• 6 Marathons In 6 Days

    Running coastal marathon scenery UK Britain

    Sundried ambassador Harry Kleiman is an endurance runner who decided to tackle the challenge of running 6 marathons in 6 consecutive days to take him 156 miles along the stunning Jurassic coast of the UK. With his friend Adam Swycher, they ran from Southampton to Exeter with no GPS trackers and all their provisions carried on their backs. Here's how they go on! This report is written by both Harry and Adam.

    Preparation

    We had always wanted to do an intense running expedition but we never thought that we would finally settle on running six marathons in six days. We are both long distance runners and we wanted to push ourselves to our limits and achieve something memorable.

    Choosing the route was easy. Adam has driven along the scenic south west coast of the UK between his home in London and university in Exeter many times. However, he had never really explored the coastline that he had driven so many times before and felt it was time to change this.

    Route Google Maps Sundried Planning Marathon Trek Hiking

    Training for specific races isn’t an alien concept for us because we have both competed in races and stuck to strict training plans in the past. However, we had only allowed ourselves about three and a half months to train for running six consecutive marathons while carrying a bag which weighed about a third of our body weight. We started with long training runs and slowly introduced a weighted bag. We also included sessions with steep elevation gain as the coast would be hilly. We followed similar routines to most marathon training plans, running a variety of distances throughout the week at varying speeds with a long run at the end of the week. What did differ, however, was the fact that we ran the full 26.2 miles on multiple occasions before we started as we wanted to feel comfortable with the distance.

    We planned to carry all our food, clothes, essentials and camping equipment on our backs and to do it as simply as possible - no support, just the two of us. We knew that we would have to pack light for our run and found that Matador’s Beast28 Packable Technical Backpack was ideal as it’s light but sturdy, making it perfect for running the distances that we were travelling. 

    We pondered for a long time how we would be able to get the best night’s sleep whilst carrying the least amount of equipment on our journey. I decided that hammocks would be more useful than tents as, not only are they lighter, we wouldn't have to worry about uneven, damp, or rocky flooring. Hammock Bliss’ Sky Tent 2 and two single hammocks were perfect because those three items weighed just under 1.7kg. The Sky Tent 2 is a waterproof and bug-proof tent that is suspended and two hammocks are hung inside bunk bed style. 

    The Run

    After catching an early train from London to Southampton we began our first marathon, running through the New Forest - we were absolutely buzzing. Without knowing what exactly we were in for or where we would be sleeping, we headed west and followed signs within the forest. The first day went without any problems and we found the perfect place to wild camp. We set up our hammocks with ease and started cooking. We had bought tins of tuna, beans, instant porridge sachets and rice for a hot dinner/lunch. We packed enough food for the first three days and then restocked for the last three.

    New Forest Adventure Running Trekking Hiking

    After a good night’s sleep, we packed up and started running southwest towards the coast when our first setback hit after two hours of running. We realised we had about 20 ticks all over our bodies. Ticks are small insects that live in long grass and can carry Lyme Disease, a potentially serious virus. Not wanting to take a risk, we visited a local doctor who was able to remove them and reassured us that we had no more ticks on our bodies, albeit we had to forgo about three hours of the day.

    Camping that night, however, we realised that some of the ticks had found their way to some very questionable areas of our bodies. So, with a torch in one hand and tweezers in the other, we took turns, solidifying our friendship as we went…

    Our third and fourth marathons were undoubtedly the hardest, both physically and mentally, with our bodies really put to the test and the realisation that we were only just passing the halfway mark. I started to suffer from blisters just before midday, but Trail Toes had provided us with enough blister cream to last a lifetime and pushing through the pain was easier than stopping to then start again. Adam also developed a pinched nerve in his shoulder, but with enough padding, we were able to push through the most scenic part of our journey. Our determination and long-distance training started to pay off during this period and we gave each other the spirit to continue.

    Washing Clothes River Natural Eco

    As we woke up on our fifth day, spirits suddenly jumped back up again because we knew we were close to completing the challenge. Our clothes had been cleaned thanks to Scrubba, a portable ‘washing machine’, so we were feeling fresh and ready to go. We had not been able to find two suitable trees to hang our hammocks between, so we used our Sky Tent 2 as a normal tent on the ground. The base of it is waterproof, so we just attached one side to a fence and pegged the other in the grass.

