Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Long Run 30ks with North Side Royalty

After another late Saturday night I woke all inspired after seeing good mate Andrew Tuckey ‘Tucks’ World Class performance in getting 6th place in the Ultra Trail Mont-Blanc – Geez, words fail me that bloke is unbelievable (but more on him later)
Down to the park for the 6.30 start and what a nice pleasant crew it was too with Corky O’Conner fresh from her 8 month honeymoon, Elle, Birchy, Enda, Cement Hanley, Fats, New Dad Renaud, Sultry Sonya, and representing the North Side – Erika Ekland, who had simply had enough boredom from the ‘Silvertails and come joined the Eastern Socialites.
After much hugging (no not to Erika) but to Renaud on his new family arrival we were off for the first 6k loop, lots of banter early as we settled to a steady pace, My message must have got through after last week as we were slower than normal returning to the café in 28.14 (4.42 pace)
The pace picked up on the first 10k loop with Erika showing us locals that she wasn’t here just to make small talk and  led pretty much from the front working at 4.30 pace (45mins for the 10k loop)
We decided once back at the café that we would then leave the park on such a cracker of a morning and head out to the beaches, It was to prove too much for Enda who wanted to stay in the park and along with Elle & Corky just did one white fence loop (3.6ks) I did hear later in the morning that he would actually get dropped by Elle despite her being 6 months pregnant and was forced to walk the last 2ks (oh how the mighty have fallen)
Really enjoyed the trip over to Coogee and around to Cloey and Bronte beach, although Erika and Fats were certainly keeping it more than honest whilst I was happy to hang back a little and keep Sonya company.
A quick drink and regroup at Bronte before the long slog back up the tough Bronte Road Hill, We picked the pace up at this point with Fats showing just why he’s a mountain goat , and Cement and Erika hanging on to me all the way up.  A bit of a reprieve coming back down the Darley Road for a couple of ks as the pace remained before we re-entered the park for a final 2k kick down. Was starting to feel the effects of the morning but surprised myself when I was able to go and pretty much stay with Fats and finish together as the GPS clicked over 30ks for the morning.

30.2ks for the morning in 2hr19 average pace 4.36 per/k
Very happy with that, not just that I knocked out my longest run in a long time but I was able to work the hill some 6k from home and finish off a lot stronger than I have in any previous Sunday run.

A great morning for running today and the 4 major talking points throughout the morning were.

1.       Renaud becoming a NEW Dad. – lots of baby talk
2.       Erika comes to the East and says’ how much better it really is
3.       Stoke’s World Dominance, in the footy Stoke won, darts- The Power won  and now Lindop is even finding a little form.
4.       Enda still carrying on about his head cold.

Famous quotes from the Day

Erika, “ Hey Timmy, this is such a lovely run, and great company……I’m not really used to this on the North Side”

Fats  after talking about the great man Tucks  “ Yes Timmy’ I’ve done Mount Keppler, even smashed Tucks in that one “

Birchy “ Ohhhhhhh I’m  so excited Timmy, got another appointment with Rupert this week”

Renaud “ It was great in that delivery room, those drugs are sensational”

Enda (as he chucks his toys out of the pram) ….Timmy, why is everyone talking about Renaud and Erika, doesn’t anyone care about my cold?, it’s not fair”

So as we awoke to the news that Andrew Tuckey had finished 6th in the big ultra run – I struggle to find the superlatives anymore, the man is simply a machine. It’s no secret of my love for the guy and what he achieves (sure Tommy H thinks I’m having an affair with him ) and surely it will without doubt put him back on Top of the HuRTS ladder where he rightfully belongs. I may as well submit my  HuRTS ‘Performer of the Year’ Award now.
If Tucks is regarded as the #1 runner then as a bloke he is ranked even more impressively  – a more humble guy you won’t meet, never one to shout the odds or spruik his achievements and more than anything will always find time to see how you are travelling and is never far away when the social nights come calling.
Tucks ……… the whole of the HuRTS squad  salute you mate.

He normally does a race report on is major races, if he does make sure you take a read……….One thing I can guarantee, It will be all CLASS

Will take a break tomorrow and be ready for another big week come Tuesday with the team

Oh Yes, what a Sunday, Stokes win over Man City, Darts, Sun is back out after all the recent rain, Erika joins us, and Enda gets dropped by a pregnant lady…….. Life’s Good , now where are those Sunday arvo beers? J

Sunday Long Run - done, 30k plus with Birchy, Fats and Erika Ekland.

Eastern Beaches girl Erika, with a smile on her face after running with the East boys.

Another World Champion from Stoke Phil 'The Power' Taylor, doing what he does best ...Winning.

