BRITISH ADVENTURERS TO BREAK NEW GROUND IN MONGOLIA

There is starting to be a bit of press interest in the trip to Outer Mongolia. Here is a little info, in case it is helpful.  Currently at the airport, it should be a cracker!

With average temperatures of -40 Celsius, and the lowest density of human habitation on earth, Mongolia in winter is widely considered one of the most beautiful, yet savage places on earth.  Perhaps it is unsurprising that few have attempted any serious endurance challenges there in winter, but January 2016 will see a band of hardy British adventurers attempt the inaugural Genghis Khan Ice Marathon, run not on land, but along the frozen Tuul gol river, an area heavily populated with wolves, with the route patrolled by teams of huskies to ensure their safety.

Genghis Khan Ice Marathon start

These challenges have been set by expedition leader David Scott of Sandbaggers (www.sand-baggers.com) , a veteran of over 20 trips to Mongolia, and Dr Andrew Murray.

Scott, 42, from Glasgow, who is also Mongolian Honorary Consul for Scotland:

“Effort alone will not be enough.  Competitors will need to prepare themselves thoroughly for the frigid conditions, have the necessary quality clothing, and need a fair slice of luck, particularly with the weather. We have several teams of huskies to resupply runners, and ensure interactions with the local wildlife are safe.  And although there is a chance of failure, this is an area of extreme beauty, of vast skies, unique culture, and a rich history. It is also an opportunity for a world first. The runners are no strangers to extreme endurance, and they come from all corners of the globe.

It’s a real privilege to be involved in furthering relations between Mongolia and Scotland.  This is the latest in a series of sporting and cultural events and I’m particularly honoured to be attending the 5th Ulan Bator Burns supper with such illustrious company, in advance of the event itself.’

Murray, 35 from Edinburgh, who works as a Sports and Exercise Doctor with University of Edinburgh and is a Merrell brand ambassador added

Training in Scotland

“It is human nature to test yourself, and try and test your own body’s limits.  I can’t say that my support crew has ever been a pack of huskies before, but I’ll be giving it everything I have to get to the finish and avoid frostbite and hypothermia. Conditions are expected to be -35 to minus 40, but it is likely to feel a little colder with the wind chill. But all those hours training up in the Scottish hills in winter whilst everyone else is enjoying their Christmas festivities will be worth it. Everyone will look to do well, but the principle objective is to finish, and have a full complement of fingers and toes to go home with- Dave Scott is the best in the business and will give us every chance.

Outer Mongolia is beyond spectacular. Where else could you run down an ice river in an area so steeped in history, with the prospect of a Burns supper, complete with a pipe band to look forward to when we arrive in Ulan Bator. In this endeavour, many of us are looking to promote the value of regular exercise for health. Even walking 30 minutes 5 times per week, makes you on average happier, and helps you live 7 years longer than couch potatoes.”

Shona Thomson, who has run marathons on all seven continents and the North Pole, is heading up the fundraising for RDA. Shona, who is sponsored by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, said,

Mongolian community on the Tuul river

“It’s incredible to be involved in this expedition and I’m looking forward to meeting old and new friends. I’ve got several objectives for the trip. Primarily, I want to raise a lot of funding for Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH). In addition to running the marathon, I’ll also be riding a Mongolian pony to help raise awareness of RDA. I’ve not ridden for years so I’m hoping that at a minimum the pony has been broken in!
I’m also looking forward to experiencing a new culture and visiting a country I might never have otherwise got to see. It’ll be wonderful to see the beautiful landscapes on the marathon course.

The expedition will support Scottish Charities Riding for the Disabled Association and the Scottish Association for Mental Health, whilst legacy work in Mongolia will see the building of gers (homes) for needy families, and the donation of medical equipment to rural communities

Our fundraising link and video can be seen here:

Fundraising link http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/GhengisKhanIceMarathon

Fundraising video https://youtu.be/TuO5ZQKXTGc

The event will be supported by expedition organisers Sandbaggers, while Paisley based Digitalpict Photography will provide event & expedition photography, and HUTC will capture documentary and news video footage.

Fundraising link http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/GhengisKhanIceMarathon

For further information, please contact

Dave Scott (expedition organiser, logistics/safety/Mongolian liaison) david@sand-baggers.com 07717755166

Andrew Murray (athlete) docandrewmurray@googlemail.com

Shona Thomson (RDA) shonat25@hotmail.com 07967975872

7 ULTRAS ON 7 CONTINENTS IN 7 DAYS – Join the fun!

The road to success

The road to success.

One of the things that will keep me going when I’m tired, jet lagged or cold is knowing that this challenge is much more than a bloke with a big nose running in different parts of the world.

The more important bit is to get AT LEAST 5,000 people to take part in RunTheWorld – walking, cycling or running at least 5 km per day for a week with the fantastic 5×50.co.uk (with brilliant prizes to be had) or challenge yourself to a whole year with 30 minutes of physical activity every day for a year.

But this is a team effort! Please spread the word, sign-up yourself, and help a friend or a relative by getting them active. Please also watch this video about the best thing you can do for your health.

I’ll compete in the Ice Marathon in Antarctica and then try to run at least 50 km on each of the world’s 7 continents on consecutive days. Having been to The North Pole Marathon this year – I can’t wait to test myself in the freezer again prior to RunTheWorld – a novel way of getting home.

The contrasts of the cold of Antarctica, the heat of the desert, and the buzz of big cities will add to the excitement, but knowing 5000+ people are taking part with me will make all the difference. I’ll travel economy, Carbon offset and it’ll be a significant logistical and athletic challenge. Antarctic weather is ropey so it might start a few days late due to frequent flight delays.

  • 21st November – Compete in Ice Marathon
  • 23rd November – Antarctic leg
  • 24th November – Patagonia leg (South America)
  • 25th November – Atlanta leg (North America)
  • 26th November – London leg (Europe)
  • 27th November – Pyramids / Cairo leg (Africa)
  • 28th November – Desert / Dubai leg (Asia)
  • 29th November – Sydney leg, Australia

Thanks for coming on board. Your sign-ups, and messages of support are much appreciated.

Follow the challenge on RunTheWorld.
Or via Twitter: @docandrewmurray, Facebook: DocAndrewMurray or
Tribesports: Andrew M.

TOP 10 NUTRITION TIPS FOR MARATHON & ULTRAMARATHON

Running to from John O’Groats to the Sahara Desert last year, I was eating enough calories for a 700kg crocodile. I did a fair bit of reading about nutrition for runners. Here are some things I learned. Please feel free to add some tips/comments, and let me know if you disagree:

1) Eat loads of carbohydrate the day before. Things like bread, rice, pasta, potato, etc.

2) Have a smallish meal 2 or 3 hours before the start – a couple bananas or pop tarts are my usual.

3) Eat small amounts often during a race – jelly babies or a gel every 30 mins.

4) Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel during a race – eat this rather than things with fat or protein.

5) DRINK TO THIRST. Drink if you are thirsty, don’t if you’re not.

6) Can get calories in a drink as well as food – 6% carbohydrate is about perfect.

7) Caffeine in the last hour or two of a race improves performance.

8) Eat plenty in the “golden hour” after you finish- you’ll recover better.

9) Take one immodium tablet at the start, it can prevent excess loo stops.

10) Make sure you are used to the food you will race with. Use it during training runs also.