Date: 5th April Location: South Downs Way Distance: 50 miles Assent: 4800ft Navigation: Fully marked course by organisers and SDW signs Time Limit: 13.5hrs

Well it’s been a while since I last competed in a race, The last One was Caesars Camp 100, Which was very tough and in harsh conditions too. After that race I took some time out from training and was rather Ill for a while, So when I was meant to get back to training I couldn’t as I was no way near 100% so I was very frustrated, Then I began to get a constantly dull ache in my one remaining testicle and this when on for a few days, So I managed to ring my Professor and get an appointment to see one of his team. The time that followed was a bit nerve racking as so much had happened in a good way since I had got my life back, Now having similar symptoms to what I had before, I had testicular cancer in 2004 (click here to read my story) Well like I did the first time, You just have to ride it out and deal with what ever comes at you, That’s the thing with illness there really isn’t anything you can do but just be as positive as possible and DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.

So after a number of tests (blood, ultrasound, x-ray) I was told that all seemed to be normal and that the cancer had not come back, I have a check up every 12 month where by there is a blood test and I’m checked over by my professor, But there had been a gap of about 7 months since I was last seen and I was just a bit worried I guess, I think even though I have been cancer free since July 2005, It can always come back and it’s best have it checked out and have peace of mind, Which is what I had after all the results.

So after all of that craziness, I began my winter training in the 2nd week in January, So I was already few weeks behind, But that’s life and there is nothing you can do about it. My training had been going really well and I was getting some really good mileage in and good times too, So I was really happy with my progress. The 7 weeks running up to this race had not been as easy, As I was going through a pretty hard time on a personal level and it was hard to deal with, Some people, Me being one of them will say that running or sport in general is great therapy for dealing with many situations in life, But even I found it pretty hard going, Whereby I was having breakdowns during my training sessions, I pushed on through to finish them, But it was hard. My feet on the run up to this event had been a constant pain as I had been getting really bad pain on the balls of both my feet and was unsure as to why. The week running up to the race I had planned as holiday which I greeted with open arms when It finally arrived, As I needed to get my head straight and focused. I had two light training runs each of 4 miles and one swim session of 1.5k just to keep me ticking over and the body moving.

I had done quite a few recce’s of the course in the months running up to the race, So I was familiar with the route and what to expect on race day, My last one however I got very lost trying to get to Blackcap from Lewes, I eventually got there but it took 8 or so miles to do so, DOH, As I’ve said In many of my race reports before I love doing events in amazing locations and this one is up there with the best of them.

So the day before the race I packed all my things together and headed to Victoria Station for my train, 1st class I might add, (for £15) bargain, The main reason begin for the plug socket for charging my iphone with it oh so good battery life….not.

I got to Worthing and head to my B&B which was in Sompting, About 20 mins walk from the start, Which Is good.

I get there and am greeted by a sheep Dog (smudge) and Izzy and Ozzy who own the property, Two really lovely people who wouldn’t look out of place on a Harley Davidson.So I get to my room and straight away notice this sign…..SEE PIC ON LEFT


Now this could be a problem….

So after sorting out my things ready for the race and having a quick chat with Izzy & Ozzy I headed for the shops to buy some dinner, After a few miles walk I found a Morrisons and pretty much raided their entire salad bar (I’m vegan by the way) rice, pasta etc, 3 x large salad tubes full and a few bottles of water and I’m out of there…oh yes and bananas , You can never have to many of those. So back to the B&B to eat, eat and eat in front of what Saturday night tv had to offer or do I opt for one of the many dvd’s that the B&B had to offer, Interview with a vampire, Should have good sleep after that :/

So race day, Woke up with a pretty bad pain in my back as the bed was very soft indeed, which is not a bad thing, Just something I’m not use too. So after doing a few back stretches It seemed ok, So it was time to crack on with breakfast, Which was fruit granola with bananas and soya milk, Now for some reason I wasn’t feeling great, I couldn’t eat all my breakfast and so felt a bit weak which is strange as the night before I had no problem with eating 3 large helpings of pasta, rice and mixed salad. I ate as much as I could, Got changed and got my things together, Said  my goodbyes and headed for the start.

I arrived and everything was in full swing, There were some many people there,  More so than a lot of other ultras that I have competed in. I heard really good things about the organisers of this event and have entered all of their 100 milers this year too, Which is known as the Grand Slam, The races Include the Thames Path 100, South Downs Way 100, North Downs Way 100 and the Winter 100. This will be the first time I have run a 50 miler, So I was treating it as a race to see where I was  fitness wise and what I had to work on with my coach, 100 mile races are what I can see rather different in the way you pace yourself, You see I normally have a pretty good pace when I’m running longer races, and my pace stays pretty consistence , So taking on a 50 miler needed a different approach I think.

I got organised near the start and headed for registration, Which is where you got given your race number and there is someone that checks you have all of the mandatory kit for the race (head torch, Survival blanket, Whistle, Thermal long sleeved top, etc). Well in the weeks running up to the event, Nici one of the organisers had been posting  random Q&A’s on their Facebook page and there have been some very funny banter about the kit list.

So to the race itself, I started of at a pretty steady pace and kept that pace going for about the first 8-10 miles by that point I was not feeling great, My legs were ok but I just couldn’t breathe 100%, Worrying I know, knowing that you can’t fill your lungs up properly, My feet felt ok, There was only a bit of pain which I wasn’t too concerned about. So I pushed on and was drinking well and keeping a good steady pace, The weather during this race was pretty good from start to finish, It was very humid and muggy though which made it important to stay hydrated, Something which affected me in my first race last year, The Ultra Tour Of The Peak District, Where it was the hottest day of the year and I was not drinking enough at all, Which is something that ended up happening in this race too, I just didn’t drink enough in the first 35 miles and that had an effect on the rest of the race, As I was trying to make up for it in the last few aid stations and when that happens you waste more time there and you also feel very bloated with all the fluid inside you. My feet were really causing me issues from about mile 24 and that completely effected my race, As I had to keep stopping and taking my shoes off and massaging my feet as they were in so much pain, I took a few pain killers of which I’m not one for doing so as I believe that to feel pain while running is good and then you know if your improving or not, But in this case I think it was different. Having a pain in both your feet during a running event where they are a pretty important part of getting you to the finish is hard and this is where the mind takes over and pushes  you on, Many people say the 1st half of the race is run with your body and the 2nd half is run with your mind, So having a strong mind, Of which I think I have is very important.

I always go into a race thinking that I can do well and always have a time in mind of which to complete the course in, For this race I gave myself a realistic target of 10 hrs, This was based on the fact that my first race last year, As I’ve mentioned already didn’t go well. So I was aiming to finish by 7pm. The aid stations during the race where absolutely amazing, I mean they where pretty much what I remember seeing at kids birthday parties, Just see the photo below for an idea.

The support on the course was really amazing too, From the volunteers to members of the public that had come out to watch, The volunteers though who as always are the main reason why these events are such a success, They were so encouraging and very helpful.

There was one couple I remember that were at most of the gates that were accessible by road, They had a motorbike, He was always eating and she was taking pictures and opening the gates for you and both cheering you on, It all made such a big difference to the day I think.

I spoke to a few people during the race and many of the competitors I spoke to said that this was there first attempt at this distance, There was also one chap, I can’t remember his name, That made me laugh a few times as we were discussing things when running and your so tired you do silly things, For example while filling up your water bottles you try to put the top of the Nunn tablets tube on the top of your water bottle instead.

