Monday, 30 December 2013

End of 2013 a superb year.

Well what can I say about 2013 apart from it been a amazing year !!!

Running wise I've done quite possibly 2 of the biggest races yet for me with the ocean floor race in Feb & the Gore-tex  transalpine race in August , these two races have both opened my eyes to loving the spirit for adventure & also showing me what you can overcome when things get tough in a race, both races have also made me appreciate my family & my true friends as the support I have received this year has been 2nd to none & I truly appreciate it more than you probably realise.
I must thank Buff
for been behind me 100 percent in everything I have done this year & the support you have given me has been above what I would expect from a company & I'm honoured to be part of a amazing team & look forward to spreading the Buff love in 2014 which hopefully will be my 3rd year of been sponsored ,
Thanks also to SueMe for all your help too & I look forward to wearing some of your cool new gear in 2014.
So what have I planned for 2014 ??? & how can you top an amazing year of running , fun times & friendship !!!!! ??

Well l have quite a few 24 hour races already entered for next year & my weekends are filling up quickly so keep checking my blog for some of my adventures & new exciting challenges inc something a bit different for me as I'm starting a sports nutrition course in Jan , so hopefully that will have some positive benefits to my ultra training too .
I also promise to upload my transalpine race blog which is taking me forever to get my head around.

But for now I wish all my family  & friends a happy & laughter filled new year & to keep doing all the crazy things you enjoy as life is too short not too.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Trailplus Adventure Race Cannock Chase 7th Dec 2013

This race was my first adventure race & I must say I think I have caught the bug. 
I really didn't know what to expect & I really didn't think I would be laughing so much about it. 
But here goes this is what happened.
Once again I was very lucky to be competing for Team Buff Uk & originally we were competing in a ladies team of 3 but due to circumstances out of our control we were down to a Duo or as Team Buff uk called us a lovely dynamic duo . So who am I competing with ??
My best buddy Heather & it was a great pairing I mayhave the strength in the running stages , but we are both very similar on the mountain bikes & Heather is a super kayaker so we make a great pair & we are both mad & both tough as hell.
The race was been held at Cannock Chase which is a lovely beautiful venue only 10 mins car ride from my house.

 The morning of the race was quite damp under foot & we were both looking forward to the muddy bike course & trying out our new HOPE F20 pedals & I'm sure nobody else has team pedals like ours .
Just in case you can't see we both have one pink Pedal & one Blue pedal ( team kit ) 
So what's the adventure race then ? 
Well it's off road running , mountain biking , kayaking & a mini assault course.
I'm not brilliant in water so I wasn't really looking forward to that stage but we will come back to that later.
The race started at 10 am & the first section was a 5 k run , we started at a good speed & relaxed into the first leg making sure we didn't go to fast for the other stages.The course was a good mixture of tracks ,mud & a few hills too.
Next was the Long section MTb stage approx 20/25k & I knew we would enjoy this stage as we are both pretty mad when it comes to mountain biking & we do tend to go quite fast , I'm not convinced the other mountain bikers were expecting a rendition of I'm the king of the jungle through the tree section ( but I blame Heather ) as she started it & before anyone says were we taking this race serious (hell yes we were ) but you can still enjoy yourselves correct !!
I'm happy to say we passed a good few mens teams on the biking stage & we knew we were up there in the women's teams too . 
Next was a 3k run down to the kayaking stage.
Now this was the stage I was least looking forward too , but in all fairness I think we did brilliant , 
Each team was given a inflatable kayak & 2 paddles & the all important life jackets !!!
Of course on this stage Heather was in charge & I was told to sit behind & leave her to it !! No that was never going to happen & we worked really well together with me copying the paddle strokes until about half way into the lake where I had cramp develop in my hips & I decided to lie in the kayak for a moment in pain ( Heather  told me I sounded like a squawking tropical bird ) charming hey but come on it was painful lol. 
A stretch & a few seconds later I was back paddling away , we were doing really well & we couldn't help laughing at a Team of 3 women who hadn't got a clue going around in circles. ( I'm sure they would still be there now if the rescue kayak hadn't gone out to them.
Anyhow I really must thank Heather with the kayaking and her steering was spot on and we passed quite a few teams on this section & mainly because I didn't fall in .
So once we were  out of the water we had a 3k run back to the transition area for the last MTb section .
We literally had time for a quick drink and then it was back around a 5k technical biking section before we had the little assault course section which consisted of the following 
Wooden Ski's these were great fun & between me muttering left right left and basically driving Heather mad we got into a great rthymn. 
Then it was a very short 50metre sprint to the cargo net 
I really wasn't liking the look of this so sent Heather in first lol,
The net was really heavy & I'm not too keen in been in enclosed spaces so I was really pleased to be following & luckily Heather held it up for me at the end. 
This was also where my Buff got turned into a bizarre shape & I resembled a smurf for the last obstacle.
The only thing I can say about the greased up A frame is I've never laughed so much in all my life.
I think it took me four attempts to get to the top as it was so slippy & then trying to pull Heather up well it was like a comedy double act .( please note everyone struggled up this but when there are only 2 of you it's very difficult) 
One of my attempts !!
Me desperately trying to drag Heather up the greasy A frame .
Finally getting on the top .
All we had left to do now was slide down the other side to the finish.
Job done & our first Adventure race completed & we actually came in as 1st Female pair & 2nd Female team in a great time of 2hours 42 mins.
Yes okay I do look a little bit like a smurf in this photo & Heather your hair is fetching too lol, but all in all we had a brilliant entertaining race & it was great to race and represent Team Buff uk.
Once again I must thank & for all your amazing support in 2013 & I look forward to been part of a amazing team hopefully in 2014.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Rock & Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon 2013

