Go! outdoors and make your own challenges
My Sunday Mail column on July 2 revealed some great ideas from a new book Go! by adventure writer Tobias Mews. There are some great challenge ideas. See the pdf or the article below.
Tobias Mews is one of the UK’s leading adventure athletes and has completed more than 200 races across a huge breadth of distances and disciplines.
He has taken part in events as extreme as zombie racing and wife carrying to multi-stage ultra marathons in deserts, jungles and mountains.
Although he enjoys racing he was also keen to find new challenges that did not require an entry place.
He said: “I didn’t want to have to wait another year, after missing out on a place in a sold out race, or to feel the disappointment of not achieving a personal best.
“I wanted to race whenever I felt like it, whether it was a Wednesday morning before work or at the weekend.
“I wanted to create my own races and to spend time with friends. So that is what I did.”
Now Tobias has published a book called Go!: An inspirational Guide to Getting Outside and Challenging Yourself.
It reveals a wealth of information and describes all the ingredients to build you own racing adventure big or small.
Give it a Go!
Whether you want to find a new challenge on your doorstep, tempt friends to race each other at the weekend or create an epic challenge, GO! will guide you.
The book provides insight, practical guidance and expert tips on how to make and complete a race-it-yourself adventure.
Each entry is brought to life by the personal experiences of Tobias and it is packed with top tips, route pointers and advice for those who want to push themselves further.
Go! will help you to discover the thrill of a new escape, enjoy the pain and gain of completing a challenge and the fun of trying something new.
Here are five ways to get outside and challenge yourself in Scotland – and without it costing you a penny’s worth of an entry fee.
Five ways to Go! In Scotland
If you like a list then peak bagging is your perfect challenge. You could aim to bag all of Scotland’s famous 282 Munros, or why not bag another collection of mountains such as Corbetts, Grahams and Donalds.
A new list of mountains in Scotland is the Archies. These are the 130 mountains in Scotland with a summit of 1km.
If you want to reach the bagging goal sooner rather than later why not go for the nine Scottish mountains with a height of more than 4000ft or see how many Munros you can bag in one weekend or a week of hiking.
Trail Time Travelling
Tobias said: “I’m a sucker for a trail with a past. There’s something infinitely exciting about treading in the footsteps of our forebears.
“The concept here is to time trail an entire section in one push, or better yet, to ‘fast-pack’ the route over a series of days.”
A trail that perfectly lends itself to Trail Time Travelling is the 100km St Cuthbert’s Way.
Not only does it tick that “ultra” box, but it links two historic locations, Melrose and Holy Island.
Race Peak to Peak
Of all the Race-It-Yourself challenges in the book, a peak-to-peak challenge is one of the simplest and most rewarding to plan.
One of the most famous peak-to-peak challenges in Scotland is the Ramsay Round, an ultra distance fell run taking in all 24 Munros of the Lochaber mountains within 24 hours.
For a less daunting outing try the Scottish 3 Peaks challenge, ticking off Ben Nevis, Ben Macdui and Braeiach within 24 hours.
The idea is to give yourself 60 minutes to complete a challenge. Tobias said: “It can be anything of your choosing, but my favourite is blue plaque collecting.
“These are the plaques that adorn various gentrified houses in cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen.
“This is a street-orienteering type challenge and is best done with friends, as you try to gather as many plaques as possible within 60 minutes.”
Race the Commute
Who hasn’t been stuck in traffic or stood on a train station platform impatiently waiting for a delayed train?
Instead, you could plot a route that takes you from your house to work and aim to complete the journey quicker than public transport.
Tobias said: “I’ve raced buses, boats, cars, horses, tubes and trains – and even if you don’t beat them, you’re guaranteed to have fun trying.”
* Go! An inspirational Guide to Getting Outside and Challenging Yourself by Tobias Mews is published by Aurum Press, £16.99.