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Organisers Insight – Hermes Running

David Ross – Race Director – Hermes Running says “It was a great event at Bewl Water last weekend and I hope all the participants enjoyed the experience. The sunny weather and light breezes made the conditions ideal, and I want to say well done for conquering the challenging Bewl trails. There were some inspired times across all three of the respective race distances. The men’s half marathon was won by Patrick Burke who stormed home with a time of 1:20:00, with the leading lady Penny Brook also having had a cracking run to clinch her victory in a time of1:35:15. The men’s marathon winner Benjamin Parkes cruised to victory in a stellar time of2:52:32 and the ladies’ winner Lucy Hilton set a new CR time of 3:26:14 also having had a really inspirational race.

In the ultra marathon the men’s winner Peter Summers (Handy Cross Runners) was victorious and he also set a superb new CR winning the race in 4:51:19 with the ladies’ winner Ali Campbell (Clapham Chasers) storming to victory to cross the line setting a new CR time of5:43:25. Fantastic running performances from all these runners and a great set of results from all our male / female podium winners, and to everyone for achieving a great set of results and personal goals.

I also wanted to say a big thanks to my race sponsors, the Ultramarathon Running Store, Tailwind Nutrition, Chia Charge, High 5, Steigen Socks and Profeet. The marshals from both the 1254 (Godalming) Squadron Royal Air Force Cadets and 19th St.Matthews Scouts Group, my friends and supporters, Swift Chip Timing, The Response Group Medics, DW Sports Massage Therapists, Ultimate Sports Therapist, R & R Race Photography, River Pixels and the wonderful support staff at Bewl Water who were all fantastic. Your stellar efforts and valued support of the event were really appreciated. The R & R race photographs are just being tagged and will be attached to  participant email addresses, in the interim all the Bewl Water event race photo’s can be purchased here now for £4.95 each.

Congratulations too all the UK Comrades runners that ran Bewl as a long training run for the epic race taking place on 4th June. I will be there again this year running my 13th Comrades. If any of you decide to sign up for this in 2018 please drop me a line and I will willingly help you with any advice, information or training that you need as this is a wonderful event and a truly humbling race to do.

I know some of you have already signed up for my next event in the series, the North Downs Way races on 9th July so I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks to you all for your support of my events, keep up the inspired running and no matter what goals you set yourself make them challenging, and embrace the spirit that comes from within!
Carpe’ Diem always.”

Don’t forget that the Bewl Water events were just part of the Hermes Running Series and check out the next two events – The North Downs Way on 9th July – and The Thames Meander on 12th August and 4th November

Eventrac’s founder Aaron Bird says “it’s great to hear about all the events we promote. If you took part in Bewl or any other event you would like to showcase then please let us hear your own personal experiences for our blogspot. There are some brilliant events coming up to challenge and inspire. Go for it – we will be rooting for you”

Peter Thompson and the number 44

Now 44 could be your age (yes the 40s are the new 30s), your waist size (well perhaps you could be a little trimmer), your trainer size, or if in your 70s the year you were born (and yes there are plenty of 70 year olds still running) or it could be the number of cumulative miles you ran last week. According to Wikipedia the number 44 has significance in mathematics that go beyond it following 43 and preceeding 45 (the limit of my understanding), it’s the number of laps at the Belgian Grand Prix and a quick google even turns up a definition on an Australian Blog Site that the 44 is linked to Angels and Archangels “giving us inner strength” (and that is definitely something that we runners have oodles of). Ok there are loads more sporting significances. A mere number you may say so whats the point of this blog….

This week sees the announcement that 44 was a pretty significant number for awe-inspiring Peter Thompson, from Bournemouth, who has just completed 44 marathons in 44 days in 44 countries. That’s pretty amazing and Peter – we applaud you – the force was definitely with you on this one!

Peter began his challenge on 1 April in St Petersburg and finished in Dublin on Sunday. It must have been a logistical nightmare but Peter just took this in his stride and he even managed to do his washing on the way and raise funds for two worthy charities too, Livability Holton Lee and Mind.

A recent BBC article reports “He (Peter) hoped his challenge would “encourage others to be open about mental health and, if comfortable, share their own stories…” Between each marathon he had to move from one country to the next, in “a mixture of trains, planes, buses, taxis, cars and ferries”. He said it had been the “best thing and the hardest thing” he had ever done.
The 32-year-old has raised almost £18,000 for mental health charities – a wonderful result. Congratulations and well done Peter – a truly great 44 effort!

