Congratulations for the monster effort that we put in at the No Finish Line last week. I had thought that the final hurrah would have been Friday 6.30pm - Saturday 6.30pm but I was pleasantly surprised and amazed that many people still ran laps up until the very finish at 2pm on Sunday afternoon. We managed to amass an astonishing 4298.52km over the 8 days, with an average of 46.22km per runner. We began the week with a confirmed 25 team members and finished the week with 93 - a fantastic achievement in itself. We had some amazing results - not least of all smashing the desired goal of a top 20 finish, with a 15th place out of 269 teams. We also had some great individual standings: overall, and in category, including
35, 45, 56, 143, 263 and 308th out of 8000 entrants
In fact most people came in at the sharp end of their category. For more statistical analysis please see here
I have attached a couple of photos - if anyone has any others please send them to me and I can disseminate.
Pussy Footing Around has amassed 1026kms!!! We are in 24th place out of 230 teams, 19km's behind SocGen, and 180km's outside the top 20.
We have 64 people in our team, including 7 Dogs.
People on our team are currently in the following positions in their age group/gender category.
63rd, 105th and 255th overall out of 7000+ inscribed
1st / 23
3rd / 86
13th / 646
24th / 646
26th / 80
30th / 146
104th / 683
39th & 44th / 161
We also have the highest Yummy Mummy ratio of any other team!
There are another 4.5 days to go - let's keep up the momentum, raise the rankings, keep pumping out the km's and get us into the TOP 20.
I look forward to seeing you on the track!
Team Pussy Footing Around has put up a sterling effort on the first weekend of the No Finish Line race. We have currently amassed an amazing 416km with our current 25 team members. Special mention must go to Andrew Gallagher who, whilst marching round holding team emergency croissants, has racked up 63.7km; and Lucera who is currently first in the pets category (out of 197 pets registered I might add) with a sterling 39km (she has been sleeping very well the last 3 days).
We are currently lying in 25th position, so a little way away from our aim of getting in the top 20, nestling just behind the CCSS, FANB and the Novotel. However there is still a long way to go! The first team, ACM, has 72 team members, and has amassed 2880km - we therefore need to encourage everyone we know to get down and do a few laps - running, walking or crawling all works! And also we need to make a concerted effort to get down to the track and do as many laps as we can during the week.
Remember, for every km, a local business donates Euro1 to charity. It is also good for you - fresh air and exercise!!!
If you haven't already, please let Dom or myself know your size as Skin Society are the t shirt sponsors for our team this year - t shirts are available for pick up at teh salon if you have ordered in advance!
I look forward to seeing you on the track!
So as planned, #1, Dog and I drove this morning (I had only a coffee before) and we started No Finish Line about 7am. I took it really slow but didn't really walk any. I was pretty stiff at the beginning but soon warmed up. We were joined by Dom, Stu and Mark and we all trotted along together racking up the KM's. After a bit, everyone went at different speeds, and we split up. #1 was walking fast, and we alternated taking Dog with us, who perked up as soon as she saw the other one and would drag that person along at breakneck speed to catch up with the other. #1 was joined by a friend with her Chiuaua Tequila, and they went for a sneaky milkshake.
I found myself running with one of the 8 day people - Heather, for a while. She is English, was recently retired from Team GB ultra Running team, and holds the record for the 50km, 48hr and a number of other things. She is aiming to break the 24hr record but was struggling mentally so hopefully I cheered her up - she was on track for the record again but had a bad blister in her toe and had to cut the shoe open. As I write she has covered 173km in just over 24 hrs, and is in 2nd place overall. She came 3rd in Spartathlon a few years ago having broken her arm mid race. Very very inspiring lady.
I visited #1 and grabbed a Coke for my bottle - I forgot to mention I had learnt my lesson from yesterday and took a bottle with me with energy drink in. Nectar.
I was still going slowly, at my own pace, and still with Dog periodically, and all too soon I had gone over 41km. Yay! That's 81km in less than 24hrs, and I was actually in reasonable shape. I had a lemonade and a jam sandwich in the car. It had been slow going - 4hrs 50 I think today, but that was ok as some of it was walking with others, and it was just putting one foot in front of the other!
I am currently 39th overall (more than 6000 entrants so far), and 7th in my age group (640 entrants). #1 is 2nd in class, and Dog is 1st Dog out of 152 with 39km under her collar. #3 is 6th in her age group with 9.4km. The Team Pussy Footing Around is 18th team so far, and with only around 15 members so far (some of the teams have several hundred members).
On track so far for me to be in top 50, and for Pussy Footing Around to be in the top 20.
