dJunk December 2012 – My Mix 4 Ash

DJunk December 2012 – my mix 4 ash by Djunk on Mixcloud

Recorded for my sister on a late Friday night in Newcastle, this mix represents the coming Summer break here in Australia. It’ll be beach time during the day, and cocktail hour all night. These fun party beats are the perfect accompaniment to the long, lazy days ahead.

In other news, I have just discovered an awesome blog called Digital Nomad Empire, which is all about funding travel on the run by deriving an online income. It has got my brain whirring on ways to tunr this blog into an income source to free up more time for running.

What are your favourite running tunes?

Which beats get you motivated to hit the trails?


Play time: 1:02:53

Genre: Funky Indie Disco with a deep house bent


  1. Something Good Can Work (Rac Mix) By Two Door Cinema Club
  2. Stank (Original Mix) By Chris Hingher
  3. The Music (Original Mix) By Marcus Marr
  4. Not That Kind Of Girl (Original Mix) By Miguel Campbell
  5. Something You Can Feel (Reverso 68 Remix) By Kris Menace & Stars On 33
  6. We Can’t Fly (Oliver Remix) By Aeroplane
  7. Take My Pain Away (Gigamesh Remix) By Moullinex
  8. Maybe You (Good Night Keaton Remix) By Saint Lou Lou
  9. Maniac (Original Mix) By Peaches & Moullinex
  10. Stranger Love (Rac Mix) By Classixx
  11. Break Away Kicks! (Digikid84 Remix) By Digikid84, Timo Juuti, Hector 87, Tjh87
  12. If You Only Knew (Matt Fear Remix)  By Finnebassen
  13. Awakening (Ft. Bijou.) (Kwikfiks Remix) By Dabin
  14. Starlove By Marchand
  15. Latch Featuring Sam Smith Feat. Sam Smith (T. Williams Club Edit) By Sam Smith, Disclosure
  16. Don’t Give Up (Fonzerelli Synth Rock Remix) By Disko 2 Disko

A Short Time Between Long Runs

Earlier this year, I started this blog to capture in words and imagery, the many small steps required in achieving a significant goal. The trail toward my first ultra-marathon also took in the journey between cities, as we ventured from our new home in Sydney, to a newer home in Newcastle.

Reflecting on the year that was I’ll leave for a later post.  As I begin to write this, I’m overwhelmed by the incredible experiences, places and people I’ve met over the year, and wish to do them all fair justice. Likewise, the races that have taken me all over New South Wales in search of the next adventure have been incredibly challenging and satisfying, fulfilling the need for constant change and growth.

Looking forward to the next 6 months is what excites and terrifies me. Two significant races sit on the horizon, and when projected forward in terms of weeks, seem all too close for comfort and my current level of fitness!

2013 Challenge #01

The Six Foot Track Marathon from Katoomba to the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains, NSW will be run in March 2013. This legendary race follows the original trail from the major town of the Blue Mountains to a very small village popular for centuries for its limestone caves and their impressive natural formations. As perhaps the most famous trail race in the country, this event sold out in minutes last Saturday. I was lucky enough to swindle a place for myself and my trainer, which was even more important as we were both devastated when the 2012 edition of the race was cancelled due to significant rainfall in the area. Fortuitously, in place of the washed out event, a group of Novocastrian and Hunter runners gathered together for our own Fat Ass event, the Six Foot Track DNS. It was a brilliant silver lining as it introduced me to many of my running buddies and friends. It’s a challenging terrain covering 45km point to point course with a vertical gain of 1.5kms. Hills and stair repeats are a must, but with challenge #02 two months afterward, this is just a warmup.

2013 Challenge #02

The North Face 100 also races through the Blue Mountains as an out and back course. At 100km with 4.5km of vertical gain, I’m not too sure what I was thinking when I signed up for it! I could spout several reasons to explain why I’d love to take on this challenge, but ultimately for me it comes down to the fact that it’s there to be done. Like a mountain which needs to be climbed, I’m doing it for no other reason than it being a monumental challenge in a field I love. It will require focus, determination and the support of a good woman (thanks Sare!) to even reach the start line, let alone the finish. I can’t wait!

So looking forward they are two of the hardest races in the country, back to back in 2013. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? I guess we’ll find out together.

Have you ever stacked the challenges so high they seem insurmountable?

What mental tools have you used to get through them?


