Thursday, 31 March 2011

Anglo Celtic Plate 2011 Race Report

Ireland's Keith Whyte, John Byrne, John O'Regan, Thomas Maguire and Daniel Doherty

Sunday 27th March saw in the Anglo Celtic Plate. The event this year was being hosted in Perth at the North Inch Park. The course was 42 laps of a 2.38K loop around the park. The event offers the chance for Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to compete against each other in teams of 5. The ACP was my international debut for Ireland as well as my 100k road debut.

I won't bore you with a long race report. You can find out how the event rolled out here

Many thanks to Tony Brennan and Tom Hunt for their expert photography. You can view all of Tony's pics of the event here. Here are a couple of my favourite pics of the day:
Beautiful picture taken by Tom at around 7.45 North Inch Park

Thomas, John, John and me. I had left Keith in the hotel lobby and we were about 20 to go before the race start!

Last minute prep. Must not forget to vas up!

On the move. 100k to go...

I am still smiling at this stage!

Some encouragement at the half way point on the loop.
The support for the Irish team was amazing

Thomas knocking out the miles
John looking strong and relaxed

Just coming up to the 4 hour mark. I had dropped 2 places into 4th

Keith and John looking relaxed

Enjoying the park and nice weather!

John getting me off at around 6hr 30 min mark
after suffering from some cramp issues


Coming into the finish

With John enjoying the much needed rest.
John looks like he has just completed a 5k!

Keith finishing

John collecting trophy for a brilliant 3rd place overall!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Anglo Celtic Plate - Race Results

Just returned from a long drive from Perth to Brighton. Race report will follow shortly but check out the ACP results here:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Anglo Celtic Plate

ACP starts tomorrow at 7am. Keep an eye on the blog for results!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, 21 March 2011

IAU World Trail Championships

The IAU Trail World Championships will take place in Connemara, Galway, Ireland on 9th July 2011. The location will offer a beautiful course running on asphalt road, bog, conventional trail paths, streams, forest and mountains. Check out more on Ultra Running Ireland, here.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Neanderthals, Nutrition, Athletes and Some Vegetables

Many of you who know me will know that I am constantly banging on about the Neanderthal diet (i.e. trying to keep to a diet as close as possible to the kind of food that was around in those days) - In fact, I believe I first came across this diet in one of Dean Karnazes' book. Of course the truth is in those days, they mainly lived off fruit and vegetables because meat was very difficult to come by!

When I get strange looks at work when I refuse chocolate, cookies and muffins, I usually like to quote the "if it didn't walk, swim or grow, don't eat it" saying. That said, I do need to get off my high horse as I make up for it when it comes to munching as much high carb / sugar content as possible during a race to the extent that I am nearly sick!

I try really hard to keep out 'junk food' from my diet but it is very difficult to achieve living in the UK where every other shop is a fast food restaurant and the need to remortgage your house to pay for the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables in local supermarkets. Unless you make lunch yourself, you only need to have a look at the ingredients (pig's toenail), saturates and high salt levels in a basic sandwich to know that healthy eating is not really taken seriously in the West at all. Jamie Oliver does a great job in promoting healthy eating but where is the Jame Oliver for sport and exercise - surely that is just as important!

It does make sense that focusing on diet is key to running success. I cannot afford to get my nutrition wrong when I am in the gym several times a week and out running twice a day. My body reacts with no sense of subtlety when it is lacking something nutritional; I usually get very tired, lethargic and VERY moody! I am not a nutritionist so I cannot really identify what I am missing in my diet when this happens other than to try and eat as much fruit and vegetables (as well as beans and peas etc) to hopefully accommodate this. I also supplement my diet with glucosamine and cod liver oil tablets. In addition, I have started to focus on taking in 2 shots of wheatgrass per day as well as drinking Beet It (beetroot juice) several days before a race to hopefully add a little to the endurance.

