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Lincoln 10K – Support

After a bit of training, a few blog posts, and a little apprehension, here is my result from yesterday’s Lincoln 10K:

Pos. No. Name Gun Time Chip Time Chip Pos. Gender Gender Pos. Cat. Cat. Pos.
3200 1466 Paul Tyler 1:06:52 1:02:29 3090 Male 2211 M35 292


The race itself was remarkably pleasurable. As I’d suspected, the start was tricky, as after lots of waiting around the gun finally went off and I got to watch the people who are better runners than me speed off, knowing they’d be taking the places in the pubs for Sunday lunch long before I would.

I won’t go through the whole race here as that would be about as interesting as listening to a work colleague describe a dream. I will simply say that it took me a good long time to sort my pace out, then there was a bit of a lull in the middle, and I enjoyed a better-than-expected second half.wpid-img_280693493738732_1.jpg

Though it may be something of a cliché to gush on about the support you receive en route, it truly does make the race not only achievable but worthwhile. I’ve been a spectator at many races and I know that for most of the participants it requires a lot more effort than simply walking to the edge of your driveway with a cup of tea to see what all the noise is about. The effort from the supporters is worth every stride taken, and it provides quite an ego boost as well!

I want to offer a huge thanks, too, for all the support I’ve received from and from those on social media. You all helped to push me over the line, and I am happy to share the feelings I have of pride and accomplishment with you.

So for the time being, quite simply, thus ends the subject of the Lincoln 10K. THANK YOU.

Paul Tyler presents Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM, and the audio he recorded at the Lincoln 10K will be broadcast soon.


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Lincoln 10K – Race Day Preparation

In my house I’m known as Last Minute Paulie, as ‘Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?’ is a motto one could easily associate with me. Rather than get the lawn mower out this week, for instance, I’ve been happily watching the grass grow, employing the ready excuse of it being too damp while bestowing the virtues of a natural meadow look to the chap a couple of doors down who obviously doesn’t approve.

In spite of my proclivity to procrastinate, though, to ensure a good race day experience I am planning to be prepared way in advance. By that I mean sitting on my backside, browsing running websites for tips and not acting on them. As you would expect, of course, the advice to be had is entirely practical.  Pace yourself…eat the right amounts of the right foods…make sure to use the facilities before the gun goes off…etcetera and so forth. I know, though, from my limited racing experience that these mostly-helpful websites will fail to mention the following:wpid-imag0265_1.jpg

Enjoy running on the road.  In the first road race I ever took part in I was almost overwhelmed at the realization that the road was closed especially for me and my fellow racers, and with every race since I have enjoyed the same feeling. In fact, this is almost worth the entry fee alone, especially as the local residents have no doubt been moaning about it on social media for a few weeks prior.

Apps End User mobile apps

DroidBeat Synth

Ambitions come and go, and they generally tend to go unfulfilled as a sense of reality creeps up as you mature. Of course, the dreams are still there, though you do have to alter them accordingly. I’ll no longer be a 100m world record holder, but in theory I could be the world darts champion. I’m never going to present the Radio 1 breakfast show, but I understand that community radio is a much more creative experience than being required to play Rihanna on a loop (although less popular).


Since I first knew there was a top 40 music chart I have wanted to have a Number One hit. My brilliantly named first band, The Streaky Boneheads, was formed in drama class at school, and because we had no instruments we mimed them and our visions were big. Naturally, the band split as we parted ways into employment and further education. The Number One ambition still gnaws away at me, though, and with bands having come and gone I now resort to ideas for novelty records, something that annoys most music lovers but that a a fad has the potential to grab the attention of the few thousand people needed to become a Number One recording artist in 2014.

Given a spare ten minutes I can be found sprawling over, downloading, experimenting with, and quickly uninstalling, some app or other that may or may not be the key to producing a chart topper. This habit is what led me to the Google Play Algorithm that suggested I try DroidBeat Synth. The product had good feedback so I gave it a spin.


