Feature in Outdoor Fitness magazine – my Beachy Head Marathon

I wrote a feature about my prep for the Beachy Head marathon and my experience of the race, published in this month’s (Jan 2013) Outdoor Fitness magazine.

The feature is no 4 in a series – ‘Leave your comfort zone’ – about people who achieved something they thought impossible.  Of course, I no longer think that and will definitely be repeating it next year and working for a faster time!  The hilarious headline and captions are the magazine sub’s work – the rest is mine.

Oh, I did have a line about finding a dead Kestrel on the Seven Sisters.  It was freshly killed by another bird of prey and its neck was broken.   The body copy was either too long, or this reference was deemed a tad too poetic for an account of an endurance test, so that’s not there any more.

Beachy Head Marathon

Beachy Head Marathon start


About Alistair Siddons

I'm a London-based runner interested in getting the best out of my mind and body. I'm keen to read about what motivates others at all levels of the sport and practice of running.
This entry was posted in Beachy Head, Long runs, Marathon, Pulmonary embolism, Trail running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Feature in Outdoor Fitness magazine – my Beachy Head Marathon

  1. Congrats Alistair – looks fantastic and thoroughly deserved! Keep in touch contact@jamescarnegie.co.uk

  2. Hi Alistair – just read the article and I am very impressed with your motivation and commitment – I’ve run a couple of flat marathons and I know the effort involved so Beachy Head is all the more impressive. In your article you briefly mention you avoided spinal fusion – my wife is considering it but I am not convinced – how did you get from that position where it was a possibility to where you are today without the surgery – clearly you are a huge advert for hard work and effort but what really helped you with your back (if you don’t mind me asking).
    Neil Buchanan (52 year old Edinburgh runner)

    • Hello Neil and thanks for your positive comments.
      Spinal fusion: every case is different of course but I would avoid at all costs for as long as possible. At the time I had pain from a pars fracture plus slight slippage plus some disc compression and dehydration – these last two obviously irreversible, so how did I get to where I am now?

      I started core stability exercises under direction of a physio initially . At the time, I did this with disdain as I thought I had a good core from climbing overhanging walls. Turns out not. It took several months to understand the exercises and properly recruit the muscles and the progression since has been incremental over years! I am still learning more and more advanced versions of the main core exercises.

      Beginners often confuse core exercises with abdominal exercises. Some are, but it is more useful to conceptualise a group of muscles that connect and allow the transference of power between upper and lower body, or stabilise the body during complex movements.

      Hope this is of help.

      • Many thanks – my wife likes your thinking and is really starting to accept that she should avoid the surgery if possible – she’s not chasing a marathon, just less pain and more flexibility – thanks for offering a great example of what’s possible and good luck with a Beachy Head PB in 2013 !!

      • Good stuff Neil. Very best of luck for your wife’s recovery.
        Yes, I’ll hopefully be posting about an improved Beachy Head Marathon time next autumn!

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