Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Final Word...

Well after a year of planning, training and preparation the day is finally here. Tomorrow we fly out to Nepal to begin our adventure.

The last 12 months have been an incredibly busy but rewarding period for me, with the press launch at Trafalgar Square, hiking through the snow in Brecon Beacons and numerous team building events being highlights. The next 19 days promise to be nothing different, although I am acutely aware of the challenge ahead of us.

After a press conference at Lords tomorrow morning I will head home to pack my bags and head to the airport for our evening flight to Kathmandu. After an overnight stay in the capital we take an early morning flight to Lukla to begin our trek.

I want to thank you all for your support over the last few months, particularly those of you have have donated to our charities. Last month I had the opportunity to attend a 'Table Cricket' event organised by the Lord's Taverners, the UK charity we are supporting. 'Table Cricket' is a miniature form of the game developed to give severely physically disabled children the opportunity to get involved in sport. It was quite a humbling experience to see the enjoyment these children were getting out of participation and a reminder to me that this expedition has a real purpose.

There is still plenty of time to donate at and any contribution is greatly appreciated.

Please be sure to follow our progress during the expedition. Every day we will be uploading progress reports via satellite from the mountian and you can view these on As Nepal is 4.45 hours ahead of the UK, updates should be available by mid-afternoon UK time.

There will also be daily updates on ITV London Tonight from Monday April 13 and throught the expedition.

If you want to be involved in the outcome of the match then check out the official Stick Cricket version of The Everest test at Here you have the chance to play as me in our own video game!!

Well, that’s all from me for now, so once again thanks for your support and please follow our progress online and on TV.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finding Time To Breathe

So its been 2 weeks since my last post and so much has happened its hard to remember it all.

We had a couple of great events a final expedition meeting and the announcement of atitle sponsor in Nokia Maps.

From a personal perspective things have been non-stop as I try and get the last of the website changes made and work with the expedition leaders to get hold of all of the Tech Kit we need for the mountain.

I haven't really thought too much about my own gear although I think I have most of what I need. Hopefully 'll get a chance to look into that over the weekand although currently my biggest concern is getting hold of all our comms gear and making sure it works so we can provide updates from the mountain.

My final changes to the website will be be going up tonight hopefully - look out for some exciting stuff there in the next day or so. Once those are done hopefully I will be able to focus more on getting myself organised and prepared to walk for 10 days and play a game of cricket on a mountain. Although I still have to worry setting up a wireless network via satellite modem at 17,000 ft with no electricity so we can send the world daily updates....


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

3 Weeks to Go

Its getting close now.

I'm starting to stress a bit...

Things have been hectic over the last month as April draws nearer. The website is taking over my life although I am making good progress,

As for my training, well thats another story. The last month has been disappointing in terms of the amount of training I have been able to get in,. Injury and sickness have meant that over the last 6 weeks I have been unable to get two weeks of good training in a row. I was sick all last week and as a result had to sit out of the Bath Half which was quite disappointing. By all accounts it was a great day, however I was stuck in London feeling like crap.

I'm feeling better now, and not having trained for 10 days I am itching to get out for a run. Unfortunately I don't have the time. Looking forward to a session at trim tomorrow night and then the big Send off Party on Thursday night.

A trip to Cornwall for a training\ tech testing weekend is on the cards. Hopefully I can squeezxe some rest in there somewhere too.

I still have a long list of kit I need to get hold of so a trip to Ellis Brigham is in store too, although I'm not sure when Im going to fit that in.

Good times...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rambling Amongst The Beacons


The last month has been a hectic one and as a result my blog has been neglected. This was recently brought to my attention by Cuzza and as a result I have decided that this blog entry will be an epic. I intend to document the Brecon Beacons training weekend in
detail, although it may take me some time to do so. I hope you have the patience and interest to read the story in its entirety in order to appreciate what a fantastic weekend it was.


Chapter 1 - The Storm Before the Calm

In October last year I was sitting at my desk reading the weather forecast in preperation for Team Tenzings attempt att he 3 Peaks Challenge. As the severe weather warnings rolled in concern mounted, but we were committed to giving it a crack. Full of anticipation we boarded our flight to Glasgow and touched down determined to see it through. What followed was to be one of the most challenging and frightening experiences of my life, and not one I am likely to forget.

