Sunday 14 April 2013

TORQing About Running (it's a homonym, y'see...)

A few months ago, I happened to see a message on Facebook about an interesting sounding new initiative. TORQ are a fitness consultancy firm that also produce a range of nutritional supplements such as gels, bars and recovery drinks. They are highly regarded in the mountain biking community, and sponsor teams in cycling, MTB, triathlon etc. They are now interested in getting involved in the trail and ultra running scene, and were looking for runners to make up their new trail team. What was interesting about this was that they are not looking for the top runners in the country, but instead are interested in putting together a team of inspirational runners who are passionate about the sport regardless of whether they are elite athletes. So runners from all backgrounds were asked to submit a CV describing what running means to them, a little about their background, and any blogs or the like that they might have.

You may have noticed that I quite enjoy banging on about running (my poor wife sure knows it), so I figured I would put something in. To be honest I hadn't heard of TORQ before this, but a friend described them to me as the "Rolls Royce of gels" which was pretty high praise. Since I pretty much use gels exclusively when I run, I thought why not have a crack.

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Viking Way Ultra Race Report - April 2013

Potential Vikings before their adventure
Strap yourself in, this could be a long one!

The Viking Way is a 147.8 mile route running from the Humber Bridge in North Lincolnshire to Oakham in Rutland. Quite what the Vikings thought was so important in Oakham to require such a long march from their landing point I have no idea, but I guess getting away from Hull is excuse enough. Although they might want to fire their navigator as it's not exactly a direct route. Regardless, the route is one of the longest marked trails in the country, and was the perfect location for a new race. Last year Mark Cockbain, an extremely accomplished ultra runner who has done pretty much everything you would care to mention, announced his plans to hold the race, with the caveat that all runners would have to meet a minimum requirement to be allowed in. Somehow my entry was accepted even though all I had done by that point was the South Downs Way and a few smaller races But unfortunately it was not to be, as falling off my bike in the ice and attempting to run the Thames Path 100 miler on what would later turn out to be a pretty dodgy ankle put me out of the running for a good few months last year. The race was a great success, and was won jointly by Neil Bryant and Pat Robbins in 29:22. Only seven people (out of about 30 starters) finished inside the 40 hour cutoff.