The Gritstone Grind

An unexpected 35 mile scenic trail route, running from Kidsgrove up to Disley; and my second ever ultra-marathon.

Summit of the Bosley Cloud.

Summit of the Bosley Cloud.

This is an existing trail called the ‘Gritstone Trail’ surprisingly enough; available for anyone to do any time (lots of people will walk it over 2 or 3 days) and I highly recommend it, as it really shows off the area in picturesque fashion.

I call it “unexpected”, as you run through and over villages and towns not renowned for their scenic qualities. The key word here is “over”; there are a LOT of hills and the views are spectacular on a clear day. Areas like Mow Cop castle, the Bosley Cloud, Teggs Nose and White Nancy being the notable high up bits.

Track Race Afternoon in Stockport

When I was still in school, I never really got into running; it just didn’t interest me. I formed this opinion due to school running consisting mostly of short distance races, and I had discovered from my other sports, that I was not really much a sprinter.

As I’ve got older, it has become abundantly clear that I have much more prominent slow twitch fibres than fast twitch in my muscles. The difference being that in my older years, I now realise that just because you are not good at something, is not necessarily reason to avoid it altogether.

First Ultra Marathon

Two years ago, I decided that I needed to run a marathon as something to tick off my life-list. It was great; the instant respect you get from people; the sense of accomplishment; the feeling of ‘belonging’ in the runner’s community. I knew right there and then that I needed to do more of this.

The problem is that even as you get better at them, faster and stronger; that feeling of accomplishment is not quite the same. I’m not saying they get easier… Actually, yeah I am. I’m saying they get easy; completing a marathon has become so routine and normal, it has become almost mundane.

Packing for a Race

It’s the morning of the day before my first official ‘ultra’ marathon. I’ve chosen ‘Run to the Castle’, as it promises to be a very scenic route up the Welsh coast, to Harlech Castle; a nice, cool 40 miles. Also it will count towards the prestigious ‘100 marathon Club’, which I would love to attain quickly.


Benefits of Yoga

Around 6 months ago, I went to a yoga class. Now, as a man (and I am a man; I had is confirmed by a medical professional), there is a certain stigma attached to doing yoga. I wasn’t expecting too much; a few breathing exercises; maybe get stretched out a bit? I certainly wasn’t expecting a workout from this non-holistic activity.

Double Marathon Weekend for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Two years ago, I ran my first ever marathon. It’s a great feeling! The accomplishment and raising money for charity; it’s a bit more-ish.

The RMCH is a particularly pertinent charity to me, going back years and years from when my younger brothers and sister where kids. So when I decided to do some running for them, it didn’t seem quite enough to just do another marathon. After a long think and several strokey-beard meetings considering the notion- “What would be twice as tough as a marathon?” I thought …….. “2 marathons. Genius.” It’s often the simplest ideas that are the best.