After a week of the worst weather to hit the UK in over a decade there were understandable concerns circulating amongst the group planning to head to Wales for a weekend walking in the Brecon Beacons. More bad weather was forecast and Severe Weather warnings dented the confidence of the most hardy among the group. the forcats was for temperatuires of -5 with 30Mph winds and heavy snow at higher altitudes. Those that had spent 'that night on the Ben' knew what the weather could do and many people voiced their concerns for our safety. As emails flew around it seemed less and less likely that the weekend would go ahead.

The major concern was just getting to Wales - once we were there we were happy we could adjust the weekends schedule to take acount of the weather. That morning, the Severn crossings had been closed as huge chunks of ice had been falling from the bridges and smashing car windscreens. Snow was forcast and this would make the drive slow and dangerous and increased the risk of road closures. After much discussion and deliberation at 5pm the decision was made that we would go ahead as planned.

Chapter 2 - 3 Men in a Clio

As 5.30 arrived I found my self turning down yet another offer of free beer and ehaded out the door. I was due to meet Glen and Jamo at West Kengsington at 6 and had a couple of stops to make on the way. The first stop was at the local camping store where I picked up a last minute pair of waterproof trousers for the bargain price of £19.95. I then made a quick stop in Evan's cycle shop to grab some power bars and energy gels before plowing through the crowds at Waterloo and on to the tube. True to form, the District line was poked and it took me about 40 minutes to get to the meeting point at West Kensington. Running from the station in a foul mood I spotted the Clio parked up in a layby. My mood soured as threw my pack into the back seat of the car and squeezed myself in to a space that would have been a tight fit for a midget whose growth had been stunted by smoking from the age of 7. As Jamo slid the seat back to accomodate his unfeasibly large frame my legs drew in towards my chest and my head touched the ceiling. I knew this was going to be a long trip.

The benefit of meeting in West London was that we were soon onto the M4 without too much trouble. The roads were reasonably quiet and we had a felling that things may not have been as bad as the news was making out. We made good prrgress and when we stopped for something to eat at about 7.45 we had already covered almost half the distance. Back on the road after a ridiculously expensive and decidedly average meal at Burger King things wree still looking good. The bad weather that was forecast had not materialised and apart from the closure of the Severn crossing on the M4 we made it into Wales without any incident.

Chapter 3 - Onwards into Wales

David Kirtley had done a fantastic job organising the weekend for us. Our digs for the weekend were the Cardiff Cricket Club changing rooms and we were all given clear directions on how to get there. As we left the M4 we followed the instructions and just before 9.30pm we found ourselves in the carpark overlooking the pavillion. They place looked fairly deserted as we wandered across the ground and it turned out that we were the first to arrive and DK was nowhere in sight. After a quick a call we were told to head down the road to the bar in the Rugby Club rooms where Dave would met us.

The trip from London had been a good one and Glen and Jamo rewarded themselves with a pint, while I stuck to the coke. After about 10 minutes Dave arrived and we finished up then headed back across to open the Cricket Club. After the grand tour Dave turned on the kettle and we settled down with a hot chocolate and a bit of 'Have I Got News For You!' while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive.

After the second hot chocolate we made a couple of calls to check where the rest of the crew were. Dave had spoken with Kirt earlier in the night and had expected his lot to arrive first. Toovey and Butler were also on the road, as were the girls in Isla's tank of a car. It turned out that BJ, Curry and Kirt had neglected to read the instructions Dave had produced and had headed into the centre of Cardiff looking for Millenium Stadium. When we told them their mistake, they fumed and swore and were then directed back to the correct location. Tooves and Butler meanwhile had managed to miss the diversion off the M4 to avoid the closed Severn crossing. They looped back on themselves only to once again miss the diversion as Butler was heavily ingrossed in the telling of some rather mundane anecdote. Once again they looped back and eventually managed to find the correct exit.

By about 11pm the girls had arrived and rooms were allocated. Originally 20 people were expected, however due to the severe weather warnings and, quite frankly, some severe lack of balls, only 12 people made the trip. Although dissappointing, this meant that the sleeping space was slightly more generous than would have been the case had everyone arrived. With every heater in the pavillion blasting out as much warmth as pssible we settled down for our first nights sleep, with Glen, Jamo, Bj, Tooves and I sharing the Home changing room.

Chapter 4 - Preparations

I awoke Saturday morning after a surprisingly good nights sleep despite sharing an inflatable bed with Glen. It had been quite cold during the night, but my sleeping bag was relatively warm and with base layers and a beanie I was quite comfortable. We all started to drag ourselves out of bed and prepare for our first day in the Beacons. After we dressed, we headed across the field to the Rugby Club for breakfast. And what a breakfast it was. Bacon, sausages, beans, black pudding, hash browns, mushrooms and toast, along with several cups of coffee had me raring to go.