Well as the race neared the final 10 or so miles I was feeling better hydration wise but my feet were not having any of it, The last section of the course off the downs is coming down  a rather fast descent t to a road which you then make your way to the streets of Eastbourne and then left after a roundabout to a path which seemed to last for eveeeeeeerrrrrrrr, Then you can just about make out the Centurion arch that is on the athletics track and as I approach the track there were lots of people there to cheer you in and all thats left is about a 300m run around the track to the finish…and then yipppppeeee, I crossed the line.

It was really great to see my parents too as they had made the trip down from Twickenham to watch at 3 different points of the race and at the finish, It was so easy to spot my dad though as he seems to wear the same beige trousers all the time.

Overall I’m not jumping for joy about the result even though I set myself a time and beat it, I knew I could have done a lot better, So the time between now and the next race will be  crucial and working on getting my feet 100%.


Final result STATS 314 started 301 finished Placing: 96th Time: 8:55:28


I thought I would write a bit about motivation, before, during and after illness.

Well as you know I had stage IV testicular cancer in 2004.

When I first was hospitalised In November of that year I was told the chances of me surviving this were very very slim indeed, In fact I was told that I would die.

Now, Being told that is a bit hard to handle, But there are two ways of dealing with it. Either, You can breakdown and cry and think nothing will change and give up all hope, Or you can be positive and fight it head on.

I did the latter.

The same can be said if this is happening to someone in your family or a friend. You really have to be strong for them and for all around you.

Even if the illness is terminal, isn’t it better that the time they have left is not an unhappy time, I know, I know it’s hard, but trust me it really is better for everyone that you try and stay as positive as possible.

As I said my original diagnosis was very low, but when I got transferred to the main hospital where I was treated, Within two weeks my survival rate rose to 60/40 which is a lot more easy to handle.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s not good to take the first piece of bad news and think nothing will change. I was really really positive throughout my treatment and I was helped a great deal by the people around me being strong and staying positive.

I must share one part of my time in hospital that I remember the most. Within about one week of me being in the hospital where I was treated, I was taken from the ward to have a brain scan, Which I was a bit nervous about, As it is a pretty major scan to have. After I came back to the ward I was a bit drowsy and my Dad was there with my Mum and I looked at them and said..”Well…what happened…? ”…”Do you know the result…?” My Dad looked at me and said…”They found it Tom”, ”….Found what.?, ”…..Cancer ?”,  No…Your brain”.. Now my Dad is a very positive man and that just me laugh with relief of how he made light of that situation.

After the treatment that has happened it is important to stay upbeat, In some cases the treatment might not have gone as well as one had hoped for, So I think it is more important in this situation to try and stay strong and support those around you. It really helps to have someone that can deal with what has happened and to keep a level head and stay focused on what needs to be done at a time like this I hope the post has helped in some way in getting you through whatever situation you are dealing with


November 15th is a very significant date for me and my family as it was the date in 2004 that I was told that I had stage IV testicular cancer.  The prognosis was not good (less than 60%) but better than the original one which was less the much less . My story is HERE

As soon as I was told I knew my life was going to change forever, some people automatically think the worst with cancer but it pays to stay positive even if you know that there’s a slim chance of survival because you are just hurting those around you if you don’t.  People can become very selfish when going through illness and not think of how it affects others, like the people that come to see you in hospital and report back on your condition to people that are too far away or are too unwell themselves to see you when you are in isolation.   It helps everyone including yourself to stay 100% positive.  Then people go away thinking  ”.he/she’s doing well”.  They’re very positive and smiling and that then makes them feel happy about the situation too, so all in all everyone is happy.

My life changed and still is changing, Soon after getting back into my life I started a testicular cancer awareness website to help people understand the subject better, I have and am still having a great deal of positive feed back from it…and I haven’t even begun to push it yet.

I must say, as I have said before, getting cancer was the best think that happened to me.  Weird or strange I hear you say, but listen.  Like I said earlier cancer is not always about the negatives, it also has its positives too, It can bring people and family members closer together and make people realise that it’s not all about rush, rush, rush or money, money, money.  It’s about enjoying what we have and making the most of it.

I also found my love for sport again from when I was younger and started competing in triathlons and duathlons, I started short events but am now competing in ultra-distance running events of distances up to 100 miles.   I’m planning some crazy ones for the future too. I love running these long distances as I have a completely clear head when I’m running and In the busy world we live in that is a great thing to be able have.

I also work a lot less hours than I used too, Even if It means earning less money than I used to,  when you get hit by the cancer you realise that time is so much more important than money.

It pains me to say this but until something like this happens to you or to someone close to you, you won’t realise it.

I send my strong positive love to all who are and have been affected by cancer and a big THANK YOU to all that have helped me get to where I am today since my diagnosis .

Remember, don’t worry about the clothes you wear every day, just remember to wear a smile


Date: 19th – 20th October Location: Caesars Camp, Aldershot Distance: 100 miles Assent: 15200ft Steepest climb: ?? Navigation: full marked course Time Limit: 28hrs

I entered this race last year because I was aiming to get points for the UTMB and this race had 3 for the 100 if you finished within the time limit of 28hrs. (points for the UTMB range from 1-4 and depend on the difficulty of the race) I didn’t really know much about it even though it had been going strong for 7 years. I was just entering races that were spread out enough and I got my rest in between them and the points for the UTMB. I had already planned not to enter the UTMB since my first mountain race in the Peak District was tough, how was I going to cope with Mont Blanc !!! So after telling my coach (Mimi Anderson) that I got in March that I had entered this race she said…IT’S BLOODY TOUGH !!!. After the 10 Peaks Brecon Beacons I was aiming to reece Caesars Camp as much as I could. So I planned with my coach do go there about twice a week for runs ranging from 5 miles to 5  hours, I tried to follow the course of the maps I could find online but there are so many route options there Its really easy to off on the wrong route. Every time I did a reece I would get the train from Waterloo to Aldershot, walk to Caesars Camp and almost getting run over on the road from the roundabout and there is not footpath, getting changed in the wood, putting my spare clothes in a bin liner and hiding it under the leafs etc and then running, then coming back to it after, getting changed and reversing the trip back home. All of this gave me a real understanding of the area and a rough and I mean very rough idea of the course. There were a few sections which I knew were on the route and were rather tricky in either descent or in ascent so I went over those sections a lot of times to get them good in my head… This race has been the closest race to where I live so having the option to go there often has been great.

On the week leading up to the race there had been some blogging mentioning that the race may not be going ahead due  the race permit not going through which I found really odd considering the event had been going on since 2006 and been held on the same weekend each year.

Well on race day and as always I could not sleep and got up at 5am and packed all of my things that I had organised previously into my big rucksack, had breakfast and then headed to Waterloo to catch the 7:23am train to Aldershot, I ended up missing it as the buses were running late and ended up getting a fast train to woking and changing there for Aldershot. So got to Aldershot and headed to Tesco to buy some water, bananas and some more pre race food. Ended up buying 22 X 500ml waters and then putting Nunn Tablets in most of them as  I didn’t want to wast time doing that in the race. Then started walking to Caesars on the road leading up to the entrance a car stopped and asked if I was racing and they offered me a lift to the start..

