My fourth and biggest ultra yet! I applied to the Mont Blanc Ultra (UTMB) but didn't get a place so looked around for an alternative and decided on this. Lizzy Hawker was inspired to create the race after using the area for training for the UTMB. The website describes it as 'a serious challenge – brutal, beautiful and brilliant'. It's a bit longer than last year's run but more than twice as much ascent - this is going to be a real test!
One of the things I learned from doing LIAD last year was that you need a decent headtorch for running off-road at night - so this was on my birthday list for today! Great piece of kit - highly recommended.
The turbo is a great way of staying in my heart-rate zone for training. I picked up the cheapest one from Halfords for £60 and it's perfect.
I've been following Maffetone for over a year now - basically it's low intensity training combined with low-carbs, which means I burn fat for fuel. To make sure this isn't doing me any longer-term harm, I took a full-on blood test which tested 50 different measures. The results are in and I'm perfectly healthy - excellent cholesterol profile, good liver/kidney function and low heart disease risk plus loads of other good stuff.
18 miles of proper running in the Hope and Edale Valleys up on to Kinder Scout in some seriously bleak weather. Just what I needed to blow off the cobwebs.
A quick season opener and first competitive ride out on my new carbon Trek road bike! Hope the snow's cleared by then!
Thought signing up for the long route would be a good idea for training but didn't look at the hills profile beforehand. Also got to keep up with a friend who did a stage of the Tour de France in the Alps last year - should be fun!
This was recommended by the guys on the Vango stand at the OTS In Manchester - so thanks for the tip - and thanks to Tim at Beta for helping get it sorted. What a superb bit of kit - clearly designed by ultra runners and well worth the money.
After a bit of hiccup with the bus taking us from Grachen to the start - it broke down which meant we started the race after 7.5 hours on a bus and with no time to prepare or eat - 76 of us crossed the start line in Gressoney-la-Trinité (Italy) at 3pm to the chimes of the village clock - cheered on by what seemed like the entire village.
What a course! Some brutal climbing but also great views, especially at sunrise. I crossed the finish line in Grächen (Switzerland) 27 hours 49 mins later, finishing 46th overall and 9th in my age category with just 10 mins to spare before the cut off time. After a personal welcome from Lizzy (which she does for everyone) and collecting my medal, it was time for a beer. I'd done it, what a fantastic weekend.
I'm the founder of timeoutdoors and have dabbled in the outdoors for years. I love finding out what I'm capable of - even at 48 - and ultra running is my current focus.
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