Category Archives: David Gibson

Lakeland 50 (UTLD), Saturday, July 26, 2014

50 miles

David Gibson and Tom Reeves

The race briefing to this event stresses two unwritten rules. First, never refer to the race as “just the 50” (as many will know there is a 100 mile event as well)-it’s a tough event and an arduous route. Second, if you have a time in your mind –forget it. You never know what is going to happen out there so do not be disappointed.

Tom: I missed most of the briefing due to the overcrowding in the school haal and the heat which was already apparent even at this early part of the day.

The ability to follow instructions is something I struggle with-as my family will testify as I wrestled with building an IKEA desk for my son on the afternoon of my return from the race-so…

Usual milling around at the start, posse of Sunderland Strollers and a quick good luck to Tom. As we set off it soon became apparent that this was going to be a sweltering day and suffice to say that although the first 20 miles cover some beautiful Lakeland scenes-it felt like running in a desert (or doing the Coastal Run the previous week). By the time I hit Mardale Head and checkpoint two I was nervous that the next 30 miles were going to be a very unpleasant slog. Severe cramps (despite a ready supply of nuts, crisps and water) did not really help the negative mind set. Coming out of Kentmere –Checkpoint 3 –I met up with Tim. It was at this stage that rule 1 was broken. Tim was doing the 100 and had wanted to finish in 24 hours. It was not going to happen for him today but he was fighting on. Tom in previous reports has outlined the emotional rollercoaster of the 100 so there is no need to repeat it. Suffice to state-compared to the 100 –it is just the 50. Rule 1 broken.

Tom entering Ambleside flanked by his sons.

Tom: bumped into Dawn Metcalfe a DFR runner and chatted to her at the start line. She is a very good ultra runner as i would soon discover. The run to the first checkpoint was warm but manageble. The wheels satrted to come off for me big time on the trudge up Fusedale and then along the shore of Haweswater. By the time I reached Mardale Head i was finished interms of my hopes to break the 11 hr barrier. From now on it was going to be a long grind to the finish and finsihing was all i wanted to do. Dawn raced off after Mardale head never to be seen till the end when I eventually crawled in.

Into Ambleside and I started picking up the pace and felt fresh helped on by some kind words of encouragement from Joan and the lads. Lovely round of applause at The Wainwright pub and then a trot across the fells after the steps at Tilberthwaite. A jog to the finish and checked the watch – 1-2 minutes outside my intended goal. Rule 2 broken.

Tom: It was a long old run to Ambleside and it was nice to see the boys and Joan they gave me words of encouragemnt and told me Gibbo was only 10 minutes ahead of me. I hooked up with a couple of runners, one from Germany and one from Manchester and we finsihed the run together in the rain and the cold. Yes I’d gone from mild heatstroke to being chilled to the bones in the space of 10 hours. running in the mountains is not to be underestimated!

A quick debrief with Tom the following morning. In agreement that the conditions were tough and that perhaps we should stick to cross country. As I walked away I remembered I’d signed up for another 50 in October and no doubt Tom has similar, challenging plans in mind. Will we ever learn? Hopefully not …

Tom: That is it for me with the 50 and the 100. I feel I’ve done this enough times and it will be races anew next year. watch this space 🙂

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The Cumbrian Traverse, Monday, October 29, 2012

35m / 12,000' / 21 peaks

David Gibson

The Cumbrian Traverse is an ultra distance challenge ranging over some 35 miles and 12,000 feet of ascent, hitting 21 peaks starting in Broughton Mills and finishing at Keswick.

Travelling across with Tom and his family we were met by heavy rain and chilly conditions as we parked up in Keswick for a changeover of cars. As we travelled to Coniston to the Youth Hostel we were staying at, Tom and I were already considering alternative running routes for the following day. Comforted by sausage and mash, burgers and the Ginger Beard Ginger Ale (oh yes) we agreed that we would review the situation early morning.

Atmospheric or what ... ? After a 5.30 breakfast – and thanks to Joan for transporting us – we arrived at Broughton Mill Village Hall for a 6.45 start. The weather conditions had cleared and it stayed that way for the remainder of the day. Tom had done all the homework on routes and bearings (note to self: do a navigation course!) and we set off for our first peak: Great Stickle. Great views on the top and only 20 to go. We pushed on but running conditions were not great underfoot and I had a few ‘Bambi on Ice’ moments.

Fuelling is key on such events in preserving energy. The secret? Well, I don’t want to be guilty of indirect marketing, but Ginsters’ Beef Slices could well be the secret ingredient for future long distance running champions. I am not sure whether Mo Farah subscribes to this view – but he is missing a trick. Unfortunately, I also missed that trick and a combo of jelly babies and sausage roll just didn’t do it for me. I am sure we have all experienced that moment when you look at the next door neighbours plate and think ‘wish I had ordered that’ and seeing Tom demolishing his Ginster was one such moment.

Pie-loading on Cold Pike. By 16-17 miles I was flagging and holding Tom back but we pushed on. Some cloud covering the tops but on the whole some great views. Some scrambling down greasy rocks slowed us (me) down and the sight of a seven year old in wellies flying past me did not do much for my confidence.

