Tagged 2015 British Spartathlon Team

The Michael Callaghan Trophy

2015 British Spartathlon Team Mike Callaghan Trophy

(Thanks to Ian Thomas for the update)

As the team will recall Patrick Macke has kindly donated the impressive trophy he won for winning Spartathlon in 1985 in a time of 23:18:00 h. Patrick still holds the record for the best British Performance 23:08 (1990) and during his career has set world records over various distances.

Patrick’s wish is that we rename the trophy the ‘Michael Callaghan Trophy’ after the original Spartathlon organiser Michael Graham Callaghan who unfortunately passed away in 2013 and award it as a perpetual trophy for the best British Performance at Spartathlon each year. I’m sure you’ll agree this is a very kind gesture by Patrick which will be greatly appreciated by all future British Spartathlon runners.

I had the great pleasure of recently collecting the trophy from the custodians Malcolm and Marilyn Campbell but had no idea that Malcolm was in fact a world beater himself on the Ultra scene and inaugural President of the IAU.

His presidency of the IAU started when he was fifty years old and before the age of fifty one he ran one of his races across America in a match race against Marvin Skagerberg (USA)

Malcolm stopped running around the age of sixty and eventually retired from the IAU at the age of seventy but not before he introduced the Constitution at the first IAU Congress.

Malcolm and his wife Marilyn were wonderful, warm and hospitable hosts to me and gave me a valuable insight into the history of Utra Running and the IAU. They also extended a warm welcome to any of the British Spartathlon Team that would like to drop by and have a chat about our wonderful sport and its colourful history.

It was a privilege to meet Malcolm and Marilyn of course, who has supported him throughout his long and impressive running career and Presidency of the IAU. As well as supporting Malcolm, Marilyn took many of the photos used in cover shots for The IAU over many years.

As custodians of the trophy to date, Malcolm and Marilyn have now passed that responsibility to the British Spartathlon Team thanks to Patrick, and on behalf of the team, Gill and I will update the trophy to reflect its new role as a perpetual trophy for the best British Performance, once we’ve agreed wording (Thanks Ian).

Many thanks to Patrick, Malcolm and Marilyn for their kindness in helping the British Spartathlon Team with their kind gestures.

Ian

Note: Malcolm and Marilyn gave Ian a collection of old articles from a rare book from 1985/86 called the Grantham Connection by author Jim Allen. One page of the book features Pattryk and Malcom, which highlighted their achievements at that time which is shown below.

Thank you to the author Jim Allen for allowing us to display a copy of this article.

2015 British Spartathlon Team Patrick Macke Article

British Spartathlon Team News – September 2015

(Thanks to Mimi Anderson and Paul Ali for this months update).

We are all now counting down the days until the start of the 2015 Spartathlon. I was looking back at the blog I wrote after my 2011 race and this is how I felt – a moment in my running life that I will always cherish and remember.

Coming into Sparta was the most wonderful feeling just over 9km to go, I knew now I would finish.  Running down the long road towards the town the views are stunning and makes everything you have done in the last 30 odd hours worth it. 

Getting to the last CP I was about to complete the one race that had scared me for years.  Running down the street I did wonder where this statue was.  People were cheering from their balconies, shops, street corners, it was a wonderful feeling.  Finally I was instructed to turn right and given a police escort towards the finish. 

British Spartathlon Team - Mimi Anderson 03

It seemed as though the whole town had come out to support the runners, Tim and Bridget (my Crew) together with a fantastic group of Brits were there cheering me in, kids surrounded me on their bikes but I didn’t mind, this is what is was all about – but where was the statue, I still couldn’t see it.   

I passed the a bar on the left hand side full of British supporters cheering, people standing on both sides of the street, now I could see the statue of King Leonidas – trying to hold my emotions together was almost impossible as I ran up the steps and touched and kissed those marvellous feet.  I HAD DONE IT!!! 

British Spartathlon Team - Mimi Anderson 02

Even now I can recall in my mind the last few moments of that race and how special it was and still is.

In under 3 weeks time the British Spartathlon Team together with other world class competitors will be standing on the start line of the most iconic Ultra race in the world – something we should all be proud of.

The Spartathlon isn’t the most beautiful race in the world but it is steeped in history going back to the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. it’s definitely a race not to be taken for granted.

In 2004 I met John Foden and I remember him telling me that I should enter the Spartathlon my reply was “you have got to be joking, I can’t run that fast”. Yes you have to be able to run at a good pace for a long time but for me (as a runner at the slower end of this group) I believe that one of the reasons we can fail this race is because the cut-offs apply to each and every checkpoint along the route, 74 to be precise. This plays on the mind all the time – even with a good “buffer” you know that this could disappear with every stop to refuel.