When I got there I saw which one was Henk and went over to say Hi, He seemed a really nice guy but still a bit anxious that the race will still go ahead because the film crew were still around and there was a bike rally in the grounds as well..So all in all I really take my hat of to Henk for making this race happen…And It hadn’t even started yet !!!

The race format is simple it’s a 10 mile looped course with each loop consisting of 1520ft of elevation gain and there are 3 distance options in 50 mile, 100 mile both starting at midday and a 30 mile starting at midnight, I was doing the 100 so thats 15200ft of elevation gain……NICE !! The terrain really varies from very soft underfoot to very brutal…(see pic below) both the 50 and the 100 miler started at 12 midday with the 30 miler starting at midnight.

The idea for me was simple that with each lap was to fill up both my water bottles and then take a drop bag with me for each lap, the idea was to take them from my tent but I was told that we had to check our number in with mission control first before going to our tent, if we went to our tents first then we would be disqualified, so I heard that there was a tent that was for runners to put there drop bags in, .so with only a few minutes to spare before the start of the race I place 2 big bags in that tent , one with extra clothes and one with my bottles and mini drop bags, as soon as I came out of the tent the race started…talk about last minute..!!!

In each drop bag there was 2 X chocolate cliff energy gels, 1 X banana, 1 x Ella”s Kitchen baby food pouch (thank you Tarsila X) and if every other bag there was also a Zipvit caffeine gel.

So we were running and on our first lap, The pace to start with was very steady and it is so easy to get carried away with that because the 50 milers were obviously there too. I decided not to run with my Garmin for this race as the battery only lasts for 13hrs and I couldn’t see the point knowing only half your race details so I ran with a basic digital watch so I knew the rough idea of my lap times, Next year I plan to invest in a decent running watch though. The first km or so if relatively undulating with moderate underfoot and then you take a sharp left turn down into a semi steep slope and then you climb under a rather steep not very nice big stoney path which drags on for a bit with the stones getting bigger, then it’s a nice a flat section of soft mud and big puddles to a another steep section which oversees the the heathland, I noticed at this point that there were some runners wearing road running shoes…I can see them slipping a bit.

After about 2 miles there was a rather interesting section where there is a viewpoint at the top with 2 benches and your can see all the way to Farmborough Airfield, this section was very tricky as is was very steep and you could easily lose your footing, the rest of the course until the half way point was rather straight forward. On the first lap I went straight through half way section as I was ok for fluid and for fuel. The route from the half way point to mission control was pretty muddy and hilly but firm in places too.

The next few laps went ok apart from on the 2nd lap the group I was running with got a bit lost…(I blame that on Gemma Carter talking to much) ha ha . So back on route my pace was good, I normally take about 7-8 miles to get into the pace and to find my rhythm I guess this is all to do with not getting carried away with the occasion and going too fast at the start and maybe a few nerves too. The weather for the race really varied from rather warm to start with to windy to very heavy rain indeed which is all part of the fun. There was a point in the race I think It was about 70 miles in and It was raining light showers on and off on and off and I looked up into the sky and said. “look if your going to rain then rain properly and keep raining don’t rain light then stop and start again”…and then about 20 mins later it really pissed down and didn’t stop for a good 2 hours or so.. It took about 2-3 laps for the runners to really spread out, The normal chat when you saw another runner was..”you Ok ? you on the 50 or 100” all the people in the event were pretty chirpy when you spoke to them on the course. I guess that it’s why I chose to really concentrate on ultra-running, you really get a different breed of people competing at these events, you don’t need the best kit to do well in these events you just need to train hard and do the hard graft on race day. I think it also helps to have a strong mind especially in a looped race like this where you are going round the same course 10 times and seeing the same hills 10 times, some people would say “ Oh god I’ve got to go up that bloody hill another 9-8-7 or so times and just can’t take it and drop out where as if you are on a course where it’s a 100 miles from point A to point B theres is going to be different sights for your brain to look at and take in. It all depends what kind of a ultra runner you are..looped courses are more safer and easier for getting used to the distance in understanding what supplies you need for the distance thats why I didd a few looped 100 milers first before doing a A to B one just so I know what to put in my running pack and what to put in my drop bags along the course. With it being autumn the night was going to be long and I was a bit worried that my head torch would die on me again like it did it the 10 Peak Brecon Beacons where about 10 miles from the finish my battery die and I had used up all my spares so I had to shadow another runner to the finish. So before the race I had bought a 20 pack a Duracell Plus batteries so that didn’t happen again and as soon as I got to the drop bag tent and knew that on the next lap it would start getting dark I took my head torch and with brand new batteries inside and a spare set and every 2 loop after that until it got light I would change the battery just a make sure. My feet were a big concern for me in this race and I padded them up well before and made sure I didn’t need to change anything with them during the race, This sort of happened in that my right food was better than normal but my left foot was being a pain in the same way my right foot normally is. I’m not sure why, maybe it because on the underfoot of this race moving the foot around the inside your shoe more than normal, anyhow about 60 mile in the pain on my left foot was really bad so I decided to stop and pad it up a bit but not as much as my right one as the pain was only it one particular area. So with that sorted I was in a bit less pain and I never changed my sock for the whole race and didn’t need to touch my right foot at all yippppppeeeeee !!!!! PROGRESS !!! I never really took pain killers in race before I started running in ultras (Nurofen plus) I heard they help with muscle soreness so I took a few during my race just to ease the pain.. So the race was going really well, I had heard previously that the drop out rate for this race is pretty high in that out of all that start the 100 miler about 30% each year since it started..I was going to get in that percentage. I have a pretty strong mind and in my day job have to do a lot of things at the same time so that really helps, but this race was a very different animal than what I had raced before, I had too on a few occasions take my mind to a pretty dark place where I  tell myself  “this is not that bad”, That place was when I was going through a stage in my cancer treatment called a “Stem Cell Transplant” that was possibly the worst 3 and a half weeks of my life mainly because I couldn’t eat for the majority of the time, I even had to be given a drug called Valium because I was feeling so depressed and anxious and my mouth was full of ulcers so I couldn’t talk either.

So with that motivation I went on my way to finishing this race…as I enter the main checkpoint with 1 lap to go I saw that my Mum was there and ran over to give her a big hug, I quickly ran over to to the checkpoint and said to Henk “ Please don’t disqualify me thats my Mum” and he said “ Oh ok then but your very lucky though” he joked, so I entered the drop bag tent for the last time and realised that my mum had followed me there, I through my rain jacket on the floor next to my bag and grab my mini drop bag changed my fluid and was off, with my Mum saying “ aren’t your going to pout that in your bag neatly”…I mean…….REALLY 🙂 So with the last lap under way I was very happy and at the top of each of the climbs I turned around and looked back at it and said “ you couldn’t bet me ha ha ha “ so approaching the last assenct and then a descent to the finish I started shouting


I was feeling so happy with myself and saw a big puddle and jumped straight into it as a celebration. I can’t quite remember what happen after that properly because I passed out in my Mums car about 30 min after I finished. I vaguely remember hugging Henk and his wife and Nici (whom I made cry…I’m sorry again) and that really all I can remember..

After getting to my parent home My mum made me baked beans on toast.. ahhhhhhhhhh Seriously it one of the the best meals I ever had..

