The Race that wasn’t to be

New Forest 2015
New Forest 2015

Today is the 20th December, a day I have been building up to, and training for, for the past six months. It’s the day of the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon. I booked the train tickets and the hotel room months in advance, did some wonderful long training runs and was feeling confident that I could do this, my first marathon in five years. But it wasn’t to be 🙁

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What dolphins taught me about running

For the past four or five years, I’ve spent a few months of the year in the Bahamas, at WildQuest, swimming and diving with wild dolphins and helping others enjoy the same. It’s a wonderful experience in itself, but what has it taught me about running? What do our flippered, undersea friends know about running?

It's hard to know which way is up :)
It’s hard to know which way is up 🙂

[This article first appeared in the wonderful Running Conscious blog by Julia Chi Taylor, guaranteed to inspire]

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The Very Long Bath Half Marathon

I’ve been looking around for a nice trail run and came across the Relish Running Races who organise some very interesting races in the Bath, Somerset area. I’ve no idea who they are but the races look like a lot of fun. The one that strikes my fancy is part of the Bath Running Festival on July 27 th, which offers 5k, 10k, half and full and it’s the half marathon that I’ve registered for.

relish running races
Relish Running Races

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The 10th Freiburg Marathon

Bare X-Lite from Inov8
The Bare X-Lite 150 from Inov8

Last Sunday was the 10th Freiburg marathon and the fifth one that I’ve run in. The weather was not too bad, given that we’ve had a run of freezing nights and very cold days, that was a nice surprise. Not sunny, but nearly into double digits. The Freiburg marathon boasts “42km, 42 bands”, and as the course is 21km that translates to a band every 500m. Well, they don’t all show up and when the weather is really bad (cold and raining) few of them do, but last Sunday there was, I guess, about 30 bands, some of them very good and all of them very enthusiastic.
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Spotting dolphins

dolphin spotting
They're out there somewhere...

We’ve tried, without success, to contract the dolphins to show up regularly at a set time and place, we’ve offered them unlimited fish and squid, but they obviously value their freedom higher than that. And so we have to head out to the ocean every day in search of one of the pods, armed only with binoculars and a lot of patience. We, as humans, tend to sail above the surface of the sea. Dolphins are more at home beneath the surface. This obviously introduces some difficulties to the process of finding a small group of dolphins in a very large ocean.
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Fun with bottlenose

ajara and veit
ajara and veit

In the society I come from, talking to others while wearing sunglasses is kind of frowned upon, usually the preserve of teenagers with an attitude problem. But here in Bimini, where the sun is bright for most of the day, sunglasses are normal. It’s taken me a long while to get used to this, having whole conversations with people and not being able to see their eyes. And myself talking to others while wearing the things. I’m most comfortable with a light shade that can be seen through. I notice it often with newly arrived guests, they feel a bit disconcerted at first, whereas I think most of the crew here are not aware of it as it is normal when living here. Continue reading Fun with bottlenose

Dances in the deep

short dive!
short dive!

This is the second of four weeks of the Life Trust peoples and half of the previous weeks people have stayed over and some leave and some new ones arrive. It’s like being back in Germany with the sound of German around me. We’ve got a young lad, Leo, who decides to shave his head while here. So in minutes he goes from angelic blond hair to shaved cranium, which is a pretty courageous thing to do on holiday. He is now the Man of the Month for September on the Wildquest calendar! Continue reading Dances in the deep

The Germans are coming!

Stormy days
Stormy days

The week started off with a couple of tropical storms passing by. Tropical Storm Ana, the first of the season, didn’t quite make it as far as the Bahamas but disintegrated somewhere off the coast of Cuba. The local Bimini weather wasn’t unaffected though and we had the first couple of days with a fair bit of wind and rough seas outside of the shelter of the island. Later in the week we were expecting Hurricane Bill to appear, but he veered north and we got the tail end of him over the next weekend.
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Tao moves mysteriously