Monday, 26 March 2012

An interview with Last Years Winner!

In this weeks blog we catch up with Graeme Taylor of Jarrow and Hebburn AC (has now switched clubs to Morpeth Harriers) who won the race overall in a time of 71 minutes 07 seconds.

RHM:     Did you enjoy last years race and what were the highlights of the race?

GT:         It was a highly enjoyable race, I've done it for the last three years, in 2010 I made the mistake of not getting to the start in time and had to start at the back playing catch up the whole race eventually finishing 8th. Last year I made sure I was at the start on time and got away with the front runners , I enjoyed a good battle with David Kirkland of Alnwick Harriers finally getting away with two miles to go, it was nice to the get the win in such a big race with great crowd support along the sea front. Another highlight was improving my time by over six minutes from my first Redcar attempt in 2009.

RMH:     How did your training for last years race go?

GT:     I entered the race with my London Marathon training in the bank, although I didnt quite run the race I wanted to at London the training stood me in good stead and I was  in good shape to run the race, after a few easy weeks recovering from the marathon I was back in to my normal regime which roughly consisted of: 
Monday- 11 mile steady
Tuesday- Track session e.g 20 x 400 at 72 sec pace, 4x 1mile, 8 x 800.
Wednesday-2x6 mile runs am/pm
Thursday- Interval session in local park or tempo run around 5:30 min mile pace
Friday- Rest day
Saturday-fast run/Park run
Sunday-long run 90-120 minutes steady.

RHM:     What would you recommend for someone tackling the half marathon distance for the first time?

GT:        Gradually build up your level of fitness over a couple of months, once you have built a reasonable base start increasing your mileage and try to add in some faster efforts. Try to mix your training up with steady runs, speed work and longer easy runs.

My top tip would be listen to your body if your plan says rest day take it, or at least do something very easy there is no point causing yourself an injury by training when your tired or pushing yourself too hard too often.

RHM:    Are you entering this years race and what is your target?

GT:        I am hopfully entering this years race (fingers crossed) I am due to have knee surgery (torn cartilage) in the next couple of weeks so everything is on hold running wise for the time being. I have provisionally pencilled in Redcar to be my come back race as the new date gives me extra time to get back upto speed again. My target is first and foremost to be fit enough to compete at the very least, and I would be lying if  I said I don't want to defend my title.......also if im being optimistic a sub 70 time would be most welcome!

RHM:   What is your favourite training session and why?

GT:       I am always willing to try out a new sessions and running routes to keep my training varied and interesting. However I do really enjoy doing hill work in the winter, my background is in cross country running  so I feel at home doing these efforts. A typical session is normally 10-15 reps up a series of varying hills near to Jarrows base in Monkton, this is where I  build my strength, endurance and I feel this helps me to attack hills in races without fear.

RHM:    Our final question for you is who are your top tips for a gold medal in 2012?

GT:       Although I would love to see Mo Farah win gold in his home country I just cant see anyone getting close to Kenenisa Bekele if he is anywhere near fit. The man is a legend probably the greatest there has been, if he is in good shape then hes my tip for gold over 5000 and 10000 metres. Also I think like most people it would be great to see a couple of world records from Usain Bolt as he is so talented and a great entertainer.

Thanks for your time Graeme and we hope to see you fit and well post surgery at Redcar in September to defend your title!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

2011 Race Winner Carolyn Summersgill

Today I caught up with last years ladies race winner Carolyn Summersgill of Middlesbrough and Cleveland Harriers to ask her about last years race and talk running!  Carolyn won last years race in a time of 1 hour 24 minutes 57 seconds and was only 18 seconds off her pb despite the Redcar wind in the final few miles.

RHM:   Did you enjoy last years race and what were your highlights of the race?

CS:   Yes I really enjoyed the Half Marathon, the atmosphere was really good and there were lots of people along the course which helped me tremendously and pulled me round.   I led the race from the start and there were plenty of men around me to help me round.   I was only 18 seconds off my best ever half marathon time and was using the race as a build up to the Great North Run.

