Tagged 2016 British Spartathlon Team

2016 British Spartathlon Team Update

Update courtesy of James Ellis.

And we have ourselves a winner!

Not of Spartathlon of course… it’s been 21 years since James Zarei was first to kiss the foot of Leonidas (although Dan Lawson came mighty close last year with a second place finish).

But Ian Thomas absolutely smashed the Leeds-Liverpool Canal Race at the end of August with a time just over 24 hours.

Ian’s one of the nicest guys on an ultra circuit that is already chock full of the good folk, and displays all the best of our sport: encouragement of others and never-ending grit, while he always (almost) runs with a smile on his face.

He says he’s disappointed he didn’t duck under the less-than-a-day mark, but another thing you should know about Ian is he’s taken great confidence from a storming run at Spartathlon last year, so if you want to follow in his podium footsteps, smash it…

 

14184440_10153703239966587_1216826654144468512_n

Two weeks to go: Last minute-prep for runners and crew

Blimey, are there only two weeks to go? Right now, you should all be tapering well… there’s little point in putting big miles in now, you’ll only end up tiring yourself out before the race.

Here are some things you should be doing:

  1. Downloading the rules and making sure you and your crew are aware of them. Getting to the end of 153 miles in less than 36 hours and then finding you have been disqualified on a technicality is not a good idea.
  1. Downloading the Road Book checkpoint documents and make sure you and your crew have an idea where they are. You can also use them to plan your dropbag strategy (what do you mean, you don’t have one).
  1. Make a list of all the things you want to take to Greece with you: sports nutrition, kit etc. Also make sure you have a smaller bag for the overnight in Sparta – you won’t be allowed to take a big case on the bus, those stay in Athens till you come back from the race.
  1. Medical certificates. If you’ve not already done so, get these emailed to info@spartathlon.gr

 

What some of the rest of the team have been up to (aka ‘as far back as we can be arsed to check on Facebook’) 

Tremayne Dill Cowdry and Rusty Rusk have been running and organising the We Run They Run I Run race.

14264877_10154054875381225_794239629753647752_n

Stu Wilkie has been keeping an eye on the temperatures. There was some hope with the race being a few days later that temps might drop this year, but Athens seems to holding steady in the early 30s. And whatever the temperature, those Greek roads have been baking all summer, so look forward to lots of residual heating pinging back at you! Hats, sunblock, good hydration strategy are all essential to a good Spartathlon finish.

Darren Strachan and James Ellis have been testing nutrition strategies, each running 50 milers over 2.5 mile loops with Sparta-like tables of various drinks, potions, biscuits and crisps. Dazzler set his up in Finsbury Park and came back on one loop to find his cool box had been taken to the tip by a council official. The pair also did a 43-mile night run through London as their last big run.

Super Paul Rowlinson has also been testing his feeding strategy with a 40-miler fuelled purely on Tailwind, one of our fab sponsors.

Paul Beechey did the T-Series T-100 with no niggles and is looking good to go.

Lots and lots of lovely pics of all the British Spartathlon Team have been posted in their gear on the site.

 

The hotels have been announced

Team hotels have changed for this year … Out goes the Oasis in Glyfada (Athens) where the team have been based for the last couple of races and in comes the (perhaps aptly named) Hotel London, just across the street. Nice hotel, similar set up and a rooftop bar for us to exchange stories post-race.

In Sparta… well, we actually aren’t staying in Sparta this year but in the Hotel Belle Helene in Gythio about 40 km away. In the past, those picked up by the Death Bus have often been shipped back to their hotels – so if you want to see everyone at the finish, the only way to guarantee it is to not drop out!

 

Live GPS Tracking (Courtesy of Race Drone)

Those UK Spartathletes who have elected to carry the GPS Tracker can be tracked here during the race. Feel free to share the link with friends and fellow runners.

British Spartathlon Team Race Drone Tracking

2016 British Spartathlon Team Update

The 2016 Spartathlon event is getting closer and closer now and hopefully everyone’s training has been going well.

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors including Ultramarathon Running Store, Oyster Wealth Management, Altas Running, Lynchpin Media, all about the story, Tailwind UK and Race Drone Tracking for supporting the 2016 British Spartathlon Team.