After breakfast we headed back across to pack our bags for the days walk. We planned to do a loop of about 25Km up and over Pen y Fan and Dave and BJ armed themsleves with maps, guide books and compasses. We packed our lunches, and some of the keener among us ( Glen, Dave, BJ and myself) loaded our bags with about 8kg of sand.

The plan was to meet Kinsey on the outskirts of Brecon and then head to the start of our walk. The organisation was taking a little longer than expected and by the time the 3 vehicles pulled away we were already running late.

It seemed a fairly simple exercise in theory, but somehow coordinating a convoy of 3 vehicles to the meeting point turned out to be a nightmare. As we entered Brecon, the girls took a wrong turn and the other two vehicles were forced to follow them in order to stay together. Realising they were lost, the girls pulled over in a hidden carpark while the other cars drove by. By this stage we were about 45 minutes late to meet Kinsey and frustration was mounting. Eventually, after several calls trying to determine exactly where they were we managed to meet up with the girls and the convoy snaked its way abck out of Brecon towards the meeting point.*

With Kinsey in tow and Kirt manning the maps in the lead car we made our way towards the planned start point of our walk. As we left the main roads, the snow and ice became more evident as we weaved through narrow country lanes towards the car park. As we approached the car park, the traffic mounted up and we pulled up behind a Range Rover. We were told that the road up to the carpark was unpassable - the Range Rover hadn't made it up so there was no way our cars would.

As Dave tried to turn the car around we lost traction and started sliding sideways. All the passengers got out and helped push to try and keep the car in a straight line. Using this technique, we slowly reversed the cars back to a point where we could turn around. We then headed back down the lane looking for a parking space until we hit a farm. The cars pulled up and our resident faremer Kinsey popped in to have a chat with the farmer. a few quid later we had a parking space in the farmers yard and we popped on our packs and set off on our walk, albeit over an hour and a half later than expected.

Chapter 5 - The First Hill

As we walked back up the lane towards the car park, snowballs were flying and spirits were high. The outside air was cold and everyone was rugged up, with many sporting new technical kit. As we made our way throguht he car park we were glad to have parked on the flat - an audi had slid backwarsds on the ice and had smashed into the car behind it which had knocked over a tree as a result. As we leftt he carpack we got our first taste of th esnow as we crossed a field heading towards the hills. The snow was up to 2 foot deep in places and we made slow progress as we trudged towards the slope. After about 125 minutes we stopped to shed a few layers as the heat of the day was taking its toll. Depsite the crisp air we all had a sweat on. I removed my fleece and was down to an icebreaker and my Goretex jacket which kept me comfortable for most of the day.

As we approached the first slope BJ and Dave checked the maps and decided on an appropriate route which took us straght up the side of a large hill. After a couple of minutes of trudging throught he snow up a 45 degree slope I began to breather quite heavily. At first I was a bit concerned - I'm pretty fit by now and this shouldn't have been the struggle it was. I was reassured however to see most of the group looking a little worse for wear. Those that were armed with trekking poles seemd to be at an advantage, and even Paola who must have been waist deep in snow at times, was powering up the slope.

The added weight of the sand in my pack put me off my balance and on several occasions I found myself heading face first into the snow. After a few tumbles Glen decided that it was 5 push ups for anyone that stacked so by the end of the first hill I was knackered.

After a stop for a drink and some chocolate dished out by dave we carried on up towards the ridge led to Pen y Fan. As we climbed onto the ridge we were greeted with an amazing view that made the climb worthwhile.

Chapter 6 - Up and Down

As we moved up on the the exposed ridge that led to the summit of Pen y Fan, the wind picked up significantly. Although this was nothing compared the gales we faced on the Ben, the icy winds still had me reaching for my merino balaclava and tightening the hood on my jacket. As we moved up the ridge we could see people already on the summit and I had the feeling we had left our run too late. Up ahead we could see a Mountain Rescue helicoptor flying around the summit and for a minute I thought somehting had gone wrong. It turned out to be a training exercise and a short while later we saw the chopper touch down not far from us as it picked up a couple of passengers. We stopped for a minute to watch the chopper land and take off and by the time we set off again, the summit was becoming enveloped in cloud. It was amazing how fast the cloud descended and in a matter of minutes the peak was no longer visible.

