Lessons from yesterday

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Started out having learned from the 20 miler yesterday. Actually added a new screen on my Garmin watch which just showed distance and time.

I wanted to run by feel and not be influenced by statistics of my pace and heart rate. The run starts out up hill and gains almost 500 meters in elevation, then after 4 miles I turned around and lost the same amount of vert gain by running downhill.

The sun was beating down on me, the temperature about 33 degrees celsius. I totally was able to to stay in a relaxed state of mind flow, due to this I never felt any discomfort or difficulties. Running uphill requires patience and downhill is different you need to keep your breathing relaxed.

If your shoulders are tense running downhill it’s a sign your not relaxed enough, this can actually slow down.

I drank half a litre of water during and drank the water from a fresh coconut straight after, even so I still weighed 1.5 kilos less than when I started.

Overall I really enjoyed this run today and I can thank yesterday as lessons for today’s approach.

Find a flow with running

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I have taken this insert from my Strava feed. I think it’s worth posting here and I’m I hope you enjoy reading it.

Lost my ego, Lost mental pain, Lost any physical pain and Entered a flow. My plan was to run 20 miles at a certain pace. This pace would have been my aerobic/endurance zone. Eventually my heart rate super seeded my aerobic zone and went into tempo.

It was really hard for my ego to let go of holding this pace, I walked for one lap and then concentrated on my heart rate. Even focusing on my heart rate was a challenge so I walked for two laps.

Then after almost quitting I decided to let go of everything and just run and not look at my watch. So first I passed the hold of my ego, then I passed the mental pain, then I passed the physical pain, then I entered into a flow where there was no ego no pain just forward moving.

So pleased I didn’t quit today as this was a lesson, today I learned not to have too many expectations and just go with how you feel.

I actually drank half a litre of water every 30 minutes and also ate a small banana or a piece of pineapple every 15 minutes for the duration of the run. But I still came out 2 kg lighter than when I started which means in total I lost 4.5 kg but replaced 2.5kg so was left in deficit of 2 kg. 

To see actual run on Strava or to follow me on Strava follow the link below, it will take you directly to this particular run on my Strava feed.

 https://www.strava.com/activities/2058760649/shareable_images/photo_based/8815157/1/62610CB2-FAA4-4485-9DBB-1AFE9810173C?hl=en-US&v=1546760107

Welcome to the jungle

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I stayed up till almost 1am this morning so when I woke I felt groggy. But I had an appointment and so got up and dressed. The storm still hasn’t arrived so no need for a rain jacket. 

I drink an Americano at 100 Islands, one of my favourite coffee shops on the island. Jump on my bike with a track by Marshmallow and Anna Marie, since hearing it in Bo’s car the other day I listened to it pretty much on repeat.

It’s time for my appointment, I enter the jungle and but I can’t find the receptionist’s, but then I see them at the top of a tree swinging around the branches having fun. I decide to just enter the jungle without signing in.

The trail starts steep, so I take out my poles and proceed to hike up and up and up. The grade is so steep I slip back now and then. Finally I arrive at the top, I’ve been going about an hour and I swear I sweated out 2 litres already.

I crest the peak of the trail, Folding my poles away I decend the dirt road in front of me, 600 meters of pure downhill and I love it. My quads start the head up like a train going downhill constantly on the brakes, but I still love it.

I take out a bag of fruit from my running vest, hmmm what to choose I’ve got watermelon, guava and dragon fruit, I take a little of each and stash the fruit away till later. The views are insanely beautiful. I’m the side of the island that inspired Alex Garland to write the novel The Beach.

More climbs ahead, the downhill done for now. The rest of the run is a mix of up and down climbs, I stop off at a beach called lost Paradice, it’s got the grand number of 4 people on, 2 girls eating a fruit salad on a table , a chilled out Thai guy and a another guy cutting some grass.

I enter the ocean, the waves a sign of what’s to come from the storm. I dive into large wave that try’s to swallow me and pop up out the back of it, better luck next time wave. 

I buy and eat 3 small Thai bananas and continue with my run. I finally finish after just under 3 hours. Thankful to you Mr Jungle. 

A storm is coming to the island

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The German girl (Magderina) who is the hut next door told me tomorrow a storm is coming. I have done some research and yes she is correct. I read that waves up to five meters tall and seven feet of rain per day will hit us here on Koh Phangan. Unfortunately I’ve just five minutes ago paid the bungalow owner for three weeks to stay here. Magderina tells me she has booked a concrete hotel room up high on a hill for the next three nights. I know I must move too, I read the ocean will surge over coastal land and my bungalow is only 100 meters from the beach.

I decide to go for my evening run up the tallest point on the island “Khao Ra” a 635 meter mountain. Halfway up I turn on my headlamp as its now dark sun has set and Im under the foliage of the jungle. I pass an American couple coming down and the girl asks, “Have you been up before?”,  in a worried tone. “Yes loads” I reply, then she says “Oh my god” in a really really worried strong New York accent. After I have passed them the thought crosses my mind about how unnecessary people’s worrying can be.

I reach the top and pause my watch, I have been up hear about twenty something times and I just ran up in my second ever fastest time. An American named “Brandon Huges” holds the current Strava uphill segment record at 27 minutes 34 seconds, mine is the second fastest recorded time 28 minutes 8 seconds, that makes me just 34 seconds behind his record. Nobody has come close to Brandons record in over two years. I intend on taking this record down before I leave here in three weeks.

And so I moved, I went riding on my moped up a big hill found a nice set of bungalows not too far from where I am and booked a place for three nights. The storm will come but I’m ready. Make sure to keep following my diary’s for the latest in the storm. Goodnight guys.

Back on the running track

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 I arrived on the island of Koh Phagnan by boat late this afternoon.   I had a déjà vu feeling as if I’ve been here before but I have many times. The photo above is taken of the life ring on the boat with the Sun just about two hours from setting. 

 I haven’t run today for a few days so as I begin this evening on the running track it feels oddly unfamiliar. Within 15 minutes I’m warmed up. I discovered this dirt 400 meter running track about three years ago when visiting the island.   I don’t know why but it feels like home. 

 A place where I run and go deep into my mind, I search places I haven’t been before, I feel a great peace here. The mountains in the distance turn from from lush green to silhouettes in the night sky.

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 I feel so lucky in my life. I have family, friends and my health, who could need anything else.  

Eating with health in mind

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Today I have clocked up over 25,000 steps walking around the fabulous city of Bangkok.  Eating with health and the environment in mind makes you feel happier and the word a better place.