Well it's been a good few hours since I have finished this race & once again I can't say enough about how good this race is organised .
Firstly we were staying at the Mirage Hotel & they had arranged a free shuttle bus service for there guests down to the start . Which was very well organised & we got to the start nearly 2 hours before the event started .
Which didn't matter at all as there was plenty to do & it was a lovely warm day perfect running conditions. 
There was a great band doing a gig before the race too which kept us entertained the all American rejects. Great music & witty banter I'm not sure some runners would of been impressed when the lead singer said I've never played to such a fit audience but there are a few fat runners here too!! It was a priceless moment we found it funny but some didn't ! Rock n roll stars seem to get away with saying these things .

So back to the race , both the full & the half started at 4.30 pm & depending on what finishing time you predicted you were allocated a starting pen , each pen was set off in 2 min intervals so this would make your run a more pleasurable experience and not too overcrowded. 
I was in pen 2 & my dad was in pen 4.
Just in case you don't know u can actually get married or re new your wedding vows at this race & for the first time this year it was held before the start & there were lots of couples there & then they ran the race let me just say it's a good job they didn't do this 11 years ago or I seriously would of been tempted to get married on this race. 
Straight after the service the USA national was sung and this was a lovely moment & even though I'm from the uk it was quite a emotional moment & you could see how passionate the USA are about there country ( it was a lovely to see ) & the 17 year old girl who sang it had a gorgeous echoing voice.
The race actually started 5 mins late but no one cared & as our start pen were lining up I was right at the front whoop whoop .
This was going to be a awesome race & for the first time I had a go pro attached to me to record this amazing race & yes I was still taking it serious.

The sun was just going down as we started and the first mile we ran away from the strip down to the welcome Las Vegas sign before heading back to the strip.
Ok if you have never been to Las Vegas you will find they never close the strip at night apart from two times a year and this race is one of the times & with it been at night it's just a amazing sight to see the lights & the crowd support is immense & they get very vocal good job seems to be the popular saying & the homemade signs on the course did make me chuckle !! 
One said Run like you stole something & the other one which I thought was brilliant was you paid to run this stop moaning !!! 
Back to the race one of the highlights for me was when we ran past the Bellagio fountains & they were actually on ( this is the first time in 3 years that they have actually been on when I have ran past ) 
I was feeling really good and my first 5k was run in 22 mins which I was pleased with & I was surprised with as I had been feeling really tired with jet lag beforehand. 
The race now keeps going down the strip past all the hotels till u get to old Las Vegas & into Fremont street , the only bad thing about the race was between 7 & 8 miles (I think it was )which was off the strip & very dark with no lights at all & there were very few spectators around just a odd Marshall doted about.
Fremont street was next and that was a colourful array of lights & great live bands as we ran through. It was just after here that the marathon runners & the Half marathoners split & this year I was doing the half as I've had a rather busy year with ultras & really wanted a faster race & 
to try and keep some speed in these ultra legs.
As we headed back along the strip the closer we got to the finish the noisier & busier the crowds got & I somehow got involved in a bit of a race with a older chap ( oh dear there was no way he was going to beat me ) & I was passing him & then he was passing me he really didn't want to beaten by a girl. It's funny that you can still find some extra speed in your legs when you need it & we ended up having a sprint finish & much to his annoyance lol I pipped him on the line , to be fair he did thank me in the end for dragging him to a decent time & was very  nice. 
I was really pleased with my finishing time & overall position.
I'm not convinced I'm going to make it as a go pro expert but then this was the first time that we had tried it & looking at the video footage it looks like I ran to fast as it's a bit jumpy to say the least !!! Gutted is a understatement as Ben informed me afterwards that we should have set it up different for running grrrrrrr !!
Oh well next time I'm sure it will be perfect.
My dad had a great run too & finished 5 mins quicker than last year in a time of 2.17 so well done dad you did brilliant.
A big thanks to my hubby & my mom for been our support crew again & bag carries.
I've done hundreds of races in the uk   & abroad and I can honestly say this medal is up there as one of the best ones around & it's damn heavy too . ( oh did I mention it glows in the dark ).
One thing I did notice in this race was that once again my brilliant Buff kit got noticed & the Gb Buff always gets you some shouts from fellow holiday makers / supporters I really recommend running in one if you race abroad.
Check out 

This is the amazing glow in the dark medal ( the photo doesn't do it justice ) 

Next for me is a race back in the uk on the 7th December on Cannock Chase I'm now turning into a adventure athlete & I will be competing for team Buff uk in a pair with my best buddy Heather . This really should be interesting and it consists of off road running , mountain biking & kayaking yep kayaking ( with my love of water this should be fun ) & tasks thrown in too.
Look out for my race report on this soon.
I'm also finally getting my transalpine blog finished at long last too.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

A great day at the rock & roll Las Vegas expo

Well it's early here in the USA and my body clock still thinks it's in the uk so I've been wide awake now since 1 am in the morning so I have decided to do a little blog on the Las Vegas Rock & Roll expo.
Here goes .
We arrived at the expo just as it opened at 11am on Friday morning & this year it had been moved to the las Vegas convention centre a bigger building off the strip. Not that I was keen to get my number but I was first in the que for mine 
So number 2440 was my race number & next was shirt collection & it's great to see that there were women special cut ones for a change so at last no oversized T-shirt for me & a very nice design too.

