Monday, 7 November 2016

Je suis Polar Bear!

The Polar Bear Challenge

On Saturday 29th October I ran a marathon.
On Sunday 30th October  ran a half-marathon.

Not astounding news – until you look at this: 

Yes! This is part of the route and the marathons were in Greenland at Kangerlussuaq above the arctic circle.

So what was it like? Well it was cold! Probably the coldest I’ve ever been before the start of the marathon. The sun wasn’t above the horizon, it’s pretty darned cold on the ice cap in any case, and there was a howling wind to add “wind-chill factor” into the equation. 3 minutes to the start felt like an eternity, feet frozen, hands worse with shooting needle pains, nose-end like ice.

Fact I didn’t know – Greenland is an arctic desert with virtually no rain. It is very dry so we were advised to drink lots of water and not to wash our faces before the race – so the natural skin oils remain and give protection.

The race starts with a climb straight onto the icecap – an alien world of hills and bumps of ice swept with snow, twisting and turning a navigable route marked by poles, sinking at times knee deep in snow, ice-studs gripping and clawing at sheer ice at others. And the orange glow of the rising sun lighting the grey blue glacier hues.

I was aware I was burning huge amounts of energy trying to charge through these hills and troughs of snow and ice – so I slowed down, trying to preserve energy for when I could run and make good time. Stopping to film, fumbling hands trying to work my camera, glasses misting, freezing quickly, must keep moving.

After what seems like an eternity to cover the ice cap 7k or so, we emerge onto snow and ice-hardened trail for the remaining 35k. Significantly undulating and underfoot conditions variable – who puts those longest hardest climbs at 20k - just before half way and the end of the half marathon; and 40k through to 41k in the marathon?

I’d taken the decision to start cold – knowing that running would warm me up. Good kit choices – no need to shed or change kit like many did. Good job really as I hadn’t left any kit at any drops for changes. I was committed. I started to run freely from around 10k and was surprised to be told I was in the top 30 as I went past a drinks station – warm elderflower and warm energy drink! Perfect – I hadn’t packed any of my own and only a couple of energy gels. Most run too burdened.

My lack of training started to tell after 30k – but I was still going and passing a few who weren’t. With nobody passing me I was inspired to run through a severe attack of cramp in my right leg. And at 40k, even with a long climb ahead, 5 hours was just about a possibility. I crest the climb at 41k and start to descend, pushing so hard, end in sight, cheering beginning, “Christopher Heaton – very close to 5 hours” I hear on the tannoy – one huge last desperate effort – “Christopher Heaton – 4 hours 59 minutes and 30 seconds”!

An astonishing result placing me 25th out of 147 marathon starters. I always tell myself I excel relatively in tough conditions – perhaps I still can even at my advanced age!!

Much the same story for the half marathon – warmer on the icecap, but more snow made the road sections more difficult. And so I became 19th Polar Bear out of an eventual 80 completers of both full and half marathons.

Then the holiday begins – moving further north to Illulisat, the home of the world heritage site Icefjord. The only place where a glacier drops icebergs straight into the sea. I could rattle on but this picture really does say everything. One word often over-used but not here – WOW! 

(check out my short videos - link on the right!)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Greenland Here I Come!!

I’m setting off tomorrow and on Saturday I will be doing this!

Running a marathon on Saturday and a half-marathon on Sunday. Running might be optimistic – I’m undertrained due to a couple of setbacks. But I did grind out 21 miles on Saturday followed by 7 on Sunday.

Of course this is not about time at all. And the cut-offs appear generous with 7 hours for the marathon and 4 for the half. So I am on a sight-seeing tour with some running!

My kit is ready. I’ve screwed my ice-studs into my running shoes, packed my glacier glasses, dug out my balaclava, and have my wonderful new down jacket for my non-running trip up to Ilulissat and the icefjord.

