Auviour Paris: So long and thanks for the cobbles



  • Ridgeway Relay 2013 - 85 miles or so from Beacon Hill (not far from Luton) to Marlborough.

    Start 7:30 am ; finish 19:12 pm with 10 runners. What a day!

    I ran Leg 5 from Swyncombe Church to South Stoke via Grimm's Ditch and the Thames tow path - 10m in 1:15:12 which was 2:28 faster than our runner of last year. This is a pressure leg because I had to be at the end of it by 13:00 hrs to avoid being consigned to a mass start further on. I made it with 1 min 4 secs to spare....

    Overall, we were up on our time of last year until Leg 9 where our runner struggled having come straight off a transatlantic flight over night with just 1 hour's sleep...gamely he made through to the end, but the time was gone.

    Anyway, we finished 18/43 teams and thoroughly enjoyed it, complete with 16 of us taking over a bar for a couple of pints and a hot meal at the end.

    Pure running - no entry fee, very few marshals; no water points; portaloos T-shirts or finisher's medals. Just 430 self-supporting runners and their support crews - magic!

  • That sounds fun Mike - always find organising a team can be such an endurance event in itself image

    Well - final kit packing preps going on here - making sure all my favourite bits are washed and ready to go. Just waiting for the last pair of socks to dry...

    Shall we play our normal game - I'll start shall I? My guess on our finishing time is 16h 0m 0s

    Penultimate run today will be 5 miles with mid 3 at half mara heart rate.  Not nervous anymore - feeling well rested and know there's nothing more I can do to affect my fitness.  Looking forward to some easy running in beautiful scenery and having a good giggle along the way.  Not thinking about anything that could go wrong - will come up with solutions as and when needed I'm sure.  I'll be carrying enough first aid kit to keep my feet held together that's guaranteed!



  • Have a brilliant adventure you two! Looking forward to the report (photo's?).

    No idea on times, but based on your estimate and Oscarr being a gentleman, I'm sure....

    Sleepy - 15:48:32

    Oscarr - 15:48:33

    I'm sure it will be a lot of fun, interspersed with some pain, and a lifetime of memories.

    Mike - that sounds like a great relay. I have been running the ridgeway link quite close to the Beacon Hill starting point. It's good to have firm ground to run on - unlike last year!

    This morning I ran a nice hilly course with great views. I have to walk after a few miles when I hit a 17% incline and my heart rate still soars! Don't know if I'll ever be able to run up that SOB image. I have a fairly hilly 10k booked in about five weeks, so it's good preparation. 

  • Good luck SB & Oscarr

    I have no idea on your times as I do not know the terrain - I'm sure you will be a fast as conditions allow and will give it your all. You have certainly put the hard training in! 

    Ten - re firm ground. After a while, the constant uneven footstrike wears you down a bit with no give in the ground but you're right, on balance it is preferable to slipping & sliding everywhere.

  • Ten - I'll have my phone with me (as it's on the mandatory kit list!!!) so I'll aim to get some pics! We can use oscarrs for emergencies image

    If you have a spare ¼ hour check this out - the hill that's shown is the start of day 2 - it should wake us up!!!!


    Guesses so far

    Ten - 15:48:32-33

    Me - 16:00:00

    Thanks Mike - gonna take a wild stab in the dark? That's pretty much what mine is?  Might not manage to leave the cake stop (oops I mean pit stop) until every last crumb has gone! Should add on an hour or two image


  • GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

    Have a fabulous time - can't wait to read the reports! xxx

  • Kit packing on the "to do" list for this afternoon.

    My guess 14:59:59 - that's for both of us of course !!

    Not run since Saturday's 9 miler - i am not really that bothered this week cos it will have no impact whatsoever on my fitness and i need to conserve as much energy as possible.  May go for a 4 mile jog later today though just to keep my mind sane - mind you, most of my friends and family reckon sanity left me a long time ago !!

  • Did you ever have any in the first place oscarr? image image

    Guesses so far

    oscarr - 14:59:59

    Ten - 15:48:32-33

    Me - 16:00:00

    I'm feeling pretty positive today - got a good dose of endorphins from this morning's run!  Or was it from seeing the huge slabs of chocolate cake in the video clip above....image

  • Bring some chocolate candy bars back for me! They looked lush - no wonder that guy grabbed a couple image

  • It should be less flooded this year - I have to do this, although they don't seem to have any actual food and I don't eat junk!?

    Their rucksacks seemed very crammed with stuff - they do sort out your tents and bedding, right?

    My guess is 14:53:11
  • packing done, getting excited now, wind still behind us!!

  • reiki - I'm most intrigued by the oranges! Never peeled an orange during a race before! You leave a 2nd rucksac (upto 65l) at the start and they transport it all to the midway camp.  In our case - Ben will be driving our stuff over to make life easier!

    Guesses so far

    reiki - 14:53:11

    oscarr - 14:59:59

    Ten - 15:48:32-33

    Me - 16:00:00


  • Start my journey north this morning - will not have internet access so next post will be my race report middle of next week - safe running everyone!

