• Where Is The Best Place To Run In The UK?

    running beautiful locations best place for runners

    Sundried ran a public opinion poll and are here to showcase the most popular places to run in the UK as voted for by you!

    The Ridgeway

    The Ridgeway is one of many beautiful National Trails in the UK which is maintained by the National Trust. This 87-mile route has been used since pre-historic times and features some incredible scenery as well as ancient relics and stunning secluded valleys. Annual ultra-marathon Race To The Stones follows this iconic trail which explains why it's such a popular event. 

    The Ridgeway is described as 'Britain's oldest road' and starts at the World Heritage Site in Avebury in the North Wessex Downs AONB, home to Europe's largest neolithic stone circle. The trail travels north for 139km and passes through the gentle woodland of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    This trail has been used for over 5,000 years and provides runners with unending landscape to explore along with archaeological treasures to discover. The entire western half of this trail follows byways or bridleways that have no stiles or other obstructions so as a runner you can enjoy the freedom of running without having to clamber over obstacles.

    the ridgeway national trail beautiful places to run UK

    The Ridgeway national trail area of natural beauty for runners

    The Lake District

     One of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, the Lake District is England's largest National Park and also now holds the prestigious title of being a World Heritage Site. The Lake Distric is home to England's highest peak – Scafell Pike – as well as its deepest lake, providing a stunning backdrop for any adventurer. 

    Fell runners have been using the Lake District to test their limits for thousands of years and any runner would be spoilt for choice when it comes to trails and routes to follow. The unspoilt and unadulterated views are your reward while the well maintained paths and trails will take you where you need to go.

    fell running lake district

    running in the Lake District national park England UK

    The Quantocks

    The Quantock Hills in Somerset are perhaps a lesser known Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but are still a fantastic place to run nonetheless. Described as an area of wilderness and tranquillity, this area features rugged Jurassic coastline, deep wooded combes, and undulating farmland. This area is largely privately owned which is why it is perhaps not as popular as other areas, however it still attracts up to half a million visitors every year. 

    The undulating and sometimes challenging hills will provide any runner with a varied and interesting place to run and even if you're new to the area, you shouldn't get too lost. There is one 7-mile section that follows a ridge which will reward runners with uninterrupted views on both sides that will both inspire and motivate even the most casual of runner. 

    The Quantock Hills running destination

    running in the quantocks

    North Wales

    Undulating hills and expansive coastal paths make North Wales a fun place to run while Snowdonia and Garth Mountain add an element of wilderness and challenge if you're looking for something a little more intense.

    A popular destination for active people, Snowdonia National Park in northwestern Wales is best known for hiking but of course runners will also be rewarded with the breathtaking views and scenery. 

    Snowdonia North Wales running holiday active

    running in Snowdonia North Wales

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) – All You Need To Know

    swimming open water triathlon professional triathletes organisation

    What is the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO)?

    The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) is a not-for-profit entity that supports the body and protects the interests of professional triathletes around the world. The PTO aims to become a professional representative body for triathlon and is modelled on the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) which was founded in the 1920s and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) which was formed in the 1970s. 

    How is the Professional Triathletes Organisation funded?

    In January 2020, The Professional Triathletes Organisation announced a partnership with Crankstart Investments, the investment foundation of British venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz KBE. The Crankstart Foundation also notably sponsors The Booker Prize. As a result of this investment, the PTO announced its inaugural event: The Collins Cup. The Collins Cup will be held 29-30th May 2020 at the x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Slovakia, and there will be over $2,000,000 in prize money for the event.

    Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented “The Collins Cup will be a true celebration of both the history and the future of the sport we love so much, and we look forward to hosting the event and engaging the entire triathlon community.”

    Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO, stated that “The PTO has been working for a number of years to create an environment and structure where professional triathletes have a meaningful voice in the way the sport is operated and can contribute to its growth for the benefit of the entire triathlon community.”