Its amazing who you see at the darts these days, saw Fred Flinstone, The Queen, the Gingerbread Man, and even Barack made an apperance.

And wondered where Charlie "the Warrior' Dalziel was lately, Didn't realize he was into his darts. Seen here having a good night. Although he was running a little late that meant he had to come straight from work.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

800s & 3k Tempo Combo Set at Farm Cove.

Well Chairman Tommy H and C.E.O Militant Mikey might be top of the tree when it comes to making the tough calls in the corporate world but you wouldn’t have thought so as it took about 1001 emails to be circulated before they could make a decision on where/what the session was going to be today due to the wet weather that was making Rushcutters more than a challenge.
In the end it was decided 5 x 800s and a 3ks tempo combination was the go starting outside the Opera House gates, I tried hard to measure out the 800s but struggled as I had an esky in tow as well.
Good group out and I led out the 2nd group that also included Razor Wareham, Mikey, Todd, Angus J.W and a few others – found it about 40 metres short in truth as I came across in 2.33. The return was quicker as I noticed a tail wind coming back.
Held the same pace on the 3rd rep although I did tuck in behind Mikey for protection, and repeated the 2nd reps time on the 4th. Managed to hold the pace on the last one before cruising back to the O.H gates to regroup where we then had another standoff as to where the 1.5k turnaround was going to be for the 3ks tempo that followed.
Order restored and we were off again, settled OK holding 3.39 pace around Farm Cove, labored up the little hill at Mrs. Macs Chair but got to the turnaround in good time, and knew then I could hold that pace especially with a tailwind to help out.
Happy enough to stop the clock with 3ks showing on the GPS in 11.02 – 3.39 per min/ks
Times for the day were, 2.33, 2.30, 2.33, 2.29. 2.32 –
3k rep 11.02 (3.39s)

Once finished I did the Ice challenge that has taken the world by storm – Got nominated by Dave Kanser, Pretty ordinary to be honest but that’s because I had to carry a bloody esky some 3ks to the start line and I wasn’t going to carry a tonne of water around. Still, if mine was average this is the best I’ve come across – Taffy’s New girlfriend
*** Please note, if easily offended DO NOT WATCH

For the record I’ve nominated Enda Stankard and Lisa Bowman from the HuRTS group and a good friend from back home.

Rest day tomorrow, although I should get out and do a few ks and may see if Tommy H and the lads are around ?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scenic Cycle - Les Rambeaux Time

Very easy 8ks first up with clients and with NO sign of any of the Hardmen around in the park (must have been too cold) I also decided I’d have a rest day on the running.
Went into town at lunch though when Mikey offered me the opportunity to join him at the new cycling spin joint called the ‘Scenic Cycle’ for a 45 minute workout.  Basically it’s a spin session only you watch a screen that has the best views as you ride the world in virtual reality, with some good sounds blasting away at the same time.  Today’s session we travelled through the beautiful countryside of France doing sprints, hills, sitting in & out the saddle  along the way. Fantastic workout and boy do you get a good sweat up. In fact I’ve never seen poor Mikey perspire so much since we sent him to the bar at the Striders presentation to buy that bottle of wine a few years back,
I was goneski after about 30 odd minutes and when the instructor then said we only had another 3 musical tracks to go it was nearly enough to make me fall of the bike in exhaustion.  I was wrecked at the end of the set and made me think that I really do need to get the bike back out and do some proper sessions now that winter is nearly done and dusted.

Comment of the Day.  Came Whilst I was trying to think of the course that we did, and I put a call in to Mikey last night to see if he could remember.
Me, Mikey, what was the course name.
Mikey, Mmmmm not sure think it was somewhere in France
Me, Great thanks mate, and here I was thinking it was somewhere in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney.

For the record – we travelled a route through Les Rambeaux, and happy to say it never looked anything like Bondi or Bronte. J

Back into town for the Thursday lunchtime session with the boys today, that will also see me partake in a little challenge that Kanser has set me  - thanks mate.


