Lianyungang International Marathon 2017

DSC_0828The most significant factor effecting my performance at the 2017 Lianyungang Xu Wei International Marathon would be the harsh north wind. It made me push out too fast at the start and slowed me right down during the tough middle section. If I ran this one again I would have paced myself better at the start and used the other runners to shelter myself more during the windy mid-section. This time I had a poor race strategy and suffered. Not my worst time ever, but certainly a race to put down to experience more than anything else.

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Bicycle camping in Taiwan, Day 5: Guanshan to Hualien

IMG_6119This would be our best day’s cycling yet. Over 100km. Across the tropic of Cancer and out of the rift valley to Hualien on the coast. Moving day and night in the rain to get to the city before catching the train the next morning.

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20th Hong Kong International Marathon 2016

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There’s no place in the world like Hong Kong. It’s the closest you’ll get to Blade Runner without actually travelling into the future. Formerly a possession of the British Empire, passed back to China in 1997, the place is an eclectic mix of everything that passes through it densely packed into 1,000 squared kilometres, hemmed in by the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. The marathon used to run from Hong Kong to Shenzen but now runs completely within the territory. A lot of the route passes out of the city over bridges and under tunnels so there’s not an awful lot interesting to see. It’s not a particularly fast marathon either, and it rained quite heavily during the 2016 edition, but I managed a half decent time of 3:24:02 and had a very enjoyable trip.

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Leicester Marathon 2015

12186387_10206171383341430_6706296778174249077_o Leicester is a city slap bang in the middle of England about halfway between London and Liverpool, famous for Garry Lineker, Walkers Crisps and Leicester City Football Club. Back in season 2015/16 Leicester City would go on to lift the English Premier League title. My own showing at the Leicester Marathon on the 25th of October 2015 would be somewhat less triumphant, hitting the wall badly around the half way point to hobble home in 3 hours 34 minutes.

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Bicycle camping in Taiwan, Day 4: Binmao to Guanshan.

IMG_5971On the fourth day cycling in Taiwan we’d cycle out of Binmao and head north along the coast to Taitung and inland along the rift valley as far as Guanshan. A fairly flat and easy cycle past rice paddies and palm trees in one of the most famous of Taiwan’s indigenous regions. Starting out dry and finishing off in the pouring rain.

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Bicycle camping in Taiwan, Day 3: Pingtung County to Minmao

IMG_5823Tuesday was the third day of our Taiwan cycling adventure. This would take us 400 meters high up into the mountains then right back down to sea level before cycling north along the coast and up a river valley to camp in a local hot spring. A lot of climbing and a good distance covered.

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Bicycle Camping in Taiwan, Day 2: Fengang to Pingtung County

IMG_5705On our second day of cycling we’d travel further down the west coast of the island to the southernmost tip and overland to the west coast at Pingtung county. This would be a long hard ride over some tough terrain to make up for time lost on the first day. It also allowed us to take in some fantastic views of the Taiwan countryside from seaside towns to blustery cliffs and jungle with a good climb at the end. Hard work, but well worth it.

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