The WES Challenge

Okay, so here’s the challenge three marathon’s in three nations in three months. Piece of cake I’ve done a marathon or two, I’ve even done an ultra-marathon. Then I saw the training plan 18 weeks, 4 runs per week, 454 miles, just to get to the start line of marathon number one. That was 17 ½ weeks ago, Wrexham marathon is this Sunday, training has had its up’s and down’s, cold days, dark nights, wet mornings, early starts, great company, fresh air, amazing views, lots of chocolate. I have to confess I haven’t managed all 454 miles, but I have managed to squeeze in an extra challenge it’s now 3 ½ marathons. Oulton Park half marathon was a nice warm up for the marathons and a good excuse for more chocolate, and a time 1 hour 42 minutes, third best half marathon time for me. Now I’m ready here come the main events Wrexham (Wales) 12th March, Manchester (England) 2nd April, and Edinburgh (Scotland) 28th May.

It isn’t that I’m completely mad, taking on the challenge, it’s to support the great work of the Age Concern Central Lancashire teams out there every day (not just 4 times per week for 18 weeks) helping local people. Please convince me I am sane and support this challenge, every little helps, donate at

Many thanks for your support; see you at the finish line wrapped in foil, munching chocolate with 4 big medals.

The WES Challenge – Wrexham

12th March a bright sunny, warm morning in Wrexham. The small marathon and 20 miler field were ready for the 9.00 start. Following a short delay, (long loo queues), the starting gun went to cheers, best wishes and “you’d better get a move on dad I’ve got netball at 3.00”. The route set off through the town centre, before heading off in to the country lanes. After 8 miles the fields split, with the marathon runners heading in to Wrexham Industrial Estate, in and out of the cul de sac to add those additional miles. Industrial Estate done and back in to the country back lanes, passing the farms and golf course. It was out in the lonely lanes that the legs started to cramp and decision time, push on for a time or ease back and make sure nothing goes wrong. Slower last 6 or 7 miles it was, back into the town centre and up the hill to the finish line.

All done 4 hours exactly, little bits of cramp and twinges, but all in one piece. Disappointed? Yes and No. Wanted to go quicker, but it could have blown the whole challenge out of the water with an injury. Guess it’s a personal record in a new veteran category, placed thirteenth, one down two to go. Off to Manchester.

Did we get to netball? Sure did, another winner.

Thanks for all the support, and encouragement. Loads of recovery food appreciated.

So the big question, will the Manchester time be quicker than Wrexham?

The WES Challenge – Manchester

2nd April another bright sunny morning, if a little chilly early doors. A tram ride to warm up, a walk past more portable loo’s than ever seen in one place before and off to find starting area D. A bigger field this time 15,000 in the marathon add on 2,000 or 3,000 for the relay marathon. The starting gun went off at 9.00; I found my way to the start line at 9.05, no idea what time those in Area G made it to the start. Off we went down Chester Road towards the city centre, before doubling back past Old Trafford Cricket ground, 3 miles done there’s the start line, there’s the finish line only 23 miles before we see it again.

Through Sale we head, under the Motorway, past bands and cheering crowds “come on Dad it’s my birthday and we’re off out for pizza.”

I pasted the leading pack at mile 9. Unfortunately I was on the way out they were on the way back at mile 16, nothing to do but give them a cheer!

In to Altrincham, 13 miles done, let’s turn around and head back home, only 1:45 gone. Out in to the countryside, through Urmston and Flixton, under the motorway and heading to Stretford. No muscle problems so far time to push on. The cricket ground is back in to sight, one last stride and marathon two is done.

The runners get lead away from the masses of crowds in to the calm of Old Trafford Cricket ground. Time for a medal and a cheeky quick pint (alcohol free of course). Then out in to the crowds to find the birthday boy and head off to refuel and recover.

Was it a good one? Of course it was, a fastest time for marathon, 3 hours 35 minutes and 58 seconds. No tweaks, no pulls. Two down, one to go. Edinburgh we’re on our way. Thanks for all the support, and encouragement. Loads of recovery food appreciated. 

The WES Challenge – Edinburgh

28th May later start than normal, but dry, bright and forecast to warm up. Security high for obvious reason. The tourist was ready to start the final leg. It really was the tourist start in Edinburgh passing the Parliament and Holyrood House  through Holyrood park passing Meadowbank Sport centre and out on to the coastal road. Through Musselborough where the race would eventually finish, past the race course and on in to the countryside following the coast line. The temperature was rising by the time the turning circle came in to view at mile 19, time to look for shade and hydration, no use getting this far and blowing up.   Thankfully with 1000’s of people lining the route support kept you going. Eventually the race course came back in to sight and the crowds got even bigger. One last push and over the line, 3 hours 55 minutes and 33 seconds. Happy to finish, happy to get a drink, amazed by the number of people, thankful for the security.

So they’re all done 3 marathons and 1 half. You’d be disappointed if there were no numbers. So here goes:

91.7 miles or 147 Km raced
Run in 13 hours, 13 minutes and 28 seconds
Several recovery treats
4 new medals
3 countries
2 pairs of trainers
1 personal best

What a challenge, amazing to do it all, amazing for support, but now it’s time for rest and recovery. Then watch this space for the next challenge.

Thanks for all the support, and encouragement. Loads of recovery food appreciated.

Still a chance to donate at


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