Friday, December 28, 2012

Funny old day

Spent most of the day driving to Peats Ridge Festival with my boy Charlie, getting in through security tighter than the London Olympics, setting up the tent then driving home. Will head there for 3 days with the whole family tomorrow. It's Bec's (eldest daughter) and Katie's (sister) birthday today so we had dinner booked at Ribs and Rumps. Managed to squeeze in a half hour run so did the short Manly route (in reverse) hard in 27:30 which hurt, especially running head first into a Southerly buster along Manly beach (4:03) when I felt like I was standing still.

Had buffalo wings starter, 200g rump steak plus half lamb ribs and half pork ribs followed by chocolate cake. I can still hardly move. Just writing about it is making me want to vom. Should ensure I won't need to use the public toilets at the festival.

103km for the week. First ton in a while.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Up Lady Carrington

Not as rude as it sounds. Had my fill of rude last night watching series 1 of Game of Thrones.

Met Laura, the Tiger and Hamish Mc for 20km on a lovely bush track. Very easy but time passed quickly. 1:35 (4:48's).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

Out with Billy on his new bike (a message for his avid followers - he'll be running again soon). His new bike is a Radius Neo - pretty lightweight with 21 gears. It means he now waits for me even when I'm running at pace. Did the 14km route. Have gotten really bored just doing this steady running so asked Billy to pace me for the 2.5km from Shelley Beach to the Queenscliff bridge which took 8:48 (3:30's). Felt much better for stretching the legs.

Had a quick chat with Thamal at Shelley who has struggled with injury and saw Tony Wong at North Steyne. Otherwise pretty quiet out there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

In Dulci Jubilo

First ever run for me on Christmas Day. Same for Dad, and he's 70, so we're breaking new ground here. Just an easy 10km first thing in 42:55.

Spent the evening watching highlights from the Olympics on my Olympic Highlights Box Set DVDs. Got a bit emotional.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

10km early doors with Bec on her bike before picking up the huge leg of ham and turkey. 43:20 (4:20's).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Silly Sunday Solo

Out at yet another party last night. I was sensible and walked home at 11.45pm. Kirst stayed out longer and eventually came in around 3.30am. This put paid to me getting out with Dicky at 6am as arranged or even the fallback of 7am. Eventually dragged myself out of bed at 8.30am by which time the temperature had risen and the sun was beating down.

If it hadn't been so hot, I hadn't got a hangover and I hadn't nailed myself on yesterday's run, I reckon I'd have felt pretty good today. As it was, I toiled to 27.8km in 2:08 (4:40's). Saw Eamo and Angus Mc out there.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wobbly legged Saturday

Hilly and Bushy Saturday route giving it all I've got in 52:25. (4:05 pace). Through 10km in 40:09. Sounds slow but it's a fucking hard course. Legs cactus after.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pussy 400's and needles in the ass

Bit of a cock up today. Kanser wanted to go to Rushcutters. I tried to change the session for the squad but don't think the email went through. Showed up alone with even Kanser pulling out. It was 32C, windy and there were some kids playing on the oval. Briefly thought about just jogging back to the office but guilt got the better of me. Marked out what I thought was roughly 400m (avoiding the kids - they scare me) and proceeded to run 10 but just with a 30m walk in between each one (30 seconds). I think it was about 410m but the times were abysmal. 76/77 for each. At the end of 10 I decided to do 2 more because I felt guilty. Wasn't even that puffed after 12 but slunked off back to the office with my tail between my legs.

Only good thing about the session was that I felt a lot better afterwards than beforehand, especially after a good stretch. Glutes felt magic. Tiger stuck some needles in my ass yesterday - I've been a bit of a sceptic on dry needling after he tried it in my hammies previously - but yesterday my glutes started spasming and felt completely released afterwards. So much so I was walking around like John Cleese all afternoon.

Couple of beers with Macca and maybe LF Charlie and Clive this evening. Not long before I can take a break from the booze.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday mixed bag

Knackered when the alarm woke me at 5.30am but dragged my ass to Carl's for the strength session. Quite a bit of upper body work, lots of core and a sustained spell on the hammies.

Then slogged over the bridges to work, bumping into the Gibson twins on the Harbour Bridge and telling them about HuRTS.

Now sat in Dolce eating a 3 egg omelette with extra sausage, orange juice and a flat white. Just what the doctor (at least the exercise physiologist) ordered after 2 hours of exercise. Beautiful morning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Fair crowd today given the time of year. Felt knackered early on in the heat and humidity and ran with Dicky H and Kanser for the first rep letting Barts scuttle off ahead. Reached a little beyond the Art Gallery. 9:38 on return. Better on 3rd leg getting closer to Barts (with Smolly killing it) reaching level with the bubbler and then better still in 4th back in 9:20.

We were all cooked at this stage so did what HuRTS does best in summer with about 15 of us jumping in the harbour. 'Twas bliss. Then headed back to the office for Partners Xmas lunch of turkey, ham, prawns, all the trimmings, 2 trifles and a glass of Pinot. More bliss.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday meander

16km Monday route with a group that started with about 8, swelled to about 15 and then diminished such that just JW and I finished. Felt good today. The foam roller does wonders. About 4:20 pace average.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday solo

No-one to run with this morning so headed out early for 2 hours solo. As ever running solo I obsessed with the watch too much and ended up running too quick and feeling pretty tired by the end. Having said that, I would have coped with this pace over this distance easy pre-Gold Coast so makes you realise how much fitness you gain while marathon training. Pretty warm this morning mind and appreciated the jump in the pool after, even with the kids clambering all over me.

Just extended loops around Manly keeping it flat. Saw Pete W as usual and Bart looking as though he was moving. All up 27.24km in 1:55:14 (4:14's).

Elder brother Alec was over this weekend with his family and we managed a rare group shot.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 in Review

Sunday was 25km on the beautiful trails of Glenworth Valley at Peat's Ridge Festival. Bumped into Russell at the Festival and tentatively arranged to meet him but he was a no-show. 2 hours so very slow but it was hot and all trails and I'd been partying it up.

Monday was 11.4km on similar trails in 52mins.

Today was the usual 14km Manly route in 62:01 - 31:00 on the way out and 31:01 on the way back. Boringly consistent.

Not sure what to make of 2012. Only one PB - being that in the marathon at Gold Coast but a few other "close-to" PB's. The biggest disappointment was not running a good 10km time - the distance I judge form on most. I was in good form in May but got sick just before the State 10km when I reckon I may have PB'ed. Top 3 races were:

1. Novice Cross Country. 3rd in a tough, close race. Ran a PB and beat some good names.

2. JPMorgan CC. Came back from hammie problems and ran my second fastest time to finish 4th. Tucks was too strong but had a great run himself.

3. SMH Half marathon. Fell apart towards the end but close to the PB on a tough course. And I reckon my PB was set on a short course in any case.

Didn't put GC Marathon in the top 3 as I missed my aim (albeit only by 1 second) but it was fairly conservative in any case. I've yet to attack a marathon, still being too scared of the distance. Having said that, I was probably fittest at that point in the year, having done some great long runs with Macca in the lead up. We'll be replicating that this year but I also want to gradually increase the base mileage. Out with him tomorrow morning for 20km with some fas bits.

Sat hilly

Planned to get out with Dicky and the gang at 6am but Kirst rolling in drunk at 3am and proceeding to play loud music with her girlfriends until 4am put paid to that.

Got out at 7am for the Seaforth/Spit to Manly hilly 13km route. Pushed the hills and got the heart rate going. 57:30. Will be doing this route more regularly.

Friday, December 14, 2012

HuRT Squad Awards

Just an easy 12km with Kanser today running off the hangover. The first 2km were brutal but then started to feel like a normal person again.

Last night was a bit of a blur for me. Had my department Xmas lunch down at Wharf 2 so was drinking from 12.30pm. It's fair to say I didn't cover myself in glory. See Timmy's blog for details.

Anyway, full results were as follows:

Triathlon award:

Nominees included Sonya, John Binfield, Brendan Krone, Timmy and Clyde.

3rd place: Enda
2nd place: Fast Charlie
Winner: Pete Walker

Ultra runner of the Year

Nominees included Andy and Terrence.

3rd place: Fats
2nd place: Jonathan Worswick
Winner: Tucks

The HuRTS Spirit Award

Nominees included Timmy, Richie H, Mike Race, Bill Batt, Macca, Anna, J-Fen, Andy, Kanser and Enda.

3rd place: Ray
2nd pace: Me
Winner: MC

The Serg Award (Underachiever of the Year)

Nominees included Clyde, Kanser and Richie H.

3rd place: Mike
2nd place: Timmy
Winner: Fast Charlie

Most Improved

Nominees included Michael Ho, Macca, Angus, Emma, J-Fen, Anna, Andy and Fats.

3rd place: Rob C
2nd place: Mike Race
Winner: Indrajeet Aich

Female Performance of the Year

3rd place: Emma
2nd place: Anna
Winner: Laura

Male Performance of the Year

Nominees included Mike Race, me, Terrence and MC(!)