TrailMix #2 – Sydney Marathon 2012

Play time: 1:02:53

Genre: Deep funky house, featuring some nu disco and old school classics


1. Climbers – Equal Responsibility (Original Mix)
2. Sharam Jey & Tapesh – Over Me
3. Tyson -Mr Rain (Mario Basanov Remake)
4. Inland Knights – Same Talk (Original Mix)
5. So Phat! – A Love Bizarre (Solomun Remix)
6. Plastic Plates – More Than Love
7. John Monkman, Liz Cass – Follow Me Feat. Liz Cass
8. Volta Bureau – Alley Cat (Original Mix)
9. Cassian – I Love It (Original Mix)
10. Sharam Jey – Here I Come (Original Mix)
11. Lee M Kelsall – NY Shuffle (Kreature Remix)
12. Scandal – Just Let Me Dance (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix)
13. Tigerskin – In Public (Original Mix)

TrailMix #02 – Sydney Marathon 2012 by Djunk on Mixcloud

For the last installment of TrailMix, i laid down some beats to carry me over the final 10km of an Ultra Marathon in the middle of the Blue Mountains. This time, it’s an urban playground taking my fancy at the Sydney Marathon. With no shortage of inspiration, and conversation to be had on course, this set is a reflection of the events energy; on the streets, from the city and from all of those cheering from the sidelines.

It’s deep house with a funky flavor. Fun, retro and enough to carry you over the finish line.

My TrailMix to keep You going!



Barefoot bandit

Out and Back: Newy Parkrun, Newcastle, NSW

Distance: 5.00km

Time: 0:20:28

Place: 14th

By account of the lack of action on my blog, you’d be justified in thinking that running and I had parted company, like lovers torn apart by the tyranny of distance and the Tasman sea. This would however, be a misplaced assumption, as running and I are closer than ever.

In light of the absence of updates, a quick summary should suffice. Since returning from New Zealand, I swung a late entry to the Inov8 Coastal Classic and followed the majestic coastline along the Royal National Park for 30kms, ran a Personal Best in the Blackmores Sydney Marathon, taking in the sights of the harbor city, and ran a 5km Parkrun barefoot.

In time I’ll put up the highlights from the first two races, but here I want to focus on the shortest, and in many ways the most rewarding of these races

Now that I've finished up working for RockSolid Plastering on the GC, I've got a lot more time and freedom for running. On Saturday morning, nursing a mild yet noticeable hangover, Sarah, Danny (a mate up from Sydney and the facilitator of the hangover) and I headed down to the Hunter River for the weekly running of the Newy Parkrun.

Maybe it was the hangover, or the week’s dress up theme “Fit As Butter” in reference to a local music festival happening later that day, but I felt like rebelling against convention, turning a few noses out of joint, ditching the runners and having a crack at a fully barefoot run. This was by no means a wreckless act, but more the culmination of 12 months transitioning from a high heeled traditional runner down through the drops to true nudity.

The Melbourne Marathon in October 2011 was the last time I’d run fully supported, donning a pair of Asics Kayano 17s for my virgin marathon. Since then I’ve raced a few more marathons and gone off road to tackle an ultra, and through this time I’ve progressively dropped the level of support provided by my shoes. From Nike Freeruns as an initial transition, I’ve progressed into New Balance Minimus Trail 10s through to the Road Zeros and Vibram Five Fingers Bikila toe shoes. But these were all still forms of protection, reducing ground feel and a true sense of running bare.

Newy Parkrun is billed as the naked parkrun. It’s about ditching the distractions, like ipods and GPS and running for the pure joy of it. This applies to the footwear as well, our race director Robbo from The Naked Runners encouraging good form running. So what better place to premier my 1981 season Twinkle Toes.

Lining up at the start line felt amazing. It’s 5km, comparatively shorter than many other races, but being barefoot it was all new and challenging again. There’s no escaping being in the moment when your every step is connected so acutely to the sensation of touch, every rock, grass blade, twig and grain of sand is mapped across your brain. The path you travel and the surfaces you cross are more significant than hills or scenery, as there’s no hiding from that tactile feedback. It was the most real running experience I’ve ever had, truly feeling the ground and connected with the moment.

It was easy and free, but it was hard work on my feet. This is the next goal, to build up a resistance to the surfaces enough to increase the mileage and tackle the terrain over the coming summer.

I won’t be taking on a barefoot marathon just yet, but after Saturday’s experience, you’ll see me less shod on shorter runs with a little more skin below the ankles.

