Adventure Stories

December 31, 2017

It’s been a bad year when…..

You know it has been a bad year when.....

November 28, 2017

Raid Des Bogomiles

Raid Des Bogomiles: Do I get the prize for the most amusing race name? You have to admit that coming from a country where the word ‘boggin’ is common parlance and where you frequently run through miles of bog it has a certain amusement value.

Did the Grand Raid Des Bogomiles, (one of three races held within the Grand Raid Des Cathars), provide miles of bog? No, but there was an ascent up vertical mud slide which left me fairly boggin.

November 4, 2017

I’ll take that

A not so cautious return from injury.

It’s an age old story.You get injured. It’s a bad one, crutches are involved. Painkillers are involved. Picture a running diva lolling with a ‘blanky’ and a pile of cushions. There are weeks (four) of enforced inactivity. Picture diva impersonating a cat on a hot tin roof. Finally, you get the all clear to ease back into training, but there is a small problem. It is only seven weeks until your next race, a huge kick-ass 100k with ascent equal to climbing Ben Nevis five times.

August 21, 2017

The Mighty Shin Splint

My recent participation in the Devil ‘O the Highlands footrace had an almighty sting in the tail: shin splints!

August 20, 2017

Plan Z – It worked! (almost)

Plan Z: I had a blast. Best day out since the Namibian and Genghis Khan marathons in January.

For the first time ever, I was smiling in every photo taken during a race: unheard of. There is a lot to be said for just rocking up, not pushing it, hanging at the back of the party, chilling and taking it easy.

August 2, 2017

Plan Z

Code red, we have a code red! We are on plan Z! What do you do when you reach plan Z? Plan AA?

July 4, 2017

Kit Guide for a Scottish Ultra-Marathon

Or any other run in Scotland for that matter.

It is oft said in the pre-race briefing to expect ‘weather’. Now, your canny Scot knows exactly what that means. The country that can so often give us four seasons in one day means that we have to plan for said four seasons.

So here is a quick guide to ensure success and avoid the packing procrastination trap.

May 13, 2017

The tyne’s all mine: Tyne Trail Ultra

Well, I had to really. Just couldn’t resist it.

The inaugural Tyne Trail Ultra followed the new Tyne Trail from source to sea. The trail has been established by the Daft as a Brush charity which provides cancer patient care services by provided staffed transportation to and from hospital for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

April 19, 2017

Last does not mean loser

Kielder 80k ultra: I came last and first.

Bunk beds and school dinners were the order of the day at the Hawkhirst Scout camp which is where the Kielder, 50k, 80k and 100k races start and finish and where we were staying the night before the event. I was one on a small Scottish raiding party making a foray into racing south of the border. Speaking to our dorm neighbours we discovered a small Danish raiding party too.

March 7, 2017

Oven to Freezer – a double Marathon Experience – the freezer

From Namibia (see previous blog post) back to Frankfurt, then on to Beijing (the coldest and most unfriendly airport I have ever set foot in) and a final short hop to Ulaanbataar: departing Namibia on Sunday night and arriving in Ulaanbataar on Tuesday, yes, Tuesday afternoon, losing 7 hours on the way.

March 1, 2017

Oven to Freezer – a double Marathon Experience – the oven

Our adventure started on a wet January morning as we flew from Glasgow to Frankfurt where we hooked up with David Scott (Sandbaggers) the organiser and the rest of the group before the overnight flight to Windhoek the capital of Namibia.

February 19, 2017

Inov-8 Shoe Review

Review of the Inov-8 Arctic Talon 275 and a 2nd review of the Roclite 295

December 31, 2016

2016 A year of mediocrity

It has been a strange old year in so many ways: Brexit, Trump – who’d have thought – if I’d put money on those results my Global Odyssey would be paid for. Yes, it’s been a funny old year. 

December 20, 2016

My Father

My father has been in my thoughts recently, more so than normal. He died a good many years ago now at the age of 59. A life too short for a larger than life man who had such gusto for life. I am not sure why he is so much in my thoughts. Several things may have prompted it. 

November 26, 2016

Sweeping Duty

At the recent Glen Ogle 33 I had my first experience of sweeping. For the uninitiated a sweeper is positioned at the rear of the race behind the last competitor: and as the name suggest sweeps along the route ensuring that the runner stays on course and letting the check points know that there is no left on the course: simple, but there are a number of rules. I was sweeping with Ada, a seasoned sweeper and great person to learn the tricks of the trade from.

November 8, 2016

Shoes with attitude

Should I be worried that my trail shoes have increasingly extreme names? Grit, Fellrasier, Roclite, Terra Claw, Arctic Talon.

It’s a case of horses for courses, or rather shoes for courses. Unlike road shoes, where I have a single brand and model that I run in; I have learned that one shoe fits all does not necessarily apply to trails where the underfoot conditions can vary greatly. I learned to my cost in April when my chosen and only shoe did not cope with a technical downhill involving damp and wet conditions over leaves, rocks and tree roots. A number of slips and falls, and a wrenched ankle later I withdrew from the race.

October 20, 2016

Dunoon 55k

And therein lies a story. When I caught sight of a new ultra-marathon signing up was a 'no brainer', and so I entered the inaugural Dunoon 50k a good few months ago. Note the zero after the five there and the ‘good few months ago’.

October 20, 2016

Marathon de Ben Nevis: a biblical epic

There was weather. There is always weather in Scotland, but this weather was biblical. I was wetter than a wet thing that is very wet for nine hours.