A great weekend of running…

…well, not really for me! As I’m nursing knee trouble today’s scheduled long run was replaced by a visit to the local gym – and I now remember that I really don’t like gyms (I’d much rather be outside). Anyway, a high intensity hour on the cross trainer gave me the best “fix” I could get so I don’t feel I’ve wasted the entire day!

I have however spent much of the weekend watching TV and keeping an eye on running from other parts of the world…

Firstly this is the weekend of the Great North Run – the ‘world’s biggest half marathon’. Prior to the full race on Sunday, some exciting running was held on Saturday where Britain’s Mo Farah finished off his 2007 season with an exciting win in the 3km race. In the 1 mile race, Andy Baddeley put in a sterling performance and took first place. Great stuff.

Sunday was the main race and Sharon and I know of at least three people taking part (Paul, Sarah and Angela). Well done to the three of you. The main event was heavily promoted because of the return of Paula Radcliffe to competitive racing (after stepping away from competition to start a family). Interestingly, as they lined up for the start and the elite women were introduced it was clear that Paula had been put in a field of runners who either hadn’t raced this distance before or were nowhere near as fast as her. The cynic in me suggests that she was offered the place in the race (along with a large wad of cash) with the chance of a dead-cert win. Well, the race didn’t quite turn out as expected and a fantastic performance was put in by American runner Kara Goucher. It was a fantastic race to watch and you can read more about it at the IAAF website.

Lastly and by no means least, today was the day of the Berlin Marathon – one of the World Marathon Majors (Chicago, London, New York, Boston and Berlin). A number of friends of ours (regulars to the Fetch website) made the journey to Berlin to take part and I’m pleased to say that they completed the race with some fantastic times. Well done to Kieren, Max, Charlie, Heather and anyone else I’ve missed. The elite race here took most of the attention with 34 year old Etheopian Haile Gebrselassie breaking the world marathon record by 29 seconds with a time of 2:04:26. Simply outstanding. There’s some good analysis of the race over at the Science of Sport blog.

Back in England, over in Hampshire our friend Stuart took part in the Clarenden Way Marathon, only two weeks after he took part in another marathon. He’s a legend, and an Ironman at that!

Oh, and on Saturday in the 20k race walk final held in Russia another world record was broken. These guys can walk 20k in 1:17:16. The winners split time at 10k was 38:28, which is quicker than I can run 10k! How depressing!

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