3rd place: Tucks
2nd place: Ray
Winner: Fats

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday strength

Jogged to Carl's did a strength session with him then ran 11km at 4:40 pace to pick the car up from its service.

Will be seeing Carl weekly in a ploy to remain injury free.

Big Awards night tomorrow. Timmy has the odds but don't believe a jot of it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

HuRTS tempo

45mins. Felt refreshed, I think from running am yesterday instead of the usual pm. So set off quicker than recently with Barts and a fit looking triathlete who turned out to be Andy Cross, a chap I've had many close battles with (but, for once, usually come out on the winning side). He ran 17:57 recently at JPMorgan.

Felt comfy in the way out, Andy pushed the pace on the way back before stopping half way around Farm Cove. This left me and Barts to finish it off up the hills and I pushed myself too hard getting back in 44:50 for 12.9km (3:29's). Have felt average since. Silly as I promised myself recently not to do this.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Different Monday

Had to run to Oxford Falls early doors to pick up the car that Kirst had left at yesterday's BBQ after drinking too much wine, great lush that she is. Went up the beaches to Dee Why then through Cromer and up the brutal Beacon Hill.

Had a following wind most of the way so felt good. 13.7km in 61mins (4:29's). Was quicker until the hills started.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sunday Morning

25km with Macca around and about in 1:52ish (4:30's). Canny warm like.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holding it together

Yesterday was 15km easy with MC, Irish JB, Paul B and bumping into Hamburglar at the end.

Office Christmas Party in the evening. Very good night. Even danced (to Living on a Prayer). Got home at 3am then alarm went off at 5.30am and dragged my wretched body to Passmore Reserve where I watched and pitifully part participated in Bart and Frik's sub40 10km time trial. Fantastic result by them both running 39:40'ish. If Bart did more HuRTS he'd be up for Improver of the Year in Thursday's awards night - a bloke who claimed he couldn't run a km in under 5minutes 18 months ago is now smashing out sub4's and looking cruisy while doing so.

95kms last week. 91kms the week before.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

HuRTS Pyramid

Small crowd on a beautiful day. MC, James E, Ben O'B, Enda, Kanser, the returning young Timmy, Rob C, Luke and girls Laura and Caroline was about it.

Ran from the front but to be honest felt pretty average with the legs just dead. MC and Enda ran very well and were just behind on each rep. But it was a beautiful day and a pleasure just to be out there.

Did 4.5km with Billy (Charlie and Mags on their bikes) this morning and at this stage of the season I'll count those extra kms so 16km all up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Run home

Busy again at lunch so just a run home. Planned to take it very easy but felt pretty bouncy and ran a respectable 56:38.

Been checking out Billy's blog and have come to the realisation that Wordpress is much better than Blogger. Bit late now.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Hard run to work

Have a lunch on today so needed to replicate the session. Only option was to run hard into work. Which I hate, because it's so bloody hilly and hard. Satisfying afterwards mind.

Sunday I nearly stood on a snake. Today I nearly stood on an Eastern Water Dragon. Was just about to come over Spit Bridge when this big boy jumps out of the bushes almost under my feet. For the next 5m I ran, splay legged, trying to avoid him as he ran in front of me. In fact, it probably looked as though I was mimicking his running style.

Anyway, the run hurt like hell. But ended up with 50:21 so a pretty good time. Would have been nice to get under 50.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sore Sunday

Pulled out of the Manly Dam 10km as I was being a pussy and was worried about turning an ankle trying to run that course fast. Ended up heading over to Willoughby after persuading Barts to run his local Striders long run. Well, it was 30km of bush and hills and my legs were shot by the end. In fact, got home and, not having eaten enough, completely zonked out on the sofa. 1:24 or so. Started with Flake, John Bowe, Mark F, Snaitch and Barts but by the end it was just Bart's and I with John a few minutes behind.

highlight of the run was running along a road in Castlecragwhen Bart's casually says "snake" while pointing to the ground. I'm wondering quizzically what he's on about before I notice I'm about to step on one, dodging it at the last moment.

Chores for rest of the day and now I'm the worlds tiredest man. But did manage to watch "City of God" tonight which I reckon rates 5 popcorns on the Timmy chart.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

King of the Trails

Just an easy 14km in 100% humidity and 30C+ this morning. 62 mins. Much more pleasant along Manly beach though.

Massive congrats to Fats who came 2nd in the Kepler Challenge this morning and broke 5 hours for the first time. Tucks also did well on his first outing over there finishing 5th in 5:15. Had a text from Tucks this morning saying little more than "Fats is a beast!". I should challenge them both to a 1500m prior to HuRT Squad Awards night - hopefully they'll be a little buggered for a while.

Friday, November 30, 2012

HuRTS 900m reps

Over to Rushcutters on yet another hot day for 8 x 900m reps off a rolling 5 mins. Wasn't in the mood to kill myself and knew we'd all die in the heat so took it conservatively. Barts would do the first lap and I'd take over pace, swapping duties on the second lap and then we would reverse the responsibility on the next rep. That way we rolled through them OK.

Rep times went:

2:53, 2:53, 2:53, 2:51, 2:51, 2:51. 2:49, 2:39

Jogged back for 12km all up. MC ran very well averaging 2:55's being very close on many of the reps as did James E.

I'm in for Six Foot Track. Sole aim is to beat TB's PB.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Struggle city

Ran to work in 58:24. Felt very average the whole way. Far too humid or is this just an excuse? It's forecast to be 41C on Saturday. That's a valid excuse.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

HuRTS 2 x 20mins

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Took me back 25 years to lunchtimes in the schoolyard today. MC and Rob were the school bullies and a chap cheating in his exams was the victim. In true lawyerly fashion I hid in the background and pretended to talk about the session.

The session was a toughie. MC called CQ too busy so we had to touch the Opera House gates and come back up the hills on each 20min rep. J-Fen flew off followed by Angus Mc and Barts while I followed next with Fats who drifted away from me slightly coming back around Farm Cove. Caught Barts near the end and finished the 20mins at 5.62km (3:33's). It was hot and humid, I was caked with sweat so tried to hold back a bit, knowing the second rep would be hard to maintain. Ran the second rep upfront with Barts and only pulled ahead slightly on the final hills finishing at 5.58km (3:35's).

Then the fighting began.

BTW, Billy now has a blog to record his training - BillytheBomb

Monday, November 26, 2012

Usual Monday

Standard Monday run with a big crowd, including MC, LF Charlie, Mr Ace, BW, Indrajeet, Kilted Scot, Worswick, Sonya, Emma and Caroline Sweeney who lasted longer than all but MC, Rob C and myself. I felt crap all the way and, notwithstanding Charlie's blog tried to slow it down. Was going to quit at CQ but I was in an interesting conversation at the time so carried on and ended up doing the whole 15.8km in dunno what. Felt knackered in the heat and, particularly, the humidity. I think people underestimate the impact of humidity - I reckon I'm still recovering from yesterday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Manly Dam Style

Met up with Dicky G at 6am and we ran over to the Dam to do a loop replicating next week's trail race over the same course. As we started, Dicky takes a look at his watch and immediately darts off at a rate of knots. I'm trying to follow behind, checking every step to avoid rolling an ankle and puffing up the step hills and steps. The last 2km in particular were a killer. By the end of 10km around the Dam, I was knackered and rethinking any plans to race it next weekend. It really uses every muscle in your legs over that terrain.

We started jogging afterwards to recover and ended up along Manly beach, bumping into Macca so finished the final 4km with him too. Also saw Ben, Paul S, Chris Y and Pete Walker out there on a beautiful but humid day. I had bonked by the end - only 24km but felt like 34km.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Berlin Bound!

Knocked about by the bad cold which had me feeling very average since Tuesday, not helped by the start of silly season as the booze doesn't aid recovery.

Finally felt well enough to get out today for the usual route and, with a few days rest, the legs felt very fresh. 14.04km in 58:56 (4:12's).

Big news is that the Berlin trip has been confirmed, we've paid entries and booked accommodation. It's a great crowd of tourists - Kanser, Young Timmy, Enda, Tucks, Rob C, Macca, Barts, Big Sam, J-Fen, Renaud and my mate from Fairlight, Steve B. Berlin Marathon just happens to land smack in the middle of Oktoberfest so post marathon recovery will be down in Munich. Can't wait.

Jamie - fancy a short trip up to Berlin lat September?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HuRTS 45min tempo

Turned up to pick up my new HuRTS branded cap along with 50 others with the same idea. At least Mr Ace had a lighter backpack to run with.

Still crook so took it very easy. Ended up doing 11.47km in 44:43 (3:49's). Client dinner tonight. Client beers tomorrow. Client Christmas Party on Thursday. Not sure when I'm going to recover.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sick boy

Ran in to work feeling crap all the way (59:25). Had a sore throat for the past 3 days and it got worse during the day, now feeling fluey so canned my planned double-up run home.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

State relays

4 x 1500m relay with Ray, Kanser and Andy. We smashed the field. I ran the first leg and we'd already lapped one of the teams before I handed over to Andy.

