It’s not easy getting back into exercise after having a baby. Mountain runner and adventure racer Moire O’Sullivan (https://moireosullivan.com/) knows this all too well, as she shares in her book Bump, Bike & Baby: Mummy’s Gone Adventure Racing. We’ll be reviewing the book in full in the next issue of Run Deep magazine, but Moire has kindly supplied us with an extract from it for the blog. This extract is taken from a couple of days after the birth of Aran, Moire’s first son. Her husband Pete suggests they take their dog Tom for a walk after realising Moire has practically not left the house since Aran’s arrival…
‘Why don’t we go for a walk with Tom?’ Pete says. ‘I think we’d all appreciate some fresh air.’ The mere mention of the word ‘walk’ sends Tom into a mad frenzy. It looks like we’re going out, whether we like it or not.
We opt to visit the deserted beach I walked on just before my waters broke. I enclose Aran in his wrap on the excursion, and despite being buffeted by strong coastal winds and swirling sands, he soon nods off to sleep. The beach walk is the remedy I needed. Every step I take makes me realise that my lung space has finally returned. I don’t feel too breathless from the gentle steps I take on the shore.
Pete runs after Tom, who has spotted another dog frolicking in the waves. However, I am very aware that even a gentle jog towards the sea would be a very bad idea. Aran’s abrupt exit has caused my pelvic floor to collapse. In addition, I have suffered a urinary prolapse. I am so stretched down there that I fear running might cause all my internal organs to slump out between my legs.
I am disappointed with myself. Irish Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan was back running ten days after giving birth. I am nowhere near that stage. So if I ever had the notion I was even close to Olympic material, I now know I was terribly mistaken.
When I get back to the house, I email my biking and pregnancy guru, Susie Mitchell, to see how soon she started exercising. Though she had a C-section, so had different issues to deal with, she suggests that once I can sit on a bike saddle, I should be able to go for a spin.
I am not convinced by Susie’s suggestion. Sitting on a bike sounds really sore. But there is ultimately only one way to find out how bad the pain will be. I wheel out Bike, who has undergone solitary confinement in the garage for nearly two months. I slowly slip myself on to the saddle.
Much to my surprise, it is not sore at all. Within seconds I shout, ‘Pete, can I go for a bike ride?’
Back in the day, I could hop on my bike and inform Pete when I’d be back from my spin. But now, with baby Aran about and me breastfeeding him, we need military-precise coordination for when I can and can’t leave the house.
‘So, if I give Aran a feed now, he probably won’t need one for another hour,’ I say to Pete, trying to work out when and for how long I can abscond.
‘But what if he looks for a feed while you’re away?’
‘I don’t know,’ I say, trying to escape the house with Bike. ‘Can’t you figure that out yourself?’
Pete looks at me blankly.
‘Look, I’ll be back in sixty minutes,’ I say to Pete, begging him to let me go. ‘If he cries, I don’t know, sing to him or something.’ I cycle off before Pete can lodge a formal protest.
Riding Bike is sheer heaven. I had forgotten how fast you can go, how the wind whips your hair and catches your breath, how the rhythm of the pedals soothes away all your cares. It is also wonderful to be back cycling without a baby inside me. My lungs feel as large as life, no longer squashed against my ribs. I can push myself a little harder on the hills, and not worry about raised heart rates or overheating myself. Gone too are the fears I had of falling off Bike and doing Bump permanent harm.
It is not only the joy of being outdoors and doing some exercise that thrills me so much. It is the fact that I am getting a brief break from motherhood. Since giving birth two weeks ago, I have felt so fat and unfit. With Aran waking up every couple of hours at night, sleep deprivation is hitting me hard. Now, for this single hour, I am doing something I love that could reverse all these afflictions. I tell myself to cling to this time that it is solely mine.
I arrive back home, on a high from my ride. It’s great to have different chemicals coursing through my veins instead of pregnancy hormones. I bounce through the front door, full of serotonin and dopamine. I feel like a completely new woman.
