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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Davey G.

It's not related to Autism or running but as a drummer I have been so inspired by this man. Dave Grohl (I met him way back in the day after the Dublin SFX concert in 95) is beyond amicable. Usually the bigger the star, the cooler they are. He is insanely talented but completely unpretentious. Dave I salute you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

North Face Endurance 50

The North Face Endurance 50 which takes place in San Francisco CA over the weekend of 4-5 Dec should be a spectacular race. The reasons for my enthusiasm is because of the folks taking part. Geoff Roes has been a constant source of inspiration to me in many ways, he blogs it how he sees it and he just loves to run. I have never met him but the honesty he conveys in his writing relates to all ultra runners I believe. He is also an astonishing athlete, he has broken more records than you could shake a stick at this year. Who will ever forget the WS 100 this year where he blew everyone out of the water. Geoff, way to go this year man.

This is a fantastic article by Justin Mock ahead of the race. It weighs the favourites in great detail and I really enjoyed reading it.

Anton Krupicka though is my favourite for the win. He is just on fire at the moment and after reading his blogs and the magnitude of the miles/altitude he logs on a weekly basis, including a recent 68 mile solo run, it would be foolish to bet against him. Anton, or Tony as he is known to his friends, is a pretty much the living embodiment of the runner most of us would love to be. Below is one of my favourite interviews with the man.

His CR at the 2010 White River 50 this year can only further bolster his chances at this race.

But anything can happen on race day and for (spectacularly average) runners like myself it is quite a joy to be able to follow the greats and live these races vicariously through them. Do not discount Uli Steidl either, a tremendous runner with a Marathon pb of 2;13 and an exceptional human being too.

It's a deep field and and promises to be a tremendous end of year race in what has been one of the greatest ultra running years ever. Thanks to all who continue to follow this great sport and the folks who keep it alive everyday.

See y'all round the bend.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Easy like Sunday morning!

Yesterday morning (a grim looking Sunday morning) saw me head out on the trails as night was just giving way to day. 'I have struggled to juggle' summarises my life as of late. The motivation has not been there, the avalanche of everyday life and onset of dark evenings have made early nights with a book more preferable to getting out the headlamp and tearing up some dirt.

But this little jaunt favoured me quite positively and definitely trended towards NEVER having such an extensive trail sabbatical ever again. I decided to take a westward bound trail towards Versailles as the climbs there are meandering and sheltered to begin with. The first thing I noticed once hopping from road to trail (roughly 5 minutes) was how utterly compacted the forest floor was. After months of the trees scattering their leaves this multi coloured carpet, an Autumn-Winter jigsaw of iridescence, coerced me unhurriedly up through a winding and foggy track. The ascent itself was remarkable in its quietness as usually this part of the trail is a hikers paradise.

Regarding clothing I was pretty happy with my layers from the start. I opted not for a jacket but arm warmers, t-shirt and under shirt, compression sleeves and the vital tool of traction the Speedcross 2. Now, I have never been much of a gear junkie and was always the first to disregard certain products as 'gimmicks' but, having switched over to a specialist trail running company I now see the error of my short sightedness. Firstly, having spent the amount time (and winters) I have running trails on road shoes is akin to giving a person a pair of skis and telling them to try and run a Marathon with them. It doesn't compute. But that was not my thinking back in previous summers as crisp leaves crinkled underfoot and single track trails were littered with nothing more than ferns and pine. All in all it never demanded anything technical from my footwear. It was the beginning of last years winter though that taught me otherwise, knees were scarred, elbows bruised and palms grazed from slipping and stumbling. "I think I need to investigate some off piste shoes" was my first thought and since the change over its been bliss.

(the sun tailing me back down from the descent)

(unparalleled grip)

(bath time)

My confidence in scrambling up inclines and hammering downhill has been bolstered by educating myself in the ways of the trail and this run underlined the importance of not only having confidence in ones own ability, but also the assurance of using the right gear to optimise the experience.

I am looking forward to leaving many foot prints on the snow this winter and embracing the chilly mornings. The hours spent meandering through the hills may seem harsh when the alarm goes off at a ridiculous hour, but returning home caked in mud from head to to far outweighs it.

See you round the bend,


(Stats: 1:17, 14km, elevation gain.... no idea)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My reminder.