Next was to pick up our swag bag which had a array of vouchers & free bar entry offers in it.
Right so I'm all ready to run now just the expo to have a wander around, only in Las Vegas do you get greated by show girls & you get to see runners walking around dressed as Elvis bizarre very bizarre but that's what makes this race so unique. 
The expo was great full of lots of freebies & competitions to enter & prizes to be won , very enjoyable indeed.
I was also meeting up with the lovely guys from feetures socks who had agreed for the 2nd year running to supply me with a few pairs of there amazing socks ( these were the socks I wore when I ran in the transalpine race for 8 days ) and I didn't get one blister the whole time I wore them !! Now that is impressive for me & I can not stop talking about how good they are . 
So thank you
for my 12 months supply of socks & I will keep spreading the word in the uk.
My next update will be after the race . 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The evil sheriff off road duathlon .

Well I've not done a blog for a while & I've decided to add this one as it was first off road duathlon.

So here goes a good few months ago I was chatting away to my mate Heather about running , races & generally gossiping when we decided that we would do some events together & I said I would help to get her back into full fitness after 18 months off with dodgy knees & we decided we needed some race goals now obviously I'm a runner & Heather is a mountain biker so we put the two together & come up we would help each other with the weaker discipline & searched the Internet for some races to enter.
So four months on & training has been going great , ( when I say training running has been going great ) mountain biking has had to be fitted in when my races fall around it. 
We decided our first event would be the Evil Sheriff off road duathlon in Sherwood Forest which consisted of a  5k run 16k MTb 3.6k run perfect as my hubby Ben was working at the event as an official photographer for
So we entered & that was that Team Buff uk were in .
Luckily for me the Lovely Sarah from sent me some buff cycling shorts last year which I hadn't had the opportunity to wear until now & I was mighty impressed with the fit & comfort , & I topped them with my long sleeved Buff blue official team kit & my Buff of choice for this race was my Red SueMe buff which I wore as a hat to run in & it doubled up as a MTb helmet liner when I rode.

Back to the race.
The race started at 9am on Saturday morning and we were there very early to pick up my race number as it had got lost in the post & the round the ankle timing chip.
So now I was ready all I had to do was rack up my mountain bike and have a warm up as it was a bitterly cold morning.
My plan for this race was just to go for it from the start as I knew my biking skills would be my weakest part of the race and for me the run was a bit short, so when the gun went , I was off !!!
The course was a lovely mix of terrain and it had a nice mix of up hills & down hills and very enjoyable , I got to the end of the 5k in about 22 mins which I was pleased with then it was a mad dash to grab my helmet & bike,
Next was 2 x 8k laps on a mountain bike to get a picture of how I felt think mad women possessed and that was how I rode on the first lap and looking back maybe I had gone a little bit to fast, but it had to be done,
The mountain bike course was brilliant fun a mixture of tiny tracks through lovely wooded areas with mud and hills and even a water section to ride through thrown in for good measure.
I think it was on the 2nd lap of the bike course when i realised that my timing chip had come off my ankle grr how happy was I especially as the guy on the bike next to me said the race would charge me £25 pounds if I've lost it !!!!

So as soon as I got to the bike transition timing mat I told the time keepers and very lucky for me someone had found my chip & it was now by my kit at the racking area phew, so a quick transition and reapply of my chip I was back out running if thats what you can call it the first 500 metres were like someone had replaced my legs with jelly a very strange feeling indeed.
If you have done a duathlon or triathlon you will understand what I'm on about.
I really enjoyed the last stage 3.6k run as i managed to catch up with  a few chaps who had sped past me earlier in the race, unfortunately for me the run wasn't long enough to catch many of the women in front but I was pleased with how I felt and I will definitely be doing some more off road duathlons as they are great fun.
I also got to test out my new Bloc leopard sunglasses which were brilliant and not only protected my eyes from the glare of the sun through the trees but they also stopped the mud from getting in my eyes on the biking stage. I highly recommend them.

Heather also did great in this race and it was great to hear that there were no issues with your knees & it  will be interesting to see how our bike splits compare , one thing to remember mate is to forget using gels in future as yep they effect you the same way as me and make you sick,

My dad aka Buff daddy ran in the off road 10k and he ran very well indeed & thanks for been mine & Heathers support & bag carrier before your race.

Team Buff uk also had Tony Wallbank competing in the 10k race and he ran brilliant to knock 7 mins off his p.b !! just shows you that Buff kit makes you run fast.

A special thanks to Buff & Sueme for your continued support and its a pleasure to race in your kit.

Next for me is flying out to the Las Vegas marathon & Half in a few days time & then back to competiting in a pair with Heather in an adventure race in December .

