Icebreaker pop-up event - move to natural

Panel DiscussionLast night I was at an Icebreaker (a New Zealand clothing brand that manufacture merino clothing) event in a Shoreditch pop-up to promote their merino clothing. I don't normally do this kind of thing as companies tend to expect gushing praise about something actually pretty trivial in exchange for a few of whatever it is.But the fact that we're flushing 700,000 pieces of plastic in…

Dragons Back Race - is it worth it and advice for 1st-timers

The week-long Berghaus Dragon's Back Race is a major commitment in terms of both time and finance. Having just finished the race (blog post here), I wanted to give my thoughts on whether it's worth the investment and also how I would advise next year's first timers to do things better than I did.I should point out that I'm not sponsored in any way by anyone or any company with any relationship to …

The 2019 Dragons Back Race

Ever since the Internet has provided the opportunity to suspend all productive activity and watch dots instead, that's been my guilty pleasure. Days are lost every year to the Spine and I remember watching Jez Bragg's dot glide across the Dragon's Back route map in 2015. There's something about the combination of knowing someone else is doing something heroic and outrageous with the potential for …

Dragon's Back 2019 - 4 weeks to go

As I write, we're only 3.5 weeks out from the Dragon's Back race - surely the toughest personal challenge I've taken on so far.It starts in Conwy on the 20th May 2019 and ends almost 200 miles South in Llandeilo on the Friday, having covered pretty much every significant peak on the way down. Every day is an ultra distance over some extreme terrain with the added challenge of largely being left to…

Climate Stripes Bandana - gifts for runners

You can't move for warnings about the state of the environment and man's devastating effect on it these days.  The science can be complicated and presented in an overly techincal way, making it less accessible.  Professor Ed Hawkins, climate scientist for the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, thought the same and came up with a strikingly clear illustration of the changes we are cau…

Dragon's Back Race 2019 - Day 1 Recce

Next May I'm due to start the Dragon's Back race from Conwy Castle on the North Coast of Wales down to Llandeilo, the best part of 200 miles South.  It's run over 5 days and over pretty much every mountain in between with strict cut-offs throughout for good measure.  It's an enormous undertaking whichever way you look at it - my major (of many) concerns being the cumultive lack of sleep with wha…

Yarmouth to Sheringham on the North Norfolk Coastal Path

Great Yarmouth Seafront and PierEvery year since forever my extended family has decamped en masse to Sheringham on the Norfolk Coast, 4 miles up from its more well-known neighbour, Cromer.  My lot were in the shoe-making business in the distant past in Leicester and all the factories used to shut down in the Summer at the same time for 'Leicester Fortnight'.  Half the city would flock to the coa…

Hillary Allen - Lavaredo North Face Presentation

Some lively weather forced the location of this talk from Hillary Allen and Fernanda Maciel indoors at the last minute which was unfortunate as I think a lot more would have attended and they were more than worth the effort.I wanted to write a post about this because Hillary's story in particular is immensely inspiring.  It's an extraordinary, medical profession-defying return from near death to …

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 119km

Cortina is a town that has redefined itself as a centre for trail running after the national level winter sports moved away and surrounding this picturesque town are some of the world's greatest trails winding through some of the world's most striking landscapes. Lavaredo is a 4-day trail fest with the main event being the Ultra Trail - a 119km race through 5800 metres of climb.I've run it once be…

The Lakeland 50

This year's injury of choice - some sort of plantar fascia/policeman's heel/bruised fat pad sampling platter of frustration hung over this warm-up race for the CCC for a few months. I made a last-minute decision to run, mainly thanks to a cock-up on my part over the last day I could cancel my hotel. I took that as a sign and reasoned even getting part of it done would be useful training.The drive …