At this stage Kirt decided it was time to head back so we turned our backs on the summit and started heading back down the ridge. It was dissapointing not to have made it, but given how quickly the cloud had come in, it was the only decision that could be made.

We headed back down the ridge in good spirits, making short work of the gentle downward slopes. As we reached the steeper lower slopes it was time to have a bit more fun. What had been such a chore coming up was brilliant fun going down. It was hilarious to see grown men and women charging down the powedered slopes like school children, BJ rolling himself into a ball and attempting to roll down and glen testing out his penguin technique were highlights. In this manner we quickly reached the flat once again and followed our noses back towards the cars.

Chapter 7 - Fed and Watered

After a few more snowballs we set off back to Cardiff CC HQ for a quick shower before heading to the rugby club to watch the 6 Nations. The drive back was relatively straightforward although the efforts of the day were catching up on us. Kirt was fast asleep in the front seat and Glena nd I were both drifting in and out of conciousness, much to the amusement of our ever alert driver Dave. On arriving at HQ we quickly changed out of wet hiking gear and lined our boots up in front of the heaters to dry as the deep snow had left most people with soaking feet.

As I removed my soaking kit I discovered I had made a school-boy error and had forgotten to pack a towel and so I was forced to wait for a second hand one. As a result I was spared the Toovey-Butler 'watersports' incident and the subsequent 'assault' that was to become a talking point of the the rest of the weekend.

Once clean and dry we headed off to the rugby club for the game. As we entered our private room we were met with sandwiches, sausage rolls and cakes which greatly assisted in replacing the calories burned during the day. As we sat and watched England put in a dismal performance agans Italy I decided to break my drought and have a beer. This was a big decision for me as it was my first beer of the year and I had originally intended to go through to April without a drink, but I felt I had earned it and sitting in the rugby club with the Everest crew it seemed wrong not to celebrate a fantastic day. Plus, Guinness doesn't really count as beer... Guinness is good for you.

Throughout the afternoon we had the pleasure of Cuzza getting more and more enfuriated as reports of Englands collapse against the Windies came through. This did nothing but add to an already outstanding day. At the end of the rugby we had time for a few overs of the cricket before we headed off for a curry.

Piling in to a taxi, Glen, Kinsey, Butler and I sparked up a conversation with the cabbie. We somehow got on to the topic of soiling charges and Kinsey jokingly asked what the charge would be for carrying a dead body in the back. Disturbingly the cabbie responded with a straight face, that that would be 65 quid. On reaching the curry house we jumped out of the taxi, glad to have made it in one piece and headed inside.

Before too long the table was chirping with various innapropriate conversations, although we did well to save the most offensive material to towards the end of the night when everyone was boozed and speaking a lot more loudly than normal.

An hour and a half later, stuffed full of curry and beer, we headed back to the rugby club. Toovey and BJ couldn't wait to get back there to check out the talent at the 21st that was being held in the club. On arrival, we headed through the crowd of large, battered Welshmen and slipped in to our private room. I was back on the water at this stage as I hadn't particularly enjoyed the third beer I had. We sat round for about half an hour while Butler again broached the subject of the assault and Jamo fell asleep. Before too long the day caught up with me and I headed back to HQ to sleep.

Chapter 7 - I Give Up

This is boring even me so I give up...

For a more condensed version of events check out Toovey's Blog.

The GPS track of our walk is available on Select the workouts on the 7th and 8th of Feb and be patient. One of these days I will get some time to improve the speed of this but until then....

* The detail of this section of the story has recently come under fire. For an alternative version of events please refer to Lucy Brooks' blog...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living in central London its pretty difficult to get time on anything resembling a hill. This is a bit of a problem given that in under 3 months time we will be walking up a very big hill for about 8 days.

Alongside all of the running and trim trails, I am trying to fit in as much time as possible walking on hills. This inevitably involves heading outside London, which means an early start.

So at 6.45 on Sunday morning my alarm went off and I dragged myself out of bed and got ready to head to the South Downs for a day of walking. Glen and I jumped on the train at Clapham Junction and headed down towards Hassocks, a few kilometers outside Brighton. Armed with the compass and map book I bought him for Christmas, and an OS map and guide book provided by Kiwi, Glen and I set about planning our route.

We had initially planned to walk from one train station to another but were not sure about how much ground we would cover, and given that it gets dark about 4pm, we didn't want to get caught out. In the end we decided to do an out and back from Hassocks. We planned to walk for about 6 hours in total so just decided to see how far we got in 3 hours, then turn back.

