Sony World Photography Awards, here we come!

Stablemate “Killie” Chris Beattie shaved five seconds from his long-standing 13.1 mile PB at the Battersea Park Half-Marathon, clocking a fandabidozi 1:26:07. In not-so-typical winter training, Beattie was spotted basking on the beach, sipping cocktails alongside Coach Stazza at his luxury Caribbean crib:

“It was to recover from a chest infection!” he whimpered.

Rested and recovered, Beattie signed up for Battersea Park to see where his fitness was and to test out the “running by feel” philosophy espoused by Coach Stazza between many piña coladas. The Killie boy placed 66th/842 overall and 11th M40—what was in those cocktails?

The Stable News kicked Ally “the Chin” out his of bed and sent him to get the lowdown from his countryman: 

AS: A’right, Chrissy boy! Hope you’re doing better than your beloved Killie team, ha-ha. 

CB: Aye, anything would be better than that! 

AS: How was it, then? 

CB: I only really got running again at the end of Feb, and this race was just a test to see where my fitness was at. 

For the first time ever, I raced without looking at my watch until the very last stages. 

I am prone to negging myself out if I’m running slow, and I panic if I think I’m running too quick—as opposed to just running how I’m feeling. 

I haven’t done much mileage but have incorporated strength and conditioning twice a week and tried to watch my diet and drink a lot more water. 

I got to the start line late, so ended up running on my own the whole way. Just settled into a pace where I felt comfortable but still testing. 

With 7km to go, it started to get tough, and the countdown of km got slower and slower. I didn’t feel great at a couple of points, so just eased off the gas a bit instead of fighting, and soon I was back feeling strong. 

I first looked at my watch with 500-or-so metres to go and was very shocked to see I was in PB territory (which stood from 2019). 

I immediately picked up the pace, and that was the longest 500m of any race I’ve had. I would rarely sprint until 200m to go, but here I gunned it early and tried to hang on. My PB was 1:26:12, and as every stride passed, I couldn’t tell one way or the other if I was inside or outside. 

Crossed the line, and a photographer caught me stopping my watch the millisecond I finished. Fell to the floor, and when I got up, I saw it was 1:26:12. 😐 Not that it mattered too much, but what I had gone through in that 90 seconds was for nothing, lol?! 

Lucky enough, the official time was 1:26:07, and a five-second PB! Definitely think I can take a good bit off that this year once I get properly training but being watchless might be the way forward for me!

AS: Oof! What a way to get back into racing! You showed great pose and control, pulling back and listening to your body and then letting rip for the final stretch. Great stuff, bud. Anything else coming up? 

CB: Nothing soon, so I’ll be banking plenty of training. I’m doing the Big Half in London in September and then the Dublin Marathon in October. I’ll be praying to the Stazza marathon gods that sub-3 will come!

AS: Ha-ha, I’m sure it will, mate. Catch you later. 

Coach Stazza was about to take his morning cold plunge (it’s all the rage these days) when the News chimed in: “Oh, oh, oh … Ahh! Eee, Eh … Y-Y-Yes … I-I-I’m in … Th-That’s the hardest bit … G-G-Getting in. 
Now, about young Chris-tof-er’s rust-busting ruckus! After a two-week “recovery” sojourn, he has taken on board the wise words from The Stablemaster and clipped along without looking at the dreaded sundial … A fractional improvement, but we’ll take it. And there’s a load more to come off before the sub-3 in October!”