Farewell to a 2022 season of (mostly) road running….Part THREE…


In my 2022 review parts one (here) and two (here), I’d took you through my gradual progression in the first half of the year – getting stronger, fitter and increasing my endurance levels. In May, I’d belted out a couple of trail races, ran a 10km PB, survived a very testing long training weekend in the Brecon Beacons, then finished the month by achieving perhaps my greatest ever weekend of running in Edinburgh.

Mixing up the Terrain

I’d performed really well in the first half of 2022, felt strong and was injury free. I’d started mixing up the race and training routes by adding in my favourite terrain – trails! I continued this into June…

Date Event Distance (Miles) Time
01 June 2022 Astley Park Trail Series – Part 2/3 3.6 00:24:16
04 June 2022 Pendle Parkrun 3.1 00:20:57
04 June 2022 Kelbrook Fell race 3.6 00:28:36
12 June 2022 BMW Bradford Millenium Way Relay 10.5 01:32:50
25 June 2022 Brighton Trail Mazza 26.5 04:07:08
29 June 2022 Endmoor 10km 6.2 00:41:26
  • Astley Trail series (Race 2): I was gubbed from the epic Edinburgh Marathon Festival – having ran quick 5km, 10km and marathon times – then this tough wee trail race a few days later. Unsurprisingly I had jelly legs and was about 30 seconds slower than race 1.
  • Pendle Parkrun: What a test! Mixed terrain and with a real bugger of a wee hill at the end of each lap (two lap course). Think I finished third in a time of 20:57 – tells the tale of how tough the course is.
  • Kelbrook fell race: After Pendle Parkrun, I bolted back to the car and drove to nearby Kelbrook for it’s village fell race. Straight up a hill side and back down. So steep, I crawled up on hands and knees. Was really chuffed with my back-to-back tough hilly races on the day. Just a week after EMF.

  • BMW Bradford Relay: This is an annual 4-section relay race ran in pairs where various clubs (mostly fell clubs) face off around the Millenium Way trails near Bradford, stunning views. I was given the toughest first leg with our top club runner Alex C, I mostly kept up….

  • Brighton Trail Mazza: Was their inaugural trail mazza on the south downs, I’d thankfully had a couple of weeks of no racing and could enjoy the weekend. I took it steady and enjoyed every minute, highly recommended. Several beers afterwards with good friends. On fresh legs, you could really let rip on this undulating but not overly hilly course (3.2k feet of gain)

  • Endmoor 10km: A belting hilly road race on the outskirts of Kendal, Cumbria. Is the village where my pops lives, so had a few beers and crashed at his afterwards. Just a few days after Brighton trail mazza, but I felt surprisingly stronger the further I went.

June – The month where my legs mostly felt like jelly, however was also likely the month that created a new level going into the second half of the year. I was really pushing my strength, speed and endurance boundaries – avoiding injury and getting stronger…

Now to convert that strength into PBs

Most of my PBs were ran in 2018 and 2019, I’m 44 years old and had often wondered if I’d ‘peaked’. Over the next two months I ran by feel (flat out) at twelve races (if you include parkruns) over various distances – running four different PBs.

Date Event Distance (Miles) Time
02 July 2022 Lostock Hall 5km 3.1 00:18:35 PB
06 July 2022 Astley Park Trail Series – Part 3/3 3.6 00:23:17 CB
07 July 2022 Don Ashton Fell Race Tockholes 5.8 00:44:20
10 July 2022 Lancaster HM 13.1 01:28:17
23 July 2022 Clitheroe Parkrun 3.1 00:20:04
23 July 2022 Puddleducks 13km Trail Race 8 01:00:21
28 July 2022 Run Media City 10k 6.2 00:37:19 PB
07 Aug 2022 Riverside HM 13.1 01:24:05 PB
13 Aug 2022 Nobles (Conrhenny) Parkrun 3.1 00:20:14
14 Aug 2022 IoM Marathon 26.2 03:13:56
25 Aug 2022 Run Media City 10k 6.2 00:38:48
27 Aug 2022 Burnley Parkrun 3.1 00:18:42 PB

During July and August, again I tried to throw in the odd trail run to retain my quad/hammy/glute strength to serve me well on faster road races. I started July with a 5km PB at a local gun-timed raced (I didn’t even check my time, someone else told me – realised later it was a PB!).

The final part of the Astley Trail Series really helped build confidence, I was so much quicker than the previous two races and felt strong. I then ran a fell race near Darwen the next evening, followed by a sub-89 minute HM on the weekend. Three races within four days and I was performing well!

A couple of weeks later, having ran Clitheroe Parkrun and a 8 mile trail run back to back a few days prior, I ran a flat 10km at Media City in Salford. It was my first pancake flat course in ages, I absolutely nailed it! I took over 30 seconds off my prior 10km PB! COME ON! I was also starting to position fairly regularly in the top ten and winning the M40 age category now and again (aged 44…). This was starting to feel different to anything that had come before…

After taking a big chunk off my 10km PB, I went back to Lancaster for a HM I’d reccied a few weeks prior in 88.17. Coming back on fresh legs, I smashed my HM PB by 1.5 minutes and ran a NYC mazza GFA qualifying time of 84.05! 

