Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Running..... Stronger & Stronger

As I prepare to commence my enforced hiatus, I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank all of my friends and family who have stood by me and supported me over the past 3 years and 8 month. Rest assured I shall endure the current situation with dignity and courage, taking soils in the knowledge that I shall emerge stronger than ever before. I am looking forward to better times and beginning a normal life again.

Yours sincerely,

David Carruthers.

February 2010

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Thank You
From My Son James

Hi everyone

I know my Dad has kept most of you updated on my first half marathon adventure, and has on my behalf delivered a personal thanks to each of you for taking the time and donating generously to Leukaemia Research.
I’ve been so overwhelmed with the level of support from people who have never met or spoke to me that I felt compelled to write to you directly, primarily to say thank you once again, but also to let you know a little about how it went as your backing certainly proved an inspiration on race day.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is a city in the very north of England, some four to five hour drive from where I live in Birmingham. Famous for its fanatical football fans and notoriously cold weather, we were actually blessed with a beautifully sunny Sunday morning on which to run. I say blessed, the day benefitted pre and post from the sunshine, but it made the run even harder.
We were set off running from Newcastle towards South Shields on the east coast of England by the legendary rocker Sting. My friend actually high fived him on the way past the start line, something he was so excited about it probably took at least 5 minutes off his time through increased adrenaline. The first mile was quite electric, all the locals had come out in support of this annual tradition and they were vociferous in their support. We then crossed Newcastle’s most historic landmark, the Tyne Bridge, and running across that along with thousands of other runners is a picture that will live long in the memory. Beyond that, I don’t remember too much of the surrounding scenery or atmosphere. I very much had my head down and was running in my zone, trying to duck and weave through those moving more casually in front of me.
I didn’t have a wrist watch to consult, but I knew I was running at a consistent pace up to around 10 and a half miles. It was then that the heat began to take its toll and I could feel myself becoming weaker. The pace dropped and only picked back up again once we reached the coastline at around 12 miles. We hit a downward hill and the decline convinced my legs to move at a pace they had not experienced at any time before in the race. As I hung a left and started racing along the coastline on the final mile something urged me to keep with that pace, and I began to pound the pavement as if I had only just set out on an 800 metre run. For the first time since the bridge I was conscious of my surroundings, and again the home stretch crowd were cheering enthusiastically. As I crossed the line I felt exhaustion like I had never felt before, I lay on the grass and did not move for at least 20 minutes. My legs had no energy in them at all and my muscles simply did not work any longer, I had left everything I had to offer on the course. I was helped to a massage tent where gradually the power was brought back to my legs and I was able to walk off in search of my 3 friends who had all been running for the same worthy cause as I was.
I had no idea what my time was although I was sure it would be somewhere under 2 hours. I had signed up to an SMS alert service that would send my time to my mobile phone, and it was whilst stood with my friends at the post race rendezvous point that I received a message that told me I had completed the race in 1:38:48, a time that eclipsed my realistic expectations by at least 10 minutes and beat my optimistic ambition by 6 minutes and 12 seconds. The sense of achievement I experienced that day is something I have not felt since I graduated back in 2006.
But it was whilst replenishing energies at the Leukaemia Research charity tent after the race, surrounded by so many people who had all been running on behalf of the charity, I realised the real enormity of what we had achieved. Speaking to my 3 friends, we amassed over £2,500 for the charity (not to mention what the other thousand participants who ran on behalf of Leukaemia Research raised), quite an astonishing total for just four runners and for that you have all played a significant role. The personal achievement is nice but largely irrelevant, the support we can and have provided for this great organisation is the reason I am I am so personally grateful to you all, as is my friend who has such close links to the charity, and as are the good people at Leukaemia Research.

Sincerest thanks again

James Carruthers

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Running to the Limit – Can You?

I have exchanged a few e mails with Alex Vero over the last 18 months, his running was inspirational for me, and his achievements are extraordinary. I urge you to attend the film screening for “Running to the Limits” or buy the DVD. A preview of the movie can de seen at the following link

Documentary synopsis- Running to the Limits

What does it take to become an international marathon runner? In 1985, 102 British male runners ran under the elite time of 2 hours 20 minutes for the marathon, only 5 managed this same feat 20 years later. British male distance running had all but disappeared but why?
16 stone, obese, heavy drinking filmmaker Alex Vero goes on a journey to find out firsthand what it takes to become an international marathon runner and to explain the recent decline of British male marathon running.