Monday, August 25, 2014

45 Minute Progressive Tempo

Shocker of a day again in Sydney as I rocked up to the Stone Gates for the HuRTS Progressive Tempo session that sees us kick the pace down every 10 minutes  and then one final time for the last 5 minutes for the 45 minute session.
Decent crowd and good to see the return of Barts after his recent bout of Swine Flu, and also ‘Corky’ O’Conner from her honeymoon that seems to have lasted about 8 months (some aren’t even married for that long)
Tough set this one so important to get your starting point right – so decided beforehand to start around 4.06s, meaning I would hopefully kick it down to 3.56/3.46/3.36 and then 3.31 for the final 5 mins.
Went out with North Shore’s Jamie Stewart and had a good chat along the way, going through the first 10 mins pretty much on target at 4.07s with the front group not that far ahead working around 4 min/ks. Continued the chat coming around the O.H and Passenger Terminal before Jamie just kicked on a little faster on the 3rd rep. Turned for home at 23.15 getting to the last bridge on Hickson road and then reeled in the massive group Mickey was leading around (again). Jeez, he’s getting like the bloody ‘Pied Piper’ these days with about 30 cruising around with him. I thought they were going to get the tea out when I come past just coming back into the Opera House gates. Saw Taffy struggling along as well, just as Jamie was coming back past me on the return leg.
I thought I was travelling OK on the 4th 10 minute effort but my watch told me otherwise and then just as the watch clicked on 40 minutes I found myself on the hill right outside the A.B.C  Pool when I was supposed to pick the pace up for one final effort.
To be honest I had nothing over the final 5 minutes and even Mikey came flying past (minus his followers), although I knew I’d still make it back to the gates within the allocated 45 minutes frame.
If you do this session right I don’t think there would be many (if any) that could kick it down over the final 5 minutes especially coming back up the hills?
A bit disappointed with the finish yet again as would have liked to have done better on the final 10 minutes or so.
Pace for each 10 and final 5 minutes were:
4.07, 3.56, 3.54, 3.42 & 3.58
11.6ks all up in 44.40 average pace 3.53s

So North Head Striders is Saturday week and although after Gold Coast I said I wasn’t going to have anymore bets until I found some form – I have relented and gone against my better judgment. Many are lining up to take the Timmy dollars once again and the following have been laid;

vs. Tommy H, with a +4.20 handicap (will be close as it always is)
vs. Enda           with a  +4.00 handicap (hoping this will be enough, especially with him having a sniffle over the past week or so)
vs. Taffy          with a  +12 second handicap ( he’s getting brave after his recent TWO wins on the bush trails, even giving me 12 seconds?)
vs. Cement   with a   - 30 second handicap (me giving him a start can you believe……. I must be mad)

All for a friendly $20 – others on request.

Whinge of the Day. Forgot to mention today that Pommy Paul Birchy rocked up all angry that it was raining again for the 10th day straight and playing murder with his recent NEW hairdo and was bemoaning the fact he had forgot his HAT. I think it may be time to shell out another $225 to go see his mate Rupert On Oxford St once again?

Will try to get out in the morning and check out the BRAT Hardmen and see how Cement Hanley is going along and see if he’ll take pity on me and go of scratch for North Head ???


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunday Long Run with Colour (and Sickness)

 A late Saturday night, and after a few beers watching the ‘Wobblies’ get smashed (yet again) with Lovely Lisa (L.L), Taffy, Olivia & Sam followed by the radio gig then finally watching a bit of English footy it was up early to meet the guys for the long Sunday run in Centennial Park.
Rolled up at 6.30am to see a decent size team with Pommy Paul, Dr Skins (or is it Ant?), Eloise,, C,T,  Sweaty Sock (Craig), Renaud, Damo, Hi-Ho (Michael Ho) returning from Perth with a 2.35 Marathon to his name and prodigal son Enda Stankard fresh from his latest China trip.
Had to wait around 5 minutes whilst Enda dished his supply of drugs out to Pommy Paul, I’m not educated enough to know what exactly it was but it left Birchy full of smiles.
A 6k loop first up and the pace was on from the start at sub 4.30 pace, before we went out to do the normal 10k outside loop, And couldn’t believe the pace picked up further, and about 7ks into it I looked and saw we were travelling at 4.26s and I was towards the back of the pack and getting dropped. Bid Enda a farewell at this point – he was carrying on all morning about this so called cold he has, Must have told everyone about 1500 times to be honest and its little more than a head cold. Still, pleased to report he managed to get back for the start for the ‘5k Colour Run’ that was about to begin and he managed a creditable 10th spot overall (just beating good mate Renaud)
I had an impromptu toilet break at 15ks and really struggled to get going after that , I don’t really like the inner fence of the outer park we do with too many uneven spots and plenty of tree roots around and it was here the gang really did drop me big time. Managed to get myself back running solo to the cafe then decided to do another flat lap of the park although the park was packed at this time with about 20’000 other colourful people floating around.
 2hrs;05;16 all up for 27.6ks average pace 4.33s – certainly didn’t finish off as strong as I would have liked but I was very tired and with a big week behind me and with only 4.5 hours sleep I’ll take that.

Bit concerned today with the way the group was splitting up, with many going at a faster pace then what many can handle, especially when we are doing 30ks plus.  For some sub 4.30s are easy but for many others it’s not and I hope we don’t get breakaway groups within the Sunday long runs (that’s not what they are about)

Will take a rest day tomorrow, although Mikey has promised me he will take me on one of these bike sessions that he is doing indoors so I might sound him out about that as a means of a recovery?

