World First: When I took my Jeep Renegade for a Swim!

World First: When I took my Jeep Renegade for a Swim!

I got a phone call from Jeep a few weeks ago... "Do you fancy attempting a Worlds First?! We'll get you in the Jeep OFF-ROAD". I had to say YES! So to Wales I went and tried my hand at my first White Water rafting off road driving experience. I had a blast. Certain parts of the drive scared me slightly, driving the car into the rapids at such a steep pitch, and the drifting when the water pushed the car, however the car is so solid and handled it so well. It was more technical than fast. I loved it! Enjoy the video and a few photos from behind the scenes.

Before they let the water in!

Before they let the water in!

My view.

My view.

Check out more from the Renegade here! http://www.jeep.co.uk/renegade/

How far can you GO?!! Wings for Life World Run.

How far can you GO?!! Wings for Life World Run.

With the UK turning from almost winter to summer overnight, the Wings for Life World Run kicked off in 25 degrees of heat. With the Red Bull UK team in force at the start, the challenge was ON.

The Red Bull UK crew.

From the left. Sam Oldham, Ryan Doyle, Gordon Benson, George North, Korhan Gayle, Gee Atherton, Shauna Coxsey (tank) me! Jamie Roberts, Elfyn Evans, Danny Macaskill, Paddy Graham.

And it’s ALL GO… 3,2,1 Ryan Doyle and Danny Mac going for the whole shot. If there’s one thing they can claim, it’s that they beat Steve Way for the first 50 meters! Before he proceeded to Win the event running over 60KM.

Going for the whole shot

It was the first time I have ever been at the World Run as a participant, in the past I had been there to support, so I was mega excited to take part. I am by no means a long distance runner, I like running, it’s easy to put on a pair of kicks and just go! That’s what I like about it. Most runs I do are in my off season during the summer months, and I normally would do a maximum of 4 miles. I say 4 miles, normally I just run 3.

With little time to train as the winter season has just come to a close in the Alps,  I had to go for THE last minute STRATEGY… haha… 2 weeks before the race I prepped by doing a 3 mile run as fast as I could, I then did a 5 mile run 2 weeks ago and then for the first time ever, a 7 mile run last week, 3 days before the race. 

Having never run over 7 miles before, I set myself a target of 10 miles, knowing that would be a stretch, but with my inner competitive self ever present, I knew I would really love to hit the 12 mile mark! Not going to lie… once I hit 9 miles my feet were in pieces!! However, the support of the people lining the side of the streets in central Cambridge and right out into the countryside was immense. Children and adults of all ages got involved armed with bottles of water, Red Bull, bananas, oranges, gummy bears, they had even made bacon sarnie’s as well as cupcakes for the finish. A few of the locals had water guns and sprinklers you could run through to keep cool, you name it, they had it! 

At 10 miles I could have quite easily stopped knowing that the car was not too far behind, but I kept the foot down and managed to knock out 13.2 miles. I have to say the last mile was SLOW. We went from running 7 minute miles in the first 3 to my last and 13th mile at 10 minutes! IT WAS brutal, but so worth the pain and for a great cause. 

At 13 miles I could hear the voices and sirens of the catcher car in my sights. So I went for the last minute dash to squeeze out the extra point 2 miles haha. With David Coulthard at the wheel of the Jeep Renegade catcher car, and George North and Gee Atherton up front on the road bikes, they’d got me, I’d been caught -exhausted :) 

Big ups to my partner in crime, for helping me grit through. We ran together and he only beat me my 50 Meters haha! ;)

Big ups to my partner in crime, for helping me grit through. We ran together and he only beat me my 50 Meters haha! ;)

Claiming hard. My 21.2KM with the Jeep Catcher Car.

Claiming hard. My 21.2KM with the Jeep Catcher Car.

The unique thing about the World Run is 100% of the entry fees go straight to the charity (Wings for Life). You can run as far as you physically and mentally want to challenge yourself until the finish line catches you. The UK had 2,500 entries and this went off globally around the world at the same time. Such a cool experience to kick start a race at the same time as people running in countries like Australia, the US, Japan, Canada, Spain, Austria, Italy........  In the UK we got lucky with the start time of midday. Some of my Red Bull US Team mates ran in the DARK, which is also a really cool concept. 

