Exciting morning

Just off out to finish planning my first Intro to Trail Running session with our new local group Stamford Trail & Ultra Club. Here’s the leaflet below. I can’t wait to introduce them to the fun trails round the quarry off Little Casterton Road – one of my fave things to do is to introduce newcomers to my fave sport and see how much enjoyment they get from it. ūüôā

AND I spoke to Charlie Sproson today, Race Organiser of the Lakes Sky Ultra, and I’m going to go and film his shorter distance race this weekend – the Scafell Skyrace, along with Rupert Bonnington and Damian Hall. I’ve worked with all three before and they are super chaps, so I’m really looking forward to filming/working with them and creating a really useful video for trail runners about this awesome race.

See you there if you’re racing!

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#STUC is GO! …What is #STUC?

Exciting! Have just set up a local group for local people – Stamford Trail & Ultra Club. As I posted it to Twitter I realised the acronym is #STUC! Oh the irony – running off-road is actually the very thing that will get you unstuck and out of a rut this summer.

I’d been thinking about it for a while as last year I qualified as a personal trainer, but the idea of spending days in a gym beasting people was about as attractive as picking the fluff out of Boris Johnson’s belly button. It’s got to be outdoors for me, whatever the weather. And on trails, both near and far.

SO. I set up #STUC, a closed FB group to bring together all the trail and ultra running enthusiasts and wannabes in Stamford and the surrounding area. Now we can hook up to run local trails, share skills & tips, answer questions, and encourage each other to run & race in exciting places like the Peaks, Lakes and Wales, (the pics below show a bunch of us at Keswick Mountain Festival June 2017).

As a PT and former editor of Trail Running magazine I can also supply training and organise race recce trips for individuals and small groups – get in touch if you want to arrange an exciting excursion and/or reach your full potential on trails: csmaxted@gmail.com

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A bunch of Stamford Striders at Keswick Mountain Festival June 2017 about to race the Salomon 25k Trail Race organised by Mountain Run

Top 3 reasons to do parkrun

You always feel great (read SMUG!) after getting up early to do a FREE, timed 5k parkrun at my local event at Rutland Water. It sure is windy across that reservoir, and the sheep look at us as if we’re crazy (well, maybe…), but here are my top 3 reasons for blasting away that hangover with a short morning jogette.

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What are your top 3 reasons for doing parkrun?

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Well why wouldn’t you subscribe to my YouTube channel? ūüėČ

Subscribe to my Wild Ginger Films¬†YouTube channel for more parkrun and trail running related advice and inspiration every week ūüôā Thanks for watching!

#RealRunningBodies

I have an idea! Tell me what you think…

We managed to book Sophie Radcliffe from Challenge Sophie for a Trail Running magazine photoshoot yesterday, and it was brilliant to meet her. She was excellent to work with, highly intelligent, proactive, fun and the thing I liked most about her was that she is focusing on helping others Рshe had just come from a conference about young people as the first generation growing up surrounded by social media and all the pressures and excitement that brings.

Jeeeeez, I’m so glad we didn’t have Facebook when I was at school or uni! It would have¬†exacerbated my totally unfounded worries about my fat (strong) thighs and slightly unflat (normal) stomach. Looking back, this was a complete¬†waste of precious time – I had and still do have¬†a brilliant, healthy body that can run ultras, swim, bike and hike¬†in the mountains for days.

So, during conversation with Sophie, I shared with her one of my ever-bubbling ideas and she encouraged me to act on it. So here we go!

#RealRunningBodies is my latest campaign.

What?
Runners upload underwear shots of themselves using the hashtag #RealRunningBodies¬†for all to see how awesomely imperfect a real, healthy runners’ body looks. Once we’ve got a few on social media, we start¬†share the posts and hashtags to every positive body image influencers we can think of, like This Girl Can, The Good Men Project and Young Minds. It’s be great to get a whole stream of them drip fed through to¬†the Trail Running magazine website, so I’ll have a word with the team…

Why?
To fight back against the unrealistic, damaging media images of men and women we see every day. We need more people, especially youngsters to waste less of their precious time worrying about their looks, following fad diets and becoming obsessive about body image. There are so many other better, more productive, happier things to think about!

If you have run a 5k, 10k a half marathon, a marathon or an ultra and beyond, your body is doing you an amazing service. Now it’s time for your brain to recognise this fact. It may not be ‘perfect’ in the eyes of the media, but¬†it’s pretty fit, mighty healthy, and carried you all the finish line.

  1. Brain, stop being mean to Body. It’s doing a great job.
  2. Focus on what our bodies can do, not their imperfections.
  3. Let’s show the world what our¬†#RealRunningBodies¬†look like.