Aran is starting to stir from his slumber on Pete’s shoulder.
‘Perfect timing!’ I shout to Pete with a smile.
I take Aran off him and carefully slide Aran under my biking top. Though my breast milk is now laced with lactic acid from my exercise, Aran doesn’t seem to mind a bit. He drinks greedily from the supply, then falls back fast asleep.
Finding it hard to stick to your usual running schedule while the UK experiences an extended period of hot weather? The temptation is there to get back from work, stick your feet in a paddling pool and settle down with a cold beer and a good book for the night. Or is that just us?
Here in the UK, we’re just not used to having the mercury hit the high 20s that often, let alone for more than the odd day or two. We’ve put together our top tips to help you keep running during the heatwave (even though there is always the chance normal conditions will have resumed by the time you read this…).
Adapt your clothing
What you wear when you run can have a lot to do with how hot you feel. Choose your running clothes wisely if you’re heading out while the sun’s up. Wear loose-fitting, technical fabrics. This isn’t the time for your favourite black compression shorts – black will make you feel warmer and the compression technology pushing against your skin is doing you no favours. Good running gear is moisture-wicking, so it pulls sweat away from your skin to stop you overheating. A t-shirt can be better than a vest if it’s really sunny, as it helps cover your skin – sunburn is a surefire way to make running in the summer unbearable and a serious health risk. Don’t forget to add something to cover your face and eyes. Some runners like sunglasses, which are especially good if you suffer from hayfever too (summer really is the gift that keeps on giving for some of us). A visor is a good shout, as it keeps your face in shadow but keeps your head free to expel excess heat. Stick to lighter colours as much as possible too.
As Baz Luhrmann said…
“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists…”
We can’t say this enough. If you’re out in the sun for a long period of time, wear sunscreen. A really good one that is designed for sports or is water/sweat resistant – normal sunscreens can sometimes make you overheat as they don’t let the sweat escape, and as you warm up they can feel slimy. Put it on 20 minutes before your run to let it sink in, and apply before dressing so you know you’ve covered everything. A decent Factor 30 in these conditions will protect your skin.
Water and salts
When you sweat a lot, you will lose two important things in your sweat: water and salts. You should aim to be hydrated the whole time, rather than heading into your run without enough water in your system and trying to catch up as you run. Drink around two litres every day; maybe even more in this warm weather. Carry water on every run, even if you don’t usually, or at the very least grab a couple of pounds just in case you need to make an emergency supermarket stop. Sports drinks are packed with electrolytes, which are essentially the salts you are losing when you sweat. Consider adding an electrolyte tablet to your water for running or pick a specially designed hydration sports drink. Don’t down your water either; keep steadily sipping it as you go to stay hydrated.
Pick your times
It’s not always possible to choose when you get to run, but if you can, try and avoid the hottest parts of the day. Normally this is considered to be from noon until 4pm, however during this current heatwave, temperatures have often gone up to the high 20s until late in the evening. Getting out first thing in the morning is your best bet, as the sun hasn’t had time to reach its maximum capacity. You will find it easier to run at this time, but if you’re not usually a morning runner, it might take a few goes to find your natural rhythm when it comes to eating and fuelling up. If you have a shower at work, you could run to work, shower and know that your training is over and done with.
Choose cooler routes
Running on the roads is going to be the hottest. The pavements will be throwing the heat back up at you, and when you’re surrounded by buildings, you will find the heat trapped on the streets. If you have any chest problems, the combination of air pollution and hot weather can cause problems. Now is the perfect time to get off-road. Many parks, forests and river paths will enable you to run partially in the shade, which will make your run feel so much easier. If you can get near the water, the sea breeze could also help to cool you down (although dodgy tourists might add a mile or two on to your run!).
Don’t start hot
If you are already boiling hot before you even go out for your run, your body temperature will just rocket really quickly. Try and get cool before your run so you start with a lower core temperature. Stick water bottles in the freezer or even your hat, so you can have something cold close to your skin at the start of your run. Your water will defrost as you go and at least you won’t have to drink hot water too early in your run.
