Bloody brilliant idea


I was wittering about race prep this morning, as you do.


No, really.  You do.

Anyway.  This year, I am mostly running with my very excellent friend Rebecca.  She’s very lovely and very zen and we always have the most excellent, giggling time.  We did Manchester marathon together in the spring (I know; I’m rubbish at updating this blog!) and loved it.56393180_10156258817610036_2829726524226142208_o

We are very different runners.  She’s a hare.  I’m very much a tortoise.  But we have very similar outlooks to our running, in general.  We follow more or less the same programme (she is more dedicated than me).  We both like to train alone.  We both are quite comfortable running alone.  But it’s nice to have sympatico company in the befores and afters, right?  A like-thinking mind to bounce thoughts off during training.  A balancing point of view to keep you grounded the night before.  A similar, giddy-high mix of introspection and celebration afterwards.  And that’s very much how it works.

Tomorrow, we embark on Race To The Tower together.  This is the final race of a trio; I’ve run the other two in previous years – Race To The Stones is the one where I broke lovely Kirsty in 2017; Race to the King I did with Matt, last year.  This year, RTTT completes the set (and I am rewarded for that by a hoodie.  It’s all about the hoodie!).  The race covers 52.4 miles (yes) of the Cotswold Way, starting in Stroud and ending at Broadway Tower.

Today in the Cotswold part of the world, we are being blessed with a visit from Storm Miguel.  Who seems to be dumping the sad tears of his people upon us, with remarkable generosity.  Which means that the route will be a little…. damp.  And muddy. (check out that elevation profile.  Mud is going to hurt us!)

RTTT Anyway.  I’m wandering off the point.

This morning, I was wittering about race prep and mentioned that I think one of the reasons Rebecca and I work so well together is that I am bordering on the OCD and have lists and plans for everything event-related.  And she loves my packing lists, because they’re kind of specific.  And my lovely colleague said, “you should write a blog about your packing list, like you did for Vietnam”.  And I thought, ooooh.  Yes.  If I do that, perhaps I won’t have to spend fucking weeks remembering where I put it, next year….

So the thing you need to know about this race is that you can choose to do it non-stop, or you can elect to finish one marathon, camp overnight, and run another in the morning.  Which is what we’re going to do.  Threshold (the event organisers) provide tents, and you provide everything else.

So here’s my Threshold Trail Ultra series kit list.  In case anyone else is wondering what to pack.

Overnight Bag:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow
  • Trail Shoes
  • Road Shoes
  • Socks x 4 pairs (I favour injinji toe socks for body management purposes)
  • Running Bra (Shock Absorber for the win!)
  • Pants (Sweaty Betty seamless jobbies, but others swear by Runderwear)
  • Running Dress (a ruu muu, available from Tunix)
  • Running shorts (I mean, whatever.  Choose your own)
  • Flip Flops
  • Pyjamas (warm.  All the warm.)
  • Washkit, including wet wipes
  • Towel
  • Ear plugs
  • Body Glide/vaseline/bepanthen (anti chaffing, people.  Struggle is real!)
  • Insect repellant – this one is weather dependent.  Miguel means probably not, this weekend
  • KT Tape – patch ’em up and ship ’em out
  • Sun cream (but.  See insect repellant)
  • First aid kit
  • Paracetamol (NOT nurofen, please, running people)
  • T-shirt
  • Dry Robe

While Running (either on body or in hydration vest)

  • Watch + charging cable
  • Power pack
  • Phone + charging cable
  • Z Poles (Black Diamond.  I’ve never used them before, but there are some bastard big hills getting very wet out there as I type this)
  • Waterproof jacket (I probably won’t take this.  Skin is waterproof, and waterproofs are too warm)
  • Ziplock bags x 4 (Rebecca says “that’s a really specific number” yeah. It’s a magical weather proofing number, when three isn’t enough but five would just be too many, and knock the world off its axis)
  • Buff
  • Hydration vest and soft water flasks (they look like weird nipples when they’re full… very odd)
  • Sunglasses (yeah.  Not bothering with those, after all.  See Miguel)
  • Lip salve
  • Antihistamine
  • Compeed
  • Collapsible cup
  • Body torch