Happy days running barefoot Happy days running barefoot



New Zealand – Queenstown

Out and Back: Queenstown, New Zealand

Run #1: 

Distance: 17.14km

Time: 1:59:56

Run #2: 

Distance: 5.58km

Time: 0:48:23

There are many ways to get up and down the mountains around Queenstown, in fact you could say the entire city and its tourism industry is reliant upon tourists doing just that. There are gondola rides, scenic drives and chairlifts to take you up the mountains, and para-gliders, flying foxes, bungy jumping, giant swings, skiing and snowboarding to get you back down. Want to go higher than the mountains, and skydiving is on offer. Keeping it on the down low, an you can catch a jetboat across Lake Wakatipo or up the Shotover River.


The end of the line at Lake Wakatipu The end of the line at Lake Wakatipu


The shores of Lake Wakatipu The shores of Lake Wakatipu – Click to enlarge


The mountains are playthings in this self professed adrenaline capital of the world, with one company referring to it as gravities playground. I wanted to claim the mountains and defeat gravity in my own way, with an assent along the Ben Lomond Track, a 1700m peak as the towering backdrop to this unique city. Fatigue however was my nemesis this trip, with the load backing up in my legs from the past months running, and some serious ice battles off piste this adventure wasn’t to be. It’s great to have something to come back for, a future challenge to continue to inspire. I’ve also learnt of the Kepler Track, and an ultramarathon which follows this magestic trail up and over a mountain.

Traces of man being reclaimed by nature Traces of man being reclaimed by nature


There were some incredible trails around the mountains near Queenstown, the vertical gain rewarded by spectacular views There were some incredible trails around the mountains near Queenstown, the vertical gain rewarded by spectacular views


If you go down to the woods today... If you go down to the woods today…


There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll soon return to New Zealand, a country I only knew a little about, but which I’ve definitely fallen for. Not only is the scenery and running magnificet, but I've discovered an extra sie benefit - dating in New Zealand is actually much easier than in Australia, which is a nice bonus.



Run #01


Run #02


New Zealand – Lake Wanaka

Run #1

Out: Wanaka, New Zealand

Back: Glendhu Bay, New Zealand

Distance: 8.73km

Time: 0:57:20


Run #2

Out: Wanaka, New Zealand

Back: Beacon Point, New Zealand

Distance: 12.21 km

Time: 1:23:59

Could we move from the city and live by this lake? Perhaps buy a block of dirt and start a winery in Central Otago? Or become lifties at Cadrona or Treble Cone and write off a season or two? How about 100 head of Merino Sheep and some Venison to boot? Do we really need to catch that flight next week?


Rippon Estate on the shores of Lake Wanaka Rippon Estate on the shores of Lake Wanaka


The recently completed trail disapearing over the horizon The recently completed trail disappearing over the horizon


Looking back toward Wanaka, you can understand why the town is growing Looking back toward Wanaka, you can understand why the town is growing


Happy snaps at our turn around point Happy snaps at our turn around point


Ah the indulgent questions posed at the halfway point of any holiday. It’s so easy to get caught up in the romanticism of the foreign and wish to forgo the souvenir trinkets for a more permanent exchange of address.


The vastness of the landscape is worthy of contemplation The vastness of the landscape is worthy of contemplation


With a view like this around the running trail at Lake Wanaka, these questions are wisps of a dream on the ascents, vocalized while catching breath on the descents. I’m sure there would be no shortage of guests wishing to go trans Tasman to admire the trails between Wanaka, with its burgeoning nightlife and booming property developments, and Glendhu Bay, resplendent in winter with the finest collection of vintage caravans this side of the 45th parallel. Or hit the many slopes dotted within a 50km radius. Or head south to get into  some of the best Pinot outside of Burgundy.


Silhouettes on the outward leg toward the affluent Beacon Point Silhouettes on the outward leg toward the affluent Beacon Point


Two intrepid trail trampers Two intrepid trail trampers


Dreams aside, this trail, these mountains, and this little growing town are a must for anyone heading to the South Island. Don’t just take my word for it, these pictures are worth a thousand.



Reflection of Lake Wanaka Reflection of Lake Wanaka


Run #1 East arround Lake Wanaka Run #1 East around Lake Wanaka


Run #2 East arround Lake Wanaka Run #2 East around Lake Wanaka



New Zealand – Franz Josef Glacier

Out: Franz Josef Glacier Village, New Zealand

Back: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Trail: Franz Josef Glacier

Distance: 15.62km

Time: 2:09:42

With a couple of weeks for a mid year holiday, Sarah and I have escaped the city to explore our island neighbors in New Zealand. Close to the mother country with a culture akin to our own, it’s an easy 3 hour jump from Sydney to Christchurch, giving access to all the South Island offers. My relatively recent adventure on the trails has ingrained a desire to spend as much time in the wilderness as possible, so with a smorgasbord of trails, hikes and skiing, intermingled with  bar, restaurant and winery hopping, this place was at the top of our destination list.