I have heard many previous participants of the Spartathlon saying that you can’t walk during the race or you won’t finish in time. In 2011 on the 2nd day I walking for 15/20 minutes with a wonderful guy who was having a bad time, I don’t regret that decision and perhaps I might have finished faster but it was part of my journey and I still managed to come in 3rd female.

The only bit of advice I can give is run your own race and stick to your plan. If things go wrong the race has a fantastic support structure and you will be looked after – as I well know from 2013!

I’m very much looking forward to seeing you all in Athens. We have an extra-ordinary group of athletes going out this year and I for one am proud to be one of them.

See you in Athens guys. Run strong, stay safe but as with all our running – enjoy!

Mimi

Sponsors News

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the British Spartathlon Team. Every donation, item of kit or supplies is very much appreciated by the team who will aim to represent the UK well at this international race. In no particular order we would like to thank.

Birmingham Runner

Thank you to Dave Ireland from Birmingham Runner for sponsoring the 2015 Spartathlon Team and supply each of the runners with the official team kit including crew T-Shirts.

The Birmingham Runner Shop is a UK based sports retailer in Solihull, West Midlands offering a wide range of top name brands and with over 25 years of experience in the specialist running sector.

The team offer an in-store Video Gait Analysis Service and have an on-line store covering a complete range of running related products.

You can visit the Birmingham Runner store website here

2015 British Spartathlon Team Birmingham Runner Sponsor

Bee Friends

Bee Friends are a Newbury based organisation who provide personalised social and domestic services.

Bee Friends aim to provide high quality support to their service users and recognise that people’s needs are different offering tailor made care plans for each individual.

Please visit the Bee Friends website here for details of their services.

Bee Friends have kindly made a monetary donation to the team which will be put towards kit and equipment.

2015 British Spartathlon Team Sponsor Bee Friends

Corr Recruitment

Corr Recruitment are a Newbury based independent recruitment organisation specialising in 3 separate divisions Driving/Industrial, Catering and Commercial.

Corr have been successfully supplying staff in their local region since 2001 and in recent years have expanded outside this area and can supply staff Temporary or Permanent anywhere in the UK. Other services they provide include site managed services and master vendor services.

You can visit the Corr Recruitment website here

Corr Recruitment have kindly made a monetary donation to the team which will be put towards kit and equipment.

2015 British Spartathlon Team Sponsor Corr Recruitment

Floodies

Thank you to Keith Flood from Floodies for providing the team some discounted Injinjui Desert hats which will be vital for protection of the runners during the race.

Floodies are a team of outdoors enthusiasts, who have a wealth of experience in expedition’s outdoors activities and Ultra Events.

Please visit the website here for your outdoor adventure needs.

2015 British Spartathlon Team Sponsor - Floodies

Rocktape

Thank you to Rocktape UK who will be supporting the British Spartathlon Team and providing the athletes with supplies of kinesiology sports tape for use during the event.

Details of Rocktape’s products can be found here

2015 British Spartathlon Team Rocktape Sponsor

ULTRA marathon Running Store

Thank you to Keith Godden from ULTRAmarathonRunningStore who will be providing the British Spartathlon Team with some supplies of 2Toms blister and chafing prevention products and some supplies of Succeed S!CAPS Electrolyte Capsules.

In addition they have offered a free pair of Hoka One One shoes (the Hoka range can be seen here) to one randomly drawn British Spartathlon Team finisher of the 2015 Spartathlon event. So a little extra incentive to the UK runners to complete the event!

ULTRAmarathonRunningStore is a specialist online ultrarunning store based in the UK. Details of the range of products can be found here.

2015 British Spartathlon Team Sponsor Ultra Marathon Running Store

Ultra Sun

Being out in the sun for a couple of hours is all you need to start the process of serious sun damage, and with the Spartathlon being held in Greece in September when temperatures are still in the 30s, the British team needs all the protection it can get.

Which is why the team would like to thank top sun protection brand Ultrasun for sponsoring our runners with adequate protection.

Ultrasun’s sports specific range is a one-application-a-day product that should be applied inside about 30 minutes before exposure to the sun. Details of Ultra Sun products can be found on their website here

2015 British Spartathlon Team Sponsor - Ultra Sun

Race Drone

GPS tracking website Race Drone have offered to sponsor the UK Spartathlon team, by offering each runner use of a mini GPS tracker to during the event, so their friends, family and supporters, both in Greece and a home can follow their progress in the race.

The GPS trackers are small, around the size of a matchbox, and weigh just 60g. They have a long life battery which lasts for almost a week. They will be programmed to transmit your exact location every 5 minutes to the RaceDrone website.