I saw this quote this week & though I would add it on my blog as its a good one.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Tr24 2013 24hours of sun , rain , thunder & mud!!

Well what a busy few weeks !! & I've actually got some spare time to write my blog .So I hope you all enjoy .

So as most of my friends know without a doubt the Thunder run is one of my favourite races & I really look forward to this race every year.
For people who haven't run in this great event it is a 24hour offroad race held at Catton Park , which is brilliantly organised &  everyone is so friendly.
This year was my 4th year competing in it & the first year I ran in a pair with my dad which was brilliant, but since then I have ran solo the last few years & I have done quite well in it with a 2nd place in 2011 & 1st place solo lady last year so I did feel a little bit of pressure on me this year but as I'm competitive it's always good to have some pre race nervous energy .other friends may call it me been hyper active but no it's pre race nerves lol .

We arrived at Catton park on the Friday afternoon & luckily for me & my dad my running buddy Nivette had saved us only the best solo camping pitch ever , right next to the finish & perfect for popping back to see my support crew if I needed to. So a massive Thank u to Nivette for doing that it was much appreciated .
Friday evening was a lovely chilled out night & it was great to socialise & chat with fellow runners & I got to see my brilliant mates Heather & Harry who had come along to support me & my dad.
I still can't believe you tried to get me to have a cider with you the night before a race Heather ( I'm a very serious athlete & my body is a temple & all that ) 
It was also cool to meet up with Henry from Buff / SueMe who sponsor my kit too & there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere around the camp. 
As always at this race I had to have a couple of sports massages as I swear by them & they keep my legs in tip top shape , I did make a rather basic mistake on the Friday night massage though as I had forgot to put my running shorts on so my SueMe trunks were on view for one & all to see ( good bit of advertising Henry ) 
After a little chill back at the camper & a artistic play with some bubbles (these were a gift from a fellow nutter solo runner Louise )
This photo was produced & then we decided to call it a night as  we had a long day ahead of us.
I do sometimes wonder why I go to bed early on the eve of a race as I didn't sleep well at all & was wide awake at 5 am.
I wasn't the only one awake early as my dad was too & so was my support crew mate Heather, so porridge & a Nutella sandwich later I was ready to run.

The race started at 12 lunchtime but it was announced at around 11 that there had been a severe weather warning for this evening c/w thunder & lightning ( great news ) something to look forward to !!!
So 12 o'clock  came & the race started , it was actually a very warm/muggy day & rather bright so my trusted  Bloc sunglasses were put on & I was hoping that it would cool down for us later on in the race.
The course & ground under foot was rock hard & I set off at a nice steady pace with my trusty iPod on as I always do for the 1st couple of hours , I find this just relaxes me & gets my head into the zone for running for 24 hours !!
This years route had loads of motivational signs around the course where were a brilliant idea & I also think the new idea of us solo runners having a number on our back was a great idea & the support from fellow runners when they knew you was running solo was amazing.

When running in ultra races I am known to chat to other runners & before anyone says am I not taking the race serious !! I am . But there is nowhere where it says you can't enjoy yourself & by chatting it motivates you to keep going & the time goes quicker .
I found this out on lap 5 when I caught up with my running friend Kim Freeman & subsequently I ended up running the whole lap with her , it was one of my most enjoyable laps of the whole race & we just chatted away, even if I was told to carry on & I hope I'm not holding you back . Kim you wasn't & it was great to run a lap with you & it really spurred me on.

I haven't mentioned yet how I'm getting on in the ladies race?? 
This was because I honestly didn't know & I had told Ben not to tell me until a good 20 hours into the race as anything could happen before. I did however here a one point the announcer mention I was in the top 3 but I choose to ignore it & just keep plugging away.

If I remember correctly it was about 7.30 pm when the heavens opened & the thunder & lightning started & I honestly could not believe how quickly a course can turn from rock hard to what can only be described as a muddy mess.
The lovely paths were now just mud or mini streams & my road shoes were just not up to the job now & it was time for a shoe change to my Salomon speed cross gore tex off roaders  & time to put on my amazing Hope head torch & off I went back out on another lap.
The rain was just not subsiding & Ben had heard that it was going to continue with heavy rain all through the night!!!
So we decided the only thing to do was to keep pushing on as the toughest runners would keep going & this could be the point where the race could be won or lost !!
At the end of this lap I was soaked & I was starting to shake do we decided the best thing to do was to have a complete change of my Buff kit & to get a hot drink to try & warm me up.
We also decided at this stage that I needed to keep warm & dry as possible so we searched through my Buff's and decided that the Hoodie Buff would be perfect.
I can honestly say I'm sure this Buff is what saved me from hyperthermia & that's not me been dramatic there were a few cases of it & my mate Lou was quite poorly in the night with I found out later .
Back to the race , the rain was still hammering down & it was evident on this lap that lots of runners were obviously resting as there was hardly anyone on the course ( not as daft as me ) 
When I came round to the end of this lap Ben my hubby made the decision for me to stop & have a 40 min power nap.
So quick change & jump into my sleeping bag to warm.
I didn't find out till after I had finished that Ben had forgot to let Heather that I was having a rest & she was still standing in the rain waiting for me to around the course to shout words of encouragement ( yes not sarcasm ) I'm thinking better communication between my support for the next one lol.
But it was appreciated anyway .

