Beard To Run



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…

Anton Kuprica

Anton Kuprica

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…

Run Forest, Run...

Run Forest, Run…

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 –

Dave Bedford

Dave Bedford

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!

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