Extreme Cross Training

Meet Ellie And Paul, HELLO!

We’re just about to pack up our bikes and push off for a casual 6000km cycle. Wild camping our way across Europe and finding some of the BEST places to run on the continent! We’re quite excited.

We’ll be cycling four days a week, stopping to work for three and running whenever and wherever we can. We plan to cross 16 countries and several mountain ranges…we’ve ramped up the glute strengthening in preparation. We’ll be taking on the great outdoors 24/7 and we can’t wait!

Why

Although this will be a bloody big load of fun, the idea actually came about for good old practical reasons (well we are both hovering, stoically, around the thirty mark). While manning full time jobs and living the ‘London life’ we are also race directors for an incredible international trail marathon in Uganda – Running the Rift Marathon. We’re also redeveloping our running website and both run upwards of 60 miles a week (and increasing). How to escape the rat race, the teeny tiny box we call a flat, how to have the time to make our marathons and website the huge success we dream of and how to take our running to the next level (we want to become mountain running extraordinaires, aiming high in every sense of the word) while getting more than the current five hours sleep a night (six for Ellie, she’s the lazy one).

How

The answer is obvious – we’ll live in a tent. We’ll travel by bike, stopping to run everywhere that takes our fancy. We’ll buy dongles so we can work a little for our current jobs remotely – to keep us in running shoes, protein and wine – and so we can dedicate time to organising the marathon and making the website top notch.

The Plan

I know – it makes sense doesn’t it? So on April 11th we’re off for five months. Through France, Italy, Slovenia – oh yeah, here we’ll get married, preferably on a mountain – Croatia, the Balkans, as far south as Greece then up to Ukraine. Pitching our tent in the Alps, the Dolomites, the clifftops of Croatia, the bear and wolf occupied Romanian forests and the wilderness of Ukraine! We’ll return in September for a festival-themed post-wedding party (mainly so Ellie can wear a great dress – although the tan lines will be a sight to behold). From there we plan to head to Africa; putting the finishes touches to our marathon and seeing that unfold in all its glory.

We’ve no plans from that point. It goes without saying that by then we’ll be elite mountain runners, making mountain running history left right and centre…or something…!

Survival

We don’t expect this to be easy, physically or mentally. But what sort of an experience was ever easy? Ellie would like to add here that although not easy and sometimes a bit smelly, uncomfortable and just hard graft, she’s still concerned at the amount of survival equipment the ex Royal Marine Paul has insisted on purchasing. Between us we have three survival kits (including fishing line and hooks) and a survival manual (although I have read the ‘fighting a bear’ section four times now). There’ll be highs and lows but we have one life, and we’re going to absolutely max it out!

Follow our Instagram @WeAreRunners_UK for pics of our cheesey mugs, muddy feet and pretty alright scenery, plus updates on our little adventure.