ShutUpAndRun!

2014 is shaping up to be a year of challenges

There's still plenty of 2013 to go and a target marathon to attack in 10 days but I've started filling out 2014's diary.  Looking at the races already booked in I can't help but think these are distances and challenges I couldn't and wouldn't have even considered a couple of years ago and yet here they are back to back!Something seems to have switched in my head and the more outlandish runs are n…

Ealing Half Marathon

I'd planned to race the Maidenhead Half on the 8th September to see how the training for Frankfurt was going.  It's about as close to my house as a race gets - all of 5 miles away and this was the 3rd year the race has been held.  Unfortunately I managed to continue my shameful record of entering this every year and subsequently failing to turn up.  I can't remember what happened the previous t…

Find your Inchanga

This June was all about running the Comrades Ultra in South Africa. The biggest ultra in the world. 14,000+ people running 54 miles over some serious terrain, with most aiming simply to break the 12 hour cut-off.The entries have just opened for the 2014 edition; this time a down-run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on the coast.  As I write this I'm considering whether to go back and have another …

Salomon Mantra Review

Now I don't get sent many unsolicited goodies through the post but things have clearly looked up recently.  I may never have been asked to babysit (I have no desire to, but it would be nice to be asked so I can politely decline while feeling that little bit more trustworthy) but Salomon have sent me a pair of Mantra trail shoes to try out so that's something. I've been looking to start auditionin…

The 2013 Comrades Ultra

So this is it. Sunday starts at 3am and we have to be in the start pen by 5:15am otherwise you start from the back. We have a taxi ordered and experience of Durban cabbies has made us extremely dubious of any promises they make, even in standard office hours, let lone crack of dawn runs into the centre of town.  But, we seem to end up picking cabs from the same company over the past few days and …

Comrades Trip Day 2 Joburg to Cape Town

Morning dawns, buffet breakfast gets polished off and a long discussion ensues with the owner of the place, Corlien,  over what we can do today and where she can get a driver to take us. Maarten has a potential job in Joburg - rather him than me I think on balance - and he'd vanished in a suit already for an interview.  My Cape Town flight was due to leave at 3:30pm so by the time the eggs had a…

Comrades Trip Day 1 - Johannesburg

So finally, 9 months after being talked into running this race and ticking it off the bucket list by my friend Helen who's here too, it's time to pack the bags and head out to South Africa.I cannot think of any race I've done, and I have entered a lot since I went for my first London Marathon in 2000, where the anticipation has reached anything like this pitch.  I guess that first London would be…

Woodhouse Challenge 13.5M May Bank Holiday Monday

Despite taking this one easy as I'd run 38 miles 2 days before and that the scenery was at least as good as the Oxon 40, I failed to bring my phone so all photos herein are stolen.  I've pinched a couple from the race web site and I hope to blag one or two more from @mikew30 who was far better organised than me. This race rounded off a fabulous bank holiday weekend of running.  Not one I'd heard…

Oxon 40 - Saturday 4th May

I decided on the Oxon 40 as the lastlong training run for the Comrades. It's local being just past and around Henley and compared to the alternatives available on the same day it was incredibly cheap at just £12. The sort of price you might expect to hear from your Grandparents in the context of 'eee I remember when races were just £12, and bread was 3d and we all had to live in a shoebox'. …

End of Comrades Training

One last curry and a couple of pints of the local Windsor and Eton Brewery's finest polished off.I've had my pre-race massage and go-faster haircut which did it's usual trick. It looks great until precisely 3 minutes after leaving the barbers whereupon it forms into a ghastly widow's peak type of arrangement and needs several litres of wax to stop it looking like I'm about to protest about somethi…