Janathon Winners Announced!

Janathon winner

Well done to everyone who won a prize and thank you for taking part in Janathon (and a special thank you to those of you who have done what must seem like flipping billions of them but keep coming back for more).

Those of you who won – you’re under absolutely no obligation to do this but if you did want to share the above image and blog/tweet your thanks to the companies who donated the prizes, that would be nice. Just saying, like.

Anyway, as you were. Here are the winners.

Audiofuel running tracks

Tim Hodson

Beer from Country Life Brewery

Lena Conlin

2 bottles of Beet-It shots


Handmade bracelet by Corinna Korrubel

Tim Hodson

Online detox class from Mission Lean & Clean 

Carla Greer

21 day detox recipe book from Mission Lean & Clean

Lucy Jiwa

Case of drinks from Everything But The Cow

Stuart Walker

Box of Ener:Gels

Julian James
Angela White
Ruth Rouse
Helena Romanowska
Stuart Walker
Keith Jenkins

A pair of Firefly knee straps

Catherine Henderson

A box of Fuelify nutritious snacks

Freya Rodger

Helly Hansen top and tights

Dave Thomas

Fat Burn Revolution book by Julia Buckley

Ruth Rouse

A pair of shoes from New Balance

Laura Dryden

Thanks again for taking part and thanks to all the generous brands and companies and people for their donations.





Review: New Balance Minimus Trail V2

It’s been a long time since I went for a run – six weeks and three days, to be precise. That was when I went to my local parkrun and actually ran the whole five k without stopping. Yay me. Although, even though I ran it without stopping to walk, it was still slower than when I’ve run/walked it but I was so pleased I hadn’t walked any of it, it motivated me to start running regularly again. Well, that motivation didn’t last long, did it?

Still, I went for a run on Tuesday to try out my new New Balance Minimus Trail shoes I’d been sent.



They’re not the prettiest shoes on the planet (unless you like plain shoes, then they’ll be right up your street (or should that be trail?)) but they do have a gorgeous pinky/orange spiky sole; it’s a shame they’re going to be covered with mud. Given my opinion on shoes centres mostly around what colour they are, if you want the technical bit, here’s what New Balance have to say about them:

”With a 0mm drop, the Zero Trail V2 allows you to feel the path beneath your feet and when combined with an aggressive outsole, the result is a durable trail shoe which allows you to connect with the path feeling confident and secure with every step.

An innovative REVlite midsole provides premium responsiveness and durability at a 30% lighter weight than other foams with comparable performance. The REVlite is consistent with the old school design elements of the Zero Trail v2 but is combined with a super aggressive 7mm lug outsole, giving maximum traction for off road activities and putting more between your foot and the ground.

The sticky rubber outsole is durable and tacky creating greater traction on slick surfaces, perfect for running on those dewy mornings or scrambling over wet rocks. Added toe protection and heel support provide extra protection for those ragged runs!”

I went off to do a bit of the Greensand Way and it didn’t take long to get covered in mud. I didn’t slip over, so the spiky soles must have been doing their job properly. They don’t feel like trail shoes when they’re on – trail shoes I’ve had in the past have felt heavy and solid but these are light and comfy. The tread is so deep on them though, I’m going to need a hoof pick to dig the mud out.

If you’re after some light trail shoes, and like your shoes to be almost as plain as a Rich Tea biscuit (but with a pretty sole), I can recommend the New Balance Minimus Trail V2.

Janathon Day 16: New Balance Minimus Zero

Yesterday I said that I was going to go for a trail run in my new New Balance Minimus Zero (there’s a couple of photos of them on yesterday’s blog. They’re pretty, go and look at them). I also said that I’d changed my mind because the snow and the rain would have made the field a bit yuk.

I still didn’t go to a field today (which is probably just as well as, according to the website that I’ve just looked at, they’re for pavement running, although the man who sent them to me said they were trail shoes), but I did go for a run in them. Only a short run though, as – as the name implies – they’re minimal shoes and New Balance advise that you build up wearing them. That’s my excuse for only doing a short run, anyway.

These shoes, as well as looking good, are comfy. Despite the bobbly Vibram soles (if you didn’t bother looking at the photos like I just told you to, go and look now as there’s also a photo of the blue and black bobbly sole), these didn’t feel ‘barefoot’ but they did encourage me to strike mid-sole and I felt like I was gliding along at high speed, even if my stats say otherwise.