Now I am not really superstitious (although I will run round a ladder) but writing this blog has got me the hang of this numerology thinking lark and I will definitely keep the 4s in my mind when I next run a 4 miler in training, even if I don’t spot an Angel on the way. When I need to pull something out of the bag to keep my mind strong I’ll take anything offered to keep me focussed on the end goal! In her Australian blog spot, Intuitive Writer, Joanne Warmsley says that “The Number 44 carries the doubled vibrations of the number 4, making its energies and influences magnified. Number 4 resonates with the attributes of support and stability, establishing solid foundations for the self and others, willpower and effort, ability and worthiness, hard work and achieving success, wholeness and inner-wisdom.”

Perhaps there could be something in this after all – which is why we posted this at exactly 4.44 pm!

Pure Hydration

Continuing the theme of elements (last month focussing on “earth” – ie Mud Runs), today’s blog turns to water. When you think of water you think of living! After all we could not be without it. Running round it, swimming through it, skating across it, sailing or rowing over it – water offers boundless opportunity in all its forms and dare I say it in in the company of athletes, its not half bad with a bit of gin poured over it when frozen into cubes!

I woke up thirsty this morning with H20 definitely on my mind this a very timely blog! Last weekend Hermes Running held the Bewl Water Half, Full and Ultra Marathon. Bewl is one of a series of events organised by lead organiser David Ross throughout the year and the courses circuit the reservoir that spans across the Kent/East Sussex Border. A hidden gem hidden behind woodland just off the main A21 London to Hastings Road, Bewl is not just a pretty sight – it is the largest reservoir in south east England providing drinking water for catchments across East Sussex and Kent. A superb place to circum-navigate. The three routes take in forested areas, open countryside trails overlooking the lake and along quiet country rural roads with record numbers taking part this year, loyal followers who return year on year for their Bewl fix plus many newcomers – it is a great event and you even get a medal with a fish on it! But, if you missed the “jewel that is Bewl” then don’t throw in your towel yet, you can still soak up the atmosphere – check out this Youtube video and a date for your calendar is coming very soon.

To drip feed you with an additional spot of good news – Bewl is only part of the Hermes Series journey which continues to navigate close to water as the events unfold – turning upstream this time to Surrey to follow the course of the Thames. There are two 2017 dates to choose from either 12th August or 4th November and even better a new date is about to be set for March 2018. Each date offers the option of a half or full marathon. Why not put the kettle on and check out this superb video produced by Stephen Cousins of FilmMyRun. Taking part in the marathon event himself last year – he offers great insight into the route, the people he meets on the way and gives his own honest and personal experience. His film which lasts just over 9 minutes – gives a great flavour to whet the appetite and steer you towards entry for either the August or November event this year.

What do they say – you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink! Ok so that’s enough of the watery puns – I promise. Seriously though hyrdration before, during and after an event involving strenuous exercise is important. There is a so much written about the subject it can be confusing but according to Matt Fitzgerald – author and Training Intelligence Specialist “the exercise hydration advice is in fact to drink according to your thirst. As long as you keep an adequate supply of palatable drink accessible during your runs, you will naturally drink enough to optimize your performance if you just drink as often and as much as your thirst dictates”. There are plenty of water stations on all the Hermes routes – make sure you get what you need.
Check out all the events that Eventrac has to offer – both watery and on dry land – a real cocktail of experiences to have with on us…

Cheers!

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

This weekend Ashdown Primary School are holding their annual mud run and will be having lots of fun raising funds for the school PTA.  We wish the families and kids taking part well and hope they raise loads for their PTA.  This muddy experience has prompted me to look into the mud event phenomena.  Ashdown join a host of other event organisers who are turning to mud to challenge and entertain and a whole industry has sprung up in recent years. Mud is gaining ground!

Its not uncommon on a weekend to see exhausted people walking along the road covered head to toe in the brown stuff looking like they have been dragged behind a tractor on a rainy day!  The dirtier you get, it seems, the better you will feel and yes, this is exercise!

