Tag Archives: racing

GMAA Half Marathon – Race Report

Way back in the early Summer I was chatting with some former colleagues from the year I spent in Boston and they said they were signing up for a half-marathon together. After a little to-ing and fro-ing, and checking out the logistics, I decided to make that the weekend I visited them and we would all do it together. So that’s how I ended up travelling from Glasgow to South Hero, VT to run the GMAA half-marathon!


The GMAA half-marathon was on the Sunday (14th October), so I flew out to Boston on the Thursday to try and fend off any jet-lag. I met up with my pals after work on Friday and we headed up to Vermont and stayed in the most beautiful airbnb in South Hero. The drive up was a fun little roadtrip, including stopping off to get supplies to make ‘smores around the campfire later that night.

That gave us all day Saturday to explore the local area and relax a little before heading to packet pick-up and making our own little pasta party back at the apartment.

The view from our amazing airbnb in South Hero
The view from our amazing airbnb in South Hero

Race day

Race day was a bit of an early start so the the 5 of us could share the single bathroom and get some nutrition in us well-before the race. (My race nutrition strategy focussed heavily on some store brand jelly bears we’d picked up the day before). It was then just a short drive to the start line and we were away without much ado, leaving everything we didn’t run with in the car.

As with all mass-start races, the temptation was to go hurtling off at the start with all the excitement, so I decided to consciously hold back on the pace for the first few miles and pick my way through the crowds. I persuaded my friend Molly, who I knew was going for a similar time to me, to do the same.

Molly and I stuck with each other for the rest of the race, chatting and pointing things out to one-another, all the time slightly picking up the pace. This was mentally so helpful – it was never spoken until after the race but neither one of us wanted to give up before the other, so it became a challenge with us spurring each other on.

The course itself was an out-and-back along the coastline of the island. This gave us plenty of beautiful scenery to look at. Vermont in October has some wonderful colours as the leaves start to turn, so we definitely managed some leaf-peeping as we ran. The out-and-back nature also gave us the chance to spot our friends who we knew would be a little behind us, so we could support their race too. The course is undulating – it mostly follows the coast with a few small hills in between. The final mile is dead flat and straight – I wanted to kick for this, but simply didn’t have the energy. Instead I kicked away from Molly for the last 2-300m!

Finish – 1:51.49

Official results

A very happy group of runners at the finish line of the GMAA half-marathon
A very happy group of runners at the finish line of the GMAA half-marathon

I was so happy with this time. Off the back of very little training since my half-ironman in July, I thought to come within a few minutes of my PB was excellent. And I owe a lot the mental fight to keep going at that pace to Molly, who didn’t let me give up. Our pace was an even split, so the decision to relax early on (as my club coaches always say), was a good one.

Post-race, there was all sorts of food in the recovery room in the local school sports hall – I’ve never had chilli and nachos after a race before, but boy was it welcome! Along with donuts, bananas and a myriad of other options, it was quite a spread!

The team at the Ben and Jerry’s factory

From there, our wonderful airbnb hosts allowed us to come back to the house and shower before we made our way back to Boston – making sure to call in at the Ben and Jerry’s Factory on the way – surely a must do in Vermont!

ITU World Triathlon Leeds – Race report

This post concerns the 2016 World Triathlon Leeds race – only bad time keeping has meant I’m publishing it over a year late. My bad!

My A-race of the year. My first Olympic distance race. My first split transition race. However you put it, World Triathlon Leeds was going to be a big race! And as you may be aware from the negative press and social media coverage, it did not quite go to plan for the race organisers. (A little known company who go by the name of Ironman…). But I was determined not to let that get in my way and to have a good race regardless of the issues I’d had during registration.

Continue reading ITU World Triathlon Leeds – Race report

St Andrews Spring Sprint Triathlon – Race report

The St Andrews Spring Sprint was a last minute addition to my race calendar, entering only on the Tuesday before a Sunday race. But I realised it would serve an important purpose in trying a few things out before my first standard distance race in few weeks, and give me a good excuse to explore St Andrews for the first time. Continue reading St Andrews Spring Sprint Triathlon – Race report

Tranent Sprint Triathlon – Race report

First race of the year, second triathlon in two years and yet it was fair to say that I wasn’t looking forward to racing at Tranent Sprint Triathlon. I just had this horrible feeling of being under-prepared, like one of those dreams where you have to give a presentation having never seen the slides before. It was a feeling that would turn out to have some basis in reality, at least when it came to my biking fitness.

Continue reading Tranent Sprint Triathlon – Race report

Cambridge Oktoberfest 5k – Race report

Bib and race glass from Oktoberfest 5k 2015
Bib and race glass from Oktoberfest 5k 2015

I managed to grab a place at the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5k from a friend at my local running group in Boston, and I’m glad I did, it was a blast! I’ve never been to a 5k that finished with free beer, food and a dance party – all before noon – but I’d certainly go again! Continue reading Cambridge Oktoberfest 5k – Race report

Boston Triathlon – Race report

It’s looking like my one and only race of the 2015 season, after a year of upheaval and moving city twice, was to be whilst working abroad in Boston. Knowing I would be in Boston for most of the season, I’d already made sure I had all my gear with me, just to keep in shape if nothing else. It was an added bonus to find out that the Boston Triathlon was happening whilst I was in town, and only a 10 minute walk from my apartment. Needless to say, I signed up pretty fast!

Continue reading Boston Triathlon – Race report

London Triathlon – Race Report

A Saturday afternoon wave at a race in London should be the easiest thing for me to prepare for right? Apparently not, as I always like to overcomplicate things for my race at the London Triathlon. This time it was a work BBQ on the Friday night, chased with a marshaling the legendary Serpentine Handicap and picking my brother (also racing) up from Charing Cross before the race.

Continue reading London Triathlon – Race Report

Bridge Triathlon – Race report

This is a slightly delayed race report from the Bridge Triathlon Super Sprint back on June 22nd , as I combated Glastonbury and illness, and prepared the new site.

I’d entered the Supersprint at Dartford for two reasons; I hoped I could work the short run distance into my recovery from ITB issues and it’d be a good first race for my brother. Afterwards I had a quick look at previous times and realised I could also do quite well, which would be nice. Continue reading Bridge Triathlon – Race report