• Wednesday, July 27, 2011
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Self portrait on six

Sometimes you don't feel like running. I shrug off the apathy like a tramps blanket and run. I smash through the first three miles and attack two decent climbs with a ferocity that surprises me. I think this is how it must feel for the elites, I am fast (for me) and strong. I soar. After 3.5 miles I have to stop, the sole of my Vibrams has been pierced by a thin shard of metal, I pluck it out and hope it is not the tip of a needle. Resuming my pace is easier but my run still sublime. When I get home I stretch out and lie on the upstairs landing and meditate. My meditation leads me to the garden where I rehydrate with a glass of sweet white wine. Love running.

Lavender fields forever

  • Sunday, July 24, 2011
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It's Sunday and that arch schemer Jerry has facebooked about the possibility of a Downland run to look at the lavender fields. I'm not turned on by lavender but I do love running in North Kent. It is a beautiful morning that demands a run under clear blue Kent skies. He collects me early, we pick up Sabina and drive to Shoreham. In the car Sabina and I are regaled with wild tales of mysterious military establishments, secret military junctions on the M25 and weeping Spanish ghosts. We run along the river taking in the tranquil beauty of the area, climb a 40 degree hill, sprint through a rifle range and cross a golf course. I attempt to crush Sabina in a gate but fail. We smell lavender and see it in the distance. It does look lovely, a bright purple bruise against the hillside, Lavender is slowly replacing the more traditional hop crop, the purpleness being more lucrative.  We reach Eynsford and run past Lullingstone, looping back to Shoreham. We are shown a torturous and confusing "shortcut" to Sabina's house on the car journey home.

monsoon running

On Thursday Jerry phones me from his central London office. " I'm looking out my window and it's a monsoon out there, fancy a wet, muddy trail run?" I answer in the affirmative and we set a time and rendezvous. In the 'burbs it hasn't yet started raining but thanks to Jerry I know that the mother of all downpours is on it's way. I briefly consider whether to run in cross country studs but keep the faith with Vibrams and my awesome minimalist running form. I dress in my bright yellow waterproof jacket, the one with the double taped seams and set off. We meet and we run. And we run. And we run. We wait for rain, stopping from time to time to cast hopeful glances skyward but none comes. I perform a rain dance. No rain. We create our own micro climates in our jackets, after nearly ten miles we are drenched with sweat, when we stop puddles form at our feet. Funny place London.

I have a decent working knowledge of physiology and bio mechanics

  • Thursday, July 14, 2011
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I have a decent working knowledge of physiology and bio mechanics yet still don't always understand how the body works. I am in a particularly fine phase in my running life at the moment, I'm fit and fluid. Tuesday evening is the weekly club run and I set off feeling good, I run strong at the front of the pack and I'm comfortable there. I even feel that I'm pulling the group along at one point. However after five miles I start to tighten up, I can feel it in my lower back and hips. After seven miles I leave the group run and cut for home. I sleep light and restless that night waking several times, my legs sore and stiff.
Why is this? I have run further recently and in hotter times of the day and had no adverse reaction. From time to time I seem to get this and it does seem to relate to my lower back.
On the plus side, since I switched from conventional shoes to minimalist shoes my recovery is swift, by lunchtime on Wednesday my legs are fine. Three years ago I would have been sidelined for days.

We had the awesome Tim Prendergast at school this morning

  • Tuesday, July 05, 2011
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We had the awesome Tim Prendergast at school this morning. This was Tims second visit - I think we have adopted him as our own and hope that he wins the Paralympic 1500 gold in London 2012. It's great to meet such a decent, likeable and humble guy who always finds time to talk to everyone. I've added the Sport England bio of Tim below.

Tim Prendergast

‘Make your dreams more than a vision’.


Paralympian - runner

Favourite quote

‘Make your dreams more than a vision’.


I have been into sport from a young age. At eight years of age I started losing 95% of my vision and sports like cricket and football became difficult. I discovered that running was a sport I could still participate in and despite finishing last in my first competitive race I picked myself up, trained hard and progressed in my running career to the point of representing my home country, New Zealand at three Paralympic Games.

Who is your role model?

Roger Banister - the first man to break four minutes for the mile.

Who was your biggest influence?

My parents when I was young always drove me to training races and would come and watch me at the big events. My training partner Ben Ruthe who is a huge inspiration and motivating influence. My coach who has been my coach for 16 years and all the inspirational athletes I have met throughout my career.

What is your proudest moment?

Winning Gold at the Athens Paralympic Games. The Gold in Athens came after a rough first race in the 1500 metres. I was so satisfied to bounce back and win the Gold after that disappointment. Proudest moment ever!!

What is your tip for young people wanting to take part in sport?

Enjoy your sport first and foremost.

What is your favourite food?


What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Once of the best pieces of advice I have been given was someone once told me that ‘limits are in the mind of those that set them’. I take this on board with my training and racing and know that I can strive to be the best and if I don’t achieve my dream I know I haven’t put barriers up to prevent this from happening, rather I have given it everything.

Competitive results

  • Team captain at Beijing Paralympics 2008.
  • Gold/Silver World Blind Games 2007.
  • IPC World Athletics Champs 2 Silvers 2006.
  • IPC World Indoor Champs Gold 2006.
  • Athens Paralympics Gold 2004.
  • Sydney Paralympics 2 Silvers 2000.

with a large bottle of cold ale

  • Sunday, July 03, 2011
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Today my body is in love with running. My mind, so often full of clear swirling thoughts and word pictures is chaotic and scrambled. Today nothing suggests but my run is still superb. I am so relaxed and energised that I want to run forever. I clamber over railway bridges and run along the trails in the bright mid morning sun, I run through four different woods and finish with one bastard hill. Afterwards I sit shirtless in the sun with a large bottle of cold ale. There was nothing profound about my run today apart from the purity and simplicity of the act itself - and that is profundity enough.