Monday, 29 May 2017

Normal Training Resumed

So many trails . . .

Ready for the off . . . 

Fringing the wine gardens . . . 

A wild flower paradise . . . 

My 'local runner' leads the way . . . 

Hello Poppy!

Scanning the horizon . . .  for a suitable tavern? 

This morning's run was of one hour duration. My guide for the day, that's him in the bottom picture, picked the route and I simply followed. We didn't get lost.

The path on which my friend H is standing is part of the so-called Rundumadum - a waymarked walking route which follows the Vienna boundary.

As indicated by the map in the top picture we started in the Bisamberg area.

I wore long socks as a layer protection against any Zecken (ticks) which might be lying in wait alongside the path. That's shown in the second photo.

We soon emerged into open meadows and sunlight. The other photos give some idea of the terrain, the wide sky, and the wild flowers to be seen along the way.

Afterwards we went to a wine tavern for lunch. I had a spinach strudel and a mixed salad washed down with red grape juice.

That's the short run out of the way. The medium and long runs for the week are waiting in the wings.*

The summer beckons.

*Flexible plans are important!  The week's training turned out to be 4 runs -  each of 1hr 00 to 1hr 30mins duration.  Not quite what I'd envisaged!

Back to normal next week?
Well, that's the idea!  

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Mixed Doubles

An Impressive Backdrop: Dachstein Mountain and Glacier

In May I ran the second leg of an evening relay race along a rain soaked trail around an Alpine lake.

Martina, my running partner for the evening, completed her 4.2 kms circuit 4 minutes faster.

Runners and spectators braved heavy thunder showers - which enhanced the excitement.

There were 30 teams in our category 'Mixed Pairs'.

We were pleased with our solid performance: 12th place (8.4 kms - 43 mins).

ps - Better late than never:

6th May 2017 Heavy showers!
Dachstein Lakeside Team Race:


Individual 4.2 kms Trail.

1 - A Englebrecht   14:19
56- M Deubler        20:09
75- G Williams       24:13

98 Finishers


Mixed Teams 8.4 kms Trail

1.   Team Magotti   34:47
12  NTS Team        44:22

30 Mixed Teams Finished

Monday, 22 May 2017

Karlovy Vary Half Marathon: "All Runners are Beautiful"

After a pleasurable evening in a Czech pub I slept well.

The following morning was taken up with sightseeing. The afternoon involved mental preparation for the evening's Karlovy Vary Half Marathon (start 5:30pm).

The runner's best friend - the banana.

After the first kilometer - a bridge (not too far).

 Years ago a reporter had the nerve to suggest to the great Czech runner Emil Zatopek that his arms- flailing-everywhere running method was not so beautiful as the running style of another well-known athlete. Zatopek found the right words:

'All runners are beautiful' - Emil Zatopek

 Karlovy Vary is picturesque spa town with much to recommend it:

Hot water from the Earth!

Riverside Walks

A Russian Orthodox Church

A romantic atmosphere

A viewing tower 

Beautiful facades

and Maestro Beethoven!

The crowds lining the route were unbelievable. I have never passed so many noisy, cheerful, smiling faces in the space of a couple of hours. It seemed everybody and his dog were determined to enjoy the day. Everyone was a child at heart. People whirled rattles and shouted encouragement, or blew whistles. On the edge of the town women clanged their cow bells, and the bands and singers strung along the route kept the musical beat going.  Every child wanted to smack hands with a runner. And I obliged dozens of times. I think I ran the whole 21 kilometers with a fixed smile. It was a wonderful madcap marathon. And I was pleased to be part of it; I was one of nearly 3,000 entrants representing a total of 46 countries all with the same goal in sight.  And I can tell you, if runners ruled the world there would be no need for wars. As Emil Zatopek once said: All runners are beautiful.

20th May 2017
Karlovy Vary Half Marathon 21.1 kms.  Conditions: Light wind. 90% cloud cover. Temp 13-17 C.

1. W Kimitei  (KEN)  1:00:54   -  1:00:54  -  CR/PB

2019*.  G Williams  (GBR) M65 -  2:13:08  -  2:09:45  -  11 M65**

2597 Finishers.

*Timing and finishing position. There are two times. The second time 2:09:45 is the accurate computer chip time. The position of 2019th and M65 11th given here are based on 2:13.08 (which is not the real time taken to complete the course).

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Today's Wings for Life World Run Live on Internet TV - Video Link

Race Start is 12 noon (UK Time) 1 pm Central European Time.  Coverage starts about 1 hour earlier.

It's gonna rain. And I'm gonna get wet. So why do it? Simple. We're running for those who can't!

Tip: From the Red Bull TV homepage scroll to Live Events and select Wings for Life World Run.

The race began in sunshine but after an hour it did rain as predicted. The Austrian winner my friend Lemawork Ketema a refugee from Ethiopia but now a naturalized Austrian had to battle rain and gusty winds but still broke his own personal best and finished 3rd in the world behind the Dubai winner (a wheelchair athlete from Sweden) and the Milan winner (an ultra runner from Poland).

It took 6 minutes to get from starting block 3 to the start line and about the same again to run to the 1km marker due to negotiating a path through many slower runners. In the end I reached the 12 km point (where I stopped and waited for the Catcher Car) in about 72 minutes by my watch. I calculated my final time as 66 minutes, which is 5min 30secs average pace per km, roughly what I was aiming for.

The first estimate is that spinal cord research will receive something like 6.8 million euros from runners' entry fees and donations.

official result (provisional) :
Over 155,000 registered runners!

53,947 th overall worldwide 
37,531 st male worldwide 
6,686th in Vienna 
16th m65 in Vienna