The rain actually stopped at 4.30 am exactly I checked my watch & it was such a welcome relief.
Ok the course was wet, muddy & horrible but at least I was now dry. It was also great to see some spectators around the course as it had been a very few lonely quiet hours running in the rain through the night.
The next few laps for me were now very steady & it was a effort to actually stay upright & I've never seen so many people fall over & also in the back of my mind I was concerned that I may get injured from a fall and that would be a nightmare as I have the transalpine race 4 weeks after the tr24.
I was getting a bit concerned as my left ankle was starting to hurt & I was starting to feel dizzy ( food needed) 
When I came in Ben informed me not to stop as I was in 2nd place & the 3rd place lady wasn't too far behind , so a quick handful of Pringles & I was back out on the course.
My laps were now getting slower & this was down to the leg sapping mud , but I knew I just had to keep going to keep in 2nd place.
My aim for this year was to run more than 112 miles but that literally went out of the window with the terrible conditions & in the end I was pleased to get 2nd place . Funnily enough I was beaten by Kirsty Reade who I beat last year , so lets hope we can have a 2014 showdown .
Well done also to my dad who battled on after not been well in the night & thanks for all your support when I saw you on the course Buffdaddy.

As always I have to thank my amazing hubby Ben for helping & supporting me with all my crazy running adventures & for also staying awake for the whole 24hours to look after me.
All my support team were amazing & a special thank you to Harry & Heather for not moaning once & staying to the end to support me & my dad it was really appreciate by us both & thank you for  setting up a special drink station just for my dad on the course .
If you have been reading my blog previous you would know that Henry from Buff is a rather dab hand at making fruit animals & as a special prize for coming 2nd I got the octopus banana below, now how many sponsors do you know that do such cool things lol.

And my prize from the race 

Since this race I have had a enforced rest for 10 days after going to hospital with my ankle as it was so sore & swollen, but luckily nothing was broken & rest would do it good.
I'm also the worlds worst person to rest but it had to be done & I'm lucky to say I'm now back to full fitness.
So now I'm concentrating on one of the biggest races of my life as I've been very lucky to be asked to run in the 260k transalpine race in the alps by Buff & I'm very honoured to have been asked & accepted this straight away as opportunities like this do not come along very often.
I will be running this with my running friend Nivette & I think we are going to have a mighty adventure & mainly enjoy the whole experience.
I must really thank Sarah @ for all the kit , help & support & for giving me & Nivette the chance to run in this epic race for Team Buff Uk it is really appreciated & we hope to run well & spread some Bufflyness across Germany , Austria,Switzerland & Italy. 
Bring it on !! 
Hopefully I will get some super pictures from this race & a report will follow.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

2 hot weekends! 2 super races! & fun & friendships.

Firstly I must apologise for not writing my blog earlier, I seem to be getting a bit behind with everything due to training  & racing & literally not having a second to spare, but I'm back on it & it could be a long one so if u struggle sleeping this may be the perfect to send you to the land of nod.

The first race I'm going to blog about is the 12 hour Conti lightning run, & I was really looking forward to this weekend not only for the race , but for meeting up with my great ultra running friends who are all seem to be turning into mine & my dads extended family which is lovely & we all look out for each other & as we were first on site we had the job of saving our buddies some camping area , It was also lovely that my mate Chris Crabtree had also agreed to lend us his Hope van to get changed in as our campervan was off the road, a lovely gesture.

We were quite excited to see what the new venue @ Catton Park was going to be like, so me my dad & buffy (my dog) decided to walk around the course & I'm glad we did it was very much a leg dredging long grass off road course ,I was liking the look of it & was thinking that it would play to my strengths, the only part I wasn't so keen on was the bit by the farmers fields due to me getting hay fever.

Race Day.
As usual I was up at the crack of dawn well when I say dawn it was 3.30 am and nobody else was about, I couldn't sleep so I decided the best thing to do was to get up & sort some porridge for me & my dad & let Ben get some sleep.
I like been prepared & ready not sure if its pre race nerves or just excitement of wanting to get the race started.

check my serious race face. was the start time and as usual I needed the toilet about 5.55am so a mad dash to the loos and back to the start line.
After winning the ladies race last year I did feel a bit of pressure on me to run well, but I tried to put this to the back of my mind & to just concentrate on my own race,  and as I always say anything can happen in an ultra race & nothing is ever guaranteed I had a lap/distance goal & my plan was to do that & if that got me on the podium I would be chuffed.
This year I knew Sally Fawcett was running solo & I knew she was going to be my biggest rival as she is an  awesome runner & this was shown from the start as she started so quick!!!!!! at this point I knew it was going to be a long day in the Sun, please note this isn't me been negative its just she was damn quick & later in the day I found out she went through the marathon distance in sub 3.30 hours off road in a 12 hour race !!!
Back to the race I didn't panic & just carried on with my usual race pace in the hope that she would blow up later in the race.
As the race developed it was becoming obvious that Sally wasn't slowing down & I was in 2nd place trying my best to claw something back but it was just getting me no closer to her at all,
The heat of the race was also starting to take its toll on a few solo runners & Im really thankful to my hubby & support crew for making sure I took on enough fuel & water & even quite enjoyed having a whole bottle of icy water tipped over me thanks Julie Tonks!!!!
I think it was about lap 7 that I started to feel a bit sick , a mixture of too much sun & not enough shade, I just kept going & when I got to my support crew I was told that the 3rd lady was catching me ! thanks for that guys,
Lap 8 I was sick on the course & it was probably my slowest lap but there was no way I was going to let me been sick stop me!!
I was finally caught on lap 10 by the 3rd lady and she was running awesome I did actually wonder if I was standing still when she flew past & now panic was starting to set in blooming hell I hope I'm not going to get caught & lose out on a podium place !! when I finished lap 10 I still had a good half an hour left till 12 hours so if needed I could get another lap in , Deep down I was hoping I hadn't got to do another lap & Ben been a good hubby & seeing me not looking my best went and checked how far behind the next female was , luckily for me I was safe in 3rd place. 
So i finished with 10 laps in 3rd place , 