Racing in hot weather
If you have a race planned during the heatwave, then things are a little different. You can’t adjust the time of your race to suit the coolest parts of the day. All you can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Make sure you know what kit you are running in and try it out. If something chafes on race day and you’re hot and sweaty, you’re going to feel that pain. Plan to carry your own water, rather than relying on just the aid stations. And also plan how you’re going to carry that water. Research where drinks stations will be positioned, so you can top up as needed. Make sure you have electrolytes on you and consider carrying salt tablets, particularly if you are prone to cramps or excess swelling (often in the fingers). Adjust your expectations of the day and accept that you will likely have to go slower than planned. If you can, start to acclimatise to the weather and get out for a few practice runs to test your tolerance, kit and hydration choices. Finally, just try and enjoy it. There will be other races, other summers and plenty more cooler weather ahead!
Back in issue 3 of Run Deep magazine, we ran a story about amazing ultra runner Tina Page. Now she’s back with another amazing challenge that will see her summit even more mountains – 1,000 of them in just 365 days!
Self-confessed ‘back of the pack’ trail runner, Tina Page, who last year took on the National Three Peaks Challenge in an epic solo, unsupported 500-mile run, successfully completing 19 marathons in 19 days, is now brushing off her trail shoes once again for a new flapjack-fuelled adventure in continuing support of Mountain Rescue Teams and Search Dogs.
What started as an attempt to summit the 180 English Mountains (as classified by the HEWITT system) has sort of spiralled! She now plans on reaching the top of a whopping 1,000 mountains! Yes, you did read that right… This includes peaks classified as Hewitts, Nuttalls and Scottish Munros, and takes in all the best of our British hills. You can find out more about her challenge, and why she upped it to such epic proportions here: https://adventurehobo.blog/2018/05/20/why-run-1000-mountains/
She will be attempting to complete all 1000 mountains in the British Isles over 365 days, and started the challenge in mid-June. On all her adventures, her companion is he mascot, Patch the dog, who features in her amazing photos.
The challenge is to raise funds for The Search And Rescue Dog Association and Mountain Rescue England and Wales. She will also be supporting the double award-winning Lakeland fell protection charity Fix the Fells. She hopes to reach a target of £50,000 over the next year.
Whether you are preparing for your first marathon or your 100th, feeling nervous is quite normal. Some of us are more prone to nerves than others, feeling that familiar flutter of butterflies before a parkrun, or even a training run. Race-day has so many elements to think about. Not only is it the culmination of months of training, there are the added logistics of travelling, bag storage, number collection, remembering to pack everything and frantically watching a weather app to predict what conditions might be like. It’s okay to feel nervous, but it also helps if you can manage some of the worry too. Here are some strategies you can use to stay on top of your nerves.
The more you know, the less there is to worry about. Most races will have a course map you can look at in advance. This may also include the elevation profile, so you can mentally prepare for the ups and downs. Not everyone likes to know the route in advance, but if the unknown makes you uneasy, studying the course can really help. You could also browse the race photos from previous years to see the route and what it looks like, to help you picture yourself running it. When you know what to expect, you can make a race plan. If the first half is all uphill and the second half easier, build that into your race plan. If you go out too hard on the toughest part of the course, you won’t be able to make the most of it when you reach the easier sections. You can also choose landmarks on the route to spot on race-day, so you can break the race down into sections. The same goes for getting everything ready for your big day. Lay out your kit, pack your bags and double-check your travel plans the day before. Make sure you have your race number or any registration details you need to pick it up on the day.
Remember you’re ready!
Maranoia can kick in big time when you’re tapering and on the start line. You will worry you haven’t done enough, that you’re undertrained. Take the time to look back at what you have achieved. Seeing the difference from the first run all those months ago to your best run in peak training can help to calm the nerves. It proves you have put the time and effort in. You need to put some faith in your training.