In some ways I’m testing this lot out for Mongolia in January which will be far more extreme temperature wise (-40 in Mongolia compared with about -15 in Greenland)

Best of all I have tested my new video action camera and providing it doesn’t freeze I should get some great clips. And some amazing photos too I hope. I will be posting these up for all to see but probably when I get back as internet is poor to non-existent and along with phoning it is also extravagantly expensive.

I’m setting up live tracking so those of you who have followed me before and anyone else can follow me either live or after I’ve done it on Google maps by clicking on the link below. I’m not sure what time the races are but I suspect about 10.00am Greenland time – which is 3 hours behind. So by mid-afternoon I think there will be something to track/see!  If there is no data – I’ve either not started or my tracker has been eaten by a polar bear.

I look forward to catching up when I return!!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Wheels are Coming Off - Next Stop Greenland

On 26th October I start my trip to Greenland where I will run the Polar Circle Marathon and on the following day the Half Marathon. It will be absolutely stunning. Here is a picture from last year’s race.

I’m also extending my trip to take in the Icefjord at Ilulissat. I’m hoping to take live video during the race as well as still photographs so I will be able to post some amazing things for you to look at.

Preparations had been going really well until late August when unusually for me illness intervened. To the extent that I thought I would not be running in Greenland. And so I became reckless! And on what I thought might be my last long run for a while I pushed hard and strained a ligament in my left knee. I knew I’d done it because I got a sudden acute sharp pain. Never good news.

But I deliberately pushed on even harder. Which clearly didn’t help – and because that was hurting I put more pressure on my right leg and tweaked my hamstring!! Anyhow it didn’t matter because I wasn’t going to be running Greenland. Only to find out on the following Tuesday that there was no reason why I shouldn’t!!

So I’ve been fighting ever since – period of enforced rest. No running apart from test runs to see whether it was recovering. And then finally last weekend I got a short run without pain – still a bit wobbly and prone to lateral movement hurt, but no acute pain. So 3 weeks to get fit for a marathon followed by a half!

Rapid build-up, but also controlled is required. So this weekend has seen a 14.5 miler at decent speed yesterday followed by a hilly 8 today. Knee and hamstring right on the edge but under control. All my challenges have left me very good at feeling exactly how far I can push without going over the edge.

And hoping for around 17 to 18 next weekend. And that will be fine if I can build a little bit on that before I go. Because the cut off is 7 hours and I will be filming and sightseeing in any case. It’s about the place and the experience, not the run.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – I’ll definitely have to leave mine behind over the next few weeks!!    

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hitting The Wall

After a few quiet months and a bit of a health concern (I felt great but my digestive system didn’t –  all tested and sorted with no problems) I’m back again!

I’m going to Greenland at the end of October to run the Polar Circle Marathon followed by the half marathon as well. No point in going all that way and not doing both!

Since my last marathon in May – my retirement ordinary road marathon – I’ve kept a high level of general fitness. Gym work has been brilliant, some good cycling and excellent if short running. Our holiday to Kefalonia saw me taking on some remote mountain circuits in the heat of the day – a real test of endurance even though maximum run time was around 2 hours.

Funnily enough training in extreme heat is good preparation for running in extreme cold. You get the same problem of heart rate going through the roof and having to control it to a manageable level. Obviously in the heat your heart is working like blazes to try to keep you cool, whereas in the cold it’s working overtime to keep your core temperature up. The effect is similar – heart working very hard, brain not working as well as usual, so good decision making under duress is really tested.

But marathon distance is what I don’t have. And not much time left so I’m shocking myself into action. A couple of longish runs round home – tough hilly 18plus milers. And then on Friday I’m taking the train to Carlisle armed with my rucksack, some food and drink, a bivvy bag for a sleep stop, head torch, map, compass. I shall then run, jog, walk, rest until I get to Newcastle – along Hadrian’s Wall. About 72 miles.

Time on my feet – get them used to it again! And also beginning to get my kit assembled which is very exciting. Ice studs in shoes, new action cam to buy so that I can video Greenland and Mongolia, serious down jacket for Mongolia along with down mittens. Greenland should be okay – even above the arctic circle, but at -40 in Mongolia the cold is a bit serious. Great excuse for some beautiful kit though.

