Day 4 in France

Another short one…popped over to France and Belgium yesterday for a day out. What glorious sunshine!
had my kit in the boot of the car and did a circuit around calais and its beach while waiting for the ferry. Was the only runner out yesterday afternoon. Approx 2.5 miles in 23 minutes.
Long run to come on Sunday.!

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Day 3 Still Going

Just a short entry tonight as its sunny and pleasant and don’t want to be tapping away on a computer on a Friday night.
Two runs tonight – one coaching the wife – couple of miles and then a bit of a gallop my self to do 5 miles – total of 7, goal was 6 so all done.
Ankle getting sore so onto Ibuprofen.
Off to France for the day tomorrow – so the kit is coming with me so that I can do a mile or two along Dunkirk beach!
On with the weekend!

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Day 31 and the end…

Blimey, my legs are sore – especially my thighs. Totally shredded – a bit like my shins!

Well, short and sweet tonight. Busy old day out and about – still on a high from yesterdays adventures. Have seen some press and photo’s from the day – make’s you realise the madness of it all! Still think it was fantastic – seriously contemplating the nettle challenge in the summer!

…and to tonights exercise – 230miles driving. Followed by an hours pilates – thought it’d help stretch the legs out a bit, but didnt really. So braved the sub zero temps again and went for a lap around our estate. 21mins to do around 2 miles – I am considerably slower than before and boy did those legs ache – big style.

Whine over – what we have achieved is to run every single day of January! Who’d have thought that 31 days ago. Congratulations to local adventures – a phenomenal distance. Also a ‘big-up’ to Shazruns – you beat me by a mile – and thanks for the occasional words of encouragement both! Much appreciated.

Some better pictures of yesterdays race can be found at:

Time for some dinner.

Best wishes to all. Signing off.


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Janathon Day 30 Tough Guy – Done!

That was fantastic! Its the most insane race I have ever done, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Ran around with an idiot grin on my face most of the way – except for the icy water. Fantastic – approximately 10miles assault course type run completed in 2hrs 58mins – not that the time reflects reality!

So, my day started at about 05.30 with nerves and brain working overtime. Eventually got up around 6am and tried to occupy myself with odd jobs and distractions. Two poached eggs on toast for breaky. None of that slow GI stuff…

Family dragged grumbling out of their pits at 07.30 – Dad – its a Sunday…and off to Wolverhampton.

Arrived in plenty of time and sucked up the atmosphere of the lunatic asylum. I can not believe some of the outfits – chains, thong and gimp mask took the prize; but there were warriors from Belgium, lots of forces personnel in fatigues, and the obligatory superman, banana and Darth Vaders. Me – I opted for two base layers, and old running vest, running leggings and shorts (to prevent too much damage when sliding on my backside). Hat and gloves obligatory.

We all were marshalled into starting pens for the different groups. A rugby ball was being kicked around so you had to watch you weren’t brained. There then broke out a ‘plastic duck throwing fight’ between our pen and the one next. You had to be there…all good humoured. [The ducks were meant to go in a pond as you ran by and to be retrieved when you were in the pond – quack, quack, where’s my ducky wucky?]

The start was chaotic – our group climbed over a fence and slide down the starting hill ahead of the cannon. Imagine a hill – slick with mud approx 25m long and at about 45degrees steep.

Following some farcical scenes with marshalls suggesting we climb back up the hill – I am sure you can appreciate the language! The canon went off and made us all jump…the race was on.

First major obstacle was the chataway chase – a series of ditches several meters deep, filled with iced water upto your waist and with sheer sides to slide down and climb out. Team work was the order of the day pushing and pulling!

There followed a reasonable run that wasn’t too taxing with the odd pole to clamber over or under; until the next major obstacle – The slalom. This was twelve iterations up and down a hill that was too steep to run up! Each leg must have been about 30 – 40m long. Sapped the energy out of the thighs. There is one advantage of being a bit older – we tend to have a bit more stamina than some of the younger folk!

Under cargo nets, through woods and then onto one of the tough elements – the Gurkha Grand national. A bit like the earlier obstacle in the ditches – but repeated many more times, with deeper water and increasingly sheer sides to the ditch. Towards the end was feeling the cold having been soaked through by then.

New jungle obstacles involved more ditches – deeper water and more cargo nets to go under.

There after it became a bit of a blur as we went into the killing fields. I’d simply suggest look at the Tough Guy web site and make your own mind up about that!. Huge climbing frames with cargo nets, walls to climb over, ditches filled with water, tyre tunnels to go through, more water and mud, dark tunnels with electric fencing, high – skywalks, more water and dunkings, the death plunge – a leap from a 3m high walk the plank exercise into the icy water, something resembling the somme to wade through, a figure of eight climbing / swinging across in water. My favourite bit – the stalag escape – approx 40m crawling under barbed wire just a foot or two above the ground – I was absolutely covered in mud. More tyres to climb over, hills to climb and a final dunk in a pool to wash the lumps off led to the finish.