Crawling through tight muddy tunnels, wading across icy water, dodging electric wires and jumping over fire. This is not everyone’s idea of fun – but a multimillion-pound industry has grown on the back of increasing numbers of women and men doing just that.  A recent BBC article:  Mud, Sweat and Cheers,  gives some fantastic and seemingly incredulous examples around the world of mud and challenge runs that would make you feel dirty and exhausted just looking at the photos and leave the reader wondering  how on earth anyone makes it to the finish line alive!  (I quickly step in here and say don’t be alarmed – a primary school’s event will be very safe and they won’t be doing all of that!)

But what draws participants to these ultimate challenge events?  Perhaps lives have just become too clean and safe.  Perhaps there is a need to reconnect with the experiences of ancestors who had to endure extreme hardship just to survive. Perhaps these events are seen as the next level of endurance race.  Everyone may have a different reason to take part but once you do, what appears consistent is that you become well and truly embedded in the concept.

Spending time in mud is good for us too apparently.   A Telegraph article written (about children) last year by Linda Blair: Mind Healing the Psychology of Getting Dirty: tells us that parents should encourage children to get muddy.  It says that there are many advantages and cites “Spending time outside encourages the production of endorphins, our natural painkillers that trigger feelings of wellbeing and being outdoors helps set our biological clock and promotes more restful sleep”. Ashdown Primary may be leading the way here!

Well done if you have taken part your own mud challenge. We look forward to hearing how you do and good luck to all in the Ashdown Primary School event this weekend.

Useful links:

Obstacle Course Race Association is a governing body formed to ensure that this type of event is safe – check out http://www.ocrauk.org.uk.  “Train safe, Race safe.”

PHOTO by Steven L. Shepard, Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs

Blister busting!

Congratulations to all those 1000s of runners who took part in the London Marathon yesterday, whether elite, club or novice runners. It is truly an amazing event and a great race result for you but what about your other footfall result – how are your tootsies today? A bit sore – oh dear – or maybe you’ve been unlucky enough to get a blister or two down at the lower end of those over-used extremities after going the distance. Those of us who have been there on that particularly uncomfortable journey have huge empathy with what you are going through – the blister is truly the runners curse!

If that was your foot fall result yesterday (or at any other recent event you have taken part in over the weekend) then we are sorry to hear about this temporary setback. The good news is that a blister soon goes and perhaps the euphoria of your triumph yesterday may be masking any pain or you haven’t had to squeeze your toes back into the work shoes yet anyway. Time to analyse why you got the blister later – for now you just want it to go right? Ok so before you take any drastic action we suggest you do take some advice to avoid any nasty infection that might delay you getting back into the training for your next event.

There are loads of remedies that I’m told you can apply to blitz that blister – cider vinegar, Epsom Salts (ouch that stings), chamomile compresses, soaking in green tea (aaahh that’s so soothing), tea tree oil, vitamin E, aloe vera etc can all bring relief, particularly if you are into alternative therapies. The NHS website has some very sensible advice too and those special second skin blister patches will surely need to go down in history as one of the true wonders of the medical world.  I find they bring instant relief!  Just try everything and see what suits you. Of course then there is the other side effect for the long distance runner – black toe nail trauma – but I won’t go into that now as anyway it could be weeks before yours falls off anyway!

Seriously, it was a long day yesterday and your feet deserve some praise for all their hard effort – so give them some TLC for the next few days and then maybe go out and buy some new socks and shoes, and a jar of Vaseline too perhaps, to give them a treat before their next running outing. We hope to see you and your healthy feet at one of our events soon.

Well done from us all here at Eventrac!

Pound for a Purpose

If you are a seasoned runner then you will know that dedication and determination are key ingredients to motivation.  A quick click through to Wikipedia defines motivation as “a theoretical to explain behaviour.  It gives the reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs”.  Umm sounds a bit stuffy to me… my own take on this is that motivation involves tip top ingredients in the recipe that is self, both physical, mental and emotional.  Now, a psychologist I am not, but what I am, is an unashamed plodder! I get out there, I love running, and I enter events to give me a purpose to train.  However sometimes I flag – its wet, its cold or I am just too tired or too busy at the office.  That’s where I need outside encouragement.  Yes, there is that guy at the gym who does personal training and there are park runs and running clubs but to bring added enthusiasm into my own mix but sometimes even that isn’t enough.

