Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Whimsical Witterings

‘Tis a MAN’s salad!

Healthy fare to keep me lean and mean yet well satisfied until morning. In the pile upon the serving platter can be found smoked salmon, prawn cocktail, lettuce, cucumber, watercress, red onion, orange pepper, black olives, boiled beetroot, tomato, cheddar cheese and a raw carrot. It’s one of my favourites when I’m not eating like a horse following an ultra run. (That would mean pizza, and lots of it.)

Runfurther series

The first two races’ results have been uploaded to the Runfurther website. I am 19th in the series (out of 21 who have completed both events so far). I will never be that high again as more runners’ race points appear. The only way is down. Nevertheless I’m quite pleased to get 688 points for the Hardmoors 55 considering I finished so far down in the bottom half. Those points exceed any I got in last year’s ‘long’ races by quite a margin. 688 was the maximum I got for any race last year, which coincidentally happened to be for the ‘medium’ Osmotherley Phoenix (same area and partly the same route).

There are some impressive scores coming to light already, and separate winners for both events – Duncan Harris at Wuthering Hike and Dan Shrimpton at Hardmoors 55. I'm also impressed that so many people ran those first two races on consecutive weekends. I detect a bit of Grand Slam competition brewing.

New kit update

When I was in Ambleside a couple of weekends ago I treated myself in Lakes Runner.

1. Second pair of La Sportiva Crosslite shoes as my first pair's nearly worn out. The shape of the last makes it the most comfortable shoe I have known in 15 years of ultra running, so much so that if I cannot find a more cushioned trail shoe as comfortable I shall be wearing them for the Lakeland 100 and the Tour du Mont Blanc. They fit like a glove. It's a shame they are let down by a flimsy mesh upper that is not up to the job and tears prematurely. Both of mine have gone adjacent to the balls of my feet, though I have managed to get decent wear out of the soles as well. I shall keep them hanging on to the last gasp. My only other hope in the Raptor, which if it uses the same last will put me in foot heaven. I'm waiting for the next delivery to The Climber's Shop in Ambleside to try a pair. No-one else seems to stock them. I can hardly wait.

2. OMM Cypher Jacket. It's very lightweight and waterproof with taped seams, yet it's as breathable as they get (there's no polyurethane layer). It rolls up very small into its own hood. It will pass muster at the Lakeland 100 and UTMB kit inspections.

3. OMM Adventure Light 20 rucksack, which arrived today. It weighs a fraction of the 25 litre Lowe Alpine rucksack that has served me well for as long as I can remember. I look forward to trying it out at this weekend's Calderdale Hike.

So, we're talking serious kit and silly money (especially for the jacket), but it was about time I upgraded from the heavyweight stuff I'd been using for years.


  1. Mmmm shiney new things.

    I have been pleased with my Adventure lite sac, its been used as on holidays, for a mountain marathon and as a general day sac. Hope you will like yours too.

    Congratulations on 19th in the league. You can casually drop it into conversations now "yes I am one of the top 20 ultra runners in the UK" =)

    Only joking I know you are far too modest.


  2. ...but only until the weekend when Calderdale will herald the nosedive. My placing is but a fleeting aberration, a familiar quirk in the early weeks of the Series. I hadn't quite thought of it like that though. It may be stretching reality but I'll enjoy it while I can ;-)

  3. Good grub! Pizza is great have you read Born to run? Jen Shelton is mentioned in that, she run's a marathon in 2:45 and at times stop's for pizza half way!

  4. good stuff Nick, although I couldn't live on salad alone for my tea. I have entered into a race in this series I think - the High Peak 40 in September. Have now moved to New Mills so plenty of chance to do some training for it!

  5. Good choices with the kit Nick. I think the adventure light 20 is probably the most versatile sack out at the moment. No gimmicks. I've got my eye on one of those cypher smocks for when my haglofs LIM paclite retires. The event fabric is supposed to be more breathable which is what you need for running. I was in lakes climber today. They had one of those new salomon hydration packs at £120! Like a utility vest it had that many pockets on it. Hope to see you at Calderdale tomorrow if I can get a entry on the day.