Bluebell Challenge

The Bluebell Challenge is organised by Big Bear Events and challenges you to run as many 2.9 mile laps as you can muster within a 6-hour time limit. I’d come across this event fairly last minute via social media and the ‘lapped format’ immediately caught my attention. Held in the grounds of Hartshill Hayes CountryContinue reading “Bluebell Challenge”

Millennium Way Ultra

Well, I f’ked that up! The Millennium Way Ultra – despite milestone PB’s at 30 and 40 miles – left me feeling somewhat disheartened and proof that not all races go to plan. For anyone who wants to know how not to race an ultra, read on… The race itself is a 41 mile point-to-pointContinue reading “Millennium Way Ultra”

Ashby 20

Ashby 20 – now in it’s 30th Anniversary – is a 20 mile road race ‘organised by runners, for runners’. Based in Ashby-de-la-Zouch – a small market town in Leicestershire – the race attracts over 1000 runners and is considered to be ‘one of the last long runs’ in the calendar before the major springContinue reading “Ashby 20”

Scott’s Dirty Dozen Trail Race

To quote the official website, the Scott’s Dirty Dozen Trail Race is “quite simply the best trail running event in the area.” I happen to agree. Set amongst the beautiful backdrop of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, it’s the true definition of a trail run – with plenty of single-track, forestry trails, mud, hills and theContinue reading “Scott’s Dirty Dozen Trail Race”

Imber Ultra

I first ran this event in 2020 and was keen to give it another go despite last years event falling victim to the pandemic. The Imber Ultra is a 33 mile mixed-terrain race taking in the Salisbury Plain and the Imber Range Perimeter Path. Jointly organised by Avon Valley Runners and the Rotary Club ofContinue reading “Imber Ultra”

Country to Capital Ultra

The Country to Capital Ultra is a 43 mile point to point race from Wendover in Buckinghamshire to Little Venice in London. As the name suggests, the route covers approximately 23 miles of glorious countryside, woodland trails and muddy tracks before hitting the Grand Union Canal for a further 20 miles of canal tow pathContinue reading “Country to Capital Ultra”

Endurance Life: Gower Ultra

Another race that’s been on the radar for quite some time. The Gower Ultra – as described on their website – is a 32.9 mile trail race ‘set against an awe-inspiring natural backdrop of cliff tops, downland, woodland, sand dunes and world famous beaches’. With over 4,000ft of elevation and the prospect of gnarly, winteryContinue reading “Endurance Life: Gower Ultra”

Conti Thunder Run 24hr – Solo

My first 24hr event. The Conti Thunder Run is the original 24hr trail race consisting of as many 10k laps as you can muster in 24hrs.  Now in it’s 12th year, it’s held in the grounds of Catton Park, Derbyshire and attracts thousands of runners who are up for a challenge – whether that’s runningContinue reading “Conti Thunder Run 24hr – Solo”

The Piece of Cake Trail Marathon

The ironically named ‘Piece of Cake Trail Marathon’ which proved to be anything but… Located in the spectacular Carding Mill Valley in the Shropshire Hills, this is another one of Denzil’s ‘How Hard Can It Be Events’ which have now become a firm favourite of mine in the calendar. With options to run either aContinue reading “The Piece of Cake Trail Marathon”

The Waseley Hills – (Unofficial) Marathon DNF

Not all runs go to plan. The Waseley Hills, at 150 acres is situated in South-West Birmingham and is a popular range of hills which form part of the North Worcestershire Path. Off the back of completing a marathon around the Lickey Hills a couple of weeks ago, I’d set myself a challenge of runningContinue reading “The Waseley Hills – (Unofficial) Marathon DNF”

The Lickey Hills (Unofficial) Marathon

The Lickey Hills – my old stomping ground and the setting for my latest adventure. With over 524 acres of hills, woodland trails and panoramic views over the surrounding countryside, it’s an idea location for a bit of Type 2 fun! I’ve been running the Lickey Hills religiously for the past 5 years – it’sContinue reading “The Lickey Hills (Unofficial) Marathon”

“A Coventry Way” (Unofficial) Ultra

“A Coventry Way” is a 40 mile route circumnavigating the city of Coventry. Although you’re never more than 5 miles or so from the city centre, the large majority of the route is off-road and passes through mainly agricultural land in Warwickshire and Solihull. A couple of friends had completed the route and having livedContinue reading ““A Coventry Way” (Unofficial) Ultra”

Imber Ultra

My first official ultra of the year and a run I thoroughly enjoyed! The Imber Ultra is a trail run covering approximately 33 miles of the Salisbury Plain and the Imber Range Perimeter Path. Conditions underfoot are a mixture of mud, grass, gravel and hard trail. The race wasn’t on my radar until Paul, aContinue reading “Imber Ultra”

Scott’s Dirty Dozen Trail Race

The Dirty Dozen Trail race is a stunning multi-terrain run which meanders its way through Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. The course itself is a challenging route on muddy terrain, with both single file and hard stone tracks underfoot. It also has it’s fair share of hills and features the ‘Ditch of Doom’ – which ifContinue reading “Scott’s Dirty Dozen Trail Race”

Icing on the Cake Marathon

The first race in the calendar and one I very much look forward to. The Icing on the Cake‘ marathon is set in the Shropshire Hills and covers just shy of 5,500 ft of climb in and around Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd. Last years event was cancelled due to snow so I’dContinue reading “Icing on the Cake Marathon”

