Author Archives: Donato

Heat, Hills and Hurt – Brighton Marathon 2017

Sometimes in life, things don’t quite goto plan.

Brighton Marathon 2017 was to be my latest marathon following my epic Boston Qualifier run in Frankfurt last October. Only my third marathon and also my runniversary Marathon as it would of been April 2016 when i completed my first marathon in Brighton.

Having been training so hard since Christmas eve 2016, with some amazing races in January, February and March, i was expecting to put in another new PB for my Marathon and continue my amazing running journey.

Sadly, within the first few strides of the marathon, an injury that i picked up during the Reading Half marathon in March hadn’t fully cleared, so ran the whole race in absolute pain, with many occasions wanting to quit. But something kept me going.

The only way I describe yesterday’s race was like driving with a flat tyre. The engine and bodywork was in great condition, but one tyre had blown and just could not get any speed without damaging the car itself.

The race for me was one of two halves.

The first 0.2 miles and the second 26 miles.

Whilst I started off with the 3hr pacesetter, literally within yards I felt my back and leg pain.

That was plan A out the window!

By the time I reached the mass start at mile 1, I felt like quitting and wait to fight another day.

But something inside me was carrying me. My usual speed had completely gone and every time I tried to push the speed the pain intensified.

That was plan B was out the window!

Then the hills and heat was kicking in and it was just a case of enjoying the ride. The Met office predicted morning temperature of 10 degrees topping out at 14 degrees. How wrong it could be! The start temperature of race was almost 14 degrees and by mid-day it was 21 degrees!

It was so fabulous to see Bridget and Launa supporting and giving me a shout out and oh so many amazing supporters shouting out Go Guru!

At mile 15 I had a young guy fly past me and shout Go Grunners! He really did put a big smile on my face. Clearly he must of seen one or two of my YouTube VLOGs!

At this point the pain was killing me and was seriously now wanting to stop.

The heat and pain was almost making me want to cry, but again I felt something inside me willing me on!

Only 11 more miles to go!

I was stopping at every water station and drinking what seemed gallons of water!

The last 2 miles was incredible. Massive crowds cheering us all on and with the last stretch with finish line in sight the crowd erupted as I was passing so I had to break out a dance, as you do!

Crossing the finish line was such a joy, never did I know that I could endure so much pain for so long, but i did and the victory was mine!

Whilst I did not get a PB and was way off the expected time based on my training and recent half marathon race results, it matters not.

Injuries happen and we can’t control the weather, but what matters is how we overcome these hurdles in life.

Below is the VLOG i filmed of the race day, but be warned it contains swearing and me saying it how it is and totally raw.

Hope you enjoy, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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Travelling, Running, Inspiring, People – T.R.I.P.

Travelling, running, inspiring, people.

Since i started running only a short while ago, i believe i have now found my mission in life. I may be 55 and very soon 56, so it may sound a bit late in life, but better late than never, eh?

All i want to do in life now is to continue to travel the world, running marathons and inspire people to be the best they can be.

Sounds simple?

Since my first marathon VLOG, it was then that i realised what an amazing positive impact i have on peoples lives. Whether they be runners, or non-runners.

In the past 20 months of running, my races, the training, the people, the travel, i have learnt so much about life and want to share that with as many people as possible.

I want your help?

I want to inspire 1 million people to come run with me between now and when i take part in this years New York City Marathon.

New York Marathon will be my first ever Marathon Major and is a seriously big deal for me. THE biggest Major in the world with 50,000 runners. So what better way of celebrating running this marathon than also knowing that we inspired 1 million people to join in with me also and be virtually running New York Marathon with me!

Want to join in?

Tweet/message me on Instagram or Twitter @RunGuruRun or Like my Facebook page.

Together, we can make the world a better place!


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Filed under General, Marathon

Lights, camera, action!

Lights, camera, action!

It’s not often i have been asked to appear on TV, but that’s what happened this week.

I will be appearing on Made In Birmingham sports round-up program on Monday 3rd April at 7pm GMT and will be talking about my running and my support for Hibbs Lupus Trust as part of the run up towards my next marathons at Brighton and New York.

Naturally i love talking about running and it’s great to talk about how i got started, the love i have for running and why i am supporting Hibbs Lupus Trust.

Whilst it may only be a local Midlands Channel, it will be available on live web stream on the link here, and also on catch up.

If you do live in the Midlands or have availability in your area for certain Freeview and Sky channels, it’s on the channel where BBC3 used to be. Make sense?

I have also set up my Just Giving page as part of my New York Marathon challenge, where you can make your generous donations for such a worthy cause.

In the recording studio with Gary James and John Hibbs

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Filed under General, Marathon

Pains, strains and immobilisation

Holy frustrations, i have an injury to deal with literally weeks before my next big race, the Brighton Marathon on 9th April.

I’m sure it has happened for a reason, but right now i feel very frustrated that i can’t go out and run and feeling anxious about losing my race pace and the possibility of not being able to run the race at all.

But i remain optimistic with 11 days to go, that with the correct rest, some trips to physio and some swimming i will be race ready by Sunday 9th April.

How this happened is a series of events that all contributed to me falling off the rails.

Being so new to running, i still have a lot to learn. Freezing to death waiting for a race to start is not a good idea, which is what happened at Reading half Marathon last week. So much for the weather forecast!

I guess one BIG lesson for me right now is patience and i think i need a bucket load right now!


