Hall of Fame – Stephen McAllister

Next up in the HoF for MKLR is all round amazing runner and great club member Stephen. We’ll get onto his version of events next, but the reasons he’s nominated and in the HoF is simply no one else has completed, or even thought about trying, some of the events he has…

In his own words;

What started the running

Like all good stories it starts in the pub with a few old friends.

My friend Sari was telling us about a half marathon she doing in Folkstone and how it would be a cake walk for someone like me. First life lesson never trust a Fin. After a few pints she signed me and few others up to run. With no training, no running gear and a hangover I stumbled into my first half marathon. You can guess how it went, a full sprint for the first few miles, followed by the steady decline and then the inevitable collapse at the finish.

Not deterred I thought I’d giving running a second chance and then started training and taking it serious to see what difference it would make.

After a couple of years on half marathons I jumped to marathons and again naively thought you just maintain a half pace but double the distance.  

When did you join MKLR

My 2nd attempt at a marathon fairly slightly better, although I made the mistake of knocking back a Full English an hour before the start and suffered. Having moved to Milton Keynes for work I noticed the number of club runners around who made it look easy. After a bit of digging I had the choice between David Lloyd, Shenley Striders and Lakeside Runners, I went for Lakeside as the timings worked best for me.

After an initial session with the early group I was given the hint to try out the motley late group. From there I meet, Andy, Chris, Dionne and under their guidance I was given the structure to help build up to marathons and beyond. Soon after I was knocking down the times and eating up the mileage.

After another pub session listening to lads talk about Lakeland 50 and a few pints in I convinced myself to go for the full hog and sign up to Lakeland 100. After reading the small print that said you need to be a proven runner ie have at least a 50miler under your belt, I quickly hashed out a training plan, bought the cheapest running kit from China and found a 50miler to do right away. (Somehow I didn’t read the print that said point-to-point and that I would be 50miles away from my car when I finished.) Andy Gower can testify to my prep for Greensands Ridge Relay and my lack of navigation, backpack, map, food, water etc and no means getting back to my car. Anyway my first 50miles was a beast of day and I just bullied another runner to finish as he promised to buy me a train ticket back to Salisbury.

From then on I stepped up to 100km over the dales, 100milers over the lakes, running the length of Wales right through 250+ miles of endless canal running and beyond. Right now I’m just exploring new races, challenges and will eventually get my head down and take a race seriously.

Favourite race

KODR (King Offa Dyke Race) 188mile run from the South coast to North Coast of Wales. This race was a great adventure, fantastic scenery, testing under foot as you needed your wits and a good strategy to handle not breaking down midway through.

Second favourite race was the piece of string fun run. Just because you didn’t know whether it was 5km or 150miles to run. The unknown aspects meant you’d just go with the flow and see where it took you.

Longest run

To date my longest run has been the TR250 (Thames Ring 250) – If you ever want to explore the main canals of the UK, have a go at the Thames Ring. I joke each year that I won’t run on a canal again but sure enough I seem to always sneak in a long canal race.

Running Stats

Running Stats Distance Time (PB’s)
5km 17:38
10km 36:47
Half 01:26
Marathon 02:58
100km 11:37:00
86miles 19:55:00
100miles 20:45:00
130miles 27:42:00
145miles 31:15:00
188miles 74:52:19
250miles 88:37:05
268miles 151hrs
Noticeable events  Distance  
Piece of String Fun Run 100km – 130miles   
Fellsman  100km  
Lakeland 100  105miles  
TR250 250miles 16th place 
KODR 188miles  5th place
Centurion Grand Slam  X4 100miles  
Ridgeway Ultra 86miles 18th place 
The Kerry Way  200km  
GUCR 145miles 9th place 
Liverpool to Leeds 130miles 6th place 
Country to Capital  45miles  
Cotswold Way Century  102miles  
SVP 100km  100km  
About 30 marathons (I really can’t remember)    
Plus another dozen ultras from 30 – 50miles (dependent on bonus mileage) and a couple of other 100milers    
x3 DNF’s to my name (it has to happen at some time)

Favourite photo

I’ll go with a vanity picture of me up in the Tarta Mountains. With Rysy mountain peak to climb up next.

Future plans

Coming up in January I will be taking on the Montaine Spine Ultra 268miles up country over the Pennine Way (This one will be just about the finish.)

***Edit added – He did complete it and came 51st ***
51st 154:13:12 McAllister Stephen Male GBR

Eventually I plan to have a go at the UTMB, the Spartathlon and a few other big races such as Western States and if I can get a permission slip the Dragon’s Back. On a personal one I’d love to spend time out across the Tarta Mountains in Poland and explore the mountain ranges. Although with a baby I’ll have to wait a few years before this one.

*** Edit 2 – Makes that 2 babies now ***

I’ll joke that the one race I did seriously is the parkrun and that to make it round a big race all you need is a good sense of humour and a bit of stubbornness.