MAKE A WISH
32/ Qualify for Boston
Earning a place in the Boston Marathon is such a big deal that it comes with its own acronym, BQ, and even hitting the time isn’t a guarantee of entry; this year, qualifiers had to be two minutes, 28 seconds faster than the prescribed standard for their age group to be assured of a place.
33/ Slow-mo in St Andrews
Since 1981, runners setting foot on West Sands in St Andrews, Fife, have enjoyed recreating the opening scene from Chariots of Fire, complete with slow-mo running action, white outfits and tuneless rendition of the Vangelis theme tune. If you want company, join the 5K Chariots of Fire Beach Race on June 4 (runthedream.co.uk). Now in its seventh year, it attracts over 500 runners. And yes, they do play the music (better than the version in your head). If the east coast of Scotland is too much of a stretch, find a sandy beach closer to home. ‘Sand acts as a natural shock absorber because it compresses underfoot,’ says Daniel Ferris, a kinesiologist at the University of Michigan, US. Even with shoes on, running on sand demands 10-100 per cent more energy, depending on how soft it is, and the extra effort builds strength and endurance.
34/ Run your fastest mile
Many runners fall for the allure of running further, but swapping distance for speed can breathe new life into your regime and have knock-on benefits for your distance racing. Time yourself over four laps of a track, or take to the streets in the frantic dash of the City of London Mile (free, cityoflondonmile.co.uk). Club runners can take part in the Golden Stag Mile, held at London’s Allianz Stadium in July, while the Manchester Mile is also open to non-affiliated runners (manchesterharriers.co.uk) Did we miss anything? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
SCENE STEALERS The Chariots of Fire Beach Race 33