Tagged Paul Rowlinson

Paul Rowlinson

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Your Name: Paul Rowlinson

Occupation: Media Exec

Home Town: Wimbledon

Twitter Account: @PaulRowlinson

Runners Questions

What is your running background? Middle distance and cross country as a kid, then nothing whilst I played footy and cricket until my mid 30s. Ran my first London marathon in fancy dress (full cricket kit, including pads) in 2007 aged 40. Ran it properly the following year, then got curious about how far I could run.

When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why? Whilst I’ve got my marathon time down to 3:06, I’m too old to go fast and, anyway, trails are more interesting. In 2009 I competed in the Racing the Planet Sahara Race, and did a few “ultras” in preparation. I got bitten by the bug.

When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you? Centurion Running – I’ve run a few races but also like to volunteer.

What are your personal key running achievements to date? Finishing Spartathlon in 2015 is no.1, closely followed by UTMB in 2013. I was very pleased with 32.5hrs for GUCR last year, and getting c.19 hours on the SDW100 in 2013, and c.20 hours on The Oner in 2011.

What was your hardest race experience? Finishing the RTP Nepal Race in 2011 despite a bad bout of diarrhoea and vomiting over the last couple of days.

What events do you have planned for 2015 up to Spartathlon? Ultra Trail Eiger in July, and UTMB-CCC in August.

What is your typical race strategy for an ultra? Start slow and then get slower.

What does a typical training week look like? Running or cycling my commute to / from central London Mon-Fri. 15-25 mile run on North Downs at the weekend. One or two longer runs in the final few weeks before a race. Some swimming, Bikram yoga and a little bit of strength work. I’m not a high mileage trainer and have to nurse a dodgy knee through this stuff.

What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time? Beforehand, talk to as many people as possible, sift through all the advice and try out kit and food / hydration to find out what suits you. Listen to your body rather than music. Start out gently, eat and drink little and often. Have a plan, but be flexible. Most importantly, smile and enjoy the company of others and what is around you.

Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself? I’ve never watched a James Bond movie from start to finish, or been inside an IKEA.

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Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before? Yes, twice.

How did you get on? Failed in 2014, finished in 2015.

What tip would you pass on to those taking part for the first time? Don’t get fixated on the cut-offs. In 2014 I kept trying to put time down on the cut-off between each checkpoint. I blew up at ½ way and spiralled into a DNF before the mountain. In 2015 I was only just ahead of the cut-off until the mountain and then picked up about an hour’s cushion soon after. Say “Yassoo” (hello) to the people at each CP when you get there and “Efharisto” (thank you) as you leave, and smile as much as you can.

What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race? Seeing friends, the camaraderie, the friendliness of the Greek people, the mountain (I’m not being funny – I loved that part of the race) and all being well the final 500m. Kissing the Kings feet in front of those crowds was an amazing experience.

What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race? Some of the first sections aren’t pretty, but if you get your head up and smile and think of the nicer bits to come that’s not a problem. Also, watching Rob Pinnington’s bum bouncing up and down in front of me for the first few miles was no picnic last year.

How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race? Two trail races in the summer in the Alps. Spartathlon is not flat, and anyway trail running is more fun than roads and excellent for conditioning.

Will you be bringing any support crew to the race? Yes, my buddy Russ Bestley and Sarah Dryden will be pushing me on.

2015 British Spartathlon Team Paul Rowlinson

British Spartathlon Team News – July 2015

Thank you to Rob Pinnington for putting together this months update.


The British Spartathlon Runners & Crew T-Shirts have arrived. Many thanks to Dave Ireland and our other sponsors Lorna Newson and Danny Corr. Matt Mahoney is arranging postage of all the kit (T-Shirts, Buffs and Hats) to each of you of your order.

Please make sure you respond to his request for your delivery addresses. Unfortunately we don’t have budget to pay for the postage. So Matt will need reimbursing from your own pockets.