The morning was pretty cold, but as with our other training walks, we were lucky to have pretty clear weather. Its amazing how easy it can be when you can see where you are going and you have a map and guide book with you and for once we had no trouble following the path. After a 15Km run on Friday night and a trim trail session on Saturday morning, my legs were fairly weary but soon started to warm up.

Our first climb was up New Timber hill and from here we could see our target destination Truleigh Hill far in the distance. After a couple of hours walking and a couple of decent hills, we stopped for our first chicken, cheese and chutney bagel. We had made pretty good pace and were averaging about 8.5 minutes\Km.

Fuelled by our first lunch we made good progress as we walked up the icy sides of the Devils Dyke. This was a fairly long and slow climb up the ridge of a small valley and really made me realise how hard 8 days of up and down was going to be.

At the top of the Dyke we were rewarded great views over the South Downs escarpment and a good look at our last hill..

From here we headed down along the escarpment before the final climb up Truleigh Hill.
We had now been walking for a bit over 3 hours so decided to turn around and head back towards Hassocks. the return trip was relatively uneventful, apart from the second bagel which was probably the highlight of the afternoon.

We made it back to Hassocks at about 3.30pm after 5 hours 45 walking time in which we covered about 36Km.

It was great to get out and spend some more time in my boots which were for the most part pretty comfortable, but still gave me a bit of grief on the up slopes. After a couple of days, my legs are recovering and I think I may even be able to get out for a gentle run tonight.

The GPS track of our walk can be found at Select the workout on 11/01/09. This will probably take a while to load as it is quite large...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Failing to Plan may be Planning to Fail...

..but planning training is a pain in the arse.

January has arrived and now that the excesses of Christmas and New Years are out of the way its time to get serious about training. I've been training quite a bit up until the end of last year averaging about 3-4 sessions a week over the last few months. Now though its time to step it up a gear.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been spending quite a bit of time trying to work out a suitable training plan. This is actually a lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. My plan is to fit in 7-8 sessions a week including 2 swims, 3 runs of varying length/intensity, 1-2 Trim Trail sessions and a few hours walking with a weighted pack on whatever I can find that somewhat resmebles a hill.

Due to other training commitments it sounds like there is only going to be one official Trim Trail session now on Thursday nights so that is my one fixed point. The hillwalking I really need to do in daylight so that is confined to saturday or Sunday. The challenge is trying to balance the rest of the running throughout the week so as to give my legs a bit of a rest. I plan to do one long run a week which will be 15km - 30km so I really need a couple of days off after that to rest.

Anyway I'm on to about my ninth iteration of my plan and still can't make things work which is frustrating. I guess I will just have to give it a crack and see how it goes and adjust my plan if I find I am struggling with it.

Along with my new training plan is a new eating plan. Since I started training properly for this thing I have lost about 5Kg. This is particularly painful because I worked hard at the gym for months to put on a few Kg before last summer and now its all gone. I am now tucking in to a fairly high protien high diet, along with plenty of carbs to keep me going on those long runs. I'm back to eating a proper breakfast and trying to eat 6 small meals a day instead of cramming and snacking as I am used to. I'm only on the second day of this so i will have to see how it goes.

My days of drinking are also firmly stuck in 2008 and I plan to make it through to April without a drop passing my lips. Seriously. I actually mean that.

For anybody that is interested I have set up a webpage to log my running training. I use the Nokia SportsTracker application on my phone to record a GPS track of my runs which I upload to my website. Check out

You can select a workout form the box on the right hand side and it is displayed on the map along with information on duration and pace. Currently its a little bit slow to load the workouts, but when I get round to it I will be making some improvements. This
page only displays my road-runs. Aside form this my training to date has included Kiwis run club, Trim Trails, swimming, hill running and hiking.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Grim Challenge? That sounds like a pleasant. way to spend a Sunday morning..

3 days on and my body has mostly recovered from the pain. Most of my toes have thawed too so that's good news.

Last Sunday marked my first taste of ridiculous events in ridiculous conditions, and i'm sure it won't be my last. On the face of it, the Grim Challenge seemed aptly named. An 8-mile off-road run on an early December morning. The course description on the offical website is as follows:
"This land is used to test Army vehicles so expect it to be interesting! You will reach a long hill shortly after the start before descending again eventually reaching a water filled ravine. You will run on over puddle-strewn paths before having to crawl under camouflage netting. You'll eventually reach some man-made mounds before arriving at and running through some rather large puddles. Expect to get very wet! You'll run on to the fast vehicle driving circuit where it is rocky underfoot. This brings you to some more large areas of water and the finish area."
When Glen sent me the details I agreed without hesitation. Due to a hectic holiday calendar I had missed the 10Km runs and half marathons the other guys have completed so far so I was up for the challenge. My training has ben progressing well and i have regularly been running 25 - 30Km a week so I felt well prepared leading up the the event.

