Giant piles of glistening cow shit. They were everywhere, mocking me. Obscene displays of effective bowel functions – something that I hadn’t been able to do for days. I hated those piles of shit and the cows that excreted them. Arrogant f*$kers, I muttered under my breath as I passed a group of them. They just sat there chewing, clearly unimpressed […]
“At some point I’m going to have to pull my finger out here,” John Ellis said with a little laugh as he strode down the dirt path that crossed the ski station. He stretched his arms out away from him like a human plane, weaving back and forth a bit on the trail as he listened to tunes. John should […]
It’s no big surprise that women are hugely under-represented in ultrarunning – I’ve seen estimates ranging from 30% in some of the shorter 50km ultras down to 8% or less for the bigger ultras like the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB). But stats aside, all you have to do is show up to the start line of any ultra and […]
Nothing is ever perfect going into an ultra. No matter how intense or careful the preparation, murphy’s law dictates that something will pop up in the days or weeks leading up to race day. In my case, I usually manage to self-sabotage by overtraining, over-racing or ‘over-life-ing’. As my friend Leah would say, you can’t put ten pounds of shit […]
Animo! Animo! Venga Venga Venga! Crowds of people seemed to line the trail at every turn, sometimes shouting from places I couldn’t even see. I heard ‘animo’ and immediately assumed they were calling us animals, which seemed rather accurate. I figured out that probably wasn’t what they meant, but every time I heard it I still nodded. Yup, we are […]
It says something about a race if you can’t wait to do it again despite vomiting your whole way around the course and finishing in the medical tent. That is the Madeira Island Ultra Trail (MIUT) for me. But before we get to the vomiting, let me lay out the basics. MIUT is a 115km race with a whopping 7100m of […]
The most common advice given to newcomers is to take it easy in the first half in order to save the legs for the quad-busting hills in the second half. This is definitely a smart move and probably the best thing you can do to ensure a good result… I did the opposite. I simply didn’t want to hold back at any point in the race. Ever. I just wanted to burst out of the gates charging forward as fast as I could. I wanted to gasp for air and feel the bottom of my lungs again. I wanted to make my muscles twitch10633824_783090468451839_5966572427575033230_o on climbs in happy misery and stumble down rocks on fatigued legs. I wanted to feel my eyes sting from salty sweat pouring down my face. I wanted to run with reckless abandon, regardless of the consequences.