    Tent Camping Adventure Field Outdoors Nature

    Day five felt sluggish, but that was expected, as our bodies continued to resent us for the pain that was developing in our feet and backs, but we were determined to keep a good pace. Energy levels were running low, but we had lots of snacks that mostly consisted of Clif Bars and Clif Shot Energy Gel for protein and energy.

    We were waking up at about 6 am on the last couple of days so we could finish our marathons earlier. Our “relaxation and rest” time after the marathons consisted of swimming and rock climbing and then eventually some cooking and falling asleep from exhaustion at about 8:30 pm. We wanted to explore the areas we were running through as well, so it was great that we got to have some fun along the coast.

    Climbing Rocks Sea Ocean Adventure Sports

    Day six was finally upon us and it felt great. We blocked out the pain and exhaustion as we ran the whole of the last marathon smiling whilst discussing what our first proper meal would be. Once we saw the first signs for Exeter, we knew we were almost there. We knew there were a house, a bath and a beer waiting for us not too far away.

    We finally made it and we had completed our challenge. We successfully ran six marathons in six days from Southampton to Exeter whilst camping each night and carrying all our gear on our backs.

    Running Bridge Outdoors Trees Forest

    Afterthoughts

    Spending a couple of days resting in Exeter was much needed to get us back to our normal running routine. I am currently training for the Amsterdam Marathon in October and it’s great because the long runs now seem a lot shorter and less painful than they used to!

    We’re both very chuffed that we managed to complete our 6 in 6 challenge and we will definitely be doing similarly intense challenges in the future - maybe completing a marathon on every continent? Running to Paris? Or maybe an Ironman? The possibilities are endless and we can’t wait.

    We decided to do a challenge so extreme to simply put our physical and mental strength to the test, but to also encourage other young people to get out and do something active. We know not everyone can simply put on a pair of running shoes and run six marathons in six days, but we want to show people that there are much better things than sitting on the sofa watching Netflix. We’re nothing special - just a couple of guys who decided to go on a run!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founder Of Doughlicious

    Entrepreneur Life Sundried Activewear Doughlicious Cookie Dough Founder Interview

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We spoke to founder of gourmet cookie dough company Kathryn Bricken about all things sweet and her journey to developing Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough.

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Doughlicious? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    I have always been passionate about creating fabulous food. Before starting Doughlicious, I enjoyed working in product development in the United States and Canada. When I came to England, my friends would ask me to make them a really good chocolate chip cookie. My recipe not only tasted utterly delicious, it was also a healthier version of the classic. I soon got requests to make them extra cookie dough to bake in their own homes! I realised there was a gap in the market for making gooey American-style cookie dough that could be baked in minutes in the comfort of your own home yet with no added refined sugars or preservatives.

    I was conscious of making my cookies accessible to all, so set about creating a gloriously gluten-free recipe. I am health conscious but not obsessed and believe that all foods fit as part of a balanced diet. I am acutely aware of the need to protect our planet for future generations. As a producer of artisan cookie dough, we constantly look into ways to minimise food waste and Doughlicious encourages you to become a conscious consumer as you only bake what you need (we have lots of yummy recipes on the blog for using up any extras).

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    Finding a manufacturer that could match the quality of my homemade cookies. It simply wasn’t possible. It made me really connect with my purpose for setting up Doughlicious which was to share gourmet, gooey American-style cookies that make people hum with happiness. I wasn’t prepared to compromise on taste or quality so I decided to set up my own factory and manufacture all our cookies in-house.

    It, undoubtedly, made the process much more time-consuming and complex but I don’t regret it for a moment. I have met so many inspiring people who taught me so much along the way, enabling me to learn about my own strengths and weaknesses and build a strong, knowledgeable team.

    Doughlicious cookies are built on quality; we don’t take shortcuts and will continually work to give our customers the very finest cookie dough products - which is the core aim of the Doughlicious dream.

    Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    I’m working on it! I am so passionate about Doughlicious that I find it hard to truly switch off. I suppose it is because I understand the power that food (and cookies!) has to bring people together, enjoying getting creative in the kitchen (we have lots of baking recipes on our blog) or simply having a coffee and a cookie with friends.

    I am always coming up with new ways in which we can build on the business, although I don’t really like the word 'business', I prefer 'community' as our whole ethos is about creating a culture of conscious consumers, mindful of themselves and the society around them.

    I love spending time with my family (who have inspired some of our top flavours) and our adorable dog, Kevin, or going to Columbia Road Flower Market with friends on the weekend. My favourite way to de-stress is cooking; I have hundreds of cookbooks and relish getting creative. We have a section on the blog where we are starting to share our favourite cookbooks; everything from Nigella’s ‘How to Eat’ to Yotam Ottolenghi’s fabulously flavoursome ‘Plenty.’ If I want something super simple, I bake one of our Chocolate & Vanilla cookies and crumble it over an affogato.

    What’s been the most exciting part of developing Doughlicious?

    There have been lots of memorable moments in the Doughlicious journey. I still pinch myself every time I see the boxes lined up in Selfridges Food Hall or Whole Foods Market UK. I also get a huge buzz out of reading emails from contented cookie monsters or meeting our growing number of fans at in-store samplings. Those moments make the late nights, early starts and hectic days all worthwhile.

    I was also really proud to sign up to Kindred. It's an incredible app that allows businesses to offer amazing discounts whilst also donating to charity at the same time. It was a big moment because I felt I was truly giving back to some really worthy causes. You can find out more about our partnership with Kindred here.

    Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough founder interview with Sundried

    What does the future hold for Doughlicious?

    We have lots of exciting plans for 2020! First up is the launch of ‘Dough Chi’ - an utterly irresistible cookie twist on the Japanese dessert mochi. We call it “cookie dough with a soul”. We teamed up with add.ice cream to create these magnificently moreish vegan (and gluten-free) ice cream bites with an oh-so-doughlicious cookie coating. They are ready-to-eat from frozen or can be baked so you have a warm cookie with a molten creamy centre. As for the rest of the year, we will continue to grow our blog, alongside a number of super exciting projects which must remain top secret for now…

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    I have learnt so much over the years and am truly grateful for how running my dream business has allowed me to discover so much about myself and the world around me. There are a few things that I think are really important:

    Stay humble – At the end of the day, we are all humans doing our best in life. Never think that because your business is growing, you are too important to help someone else.

    Build a strong team – I love the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and I try to instil that into Doughlicious. Every person is important and plays their own role in our community. From the website to the packers to the designers, every individual is needed and valued.

    Two ears, one mouth – I have over 20 years experience in the food industry (and, thanks to my mom, a childhood of delicious cookies) but I don’t know everything. It is really important to listen to others who might see ways to improve. Whether friends, family, industry experts, customers or the Doughlicious team. I aim to make people feel able to speak up and contribute their ideas.

    Find your core – You can make lots of money in the food world by using cheap ingredients and diverting away from your core values. For me, I knew that was not what I wanted. Quality and community are the very roots of the Doughlicious tree. Listening to my gut and my guiding principles spurred me to running my own factory and building the Doughlicious we have today.

    Learn to embrace failure – Not everything will work when you first try it. I failed to find a suitable manufacturer and ended up running my own factory. I love the quote from C.S Lewis, ‘Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.’ Things that seem like failures often tend to be gifts which spur you onto following your true path and releasing your full potential.

    Quickfire Questions

    Coffee or tea? Coffee

    Summer or winter? Summer

    Morning or night? Morning

    Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla - although you can have both in our Chocolate and Vanilla cookie!

    Sweet or savoury? Sweet - I am chief cookie monster!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Interview With Mike Reilly: The Voice of IRONMAN

    Mike Reilly Ironman Announcer

    Mike Reilly is a legend among the triathlon community and thousands of triathletes around the world will have heard him announce those immortal words "You are an IRONMAN!"

    We sat down with Mike to talk all things triathlon and find out more about a man who has been at the heart of the triathlon world for decades.

