Mark Webber Wants To Get You Into His Clothing by Roger Hanney

After a career engaged in “wheel to wheel combat” Mark Webber, the most recognised Australian Formula One driver of the modern era recently founded a new Aussie clothing brand.

He’s a chiseled, gutsy, straight-shooting success story. And he wants to talk about tights.

Getting off the canvas is most of the rules.

More specifically he wants to talk about putting tights, and jackets, and shorts and shirts on any Aussie who embraces the joys of our great outdoors. In particular, we’re talking about an event that will clash with the timing of the upcoming federal election and rival it for sheer amount of dirt thrown – Ultra-Trail Australia.

As 20,000 spectators and trailrunning competitors from all corners of Australia, and the globe, converge on Sydney’s Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Webber couldn’t be more excited. One of the biggest events of its kind anywhere in the world, UTA100 (so named for the pinnacle event of the festival being a 100km mountain run) will be the first major event partnership for Webber’s clothing brand.

Final Grand Prix 2013[1].jpg

His plucky new Aussie sports label will be front and centre in Katoomba from May 16 to May 19 as dreams, hamstrings, and hearts are built and broken across the sandstone canyons and eucalypt forests of one of Australia’s most iconic adventure and travel destinations. Continue reading

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Fasting Mimicking Diet, type 1 diabetes & endurance running  

There’s a catchy title hey? The Fasting Mimicking Diet, or FMD, has been researched and developed by Dr. Valter Longo. It is less of a diet and more of an intervention. By restricting caloric intake and managing macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fats etc) within a particular ratio, the practitioner (you, if you’re giving this a go) triggers certain beneficial stress responses in the body.

I first heard of this intervention by listening to Longo on Rhonda Patrick’s Found My Fitness podcast. I highly recommend the audio over the video, perfect for a run or long drive. Her conversation with Joe Rogan was the first time I’d heard of her, and I’ve listened to her regularly since.

And here is Patrick’s first interview with Longo, laying the basis for his research approach back in 2016.

The basic principle is this – given that the human body displays many beneficial regenerative processes during prolonged fasting (more than 3 days), and given that we’re seeing a global epidemic of ill health especially in westernized civilizations, it is possible that the body has evolved over a very long time to benefit from a recurring limited availability or intake of food that has only become a non-occurrence within a very short period of time, relative to human existence.

But, fasting on only water for much more than a day has a very low compliance rate. Continue reading

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CATHAY PACIFIC: World’s Worst Customer Service?

I was on Virgin Atlantic flight VS206 on the weekend from Heathrow to Hong Kong, connecting with CATHAY PACIFIC CX111 from Hong Kong to Sydney. I have had no reply yet from VIRGIN ATLANTIC or CATHAY PACIFIC. Here is the text of the complaint I have sent to them both. In addition to the $AU1700 I had already spent on my fare, by the behaviour of these airlines’ respective staff members I was forced to pay an additional $AU1500 or face not being able to get home. I have never had such an absolutely appalling experience from any airline. Staff member names have been changed for their privacy.

Wednesday August 1st 2018.

and associated air travel regulatory bodies

Over the weekend I had the most disempowering, traumatic, baffling, and disgusting air travel experience of my life at the hands of VIRGIN ATLANTIC and CATHAY PACIFIC.
I have travelled the world by air extensively over the last seven years – USA, Chile, Argentina, France, Switzerland, Egypt, China, New Zealand, etc. – and I have never ever been so absolutely mistreated by an air carrier who having been paid for the simple service of transportation instead abandoned me in a foreign country, denied any responsibility for my situation, and forced me to buy a full fare with another carrier in order to make it back home within any reasonable timeframe. Continue reading

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OPERATION GOATKISS, Hardrock 2018 Part 2

Continued from Part 1

(please support the awesome positive health impacts of the Telethon Type 1 Family Centre here. Thanks heaps 😊 )

