May Mileage = 344 Miles
Here’s what went down
Today’s post is all about the awesome Ultra Trail Australia journey. But there’s some big thank you’s to say first. Over the coming months, I’m appealing to everyone to help support my Running The World 196 expedition. I want every penny that is raised throughout the journey to go to Prostate Cancer UK. So men all over the UK can get the treatment they need. And more prominently so the awareness can be spread far and wide. So here’s to the companies and individuals that have donated and supported my journey.
McNair has very kindly provided me with a luxury mountain shirt. Check out their website. http://mcnairshirts.com Here’s a video and some photos of the handmade shirt. I can confidently say that if you love mountain running, climbing, exploring, or just being outdoors, you need one of these shirts. It will keep you warm and its basically a jacket. Having a hand made shirt to live in for the 18 months is going to be special.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/102917944″>The McNair Mountain Shirt AW14/15</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/mcnairshirts”>McNair</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Thanks to Aviva for providing an Auction prize for the launch event… September 30th. You can get your tickets here…
Aviva also managed to provide some top quality seats for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final last month. Huge thanks for these. We managed to raise some extra funds to add to the pot. The seats were spot on apparently.
So I mentioned the Launch Event. This is super important to me. 30th September will see all my friends, family, and runners from around the country come together to support my journey. This date will act as a good building block for more publicity.
I’ve included some details below. For £85 a head you get a lot for your money. Some of the most inspirational speakers from the world of running and mountaineering plus Kev. Kev, as you probably have already read about. He is the entire reason why the trip is happening in the first place. He has terminal prostate cancer. Every penny of the money that is raised for Prostate Cancer UK will go to support men like him, and potentially many people reading this. Prostate Cancer is a big killer and desperately needs extra funding.
If you are interested in coming along, enjoying a 3-course dinner, 5 speakers, including me, (lucky you), an auction, live music and a gin bar please get your tickets now. They are on sale here.
My love of running is obviously a driver for wanting to run the world, that’s kinda standard right… and other than the clear desire to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK to support my mate Kev; I love photography and film; so along with a load of very kinds donations from various companies (above and below) my family bought me some new camera gear. A drone to get some great tracking shots, the Canon 80D DLSR for the wide angle video recording and the small pocket size Sony A6500 to take on runs.
This kit will allow me to document every aspect of the trip with the view to promote the journey through social media, this blog, and also produce a feature length documentary. I’ve already used them on a number of trips. If you have time and you’re interested please take a look at my Vimeo Channel
Here’s the new gear. They are my new babies at the moment. I’m sure before long the novelty will wear off and I’ll be throwing them in my bag.
#Thanks to #Osprey
My last 8 months of my life has naturally been filled with training and events etc, but a big part of the success of the expedition next year is having the right kit. I called Osprey and explained what I’m doing. Within a few minutes on the phone, they very kindly agreed to donate 2 bags. One bladder bag to run with and the other a full rucksack to take on the trip. Having now received these bags, I can tell you, they do not disappoint. A nice note wishing me luck along with 2 incredible bags. The quality is fantastic.
Basically this is turning into a post of thank you’s. And it’s deserved. These guys provided me with two brilliant filers drinking bottles. And I didn’t even ask (I don’t think). They contact me through social media and offered. So thanks guys. I’ve used these already and they will come in very hand next year.
I can’t write a post about kit without telling you about my new baby (Drone)… The DJI Mavic Pro Drone is a great gadget. The technology has moved on so much. It’s stable in the sky, has a huge range, incredibly easy to fly and the battery life is about perfect. For the short clips to cut into bigger films the drone really knows what it is doing. On top of the great flying ability and the camera quality (4K), it has the ability to fly on it’s own and to track me in the sky. As i run it can circle me at a fixed height or track me from behind or simply move in the direction of me. No need to hold the controller or worry about the battery life. If the battery goes too low, it just flies back to where it took off from. You may have noticed that i love this bit of kit. It fold up into basically the size of a house brick, and only weighs about 1.6lb.
Here’s a few photos I took with it.
