Running up Box Hill… with a baby

My wife was racing in Surrey. I found myself on Box Hill. Just me, a baby and a running buggy. Ordinarily, the baby (my daughter, I hasten to add) goes to sleep the instant the buggy begins to move. She can cry hysterically during the insertion process, but move the thing a millimetre and it…

Discovering Strava

I have discovered Strava. Or Strada, as my wife likes to call it. ‘That’s a restaurant chain,’ I point out annoyingly. ‘Totally different.’ I joined Strava earlier this year, but I did not really get it. Another way to record how far and how long you have been running or cycling, I thought. I used…

Nocturnal wanderings in Surrey and London

A night run of at least 30 miles from Guildford to London had seemed a good idea earlier this week. Today – at home, in the warm and dry, surrounded by food – it seems a good idea. Crossing the M25 at 11 o’clock last night, having negotiated 15 miles of the North Downs Way…

Box Hill fell race 2012

Today was my third Box Hill fell race. I clocked 62.52 in 2008, 57.23 in 2011. I was quicker still today, breaking the line in 55,45. With this rate of progress, I’ll break the course record in about 2017. Every runner wants to develop, to be faster, but it doesn’t get any easier. I strode…

Preparing to meet Bob

I am taking Askwithian advice when it comes to training for my Bob Graham round (pencilled in for spring 2012): ‘The only regimes that work are those that you can accommodate in your life.’ The question is, how much can I physically (and emotionally) accommodate? It is a gruelling undertaking training for a 70-mile run that involves thousands of…

Box Hill fell race 2011

‘This is a proper fell race,’ a fellow runner declared in the minutes before the Box Hill fell race. ‘Proper’ fell race? In Surrey? On a 224-metre hill? How I scoffed. A scoff of a man who believed he was qualified to scoff, a veteran of Ben Nevis, Jura and Slioch – actual ‘proper’ hill races….

Box Hill – 209.4m, apparently

There’s not many hills in London to run up, certainly no proper hills. Box Hill in the Surrey Hills is about as good as it gets. Four months in London and my mountain legs have already deserted me. In their place are the puny, road-running limbs of a southern softie unacquainted to a steep slope. I had…