Asking around about how best to prepare for Hardrock some months ago, I’d got a load of helpful advice from some very experienced runners who know the course backwards. My friend Beat gave me great advice, so did Grant Guise, and race legend Karl Meltzer. Karl had been the only one to say that there’s actually a lot of roadway on the course. The descent we were now on was a jeep road. Relative to technical single track, these are superhighways. But relative to ordinary nicely cleared firetrails these are obstacle courses, unevenly littered with potholes and every shape and size of rock that might ever appear on a roadway. I think I need more practise moving quickly on these things, because even once we’d picked up the pace a bit, it just felt like we were walking quickly downhill. I thought about Great North Walk, our favourite 100-miler back home, and wondered how I’d view someone running into the halfway point – whether I’d see them as doing well or pacing badly. On reflection I felt more comfortable with my slow fast walk.

With a bit of delirium creeping in and the witching hour behind us, I tried to make up for my sadass bonking-vomiting-crawling phase, narrating the torches ahead and below us for Hailey.

“Have you seen my cat? He was here a minute ago.”

“Oh shit, where’d I put the keys? Have you seen my wallet? No, that’s a marmot.”

At any rate, we made it to Grouse at about a quarter to 6 just as the first grey light of day had taken shape. I expected that I’d have to twist some arms to get a 20-minute nap but Hailey even felt like 40 minutes would be ok. I spotted Courtney Dauwalter either waiting to pace Howie Stern or just finished as I was heading into the tent. She’s such a badass ultrarunner. Too tired even for a fanboy moment, I punched some food in and after switching into a fresh top grabbed a cot out the back and zoned out until about 6:30. I was never really asleep, aware of the runner chatter around me, but it was a good chance to just calm the body a bit and reset before going again. As I was prepping to get out again Andy Hewat had come in and taken a cot. He was looking and sounding a bit ragged. I didn’t know how he was going to go getting out of Grouse but felt pretty confident that Hailey and Larnie and Jill would get him out if he was capable of still going. Also, he’s a tough bastard.

pic by Jill Homer

Leaving Grouse Gulch pic by Jill Homer

Hailey’s pacing during the night had made a big difference I think to a scenario that might have seen me lose focus. I had been awaked enough until a bit before 5 when the Zs finally tried to kick in. Hailey had kept snapping me out of it enough that I didn’t walk off the edge of the trail, even though I’d gone close more than a couple of times.

Now I was on the climb to American Basin and Handie’s Peak, a mountain with spectacularly epic views and also the highest point on the course. Back on my own, having a fresh iPod was gold and I savoured the moment as the first crushing rhythm-driven guitar blasts of Gojira for the entire race tore apart the tiny columns of air in my ear canals. It was simply beautiful in this first moment of being alone in maybe 25 hours to just be overwhelmed by gratitude for close friends supporting the race and for the beauty of the moment and for the depth of the challenge and for my Dad who left this world just over a year ago.

GOJIRA – epic tunes to go long to.

Time alone didn’t linger long enough for me to get even slightly introspective. Larry was punching on ahead with Kim still talking away. When I caught up the conversation turned to the race news. This was the first I’d heard of Xavier Thevenard’s disqualification for taking assistance. Continue reading

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OPERATION GOATKISS, Hardrock 2018 Part 1

By Roger Hanney

Part 2 continues here. If you’d like to throw some spare change toward the awesome work done by the Telethon Type 1 Family Centre in Perth, we’ve passed our $2500 fundraising goal but donations are still welcome here. They’re helping type 1 kids grow up knowing their aspirations are their only limitations.

The Short Version

Hardrock is a race that I first became aware of and intrigued by maybe 7 years ago when iRunFar coverage told of a mountainous 100-miler where Karl Meltzer was dropping the hammer until things got wild with violent lightning storms forcing runners spread around the course to hide in abandoned mine shafts or risk electrocution, at least that’s how I remember it.

