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Showing posts from April, 2012

Final preparations for Big Alps Run - Shoes and Socks

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In this, the second of my final preparation blog posts, I'll quickly talk about what I'm going to wear on my feet...
Shoes and socks aren't the most interesting thing in the world, but feet will be fairly important on the Big Alps Run! I expect looking after my feet to be one of the biggest challenges, and I've certainly learnt the hard way the consequences of not doing so, particularly on the Pennine Way when this happened: There will be some short road sections, but the vast majority of the run is off road, so I'll be wearing off road shoes. After spending a while running on the treadmill and trying a few pairs of shoes at Accelerate, I've chosen to wear New Balance 101s. These are called a minimalist trail shoe, they are really lightweight and don't have much cushioning to them but I'm told that this suits my feet, and they felt nice when I ran in them. 
New Balance have very generously agreed to give me four pairs of these, which is very nice of th…

Final preparations for Big Alps Run - Kit

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So, here we go... It's just a couple of weeks till I set off now, so I'll be writing a few "final preparations" blogs, talking about kit, shoes, and route. Today, what am I going to carry?

For the majority of the challenge I will be unsupported and camping, so I'll have a fair bit of kit to carry. Most of it is currently spread out in the spare room:

Most of it is, I guess, pretty obvious. There are a few things which are to be added (Shoes being a major one!), but some things are just not there because I'm not taking them... Spare clothes fall into that category. I'd rather stink than carry any more! The total pack weight, with water and having just bought a couple of days' food, will be about 9kg.

So, a quick description of the main stuff...

Camping kit:
Tent - Coleman Rigel X2, single skin tiny wee tent. Weighs about 800g, quick to put up, and stays upright if the wind blows! I could take a Laser or Sup Air, but experience tells me these fall down on…

Not 4th for once!

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There was much confusion over the past week about yesterdays racing - the fast fellrunners went to Coledale Horseshoe, whilst the plodders amongst us went to Calderdale Hike. I was running the long race (37 miles - there's also a 26 mile option). Calderdale routes are used for three years before changing, and this year was the first on a new route...


One thing about Calderdale, compared to some other races, the time between registering and starting is pretty short... Even registering at the earliest time possible, you've only got 45 minutes! So there was slight panic from a few of us on the start line, but I managed to be ready before the start and had a moment's calm...

Then we were off! I ran at the front with Martin Beale and Jim Mann, with Ian Shrimpton and Jason Stevens just behind us. I felt quite comfortable with the pace, as the three of us took turns to lead along the roads and tracks through CP1, up above Mytholmroyd and eventually round towards Stoodley Pike. Ma…

The final Open5 of the season...

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Well as my shorts and T-shirt from the weekend hang covered in snow on the washing line, the beautiful weather we had in Dovedale on Sunday seems a long way away!
I'll keep this blog pretty short because I have no pictures to make it interesting, but for once I had a reasonable (if not brilliant) Open 5. I decided to bike first, and really enjoyed the bike course. It wasn't too technical which suited me, and there were a fair few controls accessible by road and decent bridleways, which made it pretty fast. After getting all of the high point controls in a loop I found myself over at the eastern end of the map, so decided to crack on and clear a course for the first time!
Having done all the bike I got back to transition after about 3:40, so set off for a pretty short run. For once I was sensible, and just collected to controls on the top half of the map... As usual, there was a strong urge to head off to the most obscure, difficult and low scoring controls in the bottom corner, …