Rants and raves #8

**Disclaimer: this post was written while the author was suffering from Freshers’ Flu. As always, all rants, raves and opinions represent my own views. Other (far superior) less opinionated and negative running blogs are available**

Rave: Running Heroes #MyMileMatters

One of my favourite running sites – Running Heroes – works with organisations and brands to encourage and reward runners. To join visit Running Heroes, register your tracking device and start running. It’s really easy to use.

The site is really easy to use and I’ve successfully completed several challenges. While I’ve never been selected as a random prize winner, I remain optimistic.

The Sport Heroes Group recently launched #MyMileMatters – a fundraising initiative designed to raise money as well as build awareness of charity run initiatives among the running community. running-heroes

Once you’ve run at least one mile on six separate days you’ll enter a free draw to win £3,000 for your nominated charity and a holiday. All runs must be completed by 20th October and the draw will take place on 21st October.

Personally, I would rather win £3000 for charity than a voucher for a tub of healthy ice-cream.

Rant: Freshers’ flu

I’ve recently travelled on several trains and have found myself surrounded by people coughing, sneezing and spluttering. Last Sunday I visited the new library at Birmingham University. The library was full of students with coughs, colds and Freshers’ flu. After being surrounded by so many ill people, I knew that it was a matter of when and not if I got ill.

I started to feel unwell on Wednesday morning, and had to abandon my 35 minute run on Thursday. It’s now Saturday and I think the cold and flu medicine I’ve been taking is finally starting to work. I’m just relieved that I managed to complete all of my long training runs before I got ill and that my half marathon is not until next Sunday.

Rave: StrideBadge

I’ve always been slightly obsessed with collecting sew on badges, and was over the moon when I discovered that mother hadn’t discarded my collection of Brownies, Girl Guides, swimming, gymnastics and athletics badges. As you can imagine I was thrilled when I discovered the range of challenges that are rewarded with badges thanks to StrideBadge.


I particularly love the milestone challenge badges and will be treating myself to all five badges. Although the weekly challenge badges are definitely more challenging, I’ve already set myself the target of running 26.6 miles in a week so that I can earn a ‘Slam Dunk the Junk’ badge.

Rant: Leaves, conkers and acorns

Although autumn has and always will be my favourite season, I’m not such a fan of leaves, conkers and acorns. This week I’ve been reminded that while leaves lying on pavements may look pretty, they are very effective at disguising dog mess, uneven surfaces and other running hazards. They are also slippery when they are wet! However, fallen leaves aren’t the only autumnal hazard. I live in a nice area of Birmingham – there is such a thing – Four Oaks.


Rather predictably I get to run underneath loads and loads of oak trees. Personal experience has taught me that acorns can be quite painful – and frightening – when they land on your head. Acorns and conkers may look innocent, but they definitely represent a hazard to runners. Have you ever stood on an acorn or conker while you are running? Someone I know stood on a conker and ended up in A&E.

Rave: Karrimor running socks

As a runner who has been influenced by countless running trends, I’ve worn several brands and styles of running socks. When I recently cleared out some of my unwanted running gear, I discovered Nike, Adidas, Asics, Hilly, Bridgedale, X-Socks, Thorlo, Saucony and 2XU socks. The majority of these socks had failed the comfort test and had been discarded. There is nothing more irritating – in some cases quite literally – than running long distances in socks that are uncomfortable.


After wasting hundreds of pounds on over-priced ‘must-buy’ running socks, at the start of 2014 I spotted some Karrimor running socks in my local Sports Direct. The socks were on a two for £10 offer meaning that each pair cost £2.50. I’ve worn Karrimor socks throughout my half marathon training and haven’t had any blister sagas. Yesterday, I finally had to replace my original 2014 Karrimor socks. I’m hoping that my latest selection of cheap running socks last for two years.

Rant: the London Marathon ballot

My not so positive experience at this year’s London Marathon stopped me entering the ballot for the 2017 race. I’ve completed the London Marathon three times; I figured that I’ve had my turn. I follow loads of runners on social media, and I’m aware that people have been waiting for several months to hear if they were successful in the ballot.


Why does it take the organisers such a long time to let people know the results of the ballot? It doesn’t make much sense to me. The ballot for the Berlin Marathon closes on November 2nd and the results are circulated a few weeks later on November 30th. Waiting less than a month seems a lot more reasonable.

If you’ve reached the end of my latest random selection of rants and raves then I’m seriously impressed.

Apologies for the really random blog, hopefully my next post will actually feature some running.


4 thoughts on “Rants and raves #8

  1. Maria @ runningcupcake says:

    There is a funny meme about leaves- it’s a beautiful picture of an autumnal path covered in leaves, and it says something like “dog poo- it’s out there, but we don’t know where” or something.
    The London marathon just annoys me in general- I’ve never entered the ballot, and never say never but I can’t see myself doing it. You would think that once they have the entries in, it’s all done by computer anyway so should be far quicker.


    • Emma says:

      I think I can remember seeing that meme! I’ve done the London Marathon three times now, and unless I somehow get a GFA – very unlikely – I won’t be completing it a 4th time. I didn’t enjoy it this year. When I entered the ballot the first time in 2005 it took a lot more effort to actually enter. I had to track down a running store which had copies of the Marathon News magazine in stock, fill in the application form inside the magazine and post off my completed application form with a cheque. I knew that I’d been accepted for the 2006 London marathon when my cheque was cashed. Even with all the paper entry forms we found out the result of the ballot a lot faster. It also stopped people entering on a whim. The whole process has now turned into a bit of a fiasco.


  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    As a dog owner and runner I can proudly say I pick up all Alfie’s poo. I can’t stand it when other dog owner’s don’t do the same and give us a bad name. Hmph!
    The London Marathon likes to create this drama I think – the waiting and then the magazine rejection/acceptance. It creates such a buzz. It’s a bit like Apple when they don’t make enough of their product and so it creates this frenzy where people queue for hours and thereby promote the image of “YOU MUST BUY IT NOW QUICKLY”. I’m sure they could easily send out emails very quickly but this wouldn’t be the same I suppose. I’ve yet to run London but I hope to next year (I have a GFA place but it depends on how my marathon in Feb goes… I’m so injury prone I’ll probably defer).


    • Emma says:

      Although I struggle (I can’t stand the warmth or the smell!) I always clear up after my friend’s dog. I’ve actually seen people leave their dogs poo on the pavement, not cool and I would have said something if I wasn’t such a wimp.
      Yep, the London Marathon ballot has turned into a bit of a media circus. I’m just really relieved I ran it in 2006 and 2008 when getting a place through the ballot was a lot easier. I think they should bring back the old paper entry form system – it would definitely stop people entering on a whim. I also think the organisers should increase the number of places for running clubs. They reduced the number of places last year because such a large number of club runners were getting in with GFA times. I hope you do get to run London next year, I think it’s an event that every runner should experience at least once.


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