I burst through the doors of Rifugio Grand Tourmalin and surveyed the scene through bleary, sleep-deprived eyes. Two – no three – other runners were seated at long wooden tables drinking tea, trying to warm up. There was a table covered in mountain food just in front of me: a familiar scene of dry biscuits, pre-packaged individual serving pies, dried apricots, cheese and […]
Race: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS) Distance: 119 km Elevation: 7250m Time limit: 33 hours Sometimes everything has to go wrong before it can go right. In the upside down world of ultramarathons, pre-race disasters can lead to solid race performances and conversely the most prepared competitors can fall on their faces. Had I kept this reverse […]
One of my most favourite running memories involves my Dad. It was on 18 October 2013, my Dad’s 59th birthday, and we were at our family cottage. I had come home from abroad just a few days prior, reeling from a breakup, and really wasn’t up for doing anything other than drink gin and tonics. But when I asked my Dad […]
No one actually likes using the treadmill. It’s a machine that was designed for lab rats, not human beings. Running in place next to a bunch of other sweaty robots in a gym? No thank you. I would much rather be outdoors exploring new landscapes with the wind at my back and the sun on my face. Unfortunately, in my line of work, the treadmill often provides my only source of exercise. While you may not live in a war zone like I do, if you are a busy person who likes to run, the treadmill is usually unavoidable. They might be boring but they do offer a convenient way to get a run done in a controlled environment. In order to help ease the pain, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your treadmill workouts.
Here we go again… I had just fallen headfirst down one of the trails descending from Col de Brevent to Chamonix in epic fashion (as I tend to do). Rather than jump up right away and dust myself off, I just laid there for a few seconds to let the pain sink in. I let a little chuckle mixed with […]
“Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action” – John Muir 9a The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail 26th June 2015 11 p.m. Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL) Dolomites – Italy […]
On September 19, 2015, the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service (BURCS) is hosting the Free to Run Trail Races in Pittsfield, MA, consisting of a 50 miler, a marathon and a half marathon… and all in support of Free to Run! What is even more exciting is that some budding Afghan athletes who are currently living in the US have decided to sign up […]
I can think of a few defining moments in my life: landing in Africa for the first time, finishing my first 100 miler, standing up to a sexist boss, witnessing my first attack in Afghanistan and seeing the curvature of the earth from the top of Kilimanjaro. Building up the courage to break someone’s heart and learning how to piece […]
Meet Baryalai, otherwise known as ‘Ba Ba Man’: Afghan ultrarunner, skyrunning pioneer, and massive Kilian Jornet fan. Baryalai is only one year older than me, but he has lived lifetimes more. From difficult beginnings growing up in a madrasa in Pakistan to his current efforts to start a skyrunning movement in Kabul, his life is nothing short of fascinating.
As an ultrarunner, I rely on frequent massages to help keep the muscles loose and to prevent injury. In my line of work, this means that I have had massages all over the world in many different cultures and contexts. I’ve had some of the best massages of my life on a beach in Borneo, in the ‘Valley of Longevity’ in […]