Ocean Floor Race – Withdrawal Notice

I have written this post in the form of a letter to my followers, read on to find out why.

Dear All,

I am afraid that I have pulled out of the Ocean Floor Race. I have no doubt about my ability to complete the race, but I am somewhat intimidated by the political situation over there at the minute. The Foreign Office have been advising not to go for quite some time and I have decided to withdraw my entry. The riots and terrorist threats were a large part of my decision, but they were not the sole reason for pulling out. I cannot go into much more detail but I hope it is enough to say that this decision was not taken lightly and I hope to race in a multi-stage desert race at some point in the future. A part of the decision involved polling my followers to see what you all thought and it was a unanimous “Don’t go!”

Thanks to everyone that offered support and sponsorship, your offers were very generous and most welcome. I have also been using and reviewing a number of products in my build up to the race and I will publish reviews of these items in the near future. I am genuinely sorry that the trip simply is not to be, but for now I am moving straight on to my next goals and do not intend to slow down in the slightest. For next year I have already entered races in an attempt to qualify for two of the most iconic ultra marathons in America and Europe. I wont be seeking sponsorship for these races, but I have put some more info below as I think they are both fascinating, and hopefully you will too. If you continue to follow me I will continue to report on my progress, things that I learn, products that I use and then on the races themselves.

The first race is the Western States 100 mile run in California which started as a horse race many years ago, until a fellow called Gordy Ansleigh’s horse went lame and he decided to run it instead. This was in the mid 70’s and he even managed to beat some of the horses. Ultra marathon racing was born! It has limited places and in March 2014 I will be attempting to run 55 miles across the north Yorkshire Moors in under 12 hours to even qualify for the ballot. There are only 4 qualifying races held in the UK. Once qualified I then have a 1 in 10 chance of actually getting a spot, so I may have to try for a few years. www.wser.org. Oh, and I will only be going if I think that I can run the 100 mile race with 18,000 feet of climbing and 23,000 feet of descent in under 24 hours so that I can get their most prestigious finishers award, the silver cougar belt buckle! I wont be near the front though as the winners manage it in around 15 hours and the final cutoff is 30 hours.

The second race that I will be trying to qualify for is the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc which takes a bit more effort to qualify for. The race in North Yorkshire, mentioned above, will get me two points towards qualifying, then later in the year I will be competing in “The Oner” which is a 78 mile run along the south coast from Charmouth to somewhere past Swanage. That gets me a further 3 points if I can do it in less than 24 hours, and then I will be looking for a third race later in the year to get another two points. Once qualified I then have to enter another ballot. If I get in then I will be racing in the UTMB which features 105 miles, 9600m of climbing, starts at Chamonix and goes through France, Switzerland and Italy. Runners have 46 hours to finish it.

Next year my plan is to get the qualifications sorted. If that goes well then I will enter the ballots and cross my fingers for 2015.

Anyway, enough about my bonkers hobby. I’d better go and do some work.

Keep on getting out there and doing the sports that you love. Stay healthy, keep fit and make the most of your life!


New Sponsor: Abernethy – Live the Adventure


I would like to say a big thank you to Abernethy who have recently come on board as a sponsor for my participation in The Ocean Floor Race. I have worked with them in a professional capacity for a number of years and they are a wonderful and caring organisation. You can see a promotional video below as well as some further text which demonstrates exactly what they are all about. If you want to see more directly then they have a great website at www.abernethy.org.uk

Abernethy operates four Christian Adventure Centres in some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland. Abernethy is first and foremost a Christian organisation seeking to share the Christian Faith through the great outdoors and excellent hospitality. We are passionate about what we do.

Safety first

It goes without saying that your safety and wellbeing are our number one priority. We have an excellent safety record and work closely with the Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS) and other authorities to ensure that we can offer maximum excitement with managed risk.

Over 40 years experience

We have been on the go since Abernethy Outdoor Centre was set up in Nethybridge in 1971. The Abernethy Trust now operates four Christian Adventure Centres in Scotland, and has built up a wealth of experience and an excellent reputation over the years.