Thats what I did today, I ate so clean I’m feeling super charged in mind body and spirit. No animals were harmed due to my food choices today either. I’m not vegetarian but today I didn’t want to eat meat.

Breakfast was brought from a street vender, chopped Papaya and Guava two really tasty and nutritious fruits. Did you know Guava has the most vitamin c amongst all the fruits. 

Lunch is pictured in the photo above, mushroom soup at a vegan restaurant named “Koko”, as soon as I walked in I could feel the good vibes. I don’t often get it wrong when I follow my instincts.

I just finished dinner, brown rice and lots of green vegetables followed by baked banana, watermelon and pineapple. So I’m full of goodness and know my body will feel happy for the choices I made today.

I drank one coffee at a really nice coffee roasters before lunch. I find by seeking out roasters you will have a better quality coffee experience because the roasters are passionate about what they do. The name of this roasters is  “Brave roasters”.

finally it’s New Year’s Eve, I’m never going to forget this day as I’m on a night sleeper train to the south of Thailand, tomorrow I go to the islands. 

Peace out yall.

Running on the Thailand North Face 100k Course

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I decided to ditch my night train for spending some time with Bo and her family in Pak Chong, this is also the place of the Thailand North Face 100k (TNF100). I arrived in Bangkok tired, hungry and seriously jet lagged, I waited for Bo outside her office. Bo and I met this year when I ran the TNF100, Bo is the daughter of P-Ot who’s farm I stayed on both this year and last when I came to race.

We drove up in Bo’s car from Bangkok along with Am her brother a highly intellegent young man who is unassuming and Oat her friend who I took a liking to the instant we picked him up, Oat is funny. The journey took about four hours with a few stop off’s including McDonald’s. Upon arrival I laced up my trainers, Bo and Oat dropped at the trail head to the TNF100. This would be my second run on Thai soil the first being at the Benjakitti park in Bangkok yesterday.

The trail felt so nice, sun overhead with wind gently blowing on my skin, I ran for about 10 miles on what I thought was the TNF100 course (the course has been changed since last year I heard later). I got back to the farm of B0’s family feeling invigorated.

We ate out at a restaurant belonging to friends of Bo’s family. In Thailand when eating, the table is brought several dishes which everyone shares. I really enjoy Thai food the spices are rich and herbs plenty, the taste’s identify with every taste bud in your mouth. After we drove back to the farm, I slept like a baby in my tent to stop the mosquitoes bitting me.

Waking in the morning I felt truly sick, my throat was burning and energy levels where in the below zero range. But I got up anyway (it was still early). I made a Nescafe instant coffee and hit the trail. TNF100 is made up of newly man made trails in through and around farmers fields and small mountains, the ground today was dry and dusty with large rocks and clumps of dirt bombs.

I returned defeated after my run feeling sick and beat up with bloody arms and shins after running through long grass and shrubs on the grown over parts of the course. I do not think they have finished preparing it yet. I felt full of accomplishment, after not wanting to run today I managed one hour and thirty minutes.

Discovering new places

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I wake early, it’s actually 4am. The hotel room is cosy but outside is beckoning me. It’s been a full two day’s since I’ve been for a run.

Using my Google map’s my phone helps me navigate the dark, humid streets of Bangkok. I’m heading to a park named  “Benjakitti”. The park is a little over one mile around a rectangle lake and is specifically for walkers, runners and cyclists.

Only just started running and already I’m getting  irritated by the feel of the water bottle resting on my chest in my running vest, it’s really humid and I feel so sluggish. I guess sitting and travelling for two days is to blame. After 4 miles I become tired but continue on. I’ve now run 6 miles and my body is using fat a fuel, I’ve not eaten much the past two days and feel pretty low on energy. I search my phone for a Seven Eleven but the nearest one is half a mile away, I decide to carry on until I reach ten miles.

Having finished my run I’m now sitting on a blue plastic stool waiting for pork noodle soup at a street food vender. There are no other foreigners just Thais eating their breakfasts, I like to find places like this one. 

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The noodle soup fills me with goodness and I return back to my hotel for a morning nap. 

Travelling to Thailand

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I wake early, it’s  4:30am and my iPhone alarm is sounding. I remember why I had set the alarm last night and jump out from bed, today I travel to Thailand. I stayed at my mums house last night and have a few choices on how to get from here to the tube which will take me too The airport. I opt for using my own feet and walk the two miles to the tube. Today I will be sitting down more than I would like on airplanes, so walking is the best option. As I walk my fifteen kilo pack feels actually not so heavy and so I brisk walk through the dark cold streets. I didn’t bring a jacket and I’m cold as it’s only two degrees but in Thailand the temperature will be too hot for a jacket, so I’m prepared to suffer the cold for this short walk.

I read my book “A walk in the wood’s” by Bill Bryson. In the book Bill recalls his walk on the Appalachian trail with his friend Stephen Katz. I have recently finished “North” by Scott and Jenny Jurek and also the very well written “Called again” by Jennifer Pharr davis, all these books are about hiking/running the Appalachian trail. We arrive at the airport without me really noticing the time pass by, “A walk in the woods” has me engrossed. The flight attended asks if I’m okay as I walk around looking for an empty row of three seats on the plane. I waited till I was the last person to board the plane in hope of finding a free row of seats to lay down and sleep on. I was way too excited to sleep last night.

I tell the lovely flight assistant about my search and and she leads me to a free row of seats I had not seen, but warns me that I must vacate if the missing 5 passengers show up. Just as I’m chatting with my mum on the phone telling her how lucky I am the late family show up and I move for them. Back to my seat I go where I’m snugly sat between a passenger to my left and right. Ten minutes pass by I have accepted my fate when the same lovely flight assistant appears and leads me along the aisle to a seat with a free seat in-between me and the an Indian man with a moustache sitting next to the window. Very pleased with this progress I thank the lady and proceed to call my mum to tell her the new great news.

After a pleasant flight and more stories from Bill’s book I’m now in Bahrain waiting for my connecting flight to Bangkok.

Rodopi Ultra Trail, 100 Miles | + 8000m | Greece

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ROUT is a 100 mile ultra marathon that travels through the Rodopi Mountains National Park in Northern Greece. The mountains are wild and the forests virgin. Bears claim home in the mountains amongst other animals. last year, I crossed the ROUT finish line with my friend Jakub Hajek in 29 hours and 15 minutes, it was a wonderful experience and a testament of true friendship, so I have returned this year.

