Runners at the start of a race

Garstang Half Marathon, Sunday 3rd September 2023

Well what a weekend that was for the Toddie Masiff!

With half a dozen-ish Tod runners having a large one at Ben Nevis fell race, elite representation at Helvellyn Triathlon in the Lakes, Toddies were hard to find on the start line at the Garstang Half Marathon!

But first we had to get there. I think it’s fair to say that I was super hydrated for this race, first pee stop at Towneley followed by another one, pull over on the road and water the bushes before the M6. Then there was up the stairs pee stop number 3 at super posh, super cool wine and grocery Booths Supermarket when we arrived at Garstang. Big car park mate, .. freeby.

The start line was in the centre of Garstang with non-toddies everywhere and just three elite runners from Tod.

Ben Blosse
Mark Tempest
And me, Mark Anderton

I had deployed the secret tactics of the cold bath to aid recovery from both L’ boro 5K and an extended bike ride to the seaside. Not exactly Vim Hof, but my legs were considered to be, at least average as the Race Organiser counted down to set the boys rolling.

Not much news as the race started, with Ben going off full speed with Mark T gradually pulling away from me again and by the time I had run to Catterall, Claughton both Ben and Mark T were off up the road and into the sunset.

First Water Station, slow down, pick up cardboard water cup from marshall, empty water onto head.

From Claughton School onwards the scenery got prettier and the undulations (hills) more frequent and harder.

I did this race last year (it chucked it down) but then nothing pleasant happened until we got to mile nine, threshold running in a mid 20 degrees heat wave.

And then it got worst, the 3 hills enroute to mile 9/10 got steeper, so well into the red up the short hill kickers and then eat some competition on the steep downhills. Newton 3.

By the time I got to mile 11 I had to concede that I had pushed too hard on the downs, and yes I had a sprained my right ankle.

Run a bit.., walk a bit.. run a bit to the finish, ‘sprint’ onto the landing strip and over the finish line.

In the mean time Ben was sprinting, managing to win a one to one battle on the finish line and finished in 6th place out of 137, WOW!


Ben       M          ‘Pup’ category                            1: 29:48.   

Mark T  MV50     Really strong, consistent run    1: 36:46.

Mark A  MV60     5 mins slower than last year.    1: 44:22

By Mark Anderton

Helen TippingGarstang Half Marathon, Sunday 3rd September 2023