The Boltys are back!

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Gerry Dance


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The Boltys are back!

Hello all you Superstar Buzzers!

It's been a while! I've been able to read your blogs and wonderful acheivements but all my comments have just vanished into cyberspace! Hopefully, this time, I won't be typing this for nothing!

I've been out on the trails a lot this long hot summer and for once it has been a change not to be up to my knees in mud! After the disaster that was my attempt at The Shropshire Way 80k, back in the Spring, I have been working on trying to stop the severe sickness that has stopped me on several recent endurance challenges. For those reading my blog for the first time, I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and take a bucketful of drugs to keep the pain down, on a daily basis. I've been throwing these meds down my throat for almost 30 years and the results have been reasonable on keeping the pain at bay but terrible on my stomach and related organs. Trail runners are known for their eating on the run and it seems by forcing myself to eat earlier on in the run has had a positive effect. It's tough, as I often, really do not want to eat a thing but by sitting down and making myself eat a good portion of healthy whole foods (not just Jelly Babies and Hoola Hoops!) but pasta and tuna, in olive oil, fruit such as melon and pineapple, Almond butter sandwiches and other such things, has really helped. I still end up sick but often much further into a race and recovery is somewhat quicker.

So, that's enough of my innards! What have Mrs Bolty and I been up to?

Since last October, Mrs Bolty's running can be summed up in one word - zero! She had two rotten chest infections over Christmas and into the New Year, resulting in Bronchitis. She has only just started jogging again and wheezes like on old steam engine! Yesterday she astounded me and ran/walked the entire circumference of Lake Vyrnwy, 12 miles in 2hrs 50mins! She was convinced there was a dog howling and a chainsaw in the hills, all the way round. She realised it was her chest when she finally stopped! Anyway, she will be on the start line in October for the Snowdonia Marathon. If she is suffering too much, I have told her she must stop but....well, she is a Buzzer!

Me? After the horrid experience of The Shropshire Way 80k, where I lay paralysed by sickness and dizzyness, in a field, I haven't done much except the eating trials and jogging round parts of the Shropshire Way that I missed! I decided to have another go at The Ridgeway 86, in August. This would be my third one and therefore a hatrick, if I did it! I love this run, it's well marked, it's not too hilly and the Trail Running Association, who hold this event, are fab! Great CPs with lots of food and helpful volunteers. A minibus to the start from your hotel and pick up points. Mini bus from the finish to Swindon sports club and hot showers, all included in the price of under £60, including a great medal and tee shirt! Next years event has gone up a bit but only a few quid to £62 and I've got my eye on a fourth go! I didn't think that at the end, this time, though! I was struggling to lift my right leg, I must have been quite a sight getting off the train in Craven Arms. It took me over 20 minuite to cross the bridge from platform to platform! Turns out I have the same problem as UltraKat, who is in severe pain as we speak! We are both suffering with Inguinal Ligament problems, all caused by AS. Thankfully mine eased fairly quickly but I am aware of that horrible niggle.

After much thought, I have decided not to run in the Snowdonia Marathon this year. (Surprised Ahhhhh, I hear you say!) I will be supporting Mrs B but from the comfort of a deckchair outside our cottage in Beddgellert! I hope you will forgive me if I do not stand up for hours, cheering you wonderful Buzzers on. Here's why....

On Friday 2nd November (5 days after Snowdonia) I will be lining up at 7pm, in Knighton, Wales, to attempt (attempt being the word!) The Rebellion 135 mile Glyndwr's Way Ultra. The full length of the trail with 25,000ft of ascent and 72hrs to get to Welshpool! It's a very big ask! Only a handful finished last year and I have recced a bit of the route and can confirm, it is a killer! I stuggled to cover 28 miles in 9 hours, with a full pack, yesterday (when I left Mrs Bolty circumnavigating the lake!) and that was on fresh legs. This was from the 108 mile point.

My pack is the heaviest I have ever carried, we must carry sleeping bag, bivvy, mat, clothing, food and water and gear for Welsh weather in November! Mandy put it on and nearly went over backwards! When I entered the race, I thought it would be handy, being so near to much of the route. It is but it is also deadly! Navigation being the main problem and in Welsh weather and possibly fog, I might never be seen again! Many entrants are using GPS navigation but my pension doesn't go that far, so map and compass it will be. First I need to get the map the right way up!

So, I hope you will understand if I am taking it easy in Snowdonia, next month. The journey there and back will take it's toll on my bones but with all you Buzzers giving the UKs toughest marathon a good thrashing, I have to be there to cheer you all on!

Tomorrow, Mrs Bolty and I will be pulling on our purple tee shirts and for this years's Great Oggie Run, heading up one of Shropshires many hills in memory of Marika and her incredible fight against cancer, which eventually stole her beautiful smile from us.

In November, I'll wear purple (and orange, of course) again, this one is for you Marika.

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