The following weekend, our wee family took the ferry across to the IoM, to see friends we’d not seen in a while and visit Sophie (our goddaughter who we’d done the epic 2019 fundraiser in memory of, see my separate blogs for more on that…). I took on their parkrun and marathon, doing pretty well. The mazza was scorchio! An undulating two-lap course in 26c unshaded heat, I was over the moon with under 3.15 on that course!

We then shared our champagne prize (from the 2019 fundraising exploits) with Sophie at her memorial tree in Mooragh Park, Ramsay. Reuben has a wee taste and liked it – good lad! Think he enjoyed the swings more though…

I finished off August by pacing a friend to her first sub 40-min 10km and ran an all-time parkrun PB at Burnley! Whoop!

Now for the target races of the year – Berlin & Chicago

I went into Berlin in good form, in fact – the form of my life. Everything led to this race, for one race Dan – no chatting, no zig-zagging. Race Line, get that sub 3 hour marathon. Just f’ing do it!

Date Event Distance (Miles) Time
03 Sept 2022 Witton Parkrun 3.1 00:22:03
17 Sept 2022 Old Tram Mile 1 00:05:25 PB
18 Sept 2022 Fairhaven Flyer 10km 6.2 00:38:19

Berlin mazza 2022 was a strange experience. Maybe because there was pressure on getting a good time, maybe because Mrs P wasn’t with me nor any close drinking pals as per previous Berlin visits. I still had a few beers and met up with running folk, but it felt too….serious.

The good news – I ran sub 3. 2.59.25. Bad news – I was deflated at the finish, I’d focused so much on racing line and mile splits etc. I was mentally exhausted at the finish. I felt like crying but not in a good way, more an anti-climatic way. I love running by feel, not by watch. I love soaking up the atmosphere and getting high fives. This isn’t why I love running and it showed, it was a miserable run. I did the ‘once only’ thing of running purely for time and by watch, I’ll never do it again. Each to their own, but I’d lose all love for running if I ran like that ever again. I went straight to brewdog. NEXT!

Chicago baby!

Now this was more like it! A week with Mrs P and a few others. Lots of beers, sights and good (& bad) food. An early morning adventure run in sideways rain (see first pic below…) through the waves of Lake Michigan – this is why I love running, the purely child-like, go nuts, freedom of it. YES!

I ran the Abbott International Chicago 5km on the Saturday as hard as I could, 100% flat out. Felt sick almost bringing back up the previous evenings Jameson shots. I ran a BIG PB of 18.07 (finishing 55th, out of over 7000 runners). I loved it. We were the only runners who wore vests, it was freezing!

On to marathon Sunday! Wow it was unbelievable – perfect still cool conditions. Pacing my mate Stu who was going for his first sub 3. I managed to keep him on track up to 22 miles, then let him go. I eased off as just didn’t have it in my legs. I finished just outside 3 hours, chuffed to bits. Loved every minute of it, we took in the atmosphere. Sang Mr Brightside with some mexicans on route etc. What a great run.  It was only later in the pub that I realised I’d ran two huge Boston Qualifier times at Berlin and Chicago for my age category (10 mins under), Boston – I told you, I’m coming back for you!

Our small group all shed a tear when having to return back to the UK, Chicago 2022 – what a trip! One of those that you go in with folk you know a bit, and come back as friends – Mrs P, Gart, Rebecca, Stu – legends.  After Chicago I continued to run strong, smashing my 5-mile PB and going under 30 mins for the first time in Lytham! Here’s how September and October went…

Date Event Distance (Miles) Time
03 Sept 2022 Witton Parkrun 3.1 00:22:03
17 Sept 2022 Old Tram Mile 1 00:05:25 PB
18 Sept 2022 Fairhaven Flyer 10km 6.2 00:38:19
25 Sept 2022 Berlin Mazza 26.2 02:59:25 PB
01 Oct 2022 Hyndburn Parkrun 3.1 00:20:21
08 Oct 2022 Chicago 5km 3.1 00:18:07 PB
09 Oct 2022 Chicago Mazza 26.2 03:00:19 CB
15 Oct 2022 Preston Parkrun 3.1 00:19:40 CB
22 Oct 2022 Hyndburn Parkrun 3.1 00:20:04 CB
23 Oct 2022 Green Drive 5 5 00:29:39 PB
29 Oct 2022 Bolton Parkrun 3.1 00:19:56
30 Oct 2022 Accrington 10km 6.2 00:38:11

Phew!!! Was that it?!

I’d smashed my 1-mile, 5km, 5-mile, 10km, HM and mazza PBs. I still had a 10-miler PB target and a few other races…could I better my PBs further?

How did Nov and Dec go? How many races (including parkruns) did I run in 2022? How did the TRB business get on (events etc.)? What’s in store for Dan and TRB in 2023? Part four…the finale…will by with you on NYE