To quote the late, great, Factory Records genius, Tony Wilson, what I got out of DroidBeat Synth was “like listening to a headache”. Droidbeat describes itself as a simple open source app, so with the right programming and patience I’m sure that someone could engineer the existing sounds into something preferable, like the scratching of nails down a blackboard. It’s not for me, though, as I’m very much the end user – a want-to-push-a-button-to-play-the-drums kind of musician.

DroidBeat Synth is significant for me, though, as its the first time in two years of regular app installation that I have seen the screen at the left.

They don’t want anything from me, and I find that very refreshing. Even so, I got rid of the app and now I’m  off to get The Streaky Boneheads back together for a comeback tour of pubs with good dartboards. Wish us luck!

Paul Tyler presents Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM


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Lincoln 10K – Legacy

As I’ve written previously, I only ended up entering the Lincoln 10K as the route goes through one of the grids from The Lincoln A to Z map, which is due to the overly convoluted radio program I present. Each episode is constructed from what we find in a randomly selected grid square. The route of the Lincoln 10K goes through this grid three times, so I’ll be running through the grid describing the scenes and my feelings and Jonny, the programs producer, has elected that he will describe events from the spectators point of view.

So far we have completed 30 of the 52 grids, which the esteemed Trefor Davies also contributes his glorious verbal dexterity to. The program has given me a different way of viewing the city. As I ride on the cycle path, past the ‘only just out of town’ retail park, I remember the miserable, drizzly morning we spent trying not to moan too much  about our consumer driven concrete surroundings.

Lincoln being the place I have spent most of my life has personal memories scattered all over its landscape. One grid stands out though, the grid where, with my family, we watched the Olympic flame being passed from one of the torch bearers to another. I’ll never forget the look on that mans face as he received the flame, its was a ‘lottery win plus your team beating your nearest rivals 5 – 0 multiplied by the birth of your children’ kind of look, one that illustrated joy, excitement and emotion. I’m please I wasn’t one of the many experiencing this moment by looking through a smartphone, its burnt onto my memory banks and from that moment on, the Olympics transformed from being the usual British pavement looking attitude to seeing just how high we could soar.

When we revisited that grid for the program, Jonny and I asked the question “Has the legacy of that incredible few weeks lived on?”

If the Olympics was like a euphoric time when you and your friends went on a bender and beat the night, the word ‘legacy’ had just about sounded out of the closing ceremony when the inevitable hangover over of the sports funding cuts hit. The highfalutin sports – sailing and equestrian faded back out of the grasps of the underclass  and you could almost hear the water being drained out of swimming pools when British swimmers didn’t reap success at the following world championships. Just lately, The Royal Mail had a PR disaster when they didn’t reward our successful Winter Olympians and Paralympians with a gold post box. The legacy it seems isn’t worth the price of a pot of gold paint.

The good news is that 2 days before the Lincoln 10K we get to see the inspirational Winter Paralympic athlete Jade Etherington take part in an open top bus parade. The tour will also take in schools the day before the pupils take part in road races too. Huge congratulations to Jade and lets hope we can relive a little of that magic time and inspire the Lincoln 10k runners.


Paul Tyler presents Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM


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Lincoln 10K – The Bad Run

Thursday Morning

The radio program I present, Lincoln A to Z, is formulated by 52 randomly selected grids from the Lincoln A to Z map. We have a basic structure, but the tone and timbre of each program is guided by the contents of the grid. Out of the 30 programs we’ve made so far, its fair to say that a couple have left my producer and I scratching our heads and wondering what went wrong. By no means are these programs terrible, they just didn’t flow or turn out how we planned.

OK, one was particularly terrible, but once the program was over we retired to the office (pub) to discuss how to improve and avoid making the same mistakes again.