Alex's inspirational story takes many twists and turns before becoming intertwined with former Ethiopian goat herder Mengsitu Abebe, and closer to home, recent Oxford graduate Ben Moreau - Britain's brightest hope for 2012 marathon success. Filmed over 3 years in 7 different countries all three runners push their bodies to the limits of human endurance as they find out if they've got what it takes to make the international grade. Documentary screeningRunning to the Limits - The Road to Beijing Project will be screened at the 310 seater Curzon Cinema in Mayfair on Wednesday 28th of October 2009. Pre-performance drinks will start from 7:30 pm in the cinema. The screening starts at 8:30 pm. I'll be giving a brief introduction to the documentary and then there will Q&A after the screening. For more information and to book your tickets please click here

Documentary background

Emerging from the murky darkness illuminated by flaming torches lining the cobbled streets of Rome, a solitary African figure appeared. He moved with such grace and poise that people stopped and watched in awe at his motion. He glided barefoot across the cobbled stones where only decades before Mussolini had inspected his troops prior to Italy’s invasion of his country. His name was Abebe Bikila, a sheep herder from Ethiopia; his name would become synomonous with Ethiopia’s struggle in triumphing over colonial suppression. He would be responsible for paving the way for future generations of young African distance runners and was only moments away from being crowned Africa’s first Olympic marathon champion in the 1960 Games.

Running in Africa has become a way of life. Stories of Bikila’s marathon success were not just associated with his supreme athletic ability and the accolade of being an Olympic champion, but more importantly putting Africa firmly on the sporting map. Today there are hundreds of top runners all striving to get to the top of their sport, all literally “hungry” for success and looking for a platform to a perceived “better life”. It is not just the trappings of a western lifestyle that are an incentive to these fiercely proud runners. Bikila’s marathon triumph instilled a sense of pride, comradeship and duty to his fellow Ethiopians which was born from the struggles of everyday life in a country that has been plagued by war and famine. In Ethiopia if you are a runner you are fabled as a national hero, walk down the street and people will rejoice in your name.

From the 60’s to the 90’s Britain dominated the sport of marathon running. It was a time when the likes of Bill Adcocks, Ron Hill, Mike Gratton, Steve Jones and Richard Nerurkar were household names; famed for regularly running times faster then 2 hours and 10 minutes. It inspired a generation of runners to get off the couch, tie up their running shoes and culminated in over 100 British male marathon runners running under the 2 hour 20 minute mark during one season in 1985, with the majority achieving these times in the London Marathon. This year’s London marathon was indicative of the decline of competitive marathon running in this country, with only 2 British male marathon runners finishing under this time.

This decline of competitive marathon running in the UK could be considered to be symptomatic of the society we live in today. Connections between easy living, obesity and the government's lack of funding for sporting initiatives in schools have all led to this decline and the desire to excel in sport. The documentary will explore the issues affecting marathon running including social, economic, cultural, psychological, physiological and genetic differences between UK and East African marathon runners.

Documentary - Screening

Running to the Limits - Documentary Screening - Curzon Cinema - Mayfair Wednesday 28th OctoberDrinks from 7:30pmScreening starting promptly at 8:30pm310 seats Tickets - £10* Only 160 seats left so book soon to avoid disapointment ** ALL TICKETS WILL BE HELD ON THE DOOR AT THE CINEMA *Purchase tickets through Pay PalPay Pal is a safe and secure on-line payment system

Alternative paymentPlease send a cheque toAlexander Vero 8 Dymock StreetLONDON SW7 3HAIf you are experiencing any difficulties paying on-line please contact me on 07747 032079.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Running Update – Racing Success

After reader feedback I have decided to spare the audience the grim grind of my daly workouts and only post a weekly summary.

Week ending Sunday 19th July

I had 8 run’s, a total of 71 miles, a very solid week with an 18 mile long run on the Sunday, these base (high) millage weeks are like energy in the bank for the last 6 miles on my next marathon. I have a track meeting next weekend, the Show Me State Games in Columbia Missouri, looking to have some fun and see how fast I can go, this will be my last track race of the season.

Week ending Sunday 26th July

I had 8 run’s, 3 races and a total of 49 miles, a short week because of the taper to race on Saturday and Sunday. I will count this week as a down week, however, the way my body feels today, I am not so sure it was a down week! The Show Me State Games event was fantastic, I ran very well and I am happy with my performance and progress. Saturday night: 1500 meters, I ran 4:41, a winning performance and recording a State record for my age category 50-54. Sunday morning: 800 meters I ran 2:19, a winning performance and just missing out on a record by 0.3 seconds! I also ran the lead off leg in a winning 4 X 400 team with a split of 0:58!! That is fast for a 51 year old, may even have won the US Nationals age 50-54 in the 400 meters event.

I have to say it "is nice to enter the record books in Missouri for some good reasons".

David Carruthers 27th July 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yes You Can - You Can Help?

The idea of my son (James) running 13.1 miles with a football within 3 inches of his foot is something anyone who knows him could understand and would be confident of his success, however, the thought of James running a half marathon just for the race itself, well that’s another question. So what’s the motivation for him to put himself through training torture with me as his coach and then commit to running 13.1 miles, come rain, hail or shine?

James is a fit, healthy young man, however, he has been in the position of seeing his friend of over 20 years, Jonjo Rooney, fight a battle for his life and win! Yes, win the fight against leukemia. The pair of them decided to celebrate Jonjo’s triumph and at the same time give something back to the charity which supported Jonjo so well in his fight for life, a life saved by a bone marrow transplant and successful recovery. They will celebrate by running The Great North Run, 13.1 miles between Newcastle and Sunderland on September 20th and raise some much needed cash for the Leukemia Research charity.

