good morning bigmoose chaps and chapesses,

sorry about last weeks lack of blog, i went over to chamonix for a weekend to train in the mountains and hang out with my mate rich, with every good intention of writing my blog, but he literally wiped me out physically, by introducing me to downhill mountain biking, and doing some of the most beautiful hikes i've done, mixed in with the altitude we were at, it literally zonked me.

i flew back bank holiday monday to run 15k with all of our awesome 'running for emily' crew, who i absolutely love for their dedication to get ready for the cardiff half, which should be pretty amazing, and i know donna, emily's mum is enjoying the support everyone is giving her and her family, so if you're not running, but fancy coming along to support on october 2nd, we'd love to see you, but it was a tough end to the weekend for me, as i am nowhere near match fit at the moment, and the blog just didn't stand a chance, sorry.

the trip to cham was amazing, exceeding my expectations, and rich was a perfect host, with the most amazing apartment overlooking the mountains, with this view, which i woke to every morning, just breathtaking, and on one night when there was a huge electric storm we just sat there in awe watching natures lightshow, absolutely awesome.

rich is a very interesting character, and is a very successful guy in everything he does, and as we both agreed neither of us desire to run with the herd, which is probably why we clicked on marathon des sables where we met, though as i boarded the big silver bird i wondered if spending a long weekend with a geezer i had only met twice before would work out ok.

any fears i had quickly disappeared as rich told me of what we were going to be getting up to, and it was gonna be right up my street.

the ultra trail mont blanc running race just happened to be on that weekend, so we were both very childlike as we entered the main square in chamonix, overlooking the great mont blanc to watch the beginning of this epic race, which is 170k long with over 10,000m of height gain through the mountains, and is reknowned as being one of the most difficult non stop races in the world.

as we watched the runners prepare for the start, with helicopters filming overhead, and very excitable french commentators hyping the watching crowds up into a frenzy, we both looked at each and smiled, and later that weekend agreed that we would love to take part, so that's 2018's adventures sorted then!

as the music blared and anticipation and emotion engulfed everyone, over two thousand runners poured through the arch on their way to pain and glory, and we headed back home to eat and sleep, waking the next morning knowing that they had been running through the night.

the eventual winner of the race ludovic pommeret turned in a great time of 22 hours, and the last placed finisher laurence dupont was aided by the male and female winners over the last few hundred metres for a time of 46 hours and 42 minutes, an amazing show of human endeavour, bravo laurence!!

here is a great video by the utmb guys if you want to get a feel of the race.

pretty amazing huh.

so that happened.

and whilst is was going on around us, as i mentioned we did some amazing hiking and biking, although as rich decided to throw me down some pretty steep and epic hills, i managed to come off my bike three times, the first time being the best where somebody had put a kind of trip wire thing across our path, and as i approached, at probably in excess of a hundred miles an hour ;) i had no time to stop, and was thrown cartoon stylee over my handlebars, landing on my already injured knee, leaving a slight graze.

just a flesh wound!!!

the other two crashes were less dramatic, one where going uphill i literally wheelied the front of the bike up in the air, and almost stepped off it, as if it was a bucking horse, and the final debacle came as rich showed no regard for this mountain bike virgin's safety as he took me down a hill that seemed to me to be almost vertical which caused me to stall with trepidation, and being sat, what i now know to be too far forward on the bike, i did a slo motion exit from my saddle again dismounting over my handlebars, though this time in somewhat less spectacular fashion than my first near death experience, not a complete success, but by no means a failure of a day, i loved it, and if you don't push yourself, your knees won't be smashed up, but you won't have the thrill of the downhill speed achieved when you managed to stay on the bike.

which reminds me, at one point we got rich to go ahead and film me coming downhill, as i thought it could be good footage to put on our website or social media, so as he positioned himself, camera in hand, i gunned it down the hill, throwing caution to the wind in search of the greatest downhill action shot ever, with the wind and time whirling past me at a speed that would surely have maimed me had i come off this time.

pleased with my breakneck attempt, we viewed the footage back at hq, and it looked like miss daisy was riding the bike, and i was so embarrassed at how slow it looked it will never see the light of day, though it did cause some laughs, mainly from rich i might add.

final bike story, here is a panarama pic of me in switzerland and france in the same picture, pre accidents, i look like a dork, i just like the magic of being in two countries in the same shot, little things please little minds they say :)

as well as biking we did some hiking, with stunning views around every corner.

this was a lush view at the top of a climb we did, with a dam in the middle of the picture.

this was a lush view at the top of a climb we did, with a dam in the middle of the picture.

we ran through rivers.

and boo the dog swam to keep cool.

all of which eventually left me completely cream crackered, and rich not even out of breath.

so there are my excuses for no blog in a blog, i was completely shattered, thoroughly exhilerated, and very happy that the time spent with rich literally flew by, which kinda shows it went well, and as a follower of bigmoose, i am hoping we can do some bigmoose work in his home town of bournemouth, watch this space.

i hope you guys and girls (i suddenly assumed a jimmy saville accent as i wrote that, how non p.c. oops) had a great long weekend (if you are uk based) and hope this weekend is a cracker for you all, and hopefully next week we will have some news on future bigmoose stuff, instead of my flipping holiday snaps, as things are progressing nicely on a few things, we just have to be patient, which i am really rubbish at!

finally good luck to bigmoose supporter alex staniforth, aka alley cat, who is currently in the himalaya attempting to climb cho oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, and you can follow him on social media to follow his adventure on twitter here

so you are probably asleep by now, apologies for the long blog today, but have a great week ahead, be kind, and don't forget to do septembers monthly moose as soon as possible

blue skies,

downhill jeff