As I write this 24 hours later, it’s safe to say it’s time to put the feet up for a day or two, and enjoy the post race carb feed. Pancakes and sweet potato wedges are on the menu today as well as pretty much anything else I can consume!!! A massive congratulations to everyone who took part, and thank you to each and every one that I ran next to yesterday. The atmosphere was something else and it really made it very special to be a part of, and run for those who can’t. Let’s hope this brings us one step closer to finding that cure. 

Bring on next year!

Caxton FX snow Golf Challenge.

Caxton FX snow Golf Challenge.

At the start of the Winter I linked up with Caxton FX, for a little bit of fun, a snowboard lesson and some team bonding. Mel Reid is a boss when it comes to Golf, but she can also snowboard! Legend ha. Enjoy this fun short video of us attempting the Snow Golf Challenge. 

3rd PLACE SPRING BATTLE

3rd PLACE SPRING BATTLE

After flying from China straight to Austria for Spring Battle

I was chuffed to put down a run which secured me 3rd place. Absolut Park was on fire, best park of the season. Enjoy my run below! 

China - The World Snowboard Champs.

China - The World Snowboard Champs.

China was quite the experience I have to say. I landed and had 1 day in the Mecca that is Beijing. When it comes to being a foreigner, I definitely felt like one here, with the language barrier and the lack of English speakers! I linked up with Seppe Smits and his coach JV and we managed to mission on over to the Great Wall of China. It was amazing to explore the magnificent man made structure up close and personal! 

Great Wall
check out this guy, just one of the unique electric style motorbikes over there! 

check out this guy, just one of the unique electric style motorbikes over there! 

Beijing itself is CRAZY, when it comes to road rules, there are Zero! Cars, bikes, electric bikes you name it, they send it… 

From Beijing it was a 2 hour flight straight to Harbin, a 3.5 hour drive through rural Chinese farmland to the mountainous northeastern province of Heilongjiang. We arrived in Yabuli, via Police escort from the airport in a brigade of coaches. In total it took 5.5 hours! 

First day it was freezing, we had been warned that temperatures could change drastically due to it's location on the boarder of Siberia. Luckily it was only the first day we got hit with snow and freezing temperatures, however I have never been to such a windy place in my life. Every day gale force winds swept through the Slopestyle course, it was like a funnel, constantly changing direction but always blowing straight through the course. This instantly made things challenging! However the wind meant, no clouds so it was SUNNY!

Every day on the mountain was a bit of an adventure, not sure the last time I rode a Gondola with a Police Man.

Every day on the mountain was a bit of an adventure, not sure the last time I rode a Gondola with a Police Man.

Cab under.

Slopestyle went well for me to start. In the gale force winds… no joke haha, I managed to put down a Solid run that qualified me through in 8th place out of the 24 riders to the Semi-Finals. 

Myself and Enni Excited to qualify :) 

Myself and Enni Excited to qualify :) 

Round 2 however didn’t go so well for me, I went for my step up run, which included Back Rodeo to start, first run I stomped it and then on the 2nd kicker a gust took me which blew me back 1 Meter short to the knuckle. Luckily I bounced and only ended up a little bruised. To be honest I was gutted at the result as I really wanted to lay down the marker with my run…

Getting floaty in Yabuli! Photo - Chris Witwicki

Getting floaty in Yabuli! Photo - Chris Witwicki

squatting toilet

China is definitely different..from the toilets, lack of soap, and zero toilet paper in public toilets it was a culture shock. I did however like the theory of the squatting toilet haha. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the local cuisine , the guys tried fried Scorpion and Tarantula. I stuck more to the fruit, which was amazing. I love Dragon Fruit! 

Yabuli itself is a crazy resort, imagine Disney Land, with Ice Sculptures, bright lights and Chinese symbols flashing. As far as snowboarding goes, It's the largest resort in China with the largest ski jumping facilities in the country... yep, that's what we used as the big air landing ;) The runs very steep, but with the wind and icy conditions It wouldn’t be my go to holiday recommendation ha.

Right now I am sat on board en route back to the UK for one night, before heading onto the European Alps. I have another contest coming up at Absolut Park over the next 2 days. I can’t wait to get back there and enjoy some Spring riding.

That’s a wrap of China for you… Over and out :)