Congrats to my mate Taffy James who took out YET another win on Saturday, yet again he travels far and wide to win these races that nobody has ever heard of …. But still, you can only beat what’s in front of you, and on that score I’m surprised Enda wasn’t lining up as well.

Just out for a few beers with Taffy and Pommy Paulie Birch now so I’ll get the full story – I have managed to score a winning photo of the main man giving out his winning speech.
Reporter. “So James, just how far will you go out of town to win these little bush tucker races”
Taffy “ Wherever it takes,”
Reporter “ 5 ? 6 ? hours “
Taffy “24 – think my name is already on the shortlist for HuRTS performer of the year after this”
Reporter “ Well done, and where did you learn to run trails like that?”
Taffy “ I’ve run many a paddock on my day – chasing my girlfriend daisy and now it’s all paying off”

Back out on Tuesday with the HuRTs boys.

"Just like to thank the HuRTS boys for NOT following me the 9 hours to the bush in order that i can get the win and also to the girl in 2nd spot who decided not to kick for home and took pity on me"
Well done Taffy Lad, now on the shortlist for 'Performer of the Year' for sure :)


Thursday, August 21, 2014

HuRTS 3 x 2k Reps (2 mins Rec)

Seems like a long time since I’ve done this session that was the 3 x 2k reps and boy had I forgot how tough they were. Rocked up early to have a chat with Erika Ekland who told me all about the North Side Sunday runs with Macca and the boys and that I should join them (think she only invited me because I’m slow and she may then have someone to run with)
It’s been a shocker of a week weather wise in Sydney all week when I’ve gone into town but we’ve been lucky when decent breaks has occurred and today was the same. Got promoted into the second group today alongside Macca, Skippy Heyden, Mullo’s Mullaney, Angus and a few others who I still don’t know(?). As is always the case felt good early and was moving OK just tucked in behind the two faster boys Macca  & Skippy and stopped the watch in 6.55. Thought it was perhaps a tad fast but with a  new burst of confidence showing I figured I might give it a go today and see how long I could ‘hang in’ for?
The lads got the break on me after about 500m on the second but was still holding time meaning they must have put the foot down, as I still rolled around back to the passenger terminal start/finish area in 6.56
The third rep was always going to be the test and found it a battle hanging on to Angus (who is running well) under the bridge at 500m , he got the gap on me at the kilometre marker and with the head wind coming up Hickson Road I wasn’t ever able to reduce it back with him perhaps 25m ahead. Crossed in 7.06 (3.33 pace) with it then taking me a further 2 minutes to get sufficient recovery into me before I was able to communicate with anyone.
Disappointed with not been able to dip under the 7.00 minutes on the final rep, although my first two reps show signs that some form is coming back so I shouldn’t get too downcast and I’m certainly feeling better throughout sessions than I have for some time now.
Good recovery back to the start line and then back up to the Art Gallery for 11ks all in. Had a good chat with the Chairman who has wagered a bet with me for Striders North Head –Reckons he can put more than 4.20 into me covering the handicap. Always close bets between us and I’m thinking if Tommy H can run 33.15, it then means I’ve got to get home in 37.35…… Let’s See ?
That one will be too close to call although I’m more than confident I can cover the 4 minutes our Mad Irishman Enda has given me for the same race, as we mentioned he’s in China at the moment and coming out with every excuse in the book. Even Tom told him to shut up and Man Up this morning and have some respect for himself (I’m sure it will only fall on death ears)
Rest day tomorrow, will have a trot on Saturday and then must see where Erika Elkand wants to start her Sunday run for the weekend?


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Midweek Rare Run with the Boys.

Went back into town for a rare midweek run with the boys today, only a small crew but some of the big guns and top hierarchy, Clarkey, Chairman Tommy H, Mikey and Russell ‘Chopstick’ were out and  made the nice social run out to Centennial Park (of all places).
Good chat and banter along the way with poor Barts often the talk of the town and  how Tucks has cracked the poor guy, and that he’s not been seen since City to Surf? Same thing was said about Enda, but more on that fellow later.
Had a good conversation with Clarkey about his triathlon days, Knew he was pretty strong especially on the bike and we’ve all seen what he’s capable of running, but then starts to tell me he has completed Olympic Tri distances in a time of 1hr:47 in the past…. Smoking, that would win most tri’s within Australia I reckon, certainly got some talent that lad.
Legs certainly felt a little heavier after yesterday’s tough session and was grateful the pace was kept a little slower then I think the guys would normally do. I stuffed up with my watch stopping it at lights and forgetting to switch back on at times, although Mikey told me getting back to the base of the Domain that we had done 15ks in 4. 40 pace.
Again, more ks in the bag and now need to back up tomorrow for another session with the boys 3 x 2ks reps down around Hickson Road.

