Saturday, 21 April 2012

Back to Business

This week I had a bit of a shock, back to full time work :-O

I'm now working for Run-Fast and this week we were manning the Pearl Izumi stand at the London Marathon Expo. Some really long working days but it was all good fun. Bumped into lots of old friends and ate a silly amount of Clif Bars as they were giving away samples on their stand.

Working with Shavaun Henry at the Expo

Good to be back working and as I'm now living in London, I have been out running most mornings this week with the Kenyan athletes Run-Fast have over at the moment. I must say it is nice to get out running, but even nicer knowing I don't have to if the weather is bad or I just can't be bothered!

Looking forward to watching the London Marathon tomorrow, I think both the men's and the women's elite races are going to be epic with so much up for grabs. If I had to put a bet on who I think will win, I'm going to put my money on Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany but to be honest it's only because I know them both!

Nearly forgot but I went to the book signing of "Running with the Kenyans" this week. I've never been to one before so wasn't sure what to expect but had a really good evening and was presented a signed copy of the book by Adharanand (the author) to take and give to my Kenyan friends at the Run-Fast camp.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Tiptree to Torquay, Champagne and the Dam

So far life after running has been great. I started off with a rather impromptu bike ride from my parent house in Tiptree down to their apartment in Torquay. I was really lucky with the weather which made it all the more pleasant and managed to get down to Torquay in about two and a half days averaging about 130miles a day. The first days ride went through London getting a lift across the Thames on the Woolich ferry followed by some nice country roads over the north and south downs ending at a very picturesque youth hostel in Arundel. Slept like a log that night but still up early for a beautiful ride along the south coast through the New Forest to Weymouth and a night in another hostel in Portland. The final leg of the journey hit the hills of Devon down to my final resting spot of Torquay.

Nearing the end of my ride to Torquay
I was really impressed with the youth hostels I stayed in, for less than £20 a night I got a comfy bed (bed linen provided) in a small dorm room and a good hot shower, perfect if you are just looking for somewhere to lay your head for the night.

Next on the agenda was a trip down to the Champagne region of France with my mum for a short holiday, we sampled plenty of the fabulous french food and local delicacies like the Andouillette sausage which I enjoyed but it definitely wouldn't be to every ones taste! Also as you can imagine when visiting Champagne we had to sample lots of the different Champagnes, all very good and surprisingly different, I always thought Champagne was just Champagne.

A nice walk through the forest in Champagne
Got back to the UK yesterday and today I'm off for three days in Amsterdam then pack up my things and move to London to start my new job next week.

One other thing to mention is some new earphones that I have just got as my old ipod ones were starting to get a bit tatty. I got some Jabra Rhythm ones that are perfect for use with the iphone or other similar smartphones and the improvement in sound quality is remarkable, they also have a mic so you can use them for hands free calls and they are suitable for use when running as you just have to tap the control box to skip tracks, answer calls etc. Definitely a good buy.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Running With The Kenyans

It's not very often that a book comes out that mirrors your life.....

At the end of 2010 as most people know who follow my blog, I quit work and moved out to the small town of Iten in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya to become a full time athlete and try and keep up with the best distance runners in the world, the Kenyans. At the same time a guy named Adharanand Finn also moved out to Iten with his family to try and discover the secret of the Kenyan runners and write a book about his adventure.

I first met Finn at the Discovery Cross Country in Eldoret, I was sitting in the main stand watching the crazy junior athletes fly around the dry grass circuit when a guy sitting in front of me turned around and said "are you Tom Payn", a bit shocked to be "recognised" all the way out here in Kenya I obviously answered yes and Finn introduced himself telling me that he had seen me race the week before in Iten and that he had been following my blog. From that day on mine and Finns time in Kenya in some ways mirrored each others. I was in Kenya trying to qualify for the GB Olympic marathon team whilst Finn was training for the gruelling Lewa Marathon. We both met and befriended the same group of Kenyans, we both lived and trained in Kenyan running camps and during the time we both spent out in Kenya we became good friends.

Having got my copy of Finns book yesterday I couldn't put it down finishing it this morning, it brought back so many good memories of my time out in Iten. Finn has got such a nice style of writing, he captures so well what it is like to live and train with those amazing athletes. Many of the stories made me chuckle as I remember seeing them first hand. Reading about his two girls experience of attending school out in Iten reminded me how I met them walking back from School that very night. The many athletes that wanted to buy his car, even asking me if I could ask Finn to see if that would help "clinch the deal".

If you want to know what life is like out in Iten or are at all interested in running you won't find a much better read than Finn's book, it goes straight to the top of my favourite books, but I guess a book that has me in it as a character was always going to!!

I've got a link to Amazon on the right hand menu of my blog, so if you want to buy a copy of "Running With The Kenyans" just click on the link and buy it NOW!!!