Monday, 7 October 2013

Just your average run....with Scott Jurek!!!!! *UPDATED*

So what would you do if your saw one of the greatest ultra runners in the world was not only in the UK, he was going for a fun run only a 45 minute train journey from your house?!

So I got up at 5am and stumbled myself to the train station by 6.
Arrived at Marble Arch at 7am and paced about a bit to keep warm and hope I was in the right place and it wasn't cancelled or something. You know how your brain gets when you are excited?!

I`m there on my own, 45 minutes early due to it being my only train choice with plenty of time for my mind to come up with every option of why he wouldn't show.

A few more people arrive and we cross the road and stand at Speakers Corner taking a wild guess that we are there for the same reason as we are all sporting our best t-shirts. I of course wouldn't do such a thing I just happened to pick up my gleaming, crisp, white NDW50 t-shirt *huh hum* moving swiftly on....

We have a nice chat and I`m pleasantly surprised to find a lot of the people there are sporting half marathon t-shirts so I ask how many are ultra runners (maybe a dumb question?)
So many people answered that they were working on it with a small smile but most were at around half marathon experience. Some of course were ultra folk and a few were pretty hardcore. One guy I was chatting too had been doing them for 7 years and was wearing his latest UTMB shirt. He even dropped back to watch me run to give me some tips on why my Hamstring and Achilles give me problems. The suggestion was to start doing one legged pistol squats to strengthen my left side as my left knee very slightly drops in. Other than that he said there is no problem with my form at all. WIN!!

Thanks Ewen (hope that's how you spell it)!! This is why I love Ultra folk!

Right just to backtrack a little....
Speakers Corner, about 20 people now and its getting close to 7:45am. 
Bang on time a group of about 30 runners with Scott in the middle come bopping up the path and join us.
Lots of pictures and autographs later and with gentle buzz of excitement we all set off at 8am.

The pace felt steady and comfortable. We were all chatting away and I was surprised to see that we were doing about 8:30 to 9 minute miles! Most of my training runs are about a minute a mile slower, guess it was the atmosphere helping us all along. It really showed me that I could step up my training over the winter and hopefully get a little quicker.
It was such a nice experience to just be among so many runners and not be racing. Just a group of people having a run with a top ultra runner. :D
Myself and Scott Jurek! Wow I look small ha ha ha!
Every couple of miles we would stop somewhere and pick up another small group and move on. People dropped in and out as some went to work, some had other commitments but all left with big smiles on their faces after exchanging goodbyes and waves with Scott.
Strangely enough I have never run around London before even though I live pretty close. It was so nice to be out so early and it felt more like an open bus tour as we ran around the popular tourist sites, before looping round and finishing off back in Hyde Park 7 miles later. 
We arrived at a coffee shop as people were running past taking part in the British Heart Foundation Hyde Park Run. Just to show the pure passion for the sport of running this man has regardless of distance, he clapped and whooped the runners as they came past then went back to chatting with the rest of us!
He then gave away some free stuff, signed things, posed for pictures and chatted with everyone that wanted to. Then came the idea that as I don't wear running shoes maybe he should sign my foot......then maybe get it tattooed, you know just for the laugh! :)
So I approached Scott and asked him if he thought it would be funny or well......just creepy! Thankfully he thought it would be funny and said that a guy he met once had one on his arm. So much to the amusement of everyone around this happened.... 
I have not managed to get an appointment with a tattooist yet but I shall do a quick post as soon as its done!
Ha ha ha nuts I know but its got to be done right?!
Scott Jurek signing my foot! :)

Ciao for now!


As promised folks here is the finished piece!


  1. Brilliant! sounds amazing Mark! I have a weak left leg and find I have to work the right harder lately as I have picked up few niggles here and there! Great read UltrLuke

  2. Thanks Luke! Yeah give those one leg pistol squats a go and see how you get on. I am starting them myself now! :)

  3. Brilliant, Mark- get that tattoo and I'll see you at your next centurion event

  4. Indeed you shall! :) Thanks for the comment!

  5. Hi Mark, I saw your story on Twitter and clicked through to realise that I ran next to you at the back of the group in the run with Scott. I was too shy to butt into your conversation, but I enjoyed hearing your plans for your ultras - best of luck with it all! And the tattoo looks great!

  6. Hi Kris thanks for checking out my blog and Twitter! Ah you should have said hi I`m nice really ha ha ha :) Did we chat at all along the way? Please feel free to ask me any questions on here or Twitter. Thanks again for checking me out and thanks for the luck! :)

  7. Nice one, what events are you doing over the coming months?

    Can't believe you do so many races in your sandals! Brill. Did you by any chance see Barefoot Ted in London last month?

  8. I missed BFT unfortunately :( Ive got nothing official planned for the rest of the year but maybe doing a birthday run on or around 13th December. 34 miles for 34 years :D Planning maybe checking out some of the Thames Path as my first race next year is the Thames Trot 50 in Feb. Im on the waiting list for my first 100, the Thames Path 100 in May. The last thing I have planned is the 24 hour Self Transcendence in Tooting in September. Lots of training to be done!

  9. Cool, I'm doing the Thames Trot 50 in Feb as well - will see you there! I'm going to leave it a year before stepping up to the 100 though... you're brave. That's an impressive schedule for 2014! All the best.

  10. Oh cool, we can have a natter then then! :) Well I just feel like I`m nearly ready for a 100 and I have another 6 months of training so all going well....
    Good luck with your training, if you have any questions or tips please get in touch!
    Happy running :D