Sunday morning started early with a big bowl of cereal and a few nerves. We left home at 8am and after scraping the ice of the windscreen, headed down towards Aldershot. As we pulled up in the race carpark I got quite excited. I had been looking forward to the race for a while and the nerves I had been feeling had now disapperared. They came back pretty quickly when I stepped out into the freezing air.

We made our way over towards the start area and grabbed a coffee while we waited for the rest of the guys to show up. Eventually the whole crew arrived - there were 11 of us racing which was a great turn-out and Kirt, Zoobs and Indre were there in support and photography roles. As we waited for the start time, which had been pushed back half an hour due to a road closure, we checked out the course. It was fairly grim. A rough dirt track with large expanses of water covered in a thick layer of ice. Apparently earlier in the morning a tank had been driven through some of the larger 'puddles' to break up the worst of the ice. Suddenly the thought of running through that wasn't quite so appealing.

We lined up for the start and at 11am got the signal and set off. My plan was to try and keep pace with Glen for as long as I could. He is a fair bit fitter than me, having already competed a half marathon in October, but I wanted to stay with him for as long as I could. We made decent pace early on, clocking up 8 minute miles for the first few. For the first couple of miles I did all I could to to avoid the water, even following a bunch of runners on a detour through the bush. I knew I would get wet and cold eventually, but wanted to delay that as long as possible.

After a couple of miles, my agressive hydration strategy backfired and I needed to pee. As I approached the first cargo net, I saw Glen was taking advantage of a bit of a backlog of people to carry out a tactical so I did the same. Unfortunately Glen had a better pit-stop than me and by the time I was back on the course he was past the net and out of sight. I didn't see him again till the end of the race.

After negotiating the first cargo net we started to hit more water. By this stage I was already starting to get wet, so I no longer tried to 'circumvrent' the puddles and charged through the middle. It was cold. I would say cold, to quite cold. And it hurt. Running through the freezing water was physically painful, and for about a minute after each water section my legs were both numb and stinging at the same time.

About 4 miles in I started to struggle a bit. I'm generally not very good at running in the morning and prefer to run once I have a few meals under the belt. My bowl of cereal 4 hours earlier had worn off and I was regretting not eating more. I was lacking energy and found myself fighting the urge to stop and have a breather.

As I approched the 5 mile mark I set myself the target of a 1.10 finishing time. I reached the 6 mile mark in just over 50 minutes so just had to run the last two miles in under 20 minutes and I was there. By this stage I was determined to crack on and make that time. I could feel the end of the race approaching and was counting down the distance in my head. I can run the 4.5 Km home from work in just over 20 minutes so was picturing the run home in my head so I knew how far I had left to go. I found this a really good technique to keep my motivation and pace up.

After a few more minutes and several more puddles I approached what I whought must be almost the 7 mile mark when a stweward who was yelling encouragement said there was 1.5 miles to go. I had already been running 9 minutes for that mile so thought she must be wrong. I swear it was a very generous mile but after 14 minutes, I made the 7 mile mark. My goal of 1.10 was now out of reach but the thought of the end spurred me on. The track led up a small hill and the finish line came in to view.

Unfortunately the finish line was to my left and the track looped round and then through another huge frozen expanse of water before I would reach it. I battled through the last 500m, struggling to breath and with aching legs. I hit the last water section at pace and dragged my legs through the thight deep water, overtaking people as I surged to the finish. I could hear Indre and the guys cheering me on, but was to tired to acknowledge them. I just wanted to get the end.

I made it across the line in 1.11.47, which was slower than I had wanted, but was still a good result. Most of the other guys were in already, the guns finishing in around 1.06, Glen about 1min 30 ahead of me.

After the rest of the guys came in we got changed and headed to find some food. We stopped at the Swan in Farnborough for a pint and a large plate of protein as Kiwi put it. I opted for the pig-based protein and was greatly satisfied...

A few days on, most of the pain has now gone, but my legs are still a little tender. I have taken the week off running and have been swimming instead which is a nice change. The runners will be back on this weekend though and I'm already looking forward to next years Grim...