The British Spartathlon Team will be tracked during the race using the following link Spartathlon Tracking

More details on the trackers can be found on the GPS device hire website at http://www.eventstracking.com and information about the tracking website itself here 

2015 British Spartathlon Team RaceDrone Sponsor

Newbury Runners

Newbury Runners are a running group based in Newbury, Berkshire who meet, train together and enter events together.

The group have a strapline which is “We never leave a runner behind.”

2015 UK Spartathlete Paul Stout is a member of the group and Newbury Runners wanted to show their support for Paul and the rest of the UK team as they have all at some point been supported by Paul in their running.

Newbury Runners have kindly made a monetary donation to the team which will be put towards kit and equipment.

newbury-runners

Thank you to everyone else who contributed some individual monetary donations.

Team News

Most of the team members are now entering their taper period but there are a couple of notable results to mention.

Congratulations to Dan Lawson who set a new course record at the Ridgeway Challenge event finishing in 12.07.

British Spartathlon Team - Dan Lawson

Well done to Ian Thomas who finished second at the Liverpool to Leeds Canal race in a time of 24.09.

British Spartathlon Team - Ian Thomas

Well done to Paul Corderoy who finished 1st in the Spitfire Scramble 24 hour event covering 118 miles.

Kit News

Thank you to Mark Burnell for his fantastic design work, the British Spartathlon Team will look as good as any other team in Greece in a few weeks. We have a few more bits of kit to deliver to odd people (Crew and Sponsors) so please bear with us whilst we organise this.

British Spartathlon Team Kit 01
British Spartathlon Team Kit 03

British Spartathlon Team Kit 02

British Spartathlon Team Kit 04

Live Streaming

The International Association of SPARTATHLON in cooperation with Free Life Productions have announced that this year’s race will be covered in real time with live streaming were it is possible.

The live broadcast of the race 2015 will be recorded and transmitted from two high-definition cameras with video shots from micro copter (drone) were conditions allow.

Live video will be transmitted from the official website www.spartathlon.gr in 720p, High Definition for high quality.
The Historical Ultramarathon will be LIVE in all multimedia devices (Smartphones, Tablet, IOS, Android, Windows mobile).

The first broadcast will begin with the briefing of athletes at FENIX Hotel in Glyfada on September 24, 2015 and will continue at the start of the race under the Acropolis (Herodium) on September 25, 2015 till the end of the race in Sparta.

Coupled with the GPS tracking and hopefully the odd social media updates then all the UK supporters should be able to follow the team very closely this year.. no pressure!

Good Luck!

Finally, we would like to wish all the British Spartathlon Team runners good luck for the upcoming race in a few weeks time.

News Update

Sponsors Update

Thank you to Keith Godden from ULTRAmarathonRunningStore who will be providing the British Spartathlon Team with some supplies of 2Toms blister and chafing prevention products and some supplies of Succeed S!CAPS Electrolyte Capsules.

2015 ULTRAmarathonRunningStore

In addition they have offered a free pair of Hoka One One shoes to one randomly drawn British Spartathlon Team finisher of the 2015 Spartathlon event. So a little extra incentive to the UK runners to complete the event! The range of Hoka One One shoes available from the store can be found here

ULTRAmarathonRunningStore is a specialist online ultrarunning store based in the UK. Details of the range of products can be found at the link here

 

Press Update

An article on Jon Steele has appeared in his local press, link here. Thanks to James Ellis for organising this.

2015 British Spartathlon Team - Jon Steele

Pat Robbins

About Pat

Your Name: Paddy

Occupation: Builder

Home Town: Poole

Twitter Account: @PatRobbins

Website/Blog: What is a blog?

Pat Robbins 03

Runners Questions

What is your running background?

I was going out to the 2003 Dublin marathon to drink Guinness and cheer a mate on. 8 weeks out, he entered me for the race having never run.

 

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?

Had never heard of ultras, when in end of 2006 the same said mate (Rob Colliver you have a lot to answer for) told me about MDS, sod waiting for 3 yrs and get stiffed for £3k. So not having run since Dublin, I stupidly entered 2007 GUCR expecting qualification races etc. Was told to send a cheque for £30 and I was in. It was a baptism of fire.

 

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?

Pounding the streets of Poole/Bournemouth, but head to the Purbecks trails/Jurassic coast when I can. Also can be found canalside, plenty of weirdo’s there so feel at home. These days, can occasionally be seen on trails north of the border (wearing earplugs)

 

What are your personal key running achievements to date?

Representing England and GBR 24hr team.

