Nick Wins Marlow 5 whilst Patrick and Tom Go Bigger

Our congratulations to Nick Buckle for winning the Marlow 5 in a very useful 25:35.  His next prestigious engagement is the Highgate Night of the 10,000pbs, where no fewer than 8 Olympians are already signed up; so our best to him for that.

Elsewhere, Patrick McDougall and Tom O’Beirne conquered the brutal 3 Peaks Challenge.


66th 54 Tom O’Beirne Belgrave Harriers M 03:37:57 1st Class
341st 53 Patrick McDougall Belgrave Harriers MV50 4:22:53 2nd Class

698 finishers, 61 DNF

38km, 1,605m of climb, three mountains.

Here’s Patrick’s Garmin write up:


Three Peaks Race (2017)


Very pleased with this one – the fastest since hard core London Marathon training in 2013 – and only outside my PB by +2:01.

This time, I felt that I ran it on my own terms rather than being defeated by the mountains.  I went at the pace I wanted to go – actively choosing to walk (sorry runners! but it’s steep in places – 202m was the highest km climb – but also other kms had climbs of 179m, 157m and 154m) rather than wanting to run at places, but being unable to.

The plan was to do this so I could run the last 7km without the onset of the usual debilitating cramp.  So the tactic was clear – try to limit the HR to 80% for as long as possible – ideally, until after the final ascent. As a result, I was the slowest I’ve ever been to the top of Pen-y-Ghent – in 2013, I was 41:07, 2:29:48 to the top of Whernside,3:36:07 to the top of Ingleborough – this year, 45:33 on Pen-y-Ghent (+4:26, 586th ),2:36:20 on Whernside (+6:19, 490th), and at the top of Ingleborough, 3:43:51 (7:44, 395th) – I finished 341st, gaining 245 places during the race.

The difference was being able to run at the end – taking over 5 minutes out of the final 7km.  I still locked up with  cramp 2x after I sped up within 2 minutes, but the answer was to chew salt capsules #3 and #4 from Corporate Sponsor’s McDonalds (!), and try to persuade the brain that all was fine.  So it’s wasn’t eliminated, but I seem to be getting better at managing it (stay hydrated somebody said after – yup – I lost 2kg, so perhaps that’s the issue).  Two gels, one Mars bar, most of two bananas.  A cup of water at each drink station.  So, can I go faster?  Not sure.

Good conditions out there (no sleet this year!) were worth something.  Quicker through the check points (run and eat), and perhaps faster up Pen-y-Ghent then sub 4:20 next year!? 4:15 feels unattainable.  Not sure – anyway, enjoyable – but pity about the toe nails!

But being able to open up at the end (peaked at 93% of MHR) on the rocky paths and across the fields at an average pace of 5:01 for the last 6km (including the stops for cramp) felt great, especially the 4:22 km at the end.  Worth all the pain.  That’s why we run, right?


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