Latest posts by GeeeM

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Pony Express v Druids Challenge Comparisons

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 08:37

I didn't have any problems with signs last year, though I had the GPS log on my watch to keep me honest.I have heard that there's been issues with signs in previous years, so it's probably worth keeping your wits about you!

We went to "The Alice Lisle" in the evening which is short walk from the overnight stop - it's a nice pub and does decent food if you're still hungry after the XNRG dinner, and serves a good pint or two if that's your thing


Pony Express v Druids Challenge Comparisons

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 20:29

I've done the Ridgeway, (not with XNRG) and did the Pony Express event last year...

In my experience, the Pony is easier underfoot, flatter and with more Tarmac than the Ridgeway. I'd think it'll be bone dry after the recent weather. it's a different sort of landscape around the New Forest rather than higher up - not better, or worse, just different... 

Personally, I prefer the Ridgeway but it's a good weekend and XNRG are always good hosts. There's a decent pub near the overnight stop too which is worth a visit


Any Ultra Runners in Pembrokeshire or South Wales

Posted: 16/04/2015 at 08:39

Seren - a better run is to get the train to Pyle or Port Talbot and then run back to Barry. There's drop-out points at Llantwit and Rhoose if you want to knock-off a few miles. Pyle to Barry is about 35 miles including a couple of miles to get to the WCP from the train station

It's a much more inspiring run, the prevailing westerly wind is normally in your favour, water points at Portcawl, Methyr Mawr, Ogmore, Llantwit and the caravan parks.

Best GPS watch for ultras

Posted: 13/04/2015 at 12:24

Sorry Steve, I don't have a 310XT any more... I have the Fenix now, but often wish I still had the 310XT as it was a solid bit of kit.

I like the look of the Fenix 3, and also the Epix but really can't justify it, especially having just bought a Garmin GPSMAP 64 handheld for navigation, (very nice - but that's a different topic)

To be fair, my Fenix has been a lot better recently - but it only lets me down when I really need it, which is normally towards the end of a big day out when I've lost the trail and am braindead, tired and confused.

Best GPS watch for ultras

Posted: 13/04/2015 at 11:04

The 310XT is the best Garmin I've had - 17 hours on a single charge - I don't get that with my Fenix. Plus the 310XT never crashed or locked up on me unlike the Fenix which is notoriously buggy and unreliable.

Didn't know about the mode trick for moving away from the charging display. But it charges quickly enough using a powermonkey or other USB charger that you don't miss it for long.



fat fingers

Posted: 13/04/2015 at 09:30

I was at the Vale Ultra acting as sweeper and caught the sun too! The wind definitely made a big difference, I was fine when moving but got very cold when stopped and moving slowly. Towards the end, moving at 2-3 mph with the back of the pack I had 3 upper layers on, arm warmers, buff, hat and gloves!

The fingers thing happens to me occasionally too, I don't worry about it as long as I'm feeling OK and have been drinking and eating well.

Water bottles conundrum

Posted: 10/04/2015 at 15:58

Love the soft bottles but you need a pack that's made for them if carrying them up front otherwise they can bounce around as they decompress and get smaller. Not a problem in the UD and Salomon packs as they have big, long pockets specifically designed for them.

Handhelds are OK but take a bit of getting used to. I've done a 100-miler with one which was fine, the Ultimate Direction ones are very comfortable and you can hold them without gripping them. They do affect my arm swing though, which also affects my cadence. Sometimes I'll chuck a slimline one in my pack for longer runs and carry it later on in the day.

A half-way house is to get a convertube system which turns any bottle into a hydration pack! This is a great compromise - basically, it's a tub that screws into a standard bottle, (and has adaptors for various bottle caps) You can then throw the bottle in your backpack/side pocket and use it like a bladder. I've used this really successfully at several ultras.

You can probably get one cheaper than this if you hunt around


wannabe ultra runner?

Posted: 30/03/2015 at 20:17

I'm guessing that's the Mon&Brec T-Rex? A nice route if a bit flat for me - get a BW Key if you haven't already, (search eBay) - gives you access to all the water points and toilet blocks on the waterways...

have fun in the USA, those yanks know how to put on a good ultra - I've really enjoyed racing across the pond. Get used to hearing "Good Jawb" and "Awesome", I find I develop a fake US accent after a few hours

Tenerife 0-4-0 2015/16

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 22:56

This was my GPS track, a beautiful elevation profile

Looks like it only took 14 hours and was a mere 12,000' of ascent... Easy, peasy

And some photos to give you an idea of what it's like!

The top of the initial climb through the forests to about 8,000' - above cloud level


 That's Teide and where you're heading, (about 5 miles and 4,000' to go)


Near the summit - maybe not this bad on race day


 Turning back 400m from the summit



Tenerife 0-4-0 2015/16

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 22:39

I went to Tenerife in December last year and ran this route, it's about 35 miles total and 14,000' up and down! I didn't get right to the top of Teide as the weather was horrendous - it was a whiteout and very dangerous with snow and ice, you shouldn't have that problem for the race.

tenerife is a trail running paradise, the Anaga mountains and Masca gorge are also worth doing. 

As far as the route goes, well - it's 17.5 miles up, then 17.5 miles down! The first 10 miles or-so is through forests, and trails with a bit of road at the start. Then you hit Teide and it gets more barren and volcanic... There's nothing super-steep or technical , it's more of a long, long climb/descent. Your quads will be screaming by the end!

I hiked most of it and it took around 15 hours, but I wasn't pushing the pace and stopping a lot for photos. You go up to 14,000' which if you're not used to altitude will start hurting at around 8,000'

it's fun - though I wouldn't pay to race it, (and I didn't) for around half the price of the 0-4-0 I got a weeks holiday, with car hire, flights, hotel etc... Depends on your motivation for doing an trail like this...

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Barcelona Euro Champs 2010

27th July - 1st August 
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