140 days ago

Running the XNRG South Downs Devil's Challenge 2017

It’s bank holiday weekend in the UK. What better thing to do than joining a bunch of nutters for a three-day foot race from Winchester to Eastbourne, covering 156 kilometers and many hills? I could not come up with a better idea, so here is how it went.

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158 days ago

Garden of England: Running from Ashford to Canterbury

This Saturday, I decided to explore the North Downs Way between Wye and Canterbury. A trip report touching many things: navigating with phone and compass instead of maps, public footpaths and plough teeth, explosives and barbed wire, parking lots in unexpected places, and oceans of bluebells.

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175 days ago

Three Years in the United Kingdom: Need Candles in the Dark

Exactly three years after my arrival in London, the UK Government has triggered article 50. The Brexit drama continues, with decision-making in the dark being a defining part of the play. It is time for a few personal reflections from a “first-row seat”.

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248 days ago

Country to Capital 2017: Resurrection

The annual Country to Capital race takes a few hundred enthusiasts from Wendover to London Paddington in what is said to be the opener of the ultra marathon season. There are stark contrasts between country and capital, and it was interesting to observe the gradual transition.

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254 days ago

Utility theory and pedestrian behaviour in London

A not-so-serious attempt at explaining pedestrian behaviour in London using utility theory. Ever wondered why certain pedestrians jump so readily in front of passing lorries? Ever wonder why some are keen to collide with approaching cyclists? Sorry, I don’t have the answer, either. But I am still curious. And in a mood to rant. Just a little bit.

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297 days ago

Wendover Woods 50: First Ultramarathon

November. Saturday. Dark, foggy, chilly. These were the conditions for around 200 loopy runners to set off on a loopy five-lap course through the small, pretty & hilly Wendover Woods. 50 miles later, and after arduous 3000m of ascent, I got a fairly thorough taster lesson in ultrarunning.

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381 days ago

Enham Alamein: Andover Trail Marathon

This weekend, I traveled down south from London to participate in the newly setup Andover Trail Marathon. The start and finish was in Enham-Alamein. A place that caught my attention – El Alamein? Historical and personal battles.

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445 days ago

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Giants Head Marathon

On the last weekend in June, I ran (and walked) the Giants Head Marathon in West Dorset. Well-organized, welcoming, laid-back, and not so simple to get to. Highly recommended.

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448 days ago

Without Captain, Course, Destination: Sailing Away

Several months ago, I concluded a post about the EU referendum with “Sail away. A thought abroad”. I am thoroughly disappointed that the UK actually did. Or half of it? The ship has left the harbour, without captain, without course, without destination, and most disturbingly with a deeply divided crew.

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494 days ago

Welcome to Scotland, Revisited

Back from an extraordinary hiking trip to Scotland. Soaring temperatures, not a single drop of rain, few midges, outstanding panoramas were just some of the highlights of my second multi-day hiking adventure into the West Highlands.

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514 days ago

To run or not to run – that is not the question

At the end of last year, I had decided to spend more time outside of London to discover the rest of the UK. In order to make that happen, I booked a few races in various parts of England. Today, on the weekend of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this brought me to Stratford-upon-Avon.

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544 days ago

Air Pollution – Green, Yellow, Red: Toying with CleanSpace

Got the CleanSpace tag delivered. It is a RF-powered, portable device measuring carbon monoxide concentration. I spent a few days playing with it, and sharing my first impression here. Ultimately, I want to know whether the data can help foster change to the better.

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662 days ago

Europe – Story of a Migrant

No, this is not a story about a refugee even though certainly many could be written. Instead, it is a story about a migrant within the European Union. A story that should make UK citizens think twice. A story against reactionary and nationalistic tendencies.

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676 days ago

Quantify this: Running

It’s easier than ever to track your mileage in running, cycling, and many other activities. But why would one do that? For the present self to celebrate past accomplishment?. Or to post it online here for promoting one’s virtual self? No. I want to track running mileage in order to adjust my course and correlate exercise with race performance.

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780 days ago

Getting lost in a marathon: an extra mile for free

As if the race wasn’t long enough on its own, some runners did not pay enough attention and had to run the extra mile in the Vanguard Way Marathon, a nice and challenging race on scenic trails south of London. A humoristic take on how to get more out of the race than you paid for.

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797 days ago

Run to work: Review of first year

Run to work statistics: 41 commutes, over 200 km distance covered, 17 hours spent on exercise, around GBP 86 saved on public transport, not so fresh air, and a ridiculous number of trolleys avoided by not having to go through one of London’s busiest train terminals.

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856 days ago

50 km of Wales in a Day: Big Black Mountains Challenge 2015

Panoramic views on a scenic route through the Black Mountains in Wales. This challenge, organized by the Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, was worth every step that was needed to complete the 50 km hike. We arrived tired, but happy before sunset.

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891 days ago

Cycling in London

On the topic of cycling in London: much has been written, and more will be written. That is because it is a complicated matter. This is a brief and incomplete view on the upsides, the downsides, and the quirky aspects of cycling in London.

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913 days ago

Cardboard cut-out: a solution for the sliding piano pedal problem

The pedal of the electric piano in my room keeps sliding and slipping away under my foot. A well-known issue. Placing the piano on a large piece of cardboard fixed this: a cut-out of the right size is now keeping the pedal in place.

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1121 days ago

Saatchi Gallery: What is this made of?

A friend recently showed me this place. I am posting no more than this: have a look at Saatchi Gallery in London and find out. Guess first what it is. Find out later.

1122 days ago

Eastbourne via Beachy Head towards Seven Sisters

Spending a day at the Channel near Eastbourne, escaping to more scenic running routes than London can offer. Wind and rain. The weather forecast calls it “heavy drizzle”. Impressive.

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1123 days ago

Lightshow in London

The deserted City of London on Saturday. Almost empty. Brilliant colors and stark contrasts on a unique day of sunshine and rainfall – a few pictures.

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1130 days ago

Scotland, Let the Sky Fall

A recount of a hiking trip into the wilderness of Scotland: on ex-hurricanes and their effects, suicidal drivers, famous spots from the literature and the movies, a town nicknamed Lang Toon and on the festival time in Edinburgh.

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1146 days ago

Run to work: Review of first month

Time to have a look how my experiment worked out in the first month. Running to work has lived up to my expectations and has never yet failed to lift my spirits. There is room for improvement, but the 14 runs totalling in more than 70 km were worth every kilometer. Here are the few lessons learned.

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1148 days ago

Bouldering the Vauxwall in Vauxhall

Finally gotten around to check out Vauxwall, a newly opened bouldering centre in London. We were pleasantly surprised by finding nice bouldering areas in a few railway arches near Vauxhall. Even better, we had the place basically for us – no one else there, what a luxury.