Good fun. I was called out 4:18 when I handed over to Andy but it's so inaccurate on the official handover mark that it's impossible to tell what the official time would be. Makes me think I'd love to run a proper 1500m and with a competitive field I reckon I could get close to 4:15 which would be great. Will have to look at the ANSW timetable. Today was a blind time trial. I saw the clock on the laps and ran 65, 2:15, 3:26 then a 58s last 300m.

Massive appreciation to Dave who showed up despite a last minute booking to fly to see his Dad this afternoon and losing his wallet and phone on the way. It was almost a definition in stress for him this morning yet he still showed up and performed strongly for the team.

Beers and curry with Dicky G, Richard Banks and Hamburglar this evening. Great evening. Richie B seems to know every curryhouse owner in town and Hamburglar seems to know every loose female bar owner in town. Much fun.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Easy Friday

Just an easy 15.35km in 4:33's today with MC, Big Sam, Andy, Todd and a few others. Plenty of chat about Wednesday night. Got the relays on tomorrow morning but haven't thought about it properly yet. Kirst is away so I'm flying solo with the 5 kids this weekend. Not quite sure how I'll handle that out at SOPAC.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

JPMorgan CC - 4th in 17:37

I just love this race. Gary Howard summed it up best by describing it as a school sports carnival for grown ups. Basically 8,000+ weekend warriors putting it on the line for work honours. That said, it's always won by a classy runner. This year Marty Dent smoked the field, but in previous years its been won by Youcef Abdi, Pat Carroll, Benny St, Paul Arthur, Wildman etc.

Did a very nervous warm up with Enda, Todd and Tucks then made my way to the start line to be greeted by literally dozens of HuRT Squad members. We were held for ages on the start line then the hooter went and the mad dash to the hill began. I felt like I was pushing hard but was surprised to see a group of 6 ahead of me - that group being behind Marty who flew away. Crasti was in the group but I didn't recognise the others. I was running with Tucks at this stage so normal service had resumed. Stayed with Tucks until 3km (having caught one of the group of 6 - we'd get them all bar Crasti by the end) but then he did exactly what he told me he was going to do and inexorably pulled away. We were still catching the group of 6 one by one though so I figured I hadn't blown up. It also still felt fast. By 4km I was up to 6th place and catching 5th. At the Fox Studios gates I'd caught 5th but he was running strongly with me. Tucks was about 80m ahead with the 3rd placed chap. I have to admit that when I caught the 5th placed chap, my sole thoughts were on keeping that position as you get mentioned on the JPMorgan website for 5th but nothing for 6th. Shallow, yes. Narcissistic, absolutely. Motivational, you betcha. But I look across and this bloke I'm tussling with for 5th place is a kid, and all I'm thinking is that I bet he's a better sprinter than me so I'd better go early. So I start going for it at the 5km mark. The kid sticks it out for a bit and then thankfully drops off, because I couldn't maintain that pace for much longer. But then, what do you know, but the bloke in 4th who Tucks has now dropped is suddenly in striking distance, so just like 2 years ago I just carry on the sprint and catch him on the final corner. Hell, even Tucks is now just up ahead. Stoked to cross the line in 17:37 - second fastest time ever and about 20s quicker than I was expecting.

What it taught me is that you can make up heaps of time in this race over the final mile (from 4km to the finish line). If I'd held pace I'd have run 17:5x - I managed to put 13s and 16s on the blokes I was running with at the Fox Studios gates (photo below). Also taught me how good Tucks is. He gets a lot of credit for his ultra trail performances but I think a lot of people don't appreciate how good he is on the shorter stuff too.

I was expecting J-Fen to figure strongly given how well he's been going in training but he was badly affected by antibiotics he was taking. He was in a very bad shape coming down the finishing straight with his legs buckling just before the line. Fair play to him though - he gutsed it out despite everything and must have been in a world of pain.

Some great performances out there. Special mentions to Andy, JB and Barts who all finished within 3 seconds of each other a shade over 18mins. But what about Laura - what a champ. Off virtually no training she runs only a few seconds slower than her winning time of last year to finish second. She's a big occasion performer.

Central governor performance of the day to MC for running 19:05. Lots of PBs out there today, including for Enda (another who always goes well in this race), Indrajeet and the KiltedScot.

Allens finished second in the Mixed team to KPMG, but Matt ran a great 19:17 and the girls ran out of their skins to finish either side of 23mins. Next year we'll get it.

At 4.8km:

The CEO and Chairman:

Me and Tucks, the latter looking more relaxed:

This is how painful it got for J-Fen (Enda about to strike):

You thought J-Fen looked pained? Check out Big Sam realising Mikey has taken him:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Getting nervous

A very easy 8km today with a few strides. Big crowd and plenty of chat and trash talking about tomorrow's race. Tucks disclosed his game plan "there's not much magic to it Tom, I just put a bit of effort in at 4km" and Kanser was coming up with all sorts of excuses as to why he couldn't run (and risk MC claiming a rare scalp). I fear Young Timmy is in the same boat.

I'm pretty psyched for this one and will just give it a good crack. Should be a great night.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Biding time

Just an easy 10km today with MC, Big Sam, Indrajeet, KiltedScot, J-Fen, Rob, JW and others. Don't like these pre-race runs, just feel nervously lethargic.

Bec and Kirst are sick so I may be sleeping in the basement tonight and tomorrow.

Weekend at Coledale

Sat morning was 12km at 6am just rolling the legs over. Glutes working well though as I was pretty bouncy.

Then headed off to Coledale Beach for camping. Sunday was a glorious day and headed out at 7am after 9 hours solid sleep down the coast trying to find the bike path on LF Charlie's recommendation. Found it and it was running Mecca, just hugging the coast and cliff tops. 20.35km in 1:30:28 (4:27 average). Again very bouncy and glutes were sore by the end.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Easy Friday

Felt a bit tired after yesterday's session but much better after a very easy 13km. Would have done the 16km as I was enjoying the run but had to get back to work which has been a bit frantic recently.

Crowd was Ray, MC, Kanser, Emma, Big Sam, Todd and Russ. Very warm, but came out of the changing rooms and it was as if night had fallen, with a massive storm rolling through, hail stones and all. Standard Sydney Spring.

3 good sessions and 98km for the week but no long run. I rely on my long run. But feeling good nonetheless.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

HuRTS 400's

Whoa! A mighty crowd for the 400's today, bigger than I've ever seen for that session with all the squad regulars present other than Timmy and Enda. Also there were my two gun females for next Wednesday, both doing a great job competing 8 reps with the squad. Alex is coming on in leaps and bounds and looks a completely natural runner, she could do great things.

I wanted to give it a go today. Did all the reps (off a rolling 2:10 given we were doing 440's) between 75 and 77s. Tucks went off hard on 3 of them with Dom and Clarky in tow and J-Fen gradually increased his pace to run alongside on the last two otherwise I was upfront with Clarky on my shoulder. Bloody hot out there and had to work hard but pleased with the final speed session and feeling more confident for next Wednesday night.

Did an extra 4km warm down with Andy and JB for 11km all up.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sydney to Hobart

Up at 5.30am. Taxi to airport. Flew to Hobart. All day meetings. Flew back to Sydney. Back to office. Sent a couple of emails. Changed and ran home. 57:30 feeling nice and easy. Dinner in front of TV watching episode 3 of Homeland. I'm hooked. I'm knackered. Bed.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Melbourne Cup

Bloody hot and humid today but showed up with a select crowd of J-Fen, Richie, Andy, MC, John from AMP, Laura, Angus et al for 4 x 10mins. Wasn't in the mood and feeling tired from too much boozing (today won't have helped) but set off on the first rep with Richie and MC with Richie running strong to finish with me by Robbie Burns stone statue. Holy cow J-Fen was flying to get to the stone gates in 9:42. I don't think anyone has run quicker. He is certainly firming as favourite for JPMorgan.

Ran back in 9:29 then third rep a bit further running with J-Fen taking it easy (last lamppost) then ran back in 9:35.

Was cooked to finish so jumped in the harbour with Laura, Angus and J-Fen for a much needed cool-down.

Then started on the Coopers Pale Ale.

Left Verandah Bar 20mins ago with my poor secretary (Kellie) in the hands of Wildman and Durante. She's a feisty girl so hoping she's OK.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Lazy arse

Planned on doing a long run today by adding 10km to the usual Monday run but I was energy depleted at the end and craving sugar so cut short at 16km. Beat myself up about being a lazy arse but in truth it was the vodka and tequila on Sat night that was to blame. One day I'll take this running malarkey seriously. More drinks with ANZ tonight. Melbourne Cup tomorrow. The silly season has arrived too early.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Good times

Out at our 3rd consecutive weekend 40th birthday party last night which involved rollerblade disco girls, shots of tequila and vodka from an ice sculpture and 2am in the New Brighton Hotel, so an early morning run was not on the cards today. Eventually dragged myself out this afternoon for 11.81km in 50 something (4:18's).

