(C) London Marathon, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge, December 2002
(C) London Marathon, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge, December 2002


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World and European 24 Hours
Worschach, Austria, 2pm

December 05
Bill recovered well during November and managed to get out for a few races and race reasonably well. I came first in the Burley Bridge Hike 21 miles and the following week came first in the Wensleydale Wedge 23 miles. To start off December I was also first in the Rudolphs Romp 23 miles and the following week has a very good run in the muddy Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham 50 miles, just breaking the 8 hour barrier and finishing 4th overall from around 169 entrants. I hold the course record for this event in around 7 hours 44 mins so was very pleased with this performance.

Over the Christmas period I also planned my events for 2006 and although I had not intended to run in the World 24 hours after UK Athletics did not select any athletes, the University of Teesside where I am finishing my MSc has offered funding for my training and will cover the cost of the trip to Taiwan in February. The big one for 2006 is a record attempt at Lands End to John O Groats at the end of June/beginning of July.

As a side issue you may like to know some of my statistics. I have now updated all the races I have ever run since I started running, to date I have finished 674 races, won 149 of them, had 283 top three places, raced 14799 miles of running, run 88 ultras over 30 miles and worn that International Vest 22 times. For 2005 I ran 56 races, that’s 1060 miles of racing, that averages 18.9 miles per race, over my history the average distance for my 674 races is 21.9 miles!! Just food for thought.

November 05
This is going to be a quiet month, only light training and looking after Bill who is having his first hip replacement and will need a little looking after. He needs both hips replacing – he blames me for wearing him out.

October 05
My health problems seemed to just continue, the problem now was of feeling sick and stomach pains. I left this a couple of weeks to let it settle but was unable to run the AAA Championship 24 hours at Tooting Bec in London and instead opted for the Hull 24 hours three weeks later. Unfortunately the stomach problems had not gone and disrupted the race, the verdict from the doctor was the stomach lining was inflamed, probably from a helicobacter infection and was producing excess acid that was also causing the pain. I went into Hull while still on medication and was a chance worth taking as it was local. I still finished first lady and second overall with 198km. That was the last big race of the year for now so am going to take a few weeks break and hopefully get my health back to normal.

September 05
Started the month with the Transalpine run with partner Fiona. This was not a race for me as our fitness levels were very different, but as I was not 100% with the gland problems I was content just to be part of the event. The 2 inch cut in my groin was still quite swollen as were my glands. At the end of the month I came second in the Anglesey Marathon, and undulating race with strong winds and was pleased to be presented with my prize by Colin Jackson.

August 05
I seemed to have constant health problems since the world 24 hours, the swollen glands remained swollen and often felt sick and light headed when racing and very tired when not racing. Eventually I had to have a biopsy to remove a lymph gland in my groin, but this only revealed a normally working gland. The source of the infection still remains a mystery and having exhausted all medical explanations just have to get on with things and hopefully it will sort itself out.

July 05
This was the big month of the World 24 Hours in Austria (this has a report to go with it that is already on the site). I went into the event full of confidence for a top 10 position and a new personal best, the result was 14th in the world with just over 200km. Initially I was puzzled as to what went wrong, I had run steadily throughout and although the weather had been changeable with torrential ran followed by 33 degrees of heat and heavy rain again at night the result revealed itself the following week. Prior to the event I had been to the doctors with swollen lymph glands and after the event had a back ache, I had got a kidney infection, just very bad timing.

June 05
For the start of this month the plan had been to run in the Dartmoor Discovery race and then cycle from Lands End to Edinburgh in time for the Edinburgh Marathon the following week. Lack of time and expense of public transport meant I missed the Dartmoor Discovery but still went to Lands End for a cycle back to Edinburgh, going over the planned route for a record attempt on Lands End to John O Groats next year. This was a superb way to wind down from the studies and although I had very stiff quads starting the Edinburgh Marathon was satisfied with my time. The following week I had expected to run sub 3:30 in Blackpool Marathon but circumstances were to mean I had my worst marathon I could remember. The weather was very hot but a delay of 45 minutes at the start followed by lack of drinks at the feed stations resulted in a slow plod to get to the finish.

The only other news for this month is quite disappointing and has left a bit of a dilemma for me, the selection for the European 100km Championships saw three men but no women selected, although surprised at this I was not disappointed as I had an alternative plan of running the Spartathlon on 30th September, but the really bad news came when my entry on 13th June was rejected by the Spartathlon as the closing date was 31st May. I am now unsure what events to run for the end of the year, my plans being a little restricted as my husband is expected to be out of action to help me for several months and will need to do events where I can run without his support. I will focus on the World 24 hours which is now less than three weeks away (16th-17th July) and plan the rest of the year on my return.

