Stories inspired by running in Norfolk and beyond

Running, Elvis, and me

At the end there was Elvis.

The garlanded King of Rock and Roll lookalike was getting all the cheers as my Run Norwich race was drawing to a close.

But as I came up Rampant Horse Street I was reeling him in – showing a clean pair of heels to finish in 53:11.

Whatever else happened I couldn’t let him win!

Run Norwich is a great event – and getting bigger and bigger, in fact I still wonder whether the race has reached capacity and needs a rethink going forward – half marathon, marathon anyone?

Their marketing effort is very impressive, too. Have you tried to spot yourself in the videos they’ve been posting on YouTube, or looked for your name on the the running wall? Continue reading “Running, Elvis, and me”

A last minute reccy of the Run Norwich route

Run Norwich 2017 is almost here.

You’ve done your training, now it’s race time.

I’ve run it for the last two years – but last year was pretty tough for me so last Sunday, a week before the race, I teamed up with a couple of ex-colleagues, Chris and Mark, to reccy the route, just to get our legs and head around it.

So how did we get on?

Continue reading “A last minute reccy of the Run Norwich route”

Meet the start-up putting Run Norwich runners’ races on the map

If you’re getting ready for Run Norwich on Sunday then good luck with your final preparations!

I’ve picked up my race pack – can’t believe I forgot to order a new running shirt when I signed up, but may pick up another, if I get a chance.

While I was outside the Forum I met Nicola Cage, pictured above, at the impressive looking marathonmaps stand. Nicola is from Norwich and turns out the business is a start-up, which she launched earlier this year with the help of her brother Matthew. Continue reading “Meet the start-up putting Run Norwich runners’ races on the map”

Well done Catton Park Run 200! But alas another run fail for Mr Nearly Ran

8.10amWife: ‘Aren’t you going for a parkrun this morning?’

Me: ‘Urrgghh – yep, going on my way’

Exit for kitchen, sound of kettle being switched on.

8:21: Me: ‘Cup of tea, for you’

8:34: Me (shouts upstairs to bedroom): ‘Where’s the keys to my bike lock?’

Wife: ‘What bike lock?’

9am: 200th Catton Park Run starts Continue reading “Well done Catton Park Run 200! But alas another run fail for Mr Nearly Ran”

A little bit of Unthank Road atop a Welsh Brynn and why I didn’t run the Swansea Half Marathon

I’ve just come back from a trip to Wales – Reynoldston in Gower, South Wales, to be precise.

It was great, we stayed in Hills Farmhouse a lovely farm cottage with views towards the bays, somewhere beyond the mist and clouds I think, and the in-laws were there, too, all of them.

It was great…

But actually, I’ve learned something on these trips, when it feels like there are too many people under one roof – take your running kit and head for the hills! Continue reading “A little bit of Unthank Road atop a Welsh Brynn and why I didn’t run the Swansea Half Marathon”

How interval running around Chapelfield Gardens helped me run my first marathon in under four hours

Feeling unfit as he neared 40, Jon Welch, pictured above right, took up running. Fast forward five years and Jon, who lives in Norwich, has just run his first marathon and sub four hours, too.

Running less was key to it – as well as some lunchtime interval runs around Chapelfield Gardens. Here he tells me how he did it.

Was this your first marathon? What sort of running had you been doing before that and why did you decide to step up?

Yes, this was my first. I’d done seven half-marathons before this race, plus a couple of 10Ks and handful of Parkruns. A marathon seemed the logical next step, I suppose.

I remember the London Marathon launching when I was a kid. It was a massive event that seemed to capture everyone’s imagination. Even then I thought it would be great to be a part of something like that, and a real achievement to finish. But it was no more than an idle dream, really – not least because I didn’t run and didn’t have much inclination to start. Much later, once I’d run a few halfs – which once would have seemed impossible to me – I started to think a full marathon might be within my grasp. Continue reading “How interval running around Chapelfield Gardens helped me run my first marathon in under four hours”

Weight for it – my real running goal revealed

How do you incorporate weight training into your running programme?

When I signed up to the Wissey Half Marathon I had a secret running goal in mind, to shed some weight.

The training has been going pretty well. I’m managing a steady three-ish runs a week – short, middle, and a Sunday long run – in fact last Sunday’s run included a bit of August’s Run Norwich route – the steep hill at the end up through to Castle Meadow!

And I’m sort of following the TrainAsOne programme which gets emailed to me most mornings at 6am.

But there is one thing that doesn’t seem to be happening, the scales are pointing stubbornly at 13 stone (that’s 182 lbs for US readers, and 83 kg for our friends in Europe – yes they are still friends in my book!)

Has anyone got any suggestions?



Continue reading “Weight for it – my real running goal revealed”

How Andy got back on his bike and set up his new business in Stafford Street

Take a walk past Andy Panks’ shop – AP Cycles and you’re struck by the very cool red and black bike logo – bold striking colours and a bit edgy.

I like your logo, who did it, I asked him as I walked past one day. It must have cost you a fortune?

“My son, he’s nine.”

With an answer like that, I just had to find out more, so here’s the story of how Andy got back on his bike and set up his new business – with no loans, plenty of hard work, and the support of friends, family, former customers, and of course the businesses of Stafford Street.

AP Cycles shop front

Pressed for time?

Here’s how Andy did it in a nutshell.

1.      My son designed my logo

2.      I refurbished my shop using recycled and reclaimed things

3.      People in the street rallied round and my customers came back

4.      I did it without having to take any loans

5.      It’s been a fantastic first year Continue reading “How Andy got back on his bike and set up his new business in Stafford Street”

Who can help me put a running plan together?

It’s week two of my training for Run Norwich and the Wissey half marathon, and I have to say so far I’m feeling pretty good!

This week I’ve managed two runs on Tuesday and Thursday and have the ‘long’ run planned for Sunday.

 But since it’s been a while since I’ve done any proper event running, I’ve decided to seek out a training plan. Yet I think I need a bit of help to find the right one for me. Continue reading “Who can help me put a running plan together?”

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