Only problem is I’ve been doing zero activity whatsoever in the last few weeks since the UTMB. The result of this laziness caused my muscles to stiffen leaving me sore and tight. Then after a series of stretches in my fathers kitchen I was unable to walk. Spending 3 days either in a wheelchair or on crutches, my future completion of ROUT seemed impossible. 

It’s a little before 6am, the air is cool and the sun is yet to rise. I’m standing at the start of the ROUT. I’m risking a DNF (Did not finish) but I’m prepared for this, I am fully aware I might fail but what have I to loose. If my legs give up on me at least I’ll know I tried.

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We run down a dirt road which will continue for another 7k until a right turn when we will enter the forest. I see Matthew Maday, a cool guy from America I met here last year. We chat a little before getting lost but it’s only for a short time and are soon back on track. Matt tell’s me how he had a test of faith after his 100 mile Western States Endurance run this year. He says he just couldn’t find the motivation to run afterwards and even wanted to quit ultra all together. Pressure Matt says was the reason, so treating ROUT as a group run will be his approach.

Now if I try to write what happened during the entire race you the reader I’m sure will become bored and so I will do my best to only include the significant sections of more interest.

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Running downhill for so long eventually causes me to limp and my left inner thigh muscle hurts, so I decide that at the next check point (Zarkadia 1) I will retire from the race. Finally approaching Zarkadia 1 some people to my left cheer and clap as I come close to them. My mind has given up, my body is failing me and so I feel the applause is unjust, I lower my head in shame with a shy smile on my face.

I’ve travelled 40 kilometres through the mountains, Its taken me 5 hours so far and has pretty much been downhill from the start. I’m not upset nor disappointed, I was prepared to fail and that’s what has happened. 

I see Xristos Tallas the race director, he’s such an inspiring guy, full of positive energy he sits me down, I tell Xristos I’m done and would like to retire. Standing in front of me Xristos puts both his hands onto my shoulders, looks at me eye to eye and say’s you cannot quit now there is a climb ahead, continue and you will find your rhythm. 

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His support is encouraging and so I decide to have some soup and reconsider. Then an English fellow named Owen whom I do not know comes across to me asks where I’m from. He tells me it’s interesting to see the different personalities of the runners during this point, mostly excitedly shouting and loud. Owen says how I’m calm and relaxed. Something about Owens presence encourages me and gives me strength. I decide to continue as it’s a climb ahead as Xristos has told me.

I’m running like a child, free from life’s pressures and responsibilities. Xristos was right the uphill gave my body time to adjust and I have found my rhythm. I have no pain in my body at all, in fact I feel the complete opposite, confident and have even found a new strength making my way towards 15th position. I battle with a runner as we run down the side of a mountain, I’m close behind him, we travel fast as if almost close to the finish. My adrenaline is high as the runner in front steps to the side and tells me to continue, eventually I can’t hear his foot steps, he’s lost the battle.

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I ran out of food 2 hours ago, I search my backpack for a gel but find nothing. My water bottles are empty and my mouth dry. I run forwards but now and then stagger to the side almost falling over feeling dizzy. I am so stupid I packed enough food to run for about 21 hours and thats how long I’ve been running for but I still have another 60 kilometres to go. 20 kilometres ahead is Zarkadia 2 where I will find hot food, drinks and my drop bag with more gels. It’s a long way to go I’m already done. After a few kilometres I arrive at the last small checkpoint before Zarkadia 2, I tell them my race number and ask if they have any spare water. the young man shakes his head. I leave feeling sorry for myself.

The hunt is on, the runners I past before are now chasing me down like a wounded animal. I really do not know how I’m going to make it to Zarkadia 2. I can feeling my body using fat stores as energy. I think I see a runners head torch but it’s the moon’s reflection in a river to my right. Somehow the final kilometres before Zarkadia 2 pass by and I can smell fire burning ahead as well as hearing voices.

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People cheers as I enter the checkpoint, I feel as if I have survived an apocalypse. Sitting down I go to work, yes I’ll have a blanket, yes I’ll have a bowl of soup. I change my socks with only 40k to go I feel its unnecessary but so anyway. I down a cup of cola whilst stuffing cold salted boiled potatoes into my pockets yuk. Other runners have arrived smiling and looking fresh, I get up and leave not wanting to be passed but know it’s only a matter of time as I still feel weak and deficit of energy.

The soup with meat hasn’t given me the energy I needed, eventually the sugar and caffeine wear off from the cola and I’m back to where I started before arriving at the checkpoint. I’m climbing up the last mountain before I will reach the checkpoint where Jakub will be volunteering (he’s not running this year). I know when, if I get there that’s it for me, I know I have given it my all. It’s not my body that failed me but rather my common-sense, packing food for only the first 100k was a rookie mistake. 

My energy is so low now I even start to fall asleep as I proceed to go up the mountain. I hear runners behind, turning to see head torches I know this time it’s for real not the moon’s reflection.

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I get passed by a runner from Cypress, he looks strong and this makes me feel even weaker. Shortly after I arrive at where my friend Jakub is, my first words are wear can I sleep. Lying in a warm sleeping bag I deicide thats it, my race is over. Jakub asks how long before he wakes me, I reply 30 minutes…. Kristian its time, I awake and ask Jakub for another 30 minutes, again as if I’ve shut my eyes having only taken one deep breath, Jakub wakes me, Please 30 minutes again. Finally Jakub wakes me and says time to go, I ask this time for just 10 minutes. I get up rested, not tired but still hungry, there is no food here and I decide to carry on till the last checkpoint with food “Prasinada 2”.

No longer tired but without energy I make my way towards Prasinada 2, I look at my watch and laugh, only 1hr and 10 minutes passed since arriving at Jakub’s checkpoint. He must have been fooling me with the sleeping time, good thing as I do not want to be passed by anymore runners, whilst I slept at least 6 runners passed by.

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I have done it, I have actually somehow made it to Prasinada 2. I will now restore my energy fully, there is no other way to continue forwards. The staff here are kind and feed me traditional Greek soup, I also eat chocolate, chips, drink 3 cups of cola and finish off with a hot, sweet coffee. Before I leave the Greek man who has been looking after me fills my pack with gels and bananas, he tells me the rest of the way to the finish I can run without hiking as its mostly downhill. I leave and receive a round of applause and cheers of encouragement.

With a new battery in my head torch the ground in front of me brightly glows. I’m running now, my energy back. Thats all it was before just a lack of energy. I take over my central governor and run hard down the mountain, overriding my minds natural self preservation and safety mode. Thats what ultra is, the ability to take control of your mind, body by sheer determination of your heart and spirit.

