Tuesday, June 14, 2011


 One of the great joys of Trail running is that you can run anywhere anytime. Trainers and a pair of shorts and thats basically it....you just go. This is fantastic....most of the time. I have run the Grand Canyon,( Bear dodging), Las Vegas ( Hot), Mont Blanc (cold...not up it I hasten to add, just around the base). Hong Kong, along the Peak( It was here that my friend Jamie once advised me 'Don't run at night, along the old road, after a rainstorm, as all the Cobra's get washed on to the path'....When I told him where I had been he exclaimed, 'Thats where I told you not to go!) Oops, thought he meant somewhere else. Table top mountain, Cape town....also Johannesburg (which was more scary than probably anywhere else as I thought I was going to get shot or mugged any minute - my friend Brophy, told me it was perfectly safe but then again he was brought up in the 'Bush' in Zimbabwe so what would he know. Bejing ( odd), Great Wall of China (Breathtaking, literally), Rome (around the Colloseum and up and down the Circus Maximus Ben Hur track which was just cool - its a guy thing.).
       The Manchester Ship Canal ( I know, very glamorous, but it was fascinating as it wanders under the city and its bizarre at 6 am in the half light), Palm Springs (It was here I encountered a group of extremely well dressed youg men coming towards me very, very early one morning and I thought what odd looking runners. As I got closer I realised they were a bunch of gay guys who had just left the nightclub! - now they were giving me funny looks). New York ( This was with Jamie, the most consistent runner I know. His pace never changes 30 mins or 5 hours, makes no difference. It drives me nuts as I think he's going faster, 'No Phil, you are going slower'.........'Oh bugger off'.)
     Barbados, with Samantha,...or was it Jools, as one is a girl and the other a guy, my memory is obviously gone........its all that running. ( It was hear I got accosted by Monkeys, luckily I think it was Sam they were after thank God ; besides, NOTHING fazes her, so I let her get on with it - you see the age of chivalry is not dead). The whole of France and the UK (nearly), Turkey ( where two years after I ran in the hills above Fethiye some jogger got kidnapped - he must have been a bit slow.), the Italian Lakes, LA (California Beach jogging, say no more),  Toronto (which takes the prize for the most boring place to run ever, sorry, I have now just offended my sister and her entire family.) And  finally, miles and miles of Meditteranean Beaches....... I have never run through the jungle as I just feel that I  might be tempting fate and besides as you already know I am a total coward.
      So where is the best place in the World that I have ever run ? I realise and hope that I will continue my search for many years but having considered it long and hard the answer, to date, has to be  Monument Valley at 5 am just after the sun has risen. - ( A local Navajo said I could run off into the Desert but I must stick to a track marked by some small stones....which were basically non existent - must be an Indian thing. 'Any advice' I asked 'Eagle that flies backwards' or whatever his name was.......'Yes' - as he looked away in that wonderful  American Indian kind of way - 'Don't stop'.........I nodded a thank you, believing we had connected on some ancient spiritual pathway. Actually he was probably born and raised in downtown Phoenix....but I'm into all that crap.) Anyway, as I stood miles from anywhere deep in the desert surrounded by those giant primordial rock mesa's I could only think one thing - 'This is it!'.... I suppose I could go on but I think you get the picture, most of the time trail running is a peaceful heaven on earth and I feel very blessed.


  1. Best place on Earth!... unless it's 110 degrees

  2. How is running along the beach? As I'm in Cannes, definitely considering it but not sure how it would compare terrain wise in comparison to the likes of on road or off road trail type running.