Running a 2:37 marathon on 60 miles per week

I caught up with an old friend of mine, Gareth, in Costa today by chance and we talked about - would you believe it? - running! The conversation at one point was about marathons and did I still fancy having a go at a fast one. It's 8 years since the PB in Amsterdam - I spent a few since trying to break it but frustratingly without success despite being in form. But that's the marathon for you. Any…

Laptops for the Diepsloot EduFun project

I travelled to South Africa and the Two Oceans race in March via Johannesburg where the EduFun charity is based, supporting underpriviledged kids and young adults in the Diepsloot township.I visited the township last time I was out there for Comrades and it was an experience that will stay with me a long time.I took a couple of laptops out with me this time, generously donated by Dave of Demo3d.co…

Two Oceans Ultra 2016

Way back when my race bucket list was more of a quick scrawl on the back of a fag packet, I'd only heard of two races in South Africa - Comrades and Two Oceans and down they duly went. There are plenty more classics than that I've since discovered and I will be having a crack at the Otter Trail and the Ultra Trail Cape Town 100km in due course. Not so sure about the Washie 100 but who knows? Maybe…

Diepsloot Township Project

When last out in Johannesburg, I was priviledged to spend a day 'teaching' (I have very few teaching skills!) English at the school in Diepsloot township. Helen, my ex-pat friend who put me up in Dainfern - 3 miles away geographically but light years apart in standard of living - volunteers there and as part of Edufun a charity that provides English language teaching to grade 3 and 4 kids from the…

Auld Lang Syne Fell Race

This has been my year-ender for 5 years now. It's an absolute belter and well worth the long trip up from Windsor to Haworth. I've taken to staying a night or two beforehand at the excellent Fleece Inn in the High Street to save crazy early travelling and, more to the point, justify a pint of Boltmaker the night before.Haworth had been hit by the floods - the refurbished-at-a-cost-of-£250K pub at…

The Centurion South Downs Way 100 (SDW100)

I like to think I'm half decent at road running but in the last few years I've gravitated to the trails and, more recently, the mountains where what road 'skills' I have vanish like Pringles.  Every recent race has been an education.I used to be obsessed with times and searching for the flattest half marathon or marathon course, but such ephemera have pretty much gone (I'm still planning on one l…

I must be mad

The other day I got copied in on a tweet which included a link to an article - this article in fact - which, though absolutely positive in its content (it's about an 80+ year-old striving to break his age group records and, would you believe it, succeeding) includes that tired old mantra that running 'takes people who are a little bit crazy'.As Peter Griffin famously said in Season 4, Episode 28 -…

Transvulcania 2015

This race earned its place in my bucket list ever since seeing a YouTube video of the start a couple of years back. The image of a river of headtorch lightrails streaming up the climb out of Fuencaliente in the pre dawn sealed the deal for me there and then. I'm sitting on a bench in the town square, the finish gantry and podium backdrop the only props left from Saturday's carnival.  I'm trying …

Belvoir Challenge Marathon

There's a rich seam of races that abandon the traditional trimmings of medals and goody bags and are instead intent on stuffing more cake calories into you than you could burn off if you ran the event twice. That's just fine by me.  Mike Wells (also running today, in the 15-miler and a tutu) put me on to this one and I was keen to see how it compared to the plated lunch at the Woodhouse Challenge…

Country to Capital Ultra - the rematch

This was my first ultra a couple of years ago and now becomes the first ultra I've run twice. As I want to run everything and time is limited I don't think there will be many in that category.I re-read my post from 2013 just to see how naive I sounded and the answer was very.  Particularly about the food.  I questioned the supply of party snacks at the time but I've since got with the programme …