Friday, 4 November 2011

NAV4 One Day Workshop Saturday 10th December

NAV4 One Day Workshop Saturday 10th December

I just thought I'd let you now that we have a One day course running as above. This is an 'Open' course, with just four places available to individuals upon a first come basis. The cost is just £55 and runs from 10am- 5pm here in The Lakes.

The course content will be focused on 'Intro - Intermediate' level looking at navigation in open countryside. However, with such a small group the agenda is very flexible and there will be something for everyone. It is also a great way to meet new people and share hopes and fears... and have some fun!

They are also a great opportunity for a Christmas shopping trip to The Lakes, or as a present for yourself, partner or friends. If you are interested in this please let me know.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Open Adventure C2C

Great weekend supporting AndyM on the C2C

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Four Teas and a Coffee

Or, 'So, what is Adventure Racing?' as someone asked me recently.

Well since the last post I have completed the Lakeland 100 (solo) and ridden from Berwick to Buxton along NCN Route 68 with three friends. And with two other friends (yes I have some!) I've just enjoyed a great trip to Lochaber; aka the Fort William area. Each of these three trips were steeped in adventure but I'm still identifying which bits were 'race orientated'.

Many thanks for all the congratulatory comments regarding my Lakes 100 result. A finishing time of 30hrs 30mins was OK considering the various factors such as lack of running miles in training, and a dodgy back. But, 'hey-ho' it was a case of carefully applying a little reserve and judgement and drawing upon a few other 'ultras' (they were called LDWA 100s when I started out in 1981)

Pace judgement is my key recommendation; 'jog a third, run a third and race a third...' said and old and wise marathon runner to me years ago, 'and I'll let you work out the order' .

The Lakes 100 did get hot, and many peoples' heads were visibly down, especially along the Mardale trail in the afternoon sun. I started to pass quite a few here, which is always a lift but leaves you feeling sorry for those who have 'blown up' by going off too fast.

Apparently, some 'expert' (last year's winner(sic!)) recomends goings as hard and as fast as you can, 'cos your're going to be knackered later, anyway'
Ho-hum, so all those before him (Banister, Coe, Ovett, Cudahy, Stone, Hartell, Ramsey, Bragg, Redgrave ... ) know nothing, then? But at least he can fit into his race T-shirt, assuming he has one! Oops... just a little dig there, but when you order an XL and then don't get one it annoys me, sorry!

Over-hyped is not something that is applicable to The National Cycle Network Route 68. In fact it's a beast, the perfect reposte to the C2C, and a great route through Northumberland, The Pennines, Dales, West Yorkshire and a bit of an adventure. I confess; three of us wimped out and saved an hour by using a train in order to get to The Queens Beer Festival at Tirril at an reasonable hour, which we three conclude was still a sensible decision. The three day weekend was a great adventure in that we four had never ridden together before, and had slightly differing bikes, and perhaps expectations. However, it was brillant, tough ... but fun. Realistic (shared) objectives might be the key learning...

And lastly, three days fun in Lochaber with Animal Atkinson and The Legendary Wilko. (btw - the three NCN Route 68 adventurer's are all shy modest MAMILs who wish to remain annonymous)
Four years on from ARWC we completed the Aonach Eagach Ridge in Glencoe, which was a bit scarier then I remembered. We followed this up with a brillant ride; 'Tour de Nevis' which I won't detail as it's up to you to seek it out, but it certainly takes you into some wild wilderness terrain so you'll want your mates with you to savour The Epic. Actually, it's great riding, very little pushing or carrying ... just get out there and do it. (Drop me a line if you really need help locating the route)

So, three adventures .... three contrasting trips. The only time we imploded was when I selfishly went into 'race mode' and that was in search of 'Beautiful British Beer ...' and I thought it was a team objective. Lesson learned - sorry Martin.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

NAV4 Paddle Day Two - Distant Horizons

Our second paddle day with Jason (Distant Horizons) followed neatly after our first. This time we paddled solo Sea Kayaks rather than tandems, thus allowing each of us to work on our individual skills ... as well as showing up some weaknesses and a few bad habits!