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Filed under General, Marathon

Positive, humorous and inspires me to run!

Positive, humorous and inspires me to run. Not the kind of words i would associated with myself when i started running, or would of thought anyone would be saying about me!

Having only been running a short while, it still surprises me how much i inspire and motivate so many people from all sorts of backgrounds from around the world.

I often get private messages and some comment on my Social Media posts or YouTube VLOGs, but the other day i saw this on a blog post:

Here’s the link to a great vlog from the run guru, of Sunday’s race, which I’m excited to say I’m featured in!! If you don’t follow him on Instagram or youtube, go and do it now! He’s a really positive person, with a great sense of humor and really inspires me to run!

Unbeknown to me, when i collected my medal at the end of Reading Half Marathon last week, one of my Social media followers was one of the people i hugged and kissed!

Her name is Emma and you can read her full blog post of her experience at Reading Half Marathon “on the other side” here.

As you can imagine, having read her wonderful comments, it made me feel really good inside knowing that i have a daily positive impact in peoples lives.

Keep spreading the Guru love.

Below is the VLOG of the reading half where i fist met Emma, who then blogged about me.

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Filed under General, Half Marathon

Are you ready for your first marathon?

Are you one of the thousands who will be running your first ever marathon this spring?

In the coming months we have dozens of marathons coming up, including Manchester, Paris, Brighton, Boston, London, Belfast, Edinburgh to name just a few.

This time last year, i was coming to last few weeks of training for my first ever marathon at Brighton. I was filled with mixed emotions.

Part of me was thinking that having done the training, i just wanted to get on with it. Another part was scared. Very scared. I had never ran this kind of distance before and was not planning on running a marathon again. Could i finish?

Nothing that i say to you now, or any additional training that you do in last few weeks will have much of an impact for a first timer like i was.

But there is one gem, which i have heard many times and Brendan Foster told me at the Brighton marathon Expo last year and that was start SLOW. Now slow can be different speeds for everyone, so one persons slow could be another persons fast. So you need to decide what pace you will be running at.

As it is your first marathon, you are guaranteed a personal best (PB), so there is no need to stress over what time you will run the race. If you finish and think you could of run faster, you can always try another marathon!

Below is the VLOG i took of my first marathon. I recorded the day as i wanted a souvenir of me running a marathon as i was not planning on running anymore marathons.

I do hope you enjoy the VLOG and whatever happens on your first marathon, be sure to enjoy it!


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Reading Half Marathon 2017

On Sunday 19th March 2017, i ran my second Reading Half Marathon. Of all the half marathon races i have raced in, this is one of my favourites.

It’s one of my favourites for many reasons and here are a few reasons, why i love Reading Half marathon:

  1. Very well organised with easy access to and from start and finish with free buses from central Reading
  2. Massive turnout with approx 15,000 runners which makes it a great atmosphere
  3. Fabulous support around the course, which is a great help and motivation to keep us running
  4. Stadium finish at Madejski stadium, which is home of Reading FC and London Irish RFC.
  5. Epic bling and nice goodie bag
  6. Pacers in 5 minute intervals from 1hr 20mins

During this years race, most of my VLOG is interviewing some amazing people all running for different reasons and also one of the pacers organised by the race with the icing on the cake getting to meet Mr Madejski, Reading Lord Mayor and Iwan Thomas.

Hope you enjoy the VLOG below and please like and subscribe if you enjoy, as it means a lot to me. Thank you!

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How to run a sub 90 half marathon

If you have been reading my blogs for  a while, you may recall my last half marathon of the year last year was also my PB at the Keyworth Turkey Trot in December, where i ran as father Christmas and came in with an amazing time of 1:34 ish.

This year, i had my first half marathon at Hampton Court and second one a week later at Thorpe Park, with of which i came in sub 90, which i was soo thrilled about.

Hampton court was my fastest time so far at 1:25:40.

So how did i take off almost 10 minutes in just a couple of months? Will probably have to add some tips in my up coming book, Train Race Pizza.

The three magic ingredients!

See below the two VLOGs i had done for each race and they were both amazing!


Hope you enjoy, like and subscribe.

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Are you up for the challenge? #runwithguru

For those of you who have been following me from the beginning of my running journey will know that when I run, I run for fun.

Also, I had set myself a series of challenges over 5 years to celebrate my 55 years on this earth and that I am happy to be alive.

It’s called #55alive and the challenge is simply to get everyone to be more active.

In just a short period of time, many thousands have already been inspired to be more active, not just physically, but also mentally.

As part of one the challenges I want to run with as many people as possible.

I have already met many of you, ran with many of you and eat with many of you.

In my life so far, i have been fortunate enough to have travelled to over 30 countries around the world and met some amazing people.

I want to combine this years travelling and I want to run with you all, wherever you are in the world!

Who wants to join me on this challenge?


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Filed under 10k, General, Half Marathon, Marathon, Parkrun

What happens when the PB’s stop?

Personal Best (PB) or Personal Record (PR) is something that i see across social media for many runners. For some, it is all about PB’s.

But what happens when you stop achieving anymore PB’s?

For some people i see posts on social media of great disappointment. Some even stop running.

For me, whilst achieving a new PB is great, its not all about PB’s. I mainly run for fun and it helps me feel good.

Below is my latest VLOG from my first Half Marathon race of 2017, at the original Hampton Court Half Marathon.

Hope you enjoy!

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Filed under Half Marathon