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I pass 3 runners as if Im running a 5k, utter abandonment and freedom. I have just started, the past 150 kilometres are done they no longer matter, getting to the finish is all that counts. Last year Jakub and I hiked this final section, It’s a gentle uphill of 7 kilometres. I want to run it all without any hiking. A storm fills the sky above and rain crashes down, creating small rivers of water. Up till now I have done my best to keep my feet dry but so close to the finish I no longer care as I run through the collection of puddles and streams.

I’m running uphill and having the last laugh against ROUT which has broken me already so many times. I see a runner ahead who’s walking in the heavy rain with his jacket on. I run by him smiling, he looks at me and say’s a word in Greek I interpret as crazy man. I leave him behind knowing the faster I run, the sooner I will finish. Now and then my shoulders become tight and my minds says come on enough walk this section, I look at my watch and see if I can run the last 5k in 30 minutes I will finish in under 29 hours, so fight hard against the desire to walk.

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I hear bells ringing and know I’m close to the finish. I see a sign that reads 750 meters to go, I’ve pretty much done it. I turn off the dirt road and can now see parked cars and electric lights, I run the wrong way missing the finish line only to get told to run back to enter the finish correctly, I do so with complete happiness and joy.

Xristos was at the finish last year and is hear again this year. After what seems a lifetime I cross the finish line, again Xristos puts his hands on my shoulders as he stands in front of me, looking me in the eyes he says you did it, I respond, no Xristos it was your encouragement that got me here. Sofia a Greek girl comes over and places a medal around my neck congratulating me. It’s raining hard as I head over to the warm wooden cabin, opening the door I walk inside. The hot roaring fire is surrounded by what I can only describe as ultras human beings who have encountered everything that I have, I take my place next to the fire and we share stories of triumph.

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Earlier towards the end of ROUT whilst passing through a dense forest I asked god a question, “If you exist god show me a sign, I want to see a bear”. For the next 30 minutes I scanned the landscape around me for a wild bear but god failed me and I didn’t see one.

After sharing stories with the other runners around the fire I return to my tent to rest. The rain has now turned into hail and beats down upon my tent intensely. 

FLASH, BANG… Its the brightest light I have ever seen. The storm is directly above me. I’m certain the next bolt of lightening will strike me. I jump up and run back towards the log cabin, shouting out loud please god no more signs.

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10 Tips for Marathon Des Sables (MDS)

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Marathon des Sables

MDS is one of those epic challenges of a lifetime. MDS is a multistage race through the Sahara desert covering about 150 miles (250 kilometres) over 6 days. Runners must carry their own food, sleeping equipment and everything they will need whilst at MDS. People come from all over the world to enter MDS. I completed MDS in 2016, finishing 3rd amongst the British runners and 22nd overall. I learned many lessons whilst running MDS, here is a list of the top 10.


  1. LIGHT PACK - Aim to get your running pack as light as possible. The MDS rules state a minimum of 6.5 kilograms and maximum 25 kilograms. This weight does not include the water in your bottles so make sure to allow for this. Trust me a light pack will be better than a heavy one.

  2. GET THE RIGHT KIT - Decide early on what kit you will be taking with you and practice wearing it during training. Do not turn up to Morocco with new untested kit it might cause chaffing, blisters or you might just not like the feel of it.

  3. BECOME HEAT ACCLIMATISED - Remember this is a race across the desert in very hot conditions. You will be better prepared if you become heat acclimatised. I took my kit with me on holiday in Thailand and practised running during the hottest part of the day.

  4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FOOD - Decide what food you will be eating and test it out ahead of time. You do not want to be in the desert and become sick due to your stomach not liking the food you have taken.

  5. MDS FACEBOOK PAGE - Join the Marathon Des Sables Facebook page, this way you can post questions and have them answered by other runners who have experienced MDS and successfully finished. You may also make some friends and could meet up before MDS for a training run.

  6. GAITERS - Get good gaiters for your trainers. Some people in my tent at MDS were unable to finish due to their feet becoming so blistered they were unable to even walk. I used the stitch on velcro method and it worked. I coupled this with a pair of Raidlight gaiters. I got the stitching done professionally by a Tailor.

  7. FITTING YOUR TRAINERS - Make sure your trainers fit properly. That means leaving a space of at least half a centimetre from your longest toe to the inside front of your trainers. Failure to do this results in loosing your toenails. I never had a problem with feet.

  8. COURSE KNOWLEDGE - Learn each stage, you need to know cut off times so you can stay ahead of being disqualified. Many people each year fail to finish MDS, this is one of the main reasons. It’s also good to know what distance you will be covering each day and will be better mentally prepared.

  9. BACK TO BACK TO BACK RUNS - In training you want to experience what it’s like to run on tired legs. I used back to back to back runs to help me become prepared for MDS. It totally worked and I even enjoyed them.

  10. TRAIN WITH YOUR PACK - Practise running with your pack on. Not every run and not even the full weight but do not turn up to MDS without ever experiencing whats its like to run with a pack on your back.

    I hope the top 10 tips above has helped. There are many other things to consider but the above information will help you in your journey towards finishing MDS. I wish you the best of luck.

    Kristian Morgan.

Appalachian Trail World Record

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I’ve been invited to help pace “Karel Sabbe” on his Guiness world record attempt for the fastest known time (FKT) on the Appalachian Trail in America. The Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses 14 states and is just under 2200 miles long. 

I got here 8 days ago and have been running upto 35 miles each day with Karel, keeping him company and enjoying the trails here in America. I met Karel at “Marathon Des Sables” back in 2015, we got on well together and had similar interests.

After a long day (6 hours) on the trail today we are staying at a hostel called the “Bears Den”, I guess it has this name because all the wild bears in the area.  The price was $30.00 for a room plus dinner which was a pizza, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a soda (1800 cals). 

 

Olympus Mythical Trail, 100km | +6400m | Greece

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Crying without consideration for who is watching, I'm alone. Almost at the top of Greece's highest mountain "Mount Olympus". I know what it feels like to be alone, no-one to share with, no-one to talk to, just the dark sky above me and the towering peak of sinister Mount Olympus.

Tormented by crazy thoughts about good and evil, my mind takes its own direction. Is life real or is this entire journey just a misguided dream. I look down at my legs as I move forward, my body is holding up fine but my mind has had enough and is about to break. I can't give up even if I want to because I'm miles away from any civilisation, to quit now would mean to die. This is a metaphor for my mental state.