Follow your routine
Routine really helps keep nerves in check. A race isn’t your usual Sunday morning affair, but running is. You’ve done the long runs and you’re ready; this is a just a shift of location. Keep your morning routine as normal as possible. Get ready for your run as you always would, eat the same breakfast and try to relax. Do another run through of your kit and get dressed. Follow your race-day plan and get to the start with plenty of time. Use the facilities, drop your bag off and go through your usual warmup routine if you have one. Some runners like to have headphones for the start area, even if they don’t wear them for the race, so they can switch off from what’s happening around them while waiting to go into the start pens.
Run at your pace
The combination of nerves and uncertainly can see us starting the race too fast, keen to get going. It’s easy to get swept up in the crowds, particularly in a big race. However, this will only mean you’ll exhaust yourself later on and you need to play the long game. Fall into your own pace from the very beginning and ignore anyone around you. It definitely helps if you put yourself in the right start pen at the beginning for your intended pace, as this will stop too many people from trying to push past you in earnest. Just focus on your own race plan and stick to what you’ve practised.
Follow these tips and hopefully you will feel a little more in control on race-day. If you have any top tips for combating nerves, let us know on our social media channels.
Jenny Tough lives up to her name. She is an adventurer, writer, speaker and filmmaker with a thirst for a challenge and not afraid to throw herself into epic environments. She has travelled six continents solo, cycled around Europe, paddled through the South American jungle, ran marathons on four continents, hiked throughout Asia, trekked in Patagonia, dived with sharks, surfed in the North Sea, competed in numerous adventure races, and lived in five countries. We find out more about her latest challenge, her preparation and what drives her
You were the first person to run solo and unsupported across the Tien Shen Mountains in Kyrgyzstan. What was it about the challenge that enticed you in the first place?
I grew up in the Canadian Rockies, and mountains have always felt like home for me. My desire to go to the Tien Shan was born from a need to explore mountains, and during my research of this mysterious mountain range I somehow came up with the idea that I would cover the whole thing on my own two feet. I’ve been a runner for a long time, looking for bigger challenges every year, and I began to wonder just how far it was possible to run. This seemed like a great way to find out.
Kyrgyzstan isn’t exactly your typical holiday destination. For people unfamiliar with the country, can you tell us a little a bit about the country and what you learnt about it and the people during your time there?
I have to admit, even when I landed in the capital of Bishkek I still wasn’t sure if I was pronouncing Kyrgyzstan correctly! It’s an elusive little nation, still baring the scars of the Soviet era (they were celebrating 25 years of independence when I was there). In addition to the incredible mountains that cover the entire country, one thing that really drew me to Kyrgyzstan was that nomads still live in the traditional way in the mountains, dwelling in yurts with their small flocks of goats, sheep, and horses. Getting to know the nomads and seeing their way of life was a true highlight.
How much did you have to improvise when it came to your route? Was it a case of having a plan for each day of the expedition? Or just taking it day-by-day?
Because no maps of the interior existed, the route that I had plotted in my GPS was really just a hopeful guess created through endless zooming on satellite images. I had no idea if my routes would work out, and many times they didn’t. I could often find nomads to give me advice, but they would usually only know their small territory, so it really was a case of planning day to day and being really flexible. My original ‘route’ that I plotted in my GPS did not match very closely to the track that I did in reality!
It’s fair to say you went through a lot during your time there. What were the toughest moments? Do you ever look back and wonder how you managed it?
I still can’t believe I got away with it… So many difficult moments and situations unfolded, and I really don’t know how I managed. I started the adventure by succumbing to altitude sickness that plagued me for nearly a week (and resulted in a host of poor decision-making), got lost on several occasions, ran out of water on even more occasions, had a pretty severe near-death experience, and got bad food poisoning at the very end which took me days to recover from. Things got pretty real out there!
You’re an incredibly driven person, so to read about how close you were to quitting throughout the journey really hits home. How did you keep yourself going?
