Auld Lang Syne Fell Race 2016

One of my must-dos, this. You have to get in quick - it's postal application only and there are only 400 places up for grabs.I love it because it's a fantastic way to see out the old year. A 10.8km fell race through Penistone Country Park in Haworth, W. Yorks which includes a couple of river crossings and a few hundred metres of climbing over what for the mostpart is little better than swamp. You …

Ultra Trail Cape Town 100km - 10th Dec 2016

My first visit to Cape Town was back in 2013 - a few days of doing as little as possible before Comrades in Durban. As it was June, it was Winter in the Southern Hemisphere and out of season (a very cheap time to visit!) so you can't rely on the weather helping you out. But I got pretty lucky; every morning my fellow hotel resident couple would forlornly tell me the Robben Island Ferry had been ca…

Aravaipa Black Canyon 100km, Arizona - 13th February 2016

This was to be an epic year of ultras - I had 10 booked in at the start of 2016. Far too many, especially as I had the 4-race Centurion 50-mile grand slam nestling uncomfortably close to Lavaredo and The Cape Town 100k.  I'm sat on the plane to the latter as I write this, with 2016's plans in the kind of disarray that an unattended puppy is liable to leave your newspaper.  My amazing ultra-runni…

My Inconvenient Truth

Back in 1991, when I was a student in Bradford living in the kind of squalor that would provoke national outcry these days (all part of the fun) I can't say I gave a single solitary toss about the environment. I wasn't a man-made climate change denier or anything like that, it's just that the issue had yet to go mainstream and I was completely unaware of it.  It's possible that my own immediate e…

Thinking about past journeys and future adventures

Running the WorldNow I've built a fancy dan mapping thingummy for the blog I thought it would be kind of fun to pin all the longer races on the CV around the world and see what insights emerged. There's nothing much better or simpler than staring at a World map to start planing future adventures.So anyway, it started off fun, became less fun then was reduced to a catatonic data-entry exercise…

Cycling from London to Brighton on a whim and a hybrid

In a total departure from what usually fills my weekends I've signed up for Sophie Radcliffe's cycle ride from London to Paris in 24hrs next year.  There's something about that particular challenge that instantly grabbed me and I've long since learned it's best (and most fulfilling) to just go with whoever in your head is actually at the controls when it comes to stuff like this.I think I'm…

The 2016 Northumberland Coastal

There are a couple of races that are permanent fixtures on my calendar each year.  Assuming, that is, I don't oversleep and miss them - they both go like hot cakes among people who have only just discovered cake, and could do with a bit of warming up. One's the Auld Lang Syne fell race in Haworth and the other is this gem - the Northumberland Coastal from Beadnell to Almnouth on the beautiful Nor…

Trail running in Lesaka, in the Navarra region of Basque Spain

A couple of weeks ago my Singapore-dwelling cousin, whom I've only seen once in about 10 years got married in Lesaka, Spain. I've met the fella even less - once in fact - during a flying visit en route to Australia, but he plied me with so much beer to counter the stifling humidity that it feels like a lot more somehow. My aunt's from Lesaka and my uncle wasn't about to let his only daughter get w…

Baker's Cysts - the D'oh rises

I fly out to Lavaredo 3 weeks yesterday - so close now it could easily be 2 weeks yesterday - for probaby the hardest race of my 'career' to date. The 100-miler may pip it but I'm not at all sure about that.I've been trying to fit some sort of training in around managing these Baker's cysts because some training seems kind of essential but it's been slow progress. Having had the ultrasound scan th…

Baker's Cysts

First off I know what you're thinking.  'What the hell is that cover photo about?'  Well I tried being clever and searched my Stock Image library for a good mug shot of Tom Baker, complete with scarf. They didn't have one. But this came up instead.  So I went with it.But this post isn't about forcing pets to do your cooking for you, it's about Baker's Cysts. I really wouldn't eat that. Would yo…