Tried a Winter Bob Graham...

So, my winter BG plan didn't quite come off as I'd hoped... but it tested my feelings about running and I can confirm I'm still in love.

I've been keen to have a go at a winter BG for a long time, and this season seems to have been popular for attempts, possibly inspired by Jim Mann's completion of all three rounds last winter. This deservedly won him the FRA Long Distance award - congratulations Jim. Among others this winter has seen Kim Collison complete a fast round in 20:36, and Ally Beavan attempting (and getting so close to completing!) a solo unsupported round a few weeks ago.

It is this solo unsupported on-your-own approach that appeals to me. One of the things I like about long-distance running is the feeling of being out somewhere on your own, possibly in the dark, probably with some weather, and almost certainly lost (if you're me) but remaining in control. In a world of constant interaction with other people I like that rare moment of "It's…

Lucho Dillitos

Right then, a food review... This blog is branching out! Well, slightly... the food in question is a new running / cycling snack called a "Lucho Dillitos".

Lucho whatcha?
First things first, I'll save you the Google translation. Lucho Dillitos is Spanish for "I fight little boys" (try it!) This is surely a strong start.

As you are no doubt aware, energy food has changed over the last few years. Gloopy gels assembled in a laboratory from 57 unpronouncable ingredients have their place, but the discerning runist or cycler now looks for the shortest ingredients list and the most natural products. Here the little boy fighter scores well again. He contains only two things: 85% fruit and 15% sugar.

Guava rating: 5/5

But, with all that health in him, how much energy will he give you? The Lucho contains 88kcal and 22.5g carbs. For comparison, a Nature Valley bar I found in the cupboard contains 143kcal but only 12.9g carbs (and a heck of a lot more ing…

One year on: Peakrunner Dark Peak 30

Last year, the Peakrunner Dark Peak 30 was my first UK race after returning from the Alps. It went well; I won in 4:41. You can read all about it here, but here's the ending...

"a fantastic event - the organisers were fantastic, the marshals were really friendly and the course marking (apart from the places it had unfortunately been moved) really good. As David says, the route is a bit of a classic!
I had a great day, it felt really good to be back racing again"
This year was likely to be a bit different... I hadn't really felt much like racing since the Snowdonia Trail Marathon, but when Dave offered me a place I thought it sounded like a nice low key re-introduction to racing. That is until it transpired that a certain Mr. Scotney would be racing too!

With Marcus running, as well as Matty Brennen, it was going to be a tough race! In the weeks before the race there was a lot of discussion about whether Marcus or I would win... I found this a bit scary - we weren'…

Mostly eating Pizza in beautiful places

It's almost the end of September. The days are getting noticably shorter, temperatures have dropped a little, and if like me you live in a University city, the pavements have suddenly got busy again. Although I don't formally teach, working at a University means that summer is the easiest time to take holidays, and also the time when conferences and events tend to be organised. This means that August and September can be busy months!

In the last couple of weeks I've been on two notable trips, the first a work trip to Cork and the second a holiday to the Ardeche region of France. I won't bore you with all the details, but I wanted to talk quickly about the major summits of each trip... Carrauntoohil and Mont Ventoux.

Carrauntoohil is the biggest hill in Ireland. At 1038m it's higher than Scafell Pike, not quite as tall as Snowdon, and 300m or so shorter than Ben Nevis. It is bigger than the two remaining high points in the British Isles (Slieve Donard i…

Inspiration? Information? Both, or neither?

As part of the Dig Deep race series at Whirlow Hall Farm last weekend, I gave a talk on Friday night. I was in stellar company, speaking between Sally Fawcett and Nicky Spinks! At our weekly Friday morning strength and conditioning session at Accelerate, I was given a great piece of advice... A talk like this must aim for inspiration, not information... I can certainly deliver a lack of information, but the first half?! Hmm...

Sally spoke first about training for and competing in the World Trail Championships in Tuscany, and then training for the Bob Graham round and the serendipitous week she spent at altitude a couple of weeks before.

Nicky spoke later about her journey through life and running, culminating in her amazing double Bob Graham round.
It was great to hear both talks and I left feeling very inspired (and informed!), as well as very proud to be part of Dark Peak Fell Runners, as both Sally and Nicky are too.

My talk was titled "Adventures". I decided to step side…

Snowdonia Trail Marathon

To borrow the words of a fine sportsman of appropriate nationality...

"As they say, sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail.  I was a cheapy little Ikea one today. It was terrible."
So here, in contrast to 2015, is a blog about this year's Snowdonia trail marathon.
The Scott Snowdonia Trail Marathon is a marathon (obviously, although the distance has in the past not always been exactly marathon distance!), starting from Llanberis and visiting Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert, Nant Gwynant and Pen y Pass before climbing to nearly the top of Snowdon by the Pyg track, then descending on the Llanberis path.

I ran the inaugural race in 2015 but missed the race in 2016. Both previous years have experienced very wet weather, so it was a pleasant surprise to see some sunshine on the start line this year.

After a surprisingly comfortable night in the back of the Volvo I had some breakfast, registered and collected my number. then caught up with some friends. Pete Down an…