XMiles are very pleased to welcome Jack Gammon as an XMiles ambassador and team member. At XMiles our ethos is sharing knowledge and experiences whilst supporting individuals and teams in challenges without barriers of ability. We have invited Jack to join our team and blog his way to The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail race in Cortina Italy, June 2017.
Right! Here we go! My first starter for 10 blog as an XMiles ambassador and team member, and I’m thrilled to be involved. A cursory glance at my new team’s other members confirms something I suspected at my first chat with Anthony Clark back at a loopy race in Dorset a few weeks ago when we were all dressed up as donkeys and running 10K loops in the rain. (That’s another story).
These are quality guys we are talking about here!
(In no particular order)
Steve Way - 02:15:16 Marathon
David Long - 15:29 Park run (amongst other awesome results)
Ben Martin Dye - 02:40:14 Marathon
Alastair Pickburn - 02:32:51 Marathon
Mental results and a huge inspiration in themselves. For me these are some scary numbers, but that said I look forward to meeting the guys, shaking a few hands and hearing a little bit more about their incredible adventures. The team at XMiles have involved some wonderful athletes and yet somehow I have been asked to join in, but fear not! I’m not going to rest until I get to the bottom of this dreadful error and find out who invited me. My sister calls this ‘imposter syndrome’ which from what I can work out is that flicker of uncertainty you get when your boss walks through the office, you’re doing your job perfectly well but yet you half expect him to turn and fire you on the spot.
‘Well don’t worry gang! I’ve got this one!' Even amidst the incredible rank and file of my new XMiles colleagues (I’m resisting the urge to call them XMen) I still think I can bring something useful, and hopefully fun to the party.
Let me tell you a little about myself and what I hope to do within the XMen (Dammit sorry, won’t happen again).
My name is Jack Gammon, I’m a surprisingly inflexible yet rakishly handsome 43 year old mid pack athlete from Warwick where I live with my long suffering partner Bethan (herself a quality endurance athlete) and Florence our 3 year old daughter (athletic prowess yet to be confirmed but fully toilet trained). I took up adventuring and athletics some 10 years ago now to get out in the fresh air in a bid to be proactive and do all I could to help myself with what turned out to be diagnosed depression. I’m not telling you this to wreck the mood of my first little blog. I merely want you all to know that I truly believe the ‘outdoor life’ racing and adventuring can be a lot more than just endlessly chasing quick times (as impressive as I find that).
Racing and adventuring has brought me feelings of joy and calm the likes of which I never knew existed and I am super keen to share stories about WHY you all race and indeed what it means to you. I hereby promise never to do a blog on how to tie your shoelaces correctly for an ultra-race or which flavour of gels gives me the squirts.
It soon became apparent to me that a huge part of my racing was not just what I did but where I did it. The mountains soon became my favourite place to enter loopy races. Now I know what you’re thinking. There aren’t many mountains in Warwick, and you’d be right but hills will do and there are plenty of them and it is turning out that we go off on a ‘family holiday’ somewhere very mountainous once or twice a year. It also helps that Bethan is a keen lover of the Lake District.
This has led my little family out on ‘er cough ‘holidays’ to
2x 100 mile road races
The Oner (an 82 mile coastal run in Dorset)
Transvulcania (a double Mountain marathon on the beautiful island of La Palma, I got a warmer reception for that one!)
Although I would very much love to I will never be able to run a 2:10 marathon and again as much as I would love one I don’t think there is an England vest put aside for me as we speak, but I promise to try my very best to share some of the beauty and excitement I find along the way with my adventures and I look forward to hearing your stories through the comments box below.
Keep on adventuring.
NEXT: ROAD TO LAVAREDO 2017
Jack is a keen Ultra runner (Budding mountain runner) and part of the XMiles ambassadors team.
He represents Leamington/Leamington Athletics Academy.
Follow Jack on Power of 10