ms Treleaven.

"To overtake the torch in Dover and to run past the same crowds who will be cheering on the official torchbearers will be an incredible moment. But for us the real excitement comes in knowing that the Real Relay is going to make it all the way to London.

"After 55 days on the road it will be an immense and inspirational achievement that reflects the unique spirit of Britain’s runners."

The organisers had contacted the Olympics committee to ask if the relay could end with a lap of the stadium in the Olympic Park, like the official one, but London 2012 said this would not be possible.

A spokeswoman said: “It is wonderful that the Olympic Torch Relay has inspired so many runners to get together in this way and we would like to congratulate everybody who has taken part.

"Unfortunately, we are unable to offer the Olympic Stadium as a finishing point as we have a full rehearsal programme under way there for the opening ceremony but we do have some ideas for other finish locations that might work for the organisers."

Ms Treleaven says wherever it ends the relay has been memorable.

"Even those who have run at half past two in the morning in torrential rain through city centres full of drunks have said what a wonderful experience it has been to be part of the Real Relay," she says.

"Everyone has enjoyed playing a small part in something so much bigger which is, in its own way, making a little slice of history."

The Real Relay : Lancaster to Garstang In the wee small hours of Saturday morning I took part in an exciting, and rather British endeavour. The Endurancelife Real Relay, an exciting attempt to follow the entire route of the official Olympic Torch around the British Isles in one continuous non-stop journey, running every step of the way. 

www.endurancelife.com/realrelay/

I had signed up to run the Lancaster to Garstang leg, originally scheduled for a 2.25am start. Half dozing, I followed the batons’ gps tracker. It was clear that the leg coming down Scafell Pike had struggled, and that it was running about an hour behind. I eventually got a text saying it would be in Lancaster at about 3.45-4am.

So it was that me and my wife were in Dalton Square, at 3.45am, where Kevin had already finished his leg, and was waiting for me to hand over, and after a few photos, my turn to set off up the A6, passed a load of clubbers staggering home, and out onto the countryside towards Garstang.

A beautiful 11 mile route, as the sun slowed rose and the morning began…

You know it feels nice watching the sun come up

And I’ve realised I can never return

Oh babe it feels good watching the sun come up

I can attack the day with the will to burn

And the sky is a picture of violence

Blood red and steely blue

It has beauty that could never be silenced

Oh yeah it reminds me of you

Watching the Sun Come Up by Ed Harcourt.

Well timed on my ipod…

Just before 5am, I came into Garstang town, and put on a bit of a sprint finish before handing the baton to the next awaiting runners, Andrew Carey & Catherine Slevin who were waiting for me outside Garstang Town Hall, along with my wife, who had been following me in the car, and taking these pics. It was a great thing to say I was a part of, and a whole lot of fun running at such an odd hour.

Follow the entire route at www.endurancelife.com/realrelay/

olympic medal monday (sort of) : torch relay hits Lancaster. heres a fleeting pc of the 2012 London Olympic torch as it passed through a rather wet Lancaster on Friday. Was great to see it though, and be a small part of history. Can’t wait for it to start…

olympic medal monday (sort of) : torch relay hits Lancaster. heres a fleeting pc of the 2012 London Olympic torch as it passed through a rather wet Lancaster on Friday. Was great to see it though, and be a small part of history. Can’t wait for it to start…

BE PART OF HISTORY - AN APPEAL FOR ALL RUNNERS IN THE LANCASTER AREA
The official olympic torch is getting on a bus from Lancaster to Garstang!
Stuff that!
Join me at a silly hour in the morning to run the Lancaster to Garstang leg of the Real Relay, an attempt to run the full 8,000 mile olympic torch route non-stop with an alternative baton. 
As its non-stop, the leg is forecast for 2.25am on 30th July but this may change depending on the speed of the previous runners.
I would love to get as many great Lancaster runners as possible to help run the leg with me (and a bigger group may help me a;not look insane on my own with a baton or b: get arrested/run-over). Please pass the message on to anyone who may be up for it.
I’ll update the numbers/race time/ photos at lancasterrunner.tumblr.com and on twitter @irunlancaster
Bring more batons/replica torches/lightsabers/barry? with you and i’ll try and get the press.

