Hello, I'm Stuart and I like to run a long way.
Welcome to my blog, here I'll try to keep you up to date with my challenges, adventures and training.

I competing in Ultra distance running, adventure racing, and a variety of other events. I hold a few records in the UK, and in 2012 ran 1100 miles over the Alps, from Vienna to Nice.

I am raising funds for Water for Kids, a small charity with the simple purpose of ensuring that the world's poorest communities have clean water.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

SWCP maps

I have today ordered the full set of six South West Coast Path maps from Harvey maps. This means I can soon start detailed planning!

Thanks to Harvey maps for supporting the challenge with a 25% discount on these.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

EXCITING NEW BIKE!

I have had a fun last 10 days... Last week I was skiing in Val Thorens, not a great deal of snow but just about enough for some decent skiing! And of course, the ressurection of the one piece ski suit for "One Piece Wednesday"!


Just before holiday though, I managed to make it over to BETD Goldtec in Newcastle-under-Lyme to collect my new Yeti ARC. It's second hand, but getting it through the shop means it's had a full service and is all lovely and sorted.

Sunday was the first time I got to ride it. Al, JC Nick and I went out for a very hilly 43 mile mountain bike ride. Nick planned lots of checkpoints, and Al planned a route between them. We had a great five hours, even if the last climb was pretty tough! I really enjoyed riding the new bike, it feels more forgiving than the carbon frame so I can be a bit more relaxed downhill. Still need a bit more practice before APEX though!


Last night I also ran a short race, the 4 mile Trunce. It was hard and hurt a lot! To be honest, my aim was not to be beaten by Wil. I passed him not too long after the start but I knew he wouldn't be far away, and coming into the final descent I glanced back and saw him gaining on me... Rubbish! So I gurned and sprinted and managed to stay a few seconds ahead, but only just!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Always the bridesmaids...

Yesterday Alasdair Bruce and I raced our second Open 5 together. Last time was Bakewell and we finished 4th, but that was part of a very knackering weekend, so we hoped to do better this time!

Before that, on saturday the APEX team (Al, JC, Lucy and I) set off for some paddling on Windermere, in the boats we will be using in the race... double sit-ons. Not the fastest, but no worries, they are un-capsize-able... Definately.


Anyway, we had a good half day's paddle, Lucy and I learnt a lot and are off to Rother Valley to start our practice tomorrow! After the kayaking, Lucy went off to stay in a lovely house in Ulverston and left the three of us to our tents. Low Wray was a nice site though, we had a good pub dinner and in the nearby Co-Op I found a 50p Christmas Pudding, which was a winner for breakfast!

Anyway, the Open 5... Somewhere during the lead-up to the race our preperation went slightly amiss and we did not spend as much time looking at the map as we should have. Consequently, during our run Al was spending some time planning. During this time I should have been keeping up-to-date with where we were on the ground and making sure we didn't do anything silly like run past checkpoints... Didn't lose us much time, but as we will see in a minute not ideal!

So at the end of the run we had got all the controls but two in about two hours. Onto the bikes, Al having planned most of it while running. The bike went a bit better, I was able to keep up a bit better than in Bakewell (initially at least), but into the last half hour Al was stronger than me again. Towards the end we were faced with a decision - to finish early leaving three bike checkpoints, or to get a final 20 pointer and be a bit late. Late penalties are two points per minute for the first ten minutes, then 5 points per minute after that, so if we got in before 5:10 we would "break even".

Tense moments... what happened? We went for it, thinking we'd be in by maybe 5:06 or something. However it took a bit longer than expected, I thought we had still just about made it, but after finishing and getting our results we were gutted to see 5:10:13... meaning we gained 20 points but lost 25, finishing with 525.

The results...
Hope / Wrigley - 550
JC / Kev - 533
Lawrance / Mason - 529
Us - 525

So we were close but not quite... 4th again! One day we will make the podium.
Well done to Dan who won male solo and overall with 560, George, Caz, Jo and Lucy, JC and Kev on second place in our category, and Julia and Dave (3rd mixed pairs).