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Lakes in a Day 2021

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So, the history of this one goes back a while - a decade in fact. There's lots of little branches and tributaries that combine into this story, so it might be a bit long and rambling. Grab a brew and some biscuits if you're reading - or even if you're not. Biscuits and a brew is always a good thing. Starting with the oldest bit of backstory: Back in 2010 I went from pretty much no running at all, to completing Janathon in January, to upping my distance again in Junathon (in June, surprisingly enough), to running 50 miles with 5,000m of ascent in the Grand Raid des Pyrenees in the August - a pretty momentous change for someone who hadn't really done much running since they knackered an ankle in 2004. I kept it up for a while, but a year of niggling injuries I never got treated and a DNF on a repeat trip to the GRP ended my erswhile Ultra career at 1 out of 2. A bit more recently: Sometime in 2018 I started Orienteering again. I've discovered over the years I don'

Leeds Country Way 3-Day

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I normally only blog about events, but there's been precious few of those happening in the past years, so I guess I have to make my own entertainment!  I've spent the last three days running/walking/jogging/shuffling the Leeds Country Way , a just-shy-of-100km lap round the outskirts of the city. This was supposed to be a shake-down for the Great Lakeland 3 Day on the May bank holiday weekend, but it's been postponed until August, so really it was just a way of using up some leave days and seeing how I coped with three solid days on my feet - no rushing, no racing, no major stress, just a way of getting out and about for a while. While the 'stay local' fit was maybe a bit tenuous, I can at least say I didn't leave the city! Day 1 - Golden Acre to Woodlesford - 37km, 6:23 https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6484859223 Harewood House Mainly known trails, through Harewood and across the fields to Bardsey, ticking off the roads I was crossing as I meandere

Misadventure Racing - Open5 Cracoe

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24hrs after finishing this year's Open5 and I'm still trying to mentally process some of what happened yesterday- hopefully writing it down will help with that! Despite the weather and everything going on around the UK with Storm Ciara, I'm not questioning any of the decision to go, to race, to head out into the teeth of it at all, I guess I'm just trying to get my head round the day as a whole and how it went. A very race-focussed summary would be "respectable distances, travelled a bit slow, didn't score many points" , but that summary would completely miss the point of the day and the whole gamut of experiences had during it, so we'll ignore times, distances and points for now and just get on with the writing. First things first - I was racing in a pair for once, rather than soloing like I usually do. Psychologically that usually makes it a little bit easier, having someone else to share the day with. The wrinkle this time was that it was my teamm

Misadventure Racing - Open5 Burneside

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(Pic: James Kirby) Picture, if you will, the scene: It's a Monday morning in February. I'm at the day job, out at a Health Centre somewhere in the greater Leeds area looking, at the IT kit with a group of other people. We need to look at the server and network room, which is in the basement. I wince and make a few small 'erk' noises as I creak down and up the stairs. "You injured yourself?" someone asks, kindly. "No, just a bit sore from the weekend, I was racing." There's a short pause. "Oh yeah, what kind of race?". Oh dear... ...That's where it starts: Trying to explain that I was doing a 5 hour Adventure Race. Trying to explain what Adventure Racing is. Trying to explain that, in the grand scheme of Adventure Racing, 5 hours is a short race. Trying to explain that, no, it wasn't a special thing for charity, I do these things just for fun. If they haven't glazed over before this point, it's definitely imminent.

On Islands

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For reference before I start, the general point of this blog is one particular race trip, and this is a rambling personal missive, not a race report as such. Consider yourself forewarned. I've had a hectic few weeks, between the 9-to-5 and travelling to races, though that's not unusual. In amongst all of that was a long weekend out in the Western Isles, and I guess this is vaguely a short story about that trip. It's always hard to know where to start these kind of blogs: okay, this is just a blog about a specific event, but the history of that event and my relationship with that event go back a lot further than just the weekend itself. Anyway, I'll add lots of pics to make this a nice photo story and hopefully draw your eyes away from some of the drivel for a second or two... So, once again, I was honoured to head out to the Outer Hebrides to shoot for organisers Durty Events at The Heb, a two day, 200km Adventure Race up in the Uists and Benbecula. The quick s

The Dirty Reiver

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The Dirty Reiver is an event that's been on my radar since its first edition a couple of years ago. A big gravelly day out around Kielder Forest, it's had the kind of reviews that kind of appealed, in a slightly masochistic way, to my sense of humour. That said, I wasn't sure of whether I'd be capable of the 200km it entails - finishing was uncertain, and the weather turned out to be rubbish that year. I held off the first year, and vowed to enter the second. Cotic X: Ready to roll 2017 came up and in went my entry to the newly announced 'Dirty 130', a two-thirds(ish) version of the Reiver, for those like myself who didn't want to commit to the 200. All well and good, with the late '16/early '17 riding going well until the  Kielder Cross , my shakedown and fitness check event: that itself went well enough, but the weeks after were plagued with hip and lower back problems that despite stretching, physio, exercises etc, stopped me getting in any