Well if poor Barts has gone undercover, Our Irishman Enda has headed overseas to China to get yet another stash of dodgy drugs to halt his decline and latest flu symptoms.  It seems to me to basically be a boys ‘ Jolly’ as he is living it up over there, although the latest photo sent in to me was slightly disturbing? He said the latest drugs are pretty good and he has NO side effects although I’m not so sure. Check it out.

Enda on his recent China visit.

Didn’t see the Hardmen out this morning around the park, although I did come across a few surprise faces for a Wednesday morning, Saw Pommy Paul Birchy running around, not sure who he was with – couldn’t make out if it was Doctor Skins or his NEW hairdresser mate Rupert?
Also saw HuRTS newly crowned lady, the ever impressive Renee flying around, Jeez, you can tell she’s hit the top now as she didn’t even give me a ‘hello’ …Snubbed, J
And finally saw C.T with a NEW running buddy……………… a DOG ? what’s that about ?


Monday, August 18, 2014

HuRTS Twenty 20

No the HuRTS boys haven’t taken to the shorter version of cricket, today’s session was 2 x 20 minute efforts with a 3 minute recovery at half way, Shocker of a day in Sydney town and the heavens opened as I was driving into the session – luckily it stayed dry for the 40 minutes whilst we were working hard.

Good crowd out again, and after a brief chat we were off. The front runners were soon away and it was good to see Chairman Tommy H have a purpose in his step today doing some work and tuck in with Quentin & C.T, I was feeling good and soon settled into the pace I had told Mike I was looking to do and that was 3.48, although I was running solo pretty much for the whole 20 minutes. Took the break just passing Watermark/ Pier One at 5.35ks (ave 3.48s),
Upon starting the return I could see Angus Boyd and the Taffy Lad under the bridge so put the extra effort in to try to close the gap around the passenger terminal that also saw us catch Pete Walker and The Champ. Had issues in getting past The Taffy Lad, wasn’t sure at first if he was messing around zig zagging but realized it was just his extra 12 kilos around his girth that he is carrying so gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Tucked in with Pete coming around the O.H and with 10 minutes to go realized I needed to keep it strong at Farm Cove with the dreaded hills over the final stages, went past a few more of the guys but going up the hill near the A.B.C Pool nearly killed me. Mikey who was taking it easy today saw I was struggling at this point and lifted his game to help me out once back on the road, felt I was going backwards on the final little climb just before the expressway but was happy to see no one except the Chairman and Quentin actually come past at any stage.  I lifted for one last kick coming past the art gallery before getting back to the stone gates with Skippy Heyden close by  in 19.54
5.35ks out in 3.48s, back in 3.46s for 10.7ks in total, Happy with that and that works out at a sub 38 minute 10k  which I’ve even battled to do within races over the past 5 months.
In the past I wouldn’t be seen once the words ‘Tempo’ were mentioned for the HuRTS  sessions so even happier that I am now doing them and getting back to the finish line within the designated time frame, getting stronger with each session. At this rate I might even have a chance of getting some cash back from that Stankard bloke who is giving me the customary 4 minutes at the next Striders 10k?

Will be out for an easy 12ks in the morning – might see if the BRAT Hardmen and the likes of ‘Cement’ Hanley, and Shire’s #3 Damo Bray are around the park.

Sunday at the Golden Sheaf to help celebrate Pommy Paul Birch's birthday, seen with J-Fen, Sam & Olivia and Social Queen Sonia, Birchy looking good for 40 years of age...........thanks mainly to his new hairdo, His Hairdresser Rupert was at the bar when this photo was taken.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sutherland Half Marathon - 87.06

Friday had decided to get the ‘Southern Cross’ tattoo done and head down to the ‘Shire’ on Saturday to have a hit out at the 10k race within the National Park put on by the Sutherland run Club that Crossy has mentioned to the team earlier in the week, Didn’t then anticipate a call then from good guy and Mr. ‘Grecian’ himself Ronan Chalky to ask if I can give him a lift and run the Half Marathon instead.
Knew I needed a good hit out and with the Wet & Wild weather heading our way for Sunday I thought I may as well get a solid 21ks done in an off road race. Caught up with HuRTs guy Crossy and Comm. girls 5000m runner Eloise Wellings before the run for a brief chat  and then the funniest part of the day came as we were all lined up ready to go and they decided to hold a random ‘Raffle Draw’ that took forever and a day, 125 redraw tickets were pulled out the hat (for a size 5 chicken and half dozen Pork sausages) before it was claimed and we were off. Unbelievable