I’m also testing my tracker again on Hadrian’s. So you will be able to check my progress live on google maps, although not very exciting running from Carlisle to Newcastle I know. But I hope it will be more exciting to track me in Greenland and Mongolia. A little tip – If I stop in Greenland or Mongolia for at least half an hour – I’ve been eaten by a bear or wolves. And if I then appear to start moving very quickly – well that confirms it as they will have eaten my tracker!

Such excitement will probably be absent on Hadrian’s Wall – although if I arrive in Newcastle on Saturday evening who knows what may happen?!

I will arrive in Carlisle late morning Friday 26th August and eat before I start as I may well not eat again for a while. When I have started, tracking will commence and you can see me on a detailed map by clicking the following link:

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Joss Naylor - 80th Birthday Run

Joss Naylor MBE
Yesterday was quite a day! The all time greatest fell runner was celebrating his 80th by running over 30 miles from Caldbeck in the northern Lake District back to his home in Wasdale. The route charting his family history.

Not only that but Joss was raising money for Brathay Trust. He has raised money for disadvantaged kids and for Brathay for many years.

My plan was to drive up to Wasdale, park up there, and run out to hopefully find Joss and his group. As I had never been in those hills this was somewhat more daunting than it sounds! So armed with map and compass I duly set off. After a few hesitations and doubting my navigational skills I found my way to Honister. A relief and a triumph!

I arrived a bit early for Joss’s arrival so I set off to Dale Head. But didn’t see him so I returned to Honister and found he’d arrived there. As I discovered on the way back to Wasdale Joss knows these hills so well that he takes routes you would never choose yourself – largely because they don’t exist on any map!!

There were loads of people surrounding him at Honister as he sat there taking a drink and a bit of Mary’s food. I had a long chat with him as everyone else seemed to be just looking at him! And then Mary insisted on me being in a photograph with her!

And then we were off. Joss was using 2 poles – but not your fancy poles. Two sticks he’d honed himself from branches he’d found round home! His left leg is fine, but due to serious back injuries and surgery early in his life his right leg does not work properly any more. But boy does he move – just sets a cracking pace and never varies, never slows, never hesitates whatever the terrain. His descent down into Wasdale was awesome.

What a man, what a day, what a privilege.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Take Me Home, Country Roads

I ran the 10th Anniversary Windermere marathon on Sunday 22nd May. Unfortunately, I had a poor day with a 4:36. Looking back I’d been busy all week supporting the 10in10 runners and the amazing Paul Dewar ( ), I hadn’t eaten properly and my stomach and everything complained almost from the start.

A bit of a sad way to bow out on a course that has so many wonderful memories for me. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone back!

And all the more frustrating because I’m in fantastic form. Stronger than for several years, yet at my lightest weight for 40 years; faster than ever thanks to my flipper foot being stronger. Although still not durable over 26.2 road miles.

Which is why I’m announcing my retirement from road marathons. Sad – but I’ve had a good run in every sense.

And this year has been the best of swansongs with a magnificent outing in Rome with one of my best running friends – the lovely and gorgeous Jim Meta.

The funniest and greatest day out in London with another best running friend – the almost as lovely and gorgeous Ellan Iaquaniello!

And of course the finale on Windermere which I have run over 30 times. Here are two of my best ever memories – in my life not just in running.

Day 10, 10in10 2010

Day 30, 30in30 2013

 Thank you Brathay Windermere Marathon!!

And so onwards and upwards – maps out, serious off road adventures coming up. And of course those include

·       In October – The Polar Circle Marathon -  a marathon and a half marathon across the tundra and ice cap in Greenland

·       In January – The Genghis Khan Ice Marathon – in Outer Mongolia, temperature -40c, threat from wolves

Thank you to everyone who has been my friend on the marathon road running circuit. Still hope to see you all around from time to time. It’s been a wonderful 21 years.    

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

London in a Suit!

