Tagged Sonny Burrows

British Spartathlon Team – April Update

Welcome to the first of our regular updates charting the training and progress of British runners who are part of the 2015 British Spartathlon Team.

Team Kit

There has been a huge amount of activity over the past few weeks with the organisation of the British Spartathlon Team.

Firstly, thanks to some sterling work from Rob Pinnington organising the kit and Paul Stout who has raised some sponsorship towards the cost of team kit which will include Runners T-Shirts, Crew T-Shirts, Buffs and ‘Desert’ Hats. The buffs and hats have now been paid for and we are awaiting delivery and we are currently collecting the runners orders for the T-Shirts.

I enclose some photographs of the kit design and should add our thanks and credit to Mark Burnell for the design work. All of this work will mean that the runners are visibly represented as “British Team” at the event.

2015 Spartathlon Runners TShirt

 Runners Tops

2015 British Spartathlon Crew T-Shirts

 Crew Tops


I would also like to use this opportunity to publicly thank out sponsors without whose support we wouldn’t have been able to design and purchase the team kit. Our thanks go 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.

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

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

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

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

The team also received separate monetary donations from Spartathlete Paul Corderoy who has kindly passed on the ‘cash back’ received from recommending the Transferwise payment scheme for making payments abroad. If you haven’t yet paid your Spartathlon entry fee then you may wish to check out this cost effective way of transferring this money abroad using the link here.

In addition, Rocktape have kindly agreed to provide some kinesiology tape for the team to use during the race.


Press Update

Spartathlete James Ellis has kindly taken on the role as Press Officer for the team and has been busy putting together a press release and making contact with national and local news agencies in order to spread the word about the British Spartathlon Team.

We will post links and details of any runners or articles featured in the press. Our aims here are to increase the profile of British runners undertaking this race and also to raise some more sponsorship to support the team.

The first report to feature was an article on Peter Goldring which can be found 2015 Spartathlon – Echo News Peter Goldring.

Paul Stout and Sonny Burrows were also featured in their local newspapers (pictures below).

2015 British Spartathlon Team - Paul Stout

Paul Stouts press article

2015 British Spartathlon Team - Sonny Burrows

Sonny Burrows press article

Hopefully, we will see a few more press articles appearing over the next few weeks.

Team News

Many of the 2015 Spartathletes have been in race action during April.

The most high profile race was the World 24 Hour Championships (a 24 Hour track based run) which saw Pat Robbins achieve 7th overall and Dan Lawson achieve 24th. Combined with the efforts of other Britsh Runners (including 2013 Spartathlete Robbie Britton who achieved 3rd overall) the Men’s team won the Team Gold which was a brilliant result.

Isobel Wykes (8th position), Debbie Martin-Consani (12th position) and Sharon Law (13th position) were also in action and they successfully earned an Team European Bronze for their efforts as well as achieving high placings individually in the ladies competition.

This was a fantastic achievement for the team who were competing at the highest level of competition and demonstrated that we have some strong UK runners taking part in the Spartathlon this year.

2015 Team GB Ultra

Team GB Pictured (Picture by Dan Lawson)

Other athletes were also taking part in races including; John Volanthen who took part in the South Downs Way 50, finishing in (8.56). Paul Stout completed the Compton 40 miler in (6.42) whilst I (Paul Ali) completed The Oner, an 80 odd mile run along the hilly South West Coastal Path. You can find my race report here.

The Oner - 11-12.4.15 - www.brutalevents.co.uk

Paul Ali taking part in The Oner

Well done to Ian Thomas who took part in the Bungay Black Dog Marathon where he came 4th out of 175 runners with a time of 3hrs 2mins in his first marathon in over 2 years.

Finally, a ‘huge’ shout out to Sean Maley who is currently midway through his JOGLE (John O’Groats to Lands End run) and is due to complete this on the weekend. Five runners started the event but only Sean Maley is left and is due to finish this 860 mile run this weekend.

Here’a s link to a local press article detailing Sean’s current progress here. Hopefully, Sean will write a few words on this epic achievement when he completes the event and puts his feet up for a few days.

