Andy’s epic journey started with his first marathon at Manchester in 2001 with a time of just under 5 hours – respectable, considering, in Andy’s words “I’d had no proper training!”😕
Andy’s 2nd marathon – 2005 Blackpool (after joining Belle Vue Racers) 4:14
Hi. My name is Dee. I’m a Belle Vue Racer and want to tell you about my first marathon! Autumn 2004, I had been running for a while and I was determined to do my first marathon before my 40th birthday in June 2005, I just needed a few others to join me to give a bit of confidence. We had a cross country run at Heaton Park on the Saturday so I thought, I would ask Annie, Andy and Malcom, if they would do a marathon with me.
I was really excited about it but nervous at the same time. Annie said she had not done a marathon before and agreed to do it. I was reminded that it was not a Sunday jog and would need a lot of planning and serious training! Andy immediately said “I’m in!”
Malcom was in as well and suggested the Blackpool marathon which fitted in with my birthday in June 2005. My enthusiasm was catching! After 6 months hard graft and training I was ready. June 19th only happened to be the hottest day of the year, the heat was certainly on!
Annie remembers; “the start was delayed by 45 minutes as the water stations had been vandalised and there was not enough water on the course. Around mile 16 we met Alan who had come over to support and thankfully he had a couple of bottles of water which we drank – without those we probably wouldn’t have finished. Andy had a great tan after
We all managed to finish but what a day! There was no water stations and there were lots dropping out and fainting. I heard people say they would never do Blackpool marathon again! We could not compare as we were newbies at this sort of thing. Nice medal tho!
Andy, you are amazing, what an achievement! Only hope you don’t forget your first one with us on that very hot and thirsty day in sunny Blackpool!
Andy certainly got the bug! Not put off, and wanting to show off his tan, he competed in marathons all around the world. He’s getting faster too, Andy’s first sub 4 hour marathon was achieved at White Peak, Matlock (his 9th marathon) after forgetting to take his watch. With his quickest time being 3 hours 51 minutes at the Liverbird marathon in 2013.
Slowest time – Snowdon Trail 6:35 2016.
“Snowdonia marathon is always tough, regardless of the weather – it is at the end of October and is usually wet and windy but sometimes the beauty of the route shines through and it is stunning” Annie Hirsch.
Its understandable then, why Andy rates Snowdon as his favourite race, having completed it 8 times between 2001 and 2013 and he does love a challenge!
Manchester, 9 times!
Between 2001 and 2013 Andy completed 15 marathons. And in 2018 he completed his “Most in a year” with an incredible 24! When asked what was his most memorable race / run Andy recalls the Comrades Ultra Marathon, South Africa, 2014, just a 56 miler! An interesting event, Andy’s memories of this, the worlds oldest ultra marathon, can be found here: https://bellevueracers.com/2014/07/27/comrades-marathon-2014-56-miles/
Surely that counts as 2!?
100TH MARATHON – Grim up north’s Hubble bubble October 2020
Not quite to plan!… For Andy’s 100th, The Manchester Marathon, scheduled for April 2020, did not go ahead due to the pandemic!
Disappointment for all those who entered and planned to run with Andy in his milestone race. It wasn’t until October (when races were coming back on-line) that he joined the 100 Marathon Club with Grim Up North’s, Hubble Bubble.
Massive Congratulations Andy.
Christmas 2021 – It was a pleasure to welcome Andy and his family (thanks Sandra) to Belle Vue Racers festive social run, where we were able to present (belatedly) Andy with a trophy, commemorating his fantastic achievements.
The story continues with…. the return of Manchester, October 2021, Marathon number 108.
2022, already off to a good start, number 109 – Titus Trot at Saltaire in January, with what have become training runs for his next Marathon!….. 5th of March 2022, Slaithwaite……
Fantastic Andy, keep it going.