Sorry guys…I know it’s been a while. I’ve been set adrift by a combination of a crashed laptop at home (still out of action!) and a torrent of work, including plenty of travel. Even now, I send you greetings from Seoul, South Korea…sitting at my hotel room desk, looking out over Namsan Park and the Seoul Tower Observatory. Nice.
As I had a laptop provided for work while I’m travelling I thought this would be a great chance to touch base and update. Although part of the reason I’m doing this now is so I can use it in a presentation I have to give later in the week.
Before I ramble on about adventures abroad, I’d better cover races and training et al as that is really why we’re all here
Since my last update I’ve only had the one race under my belt as the much anticipated September-December period approaches. The Salomon Trail Series continues to draw me further into the whole trail running gig. The Rapid Ascent events are really well organised, and without any trace of elitism or ego…just good people out for a laugh and a run in the bush. Because of this I’ve decided to have a crack at their Lorne Adventure Race in December….covering around 48km by swim, paddle, mountain bike and run….nice, yes? The Salomon Series Race 2 was 17.6km through the hilly terrain of Plenty Gorge. I felt much better on this run in comparison to Race 1 as the start was at my own pace, not that of the ultra-light purists at the front of the pack. This was a much more challenging course than Race 1….some fun (and much loved) water crossings provided instant relief to feet but every one of them was chased up by a bitching climb. Making these tolerable was being able to spend the majority of the race running and chatting alongside my WTM12 buddy, Steve. It was great to catch up and running shoulder-to-shoulder, bringing on a number of cold, dark WTM flashbacks…and laughs. The last pitch to the finish line of this race was a nasty piece of work and had people reduced to a walk with hands on knees. Knackered as I was, this was the perfect place to pull back some places by just trying to maintain a shuffle up the hill. Serious pain, but definitely worth it.
I know I go on about it, but if you are looking for the perfect kit….here are my tips for the Salomon Series:
Asics GEL Fuji-Sensor : These have been instrumental in managing my achilles inflammation. No post-run soreness and a comfortable ride with plenty of grip.
- Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire HR : Without doubt the toughest (I’ve tested that plenty of times) and most data-rich GPS/HR enabled watch I’ve ever encountered….and even slick enough to wear at the office. Stop fart-arsing around with the others and go get one. Today.
I know a ton of extra stuff is needed for obstacle/adventure races, but the kit above will take you sailing through trail running events and play a bit part in the dirtier races.
With that race down and out of the way, the next one awaits me the morning after I arrive back from Seoul. Touted as the hardest race in the series, this 21km puppy will be an interesting experience on the back of a 16hr flight and a mate’s engagement party.
September marks the start of my own little “race season”. With my shoulder feeling around the 90% mark, my training is starting to pick up the pace again….like reacquainting with an old friend that you only like some of the time….now to apply it all and have some fun…
Sunday 28 April 52km trail run You Yangs Regional Park Saturday 11 May Salomon Trail Running Clinic, Studley Park Sunday 12 May 8km Mothers’ Day Classic (with 17kg sandbag) Sunday 30 June 15km trail run Salomon Trail Series – Race 1 Sunday 28 July 17km trail run Salomon Trail Series – Race 2
- Sunday 25 August 21km trail run Salomon Trail Series – Race 3
- Saturday 14 September 20km Tough Mudder, Phillip Island (extra laps hopefully)
- Saturday 21 September 100km Surf Coast Century, Anglesea
- Saturday 6 October 14km Spartan Super, Melbourne (two laps, 1 with Gus)
- Saturday 2 November 42km Spartan Ultra Beast, Sydney
- Sunday 8 December 48km Lorne Adventure Race, Lorne
You’ll see that I’ve removed World’s Toughest Mudder 2013 from my calendar. Attempts to gather naming rights sponsorship for a team (that would have kicked arse) failed to produce any results. I had never intended on competing in WTM this year, so it was always going to be a bonus. I’m planning to hit up some serious shit next year though and will be working hard on gathering support. Can’t wait!
This two-week trip has taken me through Taipei, Taichung and Seoul….although I’m getting pummelled with work, I’m managing to train at least once a day and eating extremely well, so not feeling too bad all-in-all. I have been getting a few runs in and usually try to hit the pavement as soon as I arrive in a new city…just to shake out the cobwebs. However, it appears I have settled into the rather annoying habit of getting lost…usually doubling the intended distance. What a douche-bag.
Each location had it’s own drawback while I clocked up unwanted mileage. While Taichung was flat as a tack (in the city anyway….had an awesome hike in the hills), the smell was almost suffocating. Without warning you would run through pockets of air laced anything ranging from excrement to methane….all nicely baked to around 32°C. I nearly barfed on a number of occasions as I aimlessly searched for the hotel driveway….one wrong turn ruined me. In contrast, the land surrounding my Seoul hotel is not flat, but immaculate. So as I ran on, asking directions (yes…not cool) from people who could speak English as well as I can speak Korean, I was making serious elevation gains while sucking clean air at 33°C. Koreans are lovely people….so lovely in fact, that their desire to help you often outweighs their capacity….with many giving me directions when they had no idea where I wanted to go. Cheers…at least they gave it a crack, I guess.
The people I’ve met throughout this trip have been nothing but welcoming and helpful…showing me around the sights a little and teaching me local customs….karaoke on Tuesday night apparently (oh dear)….
In signing off, I have come to realise that the wisdom oozing from the fire-bearded Buddha is not confined by international boundaries….equally haunting in Korean….
Don’t follow Chuck Norris on Twitter unless you want a roundhouse kick to the face. Chuck Norris doesn’t like to be followed.
당신은 얼굴에 유치장 킥을 원하지 않는 트위터에 척 노리스를 수행하지 마십시오. 척 노리스가 따라야 좋아하지 않는다.