Thanks Stan The Man!

I just wanted to say a big thanks to Stan Swanepoel (Tri-Anglia) for all his efforts in Guiding as we prepared for Manchester Marathon (Originally scheduled for April 5th).

I'd not been running particular well last year, largely due to my ankle injury, but in reality I only had one good run in 2018, which was thankfully at the World Long Distance Tri champs!

Having Stan pushing me on has been a good motivator and before the current lockdown things had been heading in the right direction: -

November - I put down a marker at the Winter Charity 5k Series in Thetford organised by our friends Corina and Pete. 22:40 wasn't going to set the World alight but it was faster than I'd done all year. I was just starting to feel more confident in my ankle despite having slugged it around an Ironman marathon in August.

Putting down a marker at the winter 5k

December - I did a little Parkrun tourism by doing Newcastle's event whilst visiting family. Didn't feel great, but it was a good workout anyway.

January - Wymondham's AC's 10k is always a good way to start the New Year (and decade this time!). Stan was on guiding duties and whilst it was still some way off my best we finished in 44:58 with a very consistently paced effort and again the fastest time i've run over that distance for a while. I followed that up a few weeks later by doing the double-bubble at Lotus test track covering the 5k in 22:22 and the 10k in 47:00 which was great training.

Wymondham NYD 10k with Stan

February - Another Winter 5k Series and whilst I felt rubbish beforehand I was surprised to finish in 21:40...definately showing improvement at this point!

Shock to the system: Ringland Half Marathon

March - After a nice break in the 30+ heat of the Maldives it was back in at the deep end (literally given the flood we waded through at the 9 mile mark) for the Ringland Half Marathon. Stan was guiding again and did a great job of steering me around the undulating route. I didn't feel too fresh after travelling and probably not helped by it being only 3 degrees (nice contrast from the beach I had just left!), but nevertheless it was still 4 minutes faster than last year.

One week on and my legs had almost recovered ready for the Thetford Trails Half Marathon. Stan had his work cut out in places with a few tree root/tree stump-strewn sections to negotiate and changing light conditions. I took it very carefully (almost walking pace in places) as it was just a case of getting the miles in and having a nice run in the forest. Really didn't want anymore ande injuries!

Off road miles in the forest

Manchester was ultimately postponed to October so hopefully we can pick up where we left off later in the year. I might have an Iron distance triathlon in my legs from Almere a few weeks beforehand. The only good news is that Stan might have done Ironman Wales so also be knackered!

For now though any thoughts of competition have to put on hold until things settle down.

Iain

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