The first 3 ks is excellent as most of it is on the road before we head onto the trail, Settled nicely and was pretty comfortable for the first 5ks sitting in 5th spot with a guy close behind, Had Shire girls Belinda Martin and Eloise came by at the 8k mark so run with them for a 1k or so (before getting dropped) but was happy enough to get to 10k around the 40 minute marker. 
Turned at the 12k for the final 9 back home and was still travelling well. But just at the 15k mark I could feel the pace dropping slightly – took advantage of the drinks station with 6ks to go and popped a High 5 to hopefully see me home whilst having a good battle with a guy for 7th place.  Now, this is where it starts to get ugly, hadn’t really got to 17ks when my stomach was about to literally explode ….. oh dear, Had to reduce the pace and 7th spot was long gone and then had the 8th guy come and go past as well. 18ks was ticked over and with a guy behind I stopped to let him past not knowing if I needed to pay the bush a visit or pray I could get another 12 minutes done without leaving anything behind.
Managed to get to the finish line with a respectable 87.06 on the clock( ave 4.08s) and was happy enough with that, I thought going into the run if I could hold a steady 4-4.05 min/ks that would be good, and with the tougher terrain I’ll take that, Not to mention the 90 seconds I reckon I lost out on around the dreaded 17-18ks
My 5k splits were.
5k 19.30 (3.54)
10 20.45 (4.08)
15 20.50 (4.09)
20 21.46 (4.21)

Congratulations to HuRTS boy Andy Cross (Crossy) who took out the race in a time of 76.18, as well as Ronan who run on strong. Looking at the times I reckon the times were about 4 mins down on what you would run a road Half in??

***The HuRTS ‘Shire’ Heads Damo, Laura, Crossy, and Muzza will be pleased to hear that I didn’t destroy any wildlife or plants whilst I was on the run and left the trail in pristine condition as I found it despite my near emergency that every runner dreads J

A good solid weeks training backing up from City to Surf and happy to do my 3rd Half Marathon in 5 months (Canberra, Gold Coast & Sutherland) and now 21ks doesn’t feel as if I’m doing 100 as like it was a few months ago.
Legs are a little tired today from the run, so will enjoy my Sunday arvo beers with Pommy Paul ‘Birchy’ Birch to help celebrate his 40th Birthday

Winner of the Sutherland Half - HuRTS lad Crossy.

With All Round Good Guys - Crossy and Ronan at the end of a tough Off Road 21ks

Some 'Shire Chick' wanting a photo with HuRTS elite, NO clue who it was - i'll ask Laura if she has any idea? She tells me she can run a mean 5000m?

Rest Day tomorrow, will be back on Tuesday

Footy has started, although after reading the results i think we'll kick off the season next week


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rushcutters Pyramid

Down to Rushcutters today for the tough Pyramid session and whilst all the big guns were back including, Quentin, Tucks, Crossy, Clarkey, Tom and ‘RedFoo’ Dean Degan, there were no sign of either Stankard or Bartlett who both still have a case of the sniffles. With Mikey even taking a well earned rest day after his tough Sunday session……………. On support duties.
Tough session I find this one that sees 1,2,3,4,3,2,1, laps done with half the amount of recovery time.  Worked with the fast group today and sat just behind Crossy for the first half (he must have been taking it easy) before the Chairman Tommy H who had previously been taking it even easier running with the girls joined me on the second triple, double and single laps. Felt pretty strong for the first half once more although I’m always happier once the 4 timer is out the way, and with Tom helping me out I was even happier to be able to kick it down on the back half of each rep.
All reps were kept well under 3.30 pace (apart from the first)
Times and pace were:
1.       89  @ 3.31 pace
2.       2.58 @ 3.25
3.       4.29 @ 3.22
4.       5.59 @ 3.23
        3.    4.23 @3.15
        2.    2.54 @ 3.13
        1.    79     @ 2.53

So, with each session I’m starting to feel stronger and with it comes a little more confidence (I hope) – Rest day again tomorrow and will try to get out for the Sunday long run this week.

Best of luck to Tucks who heads O/S on Sunday in preparation of his big Ultra Run/Walk that he is doing, not 100% sure where he’s even going but I’m tipping he’ll come back with a placing to his name, He did say he was just looking at reducing his sleep time for this race that currently stands at 45 minutes mid race J


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

HuRTS 4 x 10 minute efforts.

