Monday, 26 April 2010

one ultra collie, there's only one ultra collie! (highland fling 2010)

my own personal story doesn't matter. i want charlie to have the limelight he desrerves.

he was the first ever dog 'flinger' (a 53 mile race along the West Highland Way for those who dont know it) and this year makes it three in a row..a triple crown for the boy. an amazing achievement by any standards. no other dog measures up to that.

as right as rain at the end as he was at the start. walk for a minute and a stick was placed at your feet by yours sincerely. thanks to lots of the competitors that joined in with his game.

his indomitable spirit is to be beholden and the reason why he enters so many hearts so quickly (even after he'd rolled in some badger 'stuff' and was smelling slightly ripe as a result!)

a four-legged inspiration. more importantly, the best running companion i could wish for.

he runs with a smile, a joie de vivre that i can only aspire towards

it made me so happy and so emotional to hear the piper pipe us both in and to cross the finish line with a true champ of champions.

he's a fling legend and god willing there just might be another fling left in us both

ps a huge thanks to murdo, ellen and everyone involved in the fling..the helpers who are so kind, all the cheery supporters at the checkpoints and the finish, all the friendly participants that you get chatting to along the way and the faster ones that pass with encouraging words. its brutal yes but without doubt for me and the boy its the best event in the world. thank you so much for making us feel so welcome and elated at the finish line every time we come. we really appreciate it. we'll hopefully be back for a final fling next year.
thank you!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

just look what you could've won!

3-2-1 was famous for its cheap and tacky prizes and for couples taking home only a brand new metal dustbin if the final clue revealed was Dusty Bin. However 3-2-1 has also become notorious for prizes that would be unacceptable today. On at least two occasions a pet dog was the prize (Show 1 featured 'a St. Bernard and a year's supply of whisky'). Other less extravagant prizes have included: a sofa that turns into a pool table, gold nuggets, a family set of folding bicycles and matching 'his and hers' sheepskin coats.

well you might have guessed ladies and 'fling' number is no other than 3-2-1! who knows, we might just be travelling back with a matching set of sheepskins. but more than likely the words..'just look what you could've won' will ring true.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

one of those runs (6am)..

..where it feels just immeasurable

we started from the ship in wincle (where id parten of a couple of scoops the previous night) and headed through the forest up onto the moor and over to the roaches. a glorious morning and not a soul in sight..except the wild deer, new born lambs and a few birds. a perfect run that will contribute to my highest weekly mileage ever in my life.

and just to keep up the madness, i've decided we'll 'wing the fling' next weekend after all.i tried to pull out but got one of those e mails back from the organisers that immediately changed my mind..'but charlie is infamous for his fling finishes' it cant argue with that. so with my longest run this year having been all of 25miles i now have the task of doubling it plus a little bit more next saturday.

time to taper?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

first light

hoping for a lovely sunrise i donned my bandit hat and headtorch and headed up early doors to gun hill. we weren't let down.

Friday, 9 April 2010

goodbye evil top !!!!!!!!!!!

a great back end of the week planned..17m back from work last night, 17m back in this morning early doors and a 25-30m bimble round the peaks on saturday.
change the plan.
did last nights 17..beautiful warmish night..running really well..feeling good. felt a bit of irritation on and around my underarms..just thought it was a bit of passing stinging from sweat maybe and not worried as i was using a bumbag not a backpack. but oh no..the 'horror' had returned and was revealed when i got home (i'll save you the jury the evidence). the cause? one chuffing alpine lowe base layer. i wore it the other week when it happened last. never had any problems before with any other top in my life. so its now confined to history, languishing in the dark recesses of the bin, too evil to be given away to charity.
that means that todays run, which i should have already started (0530am) and probably tomorrows is postponed and replaced with biking to minimise any upper body movement and friction. and so i'll need to revise my plan yet again..though i do like to tinker with it.
hopefully i wont be encountering this issue again. better to find out now than half way across the country i guess.
must say it does hurt though. or am i just being a bit of a soft lad?

Thursday, 8 April 2010


so a ten week countdown has began
with a little recce or two last week, ive now started the planning and prep properly..pouring over maps and trying to get the route into my head. a bit of tweaking to my training too.
oh and it appears to be on my mind enough that im now dreaming about it at night

Saturday, 3 April 2010

good garmin!

my slightly more talented fellrunning friends / neighbours simon, kate and kirsten bailey had better watch out. today i did a local roaches / gradbach route averaging around 8min/mls which might put the fear of god into them all. well maybe not quite. i havent a clue what happened to my gizmo but it definitely got carried away with the distance. i think a more conservative 10miles was about right..ah well..i enjoyed my moment of glory and a PB while it lasted

my other gizmo wasnt on top form either as both these pictures will testify..i know it was a bit of a pea souper on the very top but not this bad! the trig and charlie are only 4 feet from my phone!

all in all a great day for running a bad day for technology

Thursday, 1 April 2010

the lakes

a short trip to borrowdale started with fairly ok spring like sunny weather then, over the course of 5 days, descended into sub zero snow and hail storms. thats the lakes for you i guess

not wanting to hog the holiday i decided i would rise early (as usual) and get my running done early before the clan were up and ready for whatever each day's entertainments might bring. so each day i had a 3 hour running window starting from the break of daylight

day 1 - one of my favourite runs in the area, as its 100% runnable from latrig to blease fell, taking the cumbrian way round the back of skiddaw and back via lonscale fell..a lollipop route (as hayfella would refer to it) in the classic sense. not only do you get a great run but for quite little climbing effort you get some cracking views too back over to borrowdale

day 2 - a bit more of a climb today taking in catbells, maiden moor, high spy and back down into borrowdale. catbells on a busy day is to be avoided but first thing in the morning this is another favourite routing of mine, done this time from memory without a map. the weather was blustery high up to say the least and the clag constantly threatened to envelope the tops. the two shots were taken at the same time and show the stark difference between one side of the mountain and the other

day 3 - a chance to recce what will be the start of day 2 of the coast to coast...out of rosthwaite, with a continous and largely runnable climb up the valley towards grasmere common...

..with charlie boy sporting his new spring fashion wear

day 4 - the slow twisty drive in a pea souper over to ennerdale lake left little time for actual running when we arrived there. i'd originally planned on running through to black sail youth hostel and back but ended up simply running round the lake. still it was good to see this bit of the c2c in what represents the opening part of the lakeland section

day 5 - just like the weatherman had said it was blowing a freezing gale and the mountains were starting to whiteout

for our final run before heading home common sense got the better of me as i opted to simply run round derwentwater and avoid any high areas. im glad i did as it was blowing an icy cold gale even in the valley and it was easy to imagine the difficulty you could quite quickly get into high up

so what did i learn from these outings?
firstly, i need to put in much more hill work than i have been doing
secondly, i must ensure more longer back to backs as planned and will probably jettison the two 50+ mile races in scotland ive entered in favour of doing back to backs in the lakes
thirdly, my map reading aint too bad but i need some compass work in case the clag comes down on us heavily
fourthly, charlie was on top form with no problems at all
and finally, i like to make it up as i go along and not to have everything planned

oh and by the way, if you havent already done so..go and see Alice in Wonderland..absolutely fantastic...a great way to spend some post run recovery time

the lakes (not the one with the big fat beardy person though , coming soon)