Two weeks ago I returned back to England after a few months away in Asia getting myself in a mixture of organising, training for and running in races.
One of the first things I did on my return was to make a beeline for the Oatopia kitchen to pick up an order of energy bombs, I missed them! I did travel to India with a few and was lucky enough to have a package of them brought out to me by the Tam and her Oatopia family, who all came to race the 25k paradise trails event in Goa. But they don’t hang around that long in my fridge. I remember taking a whole package of them over to Las Vegas last year, they were to be my main nutrition at the Badwater Ultra in Death Valley. The customs pulled me over and wanted to investigate the packages further, I decided in that instant to call them energy balls rather than bombs, good decision I reckon.
I’ve been travelling to India during the winter for a few years now, I love to train in the sun, running always seems so much more simple when you only need to go out in a pair of shorts and trainers, rather than slapping on layers of gore TEX, fleeces, gloves etc etc. This year I have managed to get a good block of training in as I slowly build up to the 24hr World Championships at the start of July.
I finished my season at the stunning Mt Gaoligong Ultra in China, travelling there from India, having trained all year on flat loops to ready me for the Euro Championships I was a little apprehensive as to how I would fair on a 100 mile course including almost 9000 metres of elevation. The course and whole experience was so beautiful that my mind never strayed to thoughts of hills tiring me out and me a fellow Australian runner, Mick, crossed the line together in first place. My particular highlight of the race was the bell they made us all wear that would apparently scare off the bears.
After the race I managed to take a two week breakish from running and what better place to do it than on the beach in Goa. One week of that did include shooting an advert for a running company, which saw me travel to the Himalayas and be filmed in some jaw dropping scenery, trying to stay upright in the pair of shoes I was given, two sizes too big and so heavy it felt like running in bricks. It was a fantastic experience and I just love that feeling when you run at about 4000 metres up, hard hard work!
The week before returning to England I lined up at the 100 mile Run the Rann Ultra, this is the second time I’ve run this race and it’s a great weekend. The Rann of Kutch is a salt desert right on the border of Pakistan and a place that very few people ever get to. A superb place for an ultra race the course is a mixture of swampy salt, rugged cliff faces and miles of thorn bushes that slowly rip your legs to absolute pieces, great fun ! As running always is.