Archives for March 2013

The Barkley Marathons – How tough are you

This article on the New York Times website is well worth a read. It is about a 100 mile ultra that only 12 people have ever finished. Most people fail the entry process. Oh, there is a fun run too, if you can manage 60 miles with no paths and massive hills.

So how far did you run? – GPS Accuracy

GPS_Satellite_NASA_art-iifAfter the Endurancelife Coastal Trail series event on Saturday quite a few runners were exclaiming that the route was short at around 25.8 miles. What’s 0.4 of a mile between friends? Well most Endurancelife marathons are between 27 and 29 miles, so to have one short was a bit of a surprise. I got home and measured the distance using some popular mapping software and it came in even shorter at 25.3. It got me into thinking about how accurate the way we measure routes actually is. [Read more…]

Endurancelife CTS Sussex 2013 – Review

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters

This was my 5th CTS marathon in 6th months and my 6th marathon since October last year. I decided to make a substantial change to my race strategy this time in a bid to turnaround my steadily increasing finishing times. The result was the most fun race that I have had in a long time. It wasn’t without minor drama though as I forgot my Garmin 910XT heart rate monitor and GPS, so I would be running entirely by feel. It was so cold that my fully charged camera battery had run out by half way and it was the muddiest race that I have ever taken part in. It wasn’t the occasional deep patch of mud, oh no! It was almost continuous inch deep, super slippery, endless mud. Each step seemed to slither and slide before finding any grip. Down hills were treacherous, and plentiful with nearly 5000ft of climbing, and along the cliffs the headwind seemed endless. So where did the fun come from? [Read more…]

Swim 1000

This is a film about Brit Dave Cornthwaite and his quest to swim 1000 miles down the Lower Missouri, while attempting to raise £1 million for breast cancer awareness. It is a lovely video and well worth watching right through to the end where Dave says something that is well worth hearing.

Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series Sussex 2013 Preview

Saturday will see this years Sussex round of the Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series (CTS) take place near Eastbourne. The long distance weather forecast is looking a bit ropy, so make sure to pack a slightly thicker waterproof jacket, and come appropriately prepared. The route looks amazing as usual, and doesn’t look too overly long compared to other CTS events. That isn’t a complaint one way or the other, as I am happy to run those extra miles and I would prefer any given event to be a touch long, rather than short. The event has entirely sold out, which isn’t surprising given it’s proximity to major population centres and the stunning views across the English Channel that it affords.

As usual Endurance Life have listened to feedback from past events and have now highlighted the cut-off times for the longer races in their race day info. Do check the times out. To the inexperienced trail runner they will sound very generous, but believe me, most people will need that time. You can find the cut-off times here.

If you haven’t done these events before then do a quick search on CTS on Bike Run Swim (this blog!) and check out some of the other previews. The CTS events feature 10k, half mara, mara and ultra courses. They are exquisitely sign posted, you just need to keep your eyes open and not just follow the person in front. You need to be self-sustaining, but there are a few checkpoints on course just in case. They usually have quite a bit of food, but they don’t always lay it out, so if in need do ask one of the marshals.

The courses are always stunning, but come prepared for anything. I highly recommend a pair of trail shoes, or at least something with a bit of extra grip. You will need it and you don’t want to come a cropper while admiring the view.

A few tips in addition to what I have said in other previews:

  • Slow down and look up occasionally. The view is worth adding a couple of seconds to your time, besides you can make them up elsewhere.
  • Bring something warm to change into afterwards. The event base at CTS events is often just a tent, so it can get chilly and your body will be knackered. Having a couple of big jumpers, lined trousers and a big coat to throw on before collapsing into your car seat is a must!
  • Endurance Life usually sell tea/coffee and snacks on site, so don’t worry if you forget your thermos.

Other than that, the course at Sussex isn’t too hard (allegedly) so have some fun and enjoy yourselves.