Sunday, 16 November 2014

Back to The Spine.......

One of the last things I remember during my participation of The Spine Race earlier this year was one of the race organisers, Phil, telling me that I would be back.  This was after my DNF, having completed 226 miles of the 268 mile course,  I was sat waiting for a lift to take me to the station whilst the last day of the race was still being run.  I looked Phil in the eye and said, "No I won't".  

But Phil was right.

I have just sat and read through my post-race blog entry and recall why I said and thought that I wouldn't go back again after competing this year.  The Spine Race lives up to it's reputation as Britain's most brutal race and at the time I thought, why would I want to put my body and mind through this again!

For those of you who like to race or compete (at anything) you will understand that a DNF is like an itch.....and it's an itch that has to be scratched.  I have resisted scratching for 10 months, but could stand it no more!! So on 10th January 2015 I will be back on that start line.  I'll have much the same kit (although I have upgraded my head torch) as last time, but I will be carrying a year's more experience, more miles in my legs and a bucket load more determination to finish!

As before I will be trying to raise money for charity.  As I am now doing voluntary work with the Suffolk team of ChildLine School Services Volunteers I could think of no more a worthy cause for which to support.  So if you can spare a few or a lot of pounds, please follow the "Just Giving" link here or at the top of the page - Thank you for your support.  

I'm off to the Peak District this week for some training and to get "hill-fit" again, I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

I'm in!!!

For those of you who haven't heard already, I'm in The Dragon's Back Race next year!
Here are a few details from the race website:

The legendary Dragon’s Back Race™ follows the mountainous spine of Wales from Conwy Castle to Carreg Cennen Castle. This incredible 5-day journey is approximately 300 kilometres long with 17,000 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain. It is not a trail race.

The original Dragon’s Back Race™ happened in September 1992 and ever since, it has been whispered about with a mix of awe and trepidation. Its reputation had reached legendary status with fell, mountain and ultra runners the World over by September 2012 when the second Dragon’s Back Race™ happened.

The Dragon’s Back Race™ is one of the hardest mountain races in the World.

The next race will be the 22nd-26th June 2015.
Please note that the following distances and height gains are PROVISIONAL ESTIMATES for the 2015 route.

Carneddau, Glyders and Snowdon
Optimum distance and height gain: 50km / 4,200m

Moelwyns and Rhinogs
Optimum distance and height gain: 54km / 3,700m

Cadair Idris and Plynlimon
Optimum distance and height gain: 68km / 3,800m

Elan Valley
Optimum distance and height gain: 69km / 2,400m

Brecon Beacons
Optimum distance and height gain: 55km / 2,200m

We expect the fastest competitors to be running for approximately 8-9 hours each day and the slowest competitors (who completed the full course) to be run/walking for approximately 13-15 hours each day. 

I'll be running this one to raise money for the NSPCC, so please keep an eye out for my sponsorship page early next year and I hope you can spare a few pounds for a fantastic and worthy cause.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Launch of a new Nutrition and Supplement Online Store


Please click the link above to find out more.

You can also visit the Living Spirit Fitness Blog 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Keep on Running......

Earlier this year I had stepped up my training and devised a new training program for myself to follow, so I thought it was important to put it to the test and check that it was working by getting a few races under my belt.
First of all I revisited the Stour Valley Path 100km race which I had attempted last year (see earlier post) and had unfortunately timed out after 40 miles - I had put this down to the fact I had only finished my UK circumnavigation 2 weeks previously and my lack of running fitness was very obvious.  
This year I went for the earlier start time, which gave me 15hrs 30mins to complete the course and, as the race was being held a month earlier than 2013, there was also more daylight to complete the event in.
At the finish of the SVP100
I'm pleased to say I completed the 62 miles in 13hrs 47mins (results here).  Reviewing my performance post race, I realised I had let myself get very dehydrated and this resulted in me slowing considerably in the final stages, resorting to a walk for much of the latter stages of the course.  I put this down to using a bladder and tube during the race to take on my fluids and was unable to properly monitor how much water I was drinking, or get the water into my mouth quickly enough. So I decided to switch back to bottles for the next event.

On the start line with 50 miles to go....
Three weeks later I was on the start line of the Dig Deep Ultra Tour Suffolk 50 miles, another trail race. 
This time I made sure I drank enough fluids and felt much more comfortable throughout the race, although towards the end of the race I found it difficult to eat anything.  I manage to complete the distance in 9hrs 43min, well within my 10hr target, finishing in 11th place overall and the first over 50 finisher! (Results here)
At the finish and still running....
I am currently waiting to hear if my entry into the Dragon's Back Race has been accepted; I should find out by the end of the month and if successful this event will become the main focus of my training over the next 9 months.  Entry is limited to around 150 runners and previous experience to taken into account...fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

To The Isles of Scilly.....

Having recently returned from another sailing trip, I thought I would share a few photos with you.  
I joined the yacht "Moonstone", a Westerly Konsort, in Weymouth and from there we made our way along the south coast, before setting off from Newlyn Harbour heading for the Isles of Scilly....which is somewhere that I have wanted to sail to for some time now.
The wind, tide and weather were all in our favour and we arrived at St Mary's well ahead of our schedule, but not before being entertained by the dolphins:
Our approach into the Isles of Scilly
It may look like the Caribbean, but this is the Isles of Scilly!

There was a whole beach covered in these stone towers!

St Hugh's 
 After a few days exploring St Mary's we headed back to the mainland, this time making our way along the north coast of Cornwall then Devon.  

You see some amazing things!
Clovelly from the sea
I stepped ashore again in Clovelly and made my way up the narrow cobble street, to catch a bus at the visitors centre, 400m above the sea, to start my journey home.

Moonstone continues her journey around Britain and I may well join her again as she comes down the East coast.
Looking down into Clovelly Harbour (Moonstone on the right of picture)
Heading up to the bus stop!!