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Blog: November Endurance Newsletter 2015

  • Posted: 28.11.2015
  • Author: Spencer Duval (GBR)
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Welcome to the England Athletics endurance newsletter for November 2015. This Saturday sees the Liverpool Cross Challenge incorporating the European Cross Country Championships Trials so I hope to see many of you there this weekend to cheer on and support your athletes. Most of the England Athletics endurance team responsible for the National Coach development Programme ( ) will be attending the event so if you want to find out more about the programme or just ask our team questions feel free to stop them and talk. They will be wearing the England Athletics kit so should be very visible.


The Area Coach Mentors team are:

Mark Brace covering the South West

Peter Mullervy covering the South

Jim Bennett covering East Anglia

Geoff James covering West Midlands

Aaron covering Yorkshire/Humbershire

Rob McKim covering North London


The National Coach Mentor team are:

Spencer Duval National Coach Mentor Lead

Neville Taylor covering the South

Andi Drake covering the North

Chris Jones covering the Midlands

Charlotte Fisher covering youth development.

TIMETABLES for the cross-country event are;

Race 1



U11 Boys and Girls

One short lap plus start and finish straights

Race 2



U13 Girls

One long lap plus start and finish straights

Race 3



U13 Boys

One long lap plus start and finish straights

Race 4



U15 Boys

One long lap plus start and finish straights

Race 5



U15 Girls

One long lap plus start and finish straights

Race 6



U17 Women and IAAF Junior Women (U20 on 31.12.15)

One short lap and one long lap plus start and finish straights

Race 7



U17 Men U17

Two long laps plus start and finish straights

Race 8



IAAF Junior Men (U20 on 31.12.15)

Two long laps with loop each lap plus start and finish straights

Race 9



Senior Women (includes U23 Women’s European Trial)

One short lap and two long laps with loop each long lap plus start and finish straights

Race 10



Senior Men (includes U23 Men’s European Trial)

Three long laps with loop each lap plus start and finish straights

For more info and course maps head over to the British Athletics website at


One of our Endurance team, Jenny Harris who was responsible for the youth development side has sadly decided to move on. She has been replaced by Charlotte Fisher ( ) who will be taking over from Jenny on the Youth development. A big thank you goes out to Jenny for all her hard work over the last five years. Charlotte is an experienced coach and has been working in the South West as a Club and Coach Support Officer, where she will continue her CCSO work and combine it with the National Coach Mentor youth development role.


Endurance running in universities:

Universities provide an important part of the athletics experience of many English endurance athletes – whether they study in the UK or overseas. Recognising coaches and athletes need information and support through this part of their career, David Lowes has undertaken the role of University Coordinator for Endurance.

Working in partnership with other members of England Athletics staff as appropriate, David will provide mentoring and guidance to the university athletics community including coaches, athletics team captains and athletes who are based overseas and in the UK.

His work will revolve around being a point of contact for this area and include offering advice to coaches, students and parents on educational opportunities, including those in the US and for athletes returning to the UK after periods of university education abroad. David will also work to identify universities in England that have scholarships or bursaries available for athletics.

In a pilot scheme to look at increasing participation and retention of student athletes and increasing performance he will also identify four universities in England which have strong potential for development. Working with the University club coaches he will mentor and support key University club individuals and coordinate activity between home based coaches and University support services.

Work will also be done to support university contacts in:

The development of clear targets for the club and communicating these to the club members at the beginning of the academic year

Linking the university contacts up with their local Area Coach Mentor (ACM) for support through that programme

Developing links to local club activities where suitable

Martin Rush, Head of England Athletics Coaching and Athlete Development said, "We all know that school to University and then University to work are two key transition points in many people’s lives. Giving a point of contact to help individuals make informed decisions is a key aim of David Lowes’ work. In addition, the pilot project to work with some Universities to support this transition and see if we can have an impact on performance and retention is something that we are keen to test."

David Lowes said, "Universities can provide environments with the facilities and a background set-up that help athletes develop their running. We want to work to support universities in making the best possible provision and help athletes make well well-informed decisions about where they should study. Whether athletes choose to study and train in the UK, US or elsewhere, good information is important to ensure athletes have realistic expectations and make the best choice for them. Supporting universities here will also help them in their work and provision for their athletes."



The Highgate 10,000m event (and Olympic trial) on Saturday 21st May 2016 will be holding a 10,000m seminar on the day of the race. There will be four highly talented and renowned former 10,000m runners available to offer a question and answer session. More information on this will come out as we get closer to the event.


Research reading:

An interesting read on Carbohydrates for training and competition can be found at


Registration benefits:

As an England Athletics registered athlete you can enjoy offers as detailed below including:

20% discount on kit from New Balance

special deals on Bupa products that can benefit you and your families

discounts with IHG Hotels if you are booking holidays or trips to events. You can enjoy discounts at hotels including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® and Staybridge Suites®.

See for more details.


Videos to watch:

Running Analysis: The Gait Cycle Made Simple


Mountain running:

England Athletics offers many opportunities for mountain runners and the section on our main site has been updated with the various international opportunities and championship events in 2016, go to for more details. Anne Buckley is the point of contact for this area and she can be contacted on if you want any more information relating to mountain running.

British Athletics also have opportunities for people interested in this side of the sport. Their Mountain Running Advisory Group has an opportunity for a new independent member/statistician to be part of their team:

British Athletics – Mountain Running Advisory Group

Independent member and statistician

The British Athletics (BA) Mountain Running Advisory Group (MRAG) has been established to provide advice and guidance to BA on matters regarding the international side of the sport, including and not limited to, having as its focus the optimum development of, and support for, mountain running and mountain runners in the UK.