RHM:   Can you give me an idea of the training that you did for last years race? 

CS:   Typically my training would consist of a weekly interval session of something like 6 x 1 mile hard at my 10km pace.  This would be off a 2 and a half minute recovery so quite a tough session.   I would also do regular long runs of up to 90 minutes usually at an easy relaxed pace (being able to talk is a good indicator of the right pace to do these at) and also tempo type running typically at around 10km pace - I would cover up to 6 miles at this pace.    I had a relatively short build up to the half marathon (about 6 weeks) as it was a build up race and I wasn't really focusing on Redcar as an "A" race.

RHM:      What would you recommend for someone new to running who is thinking about tackling the half marathon distance?

CS:        I would build up the distance gradually and look to do some shorter races in the build up (ie 5km and 10km races).    Start by running up to 1 mile and just keep adding distance on gradually and build up to covering the 13 miles in training.    Joining a good local running club with a beginners section can really help people who are new to running.  Finally a good pair of running shoes is an essential if you want to enjoy running and stay injury free.   (Half Marathon sponsor Bike Traks can offer a gait analysis service to ensure good shoe choice and fit!).

RHM:   Are you entering this years race and what is your target?  

CS:   If the summer goes well and I stay injury free then yes I will be entering and trying to lower my pb.  The Redcar Half is a good fast course with pb potential and I hope to be there.  I am concentrating on the track and shorter distances over the summer so will see how that goes.  I have only been back in training for about 10 weeks as I was injured over the winter so fingers crossed!

RHM:    What is your favourite training session and why?

CS:    I love running easy on the hills or around the moors but for a training session I like doing mile/800m reps on the cross country course at Acklam Grange.  I am definitely a fan of strength endurance training rather than all out speed so this is the sort of session I love in the winter although it is hard work! 

RHM:   Who are your top tips for a 2012 Gold Medal in Athletics?

CS:   I would love to see Paula Radcliffe finally get a gold medal in the marathon.  It would be a fitting end to a long career.  Paula is someone who I have long admired and would love to see her do it in 2012.   Also Hannah England in the 1500m stands a really good chance of medalling as she is in really good shape.

RHM:    Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Carolyn and best of luck in your training.  We look forward to seeing you at the race in September to see if you can defend your title.

In the next blog we will be catching up with the 2011 Redcar Half Marathon winner Graeme Taylor of Jarrow and Hebburn AC.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Marske Harriers Road Race Series

The Half Marathon in Redcar has always enjoyed good support from our local running clubs.   New Marske Harriers have an excellent, good value race series that start on Good Friday 6th April with a 10km.   The entry details for this race and the rest of the series can be found at:

There are five races in total and they all are all held in and around Redcar.  These races would be an excellent stepping stone to the Half Marathon.

Happy Running


Monday, 19 March 2012

2012 Launch - New Date, New Start and Finish

Here we are in 2012 with what should be a great year of Sport.   In this Olympic Year when better to have a really good summer of training for the 30th anniversary of the Redcar Half Marathon.   This blog will provide news about the race, some training tips and any events associated with this years race.

Entries are now open for the race in 2012 which will be on the 30th September 2012.  The race this year will start from the Redcar Leisure Centre on Majuba Road.   Entry details are here.

You will probably have noticed that Redcar is undergoing a bit of a transformation.   We have new sea defences being built, a new leisure centre and community facilities under construction, a vertical pier and a new youth building called MyPlace all underway and nearing completion as we speak. 

The 2012 race has had to accomodate these works and as such has had to be delayed to September 30th and as a result of this change the start and finish has moved to Majuba Road as we were unable to secure the fields at Green Lane as the football season will be underway. 

The course remains essentially the same with the outward leg heading towards Marske, turning and heading back along the seafront to Redcar and up the trunk road.   We hope to create a special atmosphere at the Leisure Centre which will be a great place to see the race both at the start and finish but also half way into the race.   I am sure there will be some people who need that extra bit of encouragement at that point to smash that second half of the race.

Best of luck with your training for 2012 and keep visiting this site for more information, tips and news!