Thursday 17 March 2016

A Well Travelled Runner!

I thought I'd write down a few bits about my experiences in my short but eventful running career so far, to give the wider audience. Hopefully you'll enjoy reading this!

As I work away a lot, I am very lucky to run in some amazing places and some not so amazing places. I do as soon as I can go out and get a run in, prior to doing anything else. It helps really with finding out where various things like the bars, restaurants etc are and getting lost just adds to the fun. I've run in very cold places to very hot places, each place has good running memories even the place it's self isn't in my opinion very good.

I'll start with one of favourite places to run, in 2012 I was working away in the Baltic, I got run in various places like Denmark, Germany, Norway and Poland. It was that cold in some places, the sea had frozen and we had to break the ice as we came into harbour. Eventually our trip took us out of the Baltic and up north to the Arctic Circle. We were conducting exercises for a couple of with with other countries. Prior to the start we anchored off Harstad, Norway. This gave a chance to those who wished to go a shore for a couple of hours if allowed by their department. There isn't a lot to do in Harstad to be honest, as I was one of the lucky few, I wasn't going to waste the opportunity. Myself and one of oppo's decided we would go for a couple of hours running, whilst the rest went to try and find a bar that was open. We landed a shore and the place was stunning, the little town was covered in thick snow. Off we went and we decided to go run up a mountain. Obviously we weren't going to the summit but we were going to make the most it.

Harstad, Norway

Fjord, Norway

Considering how cold it was temperature wise, you wouldn't have thought so. I had my leggings on, base layer, my VLM running jacket, hat and gloves. I went with my most grippiest (is that even a word?) shoes I had at the time on board which were at the time my Adidas Kanadia's. It was great running in the snow, chatting away as we ran upwards taking in the scenery. Eventually we had to turn round and make our way back down stopping by a souvenir shop prior to jumping back on the boat back to the ship. It still remains one of favourite places I have ever run to date and one I would love to repeat.

So that was one of favourite runs now for one of my ermm embarrassing moments whilst running. On one of my visits to the Arabian Gulf regions, we stopped in Bahrain for the a few days.Due to the time finishing work, I hadn't gone for a run yet and also being where we were where there were areas of black flags flying it wasn't safe really to run by myself. I had spoken to another oppo about going for a run early doors to try and beat the heat as much as possible. So that was the plan, were going for a 3-4 mile run because in that heat even at 6am it was going to be a killer and I knew I wouldn't probably be able to muster any more.

That night I went out with the lads for a few drinks, luckily Bahrain they allow alcohol in establishments unlike other Middle Eastern countries. One drink led to another and soon enough I was rolling back to my bed around 2am. We had a curfew because of where we were and what had been going on in the region recently so couldn't be out later than that anyways. I climbed just about into my rack and got my head down. about 5.45 I woke to my alarm, dragged myself out and chucked some running kit on. I met my oppo and off we went into the 34-38 degrees heat at 6am. I was seriously hanging badly from drinking the night before, but I wasn't going to let it stop me. The heat kept our pace down to around 9.30 min/miles, I was glad I had some water with me for sure.

Bahrain mid run photo with Ed
We ran along through the area, and soon enough came to turn around time. However not long after turning round I started to get that terrible feeling, the one where you know it's not going to be a good ending. I starting to clench my arse cheeks as I ran, but soon enough with still a mile and half to go I couldn't hold it any longer and soon it fell out. Yep my arse gave way and I filled my compression shorts I was wearing under my running shorts. Luckily they were compression shorts as it kept it in. But because I was aware that I just shat myself I ran slightly behind my oppo as we ran back hoping he couldn't smell anything. As we approached where our ship was, I said I was going to warm down with a walk and let him go ahead. We were berthed in a dockyard where we had to go through a US base, so I had to pass through strict US security with a pair of shorts full of shit. It wasn't a quick process either, well not as quick as I'd like.

He ran off as I walked through the base to where our ship was. However he was waiting for me prior to going back on the ship! Again I walked slightly behind up the gangway, saying good bye to my oppo I quickly scooted to my cabin where the other guys were still asleep, grabbed my towel and wash gear as well as laundry washing liquid and scootled off to the showers to clean up.

Not one of my finest moments but still a run to remember and there isn't such a thing as a bad run! Thank god for compression shorts that's all I can say.

Being an F1 fan, having the opportunity to run around an F1 track is not one I would turn down, I've run two now. One being Silverstone during the half marathon that's held there and the other was in Abu Dhabi. Every Tuesday they open the track up to runners and cyclists for free. So it's like parkrun but on Tuesday in the evenings and around a F1 track. It was absolutely amazing, I ran two laps, so 11K in total. It was very warm and sticky at night. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it, the atmosphere and experience was brilliant.If you're ever out there get on that track and go for a run, or cycle the bike are free to hire. The restaurant is fab and they have changing rooms and showers.

Abu Dhabi, UAE F1 GP Track

Other countries I have run in, in addition to one already mentioned are UAE, Jordan, Oman, France , Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Holland, Qatar, Malta, Libya, Pakistan, India, Greece among others. Libya and Pakistan were conducted on a treadmill on board though because at the time it was too unsafe to be allowed ashore due to security issues going on. Yes there were rounds being fired not far from us. I've also ran around the ship on the upper deck in the middle of various oceans and seas, as well as on the treadmill during some rough weather which always makes some interesting training sessions especially when it's set to 0% incline and you're running up and down hills as the ship rolls.

I've sailed all the way around world (literally) prior to my running career and there are some countries I have visited I'd like to run in, especially ones out in the Far East.

Muscat, Oman another favourite places to run

Aqaba, Jordan

In Spain with Emma after running from Gibraltar

Normandy, France

Valletta, Malta

Goa, India

Training in the Mountains of Kos, Greece

Halfway point in the Paris Marathon

Middle of the Indian Ocean

Early morning run in Corfu, Greece

Lisbon, Portugal
So there, you go just a little bit into my travels, I may do some more stories another time. As for now I'm currently in training for this season and the next big adventure next year. My next event is Hope24 in May.

Until next time!


  1. I had a giggle reading this tommo. I can't believe you shat yourself. Haha good effort.

    1. No body knew at the time! I got away with it 👍


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