There’s an old adage that says, “when you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started”. I went to Kyrgyzstan to have a real adventure and to push the limits of what I was capable of. The breakdowns along the way were like validations that I was truly pushing myself hard. And when that motivation fails, there was always the reality that if I didn’t keep going, I would be stuck out in the mountains and would never get home. You have to keep moving!
In contrast to the lows, what were the highlights? Can you look back and enjoy these more now?
I had highlights every day that I’ll never forget. I enjoyed perfect mountain sunsets, stunning alpine lakes, and enjoyed true alpine wilderness – my favourite natural environment. But my highlight has to be the time I spent with the Kyrgyz nomads – they showed me so much incredible kindness and hospitality along the way and taught me a lot about mountain culture.
How did you celebrate finishing the run?
I told myself that I would celebrate – I’m pretty sure I looked forward to a nice hotel and a big pizza the whole 23 days – but when I got there, it was kind of anti-climactic. I had been running for so long that it was just part of who I was, and when I got up the first morning after finishing I didn’t really know what to do with myself, and I really missed my tent and the mountains. The truth is, I still haven’t really celebrated what was to this day one of my favourite achievements.
READ MORE – See our full interview with Jenny in the latest issue of Run Deep magazine, issue 6, on sale now for just 99p
There are so many great marathons in the UK. While we do have some of the best big city marathons, there are some smaller gems that are worth adding to your bucket list.
Here we have put together 10 marathons the Run Deep team love or have on their own ‘must-do’ lists.
Dorchester Marathon Date: 27th May
Price: £42 (unaffiliated)/£40 (affiliated)
About the marathon: The Dorchester Marathon is back for the second year, after a successful inaugural event in 2017. The race is run on closed runs in the glorious Dorset countryside, through historic villages. It is well supported, offers camping and a post-race party, as well as a medal, t-shirt and live entertainment.
North Devon Marathon Date: 24th June
About the marathon: The organisers call it the toughest and most beautiful race in the UK. It’s based in Woolacombe and takes in the North Devon coastline. It weaves its way beside Woolacombe Sands, through Croyde back inland to the start point to finish the first half. The second half goes north on the coast, before circling back.
DRAM (Dundee Running Adventure Marathon) 2018 Date: 15th July
About the marathon: This race takes part on the green circular around the city of Dundee, with a mixture of path, trail, road and pavement. The entry fee of just £26.20 (see what they did there?) is more than reasonable for a marathon event. And the mostly flat route makes this a reasonably fast event.
Salisbury 54321 Marathon Date: 12th August
Price: £29 (unaffiliated)/£27 (affiliated)
About the marathon: This trail running event offers a wide range of distances for both runners and walkers. The picturesque route takes in sites of historical and scientific interest, as well as through country estates that are not usually open to the public. It’s quite low-key but growing in popularity, with many runners returning each year to tackle the different distances.
Bacchus Marathon Date: 9th September
About the marathon: What’s not to love about a marathon that has 12 wine-tasting stations? This trail event is located on Denbies Wine Estate and attracts a mixed crowd with a penchant for fancy dress. It’s not cheap, so make sure you get your money’s worth in wine – as long as you can still run in a straight line!
Loch Ness Marathon Date: 28th September
Price: £56 (unaffiliated and UK Club Member)/£54 (affiliated Scottish Athletic member)
About the marathon: Loch Ness is iconic and it’s an absolute joy to be able to run in this gorgeous part of the world. The event has received some great feedback from previous entrants, particularly for all the entertainment and family-friendly extras. You might even catch a glimpse of Nessie!
Kielder Marathon Date: 7th October
Price: £41 (unaffiliated)/£39 (affiliated)
About the marathon: Another race that claims to be ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful’, this is an entirely off-road course around Kielder Water, Europe’s largest man-made lake. Entrants get a technical t-shirt, medal and goody bag for their entry fee. One bonus is the spectator’s bus, which shuttles viewers to the best vantage points to spot runners for a small fee.
Beachy Head Marathon Date: 27th October
About the marathon: One of the most popular and most scenic marathons in the UK. Take in the stunning views across the East Sussex countryside and the South Downs, making the killer climbs worth it.