The great news is that this years kit (designed by the talented Mark Burnell) is on its way to the runners as we speak. We would like to add an extra thank you to Mike Julien at Tailwind for handling the distribution.

Here’s a look at this year’s kit.

2016 British Spartathlon Team Kit 01

British Spartathlon Team Buff

2016 British Spartathlon Team Kit 06

British Spartathlon Runners Top

2016 British Spartathlon Team Kit 03

British Spartathlon Crew Top

2016 British Spartathlon Team Kit 05

British Spartathlon Team Hoodie

2016 British Spartathlon Team Kit 07

British Spartathlon Team Hoodie (Reverse)

I’m sure you will all agree the kit looks great and once again the British Spartathlon Team will look the part in Greece in September! Just looking at the kit makes me want to sign up for next year.

As a final reminder, can I remind everyone to check out the various links on the website under the “Information” or “Media” links for lots of resources, photos, videos and race reports.

Good luck with the rest of your training.

Paul

Russell Gardham

2016 British Spartathlon Team Russell Gardham 02

Your Name: Russell (Rusty) Gardham

Occupation: Pensions Analyst soon to be Personal Trainer

Home Town: Eastbourne

Twitter Account: @LazyERRR

Website/Blog: Not as yet

Runners Questions

What is your running background?

Ran as an Under 19 in the Hull XC Schools Championships. Have been running for as long as I can remember. Ran through school, into the Army and beyond.

Race entering started as a 20 year old, so for the best part of 30 years now. I don’t intend to stop.

Recently along with a few friends I have moved into Race Organisation. Our business is called “We Run They Run I Run”.

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?

I suppose I started running them when I was a recruit in the Army. Why? Because I was told to run until I was allowed to stop.

Recently I started running them in 2006. I didn’t know back then that these were Ultra Marathons, only that I was running a long way.

More recently I have ran Ultra’s because I can.

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

Eastbourne parkrun. After that Centurion.

What was your hardest race experience?

My first 100 miler. Thames Path 100 in 2014. I finished the race and was escorted by a friend to my hotel room where I lay fully clothed with my muddy trainers for the next 8 hours without moving.

What events do you have planned for 2016 up to Spartathlon?

Already completed 8 marathons, South Downs Way 50, Thames Trot 50 and Thames Path 100. Hopefully North Downs Way 100 (am on the waitlist). It looks like I’ll have to try and fit in a final Ultra to round things off.

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?

Start running and don’t stop. Fuel on watermelon.

What does a typical training week look like?

Run Club x 2, parkrun, a race, long run and a social run.

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

It’s all in the build-up.

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

Northerners do cry!

 

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?

No

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?

My welcome to the finish kiss from my wife Zoe. Wearing the kit of the GB Team.

What will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?

Hopefully it will be scorching on the day of the North Downs Way 100. Give myself plenty of talking to’s to tell me just how strong I am.

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?

My wife Zoe (J).

 

 

 

Stu Wilkie

2016 British Spartathlon Team Stu Wilkie 01

 

Your Name: Stuart (Stu) Wilkie

Occupation: Sports Massage Therapist

Home Town: Bristol

Twitter Account: @26pointStu

 

Runners Questions

What is your running background?

I started running in 2004 completing my first Marathon in London in the same year in 5 hours 23 minutes, having been injured in the lead up to the race I knew I could have done better so I joined a running club and trained properly finishing the Cardiff Marathon in October of 2014 in 3 hours 38 minutes. I loved the competitive nature of road running so decided to stick with it.

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?

My first ultra was the London Ultra 50km in 2011 after a friend suggested it would be a good idea as a few other friends he knew were also doing it. I came 17th and beat a Mr Robbie Britton by just under 2 minutes!

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

I love parkrun on a Saturday morning and being from South Gloucestershire you are most likely to see me at my home event in Chipping Sodbury. For the last 5 years I have ran the Dartmoor Discovery Marathon (32 miles) which is held early June. I will always enter the GUCR and or LLC 130 from now on.

What are your personal key running achievements to date?

Winning the last ever Caesars Camp 100 mile in 2013 and the 2014 Green Man Ultra (45 miles) in Bristol is one of my biggest achievements. I guess coming 5th and running 130 miles at the Energia 24 hour track event in Belfast last year (which was my debut) is worth a mention too.

What was your hardest race experience?

The CCC in 2014, I wasn’t really quite prepared for how hard the mountains would be!

