Tough Guy Teaser

Just a quick post as I’m laid up in bed with the flu, probably the result of spending 2hrs running around the English countryside soaked to the skin, crawling through stagnant swamps and ponds??

We’re currently waiting on footage from the Tough Guy organisers to make our next video, but you can see a teaser here

There are also some decent photos from Reuters via Team Geared Up here

Tough Guy- Completed

I’ve just arrived back in Cork after yesterday’s assault. We were a bit apprehensive that our lack of training since Christmas was going to make Tough Guy a painful ordeal, but we were both in flying form. Even after a chilly night spent trying to sleep on straw bales in the drafty barn laid on by the Tough Guy organisers. Admittedly, every muscle in my body aches, and both my knees and elbows are grazed. But overall, myself and Si put in a pretty decent performance yesterday.
Shivering, out of breathe, and dripping from head to toe with fetid, icy, swamp water, we fell across the line in a respectable 1hr 59mins.

The Tough Guy experience was as much fun as you’d imagine 5,000 people throwing themselves 15kms around a military assault course might be. There was great team spirit and camaraderie among all of the participants. On several occasions total strangers reached out a shivering mucky hand to haul me up a slippery bank, or pushed me the last few inches over a 10 f00t wall, a favour I reciprocated as many times as it was needed.
Its the spirit of togetherness that really is the essence of the whole Tough Guy experience, it wasn’t a competition so much as a group challenge. As we become increasingly reserved and Urbanised. As rules of hygiene begin to border on sterility, and chatting to a stranger tantamount to madness. When we can go a whole day without actually going outside for more than the time it takes to run from the office to the car, and then from the car to spar. Spending two hours covered in muck on the verge of hypothermia together with 5,000 like minded individuals seems more necessary every day.

Contrary to what you’d expect with an event styled with military paraphernalia, and promoted with overtones of machismo, Tough Guy is not in the slightest bit macho, nor is it a place for big ego’s. Such is the nature of the event that, there is little talk of places or times in the post race banter, only slaps on the back and a mutual respect for having put oneself through the mill on a cold Sunday morning. There was no feeling of heirachy or one -upmanship, as “Ultra” athletes lined up alongside first timers. Back in the barn that doubled up as a changing room the atmosphere was that of the locker room of a team that had just won the cup. As we all were high on the elation that comes from having done something very hard and demanding, and given our all.

Some people say it’s the toughest assault course in the world. True, it has a very high drop out rate, around a third of those who start don’t finish, and we did see several people in the early stages of Hypothermia, and several people being carted of by paramedics. Somebody also died during a Tough Guy a few years back. But the fact that over 5,000 people take part each year indicates that it is well in the reach of ordinary lads or lassies of modest fitness, like myself and Si.

The next Tough Guy is in July and as we’ll be doing our next leg of training ascending Mont Blanc we won’t be able to make it. But we’ll definitely be giving it another go some time in the future.

We’re currently getting our photos sorted. For the moment, The Guardian has some decent snaps here

Its January and all I want to do is sit inside, drink tea and eat cake.

Its a chilly Sunday evening in January, and I’m trying to rouse  myself out of that bear-like inclination to sleep until at least mid February. I know I should be excited about training for all of the ambitious events that we’ve got planned for the summer. And I know that I’m definitely going to have to put in some proper miles if I’m to avoid another painful experience at the Cork Marathon next June- last year I had to walk the last 8 miles and finished in a less than impressive time of 4hrs 5mins. But it seems that my couch and bed just keep drawing me to them with a near magnetic force. I think I must have used most of the excuses in this video from Ben Saunders‘ site, since xmas. This time next Sunday we’ll hopefully be finished our 3hr canter around a 9 mile assault course in Wolverhampton(see the video below). I just hope our lack of training doesn’t show too much.         

Jam and Cats, the logical answer to global warming.

This funny little video, based on sound science and logical reasoning provides a practical solution to peak oil, global warming and some of the energy problems facing today’s world. Using two materials that are in potentially indefinite supply, jam and cats, we could replace oil and other dirty means of energy production. The possibilities seem endless, and I could imagine great swathes of white carpet providing sustainable travel around the globe.Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do my bit for the kitty, kitty, kitty.It comes via Paul Smyth’s freshly squeezed blog.

Radio Interview, Anna Livia FM

Caroline from Anna Livia just sent me this recording of a brief  interview I did with her on the Good Morning Dublin show (weekdays from 9-10) before christmas. There was a problem with the scheduling so it was a little rushed. Myself and Si should be on with her again in March, stay tuned.