As you may or may not know I do these events to raise awareness for this website and funds for CTRT, If you would like to donated to them please follow this LINK and all the details are there

Final result


79 entered 57 started 10 finished

Placing: 8th Time: 25:32

mile loops 10: 1:47 20: 3:41 30: 6:01 40: 8:33 50: 11:13 60: 14:07 70: 17:30 80: 20:39 90: 23:30 100: 25:32

lap 1: 1:47 lap 2: 1:54 lap 3: 2:20 lap 4: 2:32 lap 5: 2:40 lap 6: 2:54 lap 7: 3:23 lap 8: 3:09 lap 9: 2:51 lap 10: 3:02

10 Peaks Brecon Breacons

Date: 7th July Location: The Brecon Beacons Distance: 89km Assent: 4800m Steepest climb: ??? Navigation: 100% (map, Compass) Time Limit: 24hrs

I have been worried about this event ever since I entered it…but you have to challenge yourself !! I heard about the 3 army officers that died in this area on the same day that I was doing the Ultra tour of the Peak District…and then it hit home how tough this race really could be. Part of the mandatory kit list was a crepe bandage and sterile dressing…wow this is going to be tough…ok… The first task was I find out if someone was able to give me a lift from the hostel back to Abergavenny as there was no public transport on Sunday, So I put a post on the 10 Peaks Facebook page and Robert Nelson very kindly offered (THANKS ROBERT) So quite a few weeks before me and my coach put in a few hill sprints sessions with each sprint lasting 5-10mins long….ouch…but it needed to be done… Within the weeks building up to this I needed to get some kit..(water & windproof running jacket, GPS satnav and foil blanket…So off the internet shop we go…I’m so last I asked on a ultra runners page on Facebook what jacket people would recommend and lots of people said the Montane Minimus waterproof jacket…so I ordered one of those..and a foil blanket… The GPS was a different subject, so I started to do some research…I ended buying a refurb  Satmap Active 10 for a really good price on Ebay from Satmap,( a new one is £300+) so all I needed was a Sd card for it of the Brecon Breacons, there were 2 people selling on on Ebay…(a new one is £105) I managed to get one one of the sellers to cut his time short of selling and sell it to me straight away… (Thanks Mike Turnbull). I also made another stop at Profeet to have them remodel my insole a bit. I had a few phone calls with Satmap and they were really helpful explaining me how to get the race route map onto my GPS. Thank you !!!! I also went to Boots and bought some Scholl pressure point foam padding for my right foot to see if that would help the pain. So with all the kit sorted..I was ready.. I headed to Paddington early on Friday morning to catch my 8:35am train to Newport S Wales, changed there to get another train to Abergavenny and then a bus from there to Talybont-On-Usk..The bus that arrived was not going there but one in 1hr was but a couple who were waiting for the same bus explained to me that some bus drivers drop people off near a bit of road that leads to Talybont-On-Usk and so thats what happened..lucky me… So after being dropped of I made my way to the Youth Hostel which was where everyone was camping, registration and the race base was. Ended up being about a 3 1/2 mile walk to get there…nice..with all that kit. I got there and there were only 3 other tents there but it was nice to be early…lots of time to relax and eat and get to know the other competitors. Pitched my tent and sorted out all of my kit and nutrition and had little wander around the area getting used to my GPS… When the time got near 4pm I went to the registration tent to check in and got my race number, event t-shirt and goody bag. On the way back to the tent I met 2 laddies one of which was the son of one of the organisers and she explained that the event had been set up to raise money for Macmillan cancer in memory of her late husband, that made me feel proud of what I was doing and I had a nice chat to them explaining why I was racing. I went back to my tent and attached my race number onto my race backpack and sort out all of my race kit and drop bag ready for tomorrow as time seems to go so quick on race morning. As the afternoon became evening I began to make my way to the hostel to have my evening meal which would be for me as I’m vegan, potato & leek soup with crusty bread followed by pasta with tomato and vegetable sauce..I ended up have 2 soups and was very full when I’d finished, I stayed up a bit longer and had a chat to some of the other competitors and realised some had come from, Norway, Spain and Belgium  and here is little old me from London…very very flat London…mmmm. So after a good night sleep I woke up at 1:45am and just dozed for a bit in the tent before getting up as it was not that warm outside…brrrrrrr. so after getting up and dressed I made my way to the hostel to have breakfast, 2 bowls of porridge with honey and 5 slices of toast with jam and a cup of coffee, I never drink coffee apart from during or before races. So after that and chatting again to some more competitors it was getting close to 3am, so I made my way back to my tent to get changed into my race kit and to double check I had all my lit and spare batteries for my GPS, so with the time being 3:25am I made my way over to the main marquee for the race briefing.. After that had a toilet break and made my way over to the start area with the other competitors. 5 min countdown, the it was 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 go… The weather to start with was a bit cold and then within 1 hour of the start it started to rain and….HARD, the course was flat for about 2 miles..then we started going up up up and up some more..the the first dibber station was with about 4 miles from the start and there was one of the volunteers getting completely wet waiting for us all to pass. My strategy for the race was to power walk the uphill sections (those that are possible to do that), some of the assent must have been over 35%) and then run as soon as I got over the top, this worked really well as there were al lot of people that were really tried when they got to the top of the climbs and that is when I overtook gained a place. The idea of the race is to summit all of the 10 peaks below in this order.

There are 2 additional mandatory peaks to begin with which were part of the short and long course

Waun Rydd 762 m Twyn Mwyalchod 642m

Fan Fawr, 734 m Fan Llia, 632 m Fan Brycheiniog, 802 m Bannau Sir Gaer, 749 m Fan Gyhirych, 725 m Fan Nedd, 663 m Fan Frynych, 629 m Pen y Fan, 886 m Cribyn, 795 m Fan y Big, 719 m