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Crew T-Shirt Design (Photo by Matt Mahoney)

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Crew T-Shirt Design (Photo by Matt Mahoney)



The final list of trackers has been published thanks to Richard Weremiuk of Race Drone for the sponsorship The ones who signed up are:

Dan Lawson
Debbie Martin
Ian Thomas
Isolbel Wykes
James Ellis
Jamie Holmes
Martin Ilott
Matthew Mahoney
Mimi Anderson
Neil Cloke
Paul Ali
Paul Corderoy
Paul Rowlinson
Paul Stout
Peter Goldring
Rob PInnington
Sean Maley
Sharon Law
Tremayne Cowdry

You can follow the above listed people here on the race.


New UK Ultra Running Magazine

Andy Nuttall who made a contribution to the team has published the first issue of his magazine Ultra available here. We hope to cover the British Spartathlon teams efforts this year in a future issue.



Racing / Events

Some of the British Spartathlon Team have been racing in events, whilst the others are (hopefully) all busy training for September.

Several members of the team took part in the Lakeland 50 & 100 event a difficult and challenging Ultra Marathon which takes place in the Lake District.

Debbie Martin-Consani came 2nd in the Lakeland 50 event and Isobel Wykes came joint 3rd in the Lakeland 100.

Lawrence Eccles came 7th in the Lakeland 100. Unfortunately Jon Steele had to withdraw from the event with breathing issues and will be focussing for recovering and getting fit for Sparta.


Debbie Martin-Consani pictured during the Lakeland 50 event.

Paul Ali ran the Endure 12/50 50k, a small evening to night time trail ultra. He finished in 3.53 coming 4th out of 40 runners and followed this up with a 3.05 finish for 3rd place out of 72 runners in the Phoenix Summer Marathon two weeks later. Paul Stout also took part and completed the Phoenix Summer Marathon event after a difficult run.

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Paul Ali (centre) and Paul Stout (right) pictured. (Photo by Fi McNelis)

Neil Cloke completed the Ice Trail Tarentaise in France mid July. Running and climbing over mountainous snowy terrain at altitude is probably a little different than a hot, dusty roads of Greece but it’s all good preparation.


Neil Cloke pictured.

Ian Thomas completed the Fairlands Valley Challenge off road 50k on 19th July finishing joint 5th but reporting a tough day at the office to dehydration thanks to a faulty Salomon flask. Ian is also planning to run the Stour Valley Special Marathon on 1st August and two weeks later the Stour Valley 100k.


Training / Other News

Our beloved ‘Captain Pink’ (Mimi) is on Holiday in the Alps geeting a lot of training done in the alps with crew which includes our accountant Becky Healey.

James Ellis and Jamie Holmes have been spending some time training (and team bonding) in the Peak District as pictured below. Paul Rawlinson has also been spending some time hiking around the mountains in Chamonix during the past month.


Training in the Peak District

Martin Illot has been spending some time cross training and he recently completed the L’Etape au Tour which was described as an arduous cycling sportive in the Alps where he spent over 10 hours in the saddle in 30C heat.


Martin Illot (left) pictured.

For those Strava users, we have setup a British Spartathlon Team Strava Group so we can share training information (or just for stalking other runners). The Strava Group for the team can be found here, feel free to join the group.

I (Rob) am on holiday in Tenerife and getting in lots of speed work and tempo runs and have the Leipzig 100km planned for the middle week of August as a build up run.

Good luck to Sean Maley who is taking part in La Ultra – The High with former British Spartathlete Mark Woolley.

We hope everyone’s training is going well and we will post a further update towards the end of August/early September.


