Excitement building over UTMB

The organisers of UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) do an amazing job of the coverage every year. Head over to their site at 5pm Irish on Friday Aug 31st for live footage at the race start. In the meantime here’s a lovely video by Salomon of brilliant ultra runner Ryan Sandes and his buddies doing a tour of Mont Blanc. »

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Test of my new email-to-hugo blogging tool

I have created a simple new tool which enables me to send blog content via email. The emails are converted to Markdown files and then uploaded to a Hugo source repo on GitHub, along with any inline images. CircleCI then automatically rebuilds and redeploys my blog to S3. I’ll post full details and source code over the next few days. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Walking away from Facebook after 11 years.

I’ve been meaning to write about giving up on Twitter since last November. I think I’ll now wait until I’ve been off for 12 months. I kept threatening to walk on Facebook too. I’d like to thank Facebook for killing the List Feed feature today so they made the decision for me. I’m done. My first two posts on Facebook were in 2006 and 2007. I was complaining about it even then! »

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Castlefreke is exactly why all State lands must be immediately be removed from the hands of logging company Coillte

Let’s get straight to the point. Coillte is a logging company with a commercial mandate. Having it in charge of 440,000 hectares of state lands is so idiotically Irish, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. All state lands should be transferred to a hugely expanded and reformulated National Parks and Wildlife Service immediately. The NPWS can then licence Coillte to plant and harvest trees in a strictly controlled fashion on a limited subset of those lands. »

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From Liverpool to Manchester - Conor does his 50 (miles) before 50 (years)

Last March I decided I wanted to run a 50 mile race before I hit the big five oh in May of this year. On Monday, in spite of freezing rain, hail, sleet and snow, I somehow managed it and I can’t stop randomly grinning. As always, have no fear, this won’t be a mile-by-mile race report. I’d fall asleep writing it :-) Speaking of which, one of my ultra-running top tips is “Don’t listen to the audiobook of ‘Why We Sleep’ on miles 30-40 of a 50 miler if you want to avoid getting verrrrry verrrry sleepy. »

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I'm more excited about Eoin Keith doing the Barkley Marathons than I am about my first 50 miler

Like many people I’ve been enthralled by Eoin Keith’s Ultra running exploits since I first discovered this crazy sport. Whether it’s his Spine Race wins in crazy weather or his FKT from Mizen to Malin, he makes you want to push yourself and try things. My wife and I are doing the Liverpool to Manchester 50 Mile Ultra very soon (oh god it really is very very soon) and we flip-flop between terror and huge excitement over the adventure. »

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The fatally flawed Salomon Sense Pro Max

I read some reviews of the Sense Pro Max last year and they looked like a good pair of mixed surface running shoes. However they came with the usual Salomon price tag and I didn’t have a specific need for them. Fast-forward to January this year and I started getting worried about the footwear I was going to use in my first 50 Miler, the Liverpool to Manchester Ultra. Then I spotted that the Salomons were half price on Wiggle. »

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2017 - The year of running 1000 miles

2017 was probably the year I stopped feeling odd when calling myself a runner. I achieved a bunch of new things in running, including my first 50k, and managed to do just over 1000 miles for the year. Start running now If you are thinking of taking up running in the new year, go for it. No excuses. Forget about “I’ll wait until I’ve lost some weight” or “when the weather improves” or “my knee is a bit twingey”. »

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A round-up of Conor's recent races. Lots to recommend!

I’ve been having fun mixing up the length and style of the races we’ve run this Summer and Autumn. Whilst my speed remains atrocious, I find that my recovery time is getting shorter and shorter, which must be a sign of something. So here goes, June to September: Cork City Marathon What can I say? It broke me again. I started so well - faster than last year and feeling strong. »

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Dear headphone manufacturers - Big opportunity to own the marathon market

I really wonder about headphone manufacturers and their testing. I own everything from no-name €10 Chinese wired earbuds to €100+ Jaybird X3s and every single one of them is problematic for running. In the US alone, over 550,000 people ran a marathon in 2016. Scale that globally (with a 13% growth rate) and that’s a substantial, defined, receptive, target market. My goto pair for the past 2 years are SMS In-Ear Wired Sport earbuds. »

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