I think about my mother, warm feelings of nostalgia attached. I love her dearly, just the though of my mother brings me feelings of company. I ask myself the question why am I up a mountain alone in the dark, its a question I do not have the answer to. As if I knew all along but had been avoiding it a realisation grips me... Children, I do not have any, I'm 41 years old and do not have a family. Suddenly I'm awakened by the stength of love, the love a family and only a family can provide.

My mind now calm, I feel enlightened, all that matters in life is family and the love for them. I must have children, I must bring life into this dark world and it will no longer seem dark. I reach the top of the mountain, I'm no longer crying but instead I feel I know my true purpose.

 

Bustard Express Ultra Marathon Austraila

Trail running Australia

This is a race report from a trail race I ran called the Bustard Express, its located in Cairns Australia.

I know I shouldn't enter but I can't help myself, its been 4 weeks of pretty much zero running. I call up the race director "Chris" and just like that I'm in, "Cheers mate see you tonight" Chris says at the end of the call. I borrow my cousins (Paula) small yellow car and within 45 minutes I arrive at the race venue. Its been hot today but now the air is cooler as its almost 5pm (start time). We set off and within the first mile Im running with Bryan O'Mahony and Steven Francis amongst some others. These guys came 2nd and 3rd in 2016 edition with me finishing as the overall winner. Its good to see them again and we catch up whilst running. In the group is also Glen Robinson an ultra running legend here in Cairns Australia, two years ago we also took a training run together but Glen does not remember.

The trails here are mostly single track and we run in a train like group of five. Its still light, sun will set at 6:30pm tonight, so I have my head torch waiting for me after the first lap. The race is made up of 3 different length laps, 3k 7k and 14.5k. The idea is to run for 4 hours as many laps as you can, you can choose any distance lap to run but must complete the last lap within 4 hours or it does not count. I'm really enjoying the feeling of running these Australian trails, I saw a frill neck lizard two years ago and it what so cool to be up and close to nature. We come in after the first lap (14.5k). I grab my head torch even though its still light, it will be dark by the time I return after lap two.

I'm now running alone now and then I see the group who I was with they are leading this race, I'm not chasing these guys, just running my own race. I had decided they were going a little bit faster than I wanted to go. Running out in the bush of Australia is such an experience, the wildlife, vegetation and sounds all ad into the experience. We were told that we may see snakes and that the check point staff have compression bandages Chris also said most runners will have their own bandages, not me, hope I do not get bit.

I haven't run in a while but still feel okay, I have kind of switched off and I'm just looking at the trail ahead of me, concentrating on foot placement as its pretty rocky in sections. I think back to earlier when Andre, my cousin Paulas husband said Steven Hawkins quoted "look up now and then" but said thats not the case with trail running as you will fall so true, but I still find time to look up. I have two gels which I have eaten one. I stop for a wee, looking down seeing the dark orange almost red in colour liquid I know I'm on the edge of dehydration.

I get back to the start area after my second loop and Chris asks me if I going out for another lap? I ask if anyone else has continued, Chris says yes and looks at me with a smile as if willing me to do another lap, "Yes I will go for another lap" I set off regretting what I have put myself up for and what lay ahead. Up till now I still do not feel this possible and that I will not finish. But I carry on, I ate cake, water melon and half a banana at the check point, sugar is in my blood stream. I really do not think this is possible, over and over again my mind tells me. I shut my mind down and just run, taking in the sounds as I stare at the beam from my head torch. Then my head torch flashes, this is a warning the battery is going flat, the beam is weak and my vision is limited.

I get to the point at which you choose the distance lap you will head out on. I'm pointed to the 7k but say I'm going to for another big lap, the volunteers look at their watches and tell me I can make it. I fill my water bottle and head out, again totally regretting my decision. I still do not think this is possible, but I carry on running. Shutting your mind down is not easy but its something I have learned to do to cope with Ultra marathons. To move forward when every part of your body is hurting and your mind is telling you to stop is something that I only experience with running long distances, by continuing you override your brains natural mechanism to protect you. The feeling you get when you push past these messages, stop give up, quit now from your mind is something else. A feeling of super human power, like your in total control and can do anything, like run 100 miles with out stopping.

I'm in this zone now, the super human zone, but this does not mean my mind is not conspiring against me, no its just that the give up and quit messages are not so loud. I start to believe I can finish, this is the first time I have had these positive thoughts. I get to the bearded guy who is maning a check point all by himself, he asks if my name is Kristian, yes it is I reply, okay your the last one on the big loop and I will catch you up 5 minutes, he has a bike. I've been waiting for a downhill open dirt road section but each time I wonder how far it is, I become anxious and so pull myself away from thoughts about the future back to the present moment and suffering, this method is helping to keep me present.

Bearded guy catches me up on his bike and he cannot stop speaking, its obvious he's been by himself for over 3 hours and is now pleased to have some to chat to. I need the toilet and have to interrupt bearded guy to tell him Im going to stop for a loo break. We are off again, I know the course well by now as this is my 3rd loop, up ahead is a left turn then all that remains is 5 kilometres. I have the option of heading out on the last part of the big loop which is 4k plus then a 1k stretch to the finish, or I can just got the 1k to the finish but if I do this my last loop will not count.

I tell the guys at the check point I'm going to go out to complete the full big loop, I ask how long I have to get to the finish, 40 minutes I'm told. We all agree 5k in 40 minutes is achievable, I know it is as my fastest 5k is about 16 minutes on a track but this is no track, never the less I know its doable. I find myself saying out loud "change your mind set, zero limits" when I start to over analyse how far I have to go, it works. Its like flipping a switch in your mind from negative to positive.

Time has all but disappeared and I'm back with the guys at the check point, just 1k to go. Only positive thoughts remain in my mind now all the negativity that was there has completely dissolved. I run fast to the finish passing 4 runners as I go. Finally I can see lights in the distance and I'm rewarded with a view of the finishing area where people are gathered. I've done it, I have over come myself yet again, but this time is was so hard, I had told myself as I was running earlier how this felt just as tuff as a 100 miler due to the negative mindset I had entering. Well if anyone wants to rid themselves of negative thoughts and flood the body and mind with positivity you now know what you must do, yes challenge yourself, you will feel so much better for it. Life is to easy these days and we must compensate by setting ourselves up with mental and physical challenges. good luck.

Chiang Mai Ultra Marathon

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Running up Thailands Tallest mountain

Walking to the start line with "David Emch" (Winner of Thailand North Face 100k 2 weeks ago), we see Kenyan runners jogging and warming up. David says "Well thats podium out the window". Thinking this funny I agree, little did I know what the future would hold and how the stars would aline for both of us.

Running in the dark is scary but exciting.

We started at 5am and the sun is yet to rise, above the sky a blanket of stars. I threw my freebie torch away when we set off as the streets we were running on had lamps. Now its pitch black, luckily a runner in front is switching their torch on now and then, I stay close behind vaguely able to make out the white lines on the road.

I’ve decided to run for 2 hours before taking my first gel.

I have five gels, calculating one gel every 30 mins will take me up till 4 hrs 30 mins. Normally I burn 80 calories per mile but as we are running uphill my body is asking 100 calories per mile. I realise that five gels totaling 500 calories is not going to cut it, if I'm to burn over 3000 calories on this race... gulp!

I'm running well and have reached mile 14 feeling pretty good.

Mostly running sub 8 minute miles. Also it’s light now as the sun has risen. All is fine and dandy but something has happened, time has stopped, I'm not aware of this happening but it has. I don't know it right now but I have run clean out of energy. As in a mist my brain is disconnected from my body, unable to think with any clarity. Then suddenly like a boxer given smelling salts the realisation hits me, I know I'm running on body fat and my tank is empty. This is a problem and the thought of problem solving excites me. Reaching into my pocket I pull out one of my last remaining gels and eat it.

Running uphill is not easy it requires a certain approach, you need patience as pace is slower. The incline has really set in now. I'm in the national park heading up towards Doi Inthanon, Thailands tallest mountain. This is a road Ultra and this road will take me to the summit but I've got some running to do before I get there. A thought occurs, I realise to make this experience easier than it’s feeling now I must change my mind set. The whole time I've been thinking I'm racing against other runners but now realise I'm not running against people, I'm actually running with people. I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and running uphill feels so much easier.

David passed me earlier but I still see him ahead along with another runner who is wearing no shirt. I get closer to the shirtless man and pass him, he's walking and says "The next section is really steep so I'm hiking". I feel strong and run on. 20 minutes later he passes me back. I keep seeing him ahead but every now and then a corner blocks my view. Finally David and the shirtless man do not appear as I get around the corners. 

I'm alone and have been for a while, the sun is out but it's still only 12 Degrees Celsius due to going up in altitude. I had noticed earlier how David and the other runner would hike up the steeper sections. I kept running on these sections but finally the mountain has broken me and I hike up a killer climb. I feel desperate, I had'nt figured I would hike during this ultra but as the first half of the course is pretty much flat the second half has all the accent which is over 2000 meters, in other words I'm getting my but kicked by this mountain.

Running, hiking, running hiking and so it goes on until I'm no longer human just an empty vessel some how moving upwards and forwards. I have no gels left just water, I stop for 15 to 20 seconds at each check point to splash water on my face and pour a cup over the back of my neck to stop from over heating. The check points no longer have water melon which I was so much enjoying earlier, just plan water, it will have to do.

My feet are hurting, this is my first road ultra (I'm a trail runner) and the lack of uneven terrain with the repetitive motion of my foot striking the ground has created a pain right on the ball of each of my feet. I tell myself its just a distraction and carry on. I get passed by a relay runner who looks fresh and full of energy which makes me feel worse.

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I start to feel small glimmers of hope as I tell myself I can do this, I know I can, its not going to get any worse. I'm still aware I must drink to avoid dehydration. I'm right on the edge of being able to just make it but at the same time so so close to just dropping onto my hands and knees and crawling to lay under a tree to be done with this suffering. 

Ahead I see a Kenyan runner, but he's not running, looks like a man wounded trying to get away from his attacker. He keeps looking behind and when he sees me he starts to run. Like a shark sensing blood the sight of his distress ignites something inside of me, which in turn pumps adrenaline threw my veins. Surging I chase him down. Drawing up beside him, I've never passed a Kenyan before so its new to me but this is ultra and in ultra sub 2 hr 20 minute marathons hold no value. Ultra is about dying and being reborn.

As I pass the Kenyan our eyes lock with one another, for a moment I feel his soul, its burning, as is mine, the recognition is reflected by a knowingness between us. He say as I pass "Number two age catagory", I respond "No not me, thats not me". I run on ahead unbelieving, seeing a 48 kilometre sign I know I'm close but not that close, looking behind I see the Kenyan is not trying to catch me, I am now fuelled with a renewed enthusiasm.

A minute or two ago I reached the highest point and now the road has flattened out, I see a sign "Only 1 kilometre to go". I take one last look behind me for fear of being chased down by the Kenyan he's not in view. I run on and before I know it I can see the finish line, one final push and this all comes to end. I grab the banner and hold it above my head, I'm elated. I hold the banner high for everyone to see. I did it, this is my moment of glory. I'm so happy I cuddle a hill tribe man who is standing close by looking at me, he matches my embrace with an equally warm embrace back. Then I cuddle the woman who places a medal over my head, the commentator laughs and cheers.

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I see David and the shirtless runner, we all congratulate each other, these guys finished 5 and 7 minutes ahead of me, during the race they felt a lifetime away.  At the start of this David had aimed to get top 10 and he did just that with 10th so he achieved his projected goal. The Kenyan runners comes in, I approach him laughing saying how I didn't believe I was second, smiling at each other the pain is gone but so is the connection. Shared hardship brings people together. I now know its true I finished 2nd in my age category's and 11th overall. I have won 15,000 Baht and I came back from the dead by problem solving. I feel I have accomplished so much today, I have learned so much in such a concentrated amount of time, thats what I love about ultra running.

Getting hold of the money from the race director was almost as difficult as the race, but thats another story...  

Fuel for an Ultra Marathon

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So you want to run an ultra...

When setting yourself the goal of running an ultra marathon, you must train your body to become physically ready for the challenge. You must also consider what you will eat during your chosen ultra. 

To be prepared ask yourself the following questions...

1. What is the distance?

2. How long do I think it will take me?

3. What climate will I be running in?

4. Is it flat or mountainous.

5. Will there be aid stations with food, if so how many and at what points during the race?

Answering these questions will help you prepare your fueling strategy and make sure you get it right on the day. Its also advisable to practice what food you will be eating in training. This way you can make mistakes in training and not on race day. Experiment as there is no right or wrong, different things work for different people.

Running in the Mountains of Thailand

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This morning I woke up early and ran up a mountain.

It was by far one of the best things I could’ve done for myself today. Along the way up I saw a small brown snake making its way through the brown leaves. 

 It requires a lot of energy and I was heavy breathing as I hiked up the mountain, on the flatter parts I jogged lightly.  

 Once at the top I found a remote village. I stopped off pressed pause on my watch and bought some barbecued sweet potato. I then found a coffee Grower who made me a coffee using beans from the ground I was standing on. His mum even ground the coffee beans and he roasted them himself.  

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 Starting my watch back up again I descended the mountain jogging lightly, relaxing my breathing. I found such a flow I forgot about time and where I was. All that mattered was paying attention to the rocks in front of me as so not to step and trip on one.  

 Once at the bottom of the mountain I press stop on my watch content with my mornings activity. I then ducked into a local Thai restaurant, saw some good food and said same for me.  

Why Hire a Running Coach

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Hiring an online running coach could really help

Hiring a running coach, what does it involve? First off your potential running coach will arrange a call with you. In this call the running coach will ask you a series of questions. These will be questions like...

From now until the end of the year which events are you running? Which of these events are your A races and which are just tune up races? Many more questions will be asked as so the coach can learn as much about you and your running goals as needed.

After the consultation the coach will create a running program for you based on information you have given them. During the program any questions you have will be answered by the coach. You and your coach will catch up with each other on a regular basis to discuss your progress.

Benefits of having a running coach.....

  1. Have a running program written personally for you.

  2. Get your questions answered by a professional.

  3. You and your running coach become a team.

  4. Avoid injury and learn correct running form.

  5. Achieve higher success in races and get new personal bests.

Thailand North Face 100km | + 2600m | Very Hot

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The air is cool,

Considering I’m in Thailand, but then it is just before 5am in the morning. I’m surround by runners at the start of the Thailand North Face 100k (TNF100). The commentator starts a 10 second count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, a horn blares out loudly and with great excitement we set off. 

3 months I have been training for the TNF100. Some mornings waking at 4 am to go running. Logging 100 miles per week in the peak phases of my program. To arrive at this moment with fresh legs, I finalised my program with a 3 week taper taking my weekly volume from 100 miles to 80 miles, 60 miles and then finally 30 miles in the week leading into TNF100.

I’ve set out with the front runners but on purpose not leading, I want to see what pace is set by the other runners and who the speedsters are. As it turns out the pace is as I predicted, within 7/8 minute mile pace, the speedsters are two Thai runners who are 40 meters ahead, one with running poles and another without.

2 runners on my left are chatting with each other, they sound relaxed, like seasoned pros. I ask myself “do I belong at the front with pro runners” I will find out the answer later. The road we are on is littered with torch beams, the sun is yet to rise, we are wearing head torches.

The TNF100 is a trail ultra and starts off the Asia Pacific North Face series. I ran last last year finishing in 3rd but ended up in hospital after the race, lying in a hospital bed I really thought I might be taking my last breaths. But I was fine and released missing the award ceremony and this disappointed me cause I really dug deep to stay in 3rd position.

Learning from my mistake last year I came with a race plan, to pace myself sensibly for 50k then push for the second half. I’m currently in about 5th position. We come to our first climb, a small mountain. I did this section two times in training, Its a new addition from last year making the race more difficult. I saw a small brown snake yesterday whist here.

Im feeling relaxed, small feelings of confidence start to seep in as we run up a wide, dusty trail. One Thai guy has dropped back from the front and the other with the poles is still up there. I’m with the seasoned pros, I haven’t talked or made conversation with them just focusing on running. The one guy has an American accent and is wearing a cycling hat with the peak sticking up, The other guy sounds French, they are both wearing Altra trainers.

Passing a pack of barking dogs I not startled as I faced these in training and we were warned about the dogs on the course during race briefing yesterday. I stop briefly for the loo and get left behind but Its not long before I catch back up with the American runner, he’s crouched down doing something with his shoe, I run by and can see the head torches of two runners ahead. I run my own pace  as I’m not interested in trying to catch them, it will be what it will be.

Feeling good about my effort, I’m not over cooking it, my engine is just going steady. Its been mostly uphill till now so the downhills feel good as I let gravity do its work. I turn right onto a road section. A runner comes from behind. He starts chatting and I feel instantly relaxed as till now I have spoken with nobody, maybe I’ve been too focused. His name is David Emch and he’s from America (not the American I passed). I find out this is his first race outside of the states. We chat for a while about running and so on. I ask David if we have passed CP1 yet and find out that I missed it, this is a bummer because I have 3 gels to pick up from my drop bags, I have to collect them on the next 50k loop (the course is made up of two 50k loops).

Ahead is the second significant climbing section, David and I are still running together and I know this section and so detect a right turn ahead, David says he’s grateful as would have run past it had he not been with me. I need to make a pit stop and tell David I’ll catch him later. Just as I get running, again the American who I passed earlier comes running along the trail and we run together. I learn his name is Cory Lewandowski and he’s been running ultras for 3 years. He lives in Taiwan thats why he’s running TNF100. On a rocky downhill Cory says he wished he had put in the rock plate to his Altra Superiors as he feels the trail is a lot rocker than he expected then his biker hat fly’s from his head, he stops and turns back to go fetch it, I run on ahead, this is a race, I don’t see Cory again.

Back onto the road after stopping at CP2, its a long uphill stretch and I think of Badwater 135, I imagine I’m running it now as I look down at the white painted line. I just missed the application for Badwater, I’ll enter next year. I turn right and I’m on smooth dirt trail, the colour is almost orange, I relax my breathing and look at my heart rate, its low but my pace is fast, Im happy how its all going.

My first real test is when I get to a single track section, its full of 25k runners who only do part of the TNF100 course most of them are walking and approaching them from behind I call out 100k runner, I end up loosing a stack of time, I also get passed by a Thai 100k runner, he’s flying and is a better tactic to pass the 25k runners. A lot of these runners have headphones In and others just don’t understand me. I find myself loosing my relaxed state of mind and becoming almost angry. I’m aware of my negativity and try hard to calm myself down, I remember last year an American runner almost got into a fight in this section, he got really pissed off, I’m totally not in his predicament, my negativity is internal and nobody sees it.

Pleased to be through this section I come too a second new part of the TNF100, the tallest mountain in the area, it only reaches 600m and change, after being in the Alps last year at Tor Des Geants this feels like and ant hill. Passing CP3 up I go, again a long line of slow walkers, one Indian guy is in front of me, I ask if I can pass he is sweating and obviously tired, he tells me to wait with tones of resentment at asking to pass, I respond “No man move out the way” I pass him feeling a bit better for airing my feelings. Up the hill and down then back onto trails to the end of the first 50k loop.

Happy feelings start to come back as I think about seeing my mum at the halfway point, she’s here in Thailand and has come to Pakchong to support me. At this point you run against runners along the road and I see a runner heading back out to begin the second half, he’s young, Thai and looks very fresh in comparison I see a national hero named “Sanya Khanchai”, Sanya has won the race before and is considered a true champion. I feel sorry for him as he sits eating food, Sanya looks terrible and I’m not sure if he will even finish. I feel strong as ever and proceeded down the long slightly inclining tarmac road to the trails ahead. I didn’t see my mum but I know I will at the finish.

Its just beginning to get hot....

I’ve been drinking regularly and I feel fine. The thought of running another 50k hasn’t fazed me yet, I’m ready for part two. The road comes to and end and I join the trail. My watch bleeps every 5 minutes, 20 minutes and also on the hour, telling me to drink, eat and take a salt tablet. I start feeling I’m eating too many gels, the sugary gels begin to make me feel sick. I feel like I want to vomit each time my watch bleeps.

I’m entering my first low of the race in the form of GI stress (stomach not wanting to play ball). Its all the gels I know it, along with filling my water bottles with electrolyte from the check points, this had been waiting to happen. 3 gels per hour is just too much for my poor stomach to handle. I feel like quitting, the thoughts grow and evolve in my mind. As time goes by I feel so low and down about myself I question what I’m doing. I go into such a dark place I don’t just want to quit this race but running all together.

I say out loud “Kristian your having a low right now and your feeling bad” recognising how I’m feeling and verbalising it helps a little. I decide to do something about the GI issues. I change the eat alert on my watch from 20 minutes to 30 minutes, from now on I’m going to be having 2 gels per hour instead of 3. I also decide to empty any electrolyte I have left out of my bottles and refill with plain water at the next checkpoint. From now on I drink to taste rather than the sound of my drink alert on my watch. Its a gamble but I already hit rock bottom, the only way from here is up.

After a while my strategy starts working, no longer does my stomach feel bad, I no longer need to pee every 10 minutes and finally I start to feel my flow coming back. I see a girl ahead, eventually I catch up with her, as I pass she asks how I feel, I say….. “I had some GI issues but cut back on the gels and I feel fine now” (finally I’m out the dark place), I ask her name, its Kristi and I ask how she is feeling “legs are hurting but hey” I say “thats ultra”, then Kristi says “go kill it” in a thick American accent.

At CP7 I forfill my self made promises by emptying the green coloured electrolyte from my bottles, its water all the way from here baby. I feel I have a clean slate, the race is mine to do with what I want and I want this race. I ask myself how bad do I want it? “I want it real bad” I tell myself. I’m back on the uphill road section where I earlier imagined I was running Badwater. I turn right and run down a dusty trail, ahead are CP8 and CP9, then Im finished, about 30 more kilometres to go.

Nobody behind me, nobody in front, I’ve been alone for some time, the trail is rolling up and down, I’m so looking forward to the hill as so I can use some different muscles in my legs. I arrive at the section where I had to navigate around 25k runners but I’m all alone this time, it feels like Im in this race by myself. I feel really strong now as I approach CP8. I stop refill one bottle with water and half another. I have on wrists bands and place a large piece of ice under each of the bands, this helps cool me down. I then pour water from an ice jug all over the back of my neck. Feeling refreshed and ready roll, I ask the CP8 staff what position I’m in, one guy says you are number one and laughs then says no your number three. I laugh at his teasing joke then thank everyone and take off.

Now I’m in another gear, 20k till the finish, thoughts of quitting are long gone, distant memories that no longer belong to me. Instead I’m flying, I mean seriously going for it. I told myself the first time around the 50k loop its all about conservation and I had to wait till loop two to kick some trail butt, well its loop two and the downhills become my release of conserved energy. Then just out the blue without expecting it, on single trail I run straight into 2nd place, a Vietnamese runner named Quang. He’s standing on the trail opening a gel and looks tired. I place my hands on his shoulders to stop us colliding and pass him by. I don’t look back, just run as fast as I can, I’m full of adrenaline. I had been passed by Quang when being held up by the 25k runners on this same section earlier. I remember looking at his technical skills as he ran down the trail in front of me, over roots and rocks, some how passing 25k runners without any effort. It’s now Quang’s turn to look at the back of me. I thought he was chasing me but finally when I did look back nobody was behind me. He was gone for good.

CP9 the last checkpoint. I fill one water bottle as all that remains is 10k. Up the hill for the last time, technically this is the most difficult part of TNF100, but right now I’m actually having fun. I keep telling myself this is what you get when you run a smart race and pace properly, I’m now prospering from my earlier actions. I fly up the hill, as I go up still passing slower 50k and 75k runners. Something dawns on me, earlier I asked myself the question “Do I belong up here with the seasoned pro runners” I wonder to myself where these guys now and finally I have my answer, yes is the answer, I do belong.

With the last hill behind me its a combination of flat trail and road to the finish, I’m running 6 minute miles and feel full of energy, I wonder where first place is. Turning right onto the last stretch of trail then left at the bottom back onto road to the finish. I did it, I overcame myself in the darkest hour to triumph, victory is mine. I here the North Face commentator “Kristian Morgan 100k runner, I cross the finish line grabbing the tape and holding it above my head. I see my mum and smile. I think to myself how my family are such a motivating factor in pushing limits and boundries. The commentator says out loud Kristian Morgan 2nd place runner less than 2 minutes behind the winner (David Emch), I can’t believe my ears.

Food for Ultra Runners

Eating local, fresh wholes foods makes people feel good there is no question about it.

You cannot argue against a high intake of whole foods over processed foods is what our body really wants!I get a real pleasure from going to the local market and buying a few bags of brightly coloured foods to take home.

Once at home I chop, peel and make up recipes that cannot be found in cooking books. The secret is to experiment and try mixing new foods that you didn't think you could combine. For example I have mixed in bananas to salads and the result is positive. 

I also like to use herbs (not the mind altering type) but hey guess what you would be surprised to find out the effect on the mind natural fresh herbs have. Take a look at turmeric for its anti Alzheimer’s property's or how new research is unearthing the memory boosting functions of sage.

For coffee lovers out there, taking a coffee break will counteract the age related degenerative processes and can fight against Parkinson's disease.

The main thing is whole foods taste good, so my advice is to go buy some herbs, fruit and brightly coloured vegetables from your local market and go eat it, oh and while your at it have a coffee. I promise you will feel good.