Ring O’ Fire

I have entered another race, to aid bowel cancer charities, and to show that there can be life after cancer 🙂
And so, with the brains of a man in his mid-forties I have entered the Ring O’ Fire race. This is a not a normal race, but one that is a bit of a challenge (he says jokingly!)
135 miles (217 km) around Anglesey in 3 days is what is takes to complete the amazing Ring O’ Fire coastal ultramarathon.
NB – an ultramarathon is a race of any distance greater than that of a marathon (like the London Marathon I just managed to get around at the end of April!)
I’ve never done an ultramarathon before, so why not, especially at my age, have a go at a tough one if you are going to do one 🙂
Ring O' Fire Logo

The race is on from 4-6 September, so I will try to fit in a bit of training over the hot summer months in Belgrade (noting I will do a half marathon in Novi Sad on 27 June at night, because it should be too hot during the day they have it a night – logical!)

Basically an ultramarathon isn’t about the time (provided you can get to the daily final checkpoints within the deadline set) but it is about endurance – can you keep going to the end. That’s what I want to see if I can do, so my time and distance deadlines will be:

Ring O' Fire Route

 

Whilst this is a major challenge for me, it is also about helping others, and as my facebook profile picture shows, in entering such a challenge I do want to raise monies to help others. Please donate and help 🙂

FB-top-851-x-315-BCUK-ROF-neil4bc2

So what is the Ring O’ Fire?
Below is an explanation in both English and Serbian, and then a video the organisers produced a few years ago (before they lengthened the route by a few miles!)

“Ring O’ Fire is a 217 km coastal ultra marathon circumnavigating the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales.

This epic foot race is staged over three consecutive days (Start 13:00hrs 4th – 6th September 2015) and follows the rugged and spectacular Anglesey Coastal Path around the island. The extreme distance and variable terrain places Ring O’ Fire as one of the most extreme ultra marathons in the United Kingdom.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of Snowdonia Mountain Range, Ring O’ Fire offers adventurous runners the opportunity to challenge their limits in some of the most awe inspiring coastal scenery in Wales.

Almost all the coastline of Anglesey is a designated “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” and runners will encounter a wide variety of terrain, including: tidal estuaries, sandy beaches, pebbled and rocky coves, steep cliff top paths, sand dunes, farmers’ fields and sections of forest.

It’s not all nature, as runners pass Holyhead’s ferry port; Beaumaris Castle built in 1295 AD; the grand Menai & Britannia Bridges spanning the turbulent Straits; the ancient burial mounds at Cable Bay are worth a few moments of time; and later RAF Valley, the airbase where all RAF and RN jet fighter pilots advance their training!

Ring O’ Fire should not be underestimated; the 135 mile (217 m) distance and 13,695 feet of vertical ascent make this a mammoth undertaking for even the most hardy of runners.”

“Ватрени прстен (Ring О`fire) је ултра-маратон којi својом трасом у дужини од 217 километара прати обалу острва Англеси у Северном Велсу.

Епска трка траје три дана (почиње у 13х 4. јуна, а траје до 6. јуна 2015. године) и прати стазу познату и као „Anglesey Coastal Path“ која се протеже дуж спектакуларно дивље обале острва Англеси. Екстремна дужина трке и промењиве карактеристике терена чине „Ватрени прстен“ једном од најекстремнијих ултрамаратонских трка у Уједињеном краљевству.

Планински ланац Сноудонија даје импресивне кулисе за „Ватрени прстен“, па тркачи имају идеалну прилику да границе своје издржљивости  испитају у можда најимпресивнијем природном окружењу које Велс може да понуди.

Скоро целокупна обала острва Англеси је означена као „Област нарочите природне лепоте“ што тркачима омогућава трку кроз различите пределе који укључују речна ушћа, пешчане плаже, камените обале и стеновите заливе, стрме литице, пешчане дине, фарме и шуме.

Међутим, трка није само у природном окружењу јер пролази и поред луке за фериботе Холихед, замка Бомарис, изграђеног 1295. године, потом величанствених мостова Менаи и Британија који преко немирног залива повезују Англеси са копном, античких погребних хумки у заливу Кејбл, који сваки за себе заслужују неколико тренутака пажње. На самом крају трасе налази се база Краљевског ратног ваздухополовства „Вели“ у којој енглески ратни пилоти увежбавају своје летачке способности.

Трку Ватрени прстен не треба потцењивати. Раздаљина од 217 км као и успон од 13,695 фита чине је мамутски великим подухватом за велику већину тркача, укључујући ту и ветеране”

Should you wish to join up and enjoy the fun then please do either via a charity place (5 still available at time of posting), or pay for your own place – it is sure to be an experience like no other 🙂

Oh, and why’s it called the Ring O’ Fire (…Johnny Cash) :-):

“Love is A Burning Thing
And it Makes A Fiery Ring
Bound By Wild Desire
I Fell Into A Ring Of Fire
I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher
And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire”Johnny cash

or just go to this link, the original video made a year before I was born (it is though on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time) 🙂

Born to Run – book review

Well what a book!

Some are good, some are bad, and some like this are just awesome.

Bought this a few years ago, read chapter one, something happened and I put it down and only picked it up again a couple of days ago as I’m back into running. Why, oh why did I leave it so long. It’s such a great book, one could even say a seminal piece of work, and you don’t even have to like, or want to be a runner to appreciate how good it is.

The book starts with a simple question:  “Why does my foot hurt?”  and the book then weaves its way through distance running, diet, biology, anthropology, science of running, running shoes, the Tarahumara, and so much more; ending with a 50-mile race. Wow, it’s a great, easy-read that gets you thinking about life and what it is to be a human. There’s a chapter on the Running Man theory, another (few) on Leadville, Emil Zatopek gets a great mention in another, as do why salads are good for breakfast! These side stories are interspersed into the main story of the buildup and actuality of a  50 mile ultra marathon race through Mexico’s Copper Canyons between a weird, mad, yet fantastic team of  American ultra-runners and Tarahumara Indian ultra-athletes – and the race demonstrates how mad you have to be to get involved in such things.

Running in modern shoes, sandals or barefoot – the pros and cons are all addressed in this book.

Great book, and one that makes you think – recommend to anyone (you don’t even have to like running!)

I can see why it’s just made the Amazon 100 books to read in your lifetime (cnn story here, it’s book #14), as voted at Goodreads.

So that’s my review of “Born to Run: The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners, and the greatest race the world has never seen” by Christopher McDougall – ISBN 978-1861978776 (UK) or 978-0307279187 (US) and available as an e-book as well.

If you fancy reading a copy then please use these links to Amazon. Associate monies from any sales will be donated to Bowel Cancer UK I am fundraising for:

Paperback version on Amazon.co.uk

Kindle e-book on Amazon.co.uk

Enjoy 🙂