And then we hit Great Gable or rather it hit me. A long hard slog to the top seemed to last longer than a trip to the dentists. However that was peak 15 so nearly there. Honister Pass was reached with still some daylight peaking through and then another long slog to Dale Head Tarn and High Spy. Maiden Moor was bagged in the dark and with head-torches on we managed to get running and moved along to Cat Bells. Carefully down and onto the tarmac, we agreed that fish and chips were well in order and they were dispatched with speed in the car.

It took us a very pedestrian 13 hours and I am sure Tom would rattle at least a few hours or so off that. For me it was tough and a reminder of how fell fit you must be in tackling such terrain. On saying that it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I would recommend the route to those seeking something a little different to organised events. The real joy was just pitching up and meeting the challenges as they came.

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London Marathon, Sunday, April 25, 2010

Three reports …

… first from Jane Ives:

Jane at the finish of her first marathon - well done! Firstly (and it has to be said!) what a fantastic race to do as a first marathon! A great buzz at Excel on Saturday and a great atmosphere in Greenwich as I walked to the start area. The forecast promised a hot day with high humidity and it did rain hard before the start. Had a slight technical hitch at the start when my Garmin wouldn’t work at all, so I calmly went with the low-tech ‘feel the pace’ approach!

It was a slow start and crowded and we had to slow to a walk 3 times in the first 6 miles, but I hit my planned pace (10 minute miles with the hope of finishing in around 4.30) and ran to it. Amazing amount of noise from the spectators through Greenwich – and a surreal moment at 4 miles when I had a quick chat with Princess Beatrice who was chained to 34 other people in a human caterpillar! Had a great boost seeing my brother in the crowd at 13 miles and was still on pace at 17 miles. I felt very tired around 18-19 miles and by this time it was very hot and humid, but after a bit of banana and lots of water found myself at 22 miles. Again a real boost seeing my hubby and friends in the crowd and found myself at 23 miles thinking ‘any fool can run 3 miles’! So I got my head down and ran – great to see Buckingham Palace and then I finished. The time on the clock was 4.39, and it was a while before I found out that my chip time was in fact 4.30:57. I am over the moon!

A big thank you to the club for the number in the first place (especially to Pam) and also thank you for all the support and encouragement especially to Denise, Susan, Debs, George and Allan.

Will I run another marathon – the answer has to be yes!

… and second from Andrew Thompson:

Andrew after just getting inside of fours hours - well done! It was a big thing to be part of London Marathon again and a big thank you to Pam for making it possible – she really went the extra mile when things looked bleak and for that I am very grateful.

I did this race last year and came unhinged at 20 miles, ending up walking and stumbling the rest of the race. This year it was personal – I didn’t want to go through that again. I planned to do the first half in 1hr 50 and continue that pace as far as possible in order to do the last few miles with a bit of a buffer to compensate any fall-out and get a sub-4 time. As the saying goes the opposite of a negative split is never a positive experience but I thought it my best chance.

Crowding was quite an issue this year, I tried to pick the pace up from the off but was constantly hampered, crossing half way at 1.56, leaving only a few minute safety net for any second half slow-down. Things felt good though and I noticed the spot at 20 miles where last year the wheels fell off but strode on past. At 22 things began to get really tough and I was worried I would have to stop and walk but I had trained hard for this exact moment over the last year and got through it – it was emotional! A bit of a chariots of fire style charge took place at 800 meters to go, and ended just short of 600 meters to go – I remember laughing at myself about that but not much else of the last kilometre along the mall.

I had a bit of a moment at the end, my clock stopped for a while in the middle and I wasn’t sure for how long so couldn’t be sure of my time. I was pretty sure though that I had gone past the 4 hour mark by a few seconds and was devastated, really couldn’t enjoy the end at all. I stumbled around for a bit trying to comprehend what had just not happened and after a while thought I’d just go to get the tube. I was asking directions from the info tent and got my official time while I was there, turns out I got 3.59.56. Funny the difference 1 second per hour makes, I celebrated with 2 scotch eggs and a warm beer, a happy boy again.

… and David Gibson adds:

The week before Tom and Geoff had introduced me to the joys of running up and down numerous fells and I must admit that this addiction has tempered my view of 26.2 miles of concrete. Although London Bridge is impressive it doesn’t beat trying to catch T and G going up Blencathra.

For me the London Marathon for all its corporate pizzazz and profile was about running through all the different communities that make up that crazy city, the drums and the singing in South London, the wide boys in the Docklands cheering you on, the little kids who stand by the sides with their orange pieces or jelly babies, the occasional Northern accent shouting “come on Elvet” as you creak past and the parent (or grandparent) getting their photo taken with their children on their knees holding their medal.

A recent TV programme recently exposed the failures of the event as a charitable exercise and this is understandable but as I listened to the stories about the woman who had had a lung transplant and was out there running or read on the back of a T shirt that the wearer was the youngest entrant and had diabetes, I just thought what a great community runners are and how much sheer bottle people put into their lives. For that it worth having to put up with the hype that just is London.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Tsegaye Kebede Ethiopia M 1 2:05:19
1* Liliya Shobukhova Russia F 1 2:22:00
2,784 David “Gibbo” Gibson MV40 582 3:18:21
5,228 Anna Seeley F 423 3:35:02
5,680 Fiona Shenton FV50 39 3:37:42
10,936 Andrew Thompson M 4,896 3:59:56
19,152 Jane Ives FV40 781 4:30:57

36,522 finishers.
*Elite Women’s race.

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