Child of the 70's:

My beautiful wife:

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Lane Cove 10km - 2nd in 34:05

The return of the old timers. Truscott first, me second and Jeremey Horne third. All three of us 39 years old.

Warmed up with CT, Eoin, Richie H and Andy. Planned to take it steady to start and then ease my way into the run. The Horne went off quick and CT and I followed behind. CT then put in a burst to catch him and then pushed on ahead. That's how it stayed until the top of the hill past the 5km turn. CT ahead by 20 odd seconds with me running with the Horne. I sensed he was struggling on the hills a bit though and when we turned I suddenly found myself running alone pushing downhill. Had a bit of a scare at 7km when my left hammy felt it was tightening but it eased and I just cruised home.

Nice to get a few good prizes for 2nd - some great Mizuno gear. Certainly beats the cap and pair of socks from 2 years ago. Andy had a good run almost catching the Horne for 4th place. Gary looked comfortable just ahead of Macca still recovering from Melbourne. Dicky H is on the comeback trail and a few will be looking for a rare scalp against him at JPMorgan.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Easy Friday

10km from work very easy solo.

83km for the week but some good sessions.

Manly 400's

Playing golf from lunchtime so jogged down to the oval next to the Boy Charlton pool and ran loops of the white line marked around the oval. Turned out to be about 440m (are all ovals 440m in circumference?). Legs weren't up for a full bore session so kept the rests short running off every 2mins to try to get the feeling of running 3min kms relatively comfortably.

Reps were all 80 or 81s with the last two at 79. Was bloody hot (over 30C) and I sweated buckets.

Golf was good. Need a new set of clubs for Christmas, if Santa is reading.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday MLR

Late out so cut short through Woolloomooloo and ran quickly trying to catch the squad. Eventually did at the entrance to Centennial where I could start to take it easy. Just MC, Clyde, JW and Anna today. Legs were weary but not sore. Twas hot but felt OK. About 17.5km I reckon, maybe a bit over.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tiger Time Trial

Out to Homebush for a 2000m time trial. I was pretty nervous about this, mainly because I've been foxing around for the past 3 months not doing sessions at full bore or racing properly so had no idea where my form was really at. I did this TT with the Tiger and Tom Hurley in 2010 in 5:51, shortly before running JPMorgan in 17:52 and State 3000m (while slightly under the weather) in 8:59.

Gary reckons its a great session that yields most benefit 2 weeks later, so the timing was ideal and the plan was just to nail myself. He wasn't feeling 100% so agreed to pace me at 70s laps for 3 laps. There was a nasty headwind down the back straight so I was secretly hoping it would be 3.5 laps, and fair play to him, he came good. Laps went as follows:

68, 2:18, 3:39, 4:40, 5:51.2

Very happy with that. Had to dig deep on the final lap so hopefully will do some good. I'm almost keen to try it again next week...

Many thanks to the Tiger who looked super smooth and provided perfect pacing.

5km warm up/down for 7km (!) all up.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Run home

Very easy run home spent trying to work out how to run a 2000m time trial tomorrow. After an hour I settled on trying to run 70s laps for as long as possible.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Long Saturday

Another 40th Birthday Party tonight so headed over to join MC's merry crew in Centennial at 7am. Felt very average early on having enjoyed a few Bavarian Biers off the ferry last night with Macca and Charlie D.

Really good crowd with Dave Clark, Killa, Enda, Russell, Paul B, Mr Ace, Jonathan W and client Ben O'B joining MC and myself. 3 laps of the 10km circuit, but cut off the final 2km for 28km in 2:02. Final 6km were all under 4mins per km (the last 3 well under) and have to say that MC is travelling very well.

Tucks tracked down the photo below from Fitzroy Falls. Closet trail runner. I've been outed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Easy Friday

Very easy 9km in 43mins bumping into Enda, Clyde and Ray. Tried to count how many times Clyde could swear in one minute but lost track.

107km for the week and now averaged over 100km for 5 weeks straight. Will drop down the mileage a bit next week and do some more speed work, starting with a 2000m time trial with the Tiger on Tuesday. Papping myself about that already.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More 400's

Down to Rushcutters again with a decent crowd this time following MC's decision to change the official session. I tracked Tucks for all the reps, finishing about a second behind him each time. Timmy, Ray, MC and Andy followed with Mr Ace, Mat Kaley, AMP chap and a host of others in attendance. Good to see Alex from work making the last 4 reps as she's getting fitter and fitter for JPM.

We ran whole loops - between 440m and 450m - off a rolling 130 seconds. Felt the extra distance towards the end. Also switched direction after 5 reps which made the second 5 much harder (strangely). I ran:

78.1, 77.6, 76.8, 76.1, 75.9, 77.4, 76.8, dunno, 76.8, 75.9

Longer jog around Mrs Macs with Andy on return for 11km all up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

John Binfield

Usual Wednesday run with MC, JW, Mr Ace and Shane. New Garmin had 18.47km (ouch) in 1:24 something for 4:37's. Nice and easy which was what I needed as legs were sore from yesterday. Followed up by a Tiger massage. I nearly died on the way there - certainly lost one of my 9 lives- as I was side-swiped by a car when I stepped onto a road without looking (I was stupidly talking on the phone). Bit of a wake up call.

JB is a real talent. Has a similar background to me in running well as a kid (I think he did 800m at English Schools - I did 1500m) and his PB's are now pretty similar to mine. He started out quietly with the squad and then really improved in 2009 when I was off injured, so much so that when I came back he was smashing me. He takes his running (and Ironman's - currently training for Busso) very seriously. If I'm being brutally honest, at times I think he can overtrain. I don't think it's a coincidence that his two outstanding PB's (71 for a Half (Gold Coast, so full length) and 46:xx for City to Surf) came mid-way through preparation for a scheduled marathon. He's certainly capable of a 2:32 marathon and his 10km PB should be in the mid 32's. Having said that, I remember him running a 33:23 at North Head (again, pre-marathon) on a ridiculously blustery day which was worth at least a minute. But what do I know. Has a lovely wife (Sally - another runner) and enviable lifestyle. An all round good bloke.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Charlie Dalziell

Big crowd with all the favourites at HuRTS today for the 45min fartlek session. Hammies have been feeling solid so I decided to push it today and see how I held up. Set off with Tucks, J-Fen, Fats and Ray and we stayed that way until J-Fen pushed ahead around the Opera House. Turned halfway through the courtyard of Lend Lease along Hickson Rd - as far as I've reached in years. Ran with Tucks on the way back until he pulled ahead around Farm Cove. J-Fen caught me half way around and then promptly stopped. Finished in 45:10 (albeit pushing the final 30s jog) for 12.93kms all up (3:30's) and a 10:15 final Gate to Gate. Very happy.

I think the Garmin FR10 is the most accurate of the 3 I've had. I love it. 12.93km measures short compared to the 405 and 610, but is exactly the same as Gmaps measures it. It doesn't throw out the wild readings you sometimes get going under Circular Quay. Splits today were all within 3 seconds either side of 3:30's, other than a 3:40 coming up the hills and a slightly quicker finish.

LF Charlie has been running for a continuous period for longer than all of us. If you go onto Coolrunning (which I don't anymore on principle) he's one of the original subscribers. He's flirted with the offroad stuff and some "adventure" races, but I'll forgive him that as we all need a change once in a while and he's been at it for long enough. Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of races and people's PBs. The mild mannered man of the HuRT Squad, until Timmy starts buzzing in his ear. Enjoys a beer, but stops at 4, so sensible too. An all round good bloke.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rob Costello

Usual Monday route with MC, Kanser, Macca, Indrajeet, Russell, the KiltedScot and others. Excitement of the run was testing out my new Garmin FR10. At last, they've produced a lightweight, comfortable watch with the only basic features I ever use. Took a while to get the original satellites and it measured 14.82km versus 15.01km from MC's (so mine's probably accurate) but they're always slow on the initial few outings. 68mins (4:39's). Poor old Kanser's confidence is shot before Dublin marathon this weekend. I just hope he can pull something half respectable together.

Rob joined the squad during my lengthy layoff with injury during 2009. An Irishman with an unhealthy appetite for lengthy trail running (which would normally debar you from the squad) he squeezes in in the basis of being a regular 10km and Half runner in between that offroad nonsense. And regular uninterrupted training is starting to produce some great results. A 10km PB back in the land of the blighted potato this weekend of 37:45 is testament to his efforts, and a marathon PB and sub3 in Dublin this weekend (as well as a potential notch against Kanser) is looking a dead cert. Becoming a new father always guarantees PBs, for reasons yet to be explained through scientific research. Enjoys the dark stuff (Guinness, not just trail running) - an old round good bloke.

Rob at front, unfortunately veering offroad again.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Paul McClarnon

Headed out at 5pm dropping off a party invite (Maggie's 5th) to Thamal's then continued on down to Manly beach. Started easy then gradually picked up the pace pushing quite hard at the end. 12.2km in 48:24 (3:57's).

