Back to posting, onwards and upwards

It’s been a while since my last post, several months in fact and I still haven’t found the willpower to write the post on the NDW100. As I seem to be suffering writers block when it comes to that particular topic, I am going to distil the event into a few short bullet points so I can move on and start posting properly again.

North Downs Way 100

Good Points

  • I got further than I have ever run before.
  • I met some great guys (Garry, Paul, Nick)
  • Event as always was excellently organised

Bad Points

  • I didn’t finish
  • In terms of training I was wildly under prepared
  • I didn’t finish
  • Nutrition needed work
  • I didn’t finish
  • I didn’t finish

Now that’s put to bed I can move on to making sure that in 2015 I smash that race.

The Next Challenge

So on to focusing on the future, my long term plan for next year is the NDW50 but in the immediate future I (along with garethdaviesPT and another chap) have signed up for the Avalanche Events Winter Fan Dance

Taken from the website:


The event is a gruelling 24km non-navigational race over two sides of Pen Y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons. This infamous route has long been a part of SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) Selection and is considered the yardstick of a candidate’s potential to perform well on Test Week and ultimately pass the Special Forces Selection programme.

Starting at the Storey Arm’s car park, the race goes straight up to the summit checkpoint of Pen Y Fan and, after descending ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, continues along an undulating stone vehicle track (the ‘Roman Road’) to the second checkpoint which also serves as a tea stop and turnaround point. Then, taking the route in reverse, racers climb back up “The Fan” via Jacob’s ladder and pass through the summit checkpoint a second time before legging their way back down to the finish at the Storey Arm’s car park.

The route is a real lung buster that throws everything at you, including the elements. There are steady slopes that allow a solid jogging pace, shocking inclines that have you almost on your hands and knees, loose stone tracks that require cautious foot placements and a forested vehicle track that allows for some rapid going. Even SAS recruits at the height of their physical abilities regard beating the clock in this event as a serious challenge, and all know its capacity to hurt. Aside from the race aspect of this event, just getting to the end is an accomplishment and something to be proud of. The Fan Dance is open to ANYONE looking for a unique challenge: be it personal, competitive, as a sponsored participant in aid of your favourite charity or as part of a team building exercise. As per real Special Forces Selection, the event will be staged in both summer and winter (both load-bearing and clean fatigue).

Now I don’t for one moment think that by doing this event I am in the same league as those that go through Selection, but I have to be honest and say the allure of completing this event which forms part of that process is very appealing and so we do it properly we have entered the load bearing event.

Training has been going well, and I seem to be getting the drive and motivation to run again. On Saturday 12th I ran the Pine Ridge Race 10km which I finished in just under 53 minutes. My ankle which is still giving me issues held out ok and although sore it hasn’t prevented me from running since.

Tuesday it was 5 miles in the morning with a 3kg rucksack (clothes for work etc) and 4.5 miles home again, Wednesday 5 miles in the morning again and Thursday it was 5 and 4.5 again. After my morning runs I have been going to the gym for a weights workout, usually I can cram in about 30 minutes before work.

Saturday was the first real foray into a load bearing run and Gareth and I did 6.7 miles around Box Hill. I had around 11.5 kilos on my back (24.4 pounds) and I have to say I certainly felt it!  I am quite pleased with the pacing that we achieved and we have learnt some lessons already in terms of packing and kit. More training sessions like that in the lead up to Jan 18th are needed.

It’s good to be back,  and as they say “Qui audet adipiscitur”

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