Due to the retirement of the current post holder, BA are now looking to recruit a new independent member/statistician to join the group.

Key roles:

1. Selection meetings: Attend all selection meetings to play a key role, providing statistical information and acting as an independent observer of the meetings

2. Results : Keep aware of top UK athlete results in relevant events in order to report, assess potential and aid selection procedures.

3. BA Mountain Running Challenge :

Advise on structure of series races, scoring and prizes

Analyse race and series results, and post on BA Competitions website

Compile yearly summaries of results & prize winners for website posting

4. BA Competitions website : Provide updated information and results for inclusion on the mountain running section of the BA Competitions website; and liaise with UKA on website formats.

5. MRAG – Be an active member of MRAG in all discussions on the development of domestic and international mountain running and related issues

Skills / Requirements

Understanding of and interest in international mountain running

Used to working with committees

Ability to summarise and analyse results using relevant computer software

Ability to construct suitable formats for race series, scoring and prizes

Ability to comment and make judgements on athlete and team performances in order to contribute to selection procedures

Time Commitment

To attend three meetings a year and to keep results etc updated on an on going basis.

Anyone interested in the role and wanting to find out more about it can contact Sarah Rowell ( or the retiring post holder Brian Martin ( for further information on the role which is unpaid but expenses are met.

Applications in the form of a short (1 page) summary statement outlining your interest and skills for the post should be sent to K Forbes - by the end of December 2015


Ultra distance:

Recently an England team travelled to the Toronto Marathon, while not an ultra event (its not far enough!) the marathon opportunities can lead onto even longer distance races. The marathon, with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres, is only just less than 8km shorter than the first ultra event of 50Km. If you are a marathon coach or athlete the step up of another 8km shouldn’t prove too difficult to attempt… then you could find a whole new dimension to the endurance world.

It isn’t just about road running either as there are trail running ultra events for those who like off road running more. The governing body for ultra distance running can be found at

England Athletics works with British Athletics on events and teams for various ultra events throughout the year. The 2016 programme is currently being looked at but one notable date for your diary should be 27th March 2016:




Britain’s top ultra distance runners will converge on Perth (Scotland) at Easter weekend in 2016 for the annual running of the Anglo Celtic Plate, the home countries ultra distance international. The ACP as it is known is the only regular annual race in Great Britain over the internationally recognised ultra distance of 100km(62.2 miles)

The North inches park with its 2.381km loop on the banks of the historic River Tay will be the venue with the adjoining Bells sports centre acting as HQ.

Already teams from England, Wales and the home nation Scotland have committed to the event, and it is hoped teams from Ireland will be enticed to compete as well. There is also a simultaneously run open race at both 100k and 50k. It offers an opportunity for experienced and first time ultra runners to run one of the two classic recognized ultra distances, on an accurately certified course.

Entries are now open at ENTRY CENTRAL with full details of the race at the event website

The event was last held in Perth in 2013 when the champions were Ireland’s Dan Doherty who won in a time of 7:05:23 and Emily Gelder of Wales with 8:16:55.

2015 British Champion and Commonwealth games marathon runner Ross Houston has indicated that if he is fit, he may seek to retain the title he won in a stunning debut time of 6.43:35 when the event was held in Wales.

The recognition of 50km now as a major annual international championship event, will also add a bit of spice to the weekend. Both the 100km and 50km races will be key indicators for selection purposes for future Great Britain teams in 2016 and beyond.

Scottish Athletics CEO Nigel Holl, competed for Scotland in the ACP in 2004 recording 7:52:54.

"Having personal memories of the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km event (many moons ago now), I'm delighted to see the event heading once again back to Perth and Scotland. The City of Perth has been a tremendous host for Ultra running events in the past, and with the ‘ultra scene’ so vibrant, this is an opportune time for the event to return."

Race co-ordinator Adrian Stott said,

“We are delighted that our small committed team in the Sri Chinmoy Athletic club have been asked to stage the British Championships again. The Perth course has been proven to be conducive to good times and with the help of English, British and Scottish Athletics, The Road Runners Club and the vibrant Scottish ultra running community I am sure together we will put on a great event, We look forward to welcoming some of Britain’s top ultra runners to Perth again to contest the championships, and hope the open race will provide an opportunity for ultra runners from all over the country to run the classic 100km or 50km distances and that regular marathon runners will be tempted to try the shorter distance as a step up to ultra’s. The loop course at the North Inch also offers a great venue to watch an ultra race unfold ”

Further information on the event can be obtained from Adrian Stott

Information on selection policies for GB teams from Walter Hill or Spencer Duval;



The Coaching Transition from Home to University (14.11.15)


Detail: In this video Neville Taylor interviews Jon Bigg and Charlie Grice about the transition of moving from home to university, and how they handled the coaching challenges that this poses.

Will Benefit: Coaches.

Available: To all UK users or those outside the UK via login.



Spencer Duval

National Coach Mentor Lead- Endurance

England Athletics


The information provided in this Blog is used solely at the user's own risk. UK Athletics Limited and the individuals represented in this Blog have taken reasonable care to ensure that the information contained on it is accurate. However, no warranty or representation is given that the information and materials contained in this Blog are complete or free from errors or inaccuracies. To the extent permitted by applicable law, UK Athletics Limited accepts no liability for any loss or damages or expenses of any kind including without limitation compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, income or profit, loss of or damage to property, or claims by third parties how so ever arising in connection with your use of the Blog or the material contained within it. This exclusion of liability shall not apply to damages arising from death or personal injury caused by the negligence of UK Athletics Limited or any of its employees or agents.

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