What events do you have planned for 2016 up to Spartathlon?

I am returning to the GUCR this year to not only better my time from last 2014 but to prepare myself for Sparta. I may do the LLC130 again, along with this I will have a week of back to marathons where I will personally run a marathon a day during the summer along a local cycle path to get used to running on tired legs and in the heat.

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?

During the track event and the LLC130 I used a run/walk strategy where I ran for 25 minutes and then walked for 5 minutes. All of the time though I am thinking just run your own race, take it steady and don’t worry about anyone else. 

What does a typical training week look like? 1-2 track sessions a week, 1-2 long runs, hills, tempo runs, parkrun, yoga, and cycling to work and back.

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

Get used to eating and drinking on the move.

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself? 

I once auditioned to be a contestant on bargain hunt.

 

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?

No

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?

Meeting the other runners in the team and listening to their advice and stories. The highlight will be running down the home straight and reaching the finish line to kiss the foot of King Leonidas.

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

Hopefully it won’t happen but if it did, I wouldn’t like the idea of knowing that I might fail to meet the cut offs

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?

I will read as much as possible about the race, blogs, websites, studying maps etc and of course get out there and train lots on the roads in the heat. I will ask advice from people who have been there and done it, and use their experience and knowledge to better my chances of becoming a Spartathlete in 2016. 

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?

I haven’t thought about what I want yet but I am sure I can persuade a few members of family and/or friends into a volunteering holiday in the sun.

2016 British Spartathlon Team – May Newsletter

Payment Deadline Approaches!

The next big cut off for those in the team is coming up – payment! If you’ve not already sent your race fee to the organisers, now is the time to do it.

The cut-off date is May 31 – but please take into account that international transfers can take a few days, and the last thing you want to do is get this far and miss out due to an admin error.

We’d recommend you send the cash (€520) to Spartathlon at least seven working days in advance to ensure clearance. Past team members have used a service by transferwise.com and that seems to have gone smoothly. Fees are also reduced using this method.

You should also note that if you have not been allocated a race number, it may be because you have not yet paid. Once ISA get the dosh, you’ll get the next sequential number … perhaps some of you are hanging back in the hope of bagging 300!

Another point to highlight is that you do not have to pay for your crew or name them now. On your application form (which can be changed if you log on to your account), you can put the number of crew you are using and TBC in the name section and verify and pay for them later. The cut off for crew payment is sometime in the summer – we’ll let you know in a subsequent newsletter.

Kitted out

The team kit is ready and approved and we need to send out some special thanks to:

Team manager Rob Pinnington who has once again badgered sponsors in record numbers.

Mark Burnell who has provided graphics that will again be the envy of other national teams.

Our generous sponsors and service providers: The Ultramarathon Store, Atlas Running, Oyster Wealth Management, Tailwind Nutrition, Lynchpin Media and All About The Story.

To clarify what is available:

Team members get for free:

4 Buffs

2 Runners Tops

2 Crew Tops

1 Hoody

PLANTILLA BUFF_AW_CS6_1

Buff Design

BST Runner

Runners Top

BST Crew

Crew Top

Sparta_Team_Hoodie

Hoodie

Extra kit can be ordered at the following prices

Extra buffs GBP5

Extra crew shirt GBP15

Extra hoodie GBP 25

Please be aware extra runner shirts cannot be purchased. Also the shirts are on the ‘fitted’ side… If you’re in doubt, size up when the forms come out later this month… We don’t want you chafing in the heat of an Athenian autumn.

* Kit order instructions will be emailed to each runner over the next few weeks *

In the News

Press officer James Ellis managed to secure us some national coverage in The Sun at the end of April.

Once names are confirmed after May 31 and the team solidifies, he’ll be getting in touch with all local radio/TV stations of runners who are happy to take part in press for the team. This usually involves a feature on the local runner claiming what a hero/fool he/she is for taking part.

The key thing to remember is that this is all part of keeping the race, the team and the sponsors in the public eye to ensure that British participation remains strong, sponsor interest remains high and we can afford to keep being so generous with the kit.

If you’ve not already emailed James at james@allaboutthestory.co.uk, please send him your:

  • Name
  • Where you’re from
  • What your local paper name is
  • What your local radio station names are

All help in this drive is appreciated but not essential.

