ITERA Expedition Race 2016 Ireland

The latest round of OpenAdventure‘s ITERA Expedition Race is about to kick off in Ireland on the 16th August. Steve is competing in one of the teams, The Jolly Adventurers, and I will be working for OA supporting the event, somwhere! As yet the details are still secret, even from most of the staff!

You can see details of the event here ITERA Expedition Race 2016 IRELAND

The Northern Traverse

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Non-Stop

The inaugural running of Wainwright’s C2C route as a non stop unsupported ultra, organised by Open Adventure at the end of May.


Après Le Deluge

Well it’s over and the team have dispersed to homes and holidays, one to a new job, another to the same old but happy with that. All of us with some fantastic memories of what was an epic experience, the week long ITERA Wales Expedition Race was indeed the journey we were promised.

The full story will emerge gradually as each of us come to terms with what we’ve done; as the last week begins to sink in and the brain digests the events and emotions we all experienced, the intensity of which beggar description.

For now I’ll leave you with a couple of photos and to say a huge thanks to all my teammates Jill, Heather and Steve, love to you all.


The calm before the …..

Final preparations before handing kitbags and bike boxes in, and then the long trip up north to Canerafon. Staying overnight in Anglesey at Heather’s before the real start on Monday morning at 8 from the castle. Stage 0 is two laps of the castle itself, to spread the teams out, then into the kayaks for a 40k paddle to Conway down the Menai Straights, stage1
Stage 2 is a 40k cycle to Ogwen then the real work starts. A night trek over Snowdon.

Packing and travelling

The journey begins.
It feels lake we’ve begun the Itera already. The packing, the planning, bike box assembly and now the travelling.


This week, same modus, cycle – run – cycle, here for your entertainment is a video of the first few miles of my route to Hexham. This is Strava segment Gallowhill Lane Descent, at normal speed.

Training Plans

Upping the Anti

I’ve said it often during the last seasons Open5 Series, that the transition to the bike from the run is a killer. They call it a “BRICK” and which ever way I’ve done it during a standard Open5, i.e. run-bike or bike-run it never gets any easier. Faced with the mammoth task of the Itera itself and possibly many transitions between stages I feel the only way is to work specifically on building that mixed endurance.

The plan is therefore to add to my usual Tuesday evenings endurance training with the Tynedale Harriers a bit of cycling. I tried it for the first time last Tuesday, which was a relatively clear and sunny day. Cycling to Hexham from home, about 14 miles, was OK, timing was almost spot on and would have been had I not faffed about so much packing rucksack etc. for the run. I got the the Wentworth just in time to change into my running shoes as my usual group3 were about to leave.

The run was about 6 miles, up into Dukeshouse Woods above Hexham, uneventful, I’m at the back as per usual but feeling OK and well warmed up after the cycle ride in. Uphill is the most challenging as always, whether on the bike or the feet but by the time we’re through the woods and on the run back down hill to the Wentworth I’m feeling surprisingly good considering.

On getting back to the sports centre and avoided the usual end of run chat, I didn’t want to cool down in any way and this clear night was starting to feel distinctly chilly. Change of footwear and extra layers, lights on and start the ride home. At first it doesn’t seem so bad, its cold though and keeping up a steady tempo is the only way to keep warm. Satnav on the bike, the Wahoo RFLKT+ dies on me just outside of Hexham so I just concentrate on putting the pedals down one after the other.

By the time I reach Ovingham I’m frozen cold, my feet especially and now I’ve got “that hill” to climb before some respite, hot shower and food. “That Hill” is a CAT4 climb, a Strava segment, Col du Gallowhill Lane 4% of leg busting tarmac at the end of a 32 mile evening’s effort.


Team Cooking!!!

Fab team cooking today after training on 9 standards ring…. ice cream hands and disappointed that pub and coffee shop was closed!! Great team bonding and plotting for training! Excited about next 17 weeks before Itera….. then the event! A walk in the park! xxxxxx