Even allowing for a cold day in Sydney town and post City to Surf there was a big crowd for the HuRTS 4 x 10 minute session at lunch (although I reckon we had about 50% never finishing the session). Good to see the likes of Quentin, C.T , Crossy, Tom, Tucks. Fats all backing up and Mikey was back out testing the ‘Hammy’ once more. No sign of Enda or Barts though and I fear that could be the end of them for the immediate future with their heads totally mixed up in the aftermath from Sunday.
Despite a big crowd I think everyone was taking the same cautious approach today, as apart from Crossy and Quentin we all seemed to be running and chatting together for the first rep just sitting under 4 min/ks. The return is always harder back up the hills but was happy to get back with 5 seconds to spare.  Amazingly the legs were feeling OK and on the 3rd rep pushed the pace a little more, and on completion had Tom and Tucks standing beside me, told them then they had to get me back home in under 10 minutes to help me out. Straight away the pace picked up even more around the flats as we tried to ‘bank time’ seemed to struggle up near the A.B.C Pool but was still ticking along OK, that last little climb before the freeway nearly got the better of me but in the process we picked up Pete Walker that also helped and with a few encouraging words from the boys I was happy to get back to the Stone Gates in 9.51
Pace and distance for the 4 were:
3.52 min/ks  2.6k
3.47 min/ks  back in 9.55
3.47 min/ks 2.65k
3.43 min/ks back in 9.51

I’ll take that one and felt pretty good throughout and strangely enough without getting ahead of myself can feel a little confidence coming back. Still. I may take tomorrow off and rest up before rejoining the team on Thursday.

With winning team captain 'Muzza' and some of his 'Yule' team.

NEW Star Renee, after walking out the E.Y tent stealing the C.E.Os birthday cake

The First Sign, The Chairmans eyes are starting to go, alongside Taffy Lad and Claude Van Dam.

Skippy Heyden giving Enda a few tips on how to run a good City to Surf.


Monday, August 11, 2014

City to Surf - 53.04

Jumped on the train and sat besides what I thought was a homeless man and was just about to give him a couple of dollars to get a coffee when I realized it was in fact Stevie ‘Wildman’ Thurston in his daggiest trackie bottoms ever seen heading into town for his City to Surf comeback race (oh what I fall from grace).
YEP, this is Sydney’s biggest race of the year and gets everyone racing and making the pilgrimage to Bondi Beach, met a few friendly faces at the Stone Gates for a warm up and if Stevie had the bottoms then Tucks had the matching jumper…what a shocker that was as well.
Warmed up in the designated area and met everyone and wished them luck before the mad dash heading down William St, I’ve done all the training sessions lately but knew I wasn’t in great shape so took it out a lot slower this year compared to previous, Felt pretty good early on and was happy enough to get to 5k in around 18.25, another 1500m down the road and through Rose Bay before Heartbreak Hill and for the first time in a long time had nobody coming past me  any stage that I considered a positive sign. Got to the top  around New & Old South Roads and knew I only had one more tough section around the 10k mark near Military Road and was happy to hit around 39 minutes for the 10k marker. Got a good boost at 11k as the injured Sharonne was on supporting duties for the day and then tried to lift it and let the legs go on the 2.5k downhill coming back into Bondi. It’s always a battle the final 1k and I swear Waverly council add an extra 200m of road every year until you hit that roundabout back towards the finishing shute.  Got a massive shout out from HuRTs supporters Mikey, Elle, Damo and Laura that was very much appreciated and was happy to cross the line in a time of 53.04……. Pretty happy with that to be honest, certainly not my quickest time, but I felt strong unlike the past half a dozen runs when my pace was gone even by half way, Even happier then to find myself home before recent Dungog Half Marathon winner and friend Taffy James, Pete Walker, The Champ and the original Hardman J.C
Some great times from the team as I predicted would happen, and perhaps the biggest shock of the day was seeing Quentin first HuRT home beating the more fancied Tom, Tucks and C.T. Great run from him though to stop the clock in 45.53 and simply because of that and the importance of it he gets the ‘Timmy Run of the Day’  Even though Laura was out injured the girls didn’t disappoint either with new Queen of the Track Renee Simon smashing all before her (not to mention smashing Birchy and the ‘Sweaty Sock) with a 5 minute PB 55.38. socialites Sonya and Lisa broke the 60 minute barrier (57 & 59 respectively)  
You can’t rest on your laurels in this team either with Clarkey going into this race as HuRTS #1 only to find the pressure all too much and was way down the list when it came to the big boys battling it out. Tommy Highnam put in yet another near perfect race (he’s unbelievable) and HuRTS favorite son Andrew Tuckey was 3rd home, Enda will be disappointed with his 48.57 (and should be doing better) although he was complaining of a head cold, and I suppose he PBed so it wasn’t a complete waste.
Congrats to Muzza and his team of ‘Yule’ boys in taking out the first team event the squad had going, and even with Quentin taking line honours it wasn’t enough for his Models from getting the ‘wooden spoon’

Enda opened his house up at the end for breakfast hosting,  Excellent it was too, great spread laid out for the numbers and the bacon & Egg Rolls went down a treat, as did the half a dozen sausage snags, Poor Super Kev got lumbered with BBQ duties and was then forced to turn all bacon with a 2 inch plastic fork Enda must have picked up on his last China visit care of a $2 shop. She may be out injured at the moment but young Laura got stuck on Tea duties, and boy does she make a good cuppa and they went down as well as the food.
A bit of a standoff happened then when heavyweights Birchy and the Italian Stallion Durante came together……. Both got pretty good PBs when it comes to scoffing down the old Bacon Roll and it was on for young and old when they went head to head.