Remembrance Day Marathon Date: 11th November
Website: https://www.phoenixrunning.co.uk/events/remembrance-day-marathon Price: £39.80 (unaffiliated)/£37.70 (affiliated)
About the marathon: This special event falls on Remembrance Day 2018 and marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. While the race starts at 9am, there is a ‘race freeze’ at 11am, where all runners and marshals come to a halt as a mark of respect and observe the traditional silence before continuing.
Endurancelife Dorset Date: 1st December
Website: https://www.endurancelife.com/dorset Price: £55
About the marathon: All of the Endurancelife events are worth a try. The marathon distance is a bit of an ‘ish’, which the Dorset version coming in at 27.2 miles. Add to that the 4,910ft of elevation and it’s not going to be easy. But running the Jurassic Coast Path is a unique experience and one all trail runners should experience.
Training for a marathon? Check out the latest issue of Run Deep to see our nutrition and injury-prevention advice, just 99p.
Regulars and visitors to the Golden Lion pub in Higher Wheelton, Chorley are the proud owners of a new defibrillator after a volunteer running coach based at the pub put in a compelling argument to get it donated to them.
Shelby Williams, run leader of Lions Community Club, which attracts over 50 runners a week to the pub, entered a competition run by defibrillator manufacturers Cardiac Science to win a Powerheart® G5 AED (automated external defibrillator).
The company, based in Stockport, ran the competition throughout 2017, donating a Powerheart® G5 AED every three months to a deserving cause.
Shaun Ingram, Managing Director of Cardiac Science, said that Shelby put forward a strong case for the need of an AED, saying the pub was a busy place, at the heart of the community, the perfect spot for a defib.
Shelby explained: “In the six years since the running club started we have only ever called an ambulance out once, but it did take a long time to get here – including going off-road at the end to reach us – so having an AED on hand which could save a life is a no brainer.
She continued: “Since then our nearest A & E department has partially closed so the situation has not got any better and I knew we needed a plan B. The G5 gives us peace of mind that in an emergency we could help ourselves and give someone a fighting chance of survival.”
As well as the hub for the running club – runs are usually reasonably close to the building – the pub sits alongside a canal which attracts walkers, locals and families at weekends. “It’s a real community pub,” said Shelby, “with lots of people who could benefit from the defib.”
Kevin Garvey from Cardiac Science joined Shelby and members of her running club to hand over the device. It will be housed inside the pub for now, but Shelby is hoping, with local fund-raising support, to buy a specially-constructed external cabinet with easy access for all.
Shelby and others will also be given First Responder training to get familiar with the device. However the Powerheart® G5 AED is designed to be used in an emergency without any training at all. It is set up to be intuitive to use, with the first time rescuer in mind, talking them through every step of the way and only giving a shock if required.
Kevin commented: “We are only too pleased to donate the Powerheart® G5 devices into semi-rural locations, especially pubs which attract big communities of people and Shelby is to be congratulated for championing the Golden Lion’s cause. Hopefully they will never have to use it but there is peace of mind in knowing it’s there in an emergency.”
Around 60,000 people in the UK have an out of hospital cardiac arrest each year according to figures from the Resuscitation Council (UK). If CPR is started early and there is an AED available, it can double the person’s chances of survival.
Cardiac Science has launched a new Community Sponsorship scheme which helps businesses get involved with the provision of AEDS into communities across the UK in exchange for local profile. For more information go to http://www.cardiacscience.co.uk/communitysponsor/
UK Run Events, the organisers of the Shrewsbury Half Marathon powered by UKRunChat and Breathe Unity, have announced the launch of The Running Festival at Goodwood, an exciting new event for runners at the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit in Sussex.
The Running Festival at Goodwood was launched at The National Running Show on 20th January, and runners were quick to snap up entries to secure their place on the start line of an event that is believed to become one of the most iconic running events in the sporting calendar.