    Under its partnership, the PTO and Crankstart Investments share equally in all profits generated by operations. Michael Moritz, Chairman of Crankstart Investments, commented “The spread of the internet, the rise in the number of media outlets thirsty for top-notch sporting content, combined with the latest production techniques now make it possible to bring to international audiences the extraordinary accomplishments of today’s highest performing athletes – the top forty male and female triathletes in the world. A major part of the attraction of the PTO is that, unlike every other sport, men and women compete for equal prize money and the athletes are co-owners of the business.”

    cycling triathlon professional triathletes competing

    What are the PTO World Rankings?

    The PTO World Rankings is a first-of-its-kind ranking technology to measure the world’s greatest half and full distance professional triathletes. It is a worldwide benchmark of consistent excellence in triathlon, and will be used to determine the automatic qualifying places for The Collins Cup.

    The PTO World Rankings has a proprietary formula that does not favour any particular series of races or geographical area, but instead measures talent and achievement based on the results of an athlete no matter where and when they choose to race.

    The PTO in association with TRiRating.com, has analysed each race course to determine the theoretical Ideal Time that the top ranked athlete would likely achieve. Using proprietary algorithms, this Ideal Time is then adjusted based on the conditions of the race day to determine the Adjusted Ideal Time (AIT). An athlete’s PTO World Ranking points for his or her race will then be based on their race time set against the Adjusted Ideal Time.

    If an athlete equals the AIT for any eligible race, they receive 100 world ranking points. If an athlete is faster than the AIT, they are awarded an additional point or fraction of a point for each 0.15% by which they beat the AIT. If they are slower than the Adjusted Ideal Time, they will lose an additional point or fraction of a point for every 0.15% slower.

    Athletes are ranked based on the aggregate number of world ranking points they have earned for their four best races over a 24-month period preceding the date of calculation. There is a 5% bonus for an athlete’s best full distance race and a 10% deduction for points earned for a race that falls outside the most recent 12 months preceding the date of calculation.

    What is the Professional Triathletes Organisation?

    What is The Collins Cup?

    The Collins Cup is modelled after The Ryder Cup in golf and was originally announced back in 2017 to be part of Challenge Roth 2018, a huge annual feature in the triathlon calendar. The inaugural event was pushed back and is now announced to take place in May 2020.

    The Collins Cup was inspired by and named after Judy and John Collins, who 40 years ago were instrumental in establishing the sport of triathlon by inaugurating a long distance event on the idyllic shores of Hawaii, where they were stationed while John was a Commander in the US Navy. Inspired by their recent experience in short distance triathlon in California, they designed a long distance, around-the-island event in Hawaii, by adding a long bicycle leg to existing swimming and running events. The winner was to be considered the best all-round athlete. This was also the inspiration for Ironman Triathlon.

    Since then, both male and female triathletes have established themselves as some of the fittest athletes on the planet. From its earliest days, the competition has included men and women racing the same distance, over the same course, on the same day for equal prize money. This has always been an important principle of the Collins’ and the cornerstone of the philosophy of the Professional Triathletes Organisation.

    How The Collins Cup works

    There are three teams: USA, Europe, and Internationals.

    Each team has six men and six women athletes. Of the six, four are selected based on the PTO World Rankings. The remaining two are selected by the team captains. The Team Captains are Mark Allen and Karen Smyers for the US, Normann Stadler and Chrissie Wellington for Europe, and Craig Alexander, Simon Whitfield, Erin Baker and Lisa Bentley for the Internationals.

    An athlete from each team will fight it out against their opponents in an individual race of three athletes. There are twelve separate races in all, staggered ten minutes apart. For each of the twelve races, the winner is awarded 3 points, second place is awarded 2 points and third place is awarded 1 point.

    In addition, athletes will be awarded bonus points of ½ point for every two minute margin by which they beat their opponents in their respective races. A maximum of six minutes margin per race can earn a team a crucial 1½ bonus points.

    The team with the most points wins and will lift The Collins Cup.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • What Does 'Being Healthy' Really Mean?