Well that caused quite a stir!

Right from the off City Chris, Man-in-Suit, You’re late for work, Looking very dapper – I’ve never been so cheered on from start to finish. It seemed to attract more attention than others in fancy dress.

And as promised I wore it all the whole way round – never once did I lift my hat, nor slacken my tie. Indeed I found myself just checking my tie was straight after 18 miles!

Loads of photos too – from professionals to people wanting selfies with me. Like this one from the Daily Mail – oh yes celebrity status for a few minutes!!

So what was it like? Well to start with the bowler was a bit tight, gave me a headache and I felt a bit nauseous for quite a few miles. I began to get hot around 8 miles – but the cooler weather really helped and I never got too hot. After half way it all felt fairly comfortable and even normal!!

Chafing was under control thanks to liberal amounts of pre-applied Vaseline, but my skin has flared up a bit since.

And the run –I know this is controversial as lots of people love London – well I’ve always said it’s a great day out, but not a great run. And this last (my 3rd) run round 21 years after my first reminded me of why I don’t like the actual run too much.

The macro organisation is great, the micro not so good. Red start 4 – 4.30 runners found themselves behind blue start 5.15 pacers up to mile 3! And astonishingly behind green start 5.00 pacers until after mile 11. Water was plentiful in the first half – and virtually non-existent in the second half when you wanted it. Only 2 sport drink stops. Contrast Rome with stops as regular as clockwork every 5k, all with choice of water, sport drink, food. Etc

And then there’s the bumping & boring, pushing & shoving – I got elbowed several times, including one which took my watch out!

I notice many of my running friends who love London are faster – and of course you get a much cleaner run.

But it is a unique and great day out – it was fantastic to be cheered by so many. It was brilliant to hit the embankment around 24 miles still feeling good and relaxed in my suit. And I believe I was on TV at the end – although looking at my watch. And it wasn’t about the time – I was trying to stop it, not realising it had suffered an end game elbowing!

About 20 Miles
One of the amazing things about the day was that with so many people cheering you, you could still pick out voices you recognised. Thank you Helena Heaton, Paul Iseard, Scott Umpleby, Lucy Gregory – Lucy so sorry to have missed you – I didn’t get your tweet until I got back home yesterday!

Sitting having a coffee afterwards with Ellan (also running for Brathay – here we are at the start) at 4.00pm I realised I hadn’t sat down since I arrived at Greenwich start at 7.20am. It’s one tiring day the London Marathon.

But a great day – lots of money raised. And so many thanks to all of you for sponsoring me.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Veni Vidi Vici – Maratona di Roma 2016

Stay in my hotel room until 8.00am – a marathon morning luxury. Also means avoiding portaloos. Meet Jim in the foyer then out into the glorious sunshine to cover the 100 metres to the Colosseum.

There’s only one way to the start – left round the Colosseum then through Constantine’s arch with all the other runners. You imagine being part of an Emperor’s triumph with all the crowds cheering you down to the forum and centre of Rome.

Busy as usual in the starting area – but plenty of room because they’ve shut off the whole of the centre of Rome and we’re on the huge main boulevard flanked by the Forum and Trajan’s markets. People jogging and jigging up and down – burning nervous energy, but nevertheless burning energy they’ll wish they still had in 30 kilometres’ time. Jim & I, old hands (and just old) stand there like the veteran legionaries we are – awaiting the call to charge.

Cinque – Quattro – Tre – Due – Uno – and we’re off! Up to speed quickly, feeling okay, moving freely. Careful to keep looking at the road – all black cobbles, quite hard, some uneven bits and gaps. Soon the balloons of the 4:30 pacers come into view and I’m past them. They seem slow – which means I’m going well. Not feeling at my best, coughing and wheezing a bit, and with no training for 2 weeks I’d have been happy with 4:30 so it looks like I’m going to beat that.