Macca is a relatively recent joiner of the squad. Notwithstanding, he's been racing triathlons and running for years. I'd always seen his results in Striders 10km races not knowing who the chap was. Then out of the blue about 18months ago he introduces himself to me in our local coffee shop. Turns out he lives, quite literally, just around the corner. Macca is one of the best racers I know, insofar as the training efforts convert to races. He always gives 100%. Not only that, he fully commits right from the beginning of a race, confident of his ability to hold on, which he almost inevitably does. Even if he does drop off, it will never be big-style. Melbourne marathon last weekend was a classic example. He was sick for the 3 days lading up to the event. That would have ruled 90% of people out. Macca takes 2 Nurofen on the morning and tells himself on the start line it's pointless just going through the motions. He was still with Fats (who went on to run a sensational 2:33) past half way before pulling out a 2:39. But marathons are not his only strength with a 33:30 10km PB to his name. He's a great training partner for those long Sunday runs finishing quick, as I just need to try and hold on to him. Never stops talking unless it's to take a gulp of beer. An old round good bloke.

Macca, in green, tracking Bartles and ahead of Scotty.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sam Agnew

Have a party on this evening so persuaded Sam to do the long run on Saturday. Dragged myself out of bed for a 6am start and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise and morning for running. We took the short route to Dee Why then through Cromer for a lap of Narrabeen Lake before retracing our steps. Met a nice chap at the lake (Matt Harris) who could talk the hind legs off a donkey and ran with him for a bit. Pretty tired over the last 30mins with a few comparatively big weeks catching up with me. 29.15km in 2:12 (4:32's).

Big Sam joined the squad a couple of years ago but, being another Fairlight resident, I'd been training with him (via Dicky Green, Jamie Stewart and Quentin) on Sunday long runs for a while before that. As strong as an ox, he seems to gain strength when others weaken over those 30+km runs. I'm convinced he'll run a great Six Foot Track one day. Runs great 400m reps too. If he sorted out his knees he'd be a force to be reckoned with. In between injuries, he's run a 34:30(?) 10km and a 2:46 marathon at Gold Coast last year, which would have been much quicker but for the robot dance in the final km. Berlin 2013 beckons. He loves a beer, loves the Palace, in fact loves all things English and makes my Sunday runs enjoyable. An all round good bloke.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Anna Fitzgerald

Very easy standard 16km route with MC, Kanser, KiltedScot, 2:36 Ray and a few others. 71 mins. Hammies feeling good despite more work with Carl this morning.

102km for the week and averaged over 100km for the past 4 weeks.

Anna is currently HuRTS #2 lady but is dead set dedicated and I wouldn't be surprised if she had designs on #1. Has a spot on attitude towards training but joins us less frequently now after joining Sean's squad. She's had her problems with injuries but always bounces back more keen than ever. Always laughing, always smiling. A great Half PB of 82:45 and watch for her to beat her 10km PB of 37:57 this weekend at the Brighton Beachside Dash. An old round top chick.

Anna in full flow and then with some chap in front of some toilets.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Laura James

Over to Rushcutters for more 400's with Enda, Andy, Tucks and workmate Matt (who I'm trying to get fit for JPMorgan). Turns out Matt is much quicker than I had thought, staying with Andy and Enda running 73/74's then putting in a 65 on the final rep. Suddenly feeling much more confident about JPMorgan now. I ran about 1 sec behind Tucks for each rep running 69/70's with a final rep of 64. Just about kept the hammie under control.

LJ is HuRTS girl #1. In fact, with a 36:xx 10km PB and a Half PB of 80:xx, she keeps most of the blokes on their toes too. She also knows how to win races, which is much harder than it sounds, taking out the JPMorgan win last year among numerous Striders 10kms. She's a regular on the ANSW scene (and bakes a mean scone). On top of all that, she can hold her beer despite only weighing about 45kg. But that's because she's from the Shire. An all round top chick.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Charlie Low

Had a meeting at lunch so ran in the long way via Manly Golf Club and Queenscliff. Pretty slow and my hammies were dead stiff. Was regretting the decision on some of the steep hills as I really need to let them recover. All up just over 19km in 1:25ish.

I think Fast Charlie joined the squad in about 2008. Of course we knew him by reputation for some time earlier. A very talented runner, an English Schools medallist as a kid and one-time 3000m steeplechaser in 8:35. Always training, always injured, always drinking, always slagging off Young Timmy. A bit too keen on the bike for my liking. Gets running fit very quickly. It would be fair to say that he, more than anyone else, changed the training patterns of the squad. Pre-Charlie we would do Hickson Road reps on Thursday and Pain in the Domain on Tuesday. Fast Charlie rightly pointed out that PiTD was a joke and we soon found ourselves running 14 x 3mins off a 1min rest instead. We all got super fit very quickly then all got injured. And that has been the modus operandi of the squad ever since. HuRTs is appropriate in more ways than one, just as "Fast Charlie" is appropriate in more ways than one. An all round good bloke?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Timmy Lindop

Did a session with Carl (physiologist) this morning where, after weeks of loosening and strengthening my back, we finally started working the hammies. 45mins of solid work. My legs were still wobbling at noon when I headed down to HuRTs. Took Alex along from work (secret gun) who did well running 4.9km in the 20mins hanging on to LF Charlie. A sub23 JPMorgan is on the cards.

I set off with Tucks and J-Fen hunting down a marauding Rob Costello feeling great for about a km. then suddenly my legs (basically my hammies) just felt dead and I contemplated giving up there and then. Andy soon caught and passed. At CQ Kanser and MC caught and I managed to stick to them. Breathing was fine but the legs were gooooone. Should say is was about 32C too which didn't help. I think we averaged 3:38's on the way out. On the way back Kanser pushed ahead and I ran with Mikey until the Opera house and pushed on a bit after that. Finished in 20:16, pleased it was all over.

Where to start on Young Timmy? I've been delaying his write-up just to piss him off but now he's not talking to anyone and avoiding HuRTS sessions, it's about time to cover him. Timmy's an enigma. Always joking, but takes his fitness very seriously. Always winding people up, but easily wound up. Always with a drink in his hand, unless a certain ex-organiser of 10kms should be in the vicinity. Looks as though he gives 110% in every race, but I'm still not sure I've met anyone else with a sub35 10km PB fail to perform 45minute pacing duties. Proprietor of the second best running blog on the internet, but would lose a spelling-bee to my boy Charlie. Timmy has been running Striders since Brendan Foster could fit into a pair of shorts. He knows everyone and always has a word to say. He's got a very respectable 10km PB (34:24), a pretty good Half PB (1:16:xx) and an average marathon PB (2:47). Runs great 400m reps, but don't watch him do a 45min fartlek. Rides a damn good bike leg and, from where I'm viewing, seems to swim pretty well too. He makes turning up to races fun, having a beer afterwards more fun and my kids love him to boot. An all round good bloke.

Timmy, at left, following very rare win.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Clyde Rosanowski

Had a lunch on today so ran home. Had to make it fairly quick as Kirst was heading out to Futsal (scored her first ever goal in a narrow 3-2 loss!). Concentrated on the high cadence running which I've become fairly obsessed with recently. Didn't time it on the stopwatch but about 55mins.

I first encountered Clyde running the Sydney Half Marathon in 2007 - where I set my PB of 72:21 which still stands. This squat bloke running on the outside of his feet overtakes me on the harbour bridge and I think, who's this joker. I then proceed to teach this cowboy a lesson, but didn't get a step closer to him all race as he powered away to a 70:xx. I think Clyde has surprised a fair few people in this way over the years - most recently Macca in a HuRTS session a couple of months ago. An amazing engine, he gets running fit in no time at all and he's been on the scene for years with a wealth of experience. He seems to be mates with every Kiwi runner out there, from Nick Willis down. Takes great interest in how everyone goes and always willing to offer his advice. Unfortunately seems to prefer pimping up bikes and wearing lycra these days. But still an all round good bloke.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mike Race

Succumbed to the tummy bug that has gone through the whole family yesterday. Managed to avoid the vomiting but came close. Spent most of the day in bed.

Headed out this morning with Big Sam at 6am having only handed beans on toast in the previous 48hours. Managed OK until I dropped Sam off but then bonked shortly after. Still managed about 27km though at a fair enough pace.

Results in from Melbourne Marathon with the squad running some great times. Fats was first up smashing his (and my) PB with a 2:33:28. Ray was next smashing a long held PB by 3mins running 2:36. Macca had struggled with flu in the few days prior and was touch and go whether to run but in true spirit battled through for a 2:39. But on to the titleman of the post.

Mr Ace seems to have been with the squad forever. Early on towards the back of the pack, but forever improving. A stalwart of the Striders 10km series, a part time Ironman competitor but always keen on the marathon. At first the aim was the big one for every club runner - the sub3 hour marathon. He moved well beyond that mark earlier this year with a great 2:53. However, earlier this morning down in Melbourne he had possibly run of the day in recording a 2:49:08. Hell, that's basically 4min kms. Always smiling, a brilliant result from an all round good bloke.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Michael Killicoat

Weather turned today (snow in Bowral today - it was 32C last week!) so rugged up and put the raincoat on and ran to work via Tiger's picking up my backpack. Very easy pace and untimed.