I have to work tomorrow out of MC, so I will return tomorrow evening and will be aiming to run 20km or more, followed by 20k on Tuesday morning. I have dipped in the pool, and am eating well but healthily (roast chicken and all the trimmings today).
Team Pussy Footing Around put in a decent showing today - we were around 26th at one point but are gradually slipping down as the night progesses. Similarly I was 8th overall but have slipped back to about 30th as I write.
I was there with Dog, #3 and #1 at the off at about 215pm. Prince Albert fired the starting gun, only after Dog had growled and barked at a person dressed as a Teddy Bear giving #3 a cuddle. I jogged slowly round, accumulating km's and stopping and chatting to the kids when I lapped them. They were walking fast. Mrs R turned up after dropping #2 off at a birthday party (sleep over). A few of my recruits also turned up so I slowed to walk along with them periodically, not rushing, taking it easy. I did the first 21km in about 2hr05.
Then it got dark, Mrs R took Dog and the kids to the country place, and I enjoyed myself going slowly but accumulating km's. There is water, cake, bananas and orange slices provided, so I just had water.
Dom and Stu turned up so I ran with them for the last 12km (I did 40km in total). I struggled with fatigue (been a tough week and not exactly ideal pre race - out for dinner on thursday late AND friday night until 115am!) at the very end so had a couple of orange slices about 3km before I finished. I think I was probably dehydrated as well.
I rehydrated in my truck with energy drink and a jam sandwich, and drove home for a dip in the pool (bloody freezing) and a cold shower, followed by Mrs R's famous enchiladas.o edit.
"Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but it's what you do in the middle that counts." Sandra Bullock.
OK it's not as high brow as I'd like, but the point that she makes is valid, and can be attributed to almost any aspect of life. This is the essence of the No Finish Line, or as Mad Dog likes to call it, the "Race to Nowhere".
The concept is simple - local firms group together to donate money to charity, based on the number of KM's covered during an 8 day period. You register, pick up a chip, and run a lap. The track is open 24hrs a day for 8 days, and anyone can do it from the age of 0-100. Even pets. There are 3 competitions - the most laps covered as an individual, the most laps in 24hrs (on the last Saturday), and the most laps covered by a team. There is no limit to the amount of team members however.
This year my team, Pussy Footing Around, is going for a top 50 place, and I would like to personally cover 250km. We will see how things develop over the week , as I have struggled a little with fitness, and work/life always seems to get in the way of things, but that is the goal.
This year, Skin Society is sponsoring Team Pussy Footing Around with t shirts - so if you fancy running for us, let Dom or me know and you can run in the Skin Society colours!
Following on from the Nice - Cannes and the shambles with my leg, I have had a couple of sessions of physio, and also been massaging my legs myself. The physio has made me aware of the fact that actually both my legs are pretty mashed up (big surprise, right?). With that in mind I have been taking it very easy on the legs, just a short hour of spinning on Saturday, and weights, stretching and core on all the other days. Dog has been helping out offering her services to elevate my legs as part of the healing process. :-)
Today however, I decided it was time to test things out, and Dog and I headed off into the early morning pre dawn for a cheeky 5.5k, 30 mins. Nothing really to report, apart from the fact that the legs have held up really well. I was pretty stiff and tired before the run, but afterwards the endorphins kicked in and I felt really good - no leg pain at all. I will see how I am on Wednesday, and aim to increase that to a 45 minute run.
In the meantime, plans are developing apace for Pussy Footing Around at the No Finish Line.....the team is coming along really well, and I hope that I am going to be fully fit by Saturday.
The path of true love never runs smoothly, as the saying goes, and the same is true for my running career! Sunday was an 'interesting day'. I have obviously done a lot of races of late, and what with work and travelling and so on, have not been so rested. However, whatever the reasons, Sunday did not go according to plan, and I found I had to draw on mental reserves I was not aware I had, to get through the race. More of that in a bit....
So, the alarm went off at 6am; I got up, had my usual pre race brekkie of porridge, tea and coffee, and Christine gave me a lift to the race (she is my local taxi). I was chatting to her, in French, and I realised that I need a lot more practise - for some reason I am very rusty. It served to pass the time though.
I got there in time for a quick run, dropped my gear off, took a few photos, and queued for the loo. As I was queuing, there was an audible gasp as millions and millions of birds passed overhead - the sound was deafening as they flapped overhead - presumably doing the yearly commute to warmer climes. Unfortunately I did not get to the loo before the gun, which was a shame, and my Heart Rate monitor ran out of puff in the starting pens!!! Ah well....my buddy Stu managed to persuade the organisers to let him run despite not picking up his number in advance, which was a relief for him!
So....we started....overcast, chilly, fine - an ideal climate for running.
I let people go, and tried to control my pace with my breathing. A lot of people overtook, and this was fine. Then I saw the chap in the red morph suit, crocs, and a trilby. I wanted to take a picture but had to sprint to keep up! Then I got the picture, and he stopped. Unbelievable.
At 10k I caught up with Stu - it had taken me a while to catch up - he was going too quick but at least he was in the race!
We had a chat, and I took his photo, and then it was a ravi stop. As always, per Mad Dog's advice, I took liquids only.
I continued the race, passing the walkers and people that had already blown up, and at half way was 1hr49, which was bang on track and I felt fine. I was able to speed up a bit, and hold the pace.
The second half of the race has all the hills - Garoupe, Antibes and the railway bridge. I ran slow up the first 2, and quick down, and was on track for a quick second half - I was fishing, reeling people in, focussing on a particular purple top, and it was going ok, but at 36km, my left leg seized up. I stopped to stretch, and walked a little up the hill, but it was so painful to walk let alone run. I had a Nurofen from my pocket, and tried to run, but it was unbelievably sore. Every running step hurt in my left thigh - the top of it, hip, left arse cheek, all sore.
So....giving up was not an option. I tried to run as best as I could, and spent a lot of time hobbling like John Wayne. I was so frustrated because I felt good otherwise - cardio vascular was all good, but my leg was letting me down. Gutting.
At 40km the 3hr45 chap passed me and suddenly I was able to speed up a bit - maybe the Nurofen kicked in, maybe it was mental, I don't know, but for some reason I wasn't in much pain any more. I hadn't really walked, but had just slowed down - til now. I then dug deep, and followed the flag dude, and at 41k I suddenly felt ok - and sprinted for the line - overtaking heaps. I still managed to finish at bang on 3hr45, maybe a few seconds under, and in 2117/11000 starters. I grabbed some food, met up with the troops, and went to cheer on Stu as he finished almost an hour later, but chuffed to bits as he finished his first marathon.
We had lunch, then came home and I had a dip in the pool in the rain (cold!!) And then cooked roast chicken with all the trimmings.
I crossed the line with mixed feelings - happy to have at least finished - it wasn't easy, and I was not sure I was going to finish at one point. It was annoying though - my worst time ever at this marathon, but its experience, and I have gained experience! Snazzy medal too.
I am seeing the specialists this evening to see what the damage is, and whether I can participate in the No Finish Line in a couple of weeks time. I am pretty adamant I will be there, but in what sort of fitness capacity I do not know.
Last night after I had finished work, I wrapped up super warm and took the Vespa to Nice to register for Sunday's marathon and beat the rush. i just made it before the 7pm closure, after looking around for the Marathon Village because the location was about 300m away from where it was located in previous editions. A quick check of the map and I was there. No queues at all - a very efficient check in - about 2 and a half minutes in total - just enough time to ascertain I was a Small on the t shirt size, and to enquire as to why they had changed the finisher's swag to a back pack, and everyone that registers gets the t shirt. Fair enough.
Having checked the weather forecast on meteo.fr, it seems that the run of storms we have been experiencing are set to continue, and perhaps be extremely prevalent on Sunday morning with high winds and rain forecast. Not exactly great news for those chasing a PB, but also I can see several problems with the course itself given the proximity of the route to the sea - waves (with stones in) crashing over the Prom sometimes sees road closures as a general rule, and a few of the local beaches have been wrecked in recent years - not least of all on Wednesday evening at Plage Mala. In fact one year the Monaco Marathon was cancelled as a result of inclement weather. I have everything crossed that everything will be ok for Sunday.
On another note, I have lots of friends and clients that live and work in New York and the environs. Without fail, noone has escaped unscathed. Families are in semi flooded apartment blocks with no electricity; one chap I know lost his house - his brother lost his own place - and they are both staying with their parents that lost their roof. Offices too have been wrecked. More importantly, lives have been lost. To fix this will take a long time, and I hope that people remain strong. Fortunately they seem to have been well prepared with stocks of food and water bought in ahead of time. However, I think the decision to go ahead with the New York Marathon is a brave one, but the right one. The show must go on, and the marathon will bring much needed solidarity and tourist dollars to the City - and the boroughs. The marathon this year I am sure will have a special poignancy, but will take on board a certain mythical quality in the annals of the marathon. I wish the whole of New York, and the runners, the very best, and hope that everyone has a great day.
Ben Rolfe, married, father of 3 gorgeous girls, English, living in the South of France, working in Finance
Ramblings of a running nature
I will be posting on an ad hoc basis my thoughts, adventures and challenges on here. I welcome anybody's thoughts and constructive criticisms, but generally I am not interested in contacts requiring me to give over my passport and bank account details in order to transfer €10 million to my account.