    "Life is more fun when you have the energy to live it." We asked personal trainers and professional athletes what it means to them to be 'healthy'. 

    what does being healthy really mean fitness wellness

    Alice Hector – Elite Professional Athlete

    Healthy to me is the ability to do your chosen activities freely and feel good about yourself. It does not mean dieting or restriction in any way, but subconsciously making good food and lifestyle decisions (good habits) and also being relaxed about chocolate/wine/treats when you fancy them.

    From my stance as an elite athlete, healthy does not necessarily mean elite performance (as that can easily tip the balance into being unhealthy, just as a sedentary lifestyle can) but I believe you can be healthy and be a top professional athlete and drink wine - just not the whole bottle!

    Anne Iarchy – Personal Trainer

    Having a lifestyle that combines healthy eating, regular physical activity, and a positive mindset. Striving to be disease-free by leading that lifestyle. And being able to do whatever you want to do thanks to that lifestyle, e.g. not being limited by mobility, injury, size or shape.

    Polly Hale – Personal Trainer

    Being fit enough to do everything I want to do, from still carrying my kids when needed (the eldest is 10!) to recently joining pole dancing classes. Life is more fun when you have the energy to live it to the max without compromise.

    Ken Byrne – Ironman Athlete

    Being healthy to me means being happy, being able to be active, finding a good balance between work and family, and not being too hard on myself to achieve everything. Understanding others and trying to deal with life's stresses the best I can.

    Alvaro Martin – Elite Triathlete

    Being healthy means, for me, thinking about the right choices and acting on them. It's not just about food; it's about your whole life. Books, music, friends, work and everything makes up your life!

    Leanne James – Personal Trainer & Triathlete

    Being healthy to me would be feeling good about myself, making the right choices and creating the right balance between family, work, fitness and nutrition, and friends; which is never easy! And then not giving myself a hard time if it doesn’t always go to plan.

    Making the right choices for me can be anything from the right food choices, or whether to push through a tough training session if feeling exhausted (and knowing when to stop!) to making time to go and have a coffee with a friend or watch my children play a sports match rather than being too busy.

    Tim Harrison – Fit Food Writer

    Being healthy for me has to be “whole self healthy”: mind, body and soul – holistic if you want. Your training should enhance your happiness and fuel the chance to train.

    Thomas Hill – Personal Trainer

    Being life-proof. Being able to do anything that life demands of me from running for the bus to wrestling with my kids to picking up all the shopping bags at once!

    Beatrice Vetter-Ceriotti

    Being healthy, mentally as well as physically, to me means keeping healthy habits and with them striking a balance between work, life, and my sport allowing me to achieve my goals without depriving myself of activities that bring me joy. What society nowadays perceives as a healthy lifestyle with restrictive eating and an unattainable body-image of a healthy person is in my opinion unhealthy in itself. Celebrating what your body is capable of, regardless of what people think you should look like, should be the main goal. Healthy is to be kind to your body and soul.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Ian Scott Athlete Ambassador

    triathlete running triathlon race Team GB

    From racing disasters to great achievements, Ian talks to us about life as a Team GB Age-Group triathlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, even as a child I was competitive, playing football for many years as a goal keeper. I then moved into running in 2011.

     What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I moved to triathlon in 2012 to add some variety to my training.

     What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favourite race so far is the Outlaw Holkham Half. We were blessed with hot weather, the race venue was beautiful, and the event was meticulously well organised.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Competing in the 2017 European Triathlon Sprint Championships in Austria, and more recently qualifying for the 2019 ITU World Sprint Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

    My biggest racing disaster so far was in one of my first races when I crashed my bike at the dismount line due to my shoe coming off the pedal when I removed my foot ready for dismount. Nevertheless, I finished the race, albeit covered in road rash and a torn trisuit!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I carry on and never give up.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

    Set your own realistic goals and try not to feel pressurised by others

    What are your goals for 2019?

    Competing in the ITU World Triathlon Sprint Championships in Lausanne, and the Royal Windsor Triathlon.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take my inspiration from Tim Don, an elite triathlete who has been competing for many years and has recently fought back from extreme injury to race at Kona.