My dad had an awesome race & he completed 8 laps well done Buff daddy (new nickname) thanks Charlie Sharpe for that one.
It was also great to see my mate Nivette & Matt in the pairs event finish in 3rd place in the mixed pairs category awesome guys & lets hope we can all do well in the Tr24 next week end.

I have to mention here all the great support I got at the race from Henry from Buff & I could see how jealous the other winners were not to get a Buff dolphin Banana , no pressure but I hope you have some more fruit animals ready for the TR24.

About 6 weeks ago I got asked if I would like to do this race with my mate Nivette as her friend she was running with was now unable to do it, So me been a  slightly ultra mad said yes straight away & then I realised it was only 2 weeks after the 12 hour conti lightning run & 2 weeks before the TR24 hour race gulp!! But hey us ultra runners are tough right some would say slightly mad but I'm sticking with tough!!

So the race weekend was upon us & I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at Nivettes house the night before so we could get an early start on the Saturday morning.
To be fair it was a miracle that I actually got to the start line as when I arrived at their house I tripped over their door matt & went flying through the door , what a way to make an entrance very embarrassing I had to put this in the blog as I'm never going to live it down.
I needed a Pimms to calm down!!! 

I must admit I was quite nervous about this race as I normally have my hubby as support , but due to work he was unable to make it, so it was down to Richard (Nivettes hubby) to be our support & to keep a close eye on us at checkpoints with the hot weather been reported.
We got to the race at about 6.30 am & the race started at, so we had plenty of time to sort out our numbers (mine was 118 brilliant I can see endless jokes about that lol) que for toilets etc etc. & joke about i'm sure its a nervous thing for us both as we were both on top form very early or we had too much coffee & it's a wonder we weren't chucked out of the line of people when Nivette all very innocently asked me how to use her new Camelback & my answer was bite & suck then she added do I then swallow you can see how our day was heading , you really had to be there to appreciate how funny this was & the chap behind us looked mortified.

Back to the race it was looking like it was going to be a gorgeous hot day & there wasn't a cloud in the sky, to be fair I had been told a countless number of times that today was going to be the hottest day of the year, to my reply to them was come on i've run in the Ocean floor race in the desert it can't be any hotter than that can it!!!!!

So off we started & if I say so myself we both looked great in our Buff tops & Buff uv caps & now matching backpacks, We got into a good pace looking back maybe a little to quick but hey we were trying to take advantage of the cooler temperature.
The route was lovely all off road along lovely paths up rolling hills & through the most amazing rapeseed field i've ever seen.

The first few checkpoints came around really quite quick & it was great to see friendly faces spring into action when you came in whether it be with some water , some food or just to spray you down with water , which I enjoyed more as the day got hotter.
Richard did an amazing job finding us at every checkpoint & i was so pleased that he did as I was starting to get sick of drinking water or energy drinks & I had some coca cola which tasted amazing.
It was great running with Nivette & strangely enough this was the first time I had done a race with her & it was her furthest distance race, so I was hoping my ultra experience would help & I knew we were similar pace, we got on great with general chit chat & stupid comments yep who would of thought it stupid comments from us two. Just because you are in a competitive race it doesn't mean that you cant enjoy yourselves.
For a good mile or so we were studying the males bums in front of us & it was their own fault for passing us earlier in the race and commenting on ours lol.