117km for the week.

Killa was a Macquarie grad a few years ago in the same vintage as Dave Clarke. If Kanser had got his act together they'd have walked away with the JPMorgan team trophy every year. He's a big lad and had great speed - in 2008 he ran a sub4 min 1500m. Running with HuRTS his stamina improved too making him a force to be reckoned with. He joined Terence at BRR a couple of years ago and has recently rejoined us, again steadily improving. Watch out for his result at JPMorgan this year. An Adelaide boy and as a result has a strange obsession with professional handicap racing, but an all round good bloke.

Killa, mixing it up with Shelley in the City to Surf.

Terence Bell

Finally back to my favorite 10x400m session. Normally hurts like hell but does you the world of good. Today I just wanted to get through without aggravating the hammie. Met Andy and Enda for the jog over only to find Big Sam and the AMP boys already onto their second rep when we arrived. Kanser arrived after our rep 2. Times were as follows:

73, 73, 72, 72, 72, 71, 69, 69, 69, 69.

72's felt fine. 69's required quite a bit of effort. Need to get some speed back. Garmin said 420m so I think it was a pretty accurate 400m. Off a rolling 2 mins. In front for the first 6. Sam gave me something to chase on 7 and 8 and Kanser and Enda did the same on 9 and 10.

TB is a machine. A PB over 100km of 7:05 is testament to that, easily good enough to earn him an Australian vest. He looks like Drago from Rocky IV but can probably hold a plank for longer. I'm sure Drago couldn't run a 2:37 marathon either. Or a 34:00 10km. Occasionally shies away from a head to head in an effort to maintain the perfect persona, but will forgive him that based on his achievements. Despite all that he's the mild mannered gentleman of the HuRT Squad and popular with the ladies to boot. I hate him. An all round good bloke.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Richard Green

5km this morning with Billy before seeing Carl. Then 19km twice around Centennial with Anna, JW, Kanser, Rob, James E and Geoffrey. Beautiful day and pace a bit quicker than usual, particularly towards the end - 1:23:52 (4:26's).

Dicky is another pom who has been running for the Striders for years but started running with HuRTS about 3 years ago. However, given he's a fellow Fairlight resident I know him better for our regular weekend runs together. His real love is on the trails (he's a very handy orienteerer and "rogainer", whatever that is - I thought it was something you put on your head when your hair starts to fall out). He knows every single trail within a 30km radius of Fairlight, which is many more trails than you would believe existed. Dicky is a team winner and record holder for the Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker and has a sub4 Six Foot Track to his name. But he can also run a sub35 10km. You would think this would translate to a good marathon, but his PB is 2:59:55, despite being the regular 3 hour pacer for the Sydney Marathon. Fact is he's never raced one properly. But this doesn't stop him killing me on Sunday runs by insisting we set off at 4:15 pace. Likes a beer and I was convinced he was a Yorkshireman until he whispered to me one day in an apologetic tone that he's actually a Southerner. In spite of that, an all round good bloke.

Jonathan Fenton

Tuesday was 45 min tempo with a fair crowd that Angus got a good shot of post session.

I ran with Kanser, Enda and Bartles - 3:37's until the turn (just before first speed bumps) when Kanser suddenly ups the pace to 3:30's. I just hung on to his coat tails, working much harder. 3:37's were fine. 3:30's required work. He stopped at Mrs Macs to save his Achilles so I rolled up the hills myself, finishing in 44:23 (3:35's).

J-Fen joined us from the U, S of A about 3 years ago and has steadily improved ever since, save for a few months out with a back injury. He's probably got more untapped potential than any of the rest of the squad based on his training performances - particularly at the moment. You get the feeling he just needs one breakthrough performance and the rest of us will be left for dust. A 33:28 10km PB, 18:20 JPmorgan PB and a half in 1:14:47 show that he's right on the cusp, but given he produces performances in training better than I've ever done show there's more to come. Claims to have no speed but that's a crock, to coin his turn of phrase. Never a bad word to say of anyone. An all round good bloke.

J-Fen below, second from left.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Enda Stankard

Today was the easy Monday route (16km) in about 68mins with a big crowd including Kanser, Indrajeet, KiltedScot, JW, Georgie Moore and very happy to see Laura joining us for an easy 30mins in a tentative return from injury. Pace picked towards 4min kms at the end. Feeling more confident. Back is feeling better now I've been stretching my ridiculously tight hip flexors and no aggro from hamstring recently.

Enda is our main Irish protagonist. Never fully committed to running due to some strange affinity with triathlons, but very handy nonetheless. I wouldn't know Enda's PB's (I'm guessing low 34 for 10km, high 1:15 for a Half) but you can usually find him one place behind fellow Irishman POD and one place in front of fellow Irishman Kanser. Prone to illness but his real strengths lie in Timmy-baiting and at the bar. One of the few who'll still be ordering when I head home/pass out. Always gets his excuses in early but, bless him, was gracious in handing over the Churchill/Sands trophy as Irish captain following the English/Irish competition at the SMH Half. He'll be doing the same again following the JPMorgan Challenge. Never an angry word has crossed his lips. An all round good bloke.

Enda, at left, about to pass a weary-looking Richard High and de-chick himself at JPMorgan Champs in Singapore circa April 2011.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Andy Heyden

Friday was a very easy Manly 14km route early doors with a hangover courtesy of beers the night before with Wildman, Kanser and Andy. 31:26 at the turn and 62:18 all up. Saturday was 2nd place in the Fitzroy Falls 10km. Hilly and rocky in parts and no good for my back. First guy was way ahead and I eased into 2nd place at 3km and from there ran alone. 37:30 all up and a hard hit out as opposed to a race. Today was 2hours early doors from Bowral Park Farm along Tourist Road and back. Hillier than I thought but just over 28km for 4:17's.

Not sure when Andy joined us but he arrived with his cheeky chappy English accent and proceeded to steadily improve back to the form that saw him run some speedy London marathons before coming out to Oz. He's rarely lost form since and always runs an honest race. Much more competitive than his amiable exterior suggests, although he finds it impossible to run past a cameraman without smiling and raising his thumb. He beat me (and Tucks) once up at North Head on the windiest day ever when he ran a very impressive 34:00 despite everyone else running 90s slower than normal. Unfortunately he has shown inklings of turning to the dark side in recent years with a couple of Ultra's, but at least when he does them he represents Australia so isn't mucking about. I think the photonbelow is of him doing an Ultra for Australia. Either that or a race walk. Likes a chat. Loves a beer. An all round good bloke.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Stephen Thurston

Got a lunch on today so headed out on my Manly 14km route early doors, bumping into Macca and having a brief chat in the first km. Plan was to go slightly quicker than normal but still keep it comfortable. 28:16 at the turn and 55:30 all up (3:57's). Beautiful day.

Thurston (aka Wildman) is undoubtedly the most talented runner to be part of the HuRT Squad. I first bumped into him circa 2006 kicking my ass on the long section on Pain in the Domain. It was another 18 months later that Durante brought his fellow workmate along to HuRTs, claiming he had a bit of talent. He ran with us for a couple of weeks and then, half fit, would do each session way out in front, circling back every now and then for a chat. He's had as many ups and downs as Gary Glitter. Should have made the Olympics in 2000. Mini comeback after joining HuRTS that won him the JPMorgan CCC in 2008 before falling off the wagon again. Doubled in size, spent his first subsequent comeback session hiding behind a bush embarrassed to show how unfit he was. Bounced back in 2011 to finish 6th in City to Surf and 2nd in the Burnie 10km in 30:00. Had some health issues recently but reputedly back running again. I'm having a couple of beers with him tonight. Dangerous and leads me astray, but an all round good bloke.

This photo (Steve at right) in the colours of St George with Chadi, Tim Rowe and a hairy Benny St, probably best sums him up:

Michael Conway

A long time between drinks. Had a week off, took some Voltaren and ran a 5km in Surfers (over the Parkrun course) at the AVCAL conference and couldn't even win that despite running 16:04. Struggled more with the hamstring. Eventually decided to see Carl again at Rebound Integrated Health to sort it out properly. But since then I've had back problems. Basically haven't trained properly since GCM in July, started drinking way too much and I've put on weight and feeling unfit. Still can't do speed work properly but at least I'm back running, doing 18km with Sam and MC at lunch today.

I've got 6 weeks to get fit enough to put in a credible performance for JPMorgan Corporate Challenge. At least I've got something to concentrate on.