Once again I find myself being very grateful for the kinds sponsorship and support from Pro Direct. Pro Direct have provided my trainers for the entire trip. 11 pairs of Ultra Boost to be precise. Plus these new identical ones.
#Australia 100km Ultra
The Australia trip was a big event in the 2017 calendar. I travelled 11,000 Miles to run 62 miles up and down lots of steep hills. Sounds crazy but it was actually a really enjoyable trip. Despite the fact that I travelled all that way and it turned out to be cold and raining. Yep… I left the UK where it’s cold and raining, to go to the other side of the world only to find exactly the same. If a little colder!
That said I think you’ll agree the photos below kinda justify the trip. The scenery was beautiful, the mountains were huge and the Blue Mountains especially were a real treat.
I should mention that I’ve never been on such an easy flight. Despite the double stop… once in Amsterdam and then again in China before reaching Sydney the journey was really chilled. I was on my own, and most of the flight was Chinese so several films later and after plenty of sleep I was there. Didn’t feel like 18 hours at all… I felt it two days later, however.
I arrived in Australia into Sydney. I met with some friends and spent 5 days exploring the city. Carb loading to the max and generally relaxing. Although I did manage to fit in a few little runs around the city.
One of the days in Sydney my mate showed me around the botanical gardens… the spiders were pretty big. Not as big as the spider that turned up in front of my face when packing my bags in their house later that evening, however. So I certainly got the real experience. Huntsman apparently. Not sure I felt hunted though.
Day 6 of the trip I travelled west for about 2 hours on the train to the Blue Mountains. I never really knew why there were called the blue mountains but, when I arrived it was clear why. They were Blue. Obviously. Should have guessed really I suppose. Never seen anything like it.
A quick run around the Opera house and a ferry trip from the harbour to Watsons Bay. A 20 miler around from the city along to Bondi, over to Coogee and finishing at Malabar bay was great. Got the Drone up and took some great shots.
That evening I spent a few hours travelling around some of the offshore areas on the Staten Island Ferry.
The Surf on the east coast was also brilliant, despite the not incredibly hot weather, the waves were amazing.
I travelled by train to the blue mountains just a few hours west of Sydney. This was where I met a great couple of Canadians. They really are everywhere… and so friendly. Spent a few days with them and then raced. After 17 grueling hours and meeting some amazing people I stumbled back to the hostel, slept and then made my way back to the airport the following day.
Later in the month was the annual Cornwall trip with friends. A big bunch of us spend a bank holiday weekend down in Polzeath. This for me is just a glorified reason to go and train along the beach and coast. I made a little video of the trip too.
If you’re first time reader, you may want to check out my expedition for next year…
What’s Running the World 196?
I’m running a marathon in every country in the world. My aim is to raise £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. It will take me 18 months to travel to all 196 countries, spending about 2.5 days per country. There will be war zones, the heat of the Sahara and the extreme cold of Antartica. I will live simply, camping and sleeping in peoples homes.
Can you accommodate me?
If you live on earth and are free when I’m coming to your country you may be able to help. Please don’t be shy. If you’re interested in putting me for the night you can share stories about your country culture, attractions and best of all you can even run with me if you like.
Run With Me
Before I leave, hopefully well before I leave, I’ll be posting a list of all the cities and airports I’ll be landing in. If you are in the right place at the right time and want to run with me, or even make a special trip to come and see and support me please let me know.
How to Contact me
Why raise for Prostate Cancer UK
I met a guy called Kevin. That’s the simple answer. The longer answer involves the Sahara Desert and 7 sweaty days. It’s not as strange as it sounds. We ran a race called the Marathon des Sables together. 7 marathons in 6 days across the hottest landscape on earth. He and I got to know each other. He later told me that he had terminal prostate cancer. He will die too young and too soon. He is a truly amazing man, his attitude towards life is full on, positive and blows me away. I am trying to raise £250,000 for Prostate Cancer so more people are aware.
How to follow me?
You can see where I am online. I am carrying a gps tracker with me for the whole trip. You’ll be able to see where I am all the time. Every marathon I run will be posted online through my website. I’ll be posting twitter comments videos and photos throughout the trip. My twitter nam is @runatthefront and my Insatgram name is @manofsport.