You are given a Harveys map and there is a route on there for you to follow of you want but its up to you if you follow it. I chose to follow the route as I had download it to my Satmap GPS and all so I really didn’t know the area that well either. I was really happy with my pace and my performance in that I was really worried about this race as I’ve already mentioned, all the checkpoints have cut off time that are in place , I was happy because the cut of time for checkpoint 2 was midday and to beat the 24 hrs time you had to get there by 11am and I ended up getting to checkpoint 3 around 10:30, HAPPY DAYS. There were very few people around that parts that we were running, I guess mainly because a lot of the course doesn’t follow a path…or a least the course I did didn’t. The scenery in the Brecon Beacon is absolutely stunning…I was making a deal with myself on all the assents and it was not to look behind at the view until I got to the highest part of the climb, Now there are a few issues with this, 1st being so of the assent kept going up up up and by the time you got there you just ran when you got to the top and then looked when you were running, 2nd sometimes the views were somewhat hard to see through the mist or fog. My coach Mimi Anderson (who started training coaching me for the middle of march) as always given me good advice before going into races and one of the best bits of advice is to “ race your own race, don’t get caught up in someone else’s” which really helped me as I’m very very chatty and before I used to talk a lot to other runners and get side tracked. I aim before that race was to try and complete the course within the 24hr time limit which I though was a big ask considering when I competing in the Ultra Tour Of The Peak District which was 60 miles with 2722m of assent in 20h, 3m 57sec and this being 2078m more in assent I was dreaming a bit, but I did have my Satmap and in the Peak District I just had a map and compass and was just following people..(stupid I know, but I finished) I also decided before the race just to wear a watch and not my Garmin which told me the distance I had run, but also only had a battery that lasted 13hrs so theres no point In knowing all your running details for some of the race, the Satmap apparently tells you a lot about your distance and speed and elevation but I’m yet to figure that out. On most of the assents I changed my technique  a few times so I didn’t get a pain in the same place because of the posture I was in, The descents were really fun at times and the speed you went down them was fast, it was quite strange though not knowing what was under your feet at times, as I said before the route didn’t always follow a public path. All the feed stations were really well stock and with friendly and lively volunteers the only issue was that the bananas were really hard to get into and quite firm, but in some way that was nice because they had more texture to them which after having lots of gels it nice for the mouth. When I got the checkpoint 3 I decided to have a look at my feet as they had been in some pain for the last 10 miles as I had my drop bag there, (this was a bag that contained anything that you thing you my need at this stage in the race and didn’t want to carry with you) So I replaced my Scholl foam padding and both part of my right foot, had some food and drink and went on my way. As I mentioned earlier the descending was fun but some of them were quite steep and eventually a pain that I hadn’t had before started on my knees but luckily it went away quickly. There were a few sections of the course that were really challenging, 1st would have to be between checkpoint 3 & 4 which was ascending Fan Brycheiniog were that assent just kept going and going and going, as as you thought it would level out at the next part..nope up again. 2nd would have to be just as I left checkpoint and ascending Fan Gyhirych and was told by all that were at that checkpoint that this was the hardest assent of them all, On this assent I just got my head down and dug deep, I notice that when I got to about half that way up there was a section that was very steep not to sure how steep though but I was scrambling up there on my hands and knees and with a nice steady motion as to not wear myself out by the time I got to the top and when I did I was running… I got to checkpoint 5 (still with 3 peaks to summit) at about just before dusk and the next summit was that of Corn du which was not a mandatory peak but was part of the route, as I left the checkpoint as It was going to get dark soon I decided to put on my race windproof jacket so with that done I headed up there, as I was on the path I noticed that the top of the mountain was getting covered in cloud and that I had would be interesting as it was going to be getting dark soon, so I also decided to put on my head torch. As I approached the top I could see very little apart from about 20 feet around me, so I kept going and and it was quite exciting  actually and I was getting quite warm so I took off my jacket and was ok without it, I got to the top and then up and on the Pen Y Fan and then My GPS decided not to play and tell me in which direction to go (great timing), by this time I had worked out what all the markings were on the GPS and was able to get to the next peak (9) and then the GPS decided to work again and got me on the the 10th and final peak, but with still about 10 miles to go I hooked onto 2 other runners (Steve Capey & Nigel Jackson) who knew the route. So i stuck with them Until we meet another group of about 6-7 so we all stuck together for the remainder of the course.

I dibbed in at the finish and went straight to my tent to phone my mum who was really worried about me doing this, I woke her up but she was very happy I was ok and had finished, I got changed and had a shower and made my way to the hostel to see if I could managed any food. I met up with Robert Nelson and Tracy Edwards and I also order some soup and pasta of which I could only mange to eat the soup and the bears that came with it, I couldn’t even manage a Guinness…HOW BAD IS THAT !!!, So off I went to bed as I was falling asleep. I woke up at about 8:30 and headed to the hostel only to find that breakfast had stopped serving at 9, the staff there very kindly made me some porridge and toast which I ate quicker that what I ate the night before. After that I head back to the tent and started to sort out my things ready to put them in Roberts Jeep. I put all my things in Robert jeep and we headed to Talybont-On-Usk for a big breakfast and then head to Abergavenny where Robert drop me, I stopped up at a biker cafe and had 3 mushroom butty’s and 2 potions of chip with a coke of which a never normally drink. as the time drew closer to get my train I headed to the station to take me to Newport and then Paddington.

What a great race my time was 19:54:52


49th out of 102 (I think there were more though)

I think 22 people drop out thought the course or drop to the shorter distance

My kit was Shoe: Inov 8 roclite 295 Tights: 2XU Elite compression tights Shorts: 2XU compression shorts Socks: Kalenji run-intensive Top:2XU Elite compression long sleeve top Vest: loggod buff: unknown Race vest: Ultimate Direction SJ ultra vest Gaiters: Salomon trail gaiters

I big thank you to all of the volunteers and all that organised it.

As you may or may not know I do these events to raise awareness for this website and funds for CTRT. if you would like to donated to them please follow this LINK and all the details are there

For the course map click here


Hell On The Humber 2013

Date: 17th – 18th August Location: Humber Bridge, East Yorkshire, England Weather: heavy rain to start and very windy throughout Terrain: Tarmac, concrete Distance: 62 miles Time: 12 hours

I really have been looking forward to this race as it is quite a fun event, although it does involve running over the same bloody bridge for 12 hrs… So why do I come back…well the people that compete it this event are so much fun and the organisers are good humored too. The race is organised by Toro race team based nearby and it has been running since 2011it getting busier and busier every year. It is a very spectator friendly race as you can see runners all the time whether on the bridge or at the turn around point..there never out of sight.

A few weeks before the race I went to Profeet in Fulham who specialize in insoles and custom made shoes. I had some comfort insoles made for me as the pressure on the right foot was much greater than that on my left foot, So this race was the first first time I was trying them out.

So on the 16th August and as per usual my journey began at King Cross station and I made my way from there to Doncaster and then changed there to get another train to Hessle which is very close to the bridge and to my B&B. So with all the trains running on time I’m at my B&B in good time and sort out my things and head to Tesco in Hull for some final nutrition and food for that night. The next morning I try and spend more time in bed than normal as the race does not begin until 7pm so I sort out all of my nutrition and sort out my running kit for the race..and have a wander into the local village. While I was on Facebook I realised that some people had already pitched their tent near the start..this was really cheeky and it wasn’t even 2pm yet…I mean really…don’t people have a life….ha ha ha…OK So I decided to join them after all..better than being in my room for 5 more hours.. I packed my things and headed to the area where we were camping and that was where the turn around and start were too. Said hi the everyone I had meet previously and HOTH 2012 and Helloween 2012 and then went to get a good position for my tent which was about 20 yards after the turnaround so inflow with the race. Put up my tent and arranged all of my nutrition and clothing..and just chilled until until there was time for the briefing. Briefing time and then got changed and stretching. Time came to go to the start and this was when the heavens opened and it started to rain really hard…Karl (the organiser) smile grew bigger and bigger the lower the numbers go on the countdown got from 10-1..and we were off.

