Friday, 15 July 2011

No blindfold needed. :-0

I felt good after the Cateran. 32 mile on just about zero training was great and although no one seems to believe it, it would be nice to finish the 56 but really I didn’t mind. I’d had a choice of scrap everything till utmb and just try and get fit or as they are all bought and paid for, do what I fancied , see my mates, party a bit and have fun. After all, they have all been paid for. My only concern was wasting my support team’s time. However everyone i spoke to were more than happy form me to take my chance knowing that there is a good chance I would not finish.

A quick word on this. Some out there seem to take the view a DNF is the worst thing in the world. That’s fine, as it’s their view. My view under the circumstances is different. I’m not looking for adulation. I run for myself. I don’t need a pat on the back. My running is my own.

June 4th

So 6 months and 3 days after breaking my foot for the fourth time , I was on the start line of the Hardmoors 110 , one of toughest UK courses and my favourite race (so far). First 20 miles I was a bit hot and bothered but after than I had just a beautiful pure run. I loved every minute. I flew down the rocky steep descents for the first time in a long long time ran strong and turned my head torch off to look at the stars. Sun Rise from Roseberry Topping was lush

and soon the coast.

At about 70 odd mile i started to wane. I wondered when it would happen. Had a poor 10 miles then picked up again? Got to 101 and decided that was enough for today. What with just 12 miles to go ? As I said, I’m doing this for me. Very Happywith a 100 and it just goes to show one poor run (at the cat) just two weeks before doesn’t mean anything. Many thanks to spicey , Lisrun and Bomb who were fantastic support.

Twas the 9th June ..Blaydon Races.

Following week was the lovely 5.8 Mile Blaydon races. Legs a little sore so I ran round with Melar as she had a bugger of a cold . I’m just wanted to get round she says. 4 miles in she’s dying of cold but and her friend T comes past. Can’t have that she says and picks up. My legs aren’t really working tbh and I feel my hamstring - A sign i shoudl have heeded. T comes back at her but Melars pulls away only a few minutes down on last year which is magic considering her injuries and the fact she could hardly breathe. Fish n chips back at Melar manor . Magic eve.

June 18th .

Two weeks later I was up for the whw. I do love this race. Milled around at the start chatting to loads of friends then had a short kip before the off. Five miles in and I’m struggling. Opps ! that’s not good. Santa goes past and we have short chat. I say I’m ok and I really thought it’s just my usual slow start. However at 13 miles I’m 35 minutes down on last year and last year I only trained for 9 weeks, So even that wasn’t a great time then. I tell my support (thanks David K ) my legs don’t feel right.

By conic hill, where I think the race get interesting they were shot. My crew waited knowing something was wrong and instead of my usual lash down I stepped down gingerly. I knew the game was up. At 20 I pulled out and after I could barely walk. Well just goes to show you can’t miss all that running and leap from one 100 miler to another. Unfortunately it was so early we could not get in the hotels for another 9 hours so we took the decision to head home. Gutted I didn’t see Santa pick up her goblet but maybe just as well as proud as I am of her I really didn’t want t see that leg :-/

June 26th
Following week I did the wonderful 10 mile Cronkley fell race and my legs were still knackered.Struggled big time .

1st July

Then it was over to Sedbergh for the Friday eve schools fundraiser sports day and fell race with Kev Scone. Proper old fashioned sports day but with beer :-). Missed the 60 yard dash and got there in time to see Kev finish. Then it was straight into the potato race with bean bags not potatoes.:-/ We cross the line together , Level pegging for me and kev then 1-1 . Then it was the fell race. Only 3 miles and any thought on this occasion it may be easy was soon blown away as the small field shot of along a country lane to the foot o the hill. Then it was straight up. What a bugger. Once at the top asked what hill it was and was told ‘that’s not a hill lad …- that’s the hill!! ’ and sure enough this was ‘the knot’THATt was the sickle. More climbing with my legs screaming at me and you guessed it straight down. Magic. I beat Kev but not by much. 2-1 . Missed the egg throwing completion but was soon tying a girl up for the 3 legged race.Tight enough but not to tight. No blindfold required apparently.. Disputed finish. I thought we were in line and seeing as the lass I was tied to had the most enormous chest I reckon we won but kev’s having none of it and declared himself the winner. Ah well 2-2 and off to the pub for hydration-till 3 am … kev now has no limit!

3rd July
The new Lakeland trail Coniston marathon . Great race and wonderful scenery. I think it’s my new favourite marathon. My legs weren’t great still but getting better. Great fetch meet up as well.

Next morning I swam across Coniston and back.(without a wetsuit-it's summer FFS ) I think I may do all the lakes . I do love it when the sun is shining (as it always is of course) and you have the whole lake to yourself . Magic.

Then we did the last 11 of the Lakeland 100/50.

Beautiful course but I have yet to decide whether I’ll run. I keep changing my mind on this one. Do it cause I love the bit of course I’ve done and it’s paid for .Leave it and be fresher (possibly) for UTMB. I really don’t know. There also the point’s factor. If UTMB goes tits up for me then I have no points to enter next year when I will (hopefully) be fighting fit .There also a bit of a debate as to which is the toughest , Utmb or Lakeland 100. I don’t care to much for comparing Ultra’s but I would like know for myself. I’ve often thought of grading some races on a flipscale as the UTMB points system is Kak. Probably decide the day before.

Up to Melrose last week to see in the double 25th birthday of Rentys good lady C . Great time had by all and a fantastic run in the Eildon hills the following day. What brilliant hills. 3 large lumps covered in rocks and heather with a myriad of single track paths . Just wonderful. Thanks Renty. :-)

I was at a meeting with various volunteers and Rd’s from our regions Parkrun , hosted by th founder Paul Sinton Hewitt and Tom Williams (of marathon talk) . Great event and we also learned more of the new Durham Park run plans. I will of course give my full support , volunteer and help out as much as I can as I do with all the other s but and this isn’t easy as it’s friends who are setting up , I hate the course , foresee loads of problems and think it will weaken Sunderland Parkrun . Of course I’ve not held back from my view to my mates. Yes man I’m not. I hope I’m wrong of course and it’s a fantastic success.

But that’s not what I was thinking of during the meeting. I was thinking of the Olympic Flame lighting. Is there a campaign I can sign up to have Paul light the flame? I can’t really think of anyone better.

So still taking it fairly easy here, still woefully unfit but I’m running and enjoying running
Next up the Northumberland coastal run . The most beautiful run in England . . Last year I gave it a miss and went to Scotland to break my foot again for the 3rd time. One year ago this weekend. My brothers home so hopefully will get a run with him and let him know the birthday present Ultra I have planned for his 50th next year :-)

Take care :-)


  1. Difficult to compare UTLD and UTMB. UTMB has more climbing and (normally) high temp differences between day (up to 30+) and night (possibly freezing). UTLD has potential navigation issues and much harder ground under foot. See you at both if you're there!

  2. I know you'll decide whats right for you, UTMB has always been your focus, keep it that way. Loving the pics, stunning. See you in few weeks xx