The event will take place on Sunday 14th October 2018 and is set to welcome 5,000 runners to what will be the first ever running festival at Goodwood. An event aimed at younger runners will also be announced shortly, making this a celebratory day of running for runners of all ages and abilities.
Goodwood is a spectacular estate in the heart of West Sussex and home to the world-famous Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Qatar Goodwood Festival. Nestled at the foot of the South Downs just outside Chichester, it is an extremely picturesque location for this thrilling new event on the UK running scene.
A total of 3,000 places are available for the 10K which covers two and a half laps, and 2,000 places are available for the Half Marathon which will see runners complete five and a half laps. The 10K starts at 10am and the Half Marathon starts at 12 noon, allowing individuals and families to enjoy a full day of fun at this iconic venue.
Discounted early bird fees are up for grabs until the end of February, and anyone wishing to enter this professional and friendly event in the autumn is encouraged to secure their place now. Tickets for events at Goodwood traditionally sell out quickly and The Running Festival at Goodwood is expected to be eagerly embraced by the running community.
Race Director Joe Williams commented, “We are delighted to launch The Running Festival at Goodwood. It has been a long time in the planning and we are thrilled to be able to host our first running festival at such a beautiful and memorable venue. The facilities at Goodwood are second-to-none and we hope that many runners will take the opportunity to race at one of the UK’s best-known estates. With the option of a 10K and a Half Marathon, we are looking forward to welcoming runners of all abilities to the event in October. Discounted early bird entries are available so now is the perfect time to sign up and have a fantastic new event to look forward to.”
The Running Festival at Goodwood is open for entries. Early bird entries cost £18 (affiliated) / £20 (non-affiliated) for the 10K, and £26 (affiliated) / £28 (non-affiliated) for the Half Marathon. Prices will rise by £2 respectively on 1st March.
All finishers receive a unique medal, technical souvenir t-shirt, free pre and post race massage, free event photography (worth £19.99), a goody bag, plus a fantastic grandstand-themed finish!
UK Run Events is a professional running events company delivering high calibre events in beautiful surroundings combined with strong community spirit and immense runner support. UK Run Events for 2018 include The Running Festival at Goodwood and Shrewsbury Half Marathon.
Allie Bailey is about to set off on an adventure of a lifetime. She will attempt to run 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia – something that has never been done before. This third part of her blog for Run Deep is the last one before she sets off! We wish her the best of luck and can’t wait to hear how she gets on.
So tomorrow I head to Heathrow to meet my fellow suggestible idiots. We fly out on Sunday.
I’m pretty sure I have everything sorted now and the nerves have turned into massive amounts of excitement for what proves to be an epic adventure. Our itinerary looks a bit like this.
We arrive on Monday morning and will meet our guide Hishgue at the airport where we will go for breakfast. I’m pretty excited about what this breakfast will be if I’m honest. We will then get on a mini charter plane from Ulan Bator to Murun. This will take around 2 hours and will be over the forested mountains and remote Mongolian countryside, home to some of the oldest tribes in the world. Once we get there we will meet our vehicles that will take us to the get camp at Khatgal – we’ve been told to look out for wolves, elks, reindeer (so ‘dinner’) and other beasts on the way. I’m just upset the bears are hibernating! A slap up dinner and drinks awaits us at our toasty Gers. I am imagining its like the last night in the posh hotel before people enter the ‘I’m A Celebrity’ camp…
After breakfast on the 23rd, and about a thousand outfit changes, we will make our way up North to start the first day of running at Khankh. We will be running for 3 days, staying the the Gers at night and hopefully completely traversing the lake running around 33 miles a day. Once we are done (and haven’t died or been mauled by wolves) we have been invited, as guests of the Mongolian Government, to the annual Burns Night supper in Ulan Bator. So I have to pack something fancy to wear too. God knows what the Mongolian ambassadors are going to make of us but I am very much looking forward to celebrating with them!