2015 Sean Maley JOGLE

 Sean taking part in the JOGLE (picture from Seans Facebook Page)

Good luck to anyone who is running in the Virgin London Marathon this week.

Crew News

I would also like to formally introduce you to the Photography Team who will be following the British Spartathlon Team in September.

Sarah Dryden has kindly offered her services as Team Photographer and she will be supported by Russ Bustley, Richard Tullet & Sandra Hopkins who will be providing valuable support/driving etc. as part of the official photography team, thanks guys your support is much appreciated.

Next Update May 

That’s it for moment, we will put together another update in May where potentially 9 of the 2015 British Spartathlon Team members are taking part in the Grand Union Canal Race a 145 mile non-stop footrace from Birmingham to London which will be a good benchmark for people’s fitness and ability to complete Spartathlon a few months later.

Paul Ali

Sonny Burrows

About Sonny

Your Name: Sonny Burrows

Occupation: Captain – British Army

Home Town: Barnsley

Website/Blog: www.ultramarathonfit.com

2015 Sonny Burrows 02

Runners Questions

What is your running background? 

I starting running in my school days, mainly at cross country and fell events. After finishing school I ran socially, never racing until about two years ago.


When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?

I signed up for my first ultra, Rowbothams Round Rotherham 50 (RRR50) in 2013 as a bit of a personal challenge. I had originally intended to train for one of the more popular city marathons however once I got back into training I realised I was more interested in trail running and running long distances on local trails (such as the Pennine Way).


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

Due to a busy job and growing family I generally run 3 – 4 events a year. This year I will be at the Grand Union Canal Race in May, The Lakeland 100 in July, The Spartathlon in September and Rowbothams Round Rotherham (my annual challenge) in Oct.


What are your personal key running achievements to date?

Completing the Grand Union Canal race was a huge personal achievement. I had only run a 50 miler and 45 miler before so it was a huge step up in distance. Recently I ran the RRR50 for the second time managing to shave 1hr 32min from my time at the previous year’s event allowing me to place well; this was great as I had really trained hard in the intervening 12 months.


What was your hardest race experience? 

My hardest race experience to date was DNFing at the Lakeland 100 in 2014. I had trained hard for the event and was following a sensible pacing plan with no desire other than finishing. On at descent about 30 miles in I fell badly damaging my knee. Deciding to quit 10 miles later rather than carry on was a difficult decision to make and one that I wrestled with for a few months after.

Looking back it was the sensible decision as I was running a 100K event in Belgium three weeks later organised by work and I really wanted to run there. Ill be back in Cumbria to put that to bed this year.


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

GUCR – May

Lakeland 100 – July


What is your typical race strategy for an ultra? 

I always have an A to C plan during an ultra.

Plan A – If everything feels right on the day, the weathers good and I know the course I could achieve this plan if I massively overachieve.

Plan B – The sensible plan, run to how I feel and whatever the time is at the finish, is what the time is at the finish.

Plan C – Man up, stop moaning and get to the finish before the sweeper picks me up.

Generally I stick to Plan B, it’s just nice to have options.


What does a typical training week look like?

Training weeks can look very different depending on outside commitments however I try to stick to something that looks like;

Mon – 15 miles (steady)

Tue – 15 miles (steady)

Wed – 10 miles (tempo)

Thu – 15 miles (5 miles steady, 5 miles intervals, 5 miles steady)

Sat – 10 – 15 miles (hill running)

During leave periods this can be more and during busy work periods it can be less. I try to do most of my running on trails with as much vertical as possible.


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

Learn to eat while training, I think that if anyone has a strong enough will to finish fitness is not all that important if you are not going for a fast time. However if you cant eat you will run out of energy, feel miserable and have less chance of finishing.


Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

Many years ago when I was at secondary school my band appeared on the Big Breakfast morning TV show. During the 5 second clip of the band playing the country was treated to me pulling the largest green bogey you have ever seen out of my nose, my Mum was really pleased!!


Spartathlon Questions

Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?



How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?

More of the same really. Ill be able to test where I am at physically at GUCR and hopefully this will just highlight areas of weakness to work on before Greece.


Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?