Run through the 5k water station – at last the “ks” are beginning to click. The marathon runners’ internal conflict rages – this seems to be taking forever so run too fast early doors. Versus patience and discipline. Soon the 4:15 pacer balloons come into view – 4:15 would be a great result, should I stay with them? But I’m running faster than that … although I know my training will only take me to about 30k. Okay – decision made. Keep going at current pace – get enough in hand hopefully so they don’t catch me again before the end. Dangerous – planning for the wheels to fall off!

10k – nicely under the hour. Bit too fast. Stop to drink – it’s getting hot. So go for “Salti” – salts, or sport drink as we know it. Gel on board as well. Start going again – keep running in shade where I can. Must be hot if I’m seeking out shade at this stage.

Around 18k crowds are even louder – and then round the corner in glorious sunlight is the Basilica di San Pietro and we seem funnelled in by cheering crowds and the colonnades of the Vatican. So sensational I actually exclaim out loud – “Wow”. Not eloquent but a “wow” more than I’ve ever uttered in a marathon.

The next serious feed is at 20k – slow down, walk, make sure to drink and eat properly in this weather. Loose a bit of time but still through 21k (half way) in 2:01. Too fast, too fast!

Head down time for the next 10k – literally head down, looking at the cobbles and tarmac as they flow under my feet. And looking at my shadow to gauge cadence and evenness of stride. Having to work harder now, legs not as fluid as they were, bits of ache creeping in. Change gait for periods to take shorter steps, just relieve the pressure on my legs and hips for a bit. Speed still good.

Quite a climb at around 30k – but that suits me and I go past the first significant number of walkers. I knew I’d never see the 4:00 pacers – but as I lift my head for the 30k feeding station they go past me! I must have eased past them, head down and not noticed. Proof I was going far too fast – and that I’m now slowing. Drink, gel, banana – and a real effort to keep going now. 35k and I’ve had it. I’d love to walk but fight fight fight that urge and somehow drag my feet through. Painful, slow, stiff, close to cramping.

Have seen the first few casualties as we sweep past the Pantheon and through the main city streets. Collapsed and attended by medics – they won’t make it. But wow what a race – the only city run I’ve ever done where they shut the heart and centre and run you through all its magnificence.

Opening up into the huge start finish straight – there’s someone down against the barrier by the very white and very colossal Altare della Patria. 150 meters to go and he’s semi-conscious, ambulance attending. 42k 195m – those last metres so cruel and he didn’t make it. Last push for me – over the line. 4:10. Very happy with that. My reputation for consistency intact – I did 4:10 last time out in Amsterdam!

Collect medal, walk towards Colosseum. So hot no need for the thermal blanket or warm clothes. Glorious. Simply glorious. Legs tired over last 7k as expected, but otherwise intact. Feel fine and recovered after 10 minutes or so. Wait for Jim and Kaz, then beers, wine, pizzas, evening stroll, much merriment – and this wonderful, beautiful, eternal city ….. It was only meant to be a training run pre-London. It’s turned out to be the most spectacular city marathon I’ve ever ever done. I may run faster, I may run with loads of fun and friends on the way – but a city road route will never beat this. 

Grazie Roma!    

Friday, 1 April 2016

Chip Fat & Chafing

Following on from Heaton’s Magic Wooden Spoon I have been persuaded to reveal another of my pioneering solutions to a perennial problem experienced by the long distance runner. The dreaded chafing.

Here is the transcript of an interview I did with the Sports Chafing - Reduction & Avoidance Project

SCRAP   So Chris I believe you are running the London Marathon in a work suit?

CH         Yes that’s correct!
SCRAP   Won’t chafing be a serious concern?

CH         It certainly will. My skin will be like tenderised raw steak – in all the wrong places - unless I control it.

SCRAP   Raw sausage meat comes to my mind … you must have a plan

CH         Oh yes – I’m going to use chip fat

SCRAP   Chip fat??

CH         Yes – chip fat! I’ve tried all the usual things – Vaseline, body glide, lanolin, creams, you name it! Even bottom butter. But I’ve found chip fat is the absolute best for preventing chafing

SCRAP   We’ll come on to why it’s so good in a moment if that’s okay. But first I’m really intrigued – why did you even think to try chip fat?

