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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Dec-16 > NESS IS MORE

NESS IS MORE

Karon Davis finds a friendly welcome and a fast course at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Sunday 25 September at 6:30am saw me trying to force down porridge in a hotel dining room, eavesdropping on a lady who had done about a hundred marathons. Luckily there were also some others who, like me, were slightly less experienced.

The bus trip to the starting point took about an hour and it was such a great atmosphere when we arrived at the top of the windswept hill. I joined a queue for 10 minutes before I realised it was not for the loos but for coffee (it was then an inner struggle between my need for caffeine and the effect that would have on my bladder: the loo queue won) and felt a buzz (non-caffeine related) to be in this throng of like-minded people.

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About Men's Running

The temperature may be dropping but, unlike bears and bats, real runners don’t hibernate. Quite the opposite. The autumn and winter months are, in fact, when the fun begins. To inspire you to take the season by storm, this issue is packed full of adventure-aiding advice. And the good news is, you don’t have to travel far to find it. You could, for example, try your hand at some local fastpacking. (That’s the hybrid of running and backpacking, by the way, not hurriedly cramming your belongings into a suitcase.) For the price of a cheap train ticket, ultrarunner Matt Maynard fastpacked his way along the 153-mile North Downs Way, chopping his toothbrush in half in a bid to cut down any extra weight. On page 52, he tells you all you need to know about the art of travelling fast and light. Speaking of fast and light, we caught up with two Olympians who embody both those qualities: new 400m world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk and rising star of British marathon running Callum Hawkins. Although they specialise in very different disciplines, they both have some lessons for us mere mortals. A lesson that many runners – including this one – have failed to grasp, is the art of the B race. Getting these warm-up races right can be a great launch pad to success, while getting them wrong can be a real confidence-crusher. On page 60, Damian Hall tells you how to strike a balance. So embrace the colder months and enjoy this issue – it’s a brrr-illiant one.
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