I posted this on our site last June and it feels to me like a lifetime ago, so many emotions and events have transpired since then and I feel lucky to have come out the other side. The reason I have repeated it here is to basically tell myself that I have become lazy and complacent. I need to find that fire in my belly again and starting tomorrow morning that is exactly what I intend to do. Thanks to all of you who have stuck it out with me, the road will rise and meet us.

See you round the bend,


Running is a state of mind.

I never could figure out people who ran and its not because I am not a sporty person. I was an avid cyclist in my youth and enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of a club. But running? Nah, I mean I ran as part of the cross country team as a young boy in school but that was only to feel like I was part of something and, since I was rubbish at football I thought to myself "Hey, its just one foot in front of the other right? But I never thought my approach to life would be changed or emboldened so much by the sheer simplicity of going for a run.

The reason I started running was to occupy my Sunday mornings with my wife's uncle. A drunken Saturday night chat ended up something like this: Me-"Sure I'll go running with you, hey while we are at it lets do a Marathon together". Trust me when I tell you that the following day I suffered 25 minutes, in a world of pain to which I was not familiar, and all the following week. I was walking on wooden legs for a while before I went back for more. It was a case of punishment, recover, repeat. But in time I began to relish it, seeing the distances increase and my endurance levels rise brought a sense of pride and accomplishment. I began training more on my own, figuring out what I was made of and how far I could push myself. Two years later and the answer is.... I can push myself farther than I (or most of my friend's and family) ever imagined. For example I have run dozens of races ranging from 10km's to 35km's, I have run a sub four hour Paris Marathon. I ran a 100km non stop race in Western France in May of this year and as I write this am two weeks away from a 50km 'Ultra Marathon' in Paris. I am no longer a drinker or a smoker and am dedicated to Running for Pearl and raising Autism Awareness. On July 4th 2011 I will start running from Mizen Head (Co.Cork) to Malin Head (Co. Donegal) in Ireland. Its 587 km's and I will do it in the name of Autism. This event will be epic so I will need your help, whether its a donation, a message of support or informing a friend as to what I am doing, it all helps.

Your support and donations/sponsorship will help Pearl every step of the way. It will afford her the proper therapies that could give her the best chances of living a "normal" life.

If anyone would like to pledge to either cycle or run part of the way with me, you are more than welcome. It is as much about Autism awareness as it is about putting down the remote, getting off the sofa and going beyond what, yesterday, may have seemed impossible.

My goal is to never stop. To always seek out new endurance challenges and defy what is expected of my body and my mind. I have seen myself change as a human being and I have been inspired by many along the way and if I inspire someone also.... that makes it even more worth while. The courage is within us all to make that first step. Take it.


June 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scotland 2 Sahara

My good friend Andrew Murray kicked off this challenge today and looking forward to meeting him in Paris in a few weeks time to run a bit together. He is an incredible man and one of a kind. With you all the way brother. You can help him out by visiting


Scotland 2 Sahara: Dr Andrew Murray’s 3000 mile, record breaking challenge.

Dedicated to reducing poverty in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, Dr Andrew Murray is undertaking a massive, record breaking challenge to raise £100,000 for the Yamaa Trust charity.

We will be updating Andrew’s progress on the map below as often as possible, so you can share in his experience on this epic journey!

Andrew will be running from the snow in Scotland to the sand dunes of the Sahara, covering just short of 3000 miles, in 85 consecutive days (that's over 100 marathons!)

EVERY penny raised by Andrew will go to the Yamaa Trust. This year, the charity aims to build a school for the deaf in the South Gobi desert as well as providing funding for medical care in rural areas, and accommodation and services for mentally ill people. Completed projects include building felt huts for orphanages, distributing medical equipment and essential supplies. All of your support is hugely appreciated, please visit our donate page to see how you can contribute to the appeal.

Here are just a few of the fantastic words of support that Andrew’s challenge has received:

support from a true legend for Andrew's Scotland2Sahara challenge

Thumbs up for Scotland2Sahara challenge from Redgrave

Alex Salmond backs Andrew's mammoth challenge and the Yamaa Trust

This is a truly magnificent challenge (“the textbooks say this should not be physically possible. However Andrew has proved me wrong before.” Dr Duncan Goodall, Marathon Medical Services), for a great, great cause, and on completion will almost double the current world record:

Show your support, DONATE NOW!

Running for Pearl

This blog is dedicated to my daughter Pearl who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in August 2009. My goal is to raise funds and awareness by doing what I love....Running.