  • Have a great time Oscar and Sleepy! xxx

  • All the best to O and SB for the race hope all goes well. Been too busy to keep up here hope all are well. Running a couple of times a week at the moment. Have fun.

  • Thanks folks! Nice to hear from you mcs image

    I have ants in my pants today - only one more sleep then it's playtime!  The enormity of our task seems to be taking hold today - I'm not nervous yet but don't seem to be thinking of much else!   Just gonna focus on getting to the first pitstop after 15 miles and then take the rest one at a time.

    Think I'll spend the rest of my afternoon practising my best Paddington Bear / "oh really" stare for oscarr's anticipated moments of high energy when he gets the urge to just sneak an 8minute mile in!  Think I'm gonna have to be the one with the identichip so he can't leave me behind...





  • You'll be amazing SB I know it - I feel really proud of you both (does that sound very very odd?)

  • NOOOOO Em - it sounds lovely - the support of you guys has helped immensely along the way.  I have no doubt we'll have the same conversation over the weekend that we always have when we meet up about how amazing our forum-family are.  image

    The local farmer has just made my day - took the dogs out for their walk and he's mown (mowed) the paths that go straight through his fields.  The rape is nearly head high and I was quite happy walking round the edge which is unplanted.  What a lovely welcoming landowner though - bit surreal walking through with walls of yellow either side!  The dogs were loving it!

  • I want to try and meet up sometime too! It was so lovely seeing you guys at fleet - and I missed seeing oscarr at watford as it was cancelled.

    Go for it - have a great time and I can't wait to hear your triumphant stories! xxxxximage

  •  SB and Oscar Good luck from Els and Peter - looking forward to hearing all about it.image And I think you'll be far faster than you think!

  • Have a brilliant time SB/Oscarr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! image

  • Thanks folks - just popped online to see if the weather forecast had magically improved.  It has for here but not for there!!!  Time to pack the van and get this show on the road....

    Have a great weekend all - will catch up soon image


  • Can't wait to hear all about it.

    Can't wait for next year!
  • Just been for a five miler in honour of SB and O in driving rain and head wind in 41 minutes so stil managing to keep generally fit but need to get serious for half training now. Been doing a couple of runs a week but not enough, my younger brother is taking me down now every run now. Work and age catching up at the moment. Need to train smarter me thinks.image Hope our ultra team are coping with this bad weather.

  • mcs I'm watching the whole of yesterday's athletics from Gateshead on the bike! That's not what I need to be doing particularly, but it's the best I can do for now.

    The main issue for me when not injured is of course time, and I was a lot smarter this past marathon by including more shorter sessions and mixing it up, e.g. Half an hour of sprints!
  • Wish we had attached a camera to SB though!
  • After an early morning 10m run I kept my promise to my son and we went out together for his first ever run (he's just turned seven years old). I let him dictate the pace, of course, and we ran over the hills. It was a bit blowy! Including some walking, his pace for the two miles was 12:33 and 10:38 (190ft climb in first mile, descent on return). We ran a couple of short sprints and he reached 6:38 pace image.  He asked me if people were really talking to him when they told him "well done" and "you're looking good" image.

    He really enjoyed it and wants to go further next time. I must have had the broadest smile I've ever had while running. 

  • Awesome Ten!

    (Into 4th hour on the bike now)
  • Awwww Ten - that's lovely! image

    We're back!!!! 69 miles still being processed by my brain - thanks for thinking of us guys.

    I will let oscarr tell his story - my side goes like this (I'll keep it brief).

    Day 1 - best day in my opinion in terms of the scenery and terrain, with lots of pretty wildlflowers.  (Comedy Cape Wrath style moment of the run involved the wildflowers - with me pointing them out to oscarr as a distraction when we were near the end and me getting a "Do you think I give a *&^% about wildflowers?" Oh how I chuckled).  Setting off from Carlisle Castle was awesome and because we were being sensible we kept the pace easy and I finished feeling surprisngly sprightly.  Very glad we slept in the van - those in tents must have had a rough night when the wind got up.  We got away pretty lightly during the day given the forecast.  Played leapfrog for most of the day with some very chirpy guys who were great to banter with.  Really felt for some of the folks we passed who looked either miserable or in pain.

    Day 2 - wishing I'd worn road shoes - sections of trail are such that my hybrids were useful but the overall distance on tarmac has left the soles of my feet feeling a bit tender.  The memorable highlights for me were a lovely forest trail, laughing in the monsoons (couldn't do much else so seemed a good strategy), paddling through a river (route marked!!!!), and a sudden, unexpected burst of energy 60m from the finish line.  The finish is on a bridge which you can see from, what feels like, miles away so when you do finally get there it's a big bonus! Big respect to those who set off on day 2 looking like they could hardly walk - if I'd been in that state I don't think I would have tried to go on.  Oscarr was enjoying a "maths" day at this point - I,on the other hand, couldn't/didn't want to look further ahead than the next walk break - the overall distance you travel between pit stops can be daunting (Usually at least 13 miles between the tents though there are checkpoints with a few sweeties every 6-8ish)

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