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Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

2011 in pictures & 2012 look ahead

Like last year, I thought I would put together a few snaps from the year gone by to try and tell a bit of the story. It's the time of year to reflect on how the preceeding year went, and think about the changes which can be made to improve things for the coming year. I've certainly done plenty of reflecting over the past couple of weeks and I would say in summary it was a rather average season by my standards, but I won't bore you with the detail of that here. Anyway, here are a few of my favourite photos.

In terms of plans for the year ahead, my season will once again be based around Western States and UTMB, for which I have already secured places for both. They are, hands down, my favourite races, and motivate me like no others do. Western States suits my running style and strengths almost perfectly, and I still feel there is plenty of room for improvement, even taking into the account the 'fast' nature of the 2011 snow course. And UTMB always draws me back year after year, as a race which tests your inner strength and mental resolve considerably more than any others.

In addition to these two, I am hoping to qualify to run for Great Britain in the World 100km Championships in April, Italy. For the first time in a few years the timing and location both work well for me and I've re-discovered a bit of my road running mojo of late. I'm also fascinated to see whether I can go quicker than my 6h 58m PB of 2009 set in Galway. Of course there's only one way to find out.

There will hopefully be other races too, with a bit of luck starting with The North Face Trans Gran Canaria race at the beginning of March, but that's dependent upon me successfully shaking off an ankle niggle which has been troubling me since the The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler last month. It's nothing too serious, but certainly worth attending to properly at this relatively quiet time in the season. I suspect some time off running will do me a huge amount of good, and in reality forced rest is the only way that could happen. Did I just say rest? Well not really. I mean, rest from running. I'm keeping myself fit by cross training - hiking, swimming and gym work - all good stuff to build the core strength over the winter.

Anyway, we shall see how it all pans out, but needless to say it's going to be another exciting and fiercly competitive season in the ultra world.