Mike Conway is responsible for creating what the HuRT Squad is today. If Timmy ever refers to me, tongue in cheek, as Chairman Tom, then MC is CEO Mike. He took us from being a hardcore band of 15 or so, to the 160+ on the HuRTS distribution list today through his contacts and enthusiasm. It's not surprising he's a highly successful equities trader. MC can also run, although his performances don't often match the training. His quest for the sub35 10km is as notorious as the quest for the Holy Grail. I reckon it's on the cards now he's putting together some more regular 30km weekend runs and a more frequent tempo session. He's certainly hitting some form that has Young Timmy scared. There was even talk, today, of a marathon in the not-too-distant future and he mentioned 2:48 as the likely time. That's close to Timmy's PB of which no doubt he's aware. The future of the squad is in safe hands. An all round good bloke.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

David Kane

Turned up to a smaller HuRTS crowd with no doubt a few resting up before Blackmores at the weekend. I started out relatively easily into the session but soon realised my hammie just isn't right. It's been 4 weeks now so I'm going to rest up and get it sorted properly.

Which leads us to Blackmores. The Half is shaping up as a cracker of a race. With Tucks walking up mountains overseas, Bartles nursing a sore ankle and Young Timmy claiming a new ailment with every new week, this is the race to determine HuRTS #1 and it promises to be a battle royale. J-Fen would appear to be the man in form based on training but doesn't always convert to races, particularly over the longer distance. Richie High and Fats are both in good form, Andy has the strength and Kanser the ego. But man to watch may be Macca who has been improving quietly each week and was confident enough on Tuesday to tell everyone he's going to take it out hard in the hope of breaking J- Fen's spirit. We shall see. I think it's just too close to call. But if I were a betting man (and Timmy and the Tiger know I'm not) I would put $2 and no more on Macca, if only based on his great run over the same course last year in horrendous conditions.

I first became aware of Kanser in a Striders 10km in early 2006 out at Homebush. Only 10 seconds separated 2nd place from 7th, but he was 2nd and I was 7th. I've not forgiven him since. He's probably read more about running than anyone I know and is all too happy to give you his opinion, without pulling any punches. If you have a bad run, you often have your mates tell you it wasn't so bad, or the conditions were shocking, or the course was long, but credit to Kanser, he'll just tell you you ran shit. And I like that. Especially as it allows me to tell him he ran shit too. I often get more chance to do so than he does. But in between injuries the fella has put in some great performances. His sub 33 10km PB puts him in rare company and a 73 Half isn't too shabby either. But for a connoisseur of the sport he needs to nail the marathon. His talent deserves a much better PB. I have to admit that when I ran my first marathon the first person I wanted to speak to about it was Kanser. Not to gloat about a sub 2:40, but because he lives and breathes the event and knows what's involved. Loves a beer, especially pre-race. An all round good bloke.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Anthony Murrell

Saturday was a 12km very easy run early doors at 4:25 pace pre-camping trip. Shouts to Frik and Tony Wong.

No run Sunday while camping.

Today (birthday!) was the 14km route a little faster in 59:38 running along the beachfront with Jasper. Then at lunch did the usual 16km route in 70 with Big Sam, MC, JW, BW, Luke, Rob, the Kilted Scot, Gerry and others.

Got to mention Muz today as I was walking back to the lifts with my morning coffee and bumped into him. We both must have looked a bit shocked. Turns out he's working for Deutsche - moving to Singapore but back in Sydney in our building for 6 weeks.

Muz was discovered by Serg, working alongside him at UBS. He just seemed to run in the pack with HuRTS At first then all of a sudden was kicking our arses, a real hidden talent. More often than not got the better of me and had a 10km PB in the 32's. But best of all he loved a beer and was usually the last to leave the pub. Massive chest, skinny legs. An all round good bloke.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Andrew Tuckey

A very easy 10km today in 44:58. Large hangover following HuRTS Drinks last night and hammie still sore.

I think I first raced Tucks in February 2007 at a Striders 10km at Lane Cove. He beat me by about 30 seconds. It's been a common theme ever since. On the rare occasion I've beaten him, it's usually down to a sprint finish. That's not to say that he hasn't got a finishing kick. I think I've just been so excited to be anywhere near him at the finish line that willpower has got me over. I think it's become a bit of a mental thing for me not to be able to get past Tucks. Most of my best races have been when he's not run. In fact, I've just realized that every one of my current PBs was done in a race that Tucks wasn't running in. Beneath the very calm exterior there's a fierce competitor in him. About 12 months ago he started doing a few more trail runs and ultras and has taken them by storm. Currently in Interlaken, Switzerland about to run the world long course mountain running champs. Good luck for that mate. But, like I said about Ray, Tucks will do any race from track to road to cross country to trail. He performs just as well over 3000m on the track as he does 100km in the mountains. The all round runner. And boy, what a marathon PB. Also likes a beer. An all round good bloke.

Tony Fattorini

400's at Rushcutters today and with it a first chance to really test the hammie. The squad was splintered into 4 different sessions so it was a select crowd of LF Charlie, Mark Milligan, Ray, Macca, Kaley, Andy, Robbie Neill, Killa and a couple more. Robbie led the way finishing about 2 secs in front on each rep. We did a whole loop of the track so it was a little over 400m. Reps went:

73, 73, 72, 73, 73, 73, 71, 71, 71, 74

Rolled off every 2:10.

All was going well until the final rep which was faster again until my hammie tightened at 200m so eased off from there.

I first remember encountering Fats (as he is universally known) when doing my first Half Marathon (SMH) in 2005. On every point of the course everyone seemed to be shouting for some fat guy. I then discovered his nickname but had already realised his popularity. He smashed me that day running 75 something and I debuted in a 77 something. Fats' true calling is running up a hill, probably as a result of his Yorkshire upbringing. His greatest running achievement is undoubtedly winning the Six Foot Track in a then record time in 2007. But an even greater quality is how humble he remains despite his huge talent. Loves a beer, but prefers them warm. An all round good bloke.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Michael Durante

Today was a very slow 4.5km early on with the kids followed by a run to work in a surprisingly quick 56:46 at lunchtime. Wore a backpack with my work shoes in and spent the whole run adjusting to make it comfortable. Spring has sprung. 27C today.

Where to start on partner in crime Mikey Durante? One of the most natural looking runners you'll ever meet. Bounces along like Zebedee. I first met him about 8 years ago doig Pain in the Domain when neither of us took running seriously. He would always smash me in the 800m rep around Farm Cove, which was natural being a 1:53 800m National finalist as a kid. I go to know him through mutual friend and fellow Allens employee Pete Beacroft, himself a 30min 10km runner - back in the days when Allens would smash any team around. Durante upped his training with the HuRT Squad and with his natural ability was able to clock 32:08 over 10km. He'd have gone quicker if:
(a) he hadn't picked up a long term knee injury; and
(b) he wasn't as fond of a beer as I am.
An all round good bloke.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Michael Harrison

Today was 2 x 20mins off a 3 min break. Richie, Andy and Fats shot off into the distance leaving me, MC, Kanser, Macca and Big Mikey H to follow in their wake - running about 3:34's. All felt fine for the first 20mins with the hammie giving me no probs. on the way back Kanser and Macca shot off ahead and MC pushed in front of me. Felt a bit bewildered as I thought I was running the same pace and yet was lagging big style. Pulled back MC at CQ with Macca and Kanser about 100m ahead. Reached the stone gates in 9:37 and realised I'd have to work quite hard to get back in time. Did so without tweaking the hammie so was pleased. Hauled in Macca at the ABC Pool and reached Kanser's shoulder just before the Art Gallery before he pulled ahead on the run-in finishing strongly. Back in 19:43 with a final gate to gate in 10:06 so starting to get a bit of confidence back.

Michael (aka Big Mikey H) is probably one of the most talented runners to train with the HuRT Squad. Possessing a huge, loping stride, he first shot to prominence winning the Novice Cross Country in 2007 (ahead of current National XC Champ James Nipperess who finished 4th and me a lot further back in 5th). He had a summer job with Mac Bank so would train with us during lunch breaks but more generally with SWEAT. There was a time when Big Mikey H was running low 31 mins for 10km and would be challenging Thurston on Hickson Rd reps making the rest of us look like trail runners. He disappeared off the scene for a while only to pop up at UBS as a grad a couple of years ago. If MC sorted out his JPMorgan team properly they'd kill everyone. His brother (Jason) is pretty handy too. An all round good bloke.

Big Mikey H (second from left in Sydney University strip) winning Novice in April '07.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Gerry Arthur

Today was the usual Monday route with a big crowd. Mike held fort telling all and sundry that North Head was long and he seems to have persuaded Steve Jackson to remeasure it. Kanser seemed to be working up a sweat just to run 4:30's and, following his poor performance in the Coastal Classic, I have concerns for his form.

Gerry was a keen HuRT Squad participant in the early days and even penned an article for that esteemed running publication "The Blister" on how the HuRT Squad was instrumental in delivering his first ever sub35 10km race after many years trying. MC might want to ask him for a back copy. He promised a very good marathon 2 or 3 years back (long time PB of 2:48) but got sick and never delivered. Since then he's shied away from racing and showing us the form he's plainly capable of, but currently on the come-back trail and racing Melbourne full. Also very handy with the camera. Charlie D might want to speak to him about that. All round good bloke.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Sergio Carvalho

Up at 5.30am on a beautiful spring morning for 2 hours easy with Macca. We did my old Burnt Bridge Creek, Manly Beach, North Head, Tania park route and I don't think Macca appreciated the trails or sharp hills with his hip. Still, the time passed very quickly chatting all the way. I'm handling these longer runs fine, still feeling pretty fresh at the end. It's nice knowing at 26km you don't have to pick up the pace for the final 10km.