Pairs of new running shoes: 1
Run: .72 of a mile

Janathon Day 15 and an incentive for you to carry on

Last night’s plan for today:

Get up at 7am, go for a short run in a field at 8ish to try out these New Balance Minimus Zero trail shoes


with their snazzy (do we still say ‘snazzy’ or do I sound like an 80s throwback?) Vibram soles


but when I got up I remembered that it snowed and rained all day yesterday and the field would be a bit yuk.

So, Plan B, then:

Get up at 7, go for a road run at about 8.

What happened in reality:

I got up at 7, looked at my university timetable for tomorrow and decided that tomorrow would be better for a run and the gym would be better for today and so I would go to the gym at 9am when it opened.

At 8:30 I fancied some hot chocolate, so I made myself some then decided to do a Janathon mailout as it was the halfway mark. I sent out the Janathon newsletter then stared at the Mail Chimp stats showing me how many people had opened it/clicked a link in it/complained about it, etc. for about an hour then decided it was too late to go to the gym and so I went downstairs to the conservatory and did 20 minutes on the rowing machine. Pathetic, I know.

I haven’t forgotten it says ‘incentive’ in the title.

I mentioned a Janathon incentive. I have waved my Sooty wand (not to be confused with a fairy wand according to Travelling Hopefully but ‘pah’ to her) and magicked* up a pair of running shoes courtesy of SportsShoes.com worth up to £90 to be given away to one lucky Janathon participant who has been hardcore enough to exercise and blog every day.

Oh, what’s that? You’ve been a bit of a slacker? Never mind, I’ve also got some Deep Heat goodies (a tube of Deep Heat, a tube of Deep Freeze and a tube of Deep Relief) that I’ll give away in a draw open to all Janathon participants (although, if you’ve been slacking, you probably don’t need any muscle rub type stuff, do you?)

For more information, visit the competition page on the Janathon website (don’t enter the competitions yet though).

New pairs of almost barefoot running shoes: 1
Runs in fields done: 0
Road runs done: 0
Gyms gone to: 0
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Sooty wands: 1
Fairy wands: 0

*asked their PR if I could have some.

The box of neglected shoes

After a week of not sleeping well at all last week which resulted in me not doing any exercise at all, even though I was well aware that doing some exercise would make me feel better and help me sleep, the last couple of nights I’ve been sleeping better and so I returned to the gym yesterday and decided to go out for a run this morning.

In the unlikely event that I do make it to Grim in a couple of weeks, I’m going to need some trail shoes and I don’t want to ruin my nice new Hoka Mafates and so I thought I’d take a look in the box of neglected shoes that hasn’t made it back into the nearly finished porch with the other twenty+ pairs of shoes and be brave and look in the carrier bag which has been home to my muddy Asics trail shoes for nearly a year.

On the way through the box, I came across a pair of orange Converse, a pair of black Converse, a pair of pink Converse, some smart officey interview type boots, my chav boots, a pair of Salomon trail shoes in their box that I only wore once (can’t remember why), a pair of New Balance running shoes in their box that I only wore once due to them giving me a MASSIVE blister and there at the bottom of the box was the bag of doom containing a muddy pair of Asics.

Actually, they weren’t that bad.


I put them on and they feel fine, although I was expecting them to be crisp and crunchy.

I get outside and do my usual run for a bit then walk when it starts going uphill and I see my postman and I think bah, he always sees me when I’m walking and he knows where I live and therefore knows I’ve started walking after 0.14 of a mile and he must think I’m a complete lightweight and then I get to the trail and instead of turning right where the sheep are, the sky looks bluer up ahead and so I carry on going straight and then when I get to the end I turn right instead of straight on and I follow the road round and I think the little park is down here and lo! the little park is indeed down here and I go up the park and down the cycle lane and then I see a Tesco and I think ooh, a new Tesco and I then I think stop being an idiot, it’s the Tesco that you’ve lived five minutes’ walk from for the last year and I don’t want to go back yet and so I turn left and go back down the cycle path and the trail that I went up in the first place and I realise that I haven’t done much trail running today and it’s mostly been on the road and the whole point was to try out my trail shoes and Grim isn’t going to consist of a nice smooth cycle path for eight miles, no, it’s going to consist of a load of mud and water and maybe I should go to Ham Street Woods next time I go out for a run and get a bit muddy and then I get back and my Asics have given me a blister.

Distance: 3.06 miles
Time: 36:44
Pace: 12 m/m
Calories: 312
Boxes of neglected shoes: 1
Pairs of running shoes that have only been worn once: 2
Bags of doom: 1
Blisters: 1