Spartathlon 2013,

LLCR130 2014,

Any of my GUCR’s (Especially not s*****g myself last year, pitied anyone following me along the towpath)

 

What was your hardest race experience?

Martin Yellings (Marathon Talk) Magic Mile last year, longest 5 minutes of my life and my only ever spew to top it off.

 

What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon?

World and European 24hr Champs, Turin 11/12 April 2015

 

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?

Even pacing.

 

What does a typical training week look like?

30-50 miles, predominantly speed and tempo work. Try to avoid junk miles (take note Stouty).

 

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?

Suss out your nutrition

 

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

I used to be a debt collector and was offered sex by a bad debtor to clear her balance.

 

Pat Robbins 02

 

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?

Yes, 2013

 

How did you get on? 

Joint 7th in 27.09

 

What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time?

Don’t pet the dogs, they may look like Scooby Doo but they are feral.

Wear a hat and soak in the buckets of water at CP’s

 

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?

The start, seeing the Brits that man the mountain base CP, soaking up the atmosphere of the last few km and then kissing the foot of Leonidas’ statue.

 

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?

Seeing Stouty trying to nail Pinnington in the hot tub

 

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?

Hopefully better than 2013. As much road running as I can cope with, hopefully it will be a hot summer too.

 

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?

No, the checkpoints are every 3-5km so crew not that important.

 

Welcome to the British Spartathlon Team Website

Welcome to the revamped British Spartathlon Team website and a new web address at www.britishspartathlonteam.org

This website is the information hub for the 2015 British Spartathlon Team, this year we have 25 UK based runners who will be heading out to Athens in September all with the single aim of covering 153 miles in less than 36 hours and ultimately kissing the foot of the statue of Leonidas in Sparta.

You can also follow us on our Facebook group here or Twitter account here

Thank you to everyone for contributing their blogs, links, photos and articles. I have a few more to add so will constantly be updating information on the site. If you have any more photos or reports that you would like to see added then you can email them to me at the following email address here

A massive thank you to Louis Waterman-Evans for allowing us use of his fantastic photographs form the 2013 event which we have used extensively around the site. Louis also wrote a very interesting assignment on the 2013 event which you can read here

Also thank you to James Adams for setting up the original site and providing lots of the content (hope we have done you justice with the new look) and to Peter Foxall, (British Spartathlon Legend) for contributing historic reports and photographs.

We hope you enjoy following the journey of this years runners.

Paul

Paul Stout

About Paul

Name :Stouty

Occupation : Owner AMJ Auto Services

Home town : Hungerford

Twitter Account: @stouty1975

Paul Stout 05

Runners Questions

What is your running background?

I always kind of run and did the 1500m at school and represented Berkshire at cross country. I spent my teenage years drinking smoking and running away from the police and then playing football to a not to bad standard so running has always been in my life I guess.

 

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?

I played football with a man called Paul Ali and still not quite sure how but he persuaded me to run the Thames Path Ultra after we had been training for what felt a life time so I have him to thank for this .. Now it’s just what I do I guess.

 

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?

Normally at GUCR I love that race

 

What are your personal key running achievements to date?

Running the Thames Path 100 dressed as Batman and finishing in 23 hrs along with finishing my 1st GUCR which I still have no idea how we Paul and I finished this.

 

What was your hardest race experience?

My first and then the 2014 GUCR as both involved a lot of rain and blisters.

 

What events do you have planed for 2015 up to Spartathlon?

Compton 40, GUCR and the Toronto Marathon.

 

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?

Normally I just turn up with a kit bag but Sparta is different I have spent many hours watching you tube and talking to ultra gods but my plan is to finish!

 

What does a typical training week look like?

I normally run at 5am and cover 10/15 miles about 4 times a week and a long run at the weekend.

 

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?

At some point it will hurt but pain only lasts so long but a DNF lasts a life time.

 

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

I once posed naked for a Calendar.

 

Paul Stout 03

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?

No.

 

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?

Fingers crossed the finish and sharing a hot tub with Paul Ali, Paddy Robbins and Rob Pinnington; smoking big cigars and drinking Stella saying “I nailed that” (the race that is).

 

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?

The heat; blisters and listening to Paul Ali for a 153 miles so I’d better run quick

 

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?

Unlike my answers I am actually training seriously! I have lost nearly 2 stone and have been training in 3 layers a sauna suit and altitude mask (I tend to scare people in the gym)

 

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?

Paul will be there as always. My girlfriend Jo is planning on coming out to pace Paddy!

 

Paul Stout 02

Paul Rowlinson

About Paul

Your Name: Paul Rowlinson

Occupation: Media Executive

Home Town: London

Twitter Account: @PaulRowlinson

Paul Rowlinson 03

Runners Questions

What is your running background?