As normal I started off at a steady pace, 2 weeks ago i competed in a 100 miler so I was just seeing how my legs would cope and how far I could go.. The first few crossing were good really really windy on the bridge..not to sure but it felt like 25-20mp, needed to pee quite a lot too…which is good that meant I was well hydrated.. I continued with the same pace throughout the race. What was funny about this time round was that they had put signs up and down the bridge saying things like “an ipod would be good now” (they were banded in this race), “ you are weak” , “go Home” you get the idea…these really made me laugh during the race… It’s really nice to run with others in these types of events to..keeps you both going and keeps you sane too..Good to run with you Paul… By the time It got to about 2ish…my right foot started to hurt and so I changed my shoes and my dressing and head back out…the pain sought of got better but not much…so I ended up power walking and then running for the last 2 1/2 hours…but by the time came to 6:35 and I was going to the turnaround..they said to me…”well done THOMAS…are you done..and a voice said..No he’ll do one more lap…(That was Natalie Killick)….Thanks Nat….so off I went to try and get to the other side by 7am..I managed it with 5 minutes to spare yiippeee so the lonely walk back started…by the time I got back most of the others had gone home…so I said my goodbyes and packed my tent up and made my way back to my B&B. Got there and ordered breakfast..while waiting I had a shower and packed the rest of my things… Breakfast was really good…after i made my way to the train station to get a train to hull then i london… I was really happy with my performance of 62 miles considering how close it was to my last race of 100.. Shame I wouldn’t be competing in this race next year as I need to concentrate in much more hiller event as I’m aiming to compete in the UTMB in a few years time

Big thanks to Baz, Abigail and that bloody devil for making it fun during the race…

As you may or may not know I do these events to raise awareness for this website and funds for CTRT. if you would like to donated to them please follow this LINK and all the details are there

Grimsthorpe Half Marathon

Date: 4th August Location: Grimsthorpe Castle Estate  Lincolnshire Distance: 13.1 miles Terrain: 50% tarmac, 15% Grass trail, 35% limestone trail Navigation: marked course Weather: Sunny 27 degs

Well as you all know I competed in the Grim Reaper Ultra marathon which was 100 mile on the 2nd – 3rd August report HERE, So this race was just over 24hrs after that one..

After the Ultra I went back to the B&B and had a iced bath for 15 mins and then had breakfast and then crashed in bed, woke up about 4pm…I think and when for a walk with the owners and their dogs to stretch my legs a bit as I didn’t want them to stiffen up, came back had some more food and then did about 1 hrs worth of stretching in my room which really loosened me up and I felt great afterwards.

So after an early night I woke up and had breakfast and was ready to run a half marathon, breakfast went down a lot better than I thought it would too. I got my Kit together and made my way to the castle to register… Keith (The organiser of both races) was there and asked me “how my legs were feeling”, “ not to bad” I replied. So after registering, getting changed and a short warm up run I made my way over to the start…Rita a lady that had competed in the 70 miler ultra ask what time I was hopping for, I said “ I have know idea as I have never run done a 100 mile run then and half marathon so close together.

So at 10:30 am me and my heavily taped foot stet off I felt pretty good to start with and the weather was really nice..happy to say it was a little bit cooler than it was during the ultra. The race follows part of the same loop course as the ultra but with a slight diversion and also there is a little loop to start with around the lake of 3.1 miles to make up the distance. I was funny that during the race I was thinking to myself that this is the only loop there are no more loop as with the ultra it was a long time before you said this is the last loop.. The other thing was..I went past the place where one of the dibbers stations was on the ultra and before I got there I went to get my plastic key out…and then thought…I don’t have one..IT IS ONLY ONE LOOP SILLY !!

The race as a whole went well and I was happy with my time, although I would have liked to get under 2hrs…but hey…

TIME: 2:08:12

As you may or may not know I do these events to raise awareness for this website and funds for CTRT, If you would like to donated to them please follow this LINK and all the details are there


Date: 2nd – 3rd August Location: Grimsthorpe Castle Estate  Lincolnshire Distance: 100 miles Terrain: 50% tarmac, 15% Grass trail, 35% limestone trail Navigation: marked course Weather: Sunny 31deg Time Limit: 26hrs

I have done this race before and was really looking forward to competing in it again. The run up to this event was quite eventful, about  7 days before the race I when to the Serpentine Lido to do a swim session and then a light run session, I finished the swim and was getting changed ready for my run and I noticed the bottom on my running shoes were falling apart.(Inov8 X-Talon 1212)..I thought that’s weird as I have only done about 250 miles in them since I got them in late April..(shoes should last about 500 miles). I rang the company I got them from straight away and they said to send them back… So…I have no running shoes for a race in 7 days time….GREAT

(Rule….always have a least two pairs of running shoes).

So the hunt began for a new pair (6 days before race)…I remember meeting a girl calling Sharon at UTPD (Ultra Tour Of The Peak District) saying that she worked in a shop called “Runners Needs” in Canary Wharf…so one day after work I headed there…She sorted me out with a nice pair of Addidas Adizero XT..really comfortable…and quite minimal too.THANKS SHARON

So one pair got one pair to go, Another evening after work (5 days before race) I head to another Runners Needs in search for a second pair of shoes…but this time with more cushioning, I headed to one near liverpool street as they had a pair of shoes that I was keen to try..I tried them on and they were really nice..and comfortable, so I got them…once I got home I thought I would have a little run in them when I get to work In the corridors ..they felt rather strange on the bridge of my foot and began to I thought I better get refund and look for another pair.. So refund sorted the next day and I headed to another shop, in the city Called “London City Runner”. a rather small shop hiding in the financial district. I got there and was severed by the owner who was really helpful and suggested a pair of Mizuno trail shoes (can’t remember what type)..they felt really nice a I got them…did the same thing as before..when running in the corridors…and guess what….the same problem….so back I went the next day…and switched them for a pair of Inov8 Roclite 295..this was a safe bet as the last pair of shoes I had were Inov8 and I though I wasn’t going to get time to break them in so I better go for a make that I had used before…..


So as My last race before this was only 20 day ago..I was taking it easy on the run up to this race with only a few training sessions…I chose to only do two of them because the last race took a lot out of me..the sessions I did were 1 X 10 mile run broken up into 2 x 5 miles and one 3 mile easy run.

A few days before heading up to Lincolnshire I went through my race kit and my nutrition…there’s a lot to things to think about with regards to clothing and food…what to take what not to take..the issue with the way I travel is that I can’t always take exactly what I want.. because I travel by train…so my bag does weigh rather a lot, so I try and get there early the day before the race…as to rest as much as possible.

With my bags sorted and packed checked and double checked I get the bus to Kings Cross Station and get the train to Peterbourgh as that is the nearest station to the Castle…When I arrive there I head to the bus station to get a bus to Bourne which is about 6 miles away from the castle…then head to Sainsburys to buy some water in 500ml bottles, some bananas and some cereal for race morning breakfast…So with all that done I rang for a taxi as no buses go to Grimsthorpe. Got to the B&B The Black Horse Inn which is only about 100 meters for the entrance to the castle grounds. The Black horse was owned by new people whom my booking had been passed on see I booked the room in September last year as I wanted to be as close to the castle as possible and this was the only B&B within 6 miles of it. So after checking in I went to my room and started to sort my things out into piles (shorts, vests, socks, nutrition, plasters etc, shoes) I also started to make my bagels for the race (blueberry bagels with vegan cream cheese, Vegemite, peanut butter and turmeric) yummy. I put them in the B&B’s main kitchen fridge which was nice of them..and would collect them in the morning..arranged all my nutrition and started to make up mini drop bags for each lap..( a mini sandwich bag filled which 2 Cliff gels chocolate flavor , 1 Zipvit caffeine gel Blackberry or cherry cola (only in 5 of them), 1 banana, 1 coconut and banana smoothie. I also had arrange 18 X 500ml bottle’s of still water ready for flavored hydration tablets to be added too in the morning. So with all that done I took a shower and then headed down to have my dinner which had been pre cooked in advance by the chef..the reason for this is that the B&B were not actually open until Friday but because I had had booked way in advance with old owners it was ok.. So I heated up my dinner and sat in the bar and chatted to Liam the son of the new owner…A really nice guy from Crieff in Scotland.. After that I headed to my room for an early night..

