ian bowles 2

Latest posts by ian bowles 2

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Head Torches

Posted: 17/11/2014 at 21:41

I got a H 7.2 for exactly that  reason . So far the batteries appear to go flat faster. I can,t quite bring myself to waste 7 batteries to do an exact comparison of the run times. 

 I really hate the controls on the H7.2 and it also has a low batterie warning which makes it strobe while you run. Only 1 hr max power left you would think , but no it,s still running 3 hrs later and only strobes again if you try to negotiate technical part of the trail and want a good steady light.

It could have been a really good head  torch. All they had to do was add that extra batterie and perhaps add a little red LED on the batterie pack to protect you from being run down from behind. But no they decided to bling it up to appeal to people who like complex things.


Head Torches

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 23:18

Alpkit gamma can have reliability problems. I know of several that have gone wrong.

LED Lensor H7 does all you need for night ultras and you can buy two for the price of a Petzl which is a good thing as you should carry two for winter events. 180 + lumens   for about £28  each . They  got me to the Spine finish line twice.

Don,t get the new improver H 7.2 as it is over complex and £ 10 more expensive to justify the gadgets added by the  nerd teck head who designed the "multy function switch . Any torch that requires you to spend an hour reading the manual is not worth having. When your brain fails you in the middle of the night you don,t want to have to re-read the manual!

The Spine

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 17:58

Post Spine short recovery run?


One way or another I should be there even if as race support driver.

The Spine

Posted: 13/11/2014 at 21:35

Don,t get over hung up on kit. No matter what you read on "essential Spine Kit " its only as good as your ability to use it.

 Re the boots V trainers+waterproof sox thing.  It comes down to comfort and grip. 

 My Salomon Sky boots kept my feet dry this year but for some reason the left boot bruised my foot so I abandoned them after day one. 

 Think of kit choice in the same way as you think of layering. Don,t put all your eggs in one basket. In many ways one of the main kit problems is the limit of 20Kg for your drop bag. You will need different kit combinations for each phase of the race.

The Spine

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 11:13

Good Plan!

The Spine

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 21:59

 I use Speedcross for shorter events but as I am heavy footed I find they don,t have enough Cushioning for the Spine. Hence my use of XT Wings. The soles of your feet are going to take a real pounding. Any feel the ground fell type shoe will probably be to thin. 

 Using two pairs of insoles and two pairs of sox helps. 

Whatever you choose they must be a shoe that never gives you blisters. This should be your highest priority. The grip on the sole is also a consideration . If you use Solomons then go for ones with" Contragrip" soles. I found this type great on wet slabs , ice , mud and stones.

Avoid any shoes designed by race winners which are even  lighter than last years model. You want a Ford Focus on your feet not a Ferrari!


The Spine

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 11:30

Part 9 of The Spine Race Guide.


Re leg cover . Go for several layers rather than a garment that claims to do everything. The same applies to sleeping systems.

And yes you should consider poles as  must have kit.

lakeland 100/50 2014

Posted: 22/07/2014 at 22:14

24 C forecast has just made it harder!

lakeland 100/50 2014

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 22:04

Not seen any mention of this for a while.

I am in for the L100 (finished it in 2009 and wonder if I can still hack the pace)

Training so far pathetic as usual. I really should do a 20 miler soon . 

Who else out there is in it?

The Spine

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 20:46

Two potential problems with Hokas: They are wide and can twist your feet on frozen churned up mud. Secondly how well do they grip on ice?

 Somehow I doubt we will get the same conditions as in 2014 where soft bog was good for Hokas. 

 Anyone just reading the 2014 blogs will have got only one version of the race. Compared with 2013 ,2014 was tropical ! It never got cold or really windy

. To some extent you need to save your final Kit choices until the last moment. I suspect that some of the 2014 Challanger finishers could be in for a shock if we get snow and ice like the first two years.

 If you do go for Hokas then put a pair of conventional shoes in your drop bag.


1 to 10 of 267

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