Serg was an enigma. A hugely talented runner with a passion for peri-peri chicken, he would fluctuate in weight depending on the season. Despite being of Portuguese descent, he didn't like training in temps above 20c. But on his day he would smash us, with a PB in the Half of 68:xx. We were reminded of this many times, which is why one of the original HuRT Squad awards - recently dominated by MC - is named in his honour. An all round good bloke.

Serg, on right, at JPMorgan in NYC with rare beer in front of him.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Richard High

Got up after 4 hours sleep nursing a monster hangover. Jogged up to North Head and stood in the freezing cold directing cars. Had a quick chat with the boys intending to jog the 10km when James asks if I'll do the 40min pacing role. I agreed as I thought it would keep me honest. I'm the world's worst pacer. Felt great while running and kept on drifting down to 3:50's. Went through 5km in 19:32. Some bloke told me at 6km I was going way too fast. Ended up running backwards between 8 and 9km trying to gee up the runners. Had to do the last km in 4:20 so walked the last 40m to cross the line in 40:00.

Then ran home. 17km all up. Hammie ok. Still hungover.

Richie joined the 4 of us in the second or third session the squad ever ran, so is effectively one of the founder members. He is one of those blokes who only needs about 3 weeks of consistent training to get super fit. Having said that, he's always coming back from some injury or another. Plenty of speed having been a great 800m runner as a kid (1:55 or thereabouts) so all he ever needs is a few long runs in the legs. Probably the only person who's run JPMorgan more times than I have, but not sure he's ever run a marathon? We share a birthday (and almost a surname) but he's an old man and turns 40 next week whereas I'm still a whipper snapper. An all round good bloke. In fact, voted so in the HuRT Squad awards last year.

Ray Wareham

An easy 10km from work but when I reached 5km (20:32) I decided to stretch my legs a bit on the way back to test the hammie. All up 40:16.

Ray is one of the those few runners (including Tucks, CT and, to his credit, Flakey) who will run anything from 800m on the track to the Six Foot Track. He's ubiquitous. He'll pop up in a marathon and be doing a hard Tuesday session 2 days later. Having said that, he's always moaning about a niggle or two. And Ray likes to talk. Even when running 3:20's in a 10km race, Ray will strike up a conversation. Which can become a bit frustrating sometimes, when you're slogging your guts out and he's chatting about J-Fen's current form. I reckon he's underperformed a bit recently. He definitely deserves to beat his marathon PB (2:39) and should be running 33's over 10km based in his ability. But what do I know. An all round good bloke.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tim Cradock

Just an easy 45mins today around Manly before a game of golf in the sunshine courtesy of Mac Bank.

Tim was another founder member of HuRTs, but of the 4 of us probably the one we see least often these days (although he was out on Monday). It's a shame as he's probably the most talented with a 2:24 marathon to his name in Paris about 10 years ago. When I started doing this blog I was very competitive with him - along with Richie High - with us frequently all finishing within a few seconds of each other. Unfortunately he seems to have turned to the dark side recently, attempting a few Ultras. All round good bloke though.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

HuRT Squad - Chris Graham

Lost my mojo a bit recently particularly with all the injuries. Strained my hammie again yesterday. Saw the Tiger this morning and he stuck some needles in and worked on it. He said jogging on it would be OK and that was the only advice I needed. So did an hour with Macca, MC, RMR, Craig, JW and others.

Chris was one of the founding 4 members of the HuRT Squad and actually came up with the name (he's in marketing). He's a bit different to the average squad member, in that he is still a regular on Tuesdays and Thursdays but will never run a race shorter than a marathon. He's run Six Foot more times than nearly everyone (18 or so) with a fairly recent sub4 hour PB. All round good bloke.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Post Olympics update

Had a bit of an accident following the last post while over in London. Hurt my shoulder after a night out with Andy and Fast Charlie which has curtailed any proper running. Have just been jogging for the past 2 weeks - every other day while in London as there was just too much to see.

Had the shoulder X-rayed on Sunday (thanks to Thamal's wife, Jules, who is a nurse at Manly hospital and allowed me to by-pass the usual 4 hour wait) and I've got a hairline fracture in my scapula just beneath the AC joint. So will be taking it easy for a while yet.

The rest of the Olympics were awesome. For a jaw-dropping spectacle you can't go past Rudisha's 800m world record. When was the last time a world record was set in the Olympics at a distance over 400m (or even over 200m)? For atmosphere and excitement (as a Brit), Mo's 5000m and 10,000m top it. It's hard to distinguish the two as they were so similar - you'd have thought Gebremeskel would have learned a lesson from watching the 10,000m. The 10,000m was exciting as it was the first distance Gold medal. The 5000m was exciting as (for me) it was unexpected. The Mens relays were also awesome. The noise in the stadium was unlike anything I've ever heard - even louder than St James's Park on the day of the Howay 5-0 against Man Utd.

Popped down to HuRTS today and did 13 x 3min reps before rushing back to the office. Ran with MC for most trying not to over exert myself. Legs have been feeling very weary recently but I'll just keep plugging away.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Bolt and Kemboi

Just a very easy 10.4km this morning in 45 odd. Feeling tired after the past few days.

Another great night last night. Bolt is sensational. But Kemboi was my man of the night. He's got an amazing change of pace and adds a bit of colour to an event that most people couldn't name the winner of.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Regents Park 10km

Well, last night was the greatest night of athletics I've ever seen. The 10,000m was insane. Screamed at Benny the whole way through and by 5 laps in had 10 random people around me doing the same thing. The noise on the final laps was beyond anything I've heard, literally 80,000 people screaming their heads off. Just amazing.

I was emotionally drained by the end and the last thing I fancied doing this morning was a race. But I'd promised Andy so rocked up to Regents Park for a 10km race. About 700 people had the same idea. The organisers were a bit overwhelmed. Set off feeling ok and took the lead. It's a 3 lap course and was still in the lead at the end of the first lap. But then I just felt really tired. Breathing was fine but legs just dead. The 2 front guys got away and I just held on for third finishing in 34:10. Beaten by a yank and a Pom in a 10km in London. I know how Bekele feels. Andy was a couple of places back in 5th running 35:00, feeling similarly jet lagged.

Off now for another big night of Athletics and Usain in the flesh.

This video of the BBC commentators watching the end of the race is Gold!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Dibaba the GOAT

Similar run to yesterday, but with a few detours because of the Olympic Triathlon taking place. Helicopters buzzing overhead and huge crowds but an electric atmosphere. 10.7km in 45:54 (4:17's). Had a bit of a hangover after a few ales with Fast Charlie and Sneds last night. Lot of gas too. I thought English beer wasn't fizzy?

Sensational performance by Dibaba last night. In full flow she is just beautiful to watch. Sorry Paula (I don't suppose your reading), but she the greatest female distance athlete of all time.

London calling

Arrived 5am. Wandered around until lunch then headed out for a run. Went from my flat near South Kensington up to Hyde Park and did a loop, coming back through Kensington Palace Gardens (nice digs, although I upped the pace running past the Israeli embassy). All up 10.6km and only 4 sets of traffic lights. 43mins or so (4:05's). Felt good but left hammy quite sore after the flight. I've got a feeling I may have tweaked it doing 200's.

Now off for some ales with Fast Charlie.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

And he's off

Too busy yesterday. Today I was going to run early but:
(a) couldn't be bothered; and
(b) had promised the kids I'd do a training session with them before their District athletics carnival next week (both doing the 800m).
So we went down to LM Graham Reserve and ran 6 x 200m. I did them all at 30 or 31 with one flat out with the following wind in 29. Bec and Billy ran them all in 38 - 40s with Billy 2m in front of Bec. I got lactic and found it surprisingly hard.

Off now. Next stop London and a 10km in Regents Park. Andy was daft enough to tell Bill Batt about it who then emailed Kevin to suggest he run. So my chances of a win took a nosedive.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

HuRTS 45mins Fartlek

Usual big Tuesday crowd. With 2 days to go until I'm off neither my heart nor (due to Sunday) my legs were in it today. Ran with TB and Dom to start with before catching Dicky H around Farm Cove just as he was dropping off Tucks, Barts and J-Fen.

Turned just shy of the second speed bumps on Hickson Road with the 3 boys flying in front. Felt better on the way back and pushed ahead of Tb and Dicky from CQ onwards. But still Tucks and Barts came past up the hills, both in great form. J-Fen too looking very strong. I clocked 12.6km all up in 44:40 for a 3:32 average. Pretty good considering.

Paddy Power has Cheruiyot at 8/11 and Dibaba at 7/4. They've got no idea. I'll be sure to put a few quid on my idol when I get there.