Santa Dash 2009

After the awful weather of last year, it was a relief to wake up yesterday to a dry, if somewhat chilly, start to Santa Dash Saturday.

3 Madgexian Santas: Alex, Martin, Jane

In a similar manner to last year, I hooked up with Seb and we “dashed” around the course together. I’d set the virtual trainer on my Garmin Forerunner 205 with a 35 minute aim which was, if I’m honest, somewhat ambitious. I kept an eye on our pace and it was pleasing to watch the distance between us and our virtual pace setter increase (in the right direction). At the halfway point we calculated we were on about a 33 minute pace – last year I did 33:03 – so we kept on going. The last 1k was tough going, but we kept on and looking at the splits actually increased our pace before managing a “dash” to the line finishing at, a frankly surprising, 30:22.

Richard used his flip video to record some footage which is over at (as well as below):

You can still sponsor our efforts.

Brighton Santa Dash

A few weeks ago Martin told me about the Brighton Santa Dash, a 5km run along the front dressed in a felt santa suit. I’d been looking for a 5k race after the Preston Park 3.8k run I did in November, and so I signed up to join a handful of other Madgex Santas.

Number 306

This morning, in the wind and rain, I headed down to Hove sea front, collected my felt suit and hat and got ready to go. Richard came with me for moral support armed with a video camera (which stopped working before the race even started due to water damage) and my camera.

Hmm, this beard could get annoying

Seb joined me at the start line and we ran along together for the majority of the race. There were santa’s spread out along the sea front, with various bits of santa suits strewn along the promenade – felt suits don’t handle the rain too well, and felt trousers don’t stay up very well. I didn’t too bad, just losing my belt. The run back from Hove Lagoon to the finish line was a struggle against the wind but I was surrounded by plenty of other soggy santas.


I finished in 33:03, which compares favourably to my 32:35 best practice time, especially considering the conditions, and the fact I was wearing a santa suit and hat. Waiting at the finish line were Richard, Dave and Alex armed with tea and cake – what an absolute star she is.

See Jane Run

See Jane Run
Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway

It is now 2 weeks since the race, and yesterday I wrote a cheque for the cash sponsorship and sent it off to the Alzheimer’s Society. Between the online and offline sponsors, I managed to raise £625, a figure I’m really, really pleased with, so Thank you all again. Not bad for 21 minutes and 42 seconds worth of activity (if you exclude the training that is!) – it works out at 48p per second.

I suspect I will do another race at some point (so start making your excuses to avoid sponsoring me again now), but at the moment I’m trying to work out whether to continue my training to get faster at doing a distance I know I can do (5K) or whether to increase my target towards doing a 10K. All advice welcomed.

Photo by SussexSportPhotography

Preston Park 3.8K run

A few weeks ago I blogged about my intention to run the Brighton Phoenix Preston Park 3.8k to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Well, that was today, and I’m still in one piece. I had some excellent supporters, both family and friends, cheering me around the park and have a collection of photos taken by my Father In Law and by Richard. So, here’s the story:

We arrived at Preston Park in time to watch the Men’s race start at 2pm and my first job was to go and collect my number.


We lined up at 3pm, and were ready to go and I was amongst a lot of club runners — I’d say at least 75% of the participants were associated to some club or other. This was somewhat intimidating.

On your marks

The race was twice around the park. The majority of the runners had gone off at a speed far quicker than I could keep up with so I let them go, but I think I was still running a bit faster than my usual pace. About three quarters of the way around the circuit, Richard took the following photo.

Smile for the camera!

A futher circuit and I managed to overtake someone just before the final stretch and finished as strongly as I possibly could doing the race in 21 minutes and 50 seconds according to my GPS trace. This was a couple of minutes quicker than my practice run a few weeks ago, so I was delighted with myself.

The final stretch

Only the top 32 times were listed today, but apparently the rest of the results will be available on the website during the week. I’ll post my final time when I know it. I enjoyed the race, well I enjoyed the race being over, and having a good excuse to eat cake :-). The race marshalls around the course were great, and always had a word of encouragement, as did the other supporters around the park, all of which made a big difference.

Page 1 of the results

Finally a big, big thank you to everyone who sponsored me to do this run: you really helped me to keep getting up and out there for a run when the mornings have got colder. As I write this I’ve raised £575. According to the fundraiser’s pack that the Alzheimer’s society sent me this helps as follows:

  • £100 pays for eight calls to be answered by our helpline and for a pack of essential information to be sent to people in need of advice
  • £500 pays for 65 hours of a support worker’s time, to help people with dementia understand their diagnosis and help them take part in activities they enjoy


Sponsor me?

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d taken up running. Since that post I’ve managed to run 5K on a couple of occasions, and I’ve also done some interval training. I’ve decided to enter a 3.8K race on the 9th November 2008 in Preston Park, Brighton and this seems like a great opportunity to raise some money for the Alzheimers society. As most of my friends know my Mum was diagnosed with dementia in November 2001 and I know firsthand how hard this illness can be for both the patient and the friends and family who watch the slow decline in brain function. This is the first time I’ve blogged about this, and my main reason now is to ask you to sponsor me. I make no promises about the speed I’ll do the run – the course record is under 12 minutes, but I don’t think I’ll be causing the record holder any worries – finishing it will be achievement enough for me.

Couch to 5k

I’ve prepared an email with these details in a couple of times now, so I thought I’d put it on here for easy reference.

I started jogging 9 or so weeks ago, and decided to follow the Couch to 5K programme from Cool Running. With the exception of the week when I was on holiday, I’ve ran 3 days per week and this morning completed Week 8 Day 2. I ran for 28 minutes non-stop, and covered 4.1 kilometers.

One of the main helpers in my ability to do this have been the podcasts – I don’t have a watch that works at the moment, and the thought of pulling my phone out and second watching to work out when I should run and when I should walk (at least in the early weeks) held no appeal – so I’ve been using Robert Ullrey’s C25K Podcasts.

I’ve been using twitter to record my progress since Week 3 for both distance and feelings – you can take a look here.

By the end of next week I should be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping, and should be approaching that 5K mark. Now I just have to find a 5K race to compete in – the only runs I can find at the moment seem to be 8K or 10K which is somewhat out of my reach at the moment.