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Showing posts from 2010

Winter (most of) Edale Skyline

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Yesterday a few of us set off to have a go at a snowy run round the Edale Skyline Route. Lucy was ill so Rhys, Wil and I set off from Edale. Wil cut off after a while and went to play with his cross country skis. Rhys and I got a Mam Nick and decided to head back  from there as the weather turned and the remaining route was mainly ridge running. The last time I ran the race it took 3:37, yesterday took us 3:43! Running is slower when there is snow.

But we had a great run around the first half... Ringing Roger, Jaggers Clough, Win Hill, down to Hope, back up to Lose Hill and along the ridge through Hollins Cross to Mam Tor then down to Mam Nick and back to Edale... About 13 miles and 2700ft climb in total.

The snow varied from about an inch to waist deep, sometimes from one footstep to the next!

 

Website

I have just sorted out a proper website. For now this just links through to this blog, but in time will hopefully host a map and some other info. It's here, so tell your friends:
http://www.bigalpsrun.eu/

End of the Ultra season...

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Last weekend was the end of season party for the UK Ultrarunning championships, so we were all at the Traveller's Rest pub near Hope for some running, food and a few beers on saturday night and some mountain biking on sunday (for me, a lesson in what real mountain bikers look like from Karen and Andy)!

We also had a great talk from Stephen Pyke (Spyke) on his incredible Munro's record. This summer Spyke ran over Scotland's 283 3000ft peaks in just 39 days 9 hours and 6 minutes, beating the previous record by nearly ten days. The talk and slideshow Spyke gave us was brilliant, with lots of pictures of the less than ideal weather!

(Spyke here in the Munros, but on another trip)
Spyke's own blog from the trip has great descriptions from each day, and also the opportunity to sponsor him in his fundraising efforts for the John Muir Trust. The blog is here... http://munros2010.blogspot.com/

Results of the 2010 Ultra Series

Ahead of our end of year party this weekend, the final results of the Runfurther UK Ultra series have been published. Congratulations to Jon Morgan of Dark Peak Fell Runners, who won three races and set at least one new course record on his way to overall victory.

I finished 13th, with 3402 points to Jon's 3985. My four "counters" were the Manx Mountain Marathon (33 miles - 10th), Pumlumon Challenge (26 miles - 9th), Calderdale Hike (37 miles - 6th) and the Lakeland 100 (102 miles - 10th).

I really enjoyed all the races, and I think the standard has jumped up this year. Really looking forward to next year - top ten here I come! (Hopefully)

WfK day and Planning

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As I said, I gave a quick talk at Water for Kids (WfK) day in Manchester on Saturday. It was great to see the work that the charity does, and to see what the money donated from the British Isles Challenge was used for. One of the main things the charity does is to secure water sources in rural African communities, and for a village or around 1000 people this costs around the same amount I was able to donate.

Here's an example of the great work they do, showing a village water supply in Uganda before and after work of WfK.
I'm hoping to raise much more from the Big Alps Run, so hopefully WfK will be able to do loads more good work.

I've also done some route planning in the last few days, and pretty much sorted the section from Zermatt to Nice, the last quarter or so. From Zermatt to Chamonix I'll be roughly following the Haute Route, then from Chamonix south through Tignes, Modane and towards Nice on the GR5 route (a long distance walking route which I'll be using pa…

T-shirts and Water for Kids Talk

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This weekend I'm doing a short talk at Water for Kids Day in Manchester, talking about the British Isles Challenge for 5 minutes and the Big Alps Run for 5 minutes! It will be good to meet the guys who run Water for Kids, some trustees and other fundraisers. In celebration I've designed a T-shirt which has been made up by twentytwo. I'm quite proud of it!

Lakeland 100 video

I took a few phone videos on the L100, which I have joined together into a little 10 minute thingy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kntrzjac8P4

The Lakeland 100

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The weekend before last was my longest race of the year... The Lakeland 100. As the name suggests it's around the Lake District, and it's actually 103 miles long, with around 6300m climb.

As last year it was a fantastic race: The dramatic scenary from our campsite and starting point in Coniston only added to the aprehension, and I think everyone was relieved when after registation, safety talks, kit checks and last minute eating, we set off at 5:30 on Friday, started by none other than Joss Naylor.

I knew that last year we had taken the first 30 miles or so slowly as they are the hardest, but I felt we took them too slow and never got round to speeding up. Of the 7 who started together in 2009, only myself and Nigel Coates finished. We were both back again and looking to improve on our 39 hour time. This year the first 30 miles went quickly, and I was up on my schedule. The run past Burnamoor Tarn as it steamed in the late evening is one of my best memories of the race.

After …

June

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It's probably about 12 months till the start of the Big Alps run, which sounds like a very long time, but if the experience of last year's adventures are anything to go by it will pass very quickly! Preperations are progressing well if not earth-shatteringly fast, and Mark Beaumont's willingness to help and generous comments have been great. I've also spoken to Carey at Water for Kids who tells me the charity is still doing well despite all the financial goings-on, which is great news.

In the world of exercise, the summer seems to result in me doing lots of short fast races, which aren't generally what I go for. This is because they are horrible, when you're only racing 15 - 20 minutes every second counts so there can be no holding back. This means pain and gurning across the finish line. In the last month or so I've raced a couple of 5k time trials (current PB is 18:16), and a few great (painful) fell races... Beamsley Beacon, Danesfield Relay and the Clif…

Support from Mark Beaumont

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In 2008 Mark Beaumont broke the world record for cycling around the world, covering 18,000 miles in 195 days. Earlier this year he completed a ride the length of the Americas from Alaska to Argentina, climbing Mount Mckinley and Aconcagua along the way. During these trips he has also raised around £20,000 for charity.
I went to see one of Mark's inspirational talks about these adventures earlier this year, and afterwards spoke to him about the Big Alps Run. He was interested in the challenge and is now supporting me, and had this to say...
'The Big Alps Run is an inspired and quite incredible ambition - my very best wishes for what will be a gruelling mental and physical feat. Congratulations also Stuart for your fund raising for Water for Kids. Such great missions don't happen without the help of others so congratulations goes to your backers as well.'

A Birthday Treat

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For anyone who isn't familiar with the Bob Graham Round, it starts in Keswick and is a circuit of 42 peaks around the Lake District, covering anywhere between 65 and 72 miles, the aim being to finish back in Keswick within 24 hours. The route is split into five legs, finishing at Threlkeld, Dunmail Raise, Wasdale Head and Honister Pass. At these points most people have a support team to help feed and water them, as well as a few pacers to run each leg with them and assist with navigation.

Spot the odd one out
Pudsey is only a small town but we have two running clubs. I run for Pudsey Pacers, but we also have Pudsey and Bramley. As it is P&B's centenery this year the club wanted to have a mass Bob Graham attempt, and get as many runners around in a group as possible. So after being interested for a long time and a few disastrous half-attempts in the past, I found myself a lone Pacer outside Moot Hall with a large group of Pudsey and Bramley runners, at 7pm on my 25th birthd…