CH         Well I’d been cooking my usual high carb tea of chip butties.
And I accidentally got some chip fat on my hands. So to wipe it off I rubbed my hands on my trouser legs. Only to find I didn’t have any trousers on and I’d accidentally smeared it on my thighs.

By then I was late for my run so I went as was and my upper thighs moved like smoothly oiled pistons. Not a hint of a chafe – absolutely chafe-less, chafe-free

SCRAP   And it felt good?

CH         Absolutely. Frankly it felt great and it was just one of those eureka moments. The eternal runners’ chafing problem solved!

SCRAP   You’ve been using chip fat for a while now -  have you discovered any other benefits?

CH         Well where do I start? First off it’s not petroleum based so much more eco friendly than some other alternatives. And of course it smells gorgeous – just imagine wafting along with the aroma of chips tickling your nostrils. Let your mind wander and you could be eating that fish & chip supper – the miles just fly by in a chip fat induced reverie!

SCRAP   I like the eco friendly theme …

CH         Yes indeed – and of course you must remember that it’s recyclable unlike every other product. Out of the pan onto the thighs (and everywhere else!). Then post run just scrape it off and pop it back into the pan. I’ve found that chip fat matured and recycled in this manner has two benefits. It works better as an anti-chafing agent - and your chips taste better! That’s what we call a win-win!!

SCRAP   Wow that’s amazing! I’d love to come round for tea at your house. Anything else?

CH         Well amazingly it can help you to re-fuel on long runs in hot weather. Take a few raw potato wedges with you. Pop one into position – and hey presto – about 10 minutes later you’ve got a golden cooked potato wedge – perfect for topping up your carbohydrate levels on the go!

SCRAP   That is just sensational Chris. But I have to ask you – are there any downsides?

CH         Not many. But I have to admit that in really cold weather it just becomes a solid lump which makes it very difficult to apply. Although this property of chip fat actually helps in the ice bath!

SCRAP   How’s that Chris?

CH         Well ice baths usually get pretty horrible with the greasy residue from the usual anti-chafing products. But chip fat just solidifies and floats to the surface – from where you can gather it up and recycle it again.

SCRAP   So what would your final message be Chris?

CH         Banish chafing forever and save money at the same time – use chip fat! If you haven’t got any of your own, ask a neighbour or pop down to the local chippie where I usually find they’re only too delighted to spread some chip fat on your tender loins!     

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bowled Over

Here I am in my Bowler Hat! I’ve already put in £1000 not to have to wear it – but I will if someone matches that. Come on now you want to see me out on course in that don’t you!!
Your sponsorship has been unbelievably generous thank you – and who knows I may feel obliged to wear it in any case … if I can raise just a few more pennies!

For everyone who’s asking – no I’m not training in my suit. And I won’t be! I’m still wearing it for work at the moment – I am a Yorkshire man after all. Deep pockets, short arms and all that. I might take the Bowler for a spin nearer the time – I can imagine the story in the local paper now.
“Unidentified flying saucer spotted low over Penistone – the flying saucer, which looked to the untrained eye rather like a bowler hat, was spotted moving at great speed along the ridge at Royd Moor. A mystery being seemed to be running directly underneath it. Was this you or was it an alien life form?” 

And were I to wear it in town I can imagine the abuse I’d receive – it might sound rather like “bowler hat” actually! Reminds me of an old favourite letter to the Times from a Mrs Hat. She’d replied to the company who’d sent her a letter mistakenly addressed to Mrs Watt that her name was in fact Hat. The next letter came addressed to Mrs Hatnotwatt  !!!
Training is going okay – a few decent long runs and I’m warming up with the Rome Marathon 2 weeks before London. I won’t be wearing the suit in Roma. Probably a toga.
Many of you have pointed out the obvious risk of running in a suit – chafing! Yes I will chafe – no it’s not pleasant to think about – not even for me! That’s why I need to raise a few pounds to make it worthwhile. I will be taking industrial quantities of chip fat (or maybe Vaseline) with me … enough said!
And the Bowler will be hot to put it mildly. I’ve considered drilling a hole in the top – but thought that as the steam escaped through it I’d look like a whistling kettle. It’s also been suggested I take a briefcase (not in London, too many people and don’t want to hurt anyone except me) or a copy of the FT. Problem with the latter is that my shirt and suit sleeves will act like drainpipes for all the sweat and steam not able to escape elsewhere. Alas my suit is not made from the ubiquitous “wicking” material.
So I leave you contemplating my fate ……