The thing about this event is we are all going in blind, and it’s going to be trial and error on every level, but that is what makes it exciting. All I want from my running is to see and experience the world and to inspire others to do the same. Anyone can do something awesome; it just takes practice, patience, a thirst for adventure and a bit of attitude. This is the first in a long list of races for me this year, including almost all the White Star Running events, the Jurassic Coast Challenge, the SDW100 and the Thames Path 184. I’m also planning on another ridiculous adventure in somewhere weird at some at the end of the year – all suggestions welcome. Running had bought me some of the best friends I have ever met, has helped me overcome depression and has made me believe in myself. If I can inspire just one person to do the same then that’s awesome.
Thanks for reading this and don’t worry, I will tell you ALL about it when I get back. If I get back…
Allie Bailey is about to set off on an adventure of a lifetime. She will attempt to run 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia – something that has never been done before. In the second part of her exclusive blog for Run Deep, she shares a few things she has learned in advance of her trip when it comes to cultural etiquette, plus she shows us some amazing brand-new images from Mongolia.
One of the things I am particularly nervous about re: Mongolia is not the cold or the distance, but remembering all the customs and ‘Ger Etiquette’. People who have met me may know I have quite a gob on me, and am particularly partial to saying things out loud that really should stay in my brain hole.
For this trip we have a very experienced guide, David Scott, who has been out working in Mongolia for the last 30 years. We met with him back in December for a chat about the lake, route and to look at his lovely map.
There are a few things to note here. Just a few.
Say “hello” (Sain Bainu) when you arrive at a Ger, but don’t repeat it to the same person later. And don’t use platitudes. They’re not into platitudes.
Avoid stepping on or leaning over the threshold or knocking your head on the doorframe. Not a problem for me. I am shortish.
Don’t ever lean against the support columns of a Ger. A problem for me; I am a leaner.
Guests go to the back of the Ger in a clockwise direction. Try not to turn your back to the altar or religious objects. I don’t know my left from my right. Or my clockwise from my anti-clockwise. Or my religious objects from my non-religious ones.
Pick up everything with an open hand, with your palm facing upwards. Never take food from a communal plate with your left hand. As I said. I don’t know my left from my right. I might have to write L and R on my hands.
Try not to point your feet at the hearth, the altar or at another person. What if my feet are cold? Where do I actually point my feet? HELP!
If you have stepped on someone, or kicked their feet, immediately shake their hand. So are we stamping on people’s feet or are we not? HELP!
Keep your sleeves rolled down so as to avoid exposing your wrists. I am going to be freezing – this won’t be a problem.
Leave weapons outside. Don’t point a knife in any way at anyone. Pass a knife handle first and always use the knife to cut towards you. Not sure a knife is on my kit list. *Buys a massive knife
Hold a cup by the bottom and not by the top rim. WELL, OBVIOUSLY!
Always receive gifts with your right hand supported at the elbow by your left arm.
Avoid touching another person’s hat. This is apparently the WORST way to offend.
Try never to refuse what is offered to you. If you don’t like what you have been given, take a small sip or bite (or pretend to) and leave the rest on the table. An empty plate is seen as a signal that you are still hungry and your plate or bowl will be refilled. It’s likely that what you are offered to drink will be fermented horse milk. Or vodka. I know what I am hoping for.
It is not rude to come and go as you please in a Ger. Even taking a short nap is considered perfectly acceptable. YES!
Sleep with your feet pointing towards the door. More feet pointing. Maybe I will just cut them off?
Avoid stamping out or putting water or rubbish on a fire – fire is sacred to the Mongolians. I really hope I don’t catch on fire.
That’s quite a lot to remember. Would it be wrong to print it out and laminate it? David is currently out on the ice with the inspection team measuring the thickness to make sure we’re all good to run on it. Judging from these pictures (below) of the team out on the ice and the massive support vehicles, I think we should be okay.
I’m now in the final stage of preparation and it’s becoming very real indeed. I have one more 20-mile run to do this week and I’m set. Friday will be my final blog for Run Deep before I hit the ice – should be interesting to see how every bit of my kit is going to fit in my bag, plus I will give you all an update on the itinerary for the week!