I’ll start, shall I?

This body has done the Bob Graham Round, three trail marathons in three days, 4-day adventure races, 50k ultras, week-long hikes through the mountains, river swimming, mountain biking, road cycling, everything!

BOOM. Nice work bod!

Share your #RealRunningBodies now and fight back against time-sucking, damaging body image worries with me.

 

Why BBC sports reporter Vassos is addicted to trail running

“It’s safe to say I’m fully converted to trail running,” said BBC Radio 2 Sports Reporter Vassos Alexander when he joined me for a run last week. Whoop whoop! Another person addicted to the exciting, adventurous world of off road running! Find out why Vassos is addicted to trail running in our video¬†here.

His head is not really that much bigger than mine in real life, but this is the main thing my Stamford Striders running club friends are ribbing me about right now! Ha ha ha!

 

Vassos and CM Mar17

We ran 7.75 miles on muddy¬†Stamford paths and wooded tracks,¬†and Vassos gave our town a “10 out of 10 for views” so that’s awesome (wait ’til he does the Dragon’s Back Race¬†across Wales this May though!)

He is off to do the 80k Eco Trail de Paris this weekend, so good luck Vass! And thanks for joining us for a super run. His running book, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now‘ is an awesome read, and he’s just started a new one about ultra running with some really truly awesome trail runners featured, so I’ll keep you posted…

Watch the video here

Have you been harassed on your run?

As a ginger person, long ago I got used to the fact that I’d be shouted at in the street by groups of lads just for existing ¬†– so much so that now, on approaching teens hanging about on street corners I revise my arsenal¬†of potential cutting, nonchalant come backs to what they might be about to shout! (My fave is, “Is something wrong with your mouth? Something really weird just¬†came out of it.”) So I was particularly interested in the article, “Running while female” in the latest Runner’s World magazine, which revealed the shocking prevalence of abuse shouted at women on the run – without even having ginger hair!

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While not minimising this at all (it’s happened to many times, it was the reason I stopped running aged 15, and some of the incidents were insane – guys masturbating at lone females, men in cars slowing down to leer and follow them, like who are these guys??? Would they do that to their sister or their mum?).

I just wanted to big up the lads for a moment here. My partner Steve, my dad, my male relatives, all my male friends, obviously all my male run club friends, and two workmen while I was doing hill reps the other day. Rather than wolf whistling as I feared they might, they looked at me like I was crazy, then carried on with their jobs. With 3 reps out of 8 to go, I caught one of them’s eye and said, “Only 2 more after this!” Still no response. Until my penultimate rep.

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“Gooooooo on!!!!!! You can do it!!!!!!” from both the guys, cheering me on, making me run my fastest rep yet. THIS kind of shouting on runs should be encouraged. If men want to shout something out to us ladies to impress other men – it should be genuine¬†encouragement and admiration for our determination rather than sexual innuendoes which can’t help but be perceived by us ladies as threatening.

If guys want to shout, there are so many better options. Next time someone shouts something I don’t like¬†at me, if it’s safe to do so, I’m going to stop and calmly, and friendlily give them a list of better options:¬†“Nice one, good effort, go on, you can do it etc.”

Maybe gradually they’ll all catch on. What do you think?

5 reasons to do a #morningmile

Every morning I walk, jog or run the mile and a bit around the field at the end of my road, at the back of our housing estate. It’s not mountains or anything spectacular, but I’ve started calling it the ‘Field of Inspiration’ (ah the glamour – it’s just a really muddy dog-poo-edged, litter-speckled field) because I can’t get round it without having some epiphanous idea for Trail Running magazine, our¬†awesome #Run1000Miles challenge group, or my own lifestyle/fitness plans. The birds are fantastic too. I know I’m getting old now because I flippin’ love them. We used to tease my dad for being a fan, but now I know why! They’re so cute! And their chirrups of “Gerrroff moiy laaand” to all the other birds are so sweet and melodious!

This morning I felt energetic and it was beautifully sunny, so I ran round at a fast, no-talking tempo pace. It felt great to be really inside my body and feel all my limbs and muscles moving and lungs working.

I want to do this every morning, and I’m calling it the #morningmile.¬†Here are my top 5 reasons why you will benefit from walking, jogging or running a #morningmile too:

1 Wakes you up
2 Gives you a smug boost of fitness
3 Generates new ideas
4 Bird song soothes your brain
5 Views give you perspective on work stress

Where’s your morning mile and what does it¬†give you? Tell me in the comments below.

Happy trails, and happy #morningmiling

Claire