Infrequently Asked Questions

Here's a list of questions that people have so far been too polite to ask... but you might have been thinking.

Bloody hell, aren't you a bit fat for a runner?
Why yes, and thanks so much for noticing.

In truth, I started making these videos after a period of several months where my running was, at best, erratic. Of course, I kept eating as if I was still at the peak of marathon training... and the results are here for all to see.

Hopefully, as time goes on you'll see a slimmer me, and the videos will inadvertently chart some kind of progress. Who knows?

All that said, I've never exactly been - nor will I ever be - a racing snake. In the real world, runners come in all shapes and sizes - and the false idea that you have to look a certain way before you even have the right to pull on a pair of trainers and get out there (usually enforced by street-side hecklers who couldn't run a bath, let alone a mile) prevents far too many people enjoying a run.

So, if I can do something to reverse that unhelfpful stereotype, I don't mind looking a bit wobbly on camera... although when I'm running, it's the last thing I'm thinking of anyway. Accept now that if and when I appear on camera, I'll probably be looking a state. I'm a runner, not a model, and impressing you isn't particularly on my mind.

(Unless you're Jennifer Ehle or someone).

You don't seem to be doing much running in these videos...
This is true. But if I did, you wouldn't see very much. And I don't want to be responsible for your motion sickness.

My arrangements for putting these videos together are deliberately low-tech (I wanted it to be easy to do, not to have too much bulky equipment, and - importantly - not to carry anything so fragile or expensive I might get mugged for it and/or kill it if I dropped it)... which is cool, but it does mean there isn't much chance of stabilising the image. Even if I'm walking, it's a bit hard to see what's happening.

So I use the videos as brief breaks to keep my run at a comfortable pace, and my heart rate down at an appropriately low training level. More often than not I'm videoing a long run, so that works well.

I do run between the clips, though. I promise.

For someone who's supposedly more interested in the scenery and the run than promoting themself, aren't you on the screen quite a bit?
My camera's built-in microphone works better that way - especially if it's windy or there's background noise. You'll notice in some of the earlier vids I hadn't worked this out, and you can barely hear me at all.

Would you consider posting similar video contributions from other people?
I am considering it, yes.  I haven't finally made my mind up yet.

If I do, I will post some guidelines so we maintain some kind of consistency (and I don't have to upload everything with my puny broadband). So wait for those instructions before making or sending me anything, OK?
Why are so many of the runs in West Cornwall?
Take a wild guess.

What kit DO you use to generate these fabulous videos and maps?
The camera's a Kodak ZX... I want to say ZX81, but it's a ZX-1.

I shoot in high definition, edit in iMovie HD, and then upload at full resolution (which takes HOURS)... So - in theory at least - you ought to be able to view the lovely scenery in High Def. I've never tried, though, as my screen isn't good enough - do tell me if it works!

I carry the camera in an Inov-8 Race Elite 3, but really it's so small I barely notice it. And the map traces (hope you find those useful?) are generated with my lovely Garmin Forerunner 405... I couldn't imagine running without it these days... then embedded from Garmin Connect.

What prompted you to start the site?
Two moments in particular... one at the top of Carn Brea in the snow, where there were only two sets of footprints - left by me, and a fox. Complete tranquility and isolation, and a view of a snowbound West Cornwall that was pretty rare...

...The other was dipping down into a cove on the SW Coast Path between Portreath and North Cliffs, and seeing, just a few yards away, a seal... just floating in the water and contendedly chewing on a fish.

And I thought: what a pity that I'm on my own. I would have liked to share these experiences with someone... and not just with another runner; with people who couldn't dream of running to that place... and the seed of an idea was planted.

Anyway, that's enough for now. If you have more questions, by all means post them here...

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