British Spartathlon Team News – May 2015

(Thanks to Mimi Anderson for putting together the latest team update)

The British Spartathlon Team has been out in force over the past few weeks as the Spartathlon is now only 16 weeks away (GULP)

A few results:


2015 Thames Path 100 Mimi Anderson - British Spartathlon Team

Ian Thomas – 19:38:04

Mimi Anderson – 20:06:41 (2nd Lady)

Tremayne Cowdry 20:20:00

Paul Corderoy – 22:49:50



2015 Grand Union Canal Race - British Spartathlon Team

2015 Grand Union Canal Race with 4 members of the British Spartathlon Team (Photo by Ross Langton)

An outstanding performance by Dan Lawson who absolutely smashed Pat Robin’s record in an incredible time of 22:16 taking 3:21 off the record! I’m looking forward to seeing what Dan is capable of achieving in September.

Dan was interviewed on Talk Ultra, you can listen to the podcast here:

Mimi Anderson – 32:28 (1st Lady) race report here

Paul Rowlinson – 32:30

Paul Stout – 33:50

Paul Ali – 34:55 race report here

Martin Ilott – 37:15

John Volanthen – 40hrs



Neil Cloke – 46:19:57

2015 Hardmoors Neil Cloke - British Spartathlon Team

Neil Cloke finishing the Hardmoors 160 (Photo from Neils Facebook Page / Kelvin Dunk)




Paul Ali – 3:182015 Kent Roadrunner Paul Ali - British Spartathlon Team

Paul Ali pictured at the Kent Roadrunner (Photo by TZ Runs)


Sonny Burrows completed the Calderdale Way Ultra,a 50 (ish) mile hilly ultra with over 10,000 ft of ascent in 11hr 40mins coming in at 22nd place. Sonny commented that it was a great course with stunning views, expertly organised and highly recommended.



In terms of upcoming events, Paul Ali and Paul Stout have a few marathons planned as part of their build up and Sean Maley who finished JOGLE in April will by flying out to India in August to take part in the 333km La High Ultra (now that’s a tough race!)

Our very own Rob Pinnington did a 24hour race in Steenbergen in May and in August will be taking part in a 100km race in Leipzig together with a few marathons.

2015 Steenbergen Rob Pinnington - British Spartathlon Team

Rob pictured at the Steenbergen 24 hour race

Jamie Holmes having successfully completed the Brighton Marathon after recovering from an Achilles issue is now building up his distances by doing a 35 miler in the Peak District in July and the last two legs o the Thames Path (Windsor & Richmond Ultras) in August.

Jon Steele continues to push himself hard, he Ran the Hardmoors 110 a couple of weeks ago, the 50 mile Tabular Hills Route, Dukeries Ultra 40 miles, all three races in the space of 8 days. In July he has the Lakeland 100, Lyke Wake Race (40) and the Crosses (54).

Ian Thomas who set a new 100 mile PB in the TP100 and unfortunately wasn’t able to start the GUCR due to a virus is now doing the Norfolk 100k in June, together with a couple of marathons and the Leeds to Liverpool Canal 130 miles in August.

Izzy Wykes who run a great time in the World 24hrs in Turin in April, came away with team Bronze and 8th lady overall is now putting the finishing touches to her training for the Lakeland 100 in July.

Finally, Tremayne Cowdry has the multi-stage Dragons Back race across the length of Wales in two weeks time.

I took two weeks off running after the GUCR to make sure I was fully recovered, I was disappointed with both my TP100 and GUCR results, but as I hadn’t been able to do any speed work due to an issue with my left leg I really don’t think I could have done any better. I have no more races planned at the moment but will be working hard on my speed, plus I have started Yoga so hopefully this will help my ageing body more flexible! I have a hiking holiday in France for a week so that will help strengthen my legs.

We have an amazing team of athletes going out to Athens in September, everyone is training hard and working towards kissing the foot of King Leonidas As you can see everyone has been extremely busy and working hard towards a successful Spartathlon. Stay injury free and good luck to the Team.

Happy Training!


2015 Grand Union Canal Race Mimi Anderson





Paul Rowlinson

About Paul

Your Name: Paul Rowlinson

Occupation: Media Executive

Home Town: London

Twitter Account: @PaulRowlinson

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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.


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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.

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