    You're best known to triathletes around the world as 'the voice of IRONMAN'. How did you first get into announcing? 

    I was asked to pick up a microphone at a running event. I went to watch since I couldn't run and the race director asked me to announce.

    You have been at the heart of the triathlon world for decades. What are your thoughts on the way triathlon and the racing scene has changed over the years?

    It's changed with technology, coaching, nutrition, everyone has gotten smarter with training and recovery. But we have been constant since the beginning and have not changed as it is still swim/bike/run! Plus the distances of IRONMAN remain the same.

    This may be a tough one: what has been the most memorable event that you've announced at/attended and why? 

    There isn't just one but a few stand out. IRONMAN Hawaii just a month after 9/11 when American Tim DeBoom won. Paula Newby-Fraser breaking 9:00 hours going 8:55 which was a first for a woman. And every age grouper that has overcome incredible odds to even get to an IRONMAN start line!

    Mike Reilly Ironman triathlon announcer

    You have been an important part of several huge ventures over the years (Road Runner Sports, RACEPLACE, Active.com to name a few). What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

    After all the great businesses I've been a part of, the highlight of my career happens at every start line of an IRONMAN I am at. Knowing 2,500 dreams are going to come true that day cannot be topped!

    What would you say makes IRONMAN so special and different from other sporting and endurance events? 

    Because it pulls out something in people they didn't know they had, and when they discover it their lives are changed forever.

    Another tough one: Which is your favorite IRONMAN race and why? 

    For the answer to that, you'll have to check page 221 of my book.

    Mike's new book - Finding My Voice - is available now

    Mike Reilly Finding My Voice book

    Which pro triathletes do you think are the ones to watch over the next few years? Anyone that you think might surprise us? 

    Nothing the pros do surprises me; they compete and raise their levels of performance at every event. Plus, we all probably have no idea who that top pro will be in 5 years. Who knew 2 years ago that Gustav Iden would win the 70.3 World Championship this year?

    On a more personal side, which has been your favorite race to compete in over the years and why? 

    Any century bike ride.

    What advice would you give to new triathletes and anyone who might be thinking about doing an IRONMAN in the future? 

    Just sign up, then go join a triathlon club, get a coach and get out on the road. Live by the manta "Excuses are invalid".

    Who inspires you? 

    My family.

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • Q&A With Team Rusty - Inspirational Wheelchair Running Duo

    Team Rusty Cerebral Palsy Running Racing Disability Sports

    Sundried had the pleasure of chatting to James Anderson and his cousin Rusty, who was born with cerebral palsy. Together they are a motivational and inspirational duo who set out to spread the message of inclusion and positivity in the running community.

    Please tell us about Team Rusty- who you are and what your journey is about.

    Team Rusty is a duo wheelchair racing team. I push the chair and my cousin Rusty is the motivational engine up front. He's the one that makes us go! Rusty was born with cerebral palsy. He is unable to walk or talk and has limited use of his arms but he has a big personality and even bigger heart.

    We come from a huge sports family and Rusty is the biggest fan of us all. He truly has the heart and competitive spirit of an athlete. This is a great way for us to unite and compete together as a team. Our journey is about spreading a positive message of inclusion and positivity.

    How did you first start Team Rusty?

    My family had heard of the iconic father and son racing duo Team Hoyt long before we started racing but for some reason we had never put 2 and 2 together that we could do the same type of duo wheelchair racing that they have pioneered. We looked into it online and saw that you can sign up for races and they would let you borrow a racing chair. So just before cross country season my senior year of college we reached out to team Hoyt and they were gracious enough to let us borrow a chair. We had a great race and quickly fell in love with the idea. We had an absolute blast! The following summer we raced every other weekend and ran our first marathon that fall. We raised money to buy our own chair and haven't looked back since.

    Team Rusty Running Wheelchair Racing

    Have you always been into running? Where did your passion start?

    I started running my freshman year of high school. I loved the sport. The work it takes to improve, tracking your progress, and the team element of cross country and track. After high school, I ran at the university of New Hampshire on their cross country and track team for 4 years, which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I loved my teammates and coaches and honestly couldn't have asked for a better 4 years.  Since then, I have raced with Rusty and have coached spring track at my old high school. Running is a central facet of my life and a huge passion that I share with Rusty.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Awesome question and a difficult one to answer. There are so many awesome races to choose from. We have really fallen in love with the marathon. It's a great challenge and takes a big team effort. Our first major marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC last fall. The atmosphere was incredible, huge crowds and such amazing tradition. There were also 90 duo teams that raced, it truly is "the people's marathon" .We achieved a big PB (3:27) and we can't wait to go back this October and race for a Boston qualifier.

    How do you find it training together? Are there some days when one of you needs to motivate the other?

    Rusty lives a few hours away from me so we don't get to train together too often. We race together about every other weekend throughout the summer and autumn, which really helps build our fitness in addition to all the fun we have racing together. For me it's all about Rusty. He gets me out the door and running everyday. Especially in the winter when it's cold and wet out and the last thing I want to do is bundle up and run for 60 minutes. Knowing that he is relying on me as his teammate pushes me every day.

    Who is your biggest inspiration?

    Rusty. He's the absolute best. Every mile of every marathon he goes wild. As soon as he sees the mile sign he starts cheering and making some noise. He is such a driven competitor. He wants to win every race we start. He wants to know the time and pace at every mile, if we are too slow or too fast, he really tracks the progress of the race as best he can. Despite not being able to talk, Rusty has a real way with getting information out of you! I admire his attitude and spirit more than anything. He is such a positive force, just being around him - especially in a sporting environment - is so inspirational.

    A good story about Rusty is before we started racing together when I was running in college, Rusty would be on the computer at school trying to type something into the search bar. This can take him some time and it can be challenging for him to hit the key that he intends to. So his teachers were trying to figure out what he was trying to look up and help him out. A few days in a row he kept going to the UNH track page. His teachers were rightfully confused so they asked my aunt why he kept doing this. My aunt explained that Rusty was trying to look up results from my races. That just meant the world to me, it still does. He's more than my cousin, he's my team mate and one of my closest friends. I really can't say enough about him.

    What advice would you give to other people in a similar situation who wish to do what you do?

    Go for it! It is so rewarding for everyone involved. It is so much fun. Go onto the Team Hoyt website and see if there are any races on their schedule near you. They can loan you a chair and teach you how to drive. It's a great way to meet other families in similar situations as well. We have a met so many amazing people through Team Hoyt. If you want to raise money and buy yourself a chair, you should reach out to them. They have the resources to help get you started!

    Follow James and Rusty's adventure on their Instagram @teamrustyrolls

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Pay On The Go With Your Sports Watch Thanks To Garmin Pay

    Garmin Pay Smart Watch Sports Watch

    Garmin Pay was launched in December 2017, and the new contactless payment option is one of many features that Garmin offers in its smartwatches. Now, customers from Starling Bank, with Mastercard will soon be able to register their cards in Garmin Pay. With Garmin Pay, you can collect your payment cards directly on your smartwatch. Purchases are verified with a four-digit code, and the user can quickly choose between the payment cards on the display. Garmin Pay can be used anywhere contactless payment is accepted. To pay, just tap the clock against the point-of-sale terminal.

    Payment with a smartwatch

    With Garmin Pay, you can quickly and easily pay for things without your credit card or phone. Garmin Pay is available in vívoactive 3 and Forerunner 645 Music. You can create an electronic wallet in Garmin Connect Mobile and register the cards you want to pay with. When you pay, you verify with a 4-digit code. The watch will then be unlocked for 24 hours, but if you take it off, it will be locked immediately.

    The new feature is powered by the FitPay payment platform and will soon be available to Mastercard holders from Starling Bank. 

    Stylish sports watch with GPS and music

    The Forerunner 645 Music is Garmin's latest sports watch with GPS, Elevate™ heart rate technology and built-in music storage. Thousands of apps and widgets can be downloaded for free at the Garmin Connect IQTM Store to customise your Forerunner 645 Music. The high-resolution display can show everything from activity tracking and reminders to Find My Phone, VO2max, Metabolic Age, and more. Forerunner 645 Music has a battery life of 7 days or up to 5 hours of GPS and music.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren