Well done Andy – welcome newbies – meeting a legend

The man called Horse is on the right!

I can’t say just how chuffed I am… this time two years ago, I was coming up to day three or four on my own 1095miles challenge, feeling as though no one was listening and having no idea whether I could even make it past a month, never mind a year.

Two years on and Andy has completed his new challenge and we have not one but four new 1095milers giving it a go… it’s incredible that so many people are giving it a go at once. I can’t wait for another year for them to join Andy and myself in the newly instigated Hall of Fame in September 2012 – and I bet they can’t wait to finish now either!!

I really want to single Andy out for a minute – he took on the site to do his own challenge when I thought it was going to die or I was going to have to carry on running and not only made it his own, but elevated to new, much higher levels. Well done mate. You’ve done amazing things and I can’t wait to read more about them on your new challenge 26more.com as you attempt to do a marathon a month!

As for me, I’ve got two new challenges. One is I signed up today for two ultras. The London Ultra, which is a 30 miler in February, the other is the Ultra100, yes a 100 mile race in June next year.

The other is to try and transition to minimalist shoes. Earlier this week I attended a Saucony event and met the great Caballo Blanco of Born To Run fame. The book by Chris McDougall promoted the barefoot/minimalist craze by telling the exploits of the Rarámuri or Tarahumara tribe in Mexico who can run for miles and miles (we’re talking 60 plus) in just sandals. Caballo was a near mythical figure in the book – the crazy white guy who had gone to live among them and emulate their running philosophy.

Saucony promote three types of minimalist shoe: the Mirage (which retains and element of stability cushioning), the Kinvara (a light minimalist shoe) and the Hattori, as close to running barefoot as you would think possible.

After testing my gait, we found Im a terrible heal striker – the antithesis of barefoot/minimal running. Basically, I lead my runs with an almost straight leg and land bang on the heel – no wonder I need stability shoes to stop me from getting shin splints (old regular readers will recall me moaning about them for near on a year when I was running the challenge).

So they gave me a pair of Kinvaras to try out and so far I’ve done two miles in them on separate days, making sure I didn’t go too far and trying to change my gait to a more mid-strike one… I’ll pop back and let you know how it’s going on and review the shoes at some point.



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