So race morning and as per usual I couldn’t sleep..I woke up at 1:30am and managed to get back to sleep and then again at 5am…but couldn’t get back to sleep that time..So up I get and started to sort out my fluids by putting hydration tablet in my drinks bottles all in order to be as quick as possible when I go to fill up my water bottle on each lap… With that all sorted I head down to have my breakfast on Granola, bananas and honey with blueberries…..POWER FOOD !!!!!! after that I collect my bagels from the fridge and head back upstairs to pack my things ready to head to the castle ground…

With my heavy rucksack and 2 big bags of nutrition I headed to the castle entrance and within 5 mins I’m there…which is just as well as the bags were really heavy.. I was meet by Jane Benson and former fellow competitor of the event and she very kindly offered to take some of my the camping area….THANKS JANE..

The camping area is just in front of the castle itself. I made my way over to the registration marquee and said hi to Keith who was organising the event, got My race number and dibber (I’ll explain later) and made my way to an area just behind the marquee and also close to the turn around point which will help cut time off during the race. I put up my tent and arranged all of my nutrition and clothing ready for what weather may come our way…You never know with the british weather.. So with all the done I did my final preparation and taped up my right foot as it sometimes cause some pain on the ball of my foot during races..

My kit for the race was 1 pair of Inov8 Roclite 295, pair of race socks, 2XU compression shorts, Bloc sunglasses and a basic race vest with of course the logo on it, Ultimate direction SJ ultra vest with 2 X 500ml bottles.

At 8:30 we had a race briefing where the dibing timing system was explained. I had used this timing system in the Ultra Tour Of The Peak District so I knew it well…It’s simple, you were given a plastic key and there were 4 points on the course where you had to touch your key to a hole and listen for a beep as soon as you heard it you carried on, the points were out on the course itself about 5 miles in i think and about 8 miles in and the other two were just as you approached the marquee and the other was as you left  it..(you had to go around the marquee to reach it) so this is why my tent was where it was as it was just 5 meters away from the turnaround.

At 9:25 we all head to the start with was just in front of the castle and heading towards the lake..and at 9:30 we were off… I started at a good steady pace which was about 9-10 min/miles and kept this going throughout the first few laps, I planned to run all of the uphill sections on the first 3 laps to see how it went, my aim was to complete the first 50 miles within 9hrs by setting a min/mile pace of no slower that 10 min/miles I was going at a good pace and happy with it, at the end of each lap i would go into my tent and refill my water bottles (you see why I bought 500ml water bottle as they are the exact amount that fitted into my race bottles) and I grabbed a mini drop bag and was off. The weather was amazing…!!! it was so hot with some wind…and when you felt it it was SO nice, the temp must have been around 32-33 deg. During the first 4 laps I had no problems what so ever, on the 5th lap my right foot started to cause some trouble, I’ve been having so issues with the ball of the foot on that side for a while but only during really long runs of over 40 – 50 miles. So my time on the 5th lap wasn’t that great so I completed the first 50 miles in 09:21:30 which was a bit off what I was hoping for. Things started to go a bit slower  after mile 50 cause my foot was being a pain..I though it was time to change my socks..which I was told not to do by my coach unless they are really bugging you, which in this case I thinks was OK. I decided to see the first aiders at the end of lap 6 and decide to change my socks as the pain was pretty bad now, the first aiders were two very lovely laddies called Gill and Helen from the Red Cross and they got my foot sorted THANK YOU LADDIES. So off I go on the slightly better right foot but with a bit of time to make up.. During the race there was only 1 water station and that was at the main marquee which was tough as the weather was so hot…I decided by lap 4 to take an extra bottle with me and fill up on the course so as not to dehydrate. Food intake for the race was going ok and I was using the full contents of each drop bag apart from the bagel as they were really hard to chew and quite dry. So I decided at the start of  lap 7 where my foot was really hurting me and I was having to power walk and run some, I decided to take a big 2 litre bottle of water and bagel and try really hard to eat them…It worked and within a mile of the 7th loop the water and the bagels were gone. This was good news as I was really worried about my hydration after the Peak District race. The last 3 laps were shared by power walking and running as not to irritate my foot to much. The hydration was going really well and I managed to run for the majority of the last 2 laps but not fast at a pace…the only issue apart from my foot is that I was starting to nod off and fall asleep, this had never happened to me before as last year I was doing 15 hour work days and then running 10 miles home but this year I’m working less hours per day so my sleep depravation is not as good. So I had my first coffee in almost  3 years at mile 70 and it was a strong one too !! The night section was a lot better than last year as I had a really good head torch this time (Petzl MYO RXP) it was really bright and I had no problems at all during that stage.. As the last lap approach I was still feeling good and the foot was behaving itself, so the last lap is always a good thing….during that lap…I thought about the whole race and what I had learnt I was overall really happy with the way I had preformed especially that my last big race (my hardest ever)was not that long ago.. So the finish line approached and I was very happy to see it, Keith was the first person to congratulate me and said “Bloody well done mate, you definitely saw off last years demons didn’t you ?”…..YES I BLOODY DID As I sat down to talk to the some other competitors in the main marquee I was told my Rita a fellow competitor that I had come 3rd in the 100 miles…..OH MY GOD..I could not believe it..I was so happy. I thought what would have happened if my foot was fine and didn’t play up…Well

I must say I really love this event..It’s really well organised  and full of really good spirited people

But you wait until next year Mr Grim Reaper…I will be back..and this time I’m going for sub 20hrs…

As you may or may not know I do these events to raise awareness for this website and funds for CTRT, If you would like to donated to them please follow this LINK and all the details are there

Below you will fined my lap times

1st   01:32:46 01:32:46 2nd  01:39:43  03:13:09 3rd  01:44:18  04:59:00 4th  02:03:48  07:06:54 5th  02:08:38  09:21:30 6th  02:07:49  11:33:34 7th  02:52:51  14:38:38 8th  02:33:01  17:36:15 9th  02:29:05  20:09:01 10th  02:22:50  22:33:20

Ultra Tour Of The Peak District

Date: 13th July Location: The Peak district Distance: 60 miles Accent: 2722m Steepest climb: 32% Navigation: 80% (map, Compass) Time Limit: 24hrs

This event is the hardest event I have ever done !!

I did this event with my good friend Lord Sammuel Wilson ( he’s not really a Lord)

We met a Kings Cross station on the Friday before race day and realised the train went from St Pancras…so we managed to get on the train with 5 mins to spare.

Got to Sheffield at 1ish and with not being able to pitch the tent until 6pm we had to kill time..

When the time came we headed to the bus station to get the bus near to the campsite

We pitched the tent and organised our race bags..and then went down to register, we were given and dibber which you had to enter into a device at each checkpoint (of which there are 20 !!) failure to do so once gave you a 1hr time penalty and failure to do it twice gave you a disqualification, We were also given our race number and route map and a really cool goody bag.

We also found out that there were 43 people competing in the event.

We had a chance to put “drop bags” on the course at mile markers 14, 28 and 42 with the bags containing anything we thought we may need at that point of the race, ( i put a selection of energy bars in, a spare hat, spare pair of socks and a spare t-shirt in each one.

Dinner was quite funny though…should have seen my trying to open at tin of ratatouille with a hammer and tent peg..thank you Sharon for lending me a swiss army knive

Went to bed around 9:30 for a 6:15am wake up.

With a breakfast of muesli and bananas and lots of water this was going to be a VERY hot and long day !!!!!!!.

We had a race briefing at 7:30am and then the race started at 8am..


The course is the most challenging course and route I have ever come across, It really is THE WORKS, and is a full mixture of all types of terrain and surfaces  (grass, mud, stone, gravel, tarmac, boulders,tiles (some even on there side),reeds, bogs) and lots of nettles too..which my calfs/shins were covered in.

It takes you through some of the most spectacular countryside I have ever seen (so it make a very hard run that little bit easier).

I was running with a race vest which held at the front full two water bottles of 500ml, 2 compartments at the back for mandatory kit (head torch,windproof jacket & trousers, compass, route map, whistle) the other smaller compartment were filled with gels and bars and also electrolyte tablets and also blister tape,scissors, bodyglide (for chafing).

The weather during the race was the biggest factor for me as it was 30°C for 70% of the race and being that hot..hydration was a BIG factor.

I left the start with 2 x 500ml bottle (one with electrolytes and one with water), my aim was at each station was to fully load the bottles again and also drink as much as possible.

At most of the stations I stayed there for about 15-20 mins, drinking as much as I could ( 2 pints of water with Nunn tablets and 2 pints of plain water and also covering myself in water trying to cool my body temperature down. Most of the time within about 5-10 mins of leaving the water station I are completely dry again.

I think throughout the event there were 6 maybe 7 water stops and in that heat 10 miles between each one is a long way.. especially with the terrain

The aim of the race is to complete the distance within 24hrs and by visiting all of the checkpoints.

At the start of the race we found out that five of the 43 people who had entered the race had pulled out due to the weather conditions…(BOOOOOOOO).So 38 people racing now

During the race I met up with and another runners called Danny and Jonathan who were going at a similar pace to me…I think it helps to run with other people during an event like this as you get to work as a team finding the correct route…with in some parts of the course were really hard to find..

Before the start i put blister tape on both of my feet around the ball of my foot where I would  normally get pain…I still to this day haven’t got a blister from running ultras…

The weird thing with me is that when I had the operation after my cancer treatment to remove all the glands from the back of my abdomen and my testis the doctor damaged the nerves on the left hand side of my body in a way that I’m unable to sweat properly on that side…so when I run my foot on that side doesn’t have any issues at all…

At each drop bag stop I made a point of changing my socks and my blister tape…which was wise because the terrain was moving it around so much.

Well as you know most of the course was over the Peaks but there were parts that took us through some really pretty villages with lovely country pubs..It is really hard running past  watching people enjoying and drink and a nice Sunday lunch when you’ve got another 7 or so miles till your next drop bag stop…

As the evening drew in and the sun started to come down we arrived at drop bag station 3..which was where my head torch was..(I asked at the briefing if I could leave it there as it wasn’t going to get dark till 9:30pm) got the the aid station and found I ran out of blister tape and had to borrow some duck tape from Jonathan to put of my right foot as It was in quite a bit of pain…I also eat 4 bananas 5 packs of worcestershire sauce crisps and my usual fluids.

From that point of were in the dark..and I was very very happy with my head torch…it was really bright and completely lit up the path in front of us…

From I think at least checkpoint 8 we were wondering how many people were behind us…It started of with about 20….and by each water stop the number of people behind us dropped until we found out there was only one person behind us at drop bag station 3…and we found out later that he stop when he got there…after we left…

The last 5 miles of the course were marked and that made life a lot easier… and even though it was 3:30am…you could see some light in the sky and you didn’t really need the head torches anymore..

So the finish line approached and Jonathan many a dash for it…but was met by his girlfriend so a managed to get there first…ha ha.

Thank you so much to Ian Loombe for getting me some lovely veg stew when I got to the finish line..

TIME: 20hrs, 31 mins, 57 secs

Interesting race facts…

43 people entered 5 people quit before the start 23 finished

This was a great event a really well organised…I shall definitely be back next year to better my time…

Click here to see the race route RACE ROUTE Click here to see a video of the race VIDEO

Ironman 70.3 UK 2013

Location: Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor, Somerset Date: 16th June Distance: Swim 1900m (lake), Bike 56miles (5905ft elevation) Run 13.1 (1323ft elevation) Weather: Cold, raining (hard), windy

This was my 2nd time competing at this event and I really like the course because it is very challenging and takes you into and around some stunning countryside of which living in London you don’t get to see a great deal of.

My Mum very kindly offered to drive me down to the campsite on the Tuesday before the race ( she would then go on and meet my dad and sister and go to my Aunties for a few days).

It was a really relaxing journey down to the campsite stopping of a few times to break up the journey and to fuel up..

When we got nearer to the site we noticed that the campsite i was staying on was wrongly marked on Goggle earth and was actually a bit further away than expected which in a flat part of the country is really not a big deal but in somerset it is a rather different story.

So rather than being (as told by the owner of the campsite) a 2 min walk to the start area. it turned out to be around 20 mins…….UPHILL.!!!

Oh myself all unpacked and tent up and spend the next few days checking the run course and the swim start..the weather was not great as in rained from early morning to about 4pm on most days…

So Friday arrived and I went to register and get my race pack and had a quick look round the expo..

Saturday we had to rack our bike and put our bike and run bags on our number hooks in transition..and there was a big race briefing in the afternoon going though the whole event.

SO race day arrived..Up early at 4am and straight into what breakfast i could eat..( i always fine in hard to eat on race morning).

got my kit ready and started to walk to the transition to get in my trisuit and wetsuit ready for the swim start..


SWIM: The water was bloody cold and i was quite happy that they mentioned in the briefing they were not going to hold us in the water like they did last year (15mins). I when slowly in just to get used to the temp and then thought…SOD IT and fully immersed myself which was a good idea as it took a good 5-10 min to get warm..

As usual they played “GOD SAVE THE QUEEN” before the gun went off..

The swim went well and I was at a good steady pace throughout…


Then came the lovely run up to the transition which is where you felt like your heart is in your throat.

Got out the wetsuit fine as baby oil works great..just forgot a towel to dry my feet before putting my socks on, put helmet, arm warmers on and cycle shoes and gloves and my cycle jersey although i realized that the zip had broken when i tried doing it up…I couldn’t leave it out as it had spare inner tube inside … i put my race belt around in and set of the the bike mount line..


Good solid bike mount with not probs, The course is 56 miles…oh yes and with 53 hills with the first part going straight uphill.. the weather by this point was getting really bad…very cold and windy with heavy rain (not great with a flapping cycle jersey..)

The bike as a whole went most of my training has been run based this year it felt a lot worse which was mostly to do with the weather and the fact that I had to stop a few times to sort out my cycle Jersey..


by this time my legs were shaking because of the cold and it was really hard to used my hands so it took longer that normal to get through this part..


As I came out of transition I saw my Mum, Dad, Sister, Auntie and her partner all cheering me on..their support throughout the run made a big difference.

This was the best part as I felt strong the whole way through and passed good few people..

I was not that happy with the time but due the the conditions and the transitions being slow because of that I pleased…good thing was that my run time was nearly 15 quicker than last year..








TOTAL: 7:02:09