And, they’re off and running…

The 1st April saw the inaugural Verheul ‘Match’ in the Stablelove Sexarathon Series. Stablemates completed their solo ‘Matches’ over either 5k on the road or 5000m on the track. We had twenty-nine PBs, one man go sub 15’ (at altitude) and one woman go sub 17’ (this didn’t even qualify for the top ten).

General Puffball and I didn’t just pick the fastest times or the biggest PBs; we looked at each Stablemate’s ‘Match’ based on their current fitness against our predictions, extrinsic considerations—like work and family, etc—, injuries/sickness/and similar factors, weather, altitude, course profile, and each individual’s personal circumstances.

Let’s have a look at each of the top ten men and women and the special mentions…


1st – Riley Cook – Riley ran 14:47 solo at altitude. It wasn’t a PB (his PB is from years ago at college; Riley’s a 3:42 1500m Stablemate and he’s popped out a 2:16 marathon) but his time equates to about 14:15 at sea level and by any standards, running a solo ‘Match’ of that quality is outstanding. Throw in that last year Riley broke his back on a trampoline and suffered a life threatening illness (exertional rhabdomyolysis) and you can see why Riley comes out on top.

2nd – Padraig Sheahan – Padraig banged out his ‘Match’ on his 55th birthday and ran a 40” PB (17:40). After only joining The Stable three months ago, this is some serious improvement, add in running a 40” PB at 55 and Padraig deserves his second place ranking.

3rd – Matthew Maynard – Matthew ran an outstanding 3’06” PB of 17:57. Matthew spent the last five months training at Stazza’s Stable High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Kenya. He’s only been running around three years and was training for his marathon debut (Manchester) but like most races, Manchester was cancelled. Matthew’s marathon training suggested he’d debut with a 2:40—with some sharpening up, Matthew will take another two minutes off his 5k ‘Match’ time and go sub 16’.

4th – Andrew The Globetrotter Blake – Andrew blasted out his 5000m in Hong Kong’s sweltering heat and humidity—he ran a 38” PB and nipped under 17’ with a dive-at-the-line 16:59. Andrew spent the last few months zipping around the globe, avoiding coronona virus, skiing, and dabbling with the triathlon. His training targeted the London Marathon, so again, to run a huge PB over 5000m without specific work drops Andrew into fourth spot.

5th – Mark Steacy – Mark ran a stunning 1’06”, again, without any 5k specific training—Mark’s an ultra runner. So his 17:53 dinked him into fifth spot. Great to see the ultra runners tearing up the 5ks and running huge PBs.

6th – David Greene – David joined Stazza’s Stable nine months back. Since joining The Stable he’s reduced his marathon time from 2:57 down to 2:42. David continued his exceptional improvement with a zippy 16:20 and 24″ PB.

7th – Paul Moloney – Paul’s a 51’ 10 miler and 15:04 5k merchant. He joined The Stable in January and he’s transitioning across to the marathon. Although Paul didn’t run a PB in his ‘Match’, he ran an excellent, solo 15:15 off some heavy training. 

8th – Liam Lyons – Like Matthew, Liam was all set for Manchester. He was looking to take a good 15’ off his marathon PB and run around 2:42. So, off no specific 5k training, to run 17:05 and a 42″ PB, Liam makes the top ten.

9th – Ken Ince – Like Paul Moloney, Ken’s new to the Stable and his cheeky little solo 10” PB of 16:40 , brings him into the top ten too.

Three draw for 10th – Dr Jeremy Henrichs – Andrew McMahon, and Mark Cox.

World famous sports medicine physician, Dr Jeremy Henrichs has stopped working with the world’s best basketball players and is now helping in the fight against corona virus. He found time to drop out a 20:50, which was a 35” PB and that slam dunks him into tenth spot. 

Andrew McMahon – Andrew only joined Stazza’s Stable at the end of February and already he’s taken down many of his PBs. He ran an excellent ‘Match’ to drop out a 20″ PB of 17:30.

