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Running away: revelling in the birthplace of the marathon

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Finishing the Athens 10K at the Panathenaic stadium, ahead of runners making their way from the town of Marathon, is an elating experience

I like a run that finishes in a stadium. It can bring a sense of grandeur, of occasion, to any race. The crowds banked up high. For a fleeting moment you can pretend you’re Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis-Hill.

As stadium finishes go, few can match the experience of entering the almost 2,000-year-old Panathenaic stadium in Athens. Made of marble and with a seating capacity of 50,000, this epic structure was the setting for the opening ceremony of the first modern Olympics in 1896. It was the finish of the 2004 Olympic marathons. Long ago, it hosted naked wrestlers and gladiators.

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How was your weekend running?

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Everyone needs to find their own niche in the big world of running. And then be left to enjoy it. So come and share your own weekend woes and triumphs below the line as always

I’ve had several conversations recently about tribalism in running – particularly in London. With the massive growth in the sport in recent years, it’s only natural that different types of runner, as well as different types of race, club, and communities, have formed. Then there’s the different styles of running, which themselves take on a slightly messianic quality: the ‘barefoot is best’ vs maximalist, the ‘warm up is pointless’ vs committed pre-run stretchers.

The thing is, they are all right. For them. My motto when it comes to shoe recommendations is ‘there is no good or bad trainer, there’s just the one that’s right for you’ – and likewise in running itself, I think everyone should find their own way – and then leave it at that. There is no inherent virtue in wearing barefoot shoes vs more cushioned ones. There is nothing ‘better’ about running with music or podcasts vs silence. It’s just what you enjoy. One runner’s birdsong and sheep baaing might be another’s roar of the North Circular – putting music on to block that out doesn’t make them any less of a runner.

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Nicky Spinks: ‘I like the silence of running in the outdoors’

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Earlier this year, the 49-year-old made fell running history by becoming the fastest person to run a Double Bob Graham Round. What’s the secret of her success?

The 49-year-old breast cancer-survivor marked 10 years post-diagnosis by running the Double Bob Graham Round132 miles and around 54,000ft of ascent – in a record-breaking time of 45 hours and 30 minutes.

Where is your favourite place to run? It’s got to be the Peak District, where I live, even though it’s not hilly or very remote. Actually, it’s very accessible – 20 minutes in a car and I’m there with my dogs and I don’t see a soul. There’s a place called Rocking Stones, which is a set of stones that look down the valley towards Ladybower Reservoir and, on a nice day, you can see for miles

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Picture of the day: EnduranceLife ultra in South Devon

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

On Saturday, author and Guardian running-blog contributor Adharanand Finn took part in his first ultra marathon, the EnduranceLife CTS South Devon. It comprised 34 miles of hilly, muddy trails along one of the most beautiful stretches of the English coastline. Here he is, 15 miles into the race, which was won by Tom Payn in 4hrs 44 mins. Photograph by Marietta d’Erlanger

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Over the ice … how to run across a Siberian lake

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Lake Baikal is 600km long and freezes solid in winter. So, what else would you choose to do but run its entire length?

Ray Zahab has run thousands of miles over deserts: the Gobi, Sahara, Atacama, Antarctica and plenty more. Alongside Kevin Vallely, he has also run across the biggest lake in the world, Lake Baikal in Siberia.
Now, I know you’re thinking: “Hold on, can he run on water? What’s going on there?” Well, in the winter months, Lake Baikal completely freezes, solid enough for people to ski, bike, drive and run across. So, in 2010, Zahab and Vallely decided to run the 600km (373 mile)-length of the lake; it took a little over 13 days.

Zahab is a lover of geography. When he discovered ultrarunning back in 2003, winning the Yukon Arctic Ultra in rather chilly conditions, he found a passion that was to shape his life. Now, one of his main aims is to share that passion with other people. He founded the charity Impossible2Possible (I2P), taking young people from a whole range of backgrounds on life-changing expeditions.

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Test all pregnant women for smoking, say NHS chiefs

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

The plan, which is supported by the Royal College of Midwives, is part of a wider drive to discourage cigarettes at hospitals

England’s public health chief is urging hospitals to give every pregnant woman a carbon monoxide test to see if they smoke, as part of an NHS-wide drive to persuade patients to kick the habit.

Duncan Selbie wants midwives and nurses to routinely screen mothers-to-be when their pregnancy is first “booked”, monitor them at all their antenatal appointments and support those who want to quit.

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The secret to female orgasm? Try the ‘golden trio’ of moves – video

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

It’s often been described as ‘elusive’ but a study from a team of US researchers suggests that a combination of genital stimulation, deep kissing and oral sex is the ‘golden trio’ for women when it comes to increasing their likelihood of reaching orgasm with a sexual partner

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Children’s sugar intake equals five doughnuts a day, campaigners say

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Obesity Health Alliance calls for food and drink makers to cut ‘hidden’ sugar to curb dangerous obesity among young people

Children and young people are consuming the equivalent of 20 chocolate chip biscuits a day in sugar, according to anti-obesity campaigners.

The calculations by the Obesity Health Alliance have led to renewed calls for food and soft drinks manufacturers to make their products healthier to cut the number of dangerously overweight children. They want urgent action to reduce the amount of “hidden” sugar in many common foodstuffs.

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‘Golden trio’ of moves boosts chances of female orgasm, say researchers

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Study sheds light on approaches, revealing ‘orgasm gaps’ both between the sexes and those with different sexual orientations

The female orgasm has often been described as elusive, but researchers say they might have discovered how to boost the chances of eliciting the yes, yes, yes.

A study from a team of US researchers suggests that a combination of genital stimulation, deep kissing and oral sex is the “golden trio” for women when it comes to increasing their likelihood of reaching orgasm with a sexual partner.

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Forget five a day, eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Scientists say even just 2.5 portions daily can lower chance of heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death

Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year, say scientists.

The findings of the study led by Imperial College London may dismay the two in three adults who struggle to manage three or four portions – perhaps some tomatoes in a sandwich at lunchtime, an apple and a few spoonfuls of peas at dinner.

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