The camaraderie was better than any road race I have ever done. I got very cold and spent the last half an hour of the race shivering – and then the hour afterwards as well!

But what fun! Some of the things we’ve all done today – normally you’d take one look and say ‘no way’! It just goes to show whats possible.

I’m truly on a high this evening. Fantastic!

(PS While I enjoyed it – there were quite a few who clearly were not!…And the guy in the gimp mask – finished just in front of me. Certifiably insane)

(PPS Thanks for the odd tips and hints I recieved. Used them all bar the shower cap. Electrolyte drink certainly warded off the cramp although I came close at one point)

Off to eat pizza-hut out of everything they have!

Lets see if I can move in the morning and complete the Janathon tomorrow!!

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Day 29…the night before…

Well, very nearly there for the Janathon and even nearer for the Tough Guy challenge tomorrow.

Been out to the course today and to register. There are some formidable obstacles to cross – but the thing that will get us most is the water…the ice was about 1cm thick today and its due to freeze tonight, so that will be a real challenge.

I guess the plan is to get in and out the water as fast as possible. I know one thing for sure – there will be some twisted ankles tomorrow with the uneven ground and it being frozen.

Having seen the course it is certainly designed to sap the energy from the thighs and arms…and then to go into cold water will be really draining…Any how filled up on pasta tonight and will have a hearty breakfast early tomorrow morning. Race doesn;t start till 11’ish so food has plenty of time to go down. Lined up the energy gels so we’ll see what happens.

Anyway – as its the big day tomorrow, did just a mile and half on the treadmill today and a few light weights to stretch the muscles a little.

Hope I can tough-out the cold! I have run in temperatures as low as -8C earlier this months, but this somehow feels different…

Anyway fellow Janathoners, we’ve just got a couple of days to go and then we’ve achieved it. Good luck what ever you are doing tomorrow.



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Day 28 Janathon – took it v easy tonight

Well, a busy day in the office today – just not getting through it all and stress levels building to boot. But hay ho, its the weekend.

‘Dry’ evenings tonight and tomorrow in readiness for the Tough guy on Sunday. Going to register tomorrow morning and see if I can see the infamous ‘ killing fields’. Its a two lap section of various obstacles with plenty of dunkings in water to keep one ‘fresh’!

Tonight – took daughter No.1 to dancing and did a very easy gym workout including a 30min 3mile session. Friend was in the gym and while he worked hard I jogged along and we chatted. Treadmills are so boring – it was good to natter for a while as the legs did their thing beneath me.

Felt good in the gym on the weights – really just ticking over tonight and tomorrow to let the old glycogen levels build and muscles get ready for a ‘beasting’.

T’missus cooked a nice slow roast pork tonight. Will be onto lighter meals tomorrow so am not stuffed on Sunday. Will get some pasta in and carbs somehow for Sunday.

Planning a v short 2 or 3 mile easy jog tomorrow afternoon and then its the big event. 10+ miles cross country assault course. I’m told that you need to double a normal 10mile run time to give a feel of how long it might take. Got to get me head into the right place for being cold and wet for 3 hours!!

Anyway, sports drinks, vasline, shower caps, etc all to be sorted out tomorrow.

Anyway, for those doing other runs this weekend, good luck! 4 Days and we’ve cracked the Janathon!

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27th Consecutive Janathon Run!

Well, after last nights really couldnt be bothered run, tonight was the opposite!

Son’s parents evening so decided to run back from the school to home. So had to chat with all the teachers sporting my best track suit bottoms and top. Complete with stains and marks for a few years worth of use.  They probably thought I was some sort of nut, but who cares. The ‘boy’ done good with lots of A’s and A*’s forecast. Couldn’t be prouder.

So tonights run – into a chilly headwind all the way…4.4 miles in 39 mins which gives me a constant sub 9.00mpm pace. Not often I do that! Pretty pleased with it! Maybe all this training is paying off…

Four days of Janathon left. What have I thought of the experience? Well probably come as no surprise to fellow Janathoners. Started full of enthusiasm and vigour. At times it became a bit of a chore and difficult to fit in around work, trips away, family, etc. but it has finally come into its own in being a challenge – got to get those last four days runs in to match the goal. I’m also thinking that I’ll get through the 150mile mark by the end of it all. If you’d said 27 days ago that I’d got to run 150miles – I would have winced and wondered. But low and behold – have done pretty well, free from injuries and bar the odd couldn’t be bothered night – still done it.

I really don’t know how ‘local-adventures’ has managed 370+ miles so far – but good luck to him. Equally its great that so many people have managed to stick it out – whatever mileage they’ve done. I’ve certainly toned up. I hope others have got their goals too.

Anyway, two days till Tough Guy. Positive mental thoughts. Odds and sods of tips coming in – sports drinks, gloves, shower cap, etc. Any pointers most welcomed – particularly how to get along rope walkways and over 4mtr high walls…

No idea how I’ll manage the last run on Monday, but health permitting, I’ll be able to put one foot in front of the other!

Anyway, off for a walk with t’misses for half an hour…

Tomorrows Friday!

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