We got to 50k in about 6 hrs 30 & we were ok, this checkpoint was the best yet with homemade vegi bean soup & cobs & cakes, the soup really hit the spot & spurred us both on.
50k to 60k was really tough for us both & it literally felt like we were running in a furnace & there was very little shade at all, there were lots of runners feeling bad too & the medical staff were top class with looking after them and administrating i.v drips, luckily for us we were keeping an eye on each other & we made sure we both drank enough to counter act the sweat & salt we were losing in the heat.
between 60 & 70k we were slowing down & we were both looking forward to seeing the 70k checkpoint & did I mention it was the hottest day of the year!!! its funny that even the littlest of gestures can lift a person's spirit as we came through the checkpoint a lady who was waiting for her husband commented that we were the 2 fittest ladies she had ever seen, ok she may not of meant it but it really made us smile & we became known on the course as the 2 Buff ladies.
Talking of Buff ladies at this checkpoint we were entertained by a rather lovely Buff looking chap who stripped off & showed us his 6 pack lol we had to take a moment to compose ourselves.
We had a good 20 min break here at this checkpoint & it was really needed.
Between 70 & 90k the two of us were very quiet & we just got on with the job at hand & I think it was here where I came up with the slogan "lets get this Sh*T done & that became our slogan to get us to the next & last checkpoint at 90k.
The last checkpoint was a welcome sight we were both knackered & I felt sick & it really didn't help that a chap sitting opposite us threw his guts up twice & was shaking uncontrollably at that I had to retreat to a quiet area away from everyone as him throwing up was making me worse, after about 5 mins we got sorted and made our way on the last 10k in the pitch black with our headtorches on.
The course was marked now by glow sticks & we saw the very occasional headtorch flicker in front so we knew we were on the right tracks.
I'm sure the last couple of miles went on forever & we could hear the finishing announcer & music in the distance.
The last bit of the course was horrible as it really screwed with your head, as we knew we were close to finishing but we were sent down a road to run through the stones ( which we couldnt see due to it been pitch black) to be told to run around a field & retrace our tracks back down the road we had just run up.
If i remember correctly we were both very lady like here and we both swore.
I also wasn't paying as much attention as Nivette as I though we were told we had 800 metres left to run only to be corrected with it been 1800metres doh!!!


When we eventually got the finish line in sight I honestly thought Nivette was going to leg it & beat me in lol, but no we started together, ran around together & finished together & I thouroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Nivette you ran brilliant & ok we both thought that we would run it quicker , but that was before the punishing heat & we came joint 8th not bad for your first 100k ultra , I really enjoyed running around with you & I hope me stopping for the very occasional stone in my shoe lol & my frequent toilet stops kept you entertained.Lets hope there are many more ultra adventures in the future & thank you for letting me be part of your ultra experience & I hope some of my tips will be useful in the future.

Also a massive thank you as always to  for sending me some kit for Nivette when you found out we were running together.

Last but not least Richard ( nivettes hubby) you were a star all day looking after us both & how you managed to drive home after having no sleep for 24hours was beyond me.

Would I do this race again ??? Yes I would.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Endure 24 weekend, A weekend of friendship & support , instead of racing.

I had really been looking forward to this weekend for quite a while & it was really strange going to a 24 hour race where I wasn't running, As always I had packed my kit box full of my buff kit anyway as I was intending to do a few laps of the course as training & I had promised our friend Tony I would run a few laps around the course with him later in the race as he was running his first solo 24hour race.

So my job for the weekend was to look after Buffy our springer spaniel puppy & to help Nat be support for Tony her husband, Ben was working at the event for the official Photographers and as our camper van was in for repair we were going to be cosy in our little tent.

I also got to meet up with some more of the Buff team & I got to meet Danny Slay from please check out there website & support these great guys with there fundraising & upcoming ultra expo in Birmingham on the 6th July.

Thanks to Danny I also got to run a couple of legs for a team of 6, which was really enjoyable & it was nice to be able to see the course & run it quick, a special thank you to your lovely partner Susan for the amazing butternut squash cake too.

So back to the race it was great to see Tony was as prepared as I usually am for a 24hr race & he honestly could off supplied most of the field with food & energy drinks, We had a clipboard numbered with laps on it to record his lap times and instructions for when he wanted food & drink & when he would take any rests & change kit. So it was true to say me & Nat were prepared and ready to start shouting words of encouragement to runners (obviously we favoured the solo runners as they rock) & I know what its like to have support it really lifts you.

I really enjoyed been support & it was really nice to be able to crew for people who have crewed for me in the past, Tony & Nat were both part of my Tr24 support crew last year & they were brilliant helping Ben look after me in the race & help me to my victory, so it was great to help them too, I honestly didn't think the following was going to happen at this race though & it really opens your eyes to how difficult & stressful been support can be.

Tony was running brilliant & he was having the perfect race each lap was bang on evenly paced & he looked calm & relaxed & he said he felt fine, each lap we were refilling his water bottles & he was taking food with him & generally we checked to see if he was ok.
I think it was about lap 7 or 8 when he changed his kit & put some warmer clothes on as it was starting to cool down.

By lap 9 it was getting bitterly cold & it was getting to around midnight on the clock Tony was still looking ok but we had decided between us all that after lap 10 that he was going to have a 1 hour sleep as he looked a bit drained (by now this was the furthest he had ever run).
So we all set our watches for 1.30am & I had told Tony that I would run a few laps with him through the night so I was all kitted up to run at 1.30 am .
So at 1.30 am I was straight up and ready to run so of I trotted to their  camper van & as the door opened I was greeted by Nat & a not so well looking Tony within about 20 secs he was shaking & sweat was literally running from his head & he looked awful, Me and Nat really didn't like the look of him so I ran to get the 1st aiders, I honesty have never been so scared in my life & I don't think I have ever run that fast before either,
Luckily I had clocked where the first aid station was and they responded really quickly & they got Tony in a chair and wrapped him up as he was shaking violently, ( even Buffy's dog blanket got used) to try & warm him up & my thermal Buff too.
After intensive checks the paramedics were called as it looked like Tony had hyperthermia & he wasn't responding to well, (all very scary) .
So off to the hospital for Tony to be checked further & a very nervy few hours waiting to hear the news from Nat.
The next morning Tony was discharged after intensive tests & it looks like he may have had a T.I.A too which is quite nasty & we are all hoping that he will be fine,
Luckily after a mad bus & train journey some way amazing they actually both got back to the end of the race & we were so pleased to see them.