The Franz Joseph Glacier is in retreat from the sea The Franz Josef Glacier is in retreat from the sea

After a quick overnight in Christchurch, we made our way on the TranzAlpine Railway to Greymouth on the West coast and on to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. These incredible natural structures are created when large amounts of snow collect in a natural basin high in the alpine range. Under the accumulated compressive force the snow becomes ice, forges its way down the mountains creating a glacier. Once it reaches a certain altitude and temperature, the ice melts becoming water which flows out to the Tasman Sea. Snow falling at the top of the Fox Glacier takes about 100 years to reach the glacier’s terminal face, and while it’s advancing by 1m each day, it’s shrinking at a rate of 1.1m per day.

Through the temperate rainforest to reach the glacial river Through the temperate rainforest to reach the glacial river

There’s no easy way to grasp the scale of these glaciers, or the time-scale of their creation. But as with running the streets of Sydney to place suburbs in context with one another, so too would a trail run from our hotel to the terminal face allow us the time to explore the setting of such a powerful natural structure. As we ran over bridges crossing the ancient riverbed carved by the glacier 18,000 years ago when it stretched out to sea, and through the temperate rainforest surrounding it, we could experience the vastness and fragile power of the environment – susceptible to subtle changes in temperature and season, but able to shape mountains given time.

The incredible trail leading to the terminal face of the Franz Joseph Glacier The incredible trail leading to the terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier As close as Sare and i could get, for warnings of icefalls and rockslides! As close as Sare and i could get, for warnings of icefalls and rockslides!

Once we reached the end of the trail, we couldn’t actually get very close, as the risk of landslides and rockfalls triggered by the ever shifting glacier was too great. It was disappointing to not be able to reach out and touch the terminal face and experience the transformation of 100 year old ice melting back to water. However, tomorrow we have planned a guided glacial walk, so the feeling will no doubt be short lived.

The scale and age of the landscape is hard to fathom The scale and age of the landscape is hard to fathom

The vastness of the landscape and the geological time frames in which the glaciers exist reminds me of how brief our individual tenures are on this earth. However seemingly insignificant each footprint we make may be be, the combined effect of millions will add up to an impact felt globally. This journey drives home the fragility of the natural environment, and the importance of its preservation for future generations.

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
Wallace Stegner,

How very Victorian to ponder nature in the reflection at Robert's Pool How very Victorian to ponder nature in the reflection at Robert’s Pool Map from RubiTrack Map from RubiTrack



Mt Solitary Ultra 2012

Out & Back: The Blue Mountains, NSW

Race: The Mount Solitary Ultra

Distance: 45.00km

Time: 7:50:20

Previous PB: -

Overall Place: 89th

Put one foot in front of the other, and try not to throw up.  As I tried to keep down my 4th energy gel for the day, this occupied my thoughts on the descent into the Jamison Valley and the final 15km of the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever taken on.

On Sunday, after two weather inflicted false starts earlier this year, I finally made it to the New South Wales Blue Mountains to conquer the challenge of running an ultra marathon. The event was the 45km Mt Solitary Ultra put on by the incredible Running Wild crew, and pegged as the least #douchegrade ultra in Australia, it didn’t disappoint. Two days on, and I’m still struggling to walk.

Gear check at the start line, what would those numbers read at the end? Gear check at the start line, what would those numbers read at the end?


The race starts at the old Queen Victoria Hospital on the Kedumba Walls, dropping down into the Jamison Valley and the base of Mount Solitary, before climbing the mountain’s east face, scrambling across its rugged plateau and then descending the western face to the National Pass. This trail follows along the base of the cliffs at Katoomba, with a climb up the Furber Steps to the first and only aid station. A quick pit stop and it’s back down the steps and onto the pass, into the Jamison valley, along some long hilly fire trails toward the Kedumba Walls with a return climb back to the hospital.

Less of a race and more a personal challenge for me, I took several moments to stop and enjoy the magnitude of this unique Australian landscape. No matter how well I tried to capture it in photography, the intensity of The Blue Mountains, the sense of isolation, ruggedness, and the feeling of being amongst ancient geology and fauna probably won’t translate. It’s something you have to experience for yourself, even more apparent when this environment dwarfs your intention of speed. It tends to put everything into perspective.