I know times are tough, but every small amount makes a big difference, you can help by donating as little as $5. Just log onto James’ page at

Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure, and if you’re a UK taxpayer don't forget to agree to gift aid which will result in a greater donation at no extra cost to yourselves.
Any contribution made is significant and will be gratefully received. On behalf of James, may I extend a big thank you for your generosity and support for my son and his friend and the good people at Leukemia Research.

David Carruthers 22nd July 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

9 Weeks to Lewis and Clark Marathon!

David Carruthers Training Log 6th July – 12th July

Monday: AM Easy recovery run 4 miles indoors average 7:30 per mile. PM Easy run 10 miles solo through the Park up Forsyth and back, it was cooler and nice, felt great with splits of: 7:31, 7:33, 7:12, 7:25, 7:13, 7:11, 6:55, 6:64, 6:25, 6:23. Nice run and a great start to the week, giving me 14 miles on the day.

Tuesday: AM 4 miles easy on the grass, my legs needed it! I could struggle tonight in my speed workout? PM Speed workout, 2 miles up, 5 X 1000M with 400M jog interval, splits: 3:23, 3:23, 3:20, 3:20, 3:23. I finished with 2 miles down, a great workout, giving me 12 miles on the day.

Wednesday: AM Rest & Recovery, last night’s workout was awesome and it is nice to have the morning off. PM Track Club Pace Series, 3 miles up, 2 miles pace race 2 miles add on with 3 mile down, splits 7:53, 7:12 7:03, 6:48, 6:48, 7:49, 6:38, 7:34, 7:04 7:04 on a warm humid evening, giving me 10 miles on the day.

Thursday: AM Rest & recovery. PM Rest & recovery.

Friday: AM Easy run 2 miles up 10 X 150M with 150M jog interval, 2.5 miles down, feeling good. PM Easy run 6 miles, solo in the Park, splits: 8:11, 7:23, 7:13, 7:06, 6:53, 6:25, average 7:12 per mile, hot and humid, giving me 12 miles on the day.

Saturday: AM Easy run 4 miles solo in the park in heavy rain, finished with 12 X 75M striders and 10 X 75M drills. PM: Rest & recovery, giving me 5 miles on the day.

Sunday: AM All Star 5K Race, 1 mile shake out, 2 miles up, 5K race, 2 miles down. It was humid as hell and a hilly course on Downtown St Louis, 8000 runners so the atmosphere was great, I was on my race plan at 1 mile but struggling, hung on in mile 2 and came back stronger in mile 3, not a great time 19:27 but good enough to win my age group (50-54) by over 1 min. PM Easy run indoors on the tread mill, 8 miles average 7:30 min per mile, just trying to hit my mileage target for the week, 16 miles on the day.

Summary: 69 miles, 10 runs, 1 race: a tough week of work, I did not get the conditions to go for that 5K PR but will next time for sure. Now I have 9 weeks to go to Lewis and Clark Marathon and if I stay healthy I should run very well. No racing next week but my miles target is huge at 80 for the week!

David Carruthers 13th July 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

David Carruthers Training Log 30th June – 5th July

Monday: AM Easy recovery run 9 miles solo in the park a loop ++ I was stiff as hell for the first 3 miles but settled in ok, the weather has improved dome 10 degrees! Averaged 7:19 per mile today PM Rest recovery as part of my race taper plan for Saturday. Giving me 9 miles for the day.

Tuesday: AM Rest & recovery as part of my race taper plan for Saturday. PM Speed workout, 2 miles up, a cut down ladder 1200, 1000, 800, 400 200, with half distance jog interval, splits 4:08, 3:22, 2:37, 1:11 and 0:30, 2 miles down, a very nice work out, it was 95 degrees! Giving me 7 miles on the day.

Wednesday AM: Rest & Recovery, last nights workout was awesome and I feel great. PM Track Club Pace Series, 3 miles up, 2.5miles pace race in 15:38 average 6:15 per mile, 2.5 miles add on with 2 mile down. Giving me 10 miles on the day.

Thursday: AM Rest & recovery. PM ran 2 miles up 10 X 150 with 150 jog back at ¾ pace, 2 miles down. Giving me 6 miles on the day.

Friday: AM Ran 4 miles easy, average 7:30 per mile with add on strides and drills. PM Rest & recovery.

Saturday: AM 1 mile shake out, 2 miles up 1 mile race Mackland Mile I ran a PR in 4:58, Splits 72, 79, 76, 71, 2 miles down. Won my age group and have secured the win in the South City Road Series. Very, Very happy with the PR, the conditions were tough with torrential rain, but the shorts brought a few smiles from the crowd! PM Rest & recovery.

Sunday: AM Took the day off and will call this week a down week, I earned the rest!

Summary: 42 miles, 6 runs, 1 PR and a race win! A great week, I am planning a fast 5K next Sunday in the All Star 5K and my last track racing of the year the following weekend, then it will be all about the Lewis and Clark Marathon on September 13th

David Carruthers 6th July 2009