During a period of training, at least one run will be atrocious. It can be the simplest thing that knocks you, a stitch, traffic lights or tripping over a dog. Its frustrating at the time, feelings of failure kick in, heightened by the fact that you are out of breath. But I know that like the occasional below par radio programs (you try making an hour and a half radio program about a bungalow heavy street in suburbia), I know that its not the end of the world and that rather than it be a failure, it is in fact these hiccups that make you better in the long run.

The internet, bless it, is full of annoyingly positive statements like this:

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Radio – Sitting In

“Lily Allen sounds crap and uninterested”, said my wife as she listened to BBC Radio 2.

A few weeks previously I’d heard Dermot O’leary saying that Lily Allen would be sitting in for him while he went on a filming trip, “or she will be,” he said, “if she ever answers the phone to my producer!” Maybe an early sign that this whole thing might have been a hindrance for her, rather than a privilege to be broadcasting on the most popular radio station in the UK.

I’ve listened back to that program on the mainly brilliant, yet occasionally frustrating BBC iplayer Radio Android App, and I don’t think it was as bad as my wife made out. Sure,

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Lincoln 10K – Habits

I once had an idea for a radio program based on Top 10 Lists. I shared this idea with a very talented and occasionally furious radio producer, who informed me that “Lists are what people produce when they run out of ideas”.


So with that in mind here’s a list of my bad running habits.

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Lincoln 10K – Gear

Our first ever program on Siren FM was called The Reading Room, it went against the grain in trying to make a radio program about books and creative writing that was accessible – no oxbridge language here, I worked in a factory and read popular fiction. Lots of my colleagues read popular fiction too. So we made a program to appeal to them. It achieved some success that I wont embarrass you with now.

In our current program, Lincoln A to Z, we’ve acknowledged one of the few rules that Siren FM insist on – that every live program should have some ‘What’s On’ listings. We’ve gone about this a little differently too. We call it ‘City / Suburbs’, Jonny the programs esteemed producer, who lives in and loves the city, reads out the events that he fancies going to himself, and I a recent resident of the suburbs gives a largely fictional account of my slow acclimatisation to that way of life. One act of rebellion I regularly take part in is

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Not So Madchester

I’ve just caught up with the inaugural BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, held last weekend at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, a city that is to music, what London is to making money.

I hope that next year they hold it somewhere else because something didn’t work and it wasn’t the bands. It was the audience. They didn’t turn up. Not that it was empty, just that those that were there appeared to be stood around in a contemplative stance with folded arms. Was this really the city that inspired rave culture?

You might argue that this is

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Lincoln 10K – Finish Line

During this or any previous bout of running, I have always had a physical finish line during training, previously it was a bridge, currently its a sign post. I decided on this after my first ever training run as you know when to stop and helps you beat ‘the wall’.

This means that I plot my route backwards, previously I used a paper map, a piece of string ,a ruler and few choice words. A truly frustrating experience, with one too many calculations for me to be comfortable with. I’ve now discovered This simple, user friendly website even lets you plot ‘off piste’. A really useful tool as I’m sure most runners like parks. The phrase ‘off piste’ , wasn’t just thrown in there as you can select cross-country skiing as the sport your taking part in too.


The finish line is just one of the ways I have tried to overcome the mind over matter of distance running. A few years ago I read the best book about running there is – What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This is a memoir about running and writing that instils the reader with the mantra that “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. This phrase is the most useful six words anyone has written or will ever write about running.

You will be in pain, but its up to you how you react to it, your body is capable of far more than your mind thinks it is.

As well as that incredible quote, the book also digs deep into how the running is of a huge help to Murakami’s writing. I’m finding that since ditching the MP3 player that my time spent running is valuable creative time, this helps me not only with my radio and writing work but keeps my mind from acknowledging that my knees are killing me and my face has invented a new shade of red. My imaginary finish line is helping this too, one less running question my brain has to think about, helping the creative process get to work.

I only intended to be temporary jogger – up to and including the 10k I told myself. But with the positive effects on my work, as well as seeing off the last of the Christmas weight I like to add at winter time, I might just carry on past this ‘mind-created’ finish line.

