Running from Shadows

My Marathon des Sables . . . and beyond


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Pre-race: The Ancient Khmer Path (Cambodia)

Where does time go?! It’s been a while since I got back from Cambodia just before Christmas 2015 and time has flown with promised DIY, a decluttering binge, Christmas preparation . . . and before I know it we’re mid-way through February 2016!

If you didn’t know already my attempt at Global LimitsThe Ancient Khmer Path resulted in my second multi-day stage race DNF part-way through the long day . . . read on! Continue reading

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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


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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


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Scuppered!

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


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‘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


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Belief

What is it in our lives that prevents us from achieving what it is we really want to achieve? Our minds: belief. Whatever your goal, ambition, desire or need, whether changing your job, losing weight, running a mile, or walking two, add a little effort (because anything remotely worthwhile takes effort) and really start to believe and you can spark a chain of great, life-affirming events that could go anywhere. It’s a theme that I’ve thought a lot about recently, particularly over last Sunday’s inaugural Hoad Hill Marathon in Ulverston, my 48th, as I spent a few hours reflecting on my own changes and those of others that I get to see. Continue reading