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Magic Wooden Spoon

Want to know more about my Magic Wooden Spoon? Here is the transcript of an interview I did with the British Athletic Physiotherapy journal.

BAP       So Chris, is it just an ordinary wooden spoon?
CH         Yes in a way – here I am with the product.

BAP       That’s quite a long one – does it have to be a certain length?
CH         Not really – it’s all about how you use it.
BAP       And that’s where the “magic” is?
CH         Yes – absolutely! How you handle it and what it can do for you.
BAP       So how do you use it?
CH         Very simple really – you hold it at each end and rub it up and down any muscle you’d like to treat. And as you get used to it you can vary your action and introduce a bit of rolling as well. Here I am in action …

BAP       Does it hurt?
CH         Well that’s the beauty of it. You can apply as much or as little pressure as you like. It has to hurt a little bit otherwise you’re just stroking it. I like to be in that zone where it hurts but it’s quite a nice hurt.
BAP       Ah – the old agony and ecstasy?
CH         Yeah – it’s a particular S&M sort of thing – Spoon and Massage that is!

BAP       So why don’t you use a foam roller?
CH         Well in my view the Magic Wooden Spoon has 3 advantages over a foam roller:
1.       It’s more focused – you can home in on a particular part of a particular muscle, you can vary your angle of massage so much more, and apply exactly the right pressure so you don’t have to end your session prematurely
2.       It fits far more easily into your hand baggage
3.       It doesn’t melt when you stir the soup with it
BAP       Okay I’ve got that – but why don’t you just use a stick?
CH         I’m glad you’ve asked that! The piece de resistance is actually the spoon itself! You see it cups the calf muscle absolutely perfectly – here I am cupping my calf ….

CH         So if you have a particularly sore or stiff muscle you just cup it with your Magic Wooden Spoon and rub away until the stiffness goes
BAP       Oh my word …… Sorry I just had a moment there …….. thank you Chris for such an enlightening interview.
CH         My pleasure.


Why pay for expensive physiotherapy when you can simply use a wooden spoon?
If this excellent advice saves you some money I'd be very grateful for a small donation to my London Marathon fundraising!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Hello 2016!

Here's wishing you all a Happy New Year!

What will 2016 bring for me? 2015 was a mixed year with my troublesome right foot - or flipper as it turned out to be - curtailing my running ambitions.

And so it continues - it's a lot better and when it's good it's very good. Just as Physio Adam promised. However, it does still let me down and after a long run I usually have to rest it. So long runs once per week at the moment.

The good news is that has given me more time for Nordic walking, cycling, gym work and perfecting my free-flow fitness concept!

I have 3 events booked in for 2016. The Rome Marathon in April, the Windermere Marathon in May which I'm doing because it is the 10th anniversary celebration .... and London Marathon on 24 April.

I'm running London to raise a few more pounds for Brathay because their work in South Yorkshire (and nationally) with vulnerable young people has been simply sensational in 2015. Now as you know I can run a marathon I'm doing something a bit different to try to encourage you to believe my efforts are worth a small donation. Here I am in the exact kit I'll be wearing for the run:

And the theme is:

Early adopters welcome!!

I may have another adventure later on in the year, but in the meantime I'll be training with my good friend Jim Meta - above all getting him in the shape of his life to attempt his incredible third 10 marathons in 10 days Brathay Challenge.

More anon and every best wish to you all for 2016!