Hoka Speedgoat 4 - The perfect trail running shoe?

I’ve been having mixed success with trail runners in 2021 which you can read about in previous mini-reviews: Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX - Love the comfort and waterproofedness. Great for road-to-trail. Did 50-60 mile Sheeps’s Head Way twice in them. But very little grip in the wet. Saucony Peregrine 10 - Killed my heel. Unwearable. Great grip. Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max - Heavy, blister-inducing on rough ground, lethal on wet rocks. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Twenty years of blogging on conoroneill.com

I somehow missed the actual 20th Anniversary of the Blog back in April and finally noticed last week. This could be a massive post with links to highlights and lowlights over the past twenty years but I think I’d prefer to keep it short. After using Frontpage in the 90s and hosting a “homepage” on Indigo, Geocities and others, I made the move to Blogger on April 17th 2001. That was followed by the golden years of blogging from 2006-2010 on WordPress and eventually the move via various static site generators to Hugo a few years back. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Sir Clive Sinclair R.I.P. - My Hero

Sir Clive Sinclair died on September 16th 2021 after a long illness. I knew this had been coming for quite a while based on internet rumblings but it’s still a shock to know that the man, whose brilliant mind changed the life of a small kid from rural Ireland, is gone. I’ve written many many many times over the years on this blog and on my tech blog about the ZX Spectrum and Sinclair in general. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Review of Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max

After the heel-destroying catastrophe of the Saucony Peregrine 10 and my bad fall in the Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX, I needed a new pair of trail running shoes that could handle both long distance and typical slippy, mucky, wet Irish terrain. The hype around the Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max has almost been as big as its crazy long name. But the reviews were very good and I still love and use my old Inov-8 X-CLAW 275 on the shorter boggier stuff. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Review of Saucony Peregrine 10 / 11

This won’t be a long review. Whilst I was enjoying running in the Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX, I knew the grip wasn’t great on the rougher stuff. After googling around a bit, the Saucony Peregrine had lots of solid reviews as a reliable decent everyday trail running shoe. Version 10 was on discount due to the recent release of version 11, so I grabbed a pair from Alltricks in France. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

The Sheep's Head Way Fastest Known Time (FKT)

If at first On April 12th 2021 I attempted to do the entire main loop of The Sheep’s Head Way. I didn’t quite make it but had an amazing day in a wonderful part of the world. Five weeks later on May 17th, I gave it another go. Whilst it didn’t go to plan, the outcome left me with a big old grin on my face for a week. No you don’t need a gas cooker The two main problems I had the first time were my ridiculous pack full of everything from a gas cooker to a sleeping bag, along with the horrendous blisters on the soles of my feet. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

The Sheep's Head (Way) - Ambling 51 miles in 21 hours

The Unlockdowning As we approached the partial lifting of pandemic lockdown in Ireland in late March 2021, I wanted to celebrate in some way that involved trails, hills and running. Luckily for me, the brilliant Tough Soles published a new summary video on YouTube of their Sheep’s Head Way hiking trip from 2018. I was immediately sold. The route The official Way web-site has a ton of useful info including a trace of the whole route. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Using smashed phones as extra computers at home during the pandemic

I’ve always been interested in maximising the lifetime of electronics. I detest built-in obsolescence and I hate the way computers are becoming impossible to upgrade or repair yourself. Apple is the absolute worst culprit in this area and their actions result in others following their terrible example. Apple’s logic is that phones and computers should be like TVs and no-one ever upgrades or repairs their TV. Except, we used to. I still remember the RTV Rentals man coming to our house to replace the tuner in our TV as the existing one couldn’t handle the signal of my new ZX Spectrum. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Irish Lockdown Vegan Brown Soda Bread recipe

In January 2020, I went 99.9% plant-based as a way of kick-starting serious weight loss after 20 years of being either overweight or obese. The only initial exception was cow milk in my tea. I did similar back in 2016 but that was my silly “6 Day Vegan” plan where I ate chicken curry on a Friday. Both times I’ve used Veganuary as the starting point. After two months at 99. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Thinking in Public

Has it really been 13 months since I did a personal blogpost? So many things I’ve been meaning to share over the past year but never got around to. I’ll make sure to do my annual race/run wrap-up post over Christmas and I really want to get back into the regular blogging saddle since I’ve left Twitter and Facebook long behind. And speaking of the two hellsites, this post by Sabrina Little on iRunFar is a perfect summary of how I have been feeling about online (and real-world) discourse over the past few years. »

Author image Conor O'Neill