Heather Jackson

Heather Jackson

Just one of the four

I’ve always been a keen mountain biker and gradually trail centres and local routes were becoming less of a challenge; I needed something to push me out of my comfort zone.

I’ve always been a keen mountain biker and gradually trail centres and local routes were becoming less of a challenge; I needed something to push me out of my comfort zone.
I discovered Adventure Racing through Open Adventure, and the Open5 events; 5 hrs of mountain biking and hill running/trekking, whilst navigating your way around a course, collecting as many points as possible.
Trying to convince my cycle buddies this would be fun, was clearly never going to happen, so eventually giving up on them, I entered my first race, solo at the Forest of Bowland in 2010.
Wake up call No.1: amongst my friends I was super fit, clearly adventure racers were at a completely different level.
Wake up call No.2: my map reading could probably do with some attention (little bit of an understatement).
However, all was not lost…..at the end of the event, whilst talking to fellow racers over copious amounts of hot chocolate, they seemed fairly impressed with my first time solo achievements (feeling slightly proud moment)
Having already signed up for the series and spurred on by their encouragement, I got fitter and started enjoying the events, then I got fit and started loving the events.
I entered my first multi day endurance race ‘The Sting’ in 2012.
My team mates ‘Spirit of Adventure’ were just amazing, even if my agreement to join the team was achieved following a number of glasses of red at the AR Ball and for a first timer, I think we did incredibly well.
I’m not really a runner, TeamFans is full of runners, so this is going to be a personal challenge, but my training buddy Keiko (5yr Alaskan Malamute), is kindly helping me to overcome this and those tentative morning movements are now a shared experience.

Lakes Training

The weekend in the lakes was a really mixed and enjoyable one. Steve was away doing some more bike skills training up in the north, Whinlatter, and Jill had been marshalling a check point in Wasdale on the Lakes 100 / Lakes 50 mile ultras. Heather joined Jill and myself for a trip around Coniston and most importantly another chance for us all to meet up and discuss plans and tactics of a couple of beers.

After all too short a time together the Team was dispersed again, Heather back down to North Wales and Steve to the second day of his bike skills course. Jill and I spend the some time at the finish of the 50/100 and like everyone else astonished at the winning times in all the event categories.

Then some paddling on Rydal Water, such  beautiful place it didn’t seem like training at all.

Here we go!

Gwydyr Forest - Betws Y CoedWith just less than 5 months to go, it looks like TeamFans is coming together nicely.  A few team training events have already taken place and the diary is quickly filling up.  The one good thing is that we’re all in the north…… even if half  the team are in the furthest North East and the other, furthest North West, with Steve somewhere in the middle!

After a fairly hideous winter of constant gales and horizontal rain, the weather seems to be in acknowledgement that Spring has arrived and to start behaving accordingly.  Not great for daytime running with Malamutes, but the mornings are getting lighter, so it’ll be a case of setting the alarm clock that hour earlier….urgh.

Those who know me well enough, know that I’m not particularly a fan of running (unless off-road, on the flat).  Hills are not my friend, but I have Canicross Anglesey to thank for helping to drag my butt out each week and supporting my poor hill efforts…..attaching me to the worlds best pulling dog (Maron), to sprint up the steepest of hills, still takes an considered human effort and the feeling of throwing up at the top, should be recognised as a small victory!!