It’s the end of another weekend, and another ultra – 40 miles around Compton in Berkshire – the race didn’t really deserve a report as it was one I’ve done before, so nothing exciting or new to report. However, on the 7 hours it took me to ramble around the course, I did come up with an idea for what I hope will be a suitably amusing read for anyone stumbling across this site!
Way back in January I’d found out that I was unsuccessful in ALL my 2013 race lottery entries – this included VLM, Western States 100, GUCR and UTMB so I was a little despondent about what to do in 2013. Over on Fetch someone suggested that the Bear 100 in Utah was an amazing race – 100 miles and 29,000′ of ascent! Yep, that’ll do it, so I entered and it’s now my A race for the year…
I booked-in some training runs, well – actually about 15 races. All between 20 and 100 miles, and including a return to my nemesis race The Fellsman in 3 weeks, the hardcore UTSW 100, plus the Thunder Run 24hr. As I write this, I’m 7 weeks into a training cycle which has me doing 10-15 hours training / week, this equates to 50-70 miles with between 10-15,000′ of ascent.
But, I digress – there’s plenty of time to talk about running up mountains etc – you’ve all heard my stories and read my blogs… That can wait – this is more important than all that…
Back when I entered The Bear I’d been impressed with the US trail runners – Anton Kuprica, Geoff Roes, Joe Grant et-al, and there seemed to be a single common denominator – beards! Now – as a confirmed pseudo scientist, I run low carb paleo, use minimal footwear – 4mm trail shoes and vibrams for training/speed work so this seemed like a no-brainer… What could I lose, it was time to retire the razor and do some empirical research!
But first, here’s some of the evidence that turned me onto this…
Forest Gump – anyone who’s run will probably have been egged-on/cheered/abused by someone shouting “Run Forest, Run” at some point in their running career. You have to admit that the beard is pretty impressive, though I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t keep it up after running across America – what about Spartathlon, or MDS?
Anton Kuprica – THE bearded ultra poster boy! Killian Jornet isn’t old enough to grow a beard, but when he can I’m sure he wants a Kuprica! This fella is amazing, read his blog –
he’s more of a mountaineer and legs it up the 14,000′ Flatirons of Colorado every day just for a laugh. He’s there or thereabouts in everything he enters, minimal, normally shirtless and just a really cool runner – a true inspiration!
70’s marathoners! Dave Bedford. We were faster back then, and we had moustaches – coincidence? I think not…
Paula Radcliffe… Only joking – but is it any co-incidence that ladies started getting faster with the advent of the Gillette razor and men becoming less hirsute?
Mo Farah… Yes, he’s only a kid, with a bit of bum-fluff but once he steps up to the marathon distance just watch that chin hair grow – mark my words, there’s world records to be broken and a bearded Mo-bot is where my money lies.
And finally – out own San Domenico Ronald Morris, still putting in amazing performances and able to show me a clean pair of heels whenever I’ve been lucky enough to run with him!
So – what happened? Well – I’ve run 8 marathons/ultras on consecutive weekends,smashed my 40 mile and 50k PBs and managed to avoid frostbite on my face… I’ve also saved a few minutes in the mornings and a couple of quid which would have lined Gillette’s coffers!
And with that I rest my case, for now my razor remains rusty and unused… Hopefully this may inspire some of you to try something different – step out of your comfort zone and live a little!
Until next time – stay hairy!