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Showing posts from March, 2012

Final route and map

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Today I have finalised the route! Measuring it by hand it comes to about 1800km (1116 miles), or according to Google it's about 740 miles. Quite a difference, due to the fact that Google uses straight lines between the overnight stops. Anyway, if you want to see the route it's here

Sheffield Varsity 10k... A moral victory for Uni?

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For those who don't know, "Varsity" is the annual sports competition between Sheffield's two Universities - Hallam and Uni. The first ever Sheffield Varsity 10k took place on Sunday, starting at Don Valley Stadium, and for some reason I entered this rather than the Edale Skyline fell race. Not quite sure how that happened, but anyway...


It was a very sunny day before the start, but cold in the shade. We were all given a race T-shirt at registration, but I wanted to race in my Big Alps Run vest to try and drum up some more interest! I didn't know what time to aim for, but after a chat in the pub with Wil and Lucy I decided to target 35 mins. I was happy with this until the day before, when I realised that this would require back-to-back 5k personal bests!

I didn't know how quick everyone else would be going, but set off in the lead group. There were four of us: A small man, a tall man with long hair, me and another man. Another guy made occasional sprints to t…

ESPS awards night

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Last Thursday I was invited to attend the second University of Sheffield Elite Sports Performance Scheme awards night. Those of us on the scheme were asked to attend in "national kit", so I put my short shorts and race top on, and headed down to the Union... To discover that most people had not taken it quite so literally. Luckily I also took a pair of jeans so all was well.


We had some photos taken as a group, with the commercial partners of the scheme (who support some of the students), and with one of the scheme patrons - BBC sports presenter Dan Walker. The other patron is a certain Ms. Ennis and Dan was very gracious and gave a really good speech.

Overall it was a great night! I'm not particularly good at "networking" so might not have helped the scheme raise more money from commercial donors, but I did enjoy chatting to some nice people.

So it begins...

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Saturday was the first race in the 2012 Runfurther ultra series. After the HPM, this always feels like the start of the year for me. I had recovered pretty well from the previous weekend, although my stomach took a day or two to finally sort itself out...

I left home at about 5, having had a small breakfast (I think early breakfast might be a key to sorting these stomach troubles) and arrived at Haworth in plenty of time. Before the start I felt pretty fit, so decided I would run fast but comfortably, and see what happened. On the start line the weather was certainly not as promised! Light drizzle made it chilly in shorts and a long sleeved top, which was all I had brought as a sunny day had been forecast. The start took us all by surprise and there was plenty of barging as we trotted out of the village on the road. Just as we turned off onto the track I found myself at the front and pushed on a little bit, after a while looking back to see that three of us had moved away from a larger…

A night on the bog

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Despite being about 3 hours from anywhere remotely Avon-esque, on Friday I joined the Avon Mountain Athletes to compete in the High Peak Marathon for the second time. This was slightly more organised than last time (when I joined the team at the last minute), and we had even managed to get together for a recce a couple of weeks ago. After finishing second to Flipper's Gang last year, we were keen to try harder this year and see if we could catch the blighters...

As well as Flipper and friends, this year's entry list looked very strong, with the likes of Kim Collison and Dan Shrimpton (Crazy Diamonds), Kevin and Adam Perry in Young and Old, and plenty of others. We watched all these teams set off before us, hoping we would see them again as the night wore on. At 11:47 we set off, with only Flipper's Gang left in the hall.
As we expected, they caught up the minute and made a point of passing us on the first climb, although slightly after Hollins Cross this year. We abused them…