I love eating meat and fish too much to become a vegetarian, but I believe that there is some scope in reducing meat intake, especially red meat. In fact, it appears that many top US ultra runners stick to a mainly vegetarian diet relying on their greens and pulses. Roxanne McAnn who manages content for kindly pointed out to me that a lot of top athletes are vegetarians. Check out her Blog "15 Famous Athletes Who Are Vegetarians" here You will note that amongst that list is the US ultra runner Scott Jurek.

So I think the way forward for me is to increase pulses and greens in my diet and limit by meat intake to perhaps poultry.

p.s. two books I am currently reading on sports nutrition are:

"Go Faster Food: Over 100 energy-boosting recipes for runners, cyclists, swimmers and rowers" by Kate Percy

"Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Something for the New Year

Not thinking too far ahead, I thought I would enter a race for January 01st 2012. Where? Well I thought a 100k in Annapurna, Nepal would do the trick!

The course boasts a few mountains, trail, forests and a few local villages to run through. It certainly looks like it can offer a great experience and challenge.

The course usually takes 5 days to trek or just under 12 hours if you are running and the winning local runner!

Interested? Check out the website here

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 7 March 2011

Nutrition for Runners

I am no vegetarian but I found this website called No Meat Athlete which has some great recipes for runners including the much talked about 'chia'. There is also some good tips on creating natural energy bars and gels!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

9bar Ultra Race Grantham - Race Report

With only 3 weeks to go until the Anglo Celtic Plate, I wanted to get a decent ultra race in as a training run. I also needed a change of scene from my usual Bramley training routes. I decided to travel up to Cotsgrave near (or in?) Nottingham to run the 9Bar UltraRace Grantham. This is split into two events comprising a 29.1 mile trail run along the canal on the Saturday and a 29.1 mile return run on the Sunday. As a last minute decision I decided to run both days.

The event is mixed terrain of mud, grass, gravel and a mile or so on road. The scenery is beautiful - you essentially run alongside the canal which passes through Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

Standing at the start line, I noticed most people were looking down at the ground, it was then I noticed a 22 year old, James Blisset, standing in the pack barefoot. It crossed my mind that he may have some kind routine where he puts his shoes on just before the go. Then it dawned on me (looking at his toe nails) that he was intending to run the entire race barefoot. Not in fivefingers, but truly barefoot - i.e. skin meet road, thin gravel, mud, small stones and whatever else may be lying on the floor. The next time I saw James was at the finish line. He had finished! He also looked in better shape than other runners. I know several people who end up injured for several weeks because they decided to run about 5 miles in their 5 fingers - which makes James' running truly amazing. Most certainly the star of the show!

Saturday went by quite well, as usual with most of my races, I decided to get lost and took a 'left' instead of a 'straight on'. It was around about the time I was running on the side of a motorway that I questioned my navigation skills. On returning I could quite clearly see the markers pointing in the right direct. As usual I get carried away in the moment and end up in a world of my own (with cars driving past at 80mph!).

Sunday was a little tougher and I really needed to get my nutrition and hydration right. As usual, I had only gone about 500 yards before Ian Berry (who finished in a close second place) shouted at me that I was going in the wrong direction. Thanks Ian... Great, I got my "getting lost" out of the way, well until about mile 23 anyway! I was only about 12 miles in when my legs started to tell me they were there and hurting. The last 3 miles reminded me of my first marathon and what it was like to hit a very large wall! Still all very good training and experience.

Here are the results:


Daniel Doherty - 3.16:13 (course record)
Mark Davis - 3.27:54
Andy Nice - 3.30:03


Daniel Doherty - 3.20:30
Ian Berry - 3.21:20
Thomas Peoples - 3.27:51

Overall Grantham 2011:

Daniel Doherty - 6.36:43
Andy Nice - 7.10:03
Richard Kowenicki - 8.13:55

If you want to check out more on the 9bar events organised by Rory Coleman check out

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad