Couch to 42.2k…..again!

Jan Turner and Miranda Maloney – joined at the hip.
Short and sweet this week.

Starting off with a wonderful report from Jan Turner on a group of club members who competed at the Brighton Marathon, including this lovely quote

 “The social framework of being an SAC member really is the bedrock which underpins what we can achieve. There is not a chance we could manage without it”.

 She’ll hate me for saying this but Jan really is a total inspiration. Not having run until she was 70 when she joined one of our C25K groups in, I think 2019. In May ’21 she ran the Worcester Half and in October ’21 the Manchester Marathon, thus completing the journey from Couch to 42.2k. She then repeated this feat at Brighton, some 5 minutes quicker than Manchester.

Someone else running at Brighton was relatively new member Katie Wilcox who has sent in her report, together with a report on her 30k run at Rhayader.

Stuart George ran the recent London Landmarks Half Marathon in a PB of 1:27.51. Well done Stu.

Now an apology. As a few of you spotted, I reported last week that Paula Williams had won a bronze medal in the discus at the recent World Masters Championships. It was actually in the shot put. Paula tells me she is rubbish at the discus. A quick look on Power of 10 confirms this. She was only ranked 7th in the UK in her age category last year. ONLY for goodness sake.
Must try harder Paula!

Super good luck to those of you running the Manchester Marathon this weekend. I have wonderfully fond memories of my first Manchester Marathon – less fond memories of my second and last. Reports and photos please.

Take care

Best wishes

David Jones
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Lindsey Anderson
Stuart MacLean representing the male of the species
Lisa Lambourn

Brighton Marathon 2023

Report – Jane Turner

It all started with Sandie Owens who ran Brighton last year in a magnificent 5 hours.

She enjoyed it so much that she planned to repeat the experience. Her enthusiasm spilled over and soon became a plan for a group charabanc to the coast.

Eight of us started training just before Christmas. Varying abilities and paces. Oldies and younger. No elites, some happy snails. Unfortunately, we lost Sandie along the way due to a fractured tibia and later Angela Maclean who was also unable to keep training.

The six remaining entrants supported each other via a WhatsApp group, crossing paths regularly on long Friday runs, or collapsing at the club wondering if we could make more than 16 miles.

The social framework of being an SAC member really is the bedrock which underpins what we can achieve. There is not a chance we could manage without it.

Well, we all got there in the end. The weather, after a freezing start, quickly improved to a beautiful day with just moderate winds. Sandie was our main, on the ground, enthusiastic supporter.  Angela ran the 10k Race through Hove and was completely surprised by grandchildren who had turned up to cheer.

Annie Threadgill, had the terrible bad luck of a severe infection 3 days beforehand. She was determined to come however and ran 9 miles under the influence of strong antibiotics.

For the rest of us the whole course beckoned. It was a little hilly around the centre of Brighton in the initial 5 miles. Then a long sunny coastal stretch out towards Rottingdean and back.

The hardest part of the course, the last 6-7 miles took in the longest never-ending residential street you can imagine through Hove and finally the last big push back along the seafront to the finish. This is an excellent marathon course with lots of support.

There were many points when faster runners and slower runners passed each other in opposite directions, so we were able to see cheer each other as we ran. 

Here are some of our individual stories: 

Lisa Lambourn says 

‘I was delighted with my PB. Having run 5 hrs 15 at London I wanted to get under 5 hours so was really pleased with an official time of 4 hours 44 mins.  A great day with wonderful sunny weather, an enjoyable scenic though hilly route and great to have SAC support from Hannah Osbourne and Sandy Owens’.


New SAC member Emma Butchart completed in 4:53:28

Stuart Maclean finished in in an amazing 5.09.56 hours. He says ‘First Marathon and likely to be my last. Enjoyed it (I think), but it was hard work in the last couple of miles.  He won the group prize for hobbit toe nails afterwards

Lindsey Anderson, who looked very cheerful at all times finished in 5:26:27

Miranda Maloney says

‘I had a great run with a great friend. We did it in the time we’d hoped for and I didn’t even stop for a cuppa!’ 

It was freezing to start with so I started as a ninja but then the sun came out and it was a beautifully hot day. 

Great support, fun to see fellow SAC runners coming the other way as there were quite a few switchbacks. 

The only down side, apart from the inclines, was towards the finish when Joe Public were roaming the paths and we had to dodge them. Time 5:42:58 

Jan Turner says

‘I trained throughout with Miranda. It was such a good day. We ran all the way  and finished together. The last section was very tiring and it was excellent to have the support I needed right next to me. I was pleased to complete a bit quicker than Manchester’ Time. 5.42.59.’