May 05
Had a good finish to April with lots of races and a good recovery from the 100km. May was not such a good month, I had lots of work on at University doing assignments and exams and could not focus on racing and could not afford the time to travel to races. One very useful piece of work I done for an Independent Learning Module was analysing the nutrition used in 10 years of 24 hour racing which produced some unexpected results and a change of practice for my next 24 hours event.

April 05
At the end of March I ran my fastest 10km race for 3 years, the weather was milder now and my asthma gone. This was great news for the first race of April, the Anglo Celtic Plate and National 100km Championships. I had a solid performance and was within 5 minutes of my planned time but still achieved my goal of selection time, which was sub 8 hours 50 minutes. I finished in third place with 8 hours 45 minutes and 41 seconds. The only sad news was the disappointment that Norman Wilson, one of the selectors informed me if I were to compete in the planned 48 hour race in Surgeres, France in May then I would not be selected for the World/European 24 Hours in Austria to be held 9 weeks later, the team would also be withdrawn.

This was my fastest 100km race since 1999 having specialised in 24 hours. It is now possible that a team of five women may be selected for the European 100km in September, which may alter my plans for run in the Spartathlon 246km that was planned.

Recovery has started well and have already run a 12 mile fell race the weekend after the 100km and have a marathon planned before the end of the month (Shakespeare Marathon).

March 05
This month started with the Barry 40, 161 laps of the tartan track, my first long run in the build up for the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km, the race was also being watched by the England selectors. The weather was cold again but I was in good shape and was confident of a solid performance. I planned to run at exactly two minutes per lap (8 minutes miles) for the entire race, putting in some effort in the last few miles if anything was left in the tank. Unfortunately the race did not go according to plan, after starting with perfect pacing went through 10 miles just 30 seconds ahead of the schedule, on approaching the 20 mile mark though the breathing started to get worse as the asthma took hold. I took medication and sat and regained my breathing, after walking for a lap I tried to run slowly but within half a lap the asthma was back and was forced to retire from the race. As I had been in Portugal for a couple of weeks and followed this with two weeks training inside on the treadmill this had probably made the cold weather trigger the asthma which is more rare for me in the longer races when my breathing is not as laboured as in shorter races.

The day after I got the news that I had not been selected to run for England in the Anglo Celtic Plate in Dublin on 2nd April 2005. This was the race I had been training for and was using as a build up race for the World 24 Hours in July. My fitness is very good at present and know I can run well in this race, I hold the course record in 8 hours 27 minutes, when I won the race for England in 1999. Although disappointed with the decision by the selectors this is also the National Championships and an open race and as it was always part of my build up to run this race I will still be going and competing as an individual. Three women were selected for England, two newcomers who have never run a 100km race and one who dropped out at 50km in the Barry 40 as she had planned.

On the same day that I got the news that I was not selected to run for England in the 100km in Dublin I also got news that I had been selected to compete for England in a 200km/24 hour race walk in France on 23rd/24th April. An event I was not aware of and had not accounted for. Unfortunately as my plans have already been made and will be competing in a long race in May just six weeks after Dublin I had to turn down the invitation to run for England in France and stick with my original plans.

February 05
The first two weeks of this month were spent training over 100 miles per week in the Algarve, Portugal on top of the usual weights, cycling and rowing. The great difference was having more time to recover between workouts and getting a massage every day and running in shorts and t-shirt. The trip was paid for by the Elite Athlete Bursary Scheme at the University of Teesside where I am currently studying for my Masters in Sport and Exercise. The day after getting back I had a very good run in the Fox and Hounds fell race, my best time for many years. Then the snow came, and never went for over two weeks, another fell race was cancelled and I was reduced to the treadmill for the two weeks.

January 05
I competed in 48 races for 2004, 23 of which were marathons or above. This was a very good build up month. I incorporated all the components of training that have been lacking recently. I trained an average of 80 miles per week but was supplementing this with three weights sessions per week, one session of race walking with the club per week and around five hours of addition cardiovascular work in the gym such as cycling and rowing, on average I have been training around 25 hours per week in time. I raced five times in the first three weeks of the month. I was disappointed with my performance in the York Brass Monkeys Half Marathon as my asthma came on seven miles into the race and had to walk/jog the remainder of the race to get back without getting hypothermia. The race was bitterly cold with ice on some of the course although it was a sunny day.

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