Stomach fully set and it was on for the stroll down to the Allen’s tent for the day care of the Chairman Tommy H. As always a top afternoon was had by everyone that attended with the beers in full flow as many a story unfolded.  Tommy never disappoints in this area, although I do think he underestimated how much socialite girls Sonya, Lisa and Renee  drink as supplies did run out late in the arvo that saw about 50 of HuRTS boys and girls kept ducking next door to the E. Y tent (Ernst Young) for a supply of food and drink, (they even had a triple toilet to use)  Think we may have overdone it mind you when Taffy and Birchy stripped off and jumped on the massage table that saw their C.E.O start to put trees in between the tents to stop us. It still wasn’t enough to stop Renee who then casually walked out with about 6 pieces of the C.E.Os own birthday cake.

Ventured down to the Surf club after that, and its around this time of the evening that it started to get messy, the occasion got all too much for Tommy H and he was sent back over the bridge in a taxi after falling asleep (standing) and now joins C.T on the drinking HuRTS ‘Wall of Shame’  Enda was talking even more trash then normal so we sent him packing as well as only the hard core made the way to ‘Ravesis’. Unfortunately Lisa & Keith had problems even getting in, as did C. T who then snuck in from another entry. Taffy James, Skippy Heyden, Birchy and the impressive Sonya were last men/women standing as I was starting to feel the effects of a long day.  
A taxi beckoned and into the local Pizza shop near home saw me mumble my favorite dish (well point to number 29 on the list) and I could have given Durante or Birchy a run for their money in demolishing it.

Highlights of the Day, Too many to mention , but seeing the team run so well is always pleasing. The pre race is always a good buzz as well and still with 25 minutes before the gun goes some ‘Hitler’ volunteer decides to pick on bib number 138 Andrew Tuckey and demand he get behind the line, whilst about 300 other (slower) people casually roam about. He obviously didn’t realize he was talking to HuRTS #1 ….. Muppet.

Fashion Crime of the Day, In Charlie Lows absence, Angus Boyd took top honours this year with his pearly white Puma 1970s shoe – managed to take a photo of them for you to decide.

A top day all around once more and special thanks once again to Tommy Highnam for sorting the marquee tent out for us and to Edna Stankard for the breakfast hosting, it really is much appreciated.

So all done and dusted , time now to get back out there and get some solid training done in ready for the next big challenge.

Yule be Right Mate
The Old Timers
Chairman’s Selection
League of Nations
Beauty and the Beasts
The Triathletes
The Wild Cards
Models Inc and Charlie
Anthony Murrel
Chris Truscott
Tom Highnam
John Bartlett
Andrew Tuckey
Dave Clarke
Andy Cross
Quentin Reeve
Andy Heyden
Tony Fattorini
Jamie Stewart
Enda Stankard
Richard Mullaney
Paul McClarnon
Steve T
Phil Dove
Kevin Branagan
Adrian McGarva
Angus Boyd
Dom Dumanie
Bruce Lambert
Pete Walker
George Pagotelis
Renaud Herington
Steve Perry
Paul Birch
J Matthews
Timmy Lindop
Brendan Krone
Sam Johnson
Anton Yule
Adam Murray
Craig Wiseman
Erika Ekland
Greta Truscott
Steve Jackson
Charlie Dalzeill
Michael Yacoub
Caroline Sweeney
Andy Pettica

Some of the HuRTS team post race.

HuRTS Top 5 with Quentin, Tommy H, Timmy, Barts and C.T. OK...Barts shouldn't be in but Tucks wasn't around at the time of the photo.

Clarkey's reign at #1 lasted all of about 8 days , seen here getting some tips from the real deal Tucks.

NEW #1 HuRTS lady Renee after a huge PB 55 mins run with supporters 'Kenny and Elle.

Birchy loitering around the E.Y toilets with new friends WonderWoman, Bat girl, and Super Woman after telling them he just run 45 minutes.

Fashion Crime of the Day - Angus Boyd what were you thinking?

Starting to get messy , with Sonya and the Taffy Lad.

and even later , C.T and Sonya try to claim victory in the team event ...... they were 2nd, Shameful.