Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Muppet takes Manhattan!

After my last video (the JW Ultra), things didn't go entirely to plan, running-wise.

A nasty cough descended, and put the kibosh on my preparations for the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

I attempted the marathon anyway (what an amazing event - pity about my time), and made my lungs far, far worse... putting me out of action until December.

But some runs, you just HAVE to do. And I'd never have forgiven myself if I hadn't made the most of THIS particular opportunity when it came along.

The video, I think, is pretty much self-explanatory.

Here's the mapping, such as it is.

It took forever for my Garmin to pick up satellite signal, so you join me after 1.5 miles or so (it's actually a circular run - I started by running straight up 8th Avenue, along the edge of Hell's Kitchen, to Columbus Circle).

After I leave Central Park, the trace gets a bit wibbly (thrown off by all the skyscrapers - fair enough!) but you can pretty much make it out: 7th Avenue past Carnegie Hall, then one block over to Broadway, which I follow all the way to Times Square, then back onto 7th to Macy's at 34th Street, and straight from there to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden on 8th.

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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The JW Ultra: from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bourneville

And just to prove that I don't ONLY run in Cornwall...

In September I had my first experience of an ultramarathon: the JW Ultra, which runs along canal towpaths for 30 miles or so, from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bourneville, Birmingham.

It was a smashing race. Brilliant scenery for the most part (the breathtaking Edstone Aquaduct in particular), and a wonderful, welcoming atmosphere throughout. An amazing introduction to Ultra running... so good, in fact, that I've already entered my second Ultra! (Eeek...). It'll have a lot to live up to.

I was running with the inestimable Martyn (AKA 2 Flat Feet) - at least for the first 20 miles, anyway. After that, things got a bit tricky, as the video will show.

(What video there is... it's not the easiest using the camera during a race - even an event as friendly and laidback as this - so I've supplemented the footage with pictures from my missus, and also The Race Photographer - in a an effort to tell the whole story).

In summary, though: if you're thinking of trying an Ultra... do it. You'll have a great time, and meet some brilliant people. In fact, do the JW. It's the best introduction to the sport that I could think of.

Here's the route. I'd warmly recommend the first 20 miles to anybody (the section closest to Birmingham is maybe a bit of an acquired taste...)
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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Coasters GB Relay on the Roseland: Portloe to Portscatho

"Just a bunch of people running around the Great British coastline..."

That's how Coasters GB described their mammoth attempt to get the iconic "Barry the Baton" around all 4,400 miles or so of the coast path.

Runners of all abilities were welcome - pace irrelevant, just turn up, join in, and become part of the fun. A huge, joint effort... I just had to have a go.

While it would have been nice to escort Barry round one of my usual favourite runs, the schedule revealed a few gaps on the Roseland, so I jumped at the chance to fill a conspicuous gap in my knowledge of Cornwall, and finally get to know a place I'd heard such a lot about.

As ever, following our belowed South West coast path wasn't quite as straightforward as I'd hoped... but Barry and I certainly had a lot of fun.

Here's the evidence...

...So, I had a few small detours from the route, as the map will show - but nothing too serious. I hope.
*Waits for the Coasters peope to declare I've ruined the whole thing...*

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