The boats we paddle are excellent Tempest 170’s from Wilderness Kayak Systems. These offer great tracking but remain agile and responsive to good handling skills. Endurance paddling is all about efficiency and not just speed, so learning to move the boats around swiftly, effectively and easily saves a lot of energy and time.

We are a mixed bunch of paddlers, some with years of experience and others just a few. Our shared experience is in adventure racing, but paddling in a non-race environment gives plenty of time to explore the richer side of paddling. Working on your weaknesses is the best way to improve overall performance.

A full day on the wider expanses of Ullswater with a mixed bag of weather gave plenty of time for skill acquisition and consolidation, ending with a ‘wet session’ of capsize, rescue and rolling. But the major focus for the day was advanced forward paddling skills, including forward steering strokes; thus eliminating much of the need for drag inducing reverse paddle steering strokes.

‘Edging’ is the key; not to be confused with leaning. Efficient edging combined with a good paddle stroke produces a very pleasing and productive ‘carved turn’. Similarly, Draw Strokes, Low Brace, Bow Rudder and Cross Bow Rudders may sound flash but they are incisive and very effective when used correctly. And, the final 'wet session' based around capsizes, T-Rescue, One-on-One Rescue, and ‘All-in-Rescues’, reminded me that it is a long time since I floundered around in the water. Hmmn, some more rolling practise is called for!

As Wilko said a few days later, ‘I soaked up more learning than you did lake water in your Helly Hansen pants ... so much made so much sense .... I’m learning loads!’

Off the water, and away from the ‘hard’ paddle skills, Jason’s experience as a skills coach is facilitating discussion on team dynamics, ideas, concerns and solutions for future racing objectives.

Our next session will focus on Open Boat skills in Canadian canoes.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Run Saturday - Paddle Sunday

Looking forward to the weekend, it's going to be a relatively simple multi-sport Birthday event. Saturday will be the last, big, pre-Lakes100 recce training run, and Sunday a NAV4 Paddle Day on Ullswater with Distant-Horizons. Sunday is also my birthday (no, my Facebook Dob is not real) so I expect to get wet, but rewarded by cake and beer, but not necessarily actually on the water.

We had our first Paddle Day on Ullswater a month ago and Jason gave us a lot to think about, not only in terms of our paddle skills, but why we do what we do and, what are we aiming for in the future. Jason is an excellent coach and Ullswater provides a brilliant paddle venue. Paddle 'mileage' is the key, coupled with skill development; 'long term objectives require short term goals'. 'Work on your weaknesses,' is another cliche ... but oh so true, especially with Ullswater on our doorstep.

Well, future race objects for NAV4 in 2012 remain a little secretive, but suffice to say we are aiming to up our game greatly on 2010 in terms of paddling and racing generally. There are some obvious 'no-brainers' for which the team(s) need to gel. This year has been a year out of mainstream Adventure Racing, for me and team members, whilst we each of focus on individual objectives, some of which is just getting injuries well and truly fixed!

More next week, when I'll be a year old.


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Outrageous and Audacious

I haven't blogged for a very long whle simply because I've had very little to say ... other then stuff I might regret publishing.

Some Quick stuff -

Outrageous and Audacious - well that's the theme for a few things, especially Ant and Bruce's was, which they pulled out of the bag; Well Done!

It's also somewhat applicable to many other issues which have kept me busy over the past few weeks and months, the last of which is:

No Dockray Races - after thirty years .... nowt! We simple can't be bothered with the hasssle caused by some land agents when their 'administrative systems' are so out of proportion to the nature of the event.

However, we will be re-apprasing what, why and how we do things so all is not dead.

More soon, got to escape the Public Holiday fiasco NOW!


Monday, 21 March 2011

No More NAV4 Events ...until Winter 2011

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Tour de Kentmere and the Nav4/12 has been cancelled. Please contact me via email if you need further info.