I ran 800m and 1500m and cross country as a young boy. Then stuck to teams sports throughout my teens, 20s and ended up doing no exercise by the time my children arrived in my 30s. In 2006 a mate phoned me to tell me that he’d signed me up to run in the London Marathon with an old cricketing chum and former England ODI and Surrey captain Adam Hollioake. Because I was drunk when I took the call I said yes, and it failed to register that I was going to be doing my first marathon in full cricket kit, pads, bat the lot. It was running around Richmond Park on a January morning a few weeks later, about 7 miles in, when I suddenly realized how much I loved running. That said I was 40 years old and about 13.5 stone at the time (I’m just over 11 now) and my first marathon was misery. I had a stomach bug so from the Isle of Dogs onwards I was shuffling from one portaloo to the next, and it’s no fun running in whites in front of thousands of people when you have diahorrea…..

But I finished, went back to do London again the following year, and have run Paris, Edinburgh and London again a couple of times since, but after just 2 road marathons I wanted a different sort of challenge as I’m not quick (my best marathon is 3.06) so instead of trying to go faster I wanted to see how far I could go instead.

 

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?

I’m not particularly quick and I’m knocking on a bit so it seemed the obvious thing to try to go further. I was curious to see how far I could go, and I guess as a biologist by training I was interested to see what my body is capable of.

 

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?

I’ve done a couple of multi-day stage events. Sahara and Nepal with Racing the Planet. The Votwo 3-day challenges (Atlantic and Jurassic coasts) and one of my favourites, The Oner. Centurion events are always great fun and I love running on the South and North Downs. Sprinkled in with some Lakeland and Alps races.

 

What are your personal key running achievements to date?

UTMB has to be no.1. Best thing I’ve ever done running-wise.

The Oner in 21 hours and getting a handshake and a “good job mate” from an ex Royal Marine was better than any medal. Also loved the SDW100 in 2013, and clocked just over 19 hours which was a pleasant surprise.

 

What was your hardest race experience?

Probably UTMB in 2013; everything went well and I finished in the top 1/3 of the field, but nevertheless 40-odd hours on your feet in the mountains is tough. The other one was Nepal. I was 19th out of 230 going into the penultimate day and had been rising up the field every day. The long stage (47 miles) was right up my street. 3 massive climbs and steep descents. But I woke up with what turned out to be an amoebic infection and puked and shat my way through 23 hours of hot and humid misery. Fortunately a tent mate found me lying by the side of the trail about ½ way through the stage, and literally picked me up and pushed me for the next 20 odd miles of trails.

 

What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon? 

GUCR – 23/24 May

 

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?

Try not to get hung up on timings, and just relax and run by feel as much as possible. It’s probably one reason why I failed Sparta this year, aside from the electrolyte overdose was that I didn’t do this. I was trying to gain time on every checkpoint so probably pushed harder in the first half than I needed to. This year I’m going to adopt a more relaxed approach and try to enjoy it more.

 

What does a typical training week look like?

I run most days in the week, morning and evening to / from work. 5-10 miles in total most days. Get a long run (20+ miles) in most weekends. Do some cycling in my commute, go to the Tooting Bec lido for recovery swims. Refuel in the Fox & Grapes on Wimbledon Common.

 

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?

Don’t race other people. Have a plan but don’t over complicate or be surprised if you have to adapt it after 5 minutes…. Relax and enjoy it, and remember once you go past your longest distance, every step is a new personal best.

 

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

I like cheese. It all depends on your definition of interesting.

 

Paul Rowlinson 02

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?

Yes, in 2014

 

How did you get on?

I made it to one checkpoint prior to the mountain. I was going well at ½ way. Got there in about 14.5 hours. But made a rookie error by over-dosing on electrolytes. I spent the 75 to 95 mile stretch spewing my guts up and lost all momentum and pace. My advice? Don’t make stupid mistakes or be complacent going into this race. It is very unforgiving.

 

What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time?

Relax and enjoy it.

 

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?

Being back in Greece, being supported and cheered by the wonderfully friendly Greek people but most of all, finishing.

 

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?

The first 50 miles. Running on the hard shoulder of a dual carriageway isn’t my idea of fun.

 

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?

Plenty of running, and because I have a crappy knee, some strengthening using weights. I do most of my weekend running on the North Downs – trails and hills are so much better than roads – and use my commute as a training slot too. I’m running GUCR in May, and will do some long runs with mates over the summer, mainly on the Downs.

 

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?

No. Sounds anti-social but it’s just one less thing to worry about.

Paul Rowlinson 04