 

Duncan Cornish

2016 British Spartathlon Team Duncan Cornish

Occupation: Civil Servant

Home Town: Originally from Exeter in Devon but now reside in Stourbridge in the West Midlands.

Runners Questions

What is your running background? Retired from all sport around 15 . Never was a runner at school. Took up running in 2006 when cajoled into running a 10k for charity.

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why? After running a 10k I wanted to do something else but running a marathon didn’t really inspire me. My Dad ran two of the early London Marathons and I remember him saying that after his second one he had no desire to do another one but he mentioned these races called ‘Ultramarathons’ and he may do one of those (He never did). This must have stuck in my mind as when I was searching on the internet for a new running challenge one of the first things I typed into Google was ‘Ultramarathon’…..this opened up a whole raft of races and I was intrigued by the huge number of races there were. My first event was a LDWA event around 2 years after running the 10k. I kind of skipped the half marathon and marathon distances and went straight in with a 40 mile event.

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you? I race long only a couple of times a year at most and prefer single stage longer races. I can usually be found on a canal either running or crewing but also run shorter more hilly races. I also run a lot of cross country in the winter in local leagues.

What are your personal key running achievements to date? Finishing the first LLC130 and finishing the ‘easy’ Cockbain event.- the C2C. A well paced 2.57 and a few seconds at London this year.

What was your hardest race experience? Having to drag my left leg for 4-5 hours through Newcastle to finish the C2C. One ankle was the size of a grapefruit!

What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon? London Marathon (never done it), GUCR

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra? Big fan of run/walk.Start steady and minimise drop in pace so I am hopefully passing people all the while. Minimal time spent at checkpoints or with crew.

What does a typical training week look like? 4-5 runs a week, anywhere between 40-80 miles a week depending on the event I’m training for. Runs are a mix of speed and hills . Back to back long runs usually spread over 3 days, clocking up around 50ish miles

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time? Know you are going to finish before you start the race.

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself? I can drive a tractor

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before? No

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race? The whole experience..the camaraderie, the mountain, the final right turn for the finish.

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race? Nothing. I can’t wait

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race? Just more miles on the road. I’m believer in training on what you’re going to race on. A bit of speedwork and long up and down hill sessions to prepare the quads for a bashing.

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race? No

Barry Miller

2016 British Spartathlon Team - Barry Miller 02

Name: Barry Miller

What is your running background? I started running to keep fit in my late twenties, I found trail running and loved the adventure exploring new trails when training and at events.

Why did you first start running ultra marathons and why? I was training for my first marathon back in 2009 when a friend suggested doing the London to Brighton trail run. I thought it was a stupid idea at first but sounded like an adventure so gave it a go and not looked back since.

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you? Centurion 100 milers, GoBeyond ultras, other low key trail events and parkruns.

Running achievements to date:

Centurion Grandslam 2013

Grandslam of Ultrarunning 2014 – (Read about it here: https://ultratales.wordpress.com/portfolio/ultra-tales-issue-13-october-2014/

Western States finish 2015

Hardest race experience: Either climbing up to hope pass the second time at the Leadville 100 or battling cut offs at the Wasatch 100. Both amazing experiences to look back on that tested me physically and mentally.

Pre Spartathlon events: GUCR, NDW100, and a couple of trail marathons.

Typical race strategy: Get to the finish! I run by perceived effort not to specific split times and strategies. Although my best race performances have been achieved by setting out steadier but I love getting stuck into a quick early pace. Something I need to work on before September.

Typical training week: Daily lunchtime 5 milers during the week, some hard some easy. A couple of 10 milers after work per week, 5k speed session on a Saturday morning followed by a long run.

Tip for first time ultra: Start steady, eat and drink little and often.

Have you participated in Sparta before? No

What are you looking forward to at Sparta? Meeting Pan on the mountain.

What are you not looking forward to? What is there to not look forward to?

How will you prepare for Sparta? More road running than usual along with some core strength work

Will you be bringing support crew? Kirstin and I are going on a summer holiday to Greece.