Paul Tyler is the presenter of Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM – Mondays 9pm


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Lincoln 10K – A Question Of Time

Its almost impossible to talk about running without talking about time. For most, simply finding time to run is not easy. Its possible to see the early morning jogger, though they are very rare as its difficult to resist the extra time snuggled up in the duvet playing the snooze game with the alarm. Then follows getting yourself ready for the day ahead, or persuading some little people with other ideas to go to school.

Some have the option of cycling to work of course, where you don’t get too puffed out and sweaty, but running seems to be a step too far. Work gets in the way of a daytime jaunt and there’s no such thing as a dinner hour any more, apart from those on flexitime and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t save up their flexitime to add to their annual leave.

Once home, its helping with homework, cooking tea, preparing packed lunches for the next day and persuading the same little people that they should  tidy up and go to bed. Once these tasks are complete, at this time of year at least, its cold and dark outside and the return to that comfy duvet is far more inviting than a cold, icy run in the dark. Weekends have more time available, but if your training for a distance run, you’ll require more frequency than this.

Time is also the main subject of conversation with regards to training and races. I have come to the assumption that once a runner says that they are doing the 10K you can put your house on the first question being “What time you aiming for?”

Time seems important for self improvement, the digits on the dial congratulate you if you get a better time, but kick you up the backside if you get a higher number. Endless GPS tracking Apps are available and information for that self improvement has never been easier or indeed, cheaper to come by. However, I’m finding myself in this bout of training wanting to shed all barriers and complications, this includes taking a watch or smart phone out whilst pounding the streets.


My only goal throughout these weeks building up to the 10K is to plot a course and complete it with out stopping, my mind is focused on the distance rather than the time. So far, so good, and its quite good to be able to shrug off the pressures of beating any previous times.

I’ve even contemplated cutting off the official timing chip from my race number, but maybe, just maybe, if I can find the time, I’ll log on to the website as soon as I get home to check the numbers.

Paul Tyler is the presenter of Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM, Mondays 9PM


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Lincoln 10K – Mp3 Free

During my last fad of running, three years ago, it would have been incomprehensible to have gone for a run without putting on my trainers, shorts, special underwear and lucky T- Shirt – without the addition of a small electronic music player and some headphones.

For some, the generic Mp3 player is there to focus the mind and to exclude the inevitable pain, contributing greatly to the mind over matter approach required to complete a long distance run.

For me, it was used primarily to combat boredom, just as my Walk-man did onRunning with a walkman my paper round as a teenager. Thankfully technology has improved and I don’t need a pencil to rewind my cassette of Depeche Mode’s ‘Singles 81 – 85’. Talking of which, I seem to remember Philip Schofield on Saturday morning TV’s ‘Going Live’ pulling an April Fool trick on us. He suggested that in the future we’d be able to have a little stick like machine that you could speak into and it would play out the required song from a memory bank of thousands. Some on the internet even believe that Schofield is the inventor of such devices, I’ve seen more ridiculous conspiracies, although I do believe that the the April Fool is now on him.

Running with entertainment can

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Lincoln 10K – Getting Started

I’ve accidentally entered this years Lincoln 10K run. After completing this a couple of years ago I vowed never to do it again – It hurt unnecessarily, and running is no longer my exercise of choice, I much prefer to cycle these days – less strain on the knees and you get a lot further for your effort.

I present a Community Radio program on Siren FM called Lincoln A to Z, where my producer and I travel to 52 randomly selected grids on the A to Z map of Lincoln and make a radio show and podcast about each one. It was noted in many a production meeting that the course of the Lincoln 10K goes through at least two of our selected grids. I managed to steer us through the Ermine West program without even a mention of the race. Then, late last year a surprising comment came from the exercise avoiding producer – “we should both do the 10K next year, could make for some good radio’. I put my foot down, “No” came the reply and I stood fast.

I was happy in my decision, until