The unpredictable art of running blogging

I have been blogging for some years. I was a writer and journalist first. My original purpose was to support the publication of my first book, Heights of Madness, and my second and third books thereafter. Over time, heightsofmadness.com graduated into a running blog – a blog that last week pleasingly surpassed 50,000 visits. Writing…

Running with the horses: Man v Horse 2014

Humans have been running for centuries, devising a variety of odd and generally painful forms of leg-moving activity to keep us active and amused. When running was no longer a necessity for survival, it became a sport. Cross country evolved. We started to run around tracks. On roads. Up mountains. Over fells. Along trails. We…

Race report: Beachy Head Marathon 2013

I was standing at the finish line of the Beachy Head Marathon yesterday afternoon, discussing with other runners the merits of Richard Moore’s book on the 100m final at the 1988 Olympics, The Dirtiest Race in History. As the conversation fell quiet, I thought (and I appreciate this is a gross generalisation): what can we…

Beachy Head Marathon 2013 preview – the runners and riders

It is the annual Stuart Mills Processional Marathon on Saturday. Excuse my facetiousness, I mean the Beachy Head Marathon. For many years, the rollercoaster race along the South Downs Way and over the Seven Sisters was the most predictable in England. Mills dominated, winning seven times in nine years. Not last year, though. Rob Harley,…

Three Forts Marathon and the need for constancy

The essence of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch is that Arsenal is the author’s constant in life. Amid the flux of education, work, relationships, happiness and sadness, Arsenal and football remain resilient to the vagaries of his existence. Running has been my constant since the age of 18. Through university, through jobs, through seasons, through highs…

Steyning Stinger Marathon in pictures

I am 162. I do not know what I am doing. Usain Bolt-style warm-up? Trying to psyche out Stuart Mills (the runner rubbing his hands together)? The first ‘sting’: running comfortably Around 24 miles in: Stuart Mills is a few yards ahead and fatigue begins to take its toll The end is in sight But…

What is Alan Hinkes up to at the moment? … and other questions

Traffic – is that the right way to describe people? – to this blog arrives via a plethora of web searches. Handily, WordPress lists these terms. Many are questions: some are perfectly logical, others make me question the sanity of the human race. However, according to the web search questions, people do not want much….

What’s worse? DNS or DNF.

I would have finished the Richmond Park Marathon by now. Instead, I am mooching around my flat, having not run a mile, my thoughts drifting forward to a fortnight’s time when I will be – all being well – embroiled in an attempt on the Bob Graham round. I had to pull out of today’s…

The best place to run in Britain

The best city for running? The answer is subjective, of course. Who am I (or anyone else, for that matter) to suggest Nottingham is better than Norwich, or Dundee is better than Derby. We all have favourite places, whether we’ve lived there for 50 years or once passed through on a sunny afternoon and thought:…

Recovery…

Post-marathon recoveries are tricky things to get right. After London in April, I abandoned the sport for a fortnight, then ran 30 miles in the following three days. My body was all at sea. There was an illustration of how not to recover after a marathon. After the Lakeland Trails Marathon  in July, I was running sections of the…

Beachy Head Marathon 2011 – race report

So, Beachy Head, the second hardest marathon in the UK. Which only makes you wonder what could be harder. The ironically named Picnic Marathon in Surrey, a quick Google search revealed, with that race climbing 6000ft in 26.2 miles compared to Beachy Head’s 3300ft. Second place it may be, Beachy Head, nevertheless, starts hard, gets…

When running a marathon is no longer enough

I’m running the Beachy Head Marathon tomorrow. It is my ninth marathon in the 11 years I have been old enough to compete over 26.2 miles. Following a 2.50.23 London in April and a 3.15.39 Lakeland Trails in July, Beachy Head is my third marathon this year. Prior to 2011, I had never run more than one marathon…