 

 

James Poole

2016 British Spartathlon Team James Poole  01

Your Name: James Poole

Occupation: Sports marketing and consultancy

Home Town: London

Twitter Account: @The_Poolester, @adventrunning

Website/Blog: www.adventrunning.com, www.ar-endurancesports.com

Runners Questions

What is your running background? I began running back in school and was a member of Havant AC in my formative years. However, I was also something of a late bloomer and struggled to get results against fully grown men aged 14. Over the years I have dabbled in lots of different endurance sports – 24hr mountain bike racing, road cycling and Ironman triathlon – before eventually falling in love with the simple act of putting one foot in front of another.

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why? I first started running ultra marathons in 2010. I’d being doing Ironman for a few years but got fed up with the high entry costs, reliance on ‘gear’ and focus on going faster at all costs. The simplistic nature of ultras was attractive and I figured that if I could run a 3.5 hour marathon after a 5hr bike, how hard could an ultra be. The answer was very hard. I’ve never looked back.

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you? My partner, Claudia, and I are the founders of AdventRunning, a free and inclusive running community. So you are most likely to see us running around London with a group of runners wearing fluorescent trucker caps. When we’re not doing this you’ll find us running the trails around Chamonix Mont Blanc.

What are your personal key running achievements to date?

London Marathon 2016 – 2:44

Silver buckle at Western States 100

34hr finish at UTMB 2015

17:06 at The Autumn 100

What was your hardest race experience? Without doubt UTMB. On paper it looks hard but in reality it’s tougher still. The big climbs just keep coming and when you’re almost back to Chamonix you have to head up the Tete au Vent. Hard as nails.

What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon? A number of the brilliant Maverick Races, Hackney Half, TR24, Montagnhard, North Downs Way Marathon, Endure 12:50, North Downs Way 100, Ultra Tour de Monte Rosa. A mix of short races to work on leg speed and longer ones to build endurance.

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra? I’m not sure I have a typical race strategy. I’ve tried the Ian Thomas approach of starting off fast and hanging on but it’s mostly ended in tears. My Spartathlon qualifier was at The Autumn 100 and I started off steady and ran strong in the second half. I much preferred this but it definitely requires you to have faith in your training.

What does a typical training week look like? I’ve been on a higher mileage diet since the beginning of the year and have been targeting 100 miles a week. It’s actually been a bit lower than this as a result of a trip to Nepal and a taper for the London Marathon – but I’m aiming to get back to that sort of volume in the next few weeks. An ideal week will have five or six easy runs, two tempo runs and a long run.

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time? Don’t worry about splits and pace. Look around, take in the scenery and enjoy yourself.

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself? Some people say I look like David Tennant.

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before? No

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race? Unimaginatively, kissing the foot of King Leonidas.

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race? All that road.

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race? Plenty of road miles, back to back long runs and a few races treated mostly as training runs.

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race? Yes. Claudia has crewed me at UTMB and Western States so is used to seeing me in a pit of misery and despair. I’m not sure I could get round without her.

Jim Rogers

2016 British Spartathlon Team Jim Rogers

Your Name:   Jim Rogers

Occupation: University Lecturer

Home Town: Hull

Twitter Account: 24hourrunner

Runners Questions

What is your running background? Took up running in the year after the first London marathon in 1981. Had many years of running road marathons then got into fell running and trail running. Completed a lot of long distance trail and off road races. Got into 24 racing as my club organised one of only two in the UK in Hull. Was fortunate to get the opportunity to compete for England and GB a number of times in 24 hour events at European, Commonwealth and World level, winning medals in both European and Commonwealth events.

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why? My club regularly took part in the 40 mile Lyke Wake Race on the North York Moors and I was invited to go along and have a go. I loved it from the start.

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you? LDWA events in the North of England

What are your personal key running achievements to date?

Marathon PB ( 1984) 2.29

Completing a Bob Graham Round

My PB in a 24 hour race- completing 151 miles.

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

1.Viking Way Race – April 2016 – 147 miles – entire length of Viking Way Long distance footpath- Humber Bridge to Oakham

2. South Downs 100 – June 2016

3. Joss Naylor Challenge – July 2016

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra? Start slowly; take regular walking breaks; make sure to eat and drink regularly.

What does a typical training week look like? Varies a lot depending on targets

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time? Slow down in the early part and take some walking breaks.

Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before? No.

 

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race? Finishing!

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race? Don’t want to think about that……

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race? My usual ultra training regime plus careful study of the conditions of the Spartathlon and discussion with those who have done it previously.

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race? No