It’s all about people

Our philosophy is to challenge people to live the adventure®. This refers to the adventure activities on offer, but also to the adventure of the Christian life. We firmly believe that a visit to Abernethy is much more than a holiday – it is a positive & enriching experience.

Fantastic Teams

Our biggest asset is our team of committed Christian staff. Our people make it happen. You will find them to be warm & welcoming, friendly & professional. We place great emphasis on team training and development to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

Exceptional value

Abernethy is a non profit-making company with charitable status (SC 006270) and is therefore able to offer a great service with exceptional value for money.

Superb facilities

As a not-for-profit organisation we are continually investing in the development of our properties to offer you the very best we can. With no shareholders to keep happy, we can ensure that any surplus we do make is reinvested. Our Centres are all converted country houses in beautiful Scottish estates.

Ocean Floor Race – Announcement and business opportunity

Ocean Floor RaceI have some very exciting news to announce: I have been given a fantastic opportunity to compete in, and blog about, the Ocean Floor Race in October of this year. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, here is an overview of what is involved.

The Ocean Floor Race is a non-stop footrace of 160 miles through one of the most beautiful and surreal landscapes on earth. With a time limit of 4 days to complete this desert ultra marathon event, entrants will navigate with gps devices through the Egyptian Western desert and specifically the Egyptian White Desert to check-points every 15 miles. In these tented checkpoints entrants will have access to water, food and their pre-filled drop bags.  This magical event encompasses the true meaning of adventure and one that inspires the imagination.

Before I continue I would like to offer my sincere thanks to my first corporate sponsor for the trip: Nigel Lewis Systems. Nigel is an amazing character who has been a follower of my blog right from the start. He has been making himself fitter around his exceedingly busy work schedule, and last weekend he managed to cycle 40 miles for the first time. Personally I think that he is a great source of inspiration for anyone out there that is looking to lose some weight and make their lifestyle more healthy. Great work Nigel, and again my thanks.

Corporate Sponsors

Of course this type of event does have quite a few costs associated with it, and I still need to raise some additional funds to turn the trip into a reality. If you think that you or your company can help then please do email richard@bikerunswim.co.uk and I will be happy to discuss any specifics with you. The benefits will include:

  • A prominent feature on the customised clothing that I will wear on the event and thereby a good chance of featuring in any event media
  • Repeated mentions and advertising space on www.bikerunswim.co.uk, a fast growing and popular website all about cycling, running and swimming
  • Mentions in any articles that I create for my own publication in newspapers and magazines
  • My time for a day or evening after the race where I will present to an audience of your choosing about the trip. The presentation will be tailored to your chosen audience. Note: Expenses for the trip may be payable depending on the location for the event.
  • Other: I am happy to discuss your requirements and will do what I can to make this a viable marketing opportunity for your business.

These spaces are limited, so do get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested.

Equipment Sponsors

I see this event as a great marketing opportunity for any equipment sponsors out there. If you have a product from a backpack, to shoes, to clothing, to energy food that you would like me to test and review under the most extreme circumstances then please do get in touch. richard@bikerunswim.co.uk. If you want to see an example of a recent product review then you can see my review of the Salomon Sense Mantra shoes or the Jack Wolfskin Electron Softshell.

Why me?

You are probably wondering why you should invest in me and what my chances are of actually finishing this event are? Well, I cut my teeth on adventuring running a few years ago competing in multi-day UK based events such as the Original Mountain Marathon and the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, so carrying a rucksack and running a long way is nothing new to me. Recently I have focused on single day events and in May this year I easily completed the 36 mile Endurancelife Ultra marathon at Flete in South Devon, which you can read about here. In fact, in the run up to this ultra I had been running a marathon a month since October of last year, and nearly all of them were extremely hill and often muddy on exciting UK coastal paths and Moorland. In short I have the fitness, endurance and experience that will enable me to complete the Ocean Floor Race in Egypt in October.

I am very business minded, running my own IT company for a day job www.fireflyits.com, and operating www.bikerunswim.co.uk in my spare time. I am willing to work with any supporters to help them get the most out of this endeavour. If you want to find out what makes me tick, how I stay motivated or just to use my experience to benefit yourself and or your company then please do get in touch. richard@bikerunswim.co.uk.

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