With focuses firmly set on winter training and plotting for glory in 2019, it’s easy to forget to pause for thought and reflect on the previous 12 months.
It’s important to take the time to celebrate success and realise the blood, sweat and tears were worth it in the end.
Success isn’t all plain sailing – on our journey of personal betterment, we’re challenged to overcome adversity, battle injury and illness and find our form.
We asked our ambassadors for their successes of 2018 – here’s what they said:
“I executed the perfect race strategy and managed to come home in 2:59:17 and knock off a huge 17 mins off my previous best.”
I started the year strong, getting myself back into running after my sciatic nerve issue in summer 2017. However, I was forced to take three weeks out for a pre stress issue in my soleus muscle in February. I got back into training but the London Marathon came at the wrong time and in the end the race was taken over by the hot conditions on the day. It turned out to be a smart race rather than a personal best race.
So I took a holiday, I came back refreshed and aimed to use the summer to re-build. I have always had the endurance on my side so the aim was to sharpen the speed, work on my nutrition and knock off training session by session and week by week. In turn, the training for Berlin was hands down some of the best running of my life. I fell in love with the run again and it was producing my best in the 5k, 10k and half marathons. Over 18 weeks of hard training came down to the middle Sunday at the Berlin Marathon, where I executed the perfect race strategy and managed to come home in 2:59:17 and knock off a huge 17 mins off my previous best. It was fitting that the race also marked the day the world record was smashed too!
This marathon enabled me to apply for my entry at the Boston Marathon, this is the final major I need to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors. Luckily my time was well under the cutoff and I received confirmation of my place 10 days later! So in April 2019 I will run my very first Boston Marathon and become a Six Star finisher.
Eloise Du Luart
“You don’t fail, you just learn.
2018 was my first full season racing as a professional triathlete and with it came a whole new appreciation for racing and striving for performance.
I am most proud of not being afraid to stand up against the ‘big girls’ and give everything I had in each race to learn about myself and what it takes to deliver at this level – and boy did I get a thrashing, but I embraced and needed it! You don’t fail, you just learn.
“Breaking the Outlaw Course record was an amazing achievement.
Without question my biggest successes for myself this year was placing 2nd female at Ironman Lanzarote, a race which I was very much looking forward to but also terrified of! Those mountains! Breaking the Outlaw Course record was also an amazing achievement and a huge success which i will always look back on and be very proud of.
“Mud, obstacles, neck deep water and hills in the pitch black of night was one way to overcome my fear and 30 miles later it was done!”
The 2018 London Marathon for me was not a success story unfortunately, at mile 25.5 I collapsed through heat exhaustion and ended up in the hospital for 24 hours. Good news is it was just from overcooking and the bad news was that I was on for a sub 3:20 finish…a 17 minute PB! Oh well, these happens and good news is I am here to tell the tale.
This experience unfortunately did make me nervous of running long distances but I putting it behind me I concentrated on taking on Europe’s Toughest Mudder. On overnight obstacle course consisting of 5 mile loops from 12am-8am. Mud, obstacles, neck deep water and hills in the pitch black of night was one way to overcome my fear and 30 miles later it was done! There have been several more races this year and they have all helped build my confidence of getting back into adventure races.
I think my biggest success this year was 8th Overall, 2nd in AG at Ironman Maastricht. Or 11th overall at Challenge Almere Middle Distance, with a 1:20 half marathon off the bike.
I’ve had a rough season with lots of misfortune. Punctures, two bike crashes, a broken toe, and I’ve just moved up an Age Group. So I wasn’t expecting much at all. I’d worked super hard all winter and early in the year to get some high quality training in but I’d thought I’d lost a lot of it with the break. It was nice to perform so well in races where I really wasn’t expecting anything.
I was just there to race hard and enjoy myself. Nice to come away with some positives from the season.
This year was a struggle for me really. I had a few injuries and a mid season illness. However, I’m still proud of making the Commonwealth Games England team and also helped the British team to 2nd in the mixed team relays World Series race in Nottingham and 4th in the rankings.
“Thinking my athletics career was over, to then discovering I could run again.”
Changing events from heptathlon to 400m hurdles. In doing so I have moved my life from Liverpool to train with a new coach for the 400H in Loughborough. It’s been a whirlwind, finding out I could never high jump again, thinking my athletics career was over, to then discovering I could run again, starting a new journey in the sport through a different event.
The training is so hard, so I am always making sure I’m recovering properly. I use SiS before throughout and after pretty much every session! Training is going really well and can’t wait for the outdoor season 2019.
Spending six months of the year injured was tough. However, overcoming that, building strength and finishing the year with 5k and 10k PBs has been the perfect way to see out 2018. I am proud of what I have achieved by working hard and staying focused.
After a disappointing performance in the hottest London Marathon on record, I am really proud that I set myself a tough goal to run 69 minutes for the half marathon and achieved this twice through a really consistent block of training. It is easy to lose focus when things don’t go your way but I have had a strong finish to the year and I can’t wait to carry that on into 2019 where I aim to run sub 2:25 for the Marathon.
As well as trying to run fast on the roads I have found a love of trails this year and completed my first two trail ultra marathons. I look forward to spending more time on the trails and in the mountains in 2019.