About the Real relay:
The Endurancelife Real Relay is an exciting attempt to follow the entire route of the official Olympic Torch around the British Isles in one continuous non-stop journey, running every step of the way. Starting out from Land’s End at midnight on Monday 28 May, ten days behind the official Olympic Torch, the Real Relay will involve hundreds of runners from across the British Isles running through the day and night on an 8000 mile mission to reach London in time for the Olympic Games opening ceremony. http://www.endurancelife.com/realrelay/

BE PART OF HISTORY - AN APPEAL FOR ALL RUNNERS IN THE LANCASTER AREA

The official olympic torch is getting on a bus from Lancaster to Garstang!

Stuff that!

Join me at a silly hour in the morning to run the Lancaster to Garstang leg of the Real Relay, an attempt to run the full 8,000 mile olympic torch route non-stop with an alternative baton. 

As its non-stop, the leg is forecast for 2.25am on 30th July but this may change depending on the speed of the previous runners.

I would love to get as many great Lancaster runners as possible to help run the leg with me (and a bigger group may help me a;not look insane on my own with a baton or b: get arrested/run-over). Please pass the message on to anyone who may be up for it.

I’ll update the numbers/race time/ photos at lancasterrunner.tumblr.com and on twitter @irunlancaster

Bring more batons/replica torches/lightsabers/barry? with you and i’ll try and get the press.

About the Real relay:

The Endurancelife Real Relay is an exciting attempt to follow the entire route of the official Olympic Torch around the British Isles in one continuous non-stop journey, running every step of the way. Starting out from Land’s End at midnight on Monday 28 May, ten days behind the official Olympic Torch, the Real Relay will involve hundreds of runners from across the British Isles running through the day and night on an 8000 mile mission to reach London in time for the Olympic Games opening ceremony. http://www.endurancelife.com/realrelay/

medal monday ; great trail half marathon : this weekend saw me take to the trails (and fells) of the lake district in my first ever trail half marathon. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the start on a muddy field and skiddaw fell looming in the background. The run encompassed fields, fells, cycleways, trails, a few wooden raised bridges, a river, a few big hills and one monster fell (315m ascent!) and a 250m hill on the final lap. Finished about 18 mins slower than a road race at 01:48.18 but still came 11th which i was delighted with. As with all ‘@greatrun’ races, it was expensive to enter but well organised, a decent t-shirt and this rather nice medal. 

medal monday ; great trail half marathon : this weekend saw me take to the trails (and fells) of the lake district in my first ever trail half marathon. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the start on a muddy field and skiddaw fell looming in the background. The run encompassed fields, fells, cycleways, trails, a few wooden raised bridges, a river, a few big hills and one monster fell (315m ascent!) and a 250m hill on the final lap. Finished about 18 mins slower than a road race at 01:48.18 but still came 11th which i was delighted with. As with all ‘@greatrun’ races, it was expensive to enter but well organised, a decent t-shirt and this rather nice medal. 

medal monday : british 10k 2008 : in keeping with all things british this week, here is a medal from the really popular British 10k back in 2008. A run with more landmarks than the london marathon, its so packed you cant really do a great time but good atmosphere. Used to have rather dodgy medals, t-shirts and branding, but this year has seen Nike take over the marketing, so expect a much better medal this time, although entry fee had increased to a whopping £50! www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk

medal monday : british 10k 2008 : in keeping with all things british this week, here is a medal from the really popular British 10k back in 2008. A run with more landmarks than the london marathon, its so packed you cant really do a great time but good atmosphere. Used to have rather dodgy medals, t-shirts and branding, but this year has seen Nike take over the marketing, so expect a much better medal this time, although entry fee had increased to a whopping £50! www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk

medal monday : lancaster race series not sure what race this is from but it has a union jack on it which seemed appropriate with the Queens Jubilee this coming week. Not a lot else to say about it as it’s really a bit of a dodgy medal! 

medal monday : lancaster race series not sure what race this is from but it has a union jack on it which seemed appropriate with the Queens Jubilee this coming week. Not a lot else to say about it as it’s really a bit of a dodgy medal!