7am and we were racing with perfect weather overhead 7am and we were racing with perfect weather overhead


Starting at 7am on a perfect cool and dry day, the descent into the valley quickly spread the field, the pointy end disappearing into the distance as I implemented my survival plan for the day, adapting the Trail Walker mantra – run if you can, walk if you must. Some knarly single tracks carried us to the base of Mt Solitary, where the magnitude of the challenge quickly became apparent. The hill climb I’d been warned about lived up to its reputation, as the false tops only led to steeper ascents to follow. More of a rock climb in part, the 600m gain in 3km floored me with its 50% gradient.

Hand over hand scramble up Mt Solitary Hand over hand scramble up Mt Solitary


The brutal climb up Mt Solitary kept getting steeper The brutal climb up Mt Solitary kept getting steeper


Once the apparent top was reached it was possible to proceed again on two limbs until reaching the summit near the western face of Mount Solitary. Pictures speak a thousand words, but humbled is how I felt looking out at Katoomba, and then down into the valley below. It’s easy to focus no further than your nose on the ascent, but there was no escaping the sheer cliff face we’d be climbing down to get off this rock.


Reaching the top was a spectacular view, but the single track was hard to find Reaching the top was a spectacular view, but the single track was hard to find


Rocky outcrops slowed the progress Rocky outcrops slowed the progress


The gnarly trail was steep and exhilarating The gnarly trail on the decent


Happy days descending Mt Solitary Happy days descending Mt Solitary


Having descended with no injuries, and feeling generally good about myself physically, I thought the hardest part was behind me. If the event was called the Mount Solitary Ultra, surely that would be the hardest part? Without a benchmark for this distance of terrain, my hopeful optimism would be revealed as nothing short of blind ignorance.

The Federal Pass follows just below the cliff line of the Blue Mountains, and is an easily accessible and popular trail for tourists visiting Scenic World in Katoomba. As a pack of five runners emblazoned with racing numbers emerged from the trail onto the boardwalk, I wonder what was going through the heads of the Japanese tourist? From the valley you have the option of either taking the cable car or the world’s steepest funicular to the top of the cliff. But while we carried everything from space blankets to emergency whistles, not a cent could be raised amongst us. So instead, the poor man’s option of the Furber Steps was our chosen route out of the valley to the one and only aid station.

Looking back at Mt Solitary i was amazed we'd climbed over that terrain Looking back at Mt Solitary i was amazed we’d climbed over that terrain


At the aid station I was met by several welcome elements: water, as I’d run out; bananas, as these are now my running food of choice; and Sare, and she had my food and electrolytes. Apparently she also read the expression on my face as one of disbelief at what I’d just done, with a desperation deep down questioning the logic to go on. The food and water did wonders, so it wasn’t long before I descended to take on part 2. As I left, I heard the medical officer at the aid station, question a runner, ‘Have you eaten enough? Have you drunk enough? Your urine needs to be pale and plentiful, otherwise you drink”

Reaching the top of the Furber Steps after a brutal climb out of the valley Reaching the top of the Furber Steps after a brutal climb out of the valley


Stretching out in the sun at the checkpoint Stretching out in the sun at the checkpoint


The next 10km or so saw the Federal Pass follow the base of the Three Sisters, which I was able to follow with a fellow runner with great conversation about nutrition, racing, 100km distances and how to coerce our mates to join us in the mountains. This was a continued theme throughout the day, simply chatting and running with strangers brought together on the trail. It’s something you’d never do it the city, and is an amazing part of this community. But all good pacers come to an end, and once we turned into the valley and onto the steep fire trail descent I was left to question the sanity of this undertaking alone.

Alone on the trails, the beats carried me home Alone on the trails, the beats carried me home


Once the eventual bottom on the Jamison valley was reached, the final challenge of the climb up the Kadumba Walls loomed large and ominous. Fortunately my TrailMix secret weapon was at the ready on the iPhone to carry me through the final 120 minute slog up 600m vertical. And it worked, as I solo powerwalked my way through 121.5 BPM of deep house beats. That is, until I ran out of tunes, then water, then food causing me to bonk 3km from the finish line. I’d hit the wall, but nothing was going to stop me reaching the finishline. I swear those final few k’s were the hardest fought and slowest earned, until a volunteer kindly indicated I could roll down the hill in front for the final 50m to the line.

