29 June 2009


I'm some way off my peak of weddings, which still stands at 11 in one year, and it's been a while since the last Caius shin-dig - out of London anyway - so it was nice to get out to Farnham for Crawf and Jen's this weekend. It was a slightly brutal schedule kicking off with the Lions test at 2pm on the Saturday (what a game), taking in a bit more cricket and then the world's hottest restaurant temperature-wise before a bit more beer for good measure. The wedding itself was on the Sunday night followed by a midnight cab back to Shoreditch, which made for an interesting Monday morning, but I think a lot of fun was had by all. It was good to see a few faces that aren't around that often - hi to the Shindlers, Big Jase, the Wilmots and the new Walmsley to mention a few...

I managed to squeeze in a hung-over hour in on Sunday morning before the main event, running up Castle Street and a big hill to get into Farnham Park. It was a very pleasant run once my headache had subsided a bit - beautiful weather and great to get out onto some grass for a change.

25 June 2009


...to my three loyal readers. No post last weekend. That's because I didn't run, for a variety of reasons - partly illness (swine 'flu?), partly busyness (the Lions test, a non-christening, my mum/brother's birthday barbecue and partly because I was still a bit tired after the North Downs 30k (which doesn't bode well for the MdS).

So, as compensation, here's a mid-week write-up. Not much to say, apart from my run took me past one of the Street Pianos (right) and one of my blisters from 11 days ago still hurt. Again, not encouraging for next April. At some point I need to read my copy of the not-geeky-at-all 'Fixing your Feet'...

14 June 2009

North Downs

Today's run was a bit hardcore - the North Downs 30k, nearly 19 miles of hilly cross-country terrain. Pleasingly, the race started from a leisure centre on Thong Lane and went through both Shorne and Lower Bush. Less pleasingly from my point of view, it was sunny. The first 10k went well enough. The second was pretty tough. The third was gruelling - a lot of up-and-down and, by that stage, I was tired (and salty). I haven't run that far since my marathon in 2006 and my training has been a little more erratic that I would have liked in the last month or so, and it showed. Nevertheless, I ended up finishing a shade under 2h45m, which I guess is pretty decent given the circumstances. Rob whipped my ass again. Highlights: finishing in one piece, the poppies (above), the marshals (and their life-saving jelly-babies) and the cake provided by the organisers at the end. It wasn't as pretty as the Pembrokeshire race but was fun in a really, really hard way.

06 June 2009


I got back from Orlando on Thursday morning. I was visiting with work to attend a medical conference but managed to find time for a couple of runs. Not really knowing the city, I followed a fairly unimaginative route from my hotel, past the massive conference centre (and the 30,000 attendees in the 4 m square foot floor space), around SeaWorld and back. A few points occurred to me on the runs:

1. Running in mid-30C heat and very high humidity is enormously unpleasant.

2. I hate cities where you have to drive everywhere - they lack soul. Many of the roads didn't have pavements, which made jogging tough. People presumably drive off somewhere nicer for their runs rather than running in Orlando itself, because there were barely any other joggers around. SeaWorld seemed to be 75% car park and 25% amusement park.

3. Grass in the US is very thick.

The conference was less busy than in previous years, which left a bit of time to visit SeaWorld itself with a handful of clients and competitors. The highlight was undoubtedly seeing some leafy sea dragons - very cool fish - with the Manta rollercoaster a close second. The Shamu show ("at the heart of every being lies a sense of wonder") was corny American horseshit - my heart was not transported to the edge of wonder as they claimed - but allowed me to get this quite cool snap on my mobile phone.