Not many people run marathons really, even though when you are a member of a running club it may seem commonplace!

We are all extremely proud of ourselves.


Katie Wilcox – Job done!
Katie’s Rhayader mementos.

Katie at Brighton

Report – Katie Wilcox

Having run my first marathon in Barcelona last May in exactly 4 hours I was determined to try and get under 4 on a flat course in the UK. 

Brighton came up in the search and as it was my birthday weekend it seemed like a great idea for a break away but it definitely isn’t flat!

A few steady inclines in the first half gradually gave way to the more scenic second half along the seafront and into Hove where the crowd support was absolutely outstanding!

Bowls of jelly babies on every corner and hundreds of people shouting and cheering us on made all the difference. 

Just as I started craving the oranges of Barcelona they appeared- with locals holding out trays of fruit. Just perfect.  The weather held out too and it turned into a beautiful day. 

The last three miles seemed to go on forever but again the support along the beachfront made all the difference and I finished in 3.59.14 – delighted! 

Think that’s it for me and marathons now – much prefer a half!

Katie at Rhayader

I have always loved Wales, growing up in Herefordshire meant it was a favourite weekend destination, so in preparation for Brighton I signed up for the Rhayader around the lakes race on 4th March.

Having first taken part over 20 years ago I was keen to see if I would enjoy it as much the second time round …..and I loved it! Such a friendly, well organised event surrounded by absolutely stunning Welsh scenery – just beautiful.

The race is 18.6 miles of road running around the Elan Valley dams – the only downside being the 1651 ft climb – most of which is in the first 4 miles.  

The hill at the start goes on for about 2 miles and is an absolute killer but after summiting you’re rewarded with some lovely steady downhills and on occasion some not so steady – I am quite out of practice on fast descents as we don’t have too many to contend with around here.  

It perhaps isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun day out – which is great as there was plenty of space to really enjoy the run without the crowds. 

All finishers were presented with a medal, a lovely print and a handy buff which was a real treat.  

All in all a great event – maybe we could look to get a Stratford contingency together to go next year – I’d definitely be keen to do it again! 

Stue George in full flight
A well deserved post race drink.

London Landmarks Half Marathon

Report – Stuart George

Four weeks after the Cambridge Half, I returned to an old favourite race of mine the London Landmarks Half.

‘Id been nerdling through a bunch of aches, pains and other typical running aliments since Cambridge and had kept my mileage low and intensity laid back, except for a couple of 1km intervals. 

My aches were added to when I saw that the course had changed, added to which they had added to the already twisty and turny format.

Seven U turns didn’t seem like an attractive concept with the bones still sore and creaking.

What I knew would be in my favour though was that I had brought the little ones with me.  This meant that when we turned off the lights at the finest Premier inn in town my wife and I would join them in going to sleep at 8pm.  My kids are very energetic but we have been blessed with sleepers, so I made the most of it and had a 10 hour pre-race kip.

It’s been 5 years since I left London for Stratford and it definitely now feels a big and busy place.  The buzz on race day was immense.  23,000+ runners is barely believable until you start heading into the start zones. 

It was incredibly well organised and they had nailed the only pre race need that really matters by having an inordinate amount of portaloos keeping queuing to a minimum.

Like all good city races there was a great buzz from the start and although the u turns were annoying from a pacing point of view it meant virtually all the course was lined with noisy and expectant crowds. 

My aim was to repeat my sub 90 at Cambridge, so I forced my way through so I could  be next to the sub 90 pacer. 

I had toyed with aiming to grab a PB of sub 88 and after the pacer took off at around 20 seconds a mile too quick in the first three miles I just went with it.  As always I had my paces on my arm and I’d set to run a negative split but ended up sticking basically at 6:43 per mile for the entirety.

Many landmarks were passed but I couldn’t tell you what a single one was until we reached the Tower of London.  That’s when I knew I had just over three miles left and it was virtually straight the entire way.

Then with two miles to go the single most amazing thing that ever happened to me occurred.  I overtook Steve Cram.  Now for someone born in ’82 no one was a bigger star than Crammy. Coe and Ovett was just before my time.  I ate nothing but his cereal Start for the whole of my childhood breakfasts.   Granted he is in his 60’s and was probably just out for a jog but he shouted encouragement to me as I moved passed him.  A surreal but fun moment.

The race went really well and it wasn’t until the last mile when I began to feel the fatigue .  Coming home in 1:27:51 felt amazing, I’d achieved what I really wanted but felt was out my reach.

I finished 253rd overall and 30th in my age category.

A really fun big city race and I celebrated heartily with the biggest burger I could find!

And Finally

A couple more Brighton Marathon photos
Emma Butchart
Annie Threadgill