So ….to extend my stride of purpose to a new pace I seek out a worthwhile charity to support and raise a bit of dosh for a good cause whilst I am going through the pain.  Sometimes I have very personal links to those  organisations, other times I just think they are pretty brilliant at what they do and acknowledge they need money to help.

Did you know that there are over 160,000 registered charities in the UK?  There are many more struggling clubs and associations at the grassroots level in your local community.  All of these desperately need funds to continue to help others.  Raising funds for a good cause is easy when you have a  sense of purpose – you do the hard bit by taking part in the event – but by raising your profile of your efforts to those who can’t do the same, ie your friends, family and work colleagues, you might just raise a few quid as sponsorship in the process and with gift aid pledges you can get the charity 25% more without any additional cost to the donor.

If you would like some advice about how you go about this, Eventrac has a team member who is very knowledgeable about the not for profit sector and she will happily give advice.  However if you think you could raise some pennies for those less fortunate than yourself through your passion for event participation then just check with your event organiser.  If there is no conflict of interest with your charity of choice I am sure they would be very happy for you to raise funds.  So go on….raise some sponsorship doing something you enjoy and “pound for a purpose”!

A day in the life of our founder

Eventrac’s founder Aaron Bird is a driven sportsman who, as a regular competitor in challenge events, became frustrated by inconsistencies in the processes of event entry and decided to do something about it.  A keen sportsman and challenge event participant himself,  Aaron has blended his entrepreneurial traits, software development skills, professionalism and sound experience to create the expanding business that is Eventrac which now thrives on delivering a cutting edge entry platform for event organisers and event participants.

Aaron believes that keeping fit adds to your creativity.

“I do most of my planning and thinking when I am out on my long runs he says”.  “My working day starts at 5.30 am with either a 10 mile run or a 1.5 hour stint on my turbo trainer or a long cycle on the back roads in rural West Sussex.  After a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs and avocado on toast I then set off to the office or to the meeting of the day.  “I really enjoy what I do, it’s a privilege to work in the sporting arena and observe so much activity going through the site and know that it gives so much pleasure to so many active people”.

After a lunch break that involves a visit to the gym for a speedy workout, its then back at desk for the rest of the day, supporting the team, going to meetings, networking, perhaps attending the occasional conference, seminar or exhibition as a speaker.  No two days are the same.

“I get to meet very inspiring people and am so impressed with the dedication and passion that event organisers have to promote their sport of choice”.

Aaron goes on to say..

“At the moment the site entries are focussing on those events that I myself participate in and have knowledge of, but that is by no means the site’s limitations, and we have some new themed events in the pipeline.  I have a great team working with me and as Eventrac grows even bigger we will be promoting a range of events across the event entry continuum.

Eventrac is underpinned by client referrals, endorsements and trust.  The company offers the event organiser an intuitive and flexible platform to promote events.  We look forward to a long association with you and play a part in helping to encourage your participants to return year on year.

On your marks – get set – Blog………….

The race season is underway, spring is in the air and the new year resolve that might have been packed away on the darker days is now back – you only have to go out for a jog before work to see so many people there are out enjoying that refreshing early morning air.  We’ve decided to get even more active too and taking feedback into account about what our users want and need we have incorporated a new blog page on this website.

Ok… so blogs are everywhere and you are all busy people….  if we were attaching this to the starters gun it would not make too much noise I agree – but every novice has to start somewhere even on the blog front so stick with me on this!.  We are all sports enthusiasts and our mantra is everyone has to start somewhere.  I predict rapid improvement on my own training front here and want this blog spot to be an active resource for yours too!

Just to focus on Eventrac for a moment…   Our entry platform is proving to be a winner – both with event organisers and participants.  As I write we have just observed our 80,000th participant’s entry to date –that’s an amazing number of people covering incredible distances on race days and, of course, there is then all the miles covered during the training in the lead up to them – thats a lot of really fit people!   We are so much in awe of you all – your dedication for sport is incredible – whether you are a race organiser or a participator you are truly awesome so thank you for using Eventrac – it’s a great partnership.

We here at Eventrac want this blog to be informative and helpful.  We want to hear about real life stories from you – anything from the challenges you face as an organiser, the incredible achievements of those who take part in your events, your tips and hints, your motivations and your successes.  Please send me through your own blog content or give your wishlist feedback and let me know what you need to know.  We will do our best to highlight your event or create meaningful content that is useful.  Contact Ros at info@eventrac.co.uk.