Monday, 7 September 2009

Duncan vs Heile

Many thanks to fivemarathons’ PR Manager, Rob Ainscough, who has secured invaluable coverage in this month’s Messenger (the magazine of the Manchester Law Society) and Macmillan’s newsletter, both of which will bring our fundraising efforts to a wider audience.

Fivemarathons article in Messenger Magazine

Last week, I saw an online advertisement from the organisers of the Berlin Marathon, which
invited spectators to “Join us in Berlin to see Duncan take on Heile”. For one brief moment, it
looked like all of Rob’s promotion had paid off in a big way. Sadly, they were referring to the impending showdown between this year’s fastest marathoner, Duncan Kibet of Kenya, who won the 2009 Rotterdam Marathon with a time of 2:04:27, and world record holder Heile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia, the only man to have ever run faster (2:04:26 in Berlin in 2007 and 2:03:59 in Berlin in 2008). Berlin is a lightning quick course, which has seen six world records since 1998, including the last three men’s world records, so both Duncan and Heile will be chasing a new world record on 20 September.

It’s now just over a week until Martin and I fly to Berlin for the marathon and I’m really looking for it. There are several ways in which you can follow the race:

  • you can sign up for text message updates at:
  • Simply type in the number of the runner you wish to follow (mine is 30394), plus your mobile phone number, and you’ll receive real time updates on your runner’s progress through the race;
  • Universal Sports will broadcast live coverage, on-demand videos and highlights of the race. Just log onto Universal Sports will also provide the same coverage for my final fivemarathons race in New York on 1 November;
  • after the race, you can view a personalised video of your chosen runner’s race at Available on the day after the race (Monday, 21 September), simply log on and click on the camera symbol next to your runner’s results to watch video from various camera positions along the course. The cameras are linked to each runner’s timing chip to ensure that they catch him / her on film throughout the race.
Best wishes to my coach, Laith, for a speedy recovery after a nightmare mountain bike accident last weekend. It was sufficiently serious that the Mountain Rescue had to be called. They suspected that he had broken his pelvis and called the Air Ambulance, which airlifted him to hospital in Lancaster. Fortunately, his pelvis wasn’t broken, but he had suffered serious muscle and ligament damage. When I spoke to him, he'd been given heavy-duty painkillers but, remarkably, he’d retained his sense of humour. Through the morphine-induced stupor, he even managed to relate this gem from a recent race: Laith and a friend had arrived early at the event, before anyone else. Laith's friend, we'll call him John, decided to use one of the hundred or so portaloos, before the masses descended. Once installed in the portaloo, he was surprised to hear another chap go into the one next to him, especially because all of the others were free. He was even more surprised when the chap started to engage him in conversation. Apparently, it went something like this:

Chap next door: "Hello, mate"
John: "Er, Hello"
Chap next door: "How's it going?"
John: "Ok, thanks"
Chap next door: "What are you up to?"
John: "What do you think I'm up to? Take a wild guess!"
Chap next door: "Listen Dave, I'll have to call you back - the bloke in the next cubicle is talking to me.”

While we've already descended to the murky depths of toilet humour, I might as well tell you about the chugging (or charity mugging) to which I fell victim this week in central Manchester. I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself: two students, working for a well-known charity, collar you in a pincer manoeuvre and seek to convince you to set up a standing order into the charity’s coffers. On this occasion, it was a well-known environmental pressure group. After the initial disappointment of me confirming that I wouldn’t be handing over my bank details, the chugger suggested some practical ways in which I could help the environment. For example, apparently I can help save water by putting a brick in the toilet. With the amount of carbs I’m eating, that shouldn’t be a problem. That quip impressed no-one, but I did make good my escape.

You can now view photos from Barcelona, London, San Francisco and each of TEAM fivemarathons’ races at

Barcelona, 1 March 2009
London, 26 April 2009
San Francisco, 26 July 2009
Berlin, 20 September 2009
New York, 1 November 2009

This week’s training schedule:

Monday, 31 August 2009 6 miles easy
Tuesday, 1 September 2009 Speed work
Wednesday, 2 September 2009 6 miles brisk
Thursday, 3 September 2009 8 miles steady
Friday, 4 September 2009 Rest
Saturday, 5 September 2009 Mountaineering
Sunday, 6 September 2009 Marshalling Helvellyn Triathlon

Christies is the charity which provides funds for, and supports, the work of the world renowned specialist cancer centre, The Christie, in Manchester (see Macmillan provides practical, medical, financial and emotional support for people affected by cancer and campaigns for better cancer care (see

Visit us at

Join the fivemarathons Facebook Group

View fivemarathons photos at

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NYC Marathon, 2004

NYC Marathon, 2004
NYC Marathon, 2004