So to find myself pinned down in a high mountain range by violent, explosive electrical storms with just under 20km still to go had a bitter sweetness to it. At the time, it felt like looking through a solid glass wall at some place you want to be but might never be able to reach. Afterward, it felt like beautiful effortless poetry, laid down by Norse gods of chaos. I could have probably finished Hardrock an hour earlier, without borderline hypothermia threatening to derail my race as my knees became numb in icy rain that pounded through ozone, but I got the full Hardrock and wouldn’t switch a moment of the experience for a quicker finish. Watching vivid blue and white bolts of galactic energy riff the landscape ahead of us, above us and beneath us on a torrential Saturday evening high in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, knowing that all around us other runners were deeply embedded in this elemental carnival, we were eye to eye with the universe and it was fucking glorious.

Pic by Scott Rokis

Pic by Scott Rokis, Finish Line looking back towards Little Giant and Green Mountain


Running at altitude requires an acclimation period, preferably of about 3 weeks. It’s either that or turn up on the day and hope for the best. Organically though, arriving in the outpost town of Silverton well before the start of the race has much greater benefits than just adaptation to altitude.

The mountains surrounding Silverton are spectacular, the remains of the mining constructions left by the communities that Hardrock celebrates border on alien, the community that congregates for this event is eclectic and wonderful to be part of, and time spent visiting or marking parts of the course is time so well spent as to be almost essential for a better chance of success on game day.

By the time the 10-second countdown started just before 6am on Friday, July 20 2018, I had visited Grant’s Swamp, Handies Peak, and Virginius Pass with experienced Hardrockers and run across the final 20km of the course on my own. Effectively, I’d disarmed the fear associated with some of the nastiest descents, the highest climb, and the section of the course where I’d likely be the most fatigued.

So how steep is the Grant's Swamp descent? pic by Andy Hewat

I’d had an unexpected but welcome conversation with mountain legend Joe Grant a few days before the race. Continue reading

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Ultra-Trail Andorra and other things I will remember forever. By Roger Hanney

Thank you Andy Hewat, we were battling together even if separated. Thank you Hailey Lauren, without your unwavering get-it-done attitude I think I would have broken. Thank you Dad, more than any other this one was for you.


When people unfamiliar with trail ultramarathon ask what you do and you reply, “I run ultra”, I’m sure they picture a legitimate sport conducted by top end athletes. Maybe they imagine someone that looks a bit like Brendan Davies, Jo Brischetto, Lucy Bartholomew, Ben Duffus or any of the top level badasses we know and admire, tearing effortlessly across impossible terrain, whittling obscene distances down until nothing remains but the finish chute and arms held high in a slow motion solo victory parade.

But that’s not what I’m saying, not at all. When I say “I run ultra” I mean that I walk, hike, shuffle, limp, stagger, and occasionally run (but never jog) stupid distances for silly amounts of time at paces that mathematically seem absurdly easy with a heavy pack on my back, full of food and fluid and preparation for any outcome. I mean that on any given race day our sport will take me into at least the sunrise of a new day, probably through multiple climate zones, and may feature any combination of blisters, vomiting, sleep deprivation, or other bodily failures that just blend into the variable terrain that exists between start and hopefully finish lines.

Early in my latest idiotic endeavor around the principality of Andorra I had some middle of the night epiphany. I realized that the best way to explain ultra would be to describe it as a pursuit where you need to control what you can, manage what you can’t, and adapt to everything that remains. In this way, it becomes a neat simile for life. I felt smugly content with this elucidation.

Then the world fell apart. Continue reading

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Coast2Kosci 2016 part 2: when you don’t want it bad enough to die trying just yet and go to sleep in the back of a comfy van instead.

(Continued from

Heading into the night stage (obviously a stage measured by light that started in different places for everyone – if, for example, you’re Andrew Tuckey, the night stage might not start until you’re back at your hotel reflecting on a new course record and the quantum anomalies you created folding space on Biloka Range) I had planned to be feeling good enough to maintain rhythm at the very least, and hopefully reinforce it with some good running in the cool of darkness.


Did. Not. Even. Get. Close. Continue reading

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