Quite alot of my friends have been asking me about Tony since the race and the good news is he is ok at the moment awaiting some more tests & he can do a little bit of running but only for fitness until he has his test results,The good news is that it hasn't put him off 24 hour races & next year he is hoping to go back to endure 24 & kick some butt & run 100 miles . Me & my dad will also be running solo next year so we can keep an eye on you too.
This was posted by Tony on his facebook wall this week & I think its a brilliant saying.

See you at the lightning run next week Tony sorry you cant run in it but it will be great to see you & Nat there.
I think this just shows how important it is to have a support crew, family & friends looking after you & I thank mine for all the support that have given me in the past.

My next race is next weekend at Catton park for the . & I can't wait for this 12 hour race & my dad is solo too.

It's also a good opportunity for me to meet up with Buff & Sueme who both sponsor my kit & are both  going to be at the race , so if you want to grab a buff or a rather cool Sueme t shirt pop over to the tents and see them there.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Races & a great new sponsor :)

The last few weeks since my last post on here have flown by & as usual I have been rather busy with running.Firstly I ran in the London marathon a race that I have done a good few 15+ times due to getting a good for age time ( which guarantees you an entry) me & my dad had decided this was going to be our last London marathon for a bit & we would find a different race in April next year.This though would soon change as 3 days before the race my dad had a stomach bug which meant he was unable to run this years event which we were all gutted about & he had no choice but to defer it for next year so for a change it was just me running & my hubby, mom & dad watching which was a novelty so I knew I had to have a decent run!!
So all Buffed up in my new 2013 Blue Buff kit complete with Super cool Buff calf compression guards & in memory of the events at the Boston marathon I had asked Buff for a USA Buff to run in.I was off from the good for age green start & my plan was to try and keep with Matt the 3.30 pacer but for some reason I lost him at the start :( ok I went to fast for the first mile but hey sometimes you really just have to run your own race.Im sure this year there was more crowd support & I really enjoyed the race & all the shouts for Go Buff girl!! Go.
I finished in a time of 3.39 & I was pleased with that.
I ran the Virgin London Marathon  in memory of the runners who got injured or lost there lives in the Boston Marathon

My next race was only last Saturday & it was the 8 hour Hellrider race , I know what you are thinking why is it called Hellrider  when I'm a runner.!! Well I was lucky enough to be asked by Buff if I was interested in a place at this event , the event is normally mainly a 8 hour duathlon but this year they incorporated a solo run or solo bike option into the event & of course I jumped at the chance & my dad aka (legendary Les) also entered, nothing is ever simple or straightforward in our house & Ben was actually working in London photographing a midnight bike ride on the Friday night so he had to drop us off before hand at Henley on Thames, so our new pop up tent was sprung into action & we nearly didn't make the race as our cooker gas bottle exploded & set our stove in flames , so no hot drinks for us & we are never using the cooker again.

We decided to have a walk around the 5 k a lap course before settling down for the night & I was pleased that we did as we found it was an off road hilly , up & down banks , through water course & past some lovely bluebell fields.

Next morning we were up bright & early ready for the race & we were both kitted out in our Buff kit.
The 1st lap was pretty hard as I think I may have gone a little fast & I decided to slow down as obviously you don't want to burn out quickly on a 8 hour race.
I really wanted to have a good race as Sarah from Buff was coming along to the event as her husbands band were going to be entertaining us on the night.
So I decided the best thing to do was to slow down relax & put my ipod on & get into a nice rhythm which is what I did for the next 6 hours, only stopping to grab a drink or a 9bar off my hubby at the end of the lap when I needed one.
Once again my hubby was a brilliant support crew and he was keeping an eye on me & telling me what position I was in each lap, I think it was about lap 9 when he told me I was in 2nd place overall not in the women in the overall race!!! I was chuffed, but now I was on a mission & I wanted to win overall.
So head down & I had the winner in my sight , I had noticed that he was starting to struggle up the hills & was walking the steep bits, so there was only one thing to do & I thought as long as I could keep running I could catch him, & that was what happened on the 10th lap I caught up with him and just went straight past him hoping that I hadn't gone to soon, luckily for me this worked & by lap 12 I was safe in 1st position just as I was coming into the finish I saw my dad who was coming to the end of his 9th lap, so we ran into together.
There was still time to get in another lap my( number 13 )& as I couldn't be caught I ran the last lap with my dad which was really enjoyable & by doing this I found out how famous my dad had got in this race & everyone was calling him the legendary Les. My Dad ran 10 laps and was a definite favourite with the female commentator , Well done Dad you did brilliant.
I highly recommend this race & the whole weekend was very enjoyable & it made a nice change to have a great band playing after the race, hopefully this event will be on again next year.

New Sponsor

I was so chuffed to have had a phone call from Sarah from Buff this week & for her & Henry from to ask me if i would like to be an ambassador for there Sueme products
if you don't know who they are please click on there website & like there Facebook page.
I will still be sponsored by Buff for my running clothing etc etc & Sueme products will be looking super cool with my jeans for before & after races.
My next blog will have full details about the great responsibly sourced sportswear company Sueme.