Running Review of 2019

In reflection, 2019 has been by far the most successful, rewarding and challenging year since I started this running journey back in 2015. It’s been a year of personal achievements and milestones as well as having it’s fair share of tears, injuries and mental health issues. Running has turned from an addiction into a lifestyleContinue reading “Running Review of 2019”

Mortimer Forest Trail Run

Wow! What a race! I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun on the trails. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough, ridiculously tough and ridiculously muddy! But wow, so much fun… This was my second time running this race after securing a last minute place last year. Held in Overton, nearContinue reading “Mortimer Forest Trail Run”

The Sunset to Sunrise Challenge

The Sunset to Sunrise Challenge had been on my radar for a number of years but had always clashed with other events. Fortunately for me, this years race fell on a free weekend so I signed up for it without any real expectations. The race itself challenges you to run as far as you canContinue reading “The Sunset to Sunrise Challenge”

Post-Race Blues and Stuggling to find my Mojo

It’s been two weeks since I completed Lakes in a Day and I’ve done very little in terms of running. In all honesty, I’ve struggled with fatigue and illness but more worryingly, I seemed to have lost my mojo. It’s not uncommon, I know I’ve felt like this post marathon or milestone run before. ItContinue reading “Post-Race Blues and Stuggling to find my Mojo”

Trailffest Half Marathon

About to board the train to the start line What a brilliant race! The Trailffest Half Marathon is billed as ‘one of the most scenic you could hope to run, with dramatic changes of scenery and terrain the whole way to the finish line’, I wouldn’t disagree. Everything about this race, from the steam trainContinue reading “Trailffest Half Marathon”

Working Away, Night Running and a Return to the Malverns…

Week 17 – Peak Phase w/c 09.09.2019 Recommended mileage: 55 milesActual mileage: 40.3 miles I was fortunate enough to be working in Cornwall this week but only managed to get in a couple of runs due to work commitments. Both were circular coastal runs; one from Cardis Bay to Hayle and the other slightly furtherContinue reading “Working Away, Night Running and a Return to the Malverns…”

Navigation Training and a LiaD Recce

Week 16 – Peak Phase w/c 02.09.2019 Recommended mileage: 50 milesActual mileage: 48.8 miles Monday came around fairly quickly. Ruth and I were at the Moseley Folk Festival all day Saturday and Sunday was spent tobogganing for Oliver’s birthday – I still can’t believe he’s 5! I’d rested the knee somewhat in terms of runningContinue reading “Navigation Training and a LiaD Recce”

Post Holiday Blues and Another Injury Scare

Week 15 – Build Phase w/c 26.08.2019 Recommended mileage: 40 milesActual mileage: 21 miles I’m aware that I’ve not posted for a couple of weeks but I’ve just returned from a 2-week family holiday on the Isle of Wight and went on a social media sabbatical; which was just what I needed! I’ve learnt notContinue reading “Post Holiday Blues and Another Injury Scare”

The Isle of Wight Half Marathon 2019

The Isle of Wight Half Marathon is organised by Ryde Harriers and is best described as an undulating, two-lap, scenic race held on hard packed farm tracks and bridleways. It attracts over 250 runners made up from local running clubs and tourists alike. The event is held in August and starts and finishes in AppleyContinue reading “The Isle of Wight Half Marathon 2019”

Rest, Recovery and Aching Limbs

Week 12 – Build Phase w/c 06.08.2019 Recommended mileage: 40 milesActual mileage:  3.4 miles I did it! I ran the length of the River Tees, from it’s source in Durham to the sea in Redcar. 92 miles! Yes, 92 MILES!  I’m still buzzing. I’m still overwhelmed. I’m still in pain. My feet are in bits,Continue reading “Rest, Recovery and Aching Limbs”

The Teesdale Way 2019

The Teesdale Way is a 92 mile trail which follows the River Tees from it’s source at Dufton in Cumbria to the sea at South Gare in Teeside. The trail runs through the remote high moorlands of Cumbria and Durham to the industrial landscapes of Teeside and the coast. The journey is comprehensively waymarked; woodenContinue reading “The Teesdale Way 2019”

Physio and a Return to the Lickey’s!

Week 11 – Build Phase w/c 29.07.2019 Recommended mileage: 40 milesActual mileage: 98.2 miles Monday started with a trip to physio and some good news. After an initial assessment, the ankle had shown significant improvement in terms of mobility and strength that I was given the all clear to start running off road and onContinue reading “Physio and a Return to the Lickey’s!”

Working Away and Weekend Camping

Week 10 – Build Phase w/c 22.07.2019 Recommended mileage: 40 milesActual mileage: 17.9 miles Work took me to East Anglia on Monday. I’d based myself in a quaint little B&B in the historic village of Weston Longville, just outside Norwich. The B&B was situated above a family restaurant and country inn; which would prove toContinue reading “Working Away and Weekend Camping”

Canals, Country Lanes and Calorie Counting

Week 9 – Build Phase w/c 15.07.2019 Recommended mileage: 35 milesActual mileage: 35.4 miles The week started with a trip to physio. Rehab had been going well. I’d been strict on myself with the exercise program, doing them religiously 2-3 times a day and I felt there were definite signs of improvement over the pastContinue reading “Canals, Country Lanes and Calorie Counting”