Running from Shadows

My Marathon des Sables . . . and beyond


The End: Stage 6, 10.6 miles – The Ancient Khmer Path (Cambodia)

Despite the early, dark start I felt recovered enough to try and redeem myself on this last day: Stage 6 of just 10 miles through numerous temples almost a thousand years old to finish at the World Heritage Site Angor Wat temple complex: I hadn’t run since Stage 3 so had a very unfair advantage to all the other runners! Continue reading


Stages 4 & 5: The Ancient Khmer Path (Cambodia)

One of the great things about the GlobalLimits race was its inclusive nature, with strong bonds formed within just a few days (even for those, like me, who had DNF’d). Everybody was mucking in to help each other and laughs were a-plenty. Race Director Stefan was at pains on the morning of each following stage to emphasise that for those of us who were DNF and so out of the rankings it was still perfectly fine if we wanted to continue on that stage to enjoy the scenery and surroundings. It was little things like this that made this GlobalLimits event so much more than a race.

Moo Wong (Korea) and Anne (USA) were happy to continue unranked and plough on through Stage 4 having DNF’d Stage 3. Kim and I were in no fit state. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Stage 2, 22.5 miles: The Ancient Khmer Path (Cambodia)

There’s a great simplicity in these types of races: get up, eat, pack, stand at the start line, run, stop, eat, sleep . . . and marvel at all the different lives and the world around you. Little time had passed since my alarm and here we were ready to run again in that time between full darkness and full light, possibly the coolest time it would ever be: the sky was giving off amazing hues of blues as the sun woke up and sped over the horizon and across the tree tops. Continue reading


About The Ancient Khmer Path, Cambodia

Run by GlobalLimits, itself headed by seasoned German ultrarunner Stefan Betzelt, it ran its first multi-day stage footrace back in 2012: the Ancient Khmer Path. The GlobalLimits portfolio now includes a footrace across Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Bhutan. I’d heard good things about GlobalLimits and the AKP so it was the natural choice after my aborted 4Deserts Jordan race last year (whether or not I’ll do another one of theirs . . . that’s another story!). And having visited Cambodia back in 2009 and fallen in love with the place it was always a country I’d want to go back to: the opportunity to run across it seemed a great excuse to return. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Another PB and a change of plan . . .

It wasn’t until yesterday morning (Saturday) that I finally felt my cold was sufficiently gone to attempt a run. My last one was on Tuesday of last week, an easy 5 miler. Other than that, my body has experienced just an hour-long hard gym session this week. Almost 2 weeks with a cold and hence just 2 training sessions! It couldn’t have come at a worse time, with just a few weeks until I reach the start line of the 140-mile Ancient Khmer Path multi-stage footrace. So the question for me this week was how to recover quickly and try and get back some of that fitness edge I had 2 weeks ago.

Hence a call to my coach, Rory Coleman, to chat through my plan for November. My end-October double marathon attempt having been scuppered, it was very useful to chat through with Rory what I should do. The upshot? Lose more weight (FAST!) and go eyeballs-out-crazy-man on my fast runs. The endurance capability should be in my body now for the remaining weeks, having built it since June on an already-strong base. The key now is to maintain that with some speedier runs and dropping some more weight (22lbs (1 stone 8lbs) or 9kg has already melted away since the beginning of 2015).

So guess what I decided to do yesterday? A Parkrun! A phlegmy chest and cold? Pah! Parkrun would sort it out . . . Continue reading

Leave a comment


Maybe my Parkrun 5K personal best (PB) of a week ago was too much, just a week after a marathon PB. Last Monday I woke up with all the symptoms of a nasty cold coming. Knowing I had my first double marathon coming up this weekend (the Snowdonia Marathon on Saturday followed by the Leicester Marathon on Sunday) I started overloading on slow release 1000mg vitamin C tablets, Day Nurse and Night Nurse. Continue reading

Leave a comment

‘We only have one life. Anyone is capable of achieving great things.’

In the run-up to the Yorkshire Marathon a couple of weeks ago there was some media interest in my up-coming extreme footrace, the Ancient Khmer Path, for which I was using my 51st marathon as part of the training. BBC Radio York’s Ellie Fiorentini got in touch wanting a live interview on her programme (listen again here until 6 November starting at 49 minutes) and I’d been talking to the Yorkshire Post’s Catherine Scott for a while about an article she wanted to run (read it here). Continue reading