Guest Blog – Christopher Lomax

To all the regular readers, I bring you something a little different in which my blog is opened up to a series of guest blogs from close friends and training partners. Although I love writing and recording my races and experiences, I want to share some from others who share similar passions and take on their challenges in the world of sport – whatever that may be.

The first blog is from a very close friend, Christopher Lomax, who I have known since I was two-years old. Chris ran the entire London Marathon me and kept me company throughout that wonderful experience and he has many others to share. He is a pure runner. It is part of him and will be for the rest of his life I have no doubt. In this blog he shares not only some wonderful experiences but also gives us an insight into why he does it. I am sure you are going to like this! ENJOY!

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HAS ANYONE EVER RAN THE A-Z OF MARATHONS???

I have considered myself a runner now for too many years to remember and I absolutely love it. I still get the same rush of adrenalin completing an event today as I did when I ran my first half marathon in Reading in 2003. I have, so far, successfully completed numerous events at a multitude of distances. Each event has its own story to tell and a medal proudly displayed in a shoe box somewhere under my bed.

I do participate in Parkrun every Saturday. I can’t speak highly enough of what this type of event brings to the local community and the opportunity to meet up with a wonderful array of like-minded people. For those reasons I have taken on the position as one of the run directors at my local Parkrun in Mile End.

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The amazing Mile-End Parkrun crew

When it comes to running, and specifically racing, the half marathon is my favourite distance, yet it’s the marathon distance that most people show interest in and keen to talk about – and yes I have also been asked if my next marathon is the same distance as London!

I recently completed the Stockholm Marathon which now takes my marathon tally up to 18. I’m not sure how many more I will eventually do. In the short term I have set myself a target of completing an A-Z of marathons, entering events in cities around the world starting with each letter of the alphabet. I thought that this would be a good way of keeping motivated as well as seeing new places. The perfect excuse for a family getaway. Sometimes I find myself scouring the internet looking out for races away from the more traditional tourist hotspots, at offbeat locations. I am still looking for a Marathon starting with an X. Do you know of any?

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K is for a freezing cold Kiel Marathon!

The toughest of my marathons so far has to be my first, Berlin. I thought I was prepared and until the half way stage I felt really good, waving to my wife as I sped by. Ten miles later I was a complete mess but I persevered and completed it saying “never again!” Luxembourg stands out as one of my favourites. This event is run in the evening and you cross the line once the sun has set to a candle lit finish line. You can spend the rest of the evening enjoying a hot dog and a beer (or two).

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The Luxembourg Marathon finish line at night
My main aim when competing in a marathon is to get around and to still feel good enough that I could spend the next few days sightseeing (if travelling) without feeling too lousy. My training routine is to get out for a run 4-5 times a week with the traditional LSR on a Sunday. I cycle to work and also do some strength and conditioning in the gym once or twice a week. Is it all worth it? I certainly like to think so. It’s important that you set yourself goals and be ambitious with things you care about in life. Yes, my long runs take me away from spending Sunday mornings with my family but that is soon made up with our adventures travelling to new cities around the globe and exploring the sights and sounds they have to offer.

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Authentic meatballs in Stockholm
My question for those who are considering running a marathon but have not quite got round to do so is what are you waiting for? It’s true, you do have to give a fair level of commitment towards the training but I truly believe that everyone has one marathon in them. Proof of this is when race day comes and you see people of all ages, shapes and sizes coming together at the start line ready to push their bodies to the limit. Yeah, sure, at the end, all you may get is a medal and a banana but it’s an experience that will remain with you for a lifetime. And something for you to talk about at the staff Christmas party for the tenth year in a row!

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The all-important finisher’s medal

Thanks for reading and I do hope you enjoyed it. You can find Chris on Twitter @lomax_chris

Look out for another guest blog very soon!

4 Weeks and Counting…

Not long now until the big one…around four weeks or so and I shall be standing on that start line regardless of injury or not.

If I’m honest, it’s been a frustrating few weeks. Not being able to run when you have one of the biggest events coming up is not ideal. You see friends and running club associates hitting the miles and achieving longest runs they have never done before, and all you can do is watch the Strava feeds grow. Four weeks ago I was in fantastic shape running wise and really looking on track to go sub 4 fairly comfortably. That is probably not likely now, which means re-adjusting my focus to just enjoying the event and experience. I am hoping I will still be able to get in a few runs before the event. The injury is certainly on the mend, but could probably do with another two weeks. A groin pull is not something I have had before.

Not once have I thought of pulling out though. The fundraising has continued and the target almost achieved. Last Friday saw the staff at Curwen Primary School take part in a quiz night to raise money for the charity run. A superb £587 was raised. I really am thankful to everyone who donated and took part. The £2K target is almost achieved. It was a great evening and one I should have taken some photos of, although I completely forgot! Big thanks go to all team that helped out especially the wife!

I’ve managed to keep cycling and swimming so I’m hoping I haven’t lost too much in terms of fitness – just run specific fitness really. This week also sees another test run take place to see where I am with the injury. I sure am desperate I can tell you that much! Rehab has started and continues with the exercises as well as massage. I’m also using a tens machine – Does that show how desperate I am?

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Upon reflection, I think in hindsight I have probably run too many races. Two half marathons and five 10Ks. It was in a 10K on a cold and wet night that this occurred. Running quickly definitely increases your risk of injury and puts a lot of stress through the muscles. If only I hadn’t taken part in that race eh!

Anyway, there is no point dwelling on it. I plan to bike as much as I can over the Easter as I head to France on the house hunt again and will be taking the bike and my running trainers (just incase) with me.

Next blog will hopefully be from France and there will be some runs in the bag…I pray!!!