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    The ethical ethos of Sundried and its devotion to charities, plus the environmentally friendly use of recyclable material.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Lee Patmore's Epic Challenge

    Lee Patmore Handcycle Fibromyalgia Help For Heroes

    Lee Patmore is a Sundried ambassador who suffers from life-limiting illnesses. Along with his band of brothers, he took on the impressive challenge of travelling from Land's End to John O'Groats on a hand-cycle. Lee talks us through his incredible experience, which was in aid of Help For Heroes.

    About The Challenge

    In May 2017 I started on a journey that would take me from the northernmost point of the UK to the southernmost point. The legendary John O’Groats to Lands End adventure, but not the normal route that is around 874 miles, this journey has a major twist. I’m a military veteran and also a Help for Heroes beneficiary, and belong to the group within Help for Heroes know as Band of Brothers. Along with two other Band of Brothers and a support crew, we took on a journey that would see us cover 1,300 miles, along with close to 60,000ft of climbing. On our route we visited the Help for Heroes Recovery Centres and a number of active military bases. We started on the 1st of May and finished on the 29th of May. For me, it was all about arm power and the mental battle to push myself beyond limits I’ve never been to, and the daily battle just to get out of bed and get in my hand-cycle.

    We started our journey in John O’Groats, which was very cold, very windy, and just miserable weather. Approximately two and a half months before we started, during what should have been the peak of my training period, I had a major flare-up with my Fibromyalgia. This ended up leaving me bed-ridden for two weeks. When I say bed-ridden, I got out of bed once per day to go to the loo, and the rest of the time I was in extreme agony with tiredness and just couldn’t function. The flare-up came without warning and basically ended my training prematurely along with removing the ability to tap into the full level of fitness I had achieved. At this stage, just before we set off, I could just about manage 2 miles in one go on a flat route. Nothing like the 40 to 60 miles per day needed, especially when you start in Scotland and know the terrain is anything but flat.

    The first three days were hell.

    The hills were relentless and seemed never ending. There were some great downhills that saw me coast at speeds of up to 40mph, but these were short lived and nowhere near enough time for a recovery to tackle the next hill. It was clear that I needed some help getting up the hills. The guys with me would get off their road bike and take the weight enough to allow my arms to continue to power myself uphill.

    At this stage I had a theory. As long as my arms could physically move and power the cranks to get me up the hill, I was still working. If my arms failed (and they did) I would get off my hand-cycle and with a locked out left leg, I would drag my Handcycle and weak leg up the hill as far as possible. If my legs failed and I couldn’t get myself and my hand-cycle up the hill by my own doing, I would call it for that day and we would then need to decide if we stayed within the time frames and planned stops or if we would move the stop and then try to make up the time later on. Thankfully, it never came to that, as we made all the planned stops and even managed to get in a double-leg to give us an extra day's rest towards the end. 

    The real turning point was day five. Out of nowhere, my fitness came in again, and as much as I still needed the short recovery stops, I was not given help from this point on.

    Achievements

    Day one was the farthest I’d ever cycled in one day, and day three was the first time I’d cycled more than two days in a row. 

    The never-ending hills

    Before we got to Colchester, we had some of the worst sets of hills on the way to Catterick. We are talking a couple of miles with gradients staying between 10% and 15%. With many short recovery stops I took on each hill and made it to the top. My speed was very slow, cadence was also very low, but I powered up each hill and sections of each hill under my own power and was determined to not be beat.

    The scenery was epic. 

    A memory to hold forever along with the achievement of the journey. I have photos that spark a memory, but I was in such a tired state each day that it was only about completing that day’s route. I wasn’t interested in where I was or what I’d just ridden up, it was about how far we still have to complete that day’s route.

    For me, it was about each day was its own day, and a unique challenge in itself, with good friends and excellent support.

    John O'Groats Scenery Bike Cycling

    Scenery Mountains Scotland Cycling

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
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