“They can’t take that away from me…”

A good friend once told me that you never know what you are capable of until you push yourself right outside your comfort zone, and that’s how The Marathon Ride has been for me so far: a series of challenges of endurance, heat, language, riding, crashing and culture clashing — with a bit of running thrown in for good measure. Continue reading “They can’t take that away from me…”

“All I know is, never bet on the white guy…”

Ten days on, I’m still waiting for my legs to come back to me but I think I left them halfway up ‘Struggle Hill’, outside Pietermaritzburg. Without any shadow of doubt it was the toughest 42km race I’ve ever done, but the Mandela Day Marathon was worth every tortuous, gruelling, sweaty hour of physical and mental anguish, just to have been there.  Continue reading “All I know is, never bet on the white guy…”

Get your head in the game kid!

There are worse places to be stuck than in the highest pub in Africa, but I am well and truly stuck. I’m in Lesotho — the highest Kingdom in the world — and was feeling great yesterday after slipping and sliding my way up the Sani Pass on the big GS but then the wind picked up overnight and it’s now too risky to make the descent. Continue reading Get your head in the game kid!

Phew Uluru, what a scorcher!

So there I am the night before the Outback Marathon, trying to sleep and failing miserably. I check my emails and there’s one from Lee Martin in Adelaide telling me he’s seen the local weather for my area and it’s going to be 32 degrees during the race, so I’d better slap on the factor 50. I get out of my sleeping bag and turn my kitbags inside out in the quest for suncream before I remember that I left it back home in the UK because it’s actually winter here in Australia. Doh! Continue reading Phew Uluru, what a scorcher!

“She’ll be right mate…”

It was like a scene straight out of Crocodile Dundee. I kid you not. The Englishman (me) rolls up at the roadhouse bar where I’m greeted by an old leathery tanned bloke with tight jeans, dirty vest and cowboy hat, Jeffrey the Aborigine and his indigenous mates, and a couple of raucous ‘Sheilas’ (the local women). I’m desperate for an ‘arrival beer’ and ask for a recommendation. “Just don’t drink the VB,” shouts one of the ladies who I learn has spent most her life driving dumper trucks down the local mines. “You know what the VB stands for don’t ya — Vaginal Backwash,” she cackles. I play it safe, leave the Victoria Bitter in the fridge and opt for a Coopers Sparkling instead, which I’ve developed a taste for over here.

Continue reading “She’ll be right mate…”