Published on October 22, 2013 | by Guido de Boer

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Running for a reason

Central London has been again the back-drop for the ‘Royal Parks Half Marathon’, the second biggest running event in the Capital, after the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Royal Parks Half Marathon in London

Marathons and half-marathons are extremely popular both  with runners and those raising money for charity [Flickr:Matt Biddulph]

Similar to the London Marathon in popularity, there were once again many would-be participants unable to secure a place due to the high number of applicants.

The fastest man was Ryan Mckinlay (27) from London who crossed the finish line in 1hr  09mins with the fastest woman Caroline Hoyt (43) clocking 1hr 21mins.

Running may be considered boring by some and not everyone has the same level of discipline. However this race raises lots of money for charity, raising £3.5 million in 2012, giving many a great incentive.

While some people may prefer to run alone, there are a fair number of people who prefer to run in a group. I have been running for over a year with the Nike Run Club and it has helped me to remain disciplined and fit. I competed in the race myself and recorded a satisfying time of 2hrs 02mins.

Incentive

When preparing for a marathon no matter the length, you need to run more than once a week. Running with the club has helped me to run at least twice a week however procrastination can be a problem sometimes. When I run with the club there is a set start time and for me that is a good incentive.

Melissa (27) a fellow running partner of mine said: “It was my first long distance race and I did it in 2hrs 18mins. I’ve been running with the Nike Run Club for over a year and I would not have been able to do this race if I had to do all the running on my own.”

Lauren Jacquet (26), another competitor in the race finished after 2hrs 02mins. She has lots of race experience already and revealed the contrasting way in which she trains and prepares for these long distance marathons:

“I often run on my own, mostly at the end of the day after I finish work, when I run I can simply think about nothing and it works, it’s very relaxing.”

The Virgin Money London Marathon is being held in April 2014 and the lucky ones who have been able to secure a place are already busy training. My next big race is a half marathon on March 2, 2014 in Paris. My aim is to do it in between 1hr 40mins and 1hr 50mins and if I continue to train in the same way then this should be a realistic target.

For those interested in competing in races and ways to prepare, information and details can be found on: http://www.runnersworld.com/training/marathon-training-plans

 

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