Ultra runner Mark Cox dropped the trail shoes and slipped on his super fast racing slippers to run 18:14—a 29” PB.

Special mentions (they get prizes along with 4 pts) go to…

Oisín Spillane 16:20 6″ PB (took a segment off General Puffball, and recently finished 7th in Irish Schools x/c champs).

Hyrum Johnson 16:29 (at altitude on the track, only 4 weeks back after a broken fibula).


1st – Cathy Sully – Cathy takes first place with a 42” PB and a ‘Match’ time of 21:18. While there were a good few women who ran faster, Cathy’s on her way back from an injury and to run such a substantial PB after an injury fires her into top spot.

2nd – Becky Smith – Even though Becky’s only been with The Stable a few months, she ran 18:46”—a 10” PB. But what makes Becky’s run stand out all the more is that she’s a supermom and works on the frontline fighting the corona virus. Although she’s had to tackle the stress of the corona virus and being a supermom, she still managed to get out and run a PB.

3rd – Dr Alissa Packer – Alissa’s goal was the Boston marathon, her training was going great and then Boston got cancelled due to the corona virus. Within days, Doctor Packer switched from dealing with General Practice work and turned her skills to helping her community in the fight against the corona virus. Even though her workload increased, she still managed to run 21:19 at altitude—a 23” PB—and exceeded her goal by 55″. 

4th – Gaynor ‘Glorious’ Watts – Gaynor’s an ultra runner, training for her first 24hr race and hoping to make the British team. She dropped the ultra running and turned in a 21:52—1’03” PB. Gaynor’s been running some heavy mileage weeks with long track runs (30-40 miles), and tempo efforts. To drop out a PB by over 1’, was a great effort.

5th – Eva E. – When Eva joined Stazza’s Stable we discovered she had a nasty injury, which kept her out for many months. Slowly, we’ve built her back up and she ran her first ever 5k in 22:39. A great performance after being out for so long.

6th – Ellen Hanley – Ellen’s on her way back from a long-term injury too. She ran two ‘Matches’: in her first ‘Match’, she ran a 15” PB but her watch played up and her time could not be counted. She reran her ‘Match’ and actually ran a legit 20” PB of 19’40”. 

7th – Sophie Carter – GB 100k runner and 2:48 marathon runner, Sophie ran 29:29 but, hold on…Sophie suffered with a bleeding nose during her ‘Match’, a pulled intercostal muscle, and completed her ‘Match’ while being six months pregnant—with twins. 

8th – Sonali Desai – Sonali joined Stazza’s Stable after a horrendous stress fracture. Slowly, we’ve brought Sonali back from the running graveyard and she completed her first ever ’5k’ in 27:59.

9th – Joy Miller – Irish Olympic marathon hopeful and US Olympic Trials Qualifier, Joy, jumped into the ‘Match’ spirit and ran 17:24. She ran her ‘Match’ around a small car park and during her run, her laces came undone (the first time ever in many years of running—the elites have all the best excuses).

10th – Tawny Bybee – another supermom and super talented runner. Tawny’s been ticking over recently (she’s about to jump into her next hard training block). Even though she hasn’t banged out many hard sessions, she still managed to run 18:04—at altitude

Special mentions (they get prizes along with 4 pts) go to…

Irish national marathon champ, Aoife Cooke, ran the fastest ‘Match’ (16:39) but still didn’t make the top ten. She gets a special mention, however, for her excellent ‘Match’ report and being a great inspiration. See here for her ‘Match’ report:

Ultra Trail Runner, Lorri Randle set off to do her ‘Match’ and halfway through her run a hiker stopped her. The hiker stopped Lorri to thank her and her family for making face masks for health professionals in the fight against the corona virus. Lorri and her clan of kids have put loads of time into making homemade masks to help in the ‘war’ against the corona virus. On behalf of Stazza’s Stable, thanks to Lorri and her family.

The prize winners will receive their prizes in the next few days. These are ‘special’ prizes and it’s important not to let anybody know what prize you won (you’ll understand when you receive your prize)…