I was promised I could roll to the finish line from here I was promised I could roll to the finish line from here


7:50:20 to get across the line was a long day 7:50:20 to get across the line was a long day


7:50:20 is less time than I spend at work each day, yet I feel I achieved more in this time than I could hope to in weeks behind the desk. I’ve learnt two things about taking on an ultra marathon. Firstly, you must possess absolute stubbornness and the determination to complete a challenge you’ve started. Secondly, you must have the memory of a goldfish, able to forget the pain behind, focusing only on what has to be done in front.

Thanks to the incredible volunteers and first aid officers on the course today. Without their support, none of us could go out and play stupidly in the mountains, reassured that a crew of people with more sense and hydration than us were looking out and keeping us safe.

Two days out and I’m still having trouble walking. But I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow to work out how to get back on the trails to do it all again.


TrailMix #01 – Mt Solitary Ultra 2012

Play time: 1:11:09

Genre: Deep house, with a funky flavour


1. Florence & The Machine – Spectrum (Maya Jane Coles Remix)
2. Ornette – Crazy (Noze Remix) (Extended Club Version)
3. Wankelmut, Asaf Avidan – One Day Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Remix Club Mix)
4. Madmotormiquel, Sebo – Boys Boys (Original Mix)
5. Lana Del Dey – Blue Jeans (Mk Darkest Mix)
6. Habischman & Plus Me – Time To Fall (Original Mix)
7. Mowgli Feat. Amber Jolene – Back In The Day (Original Mix)
8. Finnebassen – If You Only Knew (Original Mix)
9. Niko Schwind, Lil Magdalene – We Are The Future (Original Mix)
10. Leftwing & Kody – Feel So Free (Original Mix)
11. Hot Since 82 – Knee Deep In Louise (Original Mix)
12. Huxley – Let It Go – Original Mix
13. Scandal – Just Let Me Dance (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix)
14. Amine Edge & Dance – Going To Heaven With The Goodie-Goodies (Original Mix)
15 Nina Kraviz – Aus Feat. King Aus On The Mic (Original Mix)

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TrailMix #01 – Mt Solitary Ultra 2012 by Djunkme on Mixcloud

In a past life I spent many an hour behind the decks as a DJ, absolutely loving dropping beats for friends at parties and strangers in clubs. It’s still a passion of mine, collecting music and compiling the occational mix when time permits.

While i’m not usually an advocate of listening to music when running, this weekends Mt Solitary Ultra has inspired me to lay down a mix for when it gets tough on the trail during the 45km 6+ hour race.

It starts out with some familiar vocal tunes given a deep house flavour, including a couple of vocals to remind you of the importance of persistence and the inevitability of age. The mix continues with some deeper funky tunes, smoothly mixed to carry you through the next 30 minutes wrapped in a blanket of etherial vocal and warm base. To close out we lift with a bigger sound, driving base and smooth vocal hooks, before knocking it right back to a minimal beat to bring you back to earth.

This is my secret weapon tomorrow out on the trails, but i hope you like it for whatever outdoor pursuit takes you back to the bush.

My TrailMix to keep you going!



1, 2, skip a few…

So my ambitious plan to race four consecutive weeks with distances of 21.1km, 42.2km, 25km and 45km progressively has hit a self-imposed road block at the three quarter mark. As much as I love the thrill of competing in an organised event, the increased load and obvious fatigue was too much to ignore after the Hunter Valley Marathon. Rather than risk injury through overwork, I chose to listen to my body and take a week off to recover fully.

I’m glad I did, as the rhetoric on twitter and the blogosphere surrounding this week’s Mount Solitary Ultra has it pegged as the biggest challenge this side of The North Face 100. Ultra 168 have a second bite of the cherry with their race preview, serving up the who’s who on the predictive dais. I, however, will be heeding the words of caution and snippets of advice floating around in an attempt to simply conquer the distance, the course and myself.

It’ll be the greatest distance, time and vertical gain I’ve ever attempted in one run, which is bringing back the feeling I had running my first Half Marathon in Sydney. Prior to that race, I hadn’t gone past 85% of the distance, which meant an incredibly sense of running into the unknown on race day. Prepared, but unsure of what I was going to find. Turns out the end of that race was just the beginning of this one, as it sparked in me the strong desire to see how far I could go. And here we